Before you send
out your next news release review the following:
- Make sure
it’s important enough. One or two “ho-hum” news
releases are like crying wolf. If you get a reputation for sending
out releases when they aren’t warranted, you may end up
being ignored when your organization has something really important
to tell the world.
- Make it short,
preferably one page (275 - 600 words).
- Include the
Five W’s: who, what, when, where, why. If you have useful
background material, send it as an attachment or provide a link
to a page on your website.
- Use clear
- Be sure to
include the name or names of people in your organization who can
be reached before and after office hours in case of questions.
List business and home phone numbers. One unanswered phone can
“turn off” a reporter on a bad day.
how and when to release your information. Keep deadlines in mind.
You could release your information - if it’s important enough
– on a riverbank (pollution story), courthouse steps (legal
case) or at the home of your president.
- At the end
of every news release, include “See our listing in Sources”
This reminds journalists of an excellent additional source of
information about you – one at their fingertips. It shows
how serious and organized you are about media relations. The journalist
recipients of your press release will tend to remember –
between press releases – they can find you in Sources.
Zwicker is Publisher Emeritus of Sources
Names & Numbers and a Segment Presenter specializing
in media criticism and the Internet on Vision-TV’s daily human
affairs program Skylight. He can be reached at 416-651-5558.
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it in writing
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Sources News Release