4 Steps to Writing Better News Releases
By: Annette Venditti
Are you responsible for drafting news releases?
Do you find yourself wondering if you are including all the correct elements, formatting it properly and making it truly newsworthy?
Is the headline grabbing the reader’s attention?
My focus this week is on tips for drafting news releases. Yes, even those of us who have been writing releases for years, might be surprised and find some things you did not know or were not including in the past.
Have you read a great news release recently? If not, take the time and do the research; read some news articles and news releases and find those that stand out based on their headlines, writing styles, etc. Keep them for future reference in your work file. Especially look at ones that are in the same industry as your company and benchmark them.
- Organize Your Story: Draft all the details in an outline form and review them to be sure they are in the correct order for the reader. This is key when talking about an event, as you need to describe all the event activities in chronological order, how to get tickets who to contact for information, and who the event benefits, etc.
- Headline Matters: The headline must communicate your subject matter instantly (should be one sentence and brief as possible) and convey why the content is news and interesting. Write several headline options and mix and match them until you are satisfied with the result. Finding the “call-to-action” in your story is key to a killer headline, so take the time needed to write the best headline for your news release.
- Speak Their Language: Avoid marketing jargon and overused words; just write naturally so your audience can really understand what you are telling them. Search engines DO understand synonyms so to avoid repetitive words, use them with confidence. Using a variety of words will give your content a more natural feel, and have it more relate to your readers.
NOTE: Use the AP Stylebook as your guide for proper formatting and grammar in a news release format.
- Facts & Contact Info: Remember to include all the story and/or event facts simply stated for the reader and don’t forget to include detailed contact name, phone, email, and a website link.
NOTE: Be sure to include working links to websites and emails where the reader can click and connect to get more information easily.
Use this set of tips to get you started towards being the one in your office that writes better news releases. For more resources and tips visit the following links:
- To read and reference news releases posted online visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/
- For information on formatting a news release visit: http://service.prweb.com/learning/article/format-press-release/
Still have questions or need help? Contact us!