How to write a media release

May 2008 WRITING A PRESS RELEASE c/o Rebecca Caughey - Publicist When To Use A Press Release
You can use a release to notify the media about any sort of happening - such as a new CD release a gig or signing. The key thing to remember is this is supposed to be news" so make your press release "newsworthy". How To Write The Release
Define the Main Message you want to get across. Just like the headline the first paragraph needs to grab the reader's interest. Make sure you include ALL pertinent details in this paragraph. Sending Your Release
You need to build a media list that you regularly send your releases to and add to it as often as possible. To build an effective media list that will work for you time after time you need to build relationships with the journalists. Research the media outlets and make sure you only send in news that is relevant to the editor's interest. The Press Release Structure HEADING
· Short but attention-getting headline phrase
· A hint of the purpose or topic to be presented FIRST PARAGRAPH
· Should include the 5 W's and the H Who What Where When Why and How
· Summation of the basic topic/information
· Begin with the most important part of the information
· Who is in the beginning sentence followed by Where and When · Why What and How follow in the next few sentences
· No unnecessary details should be included in the lead paragraph THE BODY
· Elaboration on the theme or purpose of the press release
· Write information in descending order of importance
· Keep information factual. Opinions only in quotes with proper credit
· Avoid too much hype
· Ending option: Recap essential information from first paragraph
· Proof read several times for spelling and/or grammatical errors Keep press releases to one page and always include contact details
Press Release Tips (a) Think about the timing of the release - find out what deadlines editors/journalists might have. Send via email and then followup with your targeted media outlets. (b) Make sure you add your text in the body of your email as well attach it as a WORD document - don't send pdf's as you want to make it easy for web and press editors to use your content. (c) Add an interesting low-med size photo jpeg as a seperate attached jpeg. Mention that higher res photo's are available on request (min 300dpi for Print media). (d) Spread the word and build relationships with media content editors. (e) Always add your contact details and myspace/website links!
c/o Tourism NZ 1. The first paragraph should sum up the content of the release in one sentence of no more than 25 words.   2. The release should be written in inverted pyramid form with the most important facts at the top working down tot the least important facts towards the end. Editors often shorten Articles,Resourcesand release from the bottom upwards. However if tightly constructed your release could be used in full.   3. Writing media releases is not a complicated or difficult exercise. In effect all you are doing is listing a sequence of facts. The most difficult part is getting your own thoughts in order.   4. When writing a release take time to think about what you want to say. Make a list of the key points you want to include. To do this ask yourself basic questions like these; What? When? Who? Where? Why? How?
So you might end up with something like this...
What? A luxury lodge set in four acres of expansive gardens.
When? Opening late September
Who? John and Sally Ward
Where? Queenstown New Zealand
Why? To realise a lifetime dream a lifestyle change
How? Worked together for more than a year to create six
luxury units.
Note: The order is flexible depending on the subject matter   5. Not all your thoughts may fit into one of these questions but they are a good guideline to get you started.   6. Don’t waffle. Try to keep your sentences short. The ideal sentence is 18 – 25 words long. A few more won’t hurt but if it is too long look at it again and see if you can break it into two.   7. Quotes make a story real and can liven it up. Try to include one or two in your media release. Use conversational language.   8. If you are having trouble writing the release put it away and think about it over the next few hours or days (if you have the time).   9. Remember though often the first inspiration is the best.   10. Give your release a relevant and punchy heading and centre it on the page. A good heading will convey the main message of the release at a glance and should draw the reader into the story.   11. Keep it short and keep it simple – no more than two double spaced A4 pages.   12. Don’t use slang or local jargon in the release. In the text numerals from one to nine should be written in words and 10 upwards in figures.   13. Think about submitting a release to your local daily or suburban newspaper for starters. Remember though your release must have a catch – a hook to hang the story on.   14. Always remember to put your contact details on the bottom of the release.   15. Media releases with good accompanying photographs are often more likely to be used. ... supplied courtesy of Tourism New Zealand   "