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Writing the News Release (Week 7) February 25, 2010

Posted by Chris Yates in PRCA 3330-Reading Notes.

This week’s reading assignment seems pretty important considering I’m in a PR writing class. Being able to write a good news release is a valuable skill that should be mastered. I think the first thing to focus on is familiarizing yourself with the actual layout of a news release. Spacing and margins have to adhere to guidelines, and if a release looks unprofessional, it may be tossed aside before it is read. Planning is also critical in the initial stages of writing a release. This involves getting all the facts organized and mapping out what you want to accomplish.

Parts of the news release

  1. Letterhead
  2. Cotact Information
  3. Headline
  4. Dateline
  5. Lead
  6. Body
  7. Summary of organization

The lead may very well be the most important part of the entire release. If the reader’s attention is not captured at this point, he or she probably will not continue. Alan Caruba, a public relations consultant, made a list of 10 Classic News Release Mistakes (from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6 ed.):   1) No headline  2) Boiler-plate as lead  3) Spelling/grammatical errors  4) Punctuation errors  5) Hyperbole  6) Failure to attribute data  7) No contacts provided  8) Too long  9) Not localized  10) Not accessible at all times

All information is paraphrased from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th ed.


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