How to create a news release
Getting your story noticed
A simple news release (or press release) will allow your local media to publicise your story.
Follow this step-by-step guide to producing your news release:
Format and transmission
Most news releases set by e-mail will never be opened, because the subject line is not interesting enough, or because they are being sent by someone unknown to the news room.
It is always better to send your news release by e-mail to a named journalist, if you have that information. It is particularly useful to make a note of which journalists are doing the church stories in your local paper. Give the journalist a call to let them know a news release is on its way, and offer to be helpful. This will help to sell your story.
If you don't know which journalist to send the release to, call the newsroom (see Contacting the media and ask for the best e-mail address to send your news release to and get the name and number of the journalist.
Once you have sent you release, follow it up with a phone call.Format
Your news release e-mail should sent in plain text format.
A good e-mail subject line will help to make sure your release is read.
The News Release
TitleA short title is essential to catch the journalist's attention. This could well be the same at the e-mail subject line.
The first part of the news release should use Rudyard Kipling's Six Serving Men to show the main information:
I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Later parts of the news release should give further background information, and an authoritative quotation from someone willing to interviewed if required.
If there is an opportunity for photographs, make this clear
Your name, title, telephone number and home or mobile phone should be included clearly at the bottom of the news release, and be available to take calls from journalists.
Additional information for editors
Describe the organisation in a few words, and provide any relevant basic information and statistics. Include your website address if you have one.