In class we talked about news releases and the 13 things you may find in one. 

  1. Letterhead of the company with the address. 
  2. The words: News Release or Press Release
  3. For Immediate Release or Embargo. (embargo will be held until noted. If it will kill your story to be leaked before date desired, don’t send it out.)
  4. Media contact information. (this informs the journalist who they should contact. Make sure the information is something checked often, questions need to be answered when they are asked.)
  5. Headline and sometime a subhead. (headline should be ALL CAPS, bold, and centered)
  6. Dateline. (this is where the information in the release is taking place, and date- NEW YORk, Jan 24, 2008
  7. Lead. (the 5 W’s & H: who,what,where,when,why, & how. 
  8. Quotations. (these should sound like a normal person said this, not the PR department.)
  9. Body. (anything after lead, written in AP style, more information on product/event/service, etc.)
  10. Page slugs. (this lets you know when to go the next page. an example would be MORE on the bottom of a page and a running head on the top of the next page.)
  11. Additional Contact Information. (woven into one of the last paragraphs, another location of who to contact.)
  12. Boilerplate. (information about the company, not something unique to press releases.)
  13. End Sign. (examples-###, END, -30-,XXX)

We talked about the article Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! by Tom Foremski. 

In short, know your audience (the journalist), give them what they want, how they want it. This can also include if they prefer getting attachments or having the content in the e-mail. Provide it the way the journalist wants it, not they way you want it.