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WriteRelease’s views on word count for media releases

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The perfect word count for a media release is easy, says Marian Macdonald of news release service, WriteRelease . But when the news release is targeting a range of industry publications, she recommends following some rules of thumb.

According to Marian Macdonald the ideal approach is to look through a sample edition and see how many words are normally devoted to particular types of stories, then check with the editor.

Marian Macdonald says that it is not realistic that media releases should be tweaked to suit each publication’s style. When writing a single release for distribution to several editors, WriteRelease’s journalists stick to some pretty common guidelines for articles in industry or specialist publications.

New product releases

Most new product releases are under 300 words. Marian Macdonald warns that anything longer than that may well be shortened by the editor, who won’t pause to consult about what can and can’t be cut.

Opinion pieces and case studies

Case studies about customer applications and opinion pieces about industry developments should be around 600 words.

“Simple language in short sentences will help to keep the word count down while communicating your message clearly,” Marian Macdonald says. “Few readers of industry magazines can devote either the time or attention required to finish longer stories.”

Technical articles

‘How to’ or technical articles that explain a process to readers are often warmly received by editors, Marian Macdonald says, provided they are well-written with the reader in mind.

“Because you are offering the reader useful, detailed information, technical articles can be as long as 1200 words but be careful – the higher word count is not a licence to waffle,” she says. “Write economically and keep it very much to the point.”

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