HOW TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE THAT GETS PUBLISHED
A press release is simply a straightforward presentation of newsworthy information sent to a media outlet. This press release can be “picked up” (used more or less verbatim) in a listing, story or small article, or it can generate “coverage” (when a media outlet devotes resources to creating an original story on your ministry or event). Here are the basics for putting together a powerful and professional press release.
IS IT NEWS?
Make sure your release has a strong news angle that will appeal to the audience of the media outlet you are contacting.
GIVE IT THE RIGHT START
Include a date, contact name, phone number and the words “For Immediate Release” at the top of your release.
GRAB ‘EM WITH THE HEADLINE
A clear, clever headline, which identifies the news angle of the story, will help your press release be noticed.
LEAD WITH YOUR BEST PUNCH
Your opening sentence or “lead” should state the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why” of your story in a clear, straightforward manner.
TELL ME THE STORY
Begin your release with the most important facts and move to the least important This “inverted pyramid” style is preferred by editors when evaluating and editing articles.
GIVE IT THE RIGHT VOICE
Tell your story as an objective observer of the events, not as an active participant. Avoid superlative language and stick to the facts. Instead of “The beautifully staged production offers an incredible look
at the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ,” try “The elaborately staged production recreates the scene of Jesus’ birth using professionally trained actors and live animals.”
KEEP IT SHORT
Two pages, double-spaced, is appropriate for most releases. Make sure your title and contact information are on both pages, just in case. Use the “###” marks centered at the bottom of your release to indicate its
A professional presentation can be the difference between a press release that generates coverage and one that hits the circular file. Ensure that all information, spellings and grammar are correct. Include a simple fact sheet, photo or digital image plus a brief cover letter outlining compelling reasons to cover your event. Follow-up with a phone call to the editor or the appropriate news section editor.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE OUTREACH MAGAZINE, JAN/FEB 2003, PAGE 56. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.