Aims What PR can do for you: Help you gain media coverage without the expense of advertising. Improve public awareness, knowledge. Attract volunteers and staff to your charity through press articles.
Composing your press release Make life easy for the journalists Journalists get bombarded with e-mails and information. Happy if they can copy and paste a press release ready for publication. Local press usually friendly and helpful. Write an effective press release which is relevant, targeted and newsworthy!
What is a Press Release? A press release is a short, factual word document that announces newsworthy information. No sales talk or fluffy descriptions. Put general information, history, contact details in the Editor’s Notes at the end of Press Release.
Your target audience? Local newspapers and magazines Online media The national press. The content of the Press Release must be tailored to each of these audiences.
K.I.S.S Keep it simple – short words rather than long Keep it short – 1 side of A4 Use powerful language “Cheerful conversation than a literary piece.” KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid!
The 5 Ws of PR WhoWhatWhenWhereWhy The two key elements are: WHO – the person or people involved. Put people first (not the name of your organization) WHY – what was achieved or will be achieved. WHEN = the date of the event WHAT = name of the event WHERE = the place or venue
How to get your Press Release read Who is reading this press release – who are you targeting? Read and get familiar with local newspapers and magazines? Heading: Start with a catchy but relevant heading that will entice them to read more. Put the heading on the press release and in the email Subject line.
What makes a good start The headline summarizes the story The first paragraph must include all the main facts. This is often the only thing journalists have time to read. Keep sentences short – max 20 words. Only 2 or 3 sentences per paragraph.
How to finish Summarize your story Add “Notes to the Editor” with 1)your contact details; 2) background information about your charity, such as history, issues, successes
Images Send photos - 2 or 3 relevant images in low res so that you don’t block up a journalist’s email. Topics – Images of people, children and animals. Say in your covering email whether you have high res versions available. Provide captions if there are only a few people in the photo or identify key people who are mentioned in the story.
Cover email or letter Personalise your cover letter or email to each media contact. Details are online. Send your press release by copying and pasting your text into the body of the email. Many publications don’t open attachments. Include an offer to do interviews, and suggest competitions with prizes.
Follow up Follow up - after a few days and then again a week later. Call the journalist – don’t be afraid to chase. Be persistent – it’s amazing what a bit of persistence can do! Build relationships – Contact journalists, ask for a short meeting. Get to know them and what they want.
Summary Check, check and check again – Share your press release with colleagues to get feedback. Check that all the details are correct. E.G. email and phone number. Be persistent – Try, try and try again. Build relationships – Connect with the journalists on Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember 3 Ws – Who and Why (People and achievements) are your prime considerations. Follow up – Call the publication after sending your press release.