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January 21, 2010
Don't Rush News Releases

It's striking, if not shocking, how PR's basic tool, the news release, continues to be abused, when awareness of the utility of well-written news releases abounds in this era of social media. You'll find lots of Web news releases written poorly with no real "news" value in the lead, or maybe anywhere, and careless, no, let's say atrocious, use of punctuation and sentence structure, even in releases by "leading" PR firms.

With that off our chest, we cheer Dick Pirozzolo's post, "How Long Does it take to Write a News Release?," on the Pirozzolo Company Public Relations Ideas blog. Don't worry about how long it takes to craft a news release, Pirozzolo advises, take the time to  do it well.

"Instead of speed," he urges, "worry about how good the news releases is. It is getting tougher and tougher to pitch an editor by phone, where you can revise the angle, highlight key points, [and] clarify information in the original written release. Without phone follow-up, the news release really has to do all the work -- tell and sell!"

Remember, a news release basically needs to tell a story that will interest a reporter or editor. They won't be fooled by self-serving leads and can't be expected to have the patience to struggle through sloppy syntax.

Folks, we used to get all this in newswriting classes. Don't they convene anymore?  





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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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