Knowing how to effectively craft and distribute a media release is a great skill to have, as it is one of the most effective ways of telling your story. They can come in handy for a host of reasons and can be the perfect go-to tool for announcing, for example, new product launches, events, re-branding, mergers and acquisitions, or an award.
Every business and PR professional has a different method to writing a media release, however there are a few key elements that all releases should include.
Here is a basic media release structure to get you started.
The headline needs to be short, interesting, catchy and newsworthy. This is your chance to catch the journalist’s attention and encourage them to read on.
The lead paragraph is the most important part of the release and needs to contain the most important information. It should answer the following questions, who, what, when, where, why and how. Journalists receive hundreds of media releases a day, so you need to grab their attention with a great headline and lead paragraph.
A media release should be written in the ‘inverted pyramid style’ which means that every paragraph after the lead should be less important than the one preceding it. It is important to keep sentences short and simple and to one page if possible. Include as many quotes as you can from key spokespeople, but make sure they are appropriate and newsworthy.
The last paragraph should contain the least information and could include background information or a summary of essential information. At the end, you could also include information for a photo opportunity, or add a link to an image folder, website or media kit for the journalist to use.
Remember to add contact information for the media contact at the end of the media release. This should include a contact name, email and phone number.
A boiler plate is a short paragraph or two about the business, event or subject of the media release. Not every media release has one but they can be helpful as they give the journalist an overview of your business if they have no prior knowledge of the company.