Think Happy Thoughts

News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

Posted on: April 21, 2009


News Release

  • Use short, succint headlines and subheads to highlight main points and pique interest. They should not simply be a repeat of the information in the lead in paragraph.
  • Don’t use generic words such as “the leading provider” or “world class” to position your company. Be specific.
  • Don’t describe products using phrases such as “unique” or “total solution.” Use specific terms or examples to demonstrate the products distinctiveness.
  • Use descriptive and creative words to grab an editors attention, but make sure they are accurate and not exaggerated.
  • Don’t highlight the name of your company or product in the headline of a news release if it is not highly recognized. If you are not a household name, focus on the news intended.
  • Tell the news. Focus on how your announcement affects your industry and lead with that rather than overtly promoting your product or company.
  • Crititique your writing by asking yourself, “Who cares?” Why should readers be interested in this information?
  • Don’t throw everything into the release. Better to break your news into several releases if material is lengthy.
  • Don’t use lame quotes. Write like someone is actually talking- eliminate the corporatese that editors love to ignore. Speak with pizzazz to increase your chances of being published.
  • Target your writing. Create two different tailored releases that will go out to different types of media rather than a general release that isn’t of great interest to either group.
  • Look for creative ways to tie your announcement in with current news or trends.
  • Write simply.
  • Follow the AP style.
  • Don’t use metaphors unless they are used to paint a clearer picture for the reader.
  • Don’t overdo it. It is important to write colorfully, to focus on small specific details, to include descriptions of people, places, and events- but do not write poetry when you want press.
  • Don’t be formulate in your news release writing. Not every release must start with the name of the company or the product. Break out of the mold to attract media attention.
  • Don’t expect editors to print yoru entire release. Important info should be contained in the first two paragraphs.
  • Make it clear how your annoucement is relevant for the editors’ readers.

Media Kit components:

  1. The main news release
  2. A news feature about the development of the product of something similar
  3. Fact sheets on the product, org., or event
  4. Background information
  5. Photos and drawings with captions
  6. Biographical information on the spokesperson or chief execs
  7. A basic brochure

Public Relations – Strategies and Tactics 9th Edition

Wilcox and Cameron-


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