Ch 5: Writing the News Release

In my own words, a news release is a ‘straight to the point’ document about an announcement, a spot announcement, a reaction story, bad news, or local news with intentions to be published. You would think a news release detailing information on these types of areas would be an easy task. Well, think again.

News releases take a lot of time and effort if you ever want to see it in a newspaper, magazine, or on the TV news station. Each news release produced should include a standard format, offer interesting information and it must be given in a timely manner.

A news release should be typed on letterhead with contact information, a headline, date, lead paragraph and body of text. Sometimes a news release also has a paragraph at the end that introduces the company.

Each component of the document has certain criteria to ensure the standard format. For example, the lead paragraph should be less than 5 lines, declarative sentences and should summarize the most important purpose.

The lead paragraph will either make or break the news release. It will be the deciding factor of publication from the editor or reporter.

From the reading, I learned that between 55-97 percent of news releases sent were never used. To me, this means it is very important to follow this chapters advice when producing a news release.


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