Thank you for choosing to use Community Newswire for your latest news release.
Telling your story
News by definition is something new. What is the new thing that you are doing? Once you have identified your story make sure that you explain why this new development is so important. If you have published research, explain how this will now guide your work, if you have received funding, put it in context of how much money you need each year to keep providing services, or what extra work you can now do with the money. Try to give examples of exactly how you will use the money you need to raise.
The media do love case studies as they can add a strong image to print and online and make good videos for broadcast/online. If it is possible to quote someone who will benefit from the ‘new’ work then this is brilliant. Make sure these service users are happy to have full details given out and happy to respond to more questions from journalists.
If you are responding to a story already in the news, make sure you give an accurate description of the story you are referring to, and back it up in Notes to Editors with a link. Outline your concerns succinctly and develop them with quotes.
Write for the reader not to the reader. Imagine a story which reads “If you are in debt you need to take action not hide away”. The media prefers to say “People who are in debt are being warned not to hide away and take action from their money troubles.” Make sure quotes used address the issue and not the reader.
Check the quotes are correctly attributed (first name, surname and role) and easy to follow. There’s no need for lots of different parts in sub clauses.
Detail about where and when events are taking place don’t need to be in quotes.
Pictures can add something great to a story if they are well done. Make sure your image is in focus and, if it includes people, make sure they are all identified left to right, including first name and surnames. It’s often better to submit a picture with fewer people on than a big group. Ideally, submit a new one if it’s available.
Make sure that the picture it is relevant to what is being presented in the press release.
If you want to send through a headshot of whoever is quoted, for example the chief executive, make sure it is unfussy and taken as a headshot rather than cropped from a bigger picture where the background could be a little odd.
Before you press send
Always make sure that names of facilities, medical conditions, client, donors and staff are spelt correctly. Double check that Mr Jon White, 36, doesn’t become John Whyte later in the story or Jonny Whitman, 63 in the picture caption. While Community Newswire will always endeavour to use your stories, elsewhere, if reporters have to call you back then it can make the difference between your story being used and not used.
When reporters first start out they are taught to ask the questions: Who? What? Where? Why? When? and How? Once you have your press release ready, ask all of these questions of yourself.
Check any dates match up – is May 16 really a Wednesday?
Make sure that any information you have online, for example your website, is up-to-date. Once you have sent a press release, people may want to add in extra details about your organisation and this is a natural place to look.
Make sure that you include accurate contact information. Your name, your email address and a phone number where we can contact you if we, or any members of the press need to contact you with any questions we or they may have.