News Release Format Guidelines
The News Release Format
You must report in the "third person". A news release purports to report on an event, circumstance or occurrence by a third party. When writing a news release, be a reporter and report on yourself or your business.
Third Person Example: "According to John Doe, the next version of Webster’s Dictionary will include two new slang terms that were identified in his research as being part of …".
Inappropriate Example: "I, John Doe, was informed that the next version of Webster’s Dictionary will include two new slang terms that I identified in my research as being part of …"
Also, news releases are most effective when they are under 250 words, generally three to four paragraphs, preceded by a clear and attention grabbing headline. Remember, this content is intended to bypass the media, and go directly to readers on and over the Internet, so make it a quick and effective read.
Be creative and keep it to one sentence. Capitalize the first letter of all words but do not use all upper case letters. Exclamation marks ("!") conveys that your release is advertising, not news, and it’s the credibility of news that generates the good publicity.
Physical location (country, state, city, etc.) - Begin with a strong introductory paragraph that captures the reader’s attention and contains the information most relevant to your message such as the “Five W's” of (W)ho, (W)hat, (W)hen, (W)here, and (W)hy, when applicable. This paragraph should summarize the News Release such that if it was the only part seen by a reader, it would tell your entire message, and it should include a hook to get your audience interested in reading more.
Paragraph 2, 3, …
These paragraphs should contain more detailed information, and make up the body of the release. Pick up with the information provided in your first paragraph, including quotes from key staff, customers or subject matter experts. Make sure you use correct grammar.
Note: Include your Internet location, or other important links, within the body of the news release, as well as the special areas defined by submission services like WebWire. Also, make sure your links are entered correctly within the release and they lead to active pages.
Conclude with contact information concerning your business, organizational or personal news release. Double check that your email address and telephone number are accurate. Also, many submission services such as WebWire provide special areas for contact data, so be sure that there are no duplications.
Note: Publicity garnered from a news release is just one part of your publicity efforts on and over the Internet. Be sure to follow with other releases to tell more of your story over time. These multi message publicity efforts will bring about a fuller list of hits when searched via the major search engines and news aggregators such as Google Search and Google News.
A Sample News Release
Group Communications Celebrates Over 20 Years Of Contract Communications
Atlanta, Georgia, USA - Group Communications Corp., a leading contract communications company, celebrates 20 years of providing award winning film, video and online multimedia production services.
Recent productions for Group Communications Corp. include a DVD for Capitol Records Nashville (Tim Wilson Live), Holiday Inn Worldwide (historical B-roll package) and a turnkey video production for the American Cancer Society.
Other recent communications contracts included an online purchasing environment for Aflac Insurance, several online presentations for Earthlink, and multimedia training for a Boehringer Ingelheim consultant.
“Our production and multimedia efforts began with slide shows and linear videos, and now, over 20 years later, our work includes online deliverables and mass market DVDs” explains Group Communications’ president, Michael Schwartz.
Group Communications Corp. maintains offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Toronto, Canada and it is on the Internet at www.groupcommunications.com. They are keenly positioned to provide continued contract production services that result in dynamic and effective communications for medium to large organizations worldwide.
Vice President of Marketing
Atlanta, Georgia USA