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Reading Notes

Chapter Five: Writing the News Release

  • A basic news release, which is also known as a press release, is the backbone of almost every publicity plan, but studies have found that between 55 – 97% of news releases that are sent to media outlets are never used.
  • News releases help to achieve organizational objectives and are cost effective.  News releases help build awareness about different ideas, situations, services, and products.
  • Public relation writers must consider many things when planning a press release.  PR writers should ask themselves basic questions answering the five W’s and H: who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  • There are five basic types of news releases: announcements,  spot announcements, reaction releases, bad news, and local news.
  • News releases have six basic components: letterhead, contacts, headline, dateline, lead paragraph, and body of text.  There is sometimes a seventh component which consists of a summary of the organization at the end of the news release.

Notes and reading are from the textbook Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, Sixth Edition by Dennis Wilcox.


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