Idea Cafe's Feast of Forms
Tips on how to organize tasks and save time with your business letters, forms and documents. Print out what's featured here, then fill in the blanks and scribble in changes to turn these suggestions into workable drafts.
Idea Cafe's News Release Form
Get Noticed with a Newsworthy News Release
When a dog bites a man, that's not news. But when a man bites a dog, that's news! The media is always hungry for tasty tidbits of news -- and your business may have some morsels you can throw their way. Getting featured in the media spices up your image and gets customer attention. All for free. So to help you jump through the publicity hoops, Idea Cafe's "form du jour" is a worksheet to organize and write a news release to send out to editors and producers.
First, though, you may ask yourself, "Should I go out and bite a dog to get my business name in the media?" Well, you could, but that's probably not the public relations you'd want. Rather, newsworthy tidbits that appeal to the media's appetite include info on new hires, promotions and public interest events, or unique products and services. Don't waste the media's time on fluff; have solid meat and potatoes on the menu.
Essential ingredients for a news release include:
- the contact name;
- title (which should look like a newspaper headline... this is the news "hook");
- first paragraph (which must include the 5 W's);
- and subsequent paragraphs containing the most important information first, on down to the least important. (Sometimes the only news that makes the news is the first couple of paragraphs.)
- wrap up with a brief description of you or your company
Like a well-balanced meal, a news release should be half a page to three pages long. To help you complete the news release worksheet, use this real-life sample to make creating your own release a little more digestible.
Sample News Release
News Release Worksheet
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