Guidelines for Preparing Your News Release
Use the prepared news release template as the basis of your news release. Carefully edit out the variable phrases as you fill in your personal details.
The news release template uses a different writing style than you may be accustomed to. For example, “internal medicine” does not begin with capital letters, and, if you have a subspecialty, keep that in small letters as well. The rationale is that the news media are more likely to use information that already adheres to their standard writing style.
Some other style/content items:
- Spell out names of other (non-ACP) medical organizations in the news release.
- Keep additional content to a bare minimum, and remember that any statement you make in a news release must be objective and verifiable.
- If you have a photo, say so at or near the top of the news release.
II. Preparing the News Release for E-mail or Regular Mail
Most publications prefer to receive news releases this way. After you complete the news release as directed above:
- Convert your final document to plain text.
- Paste the text into your e-mail message.
- Add a blank line between paragraphs.
- Customize your subject line. For local newspapers, write: “Dr. [Name] of [Your Town] Named ACP Fellow.” For alumni newsletters, write: “[Your Med School] Grad Named ACP Fellow.”
Note: Send e-mailed news releases individually. If you have an extensive list and must do multiple addresses at once, do not use the “CC” field, but the “BC” one instead.
If mailing copies of your news release, follow standard news release formatting, which is:
- Double-space throughout, indent paragraphs are indented five spaces with no extra lines between the paragraphs.
- Two pages is the maximum for a news release. You can supply more information upon request.
- Use your letterhead for the first page, and plain white paper for the second page. Staple together.
- If the news release is more than one page, place a footer such as "-more-" at the bottom center of the first page. Identify the second page with a header at the top left (example: Dr. Olds is ACP Fellow/2 of 2) in case the pages become separated.
III. Distribution Ideas
There are at least five good news outlets for a news release about Fellowship:
- the Public Relations (PR) department of your workplace
- the PR or alumni news department of your medical school
- the local weekly newspaper(s)
- the major daily newspaper(s) in the closest metropolitan area
- the state and/or county medical society bulletin.
If mailing news releases, address them to the Editor, or, for large daily newspapers, address the City Desk. If you know the Editor's name, use it. Correct spelling is important.
Keep in mind that news releases are used and edited at the discretion of the publication. Do not call a newspaper to see if they received your news release, or to ask when it will be run.
If you have questions about the press release, please contact Steve Majewski, Senior Communications Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-523-1546, ext. 2514.
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