The Purpose of a Press Release:
• Most common format for generating news and publicity for an organization
• Announcing a newsworthy event in an organization, introduce new officials, announce new services, counter negative publicity
• Only a few of thousands are used everyday
Don’t forget to include:
• 5 W’s – Who? What? Where? When? Why?
• 1 H – How?
Send it to the right person:
• Newspapers – Desk Editors, foreign editors, photo editors, community desk editors, beat reporters and religion writers
• Television & Radio – news directors, talk show producers, and program directors in radio and assignment editors, show producers, and beat reporters in television determine what goes on the air
• Send by email, fax, first class mail; advisable to follow up by phone to provide additional information and clarify context
Press Release Checklist:
• Three main parts – lead paragraph, main body, concluding part
• Is the lead to the point? Does it contain the most important and interesting aspect of the story?
• 5 W’s and 1 H addressed in lead paragraph
• Are sentences short, concise? Paragraphs short? Words common and concrete?
• If there are quotations, are they natural? Do they sound as though they could have been spoken?
• Has a particular medium format i.e. Radio, television, newspaper been consistently followed
• Are spelling and punctuation correct?
• Have all statements of fact been double checked for accuracy?
• Is the release dated and is the date to be released clearly indicated?
• Are the names and phone numbers for further contact indicated?
Format of Press Release:
• Double space on “8 ½ x 11” paper
• Use an official letterhead or write organization’s name, address, and telephone number at the upper left hand corner
• If the release is more than one page, center the word “more” at the bottom of the page and describe the release in a word or two at the upper left hand corner and indicate the page number. Example: Ramadan begins …2. This is called a slug line
• Date of release and date to be released at left hand side above the headlines and below the date
• If it is for immediate release, write “for immediate release”.
• List contact name and telephone number on the upper right hand corner
• Good releases are usually one page, or at most two pages. Feature releases may be an exception
• Use only one side of a page
• Indent paragraphs 5 spaces
• Indicate the end of the release with either the number “30” or the symbol “###” in the corner at the bottom of the final page
Use the headline to localize the release (if possible) and clearly state the news hook (the needs & concerns, and interest raised or satisfied)