Capitalize the first letter of words as you would in a title. Do not use all caps. Avoid using an exclamation point, question mark, or special characters. Only use single quote marks. Use an action word when possible. News search engines like brevity. For a news headline to show up properly on Google News it must have fewer than 23 words in the headline.
Name, Position, Organization, Telephone Number, Website
Your news release should include information on how a reporter can easily reach you for more information. The easier you make it for reporters to reach you the better. A live person answering the telephone is best. Reporters are on tight deadlines and often will look for a different person to interview rather than leave a message on voicemail.
City, State, Date, –- This is a memo to reporters and news producers. Begin with an unbiased statement of facts that include the information most relevant to your message such as the five Ws; who, what, when, where, and why. The opening paragraph should not include rhetoric or dramatic statements.
Should be written in third person unless it is a quote. Get to the point quickly. The media sees hundreds of news releases a day. If the headline and first sentence are confusing that reflects horribly on you and it will be ignored.
These paragraphs should contain more detailed important information. Pick up with the information provided in your first paragraph, including quotes from the person or persons you would like to see interviewed. This is where you should place rhetoric and dramatic accurate statements.
Quotes give journalists a taste of what they will get if they respond to your news release. Think of questions a reporter might ask and what your responses would be, in conversational language.
Provide the reporter/producer with Internet links to additional information or a photograph. You may close with a short statement about the organization or individual featured in the release.
When you are able to connect your release to a newsworthy event or issue you will dramatically increase your response. Try to keep the news release to fewer than 400 words total. Remember, succinct works best. The purpose of a news release is to give the media enough to gain their interest.
Remember who your audience is. You are not writing to your customers or investors. This is for the news producers, journalists and editors. Your release must be newsworthy, which means it must be new or of feature interest. If it is not about something new or of feature interest, it will be ignored by the media. Including advertising copy (such as "buy this" or "20% discount") will cause your news release to be rejected by our service.Hyper-links
Reporters who receive news releases via wire, fax and plain-text email will not see hot-links (hyper-links hidden behind text). We recommend placing hyper-links after the word or words they apply to.
We recommend you submit your hyper-links like this:"Acme's list of directors [http://www.mysite.com/listofdirectors.htm] will show ..."
This is what wires, faxes and plain-text emails will see:
"Acme's list of directors [http://www.mysite.com/listofdirectors.htm] will show ..."
We will edit our website and HTML version of the release to show:
"Acme's new list of directors will show ..."
Do not over use links. Too many links can flag your release as spam and cause search engines to reject it. One link max per 100 words is recommended.
We recommend the use of quotes to designate book titles. Wire distribution and some internal newsroom computer systems do not have the ability to italicize font. We do not use italics for any text other than book titles.
For punctuation tips we suggest: www.uark.edu/~kshurlds/FOJ/punc.html
You may choose to employ a professional public relations company to write a news release for you and formulate a campaign to create interest from the media. Below are the firms that use our service and links to their sites.
Beverly Rykerd Public Relations
Garson and Wright Public Relations, Inc.
The McCormick Agency
Millennium Media Consulting