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Presentation on theme: "HOW TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE PRESENTER: SALLY DUSTING-LAIRD."— Presentation transcript:



3 NEVCOP How to write a press release Why? The purpose of a press release is to provide newsworthy information to the media about recent events (eg the appointment of a new Manager or upcoming events (eg new courses, awards, to promote lacklustre classroom numbers, etc), in the hope that they’ll run your story. It’s best to provide this information in writing rather than verbally, to minimise the chance of mistakes.

4 What? Keep it brief and to the point - one page is best (background info can be attached separately). Use your organisation’s letterhead, with an address. Main points in the introduction, not buried in the middle. Use bold text and one sentence per paragraph with a double space in between to make it as easy as possible for the journalist to extract the most important points. NEVCOP

5 Your press release should answer the following questions (imagine that you are being interviewed): Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, How?, How Much? How Many? What makes your story “newsworthy”? Think: topical/timely; politically/economically significant; first/last time ever, innovative; human interest; controversial; funny; sad; tragic; heart-warming; unusual; witty; award-winning; celebrity... NEVCOP

6 Write “Press Release” (or “Media Release”) at the top of the page. Then put the date (ie the date that you send it), and a title for the story. Quotes are good. Give the person’s name and title, and/or the name and date of the publication quoted. Most important here, give the name/title and tel/mobile/fax/e-mail numbers for a key person who can be contacted for further information, and who can talk intelligently about your story. You can also add a note here specifying whether there are any attachments, eg background information, brochures, flyers, photographs. NEVCOP

7 Consider the tone/style of the publication to which you are sending your press release (serious? satirical? gossipy?). Read back copies or watch/listen to the programmes. Consider the reader. What would inspire her/him to attend the event or course and what practical information would she/he need in order to attend/buy, eg date, time, place, price, etc NEVCOP

8 There is no need for a covering letter saying: “We’re a not for profit and we’d really appreciate any publicity...”. The press release itself is by definition a request for free publicity. Any relevant information should be in the press release. Photographs The publication usually has their own photographer but if they are unavailable it is always a good idea to offer to send your own. NEVCOP

9 Read back copies of the publication to see what kind of images they use, and what kind of format they need (prints, slides, digital images, b/w or colour). If in doubt, ask! Label every image clearly, in the appropriate language (for hard- copy images, use a sticky label, don’t write in pen directly onto the pic). Do not “bend, fold, spindle or mutilate”. Do not attach photographs to the press release with staples or paper clips. Use an envelope or a ziplock bag. NEVCOP

10 Consider the “reproducibility” of the image. Is it in focus? Good contrast? No fussy or distracting backgrounds? Most important, is it interesting? Does it tell a story? Avoid dark colours against a dark background, eg a man in a dinner suit against a black background - when the pic is reproduced in b/w, it will be hard to see where he ends and the background begins! NEVCOP

11 Who should you send it to? Read your local newspapers/publications, and watch/listen to the appropriate programmes, to identify the relevant editors, journalists, producers etc. Develop your own media list that’s appropriate to your organisation, and keep it up to date. Ring up and ask! If in doubt, send your press release to “The Editor”, or “The Producer” (but it’s better to get the person’s name). In any given publication or TV/radio station, there may be several journalists who should receive your press release, so send it to all of them. NEVCOP

12 Develop a relationship with your local journalists. Call and speak to the journalist briefly after you have written the press release and talk to them about the story. Make sure you send the press release as soon as you finish the conversation. NEVCOP

13 You can send your press release by fax or e-mail, then send a hard copy with any pix or other enclosures. As a courtesy, send a copy to any person or organisation mentioned/quoted in the press release, the journalist may want to follow up with them directly, so they ought to know what you’ve said about them. NEVCOP

14 When should you send it? Check deadlines, especially for monthly or weekly publications/programmes. If in doubt, ask. Consider when the public needs to know, ie when can they start enrolling in course etc. On the other hand, don’t send a press release too far in advance of the event, as it may get lost in the in-tray. NEVCOP

15 What about follow-up? I think it’s fine to call a few days after you’ve sent the press release, just to doublecheck that it’s been received by the right person, and to ask whether any further information is required. However, please don’t try to re- sell the newsworthiness of the story over the phone, or apply any pressure (as too many desperate PR people do) - all the selling of the story should already have been accomplished in the press release. NEVCOP

16 Front page Age newspaper on-line and Knox Weekly

17 Adult Learning Australia Magazine





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