Get your story into the media

High-tech communication deviceThe News Release (or Press or Media Release - call it what you like, but it's about News) is the basic tool for getting your story across to the local journalist.

There is no mystique to a News Release - but there are conventions and features that will help it to do its job.

Keeping to these conventions will enable a journalist to concentrate on your story, rather than on interpreting your News Release.

 

The Anatomy of the News Release
What it is, and what to do with it

FORMAT
i. Name of your organisation
ii. Logo etc
iii. Address including telephone, e-mail and web site.

CONVENTIONS
i. Date of issue
ii. Date when material can be used - if immediate then say so!
iii. Your own headline - which they may or may not use
iv. If there's a photo opportunity then say so!
v. 'ENDS' - where it ends!
vi. Name of contact and at least a phone number at the bottom - whether or not it duplicates that for the organisation at the top.
vii. 'Notes for Editors' at the very end - location details, concise background facts etc.

THE TEXT
i. "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em; then tell 'em; then tell 'em what you've told 'em”
ii. Ideal first sentence is a single paragraph and covers the journalists' five 'w's: Who? What? Why? Where? When?… - and perhaps in that order
iii. 1 to 3 paragraphs of information elaborating on the above, remembering that your audience may have little prior knowledge of who you are or what you're doing
iv. A quote from a relevant person if appropriate. May be useful for the writer of the News Release to draft the quote and get it approved by the speaker
v. A punchy last sentence putting the event in a wider perspective - may have the character of a sound-bite

WHAT TO DO WITH IT
All media outlets now expect to receive information by e-mail, although you can of course still send or deliver a piece of paper.

 

Example of a News Release

Parish Church of St Swithun-in-the-Swamp
Whelk Street, Skraggend-on-Sea AB12 3CD
Tel 01234 567890
www.stswithinswampskraggend.org            office@stswithinswampskraggend.org

NEWS RELEASE
____________________________________________________________________

9 April 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE USE

CHURCH CELEBRATES PIER CENTENARY
Thanksgiving for Churchwarden's gift to town

[Photo opportunity]

Members of St Swithun's Church, Skraggend-on-Sea, will hold a thanksgiving service for the life of former Churchwarden Euphonious Ganglion, whose bequest built Skraggend's pier, in the pier-end theatre at 3.00pm on Saturday 16th April, the centenary of the pier's opening.

The Mayor of Skraggend, Councillor Flo Flatiron, will attend the 45-minute service, which will be led by Vicar of St Swithun's the Reverend Eustace Bluejeans.

The preacher will be the Archdeacon of Gridlington, the Venerable Armitage Shanks.

Members of the Ganglion family are due to fly in from Canada for the celebration.

Euphonious Ganglion, the world-famous snowplough manufacturer who moved his business to Skraggend in 1881 to escape what he described as "the intolerable and foul stifling air of Sheffield", was a Churchwarden at St Swithun's from 1887 to his death in 1899.

His bequest to the town led to the opening of the Ganglion Memorial Pier in 1912. He also funded the restoration of St Swithun's bells, and was the founder of the Cottage Hospital in Strapwell Street.

Present-day Churchwarden Ferdie Hurtle said, "I hope as many Skraggend people as possible will join us in thanksgiving for a well-loved feature of our town, and for the memory of a man whose faith and generosity still touch everyday life in Skraggend."

ENDS

For further information contact Ferdie Hurtle on 01234 678901 or fhurtle@stswithinswampskraggend.org

Note for editors: the Mayor, members of the Ganglion family and the clergy will be available for photos at the Ganglion memorial plaque outside the Pier Theatre after the service, at approximately 3.45pm.
The entrance to the Ganglion Memorial Pier is on Skraggend
Promenade, and there will be no admission charge on the centenary day.

 

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