Friday, 18 September 2020

How to write a press release

Here are some standard tips to writing effective press releases for publication. Some publications have formatting requirements for contact information and such, we aren't too worried about that here at LCN.

Possibly the most important part of writing a press release is to have a point, use it in the title and get to it quickly.

You should have some timely information you want to impart, something newsworthy. Rambling, first-person narratives or self-congratulatory expressions are fine but they are far less likely to be published.

Here are some simple rules of thumb for an effective press release.

1 Short and sweet

Writing long may seem like a good idea but chances are your efforts will delay publication due to editing and style requirements. Best to keep your submission to the specifics so it can be quickly formatted for publication. A typical news brief might be as short as 200 to 300 words to get the point and important details across.

2 Punchy headline

Headlines attract attention so make sure to put the most important part of the information in the headline, usually headlines are 15 words or less. Some can be very short, like "Lucerne couple to marry." The important part of the title is to let people know why they might want to read on.

3 Photographs, sound clips and video

Since we're online, we can publish most any media including sound clips, videos and digital photographs. Photographs are great, just make sure to send good sized ones if you have them, small photos don't reproduce as well.

4 Date, location and contacts

This is super important, if you have an event coming up you'd want to be certain we know when and where it's happening. Make sure to include your contact info so if we have questions we can quickly get in touch.

5 First paragraph

Try to isolate what readers will find interesting and stimulating and put that information front and center. Some folks only read the first graph or so and if the key information isn't there it might be overlooked.

Explain who you are, what you’re announcing, where it is taking place, when it’s happening, plus possibly why and how. These questions communicate the gist of your story.

6 Subsequent paragraphs

Use a few paragraphs to add more detail to explain what you said in the introduction, but don’t pad with information simply for the sake of it.

7 Quotes

Sometimes quotes really add to a story, sometimes not so much. We leave it to you to include or exclude quotes but quotes can really round out a press release.

8 Boilerplate

For business press releases including a standard reminder of what you're known for is a great idea.  You can also include links to relevant articles (like previous published work) and associated Web sites.

9 Spelling and grammar

Always check the text several times for typos and grammatical mistakes as these distract the journalist’s focus from your story and make you look unprofessional. Don’t just use a spell-checker, but also print it out and read through again because spell check doesn't catch intent errors. And after you are happy that there are no mistakes, ask someone else to double check.

10 Send it 

Email your finished work to editor at lakeconews.com, if we have questions we'll call you.

 

Upcoming Calendar

19Sep
09.19.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
20Sep
09.20.2020 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Democratic Party virtual fundraiser 
22Sep
09.22.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
22Sep
09.22.2020 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lakeport Police medication collection
23Sep
09.23.2020 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Library hosts ‘Zoom with the Director’ 
24Sep
09.24.2020 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lakeport Police medication collection
24Sep
09.24.2020 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
Dine Out with Hospice
26Sep
09.26.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
29Sep
09.29.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
29Sep
09.29.2020 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lakeport Police medication collection

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