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A news release, by definition, is a summary of an event or business development that may be of interest to the media. But what makes a good news release? And how does the media decide which news releases are worth coverage?

Writing a quality news release takes skill and practice. But following these essential guidelines of  news release writing will lead you in the right direction:

Captivating headline – Copywriters know that the most important part of any writing piece, whether it’s a short story or breaking news report, is the headline. A good headline will attract readers. A poor headline will be skipped over quickly. Headlines should imply action and urgency, and encourage someone to read further.

Content Structure – The news release should be written in an easy-to-understand manner. Typically, the first paragraph is a brief yet captivating summary, explaining the basics of the news you are sharing. The next two to three paragraphs explain more details and highlight significant actions, people, or insights from the event. Quotes from key individuals are sprinkled into the news release to add color and context.  Most news releases end with a company ‘boiler’ – a few sentences that give information about the company that sent the news release.

Quotes – Most news releases have quotes from an important person or stakeholder involved in the story. Quotes should add some emotion to your news release. How did someone feel when they announced this news? What was their reaction to the significant award? Quotes should help the reader feel more connected to the news being shared.

Writing style – News releases should be written in an active voice. It should have vivid detail as well. The news release should be short and easy to read (preferably less than 500 words). The tone used should be of a journalist, not of a marketer. Because a news release needs to adapt to many formats, including online publications, you should add some sentences that are easily quotable for social media, as well as traditional print news.

News releases can be an effective communications tool, but they need to be well thought out and well written. For more help with writing and placing news releases, visit Tucker/Hall’s resource page.