(307) 630-4905 [email protected]

Before and After

This page is where we give examples of some common mistakes found in news releases. All of these fictional examples are only slightly exaggerated versions of news releases we’ve seen, read and thrown away during our careers.

The purpose of any news release is to get your ideas and events in front of the public. It doesn’t matter how carefully you write your release if the editor throws it in the trash can.

Take a look at some of the most common errors and how we at ACE repair them.

The sin: Putting the most important facts at the bottom of the news release.

The consequences: At best, your release appears word-for-word as you wrote it, but readers give up looking for the important information after the third paragraph. At worst, your release is discarded by editors because of the amount of work it would take to make it interesting.

The fix: Bring your most interesting facts to the top of the release.

Example:

Dozens of people gathered for good times and socializing during the Boogersville Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet.

Mayor Yodak Babalucci served as the master of ceremonies while handing out 15 “Business Leaders” awards to deserving chamber members. The awards are given out each year.

He said each of the businesses receiving awards deserved recognition.

“I think each of these businesses deserve recognition,” he said.

The Boogersville Chamber of Commerce is made up of more than 75 local businesses that are involved in Boogersville’s business community.

The awards ceremony was held at the Boogersville Sleep On Inn and a wonderful dinner of chicken and pasta was catered by Uncle Frank’s Good Eats.

At the end of the evening, Mayor Babalucci announced that the chamber’s fundraising efforts over the last five years had raised two million dollars.

He also announced that the chamber has voted to donate the money for the construction of a new Boogersville Public Library.

Repaired:

A $2 million donation for the construction of the Boogersville Public Library has been pledged by the Boogersville Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Yodak Babalucci, speaking during the chamber’s annual awards banquet Friday, announced that the donation was made possible by successful chamber fundraising efforts over the past five years.

The announcement was the climax of the night’s festivities at the Boogersville Sleep On Inn, following the presentation of the chamber’s annual  “Business Leaders” awards.

“I think each of these businesses deserves recognition,” Babalucci said of the winners.

The Boogersville Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of 78 Boogersville businesses that make up the heart of the community’s economy.

The sin: Writing a release about an award without explaining its significance to the general public.

The consequences:  If the release even sees print, the readers’ eyes glaze over by the second paragraph and they move on to the comic section or eBay.

The fix:  Explain in simple language why readers should care about the award or event.  Tell the readers or listeners what it means to them.

Example:

The Dayton-Barkersville Regional Medical Center was recently awarded the National Association of Medical Center Professional Safety Board’s Title XCR-437 certification.  The NAMCPSB certification is earned only by those medical centers that pass all NC-158 inspections with a rating of 86.7 or higher.

Established in 2001, the Title XCR-437 certification proves that a hospital strives to provide the highest quality of care to its patients.

Hospital Administrator Bill Morrison said: “We have excellent staff here at DBRMC, but they’re only human.  The XCR-437 certification means that we have procedures in place to make sure they are operating at their best and communicate with each other effectively.  The result is our patients won’t suffer from human error.”

Repaired: 

A national health care organization recently recognized the Dayton-Barkersville Regional Medical Center with special certification for adopting nursing staff policies aimed at protecting patient safety.

The certification granted by the National Association of Medical Center Professional Safety Board is given to hospitals that meet rigorous standards for the recording of medicine given to patients; the scheduling of staff to avoid fatigue among nurses, and the monitoring of patient diets. These measures are designed to ensure that nurses stay up-to-date on patient medication and dietary needs and have sufficient time off to avoid on-the-job fatigue.

“We have excellent staff here at DBRMC,” said Administrator Bill Morrison. “but they’re only human.  The XCR-437 certification means that we have procedures in place to make sure they are operating at their best and communicate with each other effectively.  The result is our patients won’t suffer from human error.”

The certification is given only to hospitals that score 86.7 or higher on NAMCPSB’s 100-point inspection.