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Style

  • Answer the questions: who, what, where, when, and how.
  • Ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and without jargon.
  • Organize information from most important at the beginning through progressively less important information (the media may only use the first paragraph or two and they don’t have time to wade through several paragraphs to get to the meat of the story!)
  • Write about yourself in the third person, using “he/she” rather than “I”.
  • News releases are meant to be informational, not flowery or written like advertisements. Stick to the facts.

 

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Headline

 

The headline should capture the reader’s attention and is therefore very important. This may be the one factor that gets the reader to read the rest of the release. Here are some tips to help you create a catchy heading:

  • Alliteration: “Florist fashions fountain from flowers”
  • Use colons: “Wedding Flowers: A new look for an old custom”
  • Offer business or consumer tips: “Local florist offers tips on making Christmas wreathes”

 

Tips to make your release more interesting

 

  • If you can support the fact that your event is the largest or first, for example, you can use these superlatives in your news release.
  • Use quotes and reactions.
  • Look for ways to sell your story: a new angle or detail may help. For example, think of the times you have seen a story about someone who graduated from a university. It doesn’t happen, does it? Unless that person is a senior citizen or has ten children or suffers from a disability. Bring your unique angle into your news release.
  • Human interest aspects can sometimes be used to spark interest.

 

Layout

 

  • Use a minimum of one-inch margins on each side of the page, with the body of the text of

Your release centred on the page.

  • Double-space your press release.
  • Complete the paragraph on one page rather than carrying it over onto the next.
  • Use only one side of each sheet of paper.

 

Format

 

  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms when you first refer to someone or something. Instead, spell out the full name – Home Improvement Services – and then put H.I.S. after it in brackets. The next time you refer to it you can say H.I.S.

 

  • When you use someone’s name say: “Miss Jaonne Armstrong” the first time and then “Miss Armstrong” in further references.

 

  • Use the names of both the city and the province the first time you refer to a location.
  • When you mention a day use the date and year.
  • Type ‘more’ at the bottom of the page when there is more than one.

Presentation Tips:

 

  • Keep the release neat and attractive (‘easy on the eyes’).
  • Use good quality paper.
  • Print the release on your company letterhead or special news release paper.
  • Proofread the release not once, but several times. Reading the release out loud will often help you find the mistakes you’ve missed; having someone else read over your release is even better.

 

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