Chapter 5: Writingthe News Release
Planning a News Release
The Basic Questions
- What is the subject of the message? What is specific focus of this release?
- Who is this message designed to reach?
- What is in it for the particular audience? What are potential benefits and rewards?
- What goal is the organization pursuing? What is the organization’s purpose?
- What do you want to achieve with the news release? Is the objective to inform, to change attitudes and behavior, or to increase attendance at a local event?
- What key messages should this news release highlight? How can they be tailored to the format of a specific publication and its readers?
Selection of Paper
The traditional news release in the United States, has been written on letter-sized white paper measuring 8.5 by 11 inches. The use of colored paper for a news release does not get much support from experienced publisists.
Spacing and Margins
- Use 10-12-point standard type
- Don’t split sentences or paragraphs between pages
- Never hyphenate a word at the end of a line
- Number the pages of the news release
- Place a slug line (short description) at the top of each page after the first one
- Write “more” at the end of each page if the news release continues
- Write one of the old journalistic terms “-30-,” “end,” or “###” at the end of your news release
Use AP Style
The Associated Press Stylebook is the standard reference for writing news releases because most American newspapers use “AP style” or some variation of it.
Types of News Releases
- Spot Announcements
- Reaction Releases
- Bad News
- Local News
All information in this post can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition