Paul Lima - Toronto Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Media Interview Trainer, Writing Coach

How to Write Media Releases
Synopsis from the E-Book: How to Write Media Releases
to Promote Your Business, Organization or Event

By Paul Lima

A media release should be a one- or two-page document that tells a newsworthy story about something new, innovative, remarkable or otherwise newsworthy at your company or organization.

The key to a successful media release is focus. Too many businesses and organizations try to cram everything they can think of into a media release. In most instances, news articles focus on one aspect of a business, organization or industry. To catch the attention of editors and journalist, media releases should also focus on one newsworthy story, event or development.

Your media release might focus on:
  • the launch of a new product or service
  • new R&D investment or results
  • sales results for the quarter or year
  • growth or expansion plans
  • an industry award or acknowledgment
  • certification (such as ISO 9000)
  • business milestone such as 100,000th widget produced or 25th anniversary 
  • (perhaps held in conjunction with a media event)
  • corporate support of a charitable group or event 
  • national or local fundraising event
  • results of fundraising event
  • announcement of an awareness week or month.
Once you have determined your focus, write the release in standard media release style: 
  • headline
  • sub-head
  • date line
  • W5 (who/what/where/when/why) lead paragraph(s)
  • quote paragraph
  • support and/or background paragraph(s)
  • about paragraph.
  • contact(s) for more information.
Your goal is to tell editors and journalist what you are going to tell them (headline and subheadline), tell them what you said you were going to tell them (lead paragraphs) with background and support information -- using the standard media release format. (See two examples, below. Note: Both examples have been fabricated base on real situations.)

Widget Co Inc. Produces One Million Widgets in Five Years

Remarkable Production Feat Surpasses Industry Growth Expectations while Maintaining Focus on Quality; One Millionth Widget Rolls Off Line August 1

Brampton, Ontario July 28, 200x - Widget Co Inc. today announced that its one millionth Widget will roll off the assembly line on August 1, 2003 at its production facility in Brampton, Ontario. Widget Co experienced exponential growth, exceeding industry expectations, to reach this remarkable milestone in five short years.

"We are extremely proud of our employees, the people who put quality into every Widget produced by Widget Co. They are the people who enabled Widget Co. to produce our one millionth Widget in five years, growing from a production run of under 25,000 Widgets in year one to over 350,000 this year," says Roger Tardif, CEO and Founder of Widget Co Inc. "While our growth has been remarkable, we never wavered from our commitment to quality and innovation," Mr. Tardif added.

Widget Co's real time online customization and ordering process, innovative, ISO900-certified continuous improvement production techniques and Just In Time delivery methods have allow the company to grow in a planned, cost-effective manner while delivering quality products to Mega-Widget manufactures across Canada and the United States. 

The Widget Production Association of Canada (WPAC), at its Annual General Conference held last month in Toronto, lauded Widget Co  for its impressive and unprecedented growth in the Widget production industry. "Widget Co has contributed to the growth of this industry as a whole, while focusing on quality," said WPAC president, Sarah Wise.

- ### -


Founded in 1998, privately-held, ISO-9000-certified Widget Co Inc. produces advanced, high-quality Widgets used in  the manufacturing of Mega-Widgets at Mega-Widget manufacturing plants across North America. Widget Co employs 57 R&D engineers, production workers, sales and administrative staff at its Brampton, Ontario head office and production facility.

Mary Press: 905-555-1212 or

Youth Volunteer Association Puts Time on Charities' Side

Young People Bid Volunteer Time for Art and Support Charities
on August 1 at YVA Silent Auction in Toronto

Toronto, Ontario July 15, 200x - In a twist on the standard silent auction, young people can bid time in exchange for original art, and help three local charities in need of volunteers at a Youth Volunteer Association (YVA) silent auction to be held in the lobby of the CBC building on August 1 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Instead of bidding money, silent auction participants will bid time, in two hour increments, for over 100 pieces of original art donated to the YVA silent auction by Canadian artists. The winning bidders will then donate their time to any one of three participating charities -- United Way, Canadian Cancer Society and Salvation Army.

"Young people are often strapped for cash and charities are often strapped for volunteers. So this is a perfect match," said Jim James, YVA founder. "By encouraging youth to give their time to charities, we are letting them know they can contribute and make a difference, without reaching for their wallets. We are also fostering an important spirit of volunteerism.

Combined, the United Way, Canadian Cancer Society and Salvation Army use over 5,000 volunteers contributing almost 500 million hours per year to a vast variety of activities that would not get done if it were not for volunteers.

"Driving cancer patients to and from chemotherapy appointments takes time and if it were not for volunteer drivers, many cancer patients would have to rely on taxis or public transit. But too often they cannot afford cabs and they are too weak to take transit," said Mary Heart, president of the Canadian Cancer Society. "Volunteers are essential."

"We are very pleased to participate in the YVA silent auction," she added. "It is an innovative way to boost volunteerism and to encourage young people to get involved with charitable organizations."

The doors to the silent auction open at 6:30 PM. Many of the contributing artists will be creating art during the event and popular indie bands Funk-a-delic and sPunk will perform. Admittance is free, but people are encouraged to bring canned goods and other non-perishable items for the Toronto Food Bank.

- ### -

About Youth Volunteer Association
Founded in 2000, the YVA ( is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging volunteerism among people under 30. Over 10,000 YVA volunteers  across Canada have logged almost one million volunteer hours since YVA's inception.

Mary Press: 905-555-1212 or

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