Tag Archives: press release

News Releases:: What They Are and How to Write Them

While some elements of communication, like print newspapers, are dying, the news release is still living on. It plays an integral role in the PR field, and successful media relations, PR strategies and media kits. The news release is an important tool that PR students should master before entering the field, especially since future employers will expect them to have it down pat.

So, what exactly is a news release?

Press Release from Hyundai

Also known as a press release, a news release, according to THINK Public Relations, “is the most commonly used public relations tactic. The primary purpose of this simple document is the dissemination of information from public relations sources to mass media such as newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines.”

According to Bill Stoller of Publicity Insider, “a press release is [a] pseudo-news story, written in third person, that seeks to demonstrate to an editor or reporter the newsworthiness of a particular person, event, service or product.”

THINK Public Relations lists the following as standard components of a news release:

  • Contact info of the sender
  • Boldface headline
  • Dateline
  • Lead paragraph
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Paragraphs that are not split between pages
  • Slug & page numbers
  • Use of AP Style
  • Conciseness
  • Correct facts, grammar & spelling
  • Summary of company at the end of the release
  • Localized angle & details

Here are a few articles from one of my favorite PR information sources, PR Daily, on what to do and what not to do when writing a news release:

For those of you who have had experience writing a news release, what advice would you give to PR newbies on how to be successful?

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Target & the Media:: Mutually Beneficial or Misrepresented?

The few months of public relations experience I’ve been able to gain as I’ve interned and worked in the field has quickly taught me both the positives and drawbacks to working with the media.  I always love receiving a response from a journalist saying that he/she will happily cover whatever story I’ve pitched. At the same time, I’ve also experienced a journalist who decided to spin a story in a way that harmed more than helped the message I was trying to convey.

Target isn’t exempt from experiencing the downsides of pitching the media. For example, the company recently announced that it will be hiring 80,000-90,000 seasonal employees over the next few months, taking into account keeping current employees. The press release also stated that 30 percent of last year’s seasonal employees remained apart of the Target team as year-round employees.

Meanwhile, the St. Cloud Times  took the angle that even though Target plans to hire 80,000-90,000 seasonal employees, that is 2,000-12,000 less than the number they hired last year due to the fact that 30 percent of seasonal workers were hired for permanent positions.

Whereas Target’s press release made this year’s seasonal hiring sound beneficial, the St. Cloud Times’ article may make readers view Target as the “bad guy” since it doesn’t plan to hire as many seasonal employees this year as last year.

What other companies’ messages have you seen twisted or misinterpreted by the media?

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