Follow this simple guide to writing a press release for your local media..Do you want to make 'news' happen? Follow this simple guide to writing a press release for your local media, picked up by Editor Emma Gypps from Ali Hull, in association with the Bristol Evangelical Alliance Media Training Day.
Firstly, Read more. Look at who you are submitting your 'news' to....Provide
what they want, when they want it (respecting their deadlines) in the format they like.
Don't phone up to see if the newspaper/radio station/television programme is going to use the press release once you've submitted it. The regional press in Bath and Bristol will send a 'Return Receipt' to show you your email has been received.
At the end of your email (containing your press release) say something like 'I hope you receive this press release, if there is anything else you want please contact me.'
*Understand what is a story? And why? Who is the story for? Who is it aimed at? Research the local media you are writing for; it varies by the area.*
A news story can be described as either:-
Ordinary people doing extraordinary things - or extraordinary people doing ordinary things!
Newspapers like:- anniversaries/'first's'/record attempts! something happening which ties in with another event/occurence/issue in the news.
A press release should be:-
- 1 side of A4 - something which tells the journalist what is happening immediately. Get the key points in the first sentence.
- As you write it; ask yourself 'what do I want this to achieve?'... Is it to raise an issue? Raise a profile? Offer something to readers?
- If your story is about a huge event; for example a marathon, a tsunami, an event affecting a huge number of people - focus in one person. A reader can sympathise with one person more easily than 50,000!
- Is it a calendar event such as Easter? Get a really effective> > picture. If its an annual event like Easter get an original angle in the photo... avoid being 'samey'. * Pictures should be visually interesting and appropriate to the story; i.e. add something to the text. High resolution jpegs/png images are appropriate.* If you want to submit to local radio; i.e. Radio Bristol do so via the website* Remember, radio 'eats' material...so chances are they will want to hear from you!
- Don't embargo (prevent a release from being used until a certain date) unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.
Make your writing:-
- Short, punchy and to the point.*
- Research the facts you are writing about properly.*
- Include quotes if you want to.*
- Don't include a headline.*
Ali Hull is an experienced writer, and her press releases for the various organisations she works for have appeared everywhere from the Times to the Irish Times. She works one day a week as the Bristol Evangelical Alliance media Hub, encouraging Christians to get themselves into the local media.
Her resume includes work on: Jubilee campaign, Spring Harvest, the Keswick Convention, Authentic media, Global Connections, Christian Vocations, Changing Tunes, Aid International and Aspire.
Do you want to submit a story or piece of news to Radio Bristol? Get started now by clicking here.