Press releases and stories
What makes a good press release?
In general, a press release should quickly hit the high points of the story, event or discovery and note why it matters.
Some general tips:
- Keep it to one page.
- Lead with the news. Don’t be cute; get right to the point. Answer the question, “Why should they care about this?”
- Put your most important facts at the start.
- Remember to cover the “who, what, where, when, why and how.”
- Keep it conversational. Would the average person — like an assignment editor — clearly understand the release and its terms and language? This isn’t the place for industry jargon.
- Have an easy and obvious way for people to reach out with questions.
- Have a simple one- or two-line main headline.
- Have a one-line subhead.
- Use AP style. It matters when pitching the media.
- If you’re sending this to TV, think visually. What will they “see”?
- Embed links to related websites, photos, videos and other assets.
- Have someone not directly involved with the event, project or research read over the release and see if they “get it.”
- Don’t oversell it. That’s the quickest way to lose the story and hurt your pitching credibility.
How do I pitch a story for the ASU News reporters to write?
Email ASU News with the relevant details of the potential story and give plenty of lead time. The ASU News team cannot take on all pitches, as the reporters are juggling multiple assignments at any given time.
If you’re working on a story (along with an estimated date) please loop in the ASU news team as early as possible to help them plan for the story in their editorial calendar and ensure that you and another writer aren’t working on the same thing.