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A news release allows PR professionals to get their stories out to the media. The news release puts the information in a format that editors can easily understand. The news release is even written just like a news story. Some news releases might even be put directly in the paper as a story with few to no changes.

When planning a news release be sure to answer these questions:

  • What is the subject of the message? What is the focus?
  • Who is the message designed for?
  • What do you want to achieve.
  • What goal is the organization pursuing; what is the purpose?
  • What is in it for this particular audience? Potential benefits/rewards?
  • What key messages should be highlighted in the news release?

Like I mentioned earlier a news release is written in the same format as the news story. This is usually inverted pyramid. The most importantĀ information comes at the beginning of the story. Here are six basic components of a news release:

  1. letterhead – the companies logo for instance
  2. contacts – who to contact to get more information about the news release
  3. headline – a catchy title
  4. datelineĀ  – date
  5. lead paragraph – the most important information (a summary lead most often)
  6. body of text – some more basic information about the topic descending in order of importance

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This chapter has to do with making, finding and creating the news for the media. Journalists look for different attributes that make a story newsworthy. As aspiring PR professionals it is important to know what journalists look for in order to make our stories newsworthy.

Here are eight different things that journalists believe make a story newsworthy:

  1. Proximity – location
  2. Prominence – celebrities get more attention
  3. Signifigance – is the story relevant
  4. Timeliness – write about what just happened
  5. Human Interest
  6. Unusualness
  7. Conflict
  8. Newness

PR professionals must appeal to the newsworthy attributes. PR professionals can use these avenues to find newsworty events:

  • polls
  • surveys
  • product demonstrations
  • protests
  • awards

This can be a hard process for PR professionals. PR professionals should make sure they know what is newsworthy, and who to send the news to. Creating relationships with local media channels such as the local newspaper is a great way to get your story the attention it deserves.

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