The news release lives: five most essential headline and lead basics (from Of Is and By: How to be a better writer overnight)

The news release truly lives. Yet most are thrown out. The reason is: no news and bad writing. Here are five essential tips that are essential for news release success. 

  1. Ask yourself over and over what is the news, and the chances that the release will be used increases greatly. Largest/smallest. Newest/oldest. First/last. Timeliness or seasonal. Most expensive/least expensive. Celebrity involvement. Get a nose for the news: it’s important.


  1. Focus on the product or event, and not the company or organization behind it. Resist the temptation or the client’s directive to place its name first—XXY company announced today its new version of its groundbreaking product…The groundbreaking XXY thingamagij was released/introduced today.
  1. Write a catchy headline. It might be the only item read. Look at the Toronto Sun and other tabloids to see what that means. Understand that headlines have different grammar rules than copy. Verbs can be eliminated. An actual example:
    • Even with new investments in affordability, Ontario remains most expensive province in which to pursue higher education (17 words)
    • Even with enhanced affordability, Ontario higher education tuition most expensive in Canada (12 words)
  2. Make the lead relate to the headline. Repeat the news. The lead amplifies the headline. Don’t go off in a different direction. The headline and the lead are key messages that bear repeating.
  1. Keep the clause describing the company to a minimum; it wastes words, space and attention span. Below is an actual lead from Canada Newswire, with an incredible 54 words before any news whatsoever:


Hikvision USA, Inc., a leading provider of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and other emerging technologies, and the world’s largest manufacturerof video surveillance products and solutions, and Eagle Eye Networks, the leading global provider of cloud-based video surveillance solutions addressing the needs ofbusinesses, schools, alarm companies, security integrators, and individuals, today announced…

A slight edit:

Hikvision USA, Inc., and Eagle Eye Networks, today announced a video surveillance solution.

And more essential pitch letter tips to follow.

Author: rotmanprwriter

PRWriter, Copy Doctor, Humber College PR and writing Prof

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