Chapter 5 Notes- Writing the News Release

February 23, 2010 at 3:49 am Leave a comment

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques Sixth Edition

by: Denix L. Wilcox

The Backbone of Publicity Programs

  • Press release- backbone of almost every publicity plan.
  • 55%- 97% of all news releases sent to media outlets are almost never used
  • 1) Standardized Format  2) Provide information that will be interesting to the audience   3) Material must be timely

Basic Questions when planning a News Release

  1. What is the subject of the message? Specific focus?
  2. Who is the message designed to reach?
  3. What is in it for the audience? Benefits/rewards?
  4. What goal is the organization pursuing? What is the organization’s purpose? Is it to increase sales? Position the company as a leader? Show company’s concern for environment? Etc.
  5. What do you want to achieve with the NR? To change attitudes/behavior or to increase attendance at a local event?
  6. What key messages should this news release highlight? How can they be tailored to the format of a specific publication and its readers?

Types of News Releases

  1. Announcements – personnel appointments, new products/services, mergers, awards, parties, anniversaries, openings/closings, etc.
  2. Spot announcements- When a storm disrupts the services of a public utility or a fire or an accident stops work, a flood closes roads, etc.
  3. Reaction stories – when a n event or situation has an impact on the organization.
  4. Bad news – The only way to make the best of a bad situation is to confront it; a release giving facts and the organization’s point of view should be drafted immediately.
  5. Local news – most common reason that news releases get used is the presence of a local angel

Parts of a Traditional News Release

  1. Letterhead
  2. Contacts
  3. Headline – brief, sometimes have a second headline known as a subhead
  4. Dateline
  5. Lead Paragraph – most important part of any news release
  6. Body of Text – write in inverted pyramid style. Most important facts go at the beginning of the news release so the editors will see the most interesting lines first thing.
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Entry filed under: Pr Writing 3330- Section A, Reading Notes- PRCA 3330. Tags: , , , .

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