Writing for Mass Media

3 Oct

Chapter 5- Writing the News Release

Text: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques-6th edition- Wilcox, D.

The Backbone of Publicity Programs

            Press releases are the backbone of almost every publicity plan.

The Value of News Releases

  1. Help achieve organizational objectives. 2. Cost effective 3. Credibility

Planning a News Release

            The Basic Questions- what is the subject? What is the focus? Who is the message for? What is in it for this audience? What is the goal? What do you want to achieve? What messages should news release highlight?

            Other factors- Selections of Paper, Spacing and Margins, and Use AP Style

Types of News Releases

  1. Announcements 2. Spot announcements 3. Reaction releases 4. Bad news and 5. Local news

      Spot announcements- when things due to some outside action or influence happen to an organization

Parts of a Traditional News Release

  1. Letterhead 2. Contacts 3. Headline 4. Dateline 5. Lead paragraph 6. Body of text 7. Short summary of the organization

                        Example: pg. 125

Writing the E-mail News Release

            Use bullets, write only 2 or 3 short sentences in each of the five paragraphs, above headline, or at bottom, be sure to provide contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and URL for additional information.

Preparing the Multimedia Release

            The major change in the evolution o the humble news release is the advent of the multimedia release, or “smart media release”.(SMR)


                        Include helpful links, place terms in key positions, and distribute a release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites such as Yahoo! Finance, AOL News, and Netscape.


                        Go link crazy, use low-resolution images, or use all tools, all the time


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