Feb 15


Angela Booth

Angela Booth

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A NEWS RELEASE IS NOT AN ... (c) 2003 by Angela Booth You sent out a news release. Then a ... or a magazine (orboth, oh happy day) ... an article about you based on ... Who



Copyright (c) 2003 by Angela Booth

You sent out a news release. Then a newspaper or a magazine (or
both,A NEWS RELEASE IS NOT AN AD Articles oh happy day) published an article about you based on the
release. Whoopee! Break out the Dom Perignon!

It's true, an article about your business does wonders for your
business. Not only do you get an increase in business, but you
can leverage the article in many ways. You can create reprints of
the article to send to current clients and prospects, and you can
use the article in your advertising. The article gives you
instant credibility.

So how do you get all this free advertising? You're well on the
way to that newspaper or magazine article if you realize that a
news release is NOT AN AD. It's NEWS about your business. If your
news release has a whiff of advertising about it, it will it hit
journalists' round files faster than it took you to lick the
stamp and paste it on the envelope.

Unfortunately many small business owners, and even many
copywriters, are unclear about the difference between advertising
and a news release.

So what's the difference between a news release and an ad?

A news release gives the FACTS. Just the plain, unvarnished,
unembellished facts. It doesn't try to sell the business. It
doesn't say how wonderful the business, service or product is, it
gives verifiable facts.

For example, let's say that you're a copywriter. You've gone
solo, and have just started a new copywriting services business.
So you've decided to send out a news release announcing your new

The fact that you've started a copywriting services business is a
fact. The name of your business and its address is a fact. The
hours you're open for business: fact.

A biographical note about yourself gives facts.

A statement that you make, in quotes, as part of the news release
is also a fact. The release could include this paragraph:

'Felicity Jones said: "I'm looking forward to becoming a part of
the Ocean Park business community. I've been introducing myself
to local business owners, who have expressed strong interest in
my services." '

Remember, a news release contains: FACTS.

A news release, because it's NEWS, is also written in newspaper
style, that is, in Inverted Pyramid style.

==> Inverted Pyramid style

A news release is written in "inverted pyramid" style. Imagine a
pyramid. Stand it on its apex. You now have the broad base
uppermost. This signifies that the base of the story, or the root
of the story, comes first.

Therefore, news releases have this structure: a headline, and the
first paragraph giving the most important information. The first
paragraph tells the entire story.

Then each succeeding paragraph gives more information in order
of descending importance. You can chop off any of the later
paragraphs and still have the story make sense.

I like using a headline in a news release, but it's optional.
Unlike the headline in an ad, your headline shouldn't be cute or
gimmicky, it should summarize the story in five or six words. For
example: 'Nursery Gives Away Free Trees'; 'New Store Opens';
'Delaney Sponsors Local Swimmers'.

The first paragraph is your story in a nutshell: who, what, how,
when, where and why. It's easy to write. Just state your case.
Tell who you are, what you're doing, how you're doing it, where
you're doing it, and why.

Here's an example of a headline, and the first paragraph of a
news release:


Last Thursday, local writer Samantha Jones opened Pine Ridge's
first copywriting business, "Just Add Words", at 4784 Boundary
Road. Ms Jones said: "I decided to start my new business when I
realized that Pine Ridge has two businesses offering secretarial
services, and three printers, but no one's helping local
businesses to write their marketing communications."

As you can see, it tells the complete story in the first
paragraph, and it's all facts. Let's hope that some enterprising
journalist decides to give Samantha a call, and writes a story
about Samantha's new business.

If you're new to writing news releases, go to the library and
take out a couple of books on public relations. The books will
give you lots of information on how to find material for news
releases, and also sample releases.

Beware some of the so-called news releases you find online. Most
of these are simply advertising, dressed up to look like a
release. They're not news releases, because news releases contain

Good luck with your news releases and remember: just give the

***Resource box: if using, please include***

Veteran multi-published author and copywriter Angela Booth crafts
words for your business --- words to sell, educate or persuade.
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