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7 components of an effective news release

By Marjorie Comer

How to write a news release that gains media coverage for your company

Axia_news releaseIf your company has an announcement it wants to make, then a news release may be a great option for you to share that news. A news release is an official announcement that a company or nonprofit issues to the news media. There’s a right way and a wrong way, though, to create a press release. The better it is, the easier it will be to secure earned media coverage. These seven tips will help you write an effective news release to gain earned media coverage for your company.


  1. Newsworthiness
    Before your company decides to make an announcement, you must make sure it’s newsworthy. Otherwise, you aren’t writing an effective press release. One of the most important questions to ask yourself is if anyone outside your company will care about the news you’re releasing.
  1. Headline
    Your news release headline should be interesting and compelling to draw in readers. You should use action verbs. Make sure the headline captures the main idea of your news release so it grabs the attention of busy journalists who skim headlines for news they want to report on.
  1. Body
    The first paragraph(s) should answer the “5Ws and H” – Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. The following paragraphs should expound and give supporting details, including at least one quote from someone – preferably an executive – at your company. You should say the most important information right away. Reporters follow the inverted pyramid when they write a news article, so you should write news releases in this format as well.  
  1. Length
    A news release shouldn’t be more than a page in length. You should write it in such a way that makes it simple for a news outlet to copy and paste the news in the space they have for your story. This is also why the inverted pyramid comes in so handy; journalists cut the least important information first from the release.
    To write an effective news release, the quotations you include should add to the release and enhance it. Quotations should be informative and not something that appears elsewhere, like on the website or in brochures. It’s best that a quote provides opinion.
  1. Boilerplate
    Be sure to include your company’s boilerplate in the news release. It’s a short “about” section that follows the main body of the release. It provides background information about the entity issuing the news.
  1. Contact information
    Don’t forget to provide the best way for journalists to reach you if they need additional information or want to interview someone in your company.

Having a newsworthy angle is one of the most important parts of writing an effective news release. Without that angle, reporters won’t care what you’re trying to pitch them. Your news release should give journalists everything they need to write a story that will interest their readers. And keep in mind, you should be writing news releases for the right audience: reporters and consumers – not for the boardroom.

A bonus tip: Once you’ve written an effective news release following the tips above, be sure you’re sending it to the correct reporters. You don’t want to send a business story to the entertainment reporter. You won’t gain the media coverage you desire. Better yet? Build relationships with reporters at the key outlets you seek to gain media coverage. When you send them a well-written and appropriate news release, they recognize that you won’t waste their time and may come to you when they need a source for a story.

Download Axia Public Relations’ complimentary e-book “Learn Media Relations from the Media” for more tips and insight on earning media coverage for your company.

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axia-leadership-marjorie-cormereClients 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.


Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: media relations, news release, earned media

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