Tech Help | "7 Tips on How to Format your Press Release for Publications" by Alicia

At the WWN, we get a lot of press releases. If you are a volunteer for a non-profit organization, you know how important it is that local-area publications share your events and happenings with the community. Here are 7 tips to get your information past the desk of an editor, and before the eyes of local citizens.

1. Choose a basic, web-safe font such as Arial or Times New Roman. Formatting text with a lot of custom fonts and colors takes more time for a publisher to remove in order to include your text in their existing format. Extra time and work might mean that the publisher may overlook your information.

2. Only include basic text formatting such as boldface or italics.  Stay away from changing the size of your text as that will be adjusted per the publisher's format.

3. Never type your text in all capital letters -- titles too. Again, this is time consuming for publishers to undo in order to incorporate your text into their existing format.

4. Don't provide your text in double-line spacing. Always stick to single-line spacing as this makes it easier for the publisher to copy and paste.

5. Don't include tables or clipart to the right or left of your text. Again, additional impediments to copying and pasting text makes it that much harder for the publisher to grab your text for their publication.

6. Do include high-quality still images (2-3) to accompany your press release, as attachments. Less is better in this case. Do not embed the images into your Doc or text file as this takes time for the publisher to extract them for their format. Also, a lot of photos as attachments could bounce out of someone's email or get sent to their spam folder without them ever seeing your information. If they need additional photos, they'll ask. If you need to include video, include a direct link to YouTube or Vimeo; don't try attaching a large video file to an email. Again, it could bounce or take time for the publisher to download.

7. Provide your text in a Word processing document (.doc) or text file (.txt), but not a PDF file.
Some people might be skeptical of this advice, as a PDF is a helpful, terminal file. That means, people can't edit your information very easily--making it perfectly suited for a multitude of applications. However, it also makes it difficult for editors and publishers to copy and paste your text and place it into their own format. One solution, is to include both a Doc file and a PDF file in your email for inclusion.

Hope this helps get your information into more publications! - Alicia

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