A 5-point checklist to write better news releases

Even the best writers can use a few reminders every now and then. Keep this checklist handy.

Ragan Insider Content

For the best results and biggest return, all you need to do is make your story clear and engaging. This simple five-step checklist will get you there.

1. Is my headline specific?

A headline that accurately summarizes the content of the news release does more than tell readers what to expect. Search engines will rank a piece higher if the headline matches the content.

Use specific descriptors—e.g. “search-engine-friendly news release” rather than just “news release”—and skip flowery adjectives or hyperbole.

2. Did I use active voice?

Passive voice uses three or four words where you only need one, and slows down the impact of a great headline.

Replace a passive phrase like “K-12 school Lincoln Academy has been selected for recognition of achievement by ABC” with an active phrase such as “ABC selects leading K-12 school Lincoln Academy for recognition.”

3. Can I chop three words from my headline?

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