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3 elements of an effective news release

By Marjorie Comer

Consider these components when writing your news or press release.


A happy woman.As the experts within our field — with the knowledge and experience of media relations and producing news releases that generate earned media coverage — we are able to use our knowledge to assist clients to share their news with the media. Sometimes though, it is necessary to share with clients how and why we are the experts. While we may not have gone to school to be educators, there are many times when public relations professionals take on that role when working with clients.


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Our team met with a client who was making an announcement about a new promotion within its organization. After we drafted a news release and shared it with the client, the client presented it to its board of directors. The board wanted to significantly cut the content of the news release due to concerns that the general reader wouldn't understand the story.


It was the perfect time to educate the client on the elements of a news release, and what news reporters and editors are looking for with a news story. Here are three components to help you write an effective news release: 

  • Inverted pyramid 

News releases are written in an inverted pyramid style, meaning the most important information is included at the top. This also allows an editor to drag and drop or copy and paste the news release without rearranging information. 

  • 5 W’s and H

News releases include the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" of the news. If you don’t include this information, is it really worth writing a news release? The five W’s and H provide the reader with all necessary and important information first to help them make informed decisions and have a more clear understanding of the surrounding community or events.

  • Quotes

Quotes, when needed, must be short and unique sound bites a reporter can’t find as common knowledge elsewhere. Quotes can provide greater authority to a news release, and often include some of your company’s key messages. 


As a compromise, we shortened part of the news release, but kept the quotes. After the client published the news release, a key stakeholder shared that Axia was right to include one of the quotes toward the end of the release. Later, the client published the release as it was originally written.

Knowing what the media looks for in news releases and pitches is our job. Let us take on the hard part and grow your external audience? Ask our experienced team at Axia Public Relations how we can help.


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Marjorie Comer.Clients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.


Photo by Anna Shvets

Topics: news release, earned media, news media

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