The Anatomy of a News Release

There are several items needed to make a News Release legit. In my Intro to Public Relations class we were taught these vital elements by Barbara Nixon. She lectured the class on the Anatomy of a News Release and the following is what was said:


1. Letterhead with address:

            – Company’s name and address

2. The words “News Release:

            -this needs to be at the top of the page so it is known what it is

3. “For immediate release”:

            -This should be written on the news release so the information can be released to the public immediately. If is should not be release yet, the word “embargo” should be written on there.

            -This is an agreement between journalist and the PR professional however the journalist isn’t legally bound to the embargo.

4. Media Contact Information:

            -Who should the media call/email to ask questions

5. Headline and Subhead:

           – Generally written in all capital letters, bolded and centered

6. Dateline:

           -Contains the city, state, and date. For example: Statesboro, Georgia April 22, 2009

7. Lead:

          -Typically have the 5 W’s and H: who, what, when, where, why and how.

8. Quotations:

         -In a press release you may be asked to write a good quote for someone, have them edit and approve it, then publish the quote with the press release.

9. Body:

       -Be sure to use AP style

       -Talk about the product

10. Page Slugs:

        -These are the things that let you know you’re moving from one page to the next.

        -The word “MORE” is put at the bottom of the page and a quick abbreviation of what is going on is put on the continuing page plus a page number.

11. Additional contact information:

       – This takes place in one of the last paragraphs in a story.

12. Boiler Plate:

       -This is something that is not unique. It may or may not be there.

13. End Sign

       -There are several ways to show that the news release has ended. You can put  ### to signify the ending or  “End”, XXX, or -30-


These are just a few tips of what we discussed in class need to be included in a news release. I know I learned a lot from this lesson as I am sure you will from reading this blog post.


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