Write Press Releases
If you are holding an event and want to attract local media, writing a press release can be a good way to get the word out. But in order for your release to be effective, it must be concise and communicate why your event is newsworthy. Consider the following tips as you write your release.
Use the standard format
At the top of your press release, under the headline, write "For immediate release-" followed by the date you are issuing the release. Then include the name, phone number, and email address of a contact person. At the bottom of the release, include a boilerplate that briefly describes the group organizing the event. See sample press releases.
The headline is the most important line in any press release. Often, reporters decide whether to read the release based on the headline alone. It should be as descriptive as possible while remaining brief. Read examples of FCNL press release headlines.
First paragraph or "lead"
Information in your release should be organize in descending order of importance. (This is called the "inverted pyramid" style.) In the very first paragraph (about two to three sentences), you should make clear what your news is, why it is important, and what your position is on the issue at hand.
Give specifics in the later paragraphs
In the remainder of the document, explain more about the specifics of the event. What is the event? Who is organizing or participating in the event? Where and when is it taking place? Why is it important and what does your group hope to achieve?
What is the local angle?
Be sure to include why your event is important to the local community. What is your group's position within the community, and why should people care about your event?
Is there a photo opportunity?
Alert reporters to any exciting visuals that would make good news photographs.
Send the release to your local paper
Look in the print or online editions of your local paper to find guildines for submitting press releases. Most papers have websites where you can find either an email address or a webform for submitting your release.