Sample Fact Sheet for Writers

Writing a fact sheet is simple once you get the form and content down. Used with permission from Stock.Xchg, member: anyone71.

A fact sheet is one of a series of sample journalism/PR pieces for new and practicing freelance writers. It is a staple in the world of public relations and is used to concisely summarize an organization, news item, issue, or a cause to entice a journalist to write about a subject. It's important not to confuse a fact sheet with another often-used publicity vehicle, a backgrounder, which is often a narrative that appears in text form.

Many fact sheets are lists and focus on numbers and statistics and thusly are formatted in bullet form for easy reading. The fact sheet is often provided with Sample Fact Sheet Components

The following fact sheet was written for a specialty Latino food group that was attempting to drum up publicity. While publicity pieces are not usually shared with the public, because the company no longer exists, the organization forgave the publication rights allowing the piece to be shared. While it was heavily edited, the essence and meaning remain the same. 

Always begin your fact sheet with a clear, short Hed and Dek such as the one below.

Header: Food Industry Executives Act on Growth Potential of Latino Demographics

Next, write a short summary in paragraph format such as the example below.

First Paragraph: Food industry executives and advertisers are aiming more products and more ads at U.S. Latino families, hoping to hook the demographic and to inspire brand adoption and loyalty by introducing more ethnic flavors and increasing Latino-targeted advertising. Executives at a recent food industry meeting acknowledged their desire to procure brand loyalty from Latino families due to strong demographic growth in the coming years, combined with a projected increase in household food spending within the group. Ken Powell, Chief Executive of General Mills echoed these statistics, noting that Latino families are more likely to cook and eat at home.

The follows is a series of statistics and facts that support the main idea that the company is trying to communicate to the journalist. 

Statistics and Facts:

  • Food companies have begun to introduce flavors into mainstream food collections that were previously considered appropriate only for regional Latino markets, with over 345 companies at the meeting indicating an interest in this route.
  • Advertising budgets of the Top 500 U.S. advertisers showed a 14% increase in 2010 on campaigns directly aimed at Hispanics.
  • List item 3/statistic
  • List item 4/statistic
  • And etc. This is where the additional stats or facts would go.

It is not uncommon for fact sheets to go beyond just the facts and develop an interesting will end with a story arc to pull in the journalist. Or, to create summaries about the topic as well as providing options for obtaining additional find information to create a bigger story. You'll also notice that the end of the paragraph gets to the bottom-line for this particular effort and in essence, sums up the fact sheet.

Story Arc: What does this mean for businesses? Latino consumers, even those out of traditional regional Latino markets, will realize greater variety and more options in their family food purchase. There is potential for developing brand loyalty when families and primary shoppers see their needs, and wants, reflected in options on the shelf. In addition, Latino buyers may be more likely to frequent stores and chains that regularly stock food options that are interesting and attractive to them. Increased advertising aimed at Latino purchasers means more potential clientele for agencies and marketers able to position themselves as experts able to reach the market.

The important thing to remember when producing a fact sheet is to keep the format simple and make sure the content accomplishes the goal of pushing forward a story or issue that is supported by facts and figures.