Chapter 6: News Releases and Backgrounders
A news release is information a company or organization wish released to the press, usually through print media. All news releases should contain at least three elements: publicity, angle, and story. They are important to PR professionals because it is used to gain publicity, which can lead to more business. It is important that to gain publicity it is newsworthy and reaches the right medium.
Three types of news releases are publicity releases, product releases, and financial releases. Publicity releases cover any information occurring within an organization that might have some new value to media. Product releases deal with specific products or product lines. These releases are normally targeted to trade publications within specific industries. The third type of release is a financial release. They are used normally in shareholder relations, but can also be of interest to financial media. Other examples are event announcements, personnel releases, and tips/hints releases.
News releases should follow and inverted pyramid style. The most crucial information should come first. The headline needs to entice the reader. It should include the who, what, where, when and why. Then the news release should include the call to action and additional information. Quotes should be included in your press release. To end your release you should include -30-, “30”, or #####. Some tips for writing good press releases are to keep it short, answer the necessary questions, make the news clear, provide full contact information, and avoid promotional information.