Maximize your AP Style news release by following this format
Writing a news release may seem simple. But a poorly written and constructed release can make a bad (lasting) impression. Here are a few way to make the most of your Associated Press Style news release:
- Identify your newsworthy "hook" or angle - Before you start writing your news release, identify what is the most newsworthy angle. For example, is it your new product, or is what your product will do? Is it the amount of money you raised for charity, or who the donations will benefit? You should also determine if your news is evergreen. That means it's as much "news" today as it will be a month from now. If your news is evergreen, you need to "spin" it so that it seems more urgent today.
- Write your headline last - Once your release is finished, it'll be easier to write a memorable headline. Keep your headline short and lead with the most prominent subject. Chances are your new product won't have any brand value. So lead instead with your company name, or possibly your product's developer (if that person is recognized with your market).
- Include 2-3 bullet points - You should include the critical ideas of your news release in bullet point format below your headline. Journalists can get hundreds of releases a day (depending on who they write for). When you pull out the important points of your release in bullet format, it helps a journalist understand why you sent it to them. You can also use these as your talking points when you pitch your story.
- First paragraph - Your first paragraph should lead with your company name and include the who, what, when, where, why and how of your news release. If a journalist reads no more than this, she will know why you sent her the release.
- Second paragraph - Write a quote that's attributed to a key figure in your company (i.e. CEO, president, founder). It should be very objective in nature. For example, if you're writing a news release announcing a new product it should focus on the objective behind its development: "We designed the Super Widget 2.0 in response to consumer demand to reduce the amount of time that..."
- Third paragraph - Now include all of the critical details. What does your new service accomplish, what are the specs of your new product? But, don't go overboard either. Leave some of the details out that could be covered in a pitch or interview with a journalist.
- Fourth paragraph - Add in another quote that is attributed to someone with a more strategic vision (e.g. software developer, VP of Sales). Or, better, yet include a quote from a 3rd party who adds credibility to your news release. For example, if your news release is about a charity event, include a quote from the local mayor about how your event will help local residents.
- Fifth paragraph - Now wrap things up with a call-to-action or how-to. If your new product is for sale, give them a hyperlink to your online store. Want people to attend your event, give them a link to your registration page.
- About section - Your about section should be a brief, historical overview of your company and should include the information for your press contact.
Our team is expert at writing press releases. Email or call us to write you an effective news release that can help land you that news story.
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