20 Dos and Don’ts of News Releases



If there is one skill that all public relations professionals need to master, it’s being able to write an effective news release. Yet, despite all the fuss about its supposed demise in the age of social media, the good ol’ news release still remains one of the most important tools in the PR toolkit.

To help you refresh your skills and knowledge, we’ve come up with this helpful memo of the 20 Dos and Don’ts of news release writing:

Do:

1.    Make sure it’s newsworthy
2.    Create an engaging headline
3.    Answer the five Ws: Who, What, When, Where and Why
4.    Include a quote from someone directly involved in the news
5.    Break up your content into several easily digestible paragraphs
6.    Provide contact information for media inquiries
7.    Include a photo or company logo
8.    Include links to company website
9.    Include an “About Company” section at the end of the release
10.   Make sure there is absolutely no spelling or punctuation errors

Don’t:

1.    Make false or libelous statements
2.    Create clickbait headlines
3.    Use exclamation marks
4.    Make it too long (over 500 words)
5.    Write in first person (except in the quote)
6.    Copy existing content published elsewhere online
7.    Use slang, jargon or other unconventional language
8.    Try to sell your product or service
9.    Send a press release for distribution after business hours
10.   Send the same press release twice

And here you have it! Stick to these best practices and you’ll greatly increase the chances of your news releases to be picked up by journalists and turned into news headlines. Need help writing an engaging news release that would help bring media attention to your company? Feel free to give us a call and see what Red Banyan can do for you!

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