Presentation on theme: "News Release / Press Release Primer Bob Griffin New England Institute of Art Summarized from Notes from A Master Class *"— Presentation transcript:
News Release / Press Release Primer Bob Griffin New England Institute of Art Summarized from Notes from A Master Class *
News Release / Press Release Primer The news release (press release) is probably the single most important form of communication between an organization and the media, and, therefore, between the organization and the public. News releases account for 70% of all communication between PR and editors. A busy editor may receive from 25 to 50 news releases a day!
News Release / Press Release Primer Editors generally cite three reasons why they dont use a news release: 1.Not interesting; too complicated; boring 2.Too long; need to re-write; dont have time 3.Too commercially oriented; too much like an advertisement
News Release / Press Release Primer To achieve success: 1. Recognize WHAT is news 2. Use the proper format 3. Write effectively Simply stated, news is anything that interests the public.
News Release / Press Release Primer Basically, almost anything can be news to someone, somewhere. Your job is to determine which news goes where. Know your target audience; know their reading matter, too.
News Guidelines Since the audience varies and the concept of news varies, it is important to realize that some people and things are ALWAYS news: Software release –Progress - Software release Anna Nicole; Paris Hilton –Names (celebrity of any kind) Anna Nicole; Paris Hilton Microsoft Lawsuit –Conflict and controversy - Microsoft Lawsuit 12/26 Tsunami –Disasters - 12/26 Tsunami Shuttle Explosion –A significant event Shuttle Explosion Microsoft Wallet –Novelty - Microsoft Wallet Y2K –Current Events - Y2K Almost nothing will guarantee press coverage as well as the future –The Future - Almost nothing will guarantee press coverage as well as the future
News Release Format Your job is to help the editor; give him what he wants is the best possible, ready- to-use format. Heres a checklist to get it right the first time: –Who the release is from –Contact name and telephone number –The release date (For release on: ______; For Immediate Release) –Date the release is being mailed –What the story is about: Headline, subhead and two sentence grabber; inverted pyramid
Some mechanical details Use 8 1/2 by 11 paper only Double space Maintain wide margins, left, right and bottom Use only one side of paper Leave 1 1/2 to 2 inches between letter head and headline (gives editor room to instruct typesetter) Use MORE bottom of page if more than one page Use # # # # or * * * * to show end
About the writing... Ask yourself these questions? –What am I trying to communicate? –Why is it news? –Does it make a difference? –Who cares? –What do they care about? –Why do they care? –What is relationship between reader and writer? –Is it timely? –Relevant to the audience? –Significant? –Interesting?
About the writing... Your writing should be clear, concise, interesting, accurate, simple and readable. The gist of the story should be in the first two sentences. –Which means that the first two sentences should answer the key questions: What is happening? Or, is about to happen? Who is involved? When is it taking place? How did it occur? Where? Why is it happening?
A checklist of No-Nos Unprofessionalism - spelling, grammar, improper format, no contact info, date, titles…. No news - attempt at free advertising Editorializing No local angle Lack of enthusiasm Incompleteness - (dont force the editor to have to call) Complicated writing No photos Unsuitability - the wrong story for the wrong publication