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Writing a press release for an event

February 13, 2009

The Sun Journal offers these tips for
writing a news release:

1. Get it together. Gather all the information you need to write the
release. Please be sure of the correct spelling of names / places. Keep
the five w’s in mind:

Who, what, when, where, why.

Try to anticipate questions that people who are not familiar with the
event may have.

2. Write it down. Start with the most important information first. Put
less important information near the end. Newspapers often cut from the
bottom of an article if it has to be trimmed to fit available space (AP

Use a simple, straightforward writing style. Readers are more interested
in facts than they are in stylistic flourishes.

Be sure the name of the company appears in your article as well as in
the heading.

Please don’t use all capital letters.

3. Include a contact. Whom do we call if the editor needs more
information? This is extremely important. Please include the name, phone
numbers, and e-mail of a contact person, someone the editor can call to
answer questions or confirm information. 

Be sure to include at the top of the release when it can be used. Most
releases say:

For Immediate Release

Occasionally, you might want to indicate a specific date:

For Release (Before/After)
Month, Day, Year

4. Check and recheck. Please be sure all information is accurate. Names,
dates, times, etc. Make sure all names are spelled correctly and that
days and dates match.

Publication of your release can be delayed while an editor tries to
clear up discrepancies. 

If you provide a photo, please make sure that everyone is correctly
identified from left to right and by first and last name. Electronic
photos = JPEG with a resolution of at least 180 dpi.

5. Don’t wait until the last minute. Whenever possible, get your release
to us early. The Sun Journal receives a large volume of releases every
day. It takes time to process each release, so sending yours at the last
minute means that it may not be ready in time. Mail, fax or e-mail your
release well in advance of any event you want publicized. 

Our deadline = TEN (10) days to TWO (2) weeks PRIOR to the time you want
a release to run. We will publish it as soon as possible.

News releases may be e-mailed to: 

or dropped off at any Sun Journal office.

I hope this information has answered your questions. Please feel free to
contact me or drop in for a visit and a tour.

Thanks for contacting the Sun Journal!
Denise Scammon
Sun Journal
Special Sections Editor

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