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How To Write a News Release (Here’s a Handy Form). And Yes, News Releases Still Matter

Whenever I talk about doing traditional press releases, I generally get a blank stare or a look of disbelief.  

Typical Responses I get to the notion of press releases and heaven forbid, using a Wire Service like BusinessWire or PR Newswire.

"Who reads news releases?"

"No one is going to just pick up a news release."

"Why can't we just announce what we have to say on the social web and count on others to spread the word?"

"Our fans on Twitter will Tweet this thing up."

"OMG- news releases are so…. Web 1.0"

Here's my belief:  when appropriate, news releases matter, have impact and actually work.  They are not a substitute for the social web, they are part of your overall communications strategy.

If you are publicly traded, then it's a no-brainer that you have to have traditional news releases for disclosure and compliance issues.  And if you are not, I still believe that select, strategic news merits the time and minor expense of a news news release.

Here's why:

1.  Writing a news release is more formal and makes you really think through what you are saying and how you want to reflect the written word about your company.

2.  Investors, partners, suppliers, and your other publics will still mosey on into your press room to see what's news, how you report your news, and the wording and editorial strategy you take.  

3.  The written word is very much a part of your overall brand experience.  How you write, the tone and choice of words is very much akin to the graphical image you project, the company culture you promote and the quality of customer service you aim for.

4.  News releases, if applied correctly, can be searched (and found) on Google.  They are also a platform which can easily be re-published and spread by your stakeholders on the social web.

5.  A well written and well crafted news release illustrates team work and common vision.  

There is more to a news release than just the mechanics of writing and pitching. 

Oh, and speaking of pitching, yes, I still do very traditional pitching.  And that's a whole other post in its own right.

Here's a hand form you can use to get the press release writing process going.

Any comments on you belief (or disbelief) in using press releases?  How do you and your team writing your press releases?

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