December 12, 2017

The 1-minute news release

Can you get your story across in 200 words?

In the time it takes you to wash your hands, buckle your seat belt or start the dishwasher, your favorite journalist can finish reading your news release.

Gone in 60 seconds: If your release is longer than 200 words, seven out of 10 journalists won’t finish it.

Gone in 60 seconds If your release is longer than 200 words, seven out of 10 journalists won’t finish it. Image by Sanah Suvarna

That’s right: Nearly 70% of journalists spend less than a minute reading a news release, according to a 2014 study by Greentarget. The rest spend one to five minutes.

So if your release is longer than 200 words, seven out of 10 journalists won’t finish it.

Why so short?

No wonder reporters don’t linger over your release:

  • 45% of journalists surveyed get 50 or more releases per week.
  • 21% get at least 100 per week.
  • 40% get 10 to 50.

How long should your release be? >>>

Related stories

“Releases that are too long is the fourth biggest pet peeve of the journalists surveyed by Greentarget. Releases that are poorly written — ouch! — is No. 3.”
— Ann Wylie, president, Wylie Communications

Cut Through the Clutter in PR

Make media relations pieces easier to read & understand

Regardless of what you’re writing, Cutting Through the Clutter is the No. 1 way to keep readers reading.

Write by numbers: Learn the targets you need to measurably improve your PR message’s readability.

Write by numbers Learn the targets you need to measurably improve your PR message’s readability. Image by Nadine Shaabana

But the stakes are even higher when it comes to PR pieces. That’s because, say, if your lead is too long, Google News might reject it. If it’s too short, Google News will reject it.

Fortunately, academics have tested and quantified what makes copy easy to read. Unfortunately, that research virtually never makes it out of the ivory tower and into the hands of PR writers who could actually apply it.

But at NOT Your Father’s News Release — our two-day PR-writing master class on March 19-20, 2018 in Santa Fe — you’ll leave this session with “the numbers” you need to measurably improve your PR message’s readability.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Pass the Goldilocks test: Write a headline that’s not too long, not too short, but just right. (Google News ignores one in five releases because the headline is too long!)
  • Write a one-minute release: Journalists rarely spend longer reviewing releases, according to a Greentarget survey.
  • Stop using the most overused PR buzzwords: Journalists and bloggers — not to mention readers — will love you for it.
  • Write by number: What’s the right length for your release? Your paragraphs? Your quotes? Your sentences? Your words?
  • Use a cool tool to quantifiably improve your copy’s readability. PR pros in our recent Master Classes have improved readability by up to 300% with this resource.

Save $100 when you grab one of our early bird tickets.

“This is the best writing class I’ve attended in my 25-year PR career.”
— Mark Alden, PR manager, National Semiconductor

Polish your skills

Learn to Catch Your Readers and more at these Master Classes

Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's social media-writing workshop on Feb. 6-7, 2018 in Los Angeles

Last chance in 2018
Los Angeles | Feb. 6-7, 2018

Register for NOT Your Father’s News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop on March 19-20, 2018 in Santa Fe

Santa Fe | March 19-20, 2018

Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's concise-writing workshop on April 17-18, 2018 in New York

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Register for Catch Your Readers - Ann Wylie's persuasive-writing workshop on May 1-2, 2018 in Denver


Denver | May 1-2, 2018

Register for Writing For the Web and Mobile - Ann Wylie's digital-writing workshop on June 12-13, 2018 in Chicago

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Chicago | June 12-13, 2018

Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller - Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop on July 25-26, 2018 in Portland

Last chance in 2018
Portland | July 25-26, 2018

Register for NOT Your Father’s News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop on Sept. 6-7, 2018 in Atlanta

Last chance in 2018
Atlanta | Sept. 6-7, 2018

Register for Catch Your Readers - Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop on Oct. 2-3, 2018 in Dallas

Last chance in 2018
Dallas | Oct. 2-3, 2018

Register for Get Opened, Clicked, Read & Shared - Ann Wylie's Email-writing workshop on Nov. 7-8, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

NEW!
Washington, D.C. | Nov. 7-8, 2018

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Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Atlanta: Sept. 10-11
  • Chicago: June 12-13
  • Dallas: Oct. 2-3
  • Denver: May 1-2, 2018
  • Los Angeles: Feb. 6-7
  • New York: April 17-18
  • Portland: Feb. 16 & July 25-26
  • Santa Fe: March 19-20
  • Washington, DC: Nov. 7-8

Keep up with my calendar.

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