Mini Checklist for Writing A Media Release

Journalists are always looking for great stories; not your advertising masquerading as a great media story, tho. Journalists receive hundreds of story ideas, e-mails and approaches every week, so how can you stand out?

Mini Checklist for Writing A Media Release

I suggest you read a couple of my other Insanely Clever Marketing articles on Secrets of the Inverted Pyramid and the Truth About Being a Media Resource to further help you. However, here is a mini checklist for writing a media release that will help you to recognise a potential story and then act on it.

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It’s useful to know from where your customers get their information so you know which journalists to target. Ask your customers or target audience (people you would LIKE to be your customers) and find out what they listen to, watch, read, subscribe to, and blogs they follow. You can ask them directly, conduct a survey, give them a phone call or observe your competitors.


Develop a database of key media contacts that are local and/or cover your industry. Most media outlets have a kit or relevant information on their websites. It’s perfectly acceptable to ring or e-mail asking for a contact person relevant to your information.


If you have staff or contractors, alert them that you’d like ideas about stories to pitch to the media. These may include new products, new staff member, some type of innovation, even a warning (the media love warnings).


It’s important that your media release be newsworthy. Just because it’s interesting to you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s interesting to the wider public. DON’T simply try to get free coverage; THINK like a journalist, THINK about the news YOU like to read.

To help with structure, here are some quick tips for structuring your media release.

  • date
  • immediate release or ’embargo’
  • a headline
  • introductory paragraph
  • Who, What, When, Why, Where, and How
  • A quote
  • contact details
  • photograph or diagrams (if applicable)
  • 1.5 or double line spacing and wide margins

You’ll find the advice in secrets of the inverted pyramid really useful once you come to write the release.


If you need any help, please contact I’d love you to join me On twitter @insanelyclever and Facebook /InsanelyCleverMarketing for more great advice, free business tips and insanely clever marketing inspiration.

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