News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

13 Nov

News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

Reading notes COMM 2322 Chapter 14

Text: Public Relations Strategies and Tactics- 9th edition- Wilcox, D. & Cameron, G.

The News Release

                        A.k.a. the press release has been around 1906 with Ivy Lee’s work for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

                        Continues to be the most commonly used public relations tactic.

            Planning a News Release

                        What is the key message? Who is the primary audience? What does the target audience gain from the product or service?

            The Content of News Releases

                        Writing like a news story

                        Double-check information, eliminate boldface and capital letters, include organization background, localize whenever possible.

            Format of a Print News Release

                        Standard size paper, identify sender/contact, provide a boldface headline, dateline, start with a clearly stated summary, never split a paragraph from 1 page to the next, and place an identifying slug line and page number at the top of each page after the first one.

Publicity Photos

            Quality, Subject Matter, Composition, Action, Scale, Camera Angle, Lighting, and Color.

Mat Releases

Media Alerts and Fact Sheets

Media Kits

            Includes: 1) main news release 2) a news feature 3) fact sheets 4) background information 5) photos and drawings with caption 6) biographical information on spokesperson or chief executives, and 7) some basic brochures


Pitch Letters

               Short letter or note to editor that tries to grab their attention

 Distributing Media Materials




            Electronic News Services

            Online Newsrooms


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