Writing an Effective Media Release

As a journalist turned PR practitioner, I feel fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to work on both sides. By both sides I mean the bright side versus the dark side. In the world of communications, these two sides definitely exist. The dark side being Public Relations with the bright side being Journalism. But this is a topic we can get into another time.

Today I’d like to share with you what I took away from each of these fields: the power of the media release. As you may already know, a media release is a great way for you to gain publicity. But writing one can seem like more work than it’s worth. And getting to the top of a reporter’s pile can seem even more hopeless.

Well, it’s true. Having worked as a reporter, I definitely ended up with more media releases on my desk than I could ever handle. With that being said, a well-written media release with a good story angle is something that is highly sought after by editors. And believe me, they will get to the top of the pile if they are newsworthy and well-written. To help you get started, I have included a few tips below.

5 tips to writing an effective media release

Always include the 5 w’s in the lead of your media release (Who, What, When, Where and Why).
If you are in Canada, make sure you follow the Canadian Press Style guide.
Always quote executive members of your business or organization in the media release, not the communications person.
Make sure your story is newsworthy and be mindful of your target audience when sending it to the media.
Lastly, there shouldn’t be any spelling or grammar errors. If writing isn’t your strength, consider using a resource like hire-a-writer.com!

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