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Just what is a News Release?

By William R. Montgomery
Posted Wednesday, October 13, 2004

A News Release is an effective way to get FREE Publicity. There is however a distinct difference between writing an ad and composing a News Release. The purpose of an ad is to solicit inquiries or sales. You are promoting a product (site, service or a tangible product) to make that sale. When you compose your news release, your goal is the same, but the approach is very different.

A news release is just how it is worded - News. With a news release you are attempting to promote product by presenting facts about said product. It should look like news, feel like news, read like news and BE NEWS!

Your news release must make interesting reading and have news value. It must be received by the reader, not to mention the editor as being useful and benefiting the prospective reader. People are reading this material because they expect it to be news worthy and therefor your information must be presented to the reader (and editor) as news. This means presenting all of the facts and benefits that your site, product or service has to offer.

Remember, what you are writing is NOT an "AD" release, it is a NEWS release. It must contain news. When people buy a magazine, 99.9 % of the time they don't purchase it to read ads. The same philosophy applies to newspapers (although the percentage rate drops for newspapers), radio, television, or any other media source. Ads are generally the furthest thing from peoples minds, but they will however read your news release because they are expecting to gain informational value from it. That is where a news release has the advantage.

When you write your news release focus on the benefits and advantages that you offer, not your product. Leave an impression with the reader that you are concerned about what the product can do for the reader. Zero in on the readers' self interest and whatever you do, avoid giving the impression that you are attempting to sell anything. If your news release even remotely resembles an ad the reader will never see it, because it will never get past the editor, whose job is to see that the news release is informational not promotional.

Remember this: People want to be told....not sold!

About the Author
William R. Montgomery
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