Writing a news story from a press release

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Writing a news story from a press release

These short, compelling documents detail product releases, event announcements and other newsworthy items a company produces. As CEO of the tech PR firm Cutler Groupit's my job to help take the business dealings of innovative tech startups and turn them into press coverage -- and one of the first steps my team and I take is writing good press releases on our clients' behalf.

Indeed, great press releases do more than keep the media and the industry-at-large informed of your company's recent developments. They are meant to pique the interest of journalists, who may seek to cover the topic further. Crafting a great press release is often the first step in securing a magazine feature or television interview -- and thus, more visibility and new customers.

Considering that journalists are flooded with potential stories and pitches on a daily basis, making yours stand out from the pack is crucial.

While the format for a press release is basic, the content of the release should be anything but. Follow these eight tips to write a great press release that will make your company look professional, accessible and attractive to writers looking for stories. Grab attention with a good headline.

The beginning of a press release -- just as with a magazine article, book or promotional pamphlet -- is the most important. A strong headline and, for that matter, email subject line when you send out the pitch will pull in journalists seeking good stories.

Your headline should be as engaging as it is accurate. Get right to the point in the first paragraph. Because reporters are busy people, you must assume that they will only read the first sentence and then scan the rest -- and even that's a generous assumption. Get the message of your press release out quickly.

Every important point should be addressed in the first few sentences. The subsequent paragraphs should be for supporting information.

It's easy to fill up a page with a creative, colorful narrative. Leave the artistry to the writers -- pack your press release with hard numbers that support the significance of your product or announcement. If you're claiming a trend, you need proof to back it up. Quantify your argument and it will become much more compelling.

Make it grammatically flawless.

How to Cite

Proofread your press release -- and let a few other people proofread it as well -- before sending it out. Even a single mistake can dissuade a reporter from taking you seriously. Include quotes whenever possible. There is a source of natural color that cannot be replicated: Include your contact information.

A common oversight that can render a press release ineffectual is a lack of contact information for reporters to follow up with. Whether you or someone else at the company is the point of contact, don't forget to include an email address and phone number on the release preferably at the top of the page.

writing a news story from a press release

One page is best -- and two is the maximum. As with most good writing, shorter is usually better.If your story was going to be featured on the radio today, how would the presenter introduce it?

Asking yourself that question should give you the top line of your story. Be concise. The ideal length of a press release is about an A4 side or about to words (the length of a short news item). Nov 13,  · Follow these eight tips to write a great press release that will make your company look professional, accessible and attractive to writers looking for stories.

Language & Lit

1. Grab attention with a . The ideal length of a press release is about an A4 side or about to words (the length of a short news item). That's just three or four short paragraphs and a couple of of quotes. Nov 10,  · RULE #3: Write it like a reporter would write it.

If your press release looks and feels like a real article, reporters will often just file it as a story with minimal editing. Experts say press releases should be no longer than one page.

Every press release has a basic structure: Top: Put the words "For immediate release" at the very top of the page. How to Write a News Story. Here's something very few people realise: Writing news stories isn't particularly difficult.

It does take practice and not everyone will be an expert but if you follow the guidelines below you should be able to create effective news items without too much stress.

How to convert Press Release into news report -