Agriculture Communication

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Basic of Writing News Releases

  • Select key messages
    • Usually no more than two or three
    • Be short and concise, a sentence or two
    • Write them down
    • Incorporate them in your news release
  • Answer the 5 W’s: who, what, where, when, why
    • Who – your target audience
    • What – an event you want your target audience to attend or action you want them to take
    • Where – location of an event
    • When – date of the event, signup deadline, timeline for taking action
    • Why - reasons your target audience should attend an event or take a particular action

■ Write in inverted pyramid style – put the most important information first, then add more details

■ Make sure to include:

  • Who is sponsoring the event or asking people to take action (for example, a county Extension office)
  • Where people can go for more information (for example: county Extension office, website)
  • Your contact information in case the news media has questions

■ Other tips

  • Write concisely – no more than 1½ pages
  • Double-check accuracy of facts
  • Check spelling, grammar, punctuation

■ Remember - We are here to help. Contact us:

Ellen Crawford
ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
(701) 231-5391

Rich Mattern
richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
(701) 231-6136

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