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What is a News Release?

What is a News Release?  

A news release has a different purpose from a media advisory. It should read like an article, with quotes and facts, to stimulate possible pick-up by small papers and to generate print and broadcast reports at larger outlets. Whereas a media advisory offers basic information, a news release creates an image and story that journalists can use alone or use as background when writing a story.

Key Elements of a News Release

Your release should be written like an actual news story, in the inverted pyramid style of news writing—with a headline and the most important information at the top. Your release should include quotes from spokespeople.

The Format of a News Release

  • At the top left side of the page, write NEWS.
  • Underneath, write FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and under that, the date.
  • At the top right side of the page, include your contact information.
  • Type and center # # # indicating the end of your release (located at the bottom of the page).
  • Be sure to print out the release on your library’s letterhead.
  • Review the good and bad samples located on this page. Also review the “Guide to Your Release by Numbers” for further information on how to write a successful news release.

Excerpted from the American Library Association’s A Communications Handbook for Libraries, published in Summer of 2004. To see A Communications Handbook for Libraries in full, please visit: http://www.ala.org/ala/pio/availablepiomat/online_comm_handbook.pdf.

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