Margaret McGann

Writing the media release

In communications and marketing, public relations, social media, writing on December 21, 2009 at 7:21 am

In my last post we looked at what questions you should ask yourself and your client before deciding if you should write a media release. Now let’s look at formatting and writing the release.

Back at the dawn of social media circa 2008, we were writing one release for traditional media and one for social media. Now we write a single release providing everything that traditional and online journalists and bloggers need.

Here are the elements of writing the media release and some tips to entice the media to read it.

Your release should always be straightforward and make the work of journalists and bloggers easier by providing content for podcasts, blogs, vlogs, RSS, tags and forums.

It’s a good idea to build a link and RSS feed specifically for this release to a delicious page. Make sure you include hyperlinks to relevant information, providing content and ongoing updates on this page.

Now the format of the release:

  • Date and time (align left)
  • Headline and subhead (centred and bold)

The body of your release should contain these headers (bold and/or underline):

  • News – give a brief description of the announcement or initiative. Bullets are acceptable
  • Quotes – pre-approved quotes from the CEO, President or other senior executives
  • Third Party Quotes – pre-approved quotes from partners and stakeholders
  • Quick Facts – bulleted facts about your organization
  • Learn More – links to more information about this or similar announcements on your website
  • Tagged Content – tagging is a way to categorize your posts, photos (CEO, third party), podcast (sound bites), graphics (statistics, logos, etc.), video (YouTube), links to reference sources and other coverage
  • RSS feed to your news releases
  • Add to delicious as a portal to this news
  • Include technorati, alltop, digg, twitter tags
  • Contact(s) – client, spokesperson and communications contact names, phone, email, website, blog, etc.

Tip: Don’t use more than two quotes per person in the release. You should have additional quotes ready for journalists or bloggers who ask for more.

In my next post we’ll look at how to pitch the media.

  1. Thank you for that informative post. I really love to read articles that have good information

  2. Very informative article, I have saved it and showed to to some of my friends already.

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