» How to Write a Catchy News Release Summary

How to Write a Catchy News Release Summary

Posted on: Feb 19, 2014

Headline Big AnnouncementGet it said and get it read in the fewest number of words possible.

Read any good news releases lately? No doubt there are some releases you remember and even read to the end. Why was that? Surprisingly often, the answer is that the first sentence was well-written enough to make the release interesting. Opening sentences are not easy to develop, but the skill behind them needs to be cultivated.

A well-crafted news release ranks better in search engines and is then shared to rank well again and again.

There is no 1-2-3 quick-and-easy template for a good release. However, there are plenty of relevant skills to master. Practice using a succinct lead line, summarizing the news angle and including a straightforward set of facts that tell people what you want them to know immediately. Don’t dance around your topic. This is not the time to get cute.

One common mistake is to pen an off-the-wall, exciting lead and opener, and then write a release that has nothing to do with either. Stay on topic. There is nothing wrong, however, with writing with wit. The old, stale “ABC law firm, a leader in business law announces that senior partner Bob Smith, is speaking at Law Fest 2014 on August 17th” captures no one’s attention — least of all that of a busy news editor who sees thousands of such releases every week.

Modern news releases should still follow the old “W5-H rule”. Make sure your release meets the right journalistic criteria and tells the who, what, when, where, why and how of the news. Does your release address all the salient details? Is it objective? Does it state facts? Does it sound like an ad (and, if it does, can you correct it)?
Change your format from release to release. When editors see the same old model, they will assume that the content is equally repetitive. They will pay less attention, and they may not schedule it at all. Be creative with your openers, content, ending and wrap.

A news release is meant to be read from beginning to end. When you think you’ve finished, go back and try to view your piece through your audience’s eyes. What would capture their attention better? Try a new tactic and see.

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