CNW Group Tour & Tips

Through the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), I had the opportunity of visiting the CNW Group (formerly known as Canada NewsWire) last Friday.  It was a great experience as we not only got to tour the office, but were given a very informative presentation on what the CNW Group does, as well as general tips and comments on developing a successful news release. 

Here are some key tips courtesy of the CNW Group:

Path of a News Release

When writing a news release, there are two important questions you must ask yourself
1.  Why are you sending out the release?
2.  What do you want your exposure to do?

Once you have answered these two questions, you need to start thinking of getting your message out to who, how, where and when.  You must remember that each medium wants it sent out differently (TV is visual, send out some b-roll with audio – make their jobs easier and there will be a better chance of getting picked up). 

You will also have better chance of getting picked up if you can add a photo for not only TV but for print as well. 

Here are the CNW Group’s


  1. be creative!
  2. tight and bright – big images in tight shots
  3. use lighting and colour
  4. people, yes – crowds, no
  5. interact with work environment
  6. a shot of “The Shop Floor” is more interesting than the “Grip and Grin”
  7. product shots are good but computer screen shots are not
  8. action and reaction is better than stagnant and still
  9. cutlines – who (from left to right), what, when, where & why
  10. let a professional photographer take your photos

A few last tips:

  • always try and include more than one photo with your release for better pick-up
  • the business section is always hungry for photos
  • international news releases – make sure to have the contact person available for comment (keep the time difference in mind – make sure that person will be awake)
  • media monitoring – it is not enough to count how many times your story gets picked up (who picked it up, how was it used, was it an exclusive mention, etc.)

A big thank you goes out to Michelle, Jeff and Laura of the CNW Group for their time and hospitality as well as CPRS Toronto and Kristen Marano of CPRS’s Student Steering Committee. We all had a blast and learned a great deal!And a personal tip to give out:  Sign up and attend everything!  These sessions are always informative and fun – and are GREAT places to network!  Check out the CPRS Toronto website for upcoming events.