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Anatomy of a News Release

The sample press release below breaks down the various elements of the standard press release. As you hover over parts of the press release, the sections are highlighted in red. Click on a section to see helpful writing tips in the drop-down list to the right (or below on a mobile device).

JUNE 11, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rachel Webber, CAHNRS Communications
509-225-0837, rcwebber@wsu.edu

SOURCE CONTACT

Kevin Murphy, Crop and Soil Sciences
509-335-9692, kmurphy2@wsu.edu

Registration open for quinoa research symposium

PULLMAN, Wash.

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Online registration for the 2013 International Quinoa Research Symposium is now live through July 10. The event takes place Aug. 12-14 at Washington State University.

Coinciding with the United Nations International Year of the Quinoa, the symposium brings together researchers, farmers, distributors and consumers from around the world to explore current research and innovative farming practices. Farm tours will highlight field trial demonstrations on four Palouse farms. Keynote speaker Dr. Sven-Erick Jacobson from the University of Copenhagen will address the global potential of quinoa, and Tania Santivanez from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization will also speak during the three-day event.

Quinoa has grown in popularity and is beginning to gain a foothold in the Pacific Northwest and other regions in the U.S. with support from a $1.6 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant recently awarded to researchers at WSU, Oregon State University and Utah State University. Earthbound Farm, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Clif Bar Family Foundation-Seed Matters, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, FAIR, and WSU are the event sponsors.

Registration is open to the public and available online at: http://bit.ly/14wmBDs. Space is limited. For registration fee, schedule of events, lodging and transportation information, and more, please visit the International Quinoa Research Symposium website: http://bit.ly/19ib90R.

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Headings

Date the release will be distributed to the media and the location of the release.

The contact is typically the author of the press release. The Source Contact(s) are the technical expert(s).

Format the city in all caps, and abbreviate the state according to AP Style.

Headline

The headline should concisely communicate the news or the heart of your release. Google recommends headlines between 2 and 22 words for optimum visibility and search results. Google results display on the first 63 characters of each headline. Format the headline using sentence case.

Intro Paragraph

The introductory paragraph should briefly summarize the entire press release. The paragraph should be approximately one or two sentences. Be sure to mention what’s happening, the date, time, where it happens, and the important people or organization involved.

Body Paragraphs

Use the subsequent paragraphs to fill in the details of the story. For example, explain the importance of the event and why it’s taking place. It’s best to use the inverted pyramid structure for press releases, with the most important (newsworthy) information at  the top and the least important nearer the end. This is a good place to provide detail about the participants, who stands to benefit, who stands to lose, etc.

Closing Paragraph

The final paragraph should contain the call to action. Provide a link that leads to more information, to a registration page or video content.

The last paragraph is sometimes used to include boilerplate information about the organization, company, or institution issuing the press release.

End

Type “- 30 -” to indicate the end of the release. If there is a second page, type “- more -“.

Add hyperlinks to information that adds value to the reader or elaborate on the story.

Shorten long URLS at https://bitly.com.

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