A media release is the most effective way of providing information to media outlets about your event, issue or program. Its purpose is to gain the interest of the media outlet, and provide them with the angle of how to position the story.
Below are a few simple tips on how to write a media release which will assist you in achieving your desired publicity campaign outcomes and get the right kind of attention from media.
Always start with the most important information - think who, what, when, where.
Put yourself in the frame of mind of a Journalist, if your inbox received over 200 media releases per day, you probably would not have time to read all of them in full. When writing your release, imagine people only have time to read your first two to three opening paragraphs. You want to ensure all of the necessary information is included; you want to hit the media with the key facts/angles, the 'hook', that make your release worth following up.
Headlines - use them wisely
A clever, witty headline can be fun, but don't spend too much time on them and only use them where appropriate. Use your judgement, if writing for a fun company and you think it will catch the eye of the Journalist, and then go for it, but if writing for a more serious organisation/issue just simply use the purpose of your release as the headline.
Number of Pages - keep it to a minimum
Try and keep your media release to one page, two if you have to. Remember your media release is not the only one that will hit the Journalists inbox that day so the more succinct you can be the better. This leads onto the next point...
Remove the Fluff
Your goal is to use only the number of words needed to get your angle/point across, and not one more. Keep it concise, to the point and remove repetition.
Don't assume people know what you are talking about
Although you have spent the last 5 days or more researching the topic and know all the details, don't assume anyone else does, so make sure you fill in the blanks. Make sure your release answers any questions readers unfamiliar with the subject might have.
Quotes don't over do them
Keep quotes from key spokespeople included in your media release to a minimum, one person talking on the subject is best but if you have to have more, try to not go above three.
Finally...read and re-read
Accuracy is essential, ensure you have fact checked, read it out loud, take a break and come back to it if you have to. Spelling and grammar is paramount, you don't want your great, punchy media release tarnished because of a simple spelling error.