Release guide – extensive

Turbocharge your message – release creation & distribution

Our guide (get your info ready)

Ready to publish?

Yes – OK, go to NewzEngine’s submission platform.
No –
OK, go to: Prepare your draft release (below) and follow our simple steps as we help you prepare your news release.

Assemble information

Assemble information

Before you can begin to write the media release you need to assemble the information, here is a checklist:

    ITEM –
  • Idea, product, service, milestone event to write about
  • Name of spokesperson/people
  • Social media account to reference (optional)
  • Contact name and details of person for further information
  • A description of your organisation/company
  • Supporting media such as photographs (optional)
  • Company logo
Top five key messages

What are the most important messages that you want to convey about the subject of the media release – key messages are the building blocks of your release, so think about the most compelling statements you can make. Write the key messages down in full sentences and in order of importance. A good way to think about it is to address the following questions in your key messages: Who? What? Where/When? How? Why?

    QUESTION ADDRESSED –
  • WHO? What is the name of your organisation, what do you do, how long have you been in the market, what is special about you?.
  • WHAT? What do you specifically want to talk about in this release. Have you launched a new product? Do you have an interesting survey to discuss? Are you fundraising?
  • WHY? Why should the reader care about your announcement? How will it benefit them? Will it help inform them, will they get a better deal? Will they be able to contribute to a better cause.
  • HOW? How is your product made? Fundraising drive organised? Survey conducted?
  • WHEN/WHERE? This is your call to action – what do they do next? Is there a website for further information?

Prepare your information

If you follow these simple steps you will be able to gather all the information needed to prepare your draft news release.

Preparation
  • Assemble your information so that it is all there in a single location for you to refer to.
  • Identify and prioritise your top five messages – TIP: If you find this challenging, try speaking with a trusted friend or colleague and detail five main points that you want to convey to media. Then note these five points down.
  • Identify and note down who your speakers are, their titles, and quotes – TIP: This person or persons must know the detail of the information you are releasing to media, and must be available for journalists to contact and be agreeable to answer questions.
  • Note down the social media accounts that connect to your business, organisation, or entity, and, if necessary, the social media accounts of your primary spokesperson.
  • Note your primary contact person and their details – TIP: This person is often the primary person quoted in the news release. But, if necessary, the contact person may be a communications representative or someone who can quickly, and without fuss, connect a journalist to the primary spokesperson.
  • Note your company/organisation summary – TIP: This is simply the official title of your company, organisation or entity, its location, web address, and a short sentence that describes what it does or represents.
  • Additional summary – TIP: This is anything else that is relevant or important.
  • Supporting material – TIP: Prepare any supporting media (images, video/audio links) and also any additional information such as information-sheets, Q&As (questions and answers).
  • Sign off process – TIP: This is where you assemble all the information into a draft news release structure. The release must be signed off for publishing by an individual authorised to do so. Once done, you can proceed to NewzEngine’s submission platform.
Please ensure your release:
  • Is exact, to the point, and can fit on one A4 sheet of paper.
  • Has a headline that states exactly what the release is about.
  • States facts that can be relied on and proved.
  • Contains quotes from a significant primary spokesperson who can speak with authority about the information you wish to release.
  • DOES NOT defame any other individual or entity.
  • DOES NOT contain any grey-areas or unsubstantiated claims or unreasonable opinion.
  • Has a definitive and easy to identify purpose.
  • Has checked and accurate contact details, cellphone and landline numbers, email and web addresses.
Please ensure all media (images, video/audio links):
  • Are cleared for release.
  • Are copyright to your company/organisation and cleared for news media to use.
  • Are licensed by your company with authorisation from the copyright holder to be released and cleared for news media to use.

What when where… Here’s an example

Here’s an example:

NewzEngine announces its services

WHO?

NewzEngine is a service that enables companies and organisations to compile a media release and have it distributed to local and global news aggregators.

WHAT?

An easy way for companies and organisations to ensure regular, cost-effective, and professional communications about their products and services.

WHY?

Organisations and companies require a public profile to grow. By creating a professional release and sending to media outlets via reputable newswires, it helps attract members, participants, customers and investors.

HOW?

The NewzEngine platform provides users with the ability to write the release, upload supporting media such as photographs and video links. NewzEngine then distributes the release electronically to news aggregators that distribute information to the sectors and geographical regions that have been chosen by the user.

WHERE? WHEN? Users subscribe to the NewzEngine platform, and choose plans depending on how often they intend to communicate with the public.

How to create your release with NewzEngine

Identify Your Release

Identify type of release: Select whether your release is a news release or a speech. Select also whether your release is for immediate release or whether it is embargoed until a future date and time.

Input Text – Headline

HEADLINE: The headline should ideally summarise the contents of the release, while at the same time compel the reader to read the copy in the paragraphs below. It is often easier to write the headline at the end of the process of compiling and writing the information. If you don’t think you can get all the information required in the headline, you can include a sub-head in the paragraphs box.

Example headline:
    • NewzEngine makes public relations support easy, accessible and affordable for all

Input text – Sub Headline

SUB-HEADLINE: The sub-headline is optional but gives you the chance to further compliment your headline and provide additional information that explains what your release is about. 

Input text – Introduction

INTRO: Summarise in 40 words what your release is about. This is your introduction. 

Input body text

BODY TEXT: Identify and prioritise your main messages (remember to write down the what, when, where, who, why and how explanations – TIP: If you find this challenging, try speaking with a trusted friend or colleague and detail five main points that you want to convey to media. Then note these five points down.

INCLUDE SPOKESPERSON & QUOTES: Identify and note down who your speakers are, their titles, and quotes – TIP: This person or persons must know the detail of the information you are releasing to media, and must be available for journalists to contact and be agreeable to answer questions.

The person who is named as the “speaker” in your release, should ideally be a senior member of the organisation with a job title that is applicable to the subject of the release. If it is about the company then the Chief Executive Officer, if it is about a product then the Head of Product, if it is about the financial accounts then the Chief Financial Officer, etc.

For example

The speaker will also need some colourful quotes to make the release interesting and readable. (NOTE: all the information in the media release can potentially be attributed to the people references so ensure they are comfortable with everything in the release, see SIGN OFF PROCESS). In general, quotes are for opinion, statements are for fact. So, once you establish a key fact, aim to follow it with a statement that adds colour. Remember that while quotes are opinion, it is essential you consider the following:

Claims and Opinion
  • ensure you can back up every claim made, otherwise you may be in breach of fair trading laws,
  • if you refer to research, then create a footnote that names the research,
  • if you are referring to an organisation or living person – especially in a negative context – ensure your statement/quote doesn’t breach defamation laws.
Statement of Fact
  • Who and what is the release about (first paragraph) – “A quote that attributes the basic facts in the first paragraph and introduces the speaker – so that the information is attributed to someone”
  • Why this matters to the reader – “A quote that shows just why the reader should pay attention to this information”
  • How it came about – “A quote that explains the effort and ultimate triumph of this exciting product/campaign/research.”

Chief Executive Officer or Campaign Director – The speaker will also need some colourful quotes to make the release interesting and readable. (NOTE: all the information in the media release can potentially be attributed to the people references so ensure they are comfortable with everything in the release, see SIGN OFF PROCESS). In general, quotes are for opinion, statements are for fact. So, once you establish a key fact, aim to follow it with a statement that adds colour. Remember that while quotes are opinion, it is essential you consider the following:

  • ensure you can back up every claim made, otherwise you may be in breach of fair trading laws,
  • if you refer to research, then create a footnote that names the research,
  • if you are referring to an organisation or living person – especially in a negative context – ensure your statement/quote doesn’t breach defamation laws.

Input text – Summary

RELEASE SUMMARY: Wrap up your release by providing a summary of what your release is about. This should compliment all the information preceding the summary and conclude the release’s written information section.

Supporting media files (images, video, docs)

Additional Media – Do you have a photograph, illustration, video, audio, or other documents that you can provide to accompany the release that editors, journalists, analysts and writers can use to illustrate the release or article?

If so, you will need to ensure it meets the following NewzEngine guidelines:

Photograph/illustration
  • GIF, PNG, JPG, JPEG, MP3, DOC, RTD, PDF files (Less than 20MBs), and up to two files in total
  • Alternatively, you can paste a link to your video, audio, PDF etc into the link fields in the NewzEngine platform
  • If your image, graphic, or video features a person/people, you have written permission to use their image
  • Ensure the attached media will not be considered racist, homophobic, sexists, degrading or offensive in any way. [NOTE: NewzEngine reserves the right not to publish imagery it deems offensive]

Contact person and details

Decide who will be the contact for your release. It doesn’t always have to be person quoted in the release, as the contact person could be on point for any media calls and emails. In addition, it is likely that other people/organisations may try to make contact – for example, companies offering services, company shareholders etc. So think through whether you want to provide contact details of your spokesperson or those of your gatekeeper contact who can manage the calls and emails.

YOUR SPOKESPERSON/S: Do note your primary spokesperson and their details – TIP: This person is often the primary person quoted in the news release. But, if necessary, the contact person may be a communications representative or someone who can quickly, and without fuss, connect a journalist to the primary spokesperson.

Details required:
  • Name:
  • Title:
  • Email:
  • Phone number (ideally include country code and area code):

Social media details

What social media accounts does your organisation/company have? Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, others? Ensure that the ones that are the most active and appropriate are featured. At the end of the release compose a sentence that includes all the relevant online links.

SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS: Note down the social media accounts that connect to your business, organisation, or entity, and, if necessary, the social media accounts of your primary spokesperson.

Boilerplate

A boilerplate is a short summary of your company/organisation, which is referred to by communications professionals as the “boilerplate” because it is part of every release. It should consist of the following information: The name and purpose of the organisation, how large/effective it is, how long it has been in existence, and the website address.

BOILERPLATE: Note your company/organisation summary – TIP: This is simply the official title of your company, organisation or entity, its location, web address, and a short sentence that describes what it does or represents.

Here’s a boilerplate example: NewzTec Developments Ltd

About Newztech Developments Limited

Newztech Developments is the owner of NewzEngine, an online platform that enables its subscribers to create, upload and distribute media releases to a range of local and global news outlets. It does this by delivering releases to internationally recognised aggregators, which include Dow Jones, LexisNexis, AcquireMedia/Newscycle, Contify and Knowledge Basket. For more information visit newzengine.com. 

Additional information

Have you further information? Have you created a study, a product, a service or similar that is mentioned in the release, but that you want to provide further information about? Beneath the summary of your organisation (the boilerplate) you can insert a short paragraph providing details. Please note that if you are going to reference an entity that is not part of your organisation, you will need to seek their permission to include them in your release.

NewzEngine now compiles, formats, and prepares your data

NewzEngine now compiles your release. We have provided an example here

You have now created the elements of your media release, The NewzEngine platform will bring all the elements together. What NewzEngine has done is create a hierarchy of information – with the most important facts upfront. This is often referred to by communication professionals as the “inverted pyramid” – it is designed so that if the reader only reads the first one or two paragraphs they are equipped with the most essential information.

Here’s our example: NewzEngine

NewzEngine makes public relations support easy, accessible and affordable for all

SUBHEAD

Platform enables subscribers to write and send media releases to local and global news services

BODY COPY

NewzEngine, an online service that enables companies and organisations to write and distribute media releases, has been launched today.

The subscriber-based service provides an easy way for companies and organisations to create regular, cost-effective, and professional communications about their products and services. Press releases are distributed through NewzEngine’s international network of journalist, editors and global information aggregators.

NewzEngine is created by Newztech Developments Directors Selwyn Manning and Sarah Putt, who between them have over 40 years media and communications’ experience. Manning’s career includes roles as a journalist, political press secretary and news media specialist. Putt has worked as a journalist, public relations specialist and technology commentator.

“Organisations and companies require a public profile to grow and attract customers, members, and/or investors, but reliable media relations support is often expensive and beyond the reach of many companies and organisations,” says Manning. “So, we have launched NewzEngine, as a way of helping organisations reach an audience that is wider than the communities they may have created organically through social media.”

To ensure their message reaches the desired audience, subscribers can select the geographical location and sector, where they want their media announcement to be delivered. NewzEngine’s reach includes New Zealand, Australian, Asian and Global media.

Its online service includes a step-by-step guide to writing media announcements that assists subscribers in creating an effective and professional release. In addition to text-based releases, NewzEngine provides the ability for subscribers to upload photographs and video links to accompanying their message.

“Effective announcements are short, sharp and compelling,” Putt says. “Our guide is designed to help subscribers gain the attention of time-poor media practitioners.”

FINAL/SUMMARY PARAGRAPH

Organisations can subscribe to NewzEngine as a monthly or annual service, starting from $35 per month. For more details, visit newzengine.com.

To learn more visit NewzEngine.com or check out us out on Instagram [link], Twitter [link], Facebook [link] and Linkedin [link].

ends

For further information, contact:

Sarah Putt

NewzEngine CEO

Email: sarah@newzengine.com

Phone: +64 27 617 7235

BOILERPLATE

About Newztech Developments Limited

Newztech Developments is the owner of NewzEngine, an online platform that enables its subscribers to create, upload and distribute media releases to a range of local and global news outlets. It does this by delivering releases to internationally recognised aggregators. For more information visit newzengine.com.

Remember you must have authorisation to submit

Sign off process

Congratulations, you have written your release, but it is not ready to publish until you have completed the sign off process to ensure it has the necessary approvals to go ahead.

Sign off:
    • Person/people quoted in the release
    • Chief Executive or delegated authority
    • Legal counsel if required
    • Delegated authority of any external entity mentioned in the release
    • Written permission from anyone featured in any photograph accompanying the release

Ready to Publish?

    Continue to NewzEngine’s prepare distribution section.

Where should NewzEngine distribute your release?

Prepare Distribution

PREPARE DISTRIBUTION: NewzEngine has prepared a list of news and information media, journalists, and editors and arranged the selections based on location and by sector. For example, if you want your release to go to Auckland-based media, simply tick ‘Auckland’ as your selection. If you wish for your release to go to all major cities in New Zealand, or rural based media, then make your selection accordingly. Likewise, if your release is sector-based, then choose the sector that is relevant to your release; for example, if your release is relevant to the tech sector, then select that option.

You can select as many options as you think are relevant to your specific release.

CHECK LIST: Consider each point in the check list. You cannot submit the release without ticking each check list box. This helps serve as a reminder to check and double-check all the information that the NewzEngine platform will prepare.

CONFIRM THAT YOUR RELEASE AND MEDIA ARE AUTHORISED FOR DISTRIBUTION & PUBLICATION: This is where you confirm that your release and all media are cleared for publication, that your organisation has copyright, and that you are authorised to permit NewzEngine and other media third parties to use the written content and attached media as they see fit. This authorisation is also confirmation that the release has been signed off, and that it is ready to be distributed/syndicated by NewzEngline.com.

If you need to change anything, go back to the relevant section and make your changes.

Do read NewzEngine’s terms of use as a reminder of your obligations.

If you are ready to send your release, tick the Recaptcha box that indicates you are not a digital robot, and press NewzEngine’s ‘Submit release’ button.

– TIP: Once submitted, NewzEngine’s platform will assemble all information into an information release format, it will attached media/docs, and display it to a NewzEngine editor. The editor will check to make sure it passes our quality best practice standards, and then your release will be distributed/syndicated to media based on your selected outlets.