How Do I Write a News Release?

First, keep in mind that the purpose of a news release is to generate publicity for something you or your company is doing that is important enough for a news publication to print the information. If you have an ulterior motive such as to bash a competitor or mis-lead the public, your news release will be weeded out fairly quickly and you will have wasted the time and money you spent to produce it.

Editors, reporters, and publications receive hundreds of news releases a day. It may sound obvious, but increase you odds of publication by writing a good release. Follow the publication’s style and don’t miss-spell words. Build simplicity into your news release by keeping everything short from the words you choose to sentence structure. Keep paragraphs short, too, and group information logically. Most importantly, try to keep the news release to one page.

Above the body of the news release, place the contact person’s name, title, and contact information. Below that include today’s date and under that the release date or the phrase, “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” The headline should be in all caps and centered above the story.

Begin the story with a paragraph that has an angle or “hook” that captures the reader’s interest and is appropriate for the publication you are targeting. Include at least one good quote in the story.

When mailing the news release, fold it so that the headline is visible and place it in the envelope. It is perfectly acceptable to fax or e-mail the news release.

Publications won’t use every news release you send. However, a follow-up call to the reporter or editor to whom you sent the news release can increase results. Another benefit of this approach is that you will establish a working relationship and contact with the publication, present yourself as a friendly source for future stories, and make a professional contact.

Sample News Release (Press Release)

Contact: John Smythe
(740) 555-1232



CINCINNATI — July 19, 2005 — Sam Spade, Chief Financial Officer Lilco Systems, has been named the company’s new President this past Monday at meeting of the Board of Directors. Mr. Spade replaces John Lithgow, the founder of Lilco Systems.

Spade, one of the founding partners of Lilco Systems, has overseen impressive financial growth over the last 11 years. He recently completed a new implementation of a financial system improving reporting and tracking for the financial health of Lilco Systems.

Lithgow is retiring after 11 years. Lithgow has led Lilco Systems through three SEC investigations and an impressive annual growth of 22%. Lithgow will remain as a member of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Spade says he’s excited to get to work, “I’m ready to take Lilco Systems into its next phase of growth.”