Writing a press release
Journalists receive hundreds of press releases and most of them end up in the bin. Whether yours is noticed may often be a matter of luck, but there are steps you can take to improve your chances.
Use A4 letterhead and a consistent format - double-spacing or one-and-a-half line spacing.
Only use one page, or two at the most.
Put the title 'PRESS RELEASE' and the date in large print at the top of the page.
Include the name and title of the person that you are sending it to.
The style throughout must be concise, journalistic, and as catchy and intriguing as possible. While writing it, imagine that you know nothing about your sport, club, team or event. Does this story stand out? Is it clearly of interest to readers/viewers? Will it tempt the journalist to want to find out more?
The heading should be a catchy, short title that gives a sense of the story in very few words.
It is absolutely vital that this is short, to the point and newsworthy.
It must clearly state the 'five Ws': who, what, where, when and why (in any order). This paragraph must be able to stand on its own as a concise piece of information.
This should provide the next piece of information: either more details about the above, or new information.
Use these only if you have more new and relevant information. You may want to insert a quote from someone involved who would be willing to talk to the press if requested. The quote must add a new dimension, such as the personal side of the story. Alternatively it could be a quote from your spokesperson explaining the importance of the story in strong, authoritative language, for example:
'This is the first time that a rugby team from this area has reached the national cup final and the Winster Women's RLF team is delighted to be representing the town. It is particularly exciting for me as it will be my last game and I have played rugby league for over 20 years' said Club Captain Sue Thearle.
Include your name, title, telephone number and home or mobile phone in clear, bold print at the bottom of the document. You must be prepared for a journalist to contact you at any time.
Additional information for editors
Describe your sport, club, team or event in a few words. Give any relevant basic information and statistics.
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