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Anatomy of a news release

To write an effective news release for media distribution, stick to the facts, keep it simple and get to the point.

Here are some other useful tips:

Send your release on company letterhead. In the top left-hand corner type "NEWS RELEASE." Below this, type the date you’re mailing, e-mailing or faxing the release. In the upper right-hand corner type FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Below this, type: "For more information contact" and the name and telephone numbers of your company spokesperson.

Now for the guts of your news release: Your story.
Start with a short, punchy headline that relates to the story. If the story is about Realtors helping with affordable housing projects, you might write: XYZ Realty holds the key to affordable homeownership." In the first paragraph, stick with the five W’s: who, what, where, when and why.

The subsequent paragraphs should convey information you want the community to know about your organization, such as XYZ now operates 25 offices staffed by 250 associates and support personnel.

Keep the news release to one page.
Keep sentences short. Avoid industry jargon and acronyms. Carefully check name spellings, addresses and telephone numbers; your credibility depends on the accuracy of the information. Double-space all lines.