the DIY news release

[tweetmeme source=”storylinePR” only_single=false]Presentation is key to getting journalists to read your release.  As mentioned in my last few posts, the most important component of the news release is that it needs to have news value to the editor and his/her readers.  Resist your impulse to sell your company and build your news release one objective and newsworthy section at a time.

Introducing the DIY Release Template image of do-it-yourself logo

The key to successful release writing is to ensure it is well written and presented in the standard format journalists require it in.  Created by popular demand, we have created the StorylinePR DIY news release template.   It will be available for FREE download on January 7th.  To gain access to the template, simply email with “DIY news release” in the subject line.  We will email you a password to access the template which will guide you through writing process.

The Key Elements of a Release

  • Headline. Otherwise known as “The Hook“, your news release headline should invoke powerful emotions. State your most thrilling news, finding, or announcement as succinctly as possible.
  • Subhead. Your opportunity to strengthen your “hook” by providing more useful information. Emotions should still be running high as you add to the drama of the headline.
  • Lead Paragraph. The ‘who, what, when, where and how’ of the story.  A journalist that scans your lead paragraph should have a firm grasp of the purpose and angle of the release.
  • Body Paragraphs. Spend the rest of your press release supporting claims made in the header, subhead, and opening paragraph. This includes facts, figures, and quotes from meaningful sources.
  • Boilerplate. This is one or two-sentence blurb that briefly describes your company and the services it provides. Readers interested in the release will gladly follow this information to your web site.
  • For More Information. Below the ###s, add a one-sentence blurb that directs journalists to a person who can provide more information on the story or the company behind it.

Some quick formatting tips…

  • Use 1 inch margins on either side of the page
  • Copy should be left justified – double spaced
  • Use Block formatting void of indents
  • Include pertinent information such as date, city, contact info
  • Try to keep to one page (or use “more” when release carries over two pages)
  • Exclamation marks are your enemy !!!!!!!
  • Use Multiple paragraphs for easy skimming
  • Avoid hyperlinks, bold, italic or coloured type
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