Why write a press release?
How the press works
• Your work is interesting
• Your work is important • The media receive many press releases.
• You owe it to the world community. • You will not be given credit.
• You need the coverage. • Journalists are busy.
• Always send by e-mail.
• Timing is critical.
• Let the journalist do his work.
• Be prompt and friendly.
How journalists react News values (newsworthiness)
• The lazy/busy journalist waits for news. • Hot – current, breaking news type of stuff
• The busy but less lazy journalist makes a call. • Important – does it have impact for the reader.
• The gung ho journalist does a longer interview. • Identification – can the reader relate to it.
• Sensationalism – bizarre, dramatic, funny, weird,
longest, smallest, fastest, first…
• Conflict or change – is there disruption to the known
order or a conflict of some sort.
Summing up your idea and finding
• Six words – summary • Why is it newsworthy?
• Three words – headline • What do I want to say?
• One word - theme • To whom can I say it?
• How can I say it?
Structure of press release Language
• Headline and sub-headline • Common instead of scientific
• Body – lead, details, consequences (news triangle) • Active instead of passive
• Picture and caption • Short instead of long
• Contact details • Specific instead of vague
• Concrete instead of abstract
• Read, rewrite, reread, rewrite…
Weed out Insert
• Words and phrases • Active/descriptive verbs and phrases
– Hard • Descriptions, metaphors, comparisons
– Unvaried length
Checklist for press release Sending a press release
• Is there too much or too little information? • Appropriate recipients
• Have you chosen the right angle? • Send as e-mail
• Have you chosen the right style? • Eye-catching words in ”subject”
• Does it get the message across? • Copy and attach
• Does it sound good? • Photo
• Are there spelling mistakes? • Timing
• Can the journalist contact you? • Availability
• Research grants, start of project
• Ongoing research
• Impending results
• Pending results
• Final results