How to Write a Killer News Release

The best-known item in the public relations toolkit is the news release. Serving as a media relations staple for over a century, a news release is a short, news-style article sent to journalists to promote a specific, newsworthy event, accomplishment or idea.While some say the news release is dying, there’s a lot of evidence that it’s still alive and well. It has a host of benefits beyond generating news coverage – like building links to your website and creating content to share across social platforms – but the primary function is to help journalists write an accurate story.Because journalists receive a ton of news releases every day, knowing what they want is key for generating news coverage. Here are some tips to make your news release stand out from the crowd:

Write an intriguing headline – Just like you wouldn’t read an article if the headline didn’t interest you, a journalist won’t read your news release if the headline doesn’t convince them there's a newsworthy story. The key to writing a good headline is making it unique, concise and interesting. If your headline doesn’t tell your story, then a reporter probably isn’t going to read further.

Keep it short – Just as a boring headline will hinder your release’s effectiveness, lengthy content will also prevent success. Keeping a news release to one page is the best way to highlight important information without boring journalists. A news release doesn’t have to include every detail; it only has to convince a reporter the story is newsworthy.

Include good quotes – Ensure your quotes add value and don’t restate the previous paragraph. With limited space, allowing the quote to drive the story while adding a unique perspective is crucial.

Include visuals – Using images, videos or other relevant content helps illustrate the story and catch the eye of the reporter. In 2015, PRNewswire reviewed more than 35,000 news releases and found that, compared to their text-only counterparts, news releases with photos were 1.4 times more likely to be viewed, and those with videos were more than 2.8 times more likely to be viewed.Writing a news release is still a great method for attracting media coverage and knowing how to get your pitch noticed is crucial. But while a good news release and effective pitch are important, cultivating a relationship with a reporter is ultimately the best way to get your story covered.The FrazierHeiby team has a long history of media relations and placing stories for clients locally, regionally and nationally. If you’re looking for more information about how to improve your media relations or want to share your tips for writing a killer news release, let us know in the comments below!

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