Preparing local news releases
Keep your local media informed
- Gear local news to the general population. Consider other forms (e-newsletters, updates, etc) to contact smaller groups.
- Do not use news releases as free advertisements. Consider other forms (posters, pamphlets, or websites) to advertise.
- Be willing to work with a reporter. A news release is a prompt for reporters and is rarely published verbatim.
- Use AP style and news release format for all news and announcements.
Basic format for news releases
Your local news is more likely to find a home in print if it looks familiar to newspaper editors. The basic format is:
TITLE [[in BOLD CAPS]]
By [[author’s name and telephone number]] SOURCES: [[names and numbers of people to contact for more information]]
KLAMATH FALLS [[or other place of story, in all-caps]] – [[Lead sentence includes main message.]]
[[Main body of press release]]
[[End with the word END, or -30- centered at the bottom]]
If you have accompanying photos, follow the END with a note to the editors, telling them where they can find the photos (on a website or in a separate attached file), and provide the caption and photo credit.
If you expect follow-up calls from reporters, put in a second note to editors, saying that the sources will be available by phone at this number (--) and on these days (--).
- Write short sentences in short, indented paragraphs, mentioning who, what, where, when and emphasizing so what
- Keep the language clear and jargon-free
- Use Times or Times New Roman, 12 pt, 1.5 space
- Keep it to 1 or 2 pages, no more
- Do NOT use other colors, fonts, italics, or any other formatting
- Announcement template (Word doc). For general news items.
- Award template (Word doc). For Extension award recognition.
In general, county offices and branch stations handle their own local news and event announcements. The Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC) provides consultation to county offices and branch stations to help develop meaningful communications with local audiences.
If you have questions about working with the media, check with the news and periodicals leader in EESC.