Media releases are easy to handle – so long as your information is clear.
Firstly, understand that readers might have little prior familiarity with what you’re telling them.
Because media means ‘halfway between’ – it’s not the final resting place of the message you’re putting out – you need to make the words clear for the ‘handlers’ of the story you’re announcing.
You have to tell your story from scratch as you need to inform not only your end-readers but also the conduits of the information (websites, magazines, radio, print and social media). Many readers will have heard of your organisation already – but many others need to be told things the writer takes for granted, for example:
- You can’t assume somebody knows the rank/experience of people named in the media release
- Don’t assume people understand what the jargon and slogans mean
- Don’t assume readers will be familiar with the last time the subject was in the news.
Don’t feel humble or unworthy when it comes to putting out news. Almost everybody wants to hear your news, from news publishers to journalists to consumers to staff.
TO PUT OUT A NEWS STORY WHICH WILL GET PICKED UP
- Begin with the easy stuff – put clear contact details at the top of the document
- Lay out your story as an upside-down pyramid with the most NEW information at the top and the least important at the bottom.
- Include photos, but don’t expect them to always be used. There are many reasons publications will decline to use a photo. However, try supply high resoultion, original photos
- It’s not okay to leave a journalist confused about spellings of names, products, brand, acronyms. Remember, many journalists will be asked by their editors to manipulate your media release into a story which seems as if it was researched by the journo, when in fact the only source on the story was the media release. That’s due to more and more pressure being placed on journalists to supply more and more stories.
- QUOTES are essential. Have a representative of your organisation provide quotes in the story.
Want help? Mike@michaelboturwriter.com