IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

How to Write a Press Release

Press releases are typically written about a real event related to an organization/ company/ school/student club/ or person that may be of interest to the public.

The first step is coming up with a topic. Hint: Keep it simple! Check out events at your organization/company/school, talk to coworkers, friends and family members, ask professors and bosses if they know about anything newsworthy. Is your sorority hosting a Spring event that you want to promote? Did your club elect new officers? Did your friend win an award? Does your professor have a new book out? Is your aunt’s business launching a new product or hiring a new executive? Is your church organizing a winter coat drive? Is your little brother’s soccer team having a fundraiser? You get the idea.

Then, do your research. Once you’ve decided whom or what you will write about, contact the person or organization to confirm that they would like your public relations assistance. Set up a time to interview them in person, over the phone or via e-mail. Gather the relevant info: Who is hosting the event/activity/etc.? Who is invited? What will the event entail? When is it happening? Where is it happening? Why should people care about this? Interview the relevant person(s) and get quotes. Also, get basic info about the person or organization, including contact info.

Next, write up your press release. Your release must include:

• Contact Information
• FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
• Headline
• Dateline
• Lead Paragraph
• Body
• Closing Paragraph

Below are additional resources to assist you in writing a press release:
  1. PowerPoint lesson by a public relations professor
  2. Press release template
  3. Press release logos
  4. How to send press releases to journalists