How to Write a Press Release
A press release is a document you distribute to the media. It is a quick
and easy way to get the attention of the media so they will share your story with
the larger community on their TV show, radio program, newspaper, etc. Creating the
document and distributing it to as many places as possible will increase the likelihood
that your story will catch the attention of someone who wants to help or to give
Press releases should be formatted consistently or they may be overlooked. The following
information should be included in a standard press release, in this order:
- Standard Title FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- Identifying Information:
1000 Coast Blvd.
Anytown, CA 93108-2794
Contact: Jane Advocate, (805) 555-1212, email@example.com
- Title or "Headline": The title should be brief, but catch people’s interest.
Examples: "For a Little Girl, a Long Journey Ahead", "In the Battle Against Cancer,
You Need an Army"
- The body of the press release: The content should give the most important
information. Explain who the patient is, what the diagnosis is, how urgent the situation
is and for what you are trying to raise money (treatment, bone marrow transplant,
etc.) Follow with supporting background information and details.
- How you wish to be contacted: For example: "For further information about
this fundraising campaign, visit the Peace Foundation’s website at www.wagingpeace.org
or call (805)-965-3443"
- The last line of a press release: Always use the symbol "###". This indicates
the end of the document.
- Distribute your press release 2-3 weeks in advance. Call your media outlets to determine
what their specific deadlines are as well as their process for submitting a press
- It can be effective to include personal quotes (for instance, from the patient or
a caregiver) in the body of the press release. This will help to make the story
- It may be helpful to have the press release translated into at least one other language.
You can send it to English language media and your native language media, as in
Spanish language newspapers, or Chinese language radio stations.
- A press release should not be long, preferably limit it to one page. You want to
hold people’s attention with simple, direct story.
Download and print a copy of this
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