There are several different types of releases. To find the one you need ask yourself why and when you should write one. The reason for writing releases is determined by the type of organization you write for and what your aims are. A release is just one of many ways a company uses to get media attention.
You write releases when you have news. You should write a news release when your news fall into the following categories – announcements, created news, spot news, response situations, features, bad news and special matters.
Announcement Releases – These releases includes the marketing of a new product, the opening of a new plant and a new company policy.
Created News Releases – Often, a mere announcement isn’t enough to attract the desired media attention. In this case, a company may try to make the release juicier by making sure something newsworthy is happening. The company might bring a celebrity to a concert or a well-known speaker to a company function.
Spot News Releases – Announcement releases are sometimes about things that happened without warning. An explosion can occur in a munitions factory, an airplane can be hijacked. Such occurrences are spot news, and when they happen a news release is in order. You have to fill in the blanks as they become available, issue news bulletins and follow with a release with as much information as you can provide. A spot news release usually has to be followed by a second release explaining how the initial events were resolved.
Response Releases – Often news about a company is delivered by sources other than the public relations department. A consumer group may issue a report critical of a company. When this happens reporters call for responses. Companies with good public relations organizations anticipate these calls and have position papers for reference and response releases ready.
Feature Releases – A news release can discuss a topic that is more than a day or two old and is of special interest. All public relations people can find feature material somewhere in their company – something going on in research and development, like a new production process. Such features can be prepared as ordinary news releases. An alternative, if the publication typically uses it, is a narrative style. The feature lends itself to a story telling approach. For television, it might even be used over several consecutive days.
Bad News Releases – There are times when something happens that the company would like to keep quiet. When the news is released it often involves the company’s regulatory agency. Regulatory agencies are supposed to act in the public’s interest, you can be sure the agency will release a report.
By: Brian Gottesman
Brian Gottesman is a Public Relations Executive with over 9 years of experience in public relations and publications. His work has been published in several network television, print and blog outlets including Fox News, CBS, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Buzz Feed and Mashable.