Posted by: loveleigh | April 27, 2009

Ch. 14: More about News Releases and Publicity Photos

Along with learning the Anatomy of a Press Release in class, chapter 14 in the text book, Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th edition), offers some additional tips for writing a news release.

  • Use short, succinct headlines and subheads to highlight main points and pique interest.
  • Don’t use generic words such as “the leading provider” or “world-class” to position your company. Be specific, such as “with annual revenues of”
  • Don’t describe products using phrases such as “unique” or “total solution.” Use specific terms or examples to demonstrate the product’s distinctiveness.
  • Critique your writing by asking yourself, “who cares?” Why should readers be interested in this information?
  • Don’t throw everything into a release. Better to break your news into several releases if material is lengthy.
  • Look for creative ways to tie your announcement in with current news or trends.

The standard "Grip and Grin" publicity photo.

Studies show that more people “read” photographs than read articles. New product news releases often include a photo of the product in an attractive setting. Here are some suggestions to help select what photos are best suited for media use:

  • Quality. Photos must have good contrast and sharp detail so that they reproduce in a variety of formats, including grainy newsprint.
  • Subject Matter. The standard “grip and grin” photo of a person receiving an award or the CEO shaking hands with visiting dignitary has been the staple of publicity photos for years.
  • Composition. The best photos should be tight shots with minimum background with an emphasis on detail, not whole scenes and limiting wasted space by reducing gaps between individuals or objects.
  • Action. It’s better to show people doing something like talking, gesturing, laughing, or running.
  • Camera Angle. Interesting angles can make the subject of a photo more compelling.
  • Lighting. Product photos should always have the light on the product and the background is usually dark or almost invisible.

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