Frank Discussion Cannabis Facts for Canadians Oh Cannabis!

 The Structure of a Press Release:

A MEDIA RELEASE:
* Informs reporters about your event, report, or issue.
* More detailed than the advisory - should tell all the information a reporter needs to write their piece.
* Envision, then write the press release as the news story YOU would want to see written.
* Sent out the morning of or the day before the event.

ELEMENTS

Headline - This will make or break a news release -- include the most important information in the headline, and make it punchy. The headline can be up to four lines if necessary, including a sub-head, if used, but keep it short (and remember to use a large font).

1. Headline:


* Important information should jump off the page -- most reporters will only spend 30 seconds looking at a release. Spend 75 percent of your time writing the headline and the first paragraph.

2. First Paragraph:

* Use the inverted pyramid style of news writing. Make your most important points early in the release and work your way down.
* Keep sentences and paragraphs short. No more than three sentences per paragraph.
* Include a colorful quote from a spokesperson in the second or third paragraph.
* Include a short summary of your organization in the last paragraph.
* Mention "Photo Opportunity" if there is one. Be sure to send a copy of the release to the photo desk.

Structure / Form

* In the top left corner, type "For Immediate Release."
* Below "For Immediate Release," type the date.
* Contact Information: In the top right corner, type names and
phone numbers of two contacts
. Make sure these contacts can
be easily reached by phone. Including the contact's home phone
number, if appropriate.

3. Contact Information:
* Type "###" at the end of your release. This is how journalists
mark the end of a news copy.
* Type "MORE" at the end of page 1 if your release is two pages,
and put a contact phone number and short headline in the
upper-right hand corner of subsequent pages.
* Print your release on your organization's letterhead.

4. Remainder of Media Release (starting with paragraph #2):

HOW TO DISTRIBUTE IT

* A release should be sent out the morning of, or the day before your event. In some cases, you may want to send an "embargoed" copy to select reporters ahead of time, meaning that the information is confidential until the date you specify. Generally, send a release to only one reporter per outlet.
* If your release announces an event, send it to the "daybooks." A daybook lists news events scheduled to take place in the region on that day. Someone from each major outlet reviews the daybooks each morning.
* ALWAYS make follow up calls after you send the release. If your release is announcing an event, make the calls the morning before your event is scheduled.
* Have a copy of the release ready to be faxed when you make
the calls.

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Source: RAN.org - How to Write Media Advisories and Releases (PDF)

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