11 elements of an effective news release

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Categorized in: News, Publicity, Writing
Published on: January 3, 2024

An effective news release, also known as a press release, is a written communication tool that provides newsworthy information to the media.

Business press releases may include information about an upcoming community event, significant changes in the ownership of a company, noteworthy achievements and recognition, the expansion of a business and details related to a business opening or closing.

Submitting a news release to a local publication in Whatcom County, such as Cascadia Daily News, The Bellingham Herald, The Lynden Tribune, The Ferndale Record Journal and Business Pulse magazine, can provide an opportunity for increased visibility within the community.

Additionally, coverage in a local news publication can enhance your brand’s reputation, attract new customers, build trust with the existing customer base and create a positive image that resonates with the community.

If managed effectively, press releases can be a strategic way to leverage the power of local media to promote your business.

Here are 11 elements of an effective news release:

Clear and concise headline. The headline should grab attention and convey the main point of the release. Keep it short, preferably under 100 characters and use active language.

Informative subhead. A subhead is a one-phrase summary of the media release that will provide additional context or highlight a key aspect of the news. It should complement the headline and encourage further reading.

Engaging lead paragraph. Provide a brief, compelling summary of the news in the first paragraph.

Body of the release. Organize information logically, with the most important details first. Use short paragraphs and sentences for easy readability. Answer the basic journalistic questions: who, what, when, where, why and how. Include quotes from relevant individuals to add credibility and a human touch.

Target audience consideration. Tailor the language and tone of the release to the target audience, whether it’s consumers, industry professionals or the general public.

Relevant keywords. Include relevant keywords to help search engines and journalists find your press release online.

Multimedia elements. If applicable, include high-resolution images, videos or other multimedia elements to enhance the story. Provide captions or descriptions for multimedia content.

Call to action (if applicable). If you want the audience to take a specific action, make it clear in the release. For example, if the news is about a product launch, include information on how to purchase or learn more.

Contact information. Include the contact details of the person or team who can provide more information. Include a name, phone number, email address and website address.

Boilerplate. Include a brief description of your company or organization at the end of the release. This provides background information about the entity issuing the release.

Correct grammar and style. Ensure the news release is free of grammatical errors and follows the appropriate style guide (e.g., Associated Press style).

By incorporating these elements, you can increase the chances of your news release being noticed, understood and covered by the media. If you own or manage a business in Whatcom County and would like assistance crafting a press release, contact BPRC. We can help.

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