News Release Form: Print
For paper releases:
- Use 81/2" by 11" paper, preferably white.
- Double-space all copy. Use wide margins. Do not hyphenate words at
ends of lines. Do not carry a paragraph over from one page to another.
- Use one side of the paper only.
- Identify the sender — organization and/or individual — at the top of
the page. Provide the name, address telephone number and e-mail address
of the person who can be reached for further information, both during and
after office hours.
- Specify a release date prominently at the top of the page and the day
and time the story can be used. If the release can be used on receipt,
mark it "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE." But even on immediate-release
copy, include the date it was sent. This is a help to editors when their
mail piles up.
- Include a brief one-line headline at the top of the release that contains
the gist of the story.
- Make the first sentence of the release as concise a statement as possible
of what has been discovered and its significance. Journalists must cope
with mounds of releases each day, and they will greatly appreciate any
time you can save them in understanding the point of your release.
- Unless the release is for local news media only, you may put a dateline
at the beginning of the first paragraph (e.g., ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Sept.
10). The date should be the time the news takes place, not the date you
issue the release or the day you expect it to appear in print. If you designate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, be sure the release does not reach the media before
the date in your dateline. If you use a dateline and send the story to
media in advance, be sure to specify the time and date of release.
- If your release requires more than one page, type "-more-"'
at the bottom of each page except the last. Number each page. One common
numbering scheme includes in the upper left-hand corner of the second page
"Add 1 — (subject of story)," "Add 2 — (subject of story)"
on the third page, and so on. On the last page, is typed "Add (number)
and last — (subject of story)." The end of the story should be so marked
with a "-30-," "###" or other common symbol.
- Staple all releases. Many writers prefer stapled releases to avoid
misplaced pages on cluttered desks, and those that don't can easily separate
the pages to work with them.
- For releases in business envelopes, fold them in a "Z" fold,
so that the top of the front page is instantly visible when the envelope
is opened, rather than a letter-fold. This arrangement makes it easier
for busy writers opening mounds of releases to understand the gist of the
- Mail releases well in advance. If you miss the news peg, post them
on the internet and/or mail to selected magazines or other less-frequent
publications that still may be interested.
- In writing releases, don't editorialize. Just give the facts.
- Double-check facts, names, degrees, and dates.
- Tailor your mailing list. Your mailing list, both "snailmail"
and electronic, should Whether a story gets used often depends on getting
specific stories to specific media. be categorized. And it should be kept
up to date by surveying recipients periodically via return postcards.
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