Upcoming companies and businesses have perfected the art of public relations, and are now using press releases to gain free publicity. Reporters are always ready to cover events that have enough news value which will guarantee utmost readership, listenership, or viewership. The news release is an important component of public relations where PR specialists send out official details to news organizations to give authoritative facts or make clarifications. Any organization that would like to take full advantage of news releases must understand how they work. To achieve that, the organization must have personnel with a firm understanding of newsroom operation and have enough connection to enable him or her to set the story out.
A press release otherwise called a news release is written by an organization inviting the media to either cover or develop a news story from the release. When putting together a news release, a PR specialist must ask themselves what the lead is likely to be, so that editors would find it easy extracting news on what’s more important. The first paragraph of the news release must be able to answer at least three-Ws of the five-Ws of news writing if it has to be considered by reporters. Your most significant and attractive details to be communicated to the audience must come out clearly in the opening paragraph, while other related details can follow later.
Once your first paragraph is set in order, it is time to expand it in the body by expounding on what was introduced earlier. Use clear, not-long sentences and paragraphs to pass your information to your selected audience without sneaking in any ads. As a PR specialist, you are free to use quotes in your news release to help humanize the story as well as emphasize it before the story gets out.
On length, it is advisable to keep your press release short, probably one page so that editors may not spend a lot of time figuring out what needs to be considered for news. Ensure to limit it to one page and communicate your most important information in a way that even if the editor chops off two or three last paragraphs, your most important content will not be lost. If you think your release needs more information, you can always attach additional facts to give statistical evidence, rather than have a long release that annoys editors.
Ending a press release calls for only one paragraph that gives a summary of the organization and its operation. You will need to include the name of the company, purpose, location, address, and website where appropriate.
The final stage in the press release is the distribution process where the PR practitioner selects the kind of media that he would like to share the release with and sends it through an email or fax. Once it is shared, the gatekeepers or reporters will have to go through the news release, extract news for public consumption or attend your event, and cover it for a story. That becomes the complete cycle of how a news release works and how you can gain publicity through free coverage.