Step 1: Clarify your Message 1 Communicate specific information to your audience Determine what is to be communicated from the beginning This ensures all project participants are on the same page It also helps maintain focus once the project is underway
Step 2: Identify your Audience Determine who you want to target Word your message to appeal to this chosen audience Choose medium based upon audience’s needs and interests
Step 3: Choose the Appropriate Medium Determine where your audience lives and works How old are they? What other demographics information can you obtain? Decide most effective and efficient media outlet Print, broadcast, web Use a mix of media to increase the reach of your message
Step 4: Write the Release Write a brief headline Brief, clear, and compact version of the release’s key points Write the body Lead in with a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention Answer who, what, when, where, why, and how Include a quote Place a boilerplate at the end: a sentence or two describing your group and your mission statement
Step 5: Follow Up Give a phone call to the media representative you sent the release to Establish and maintain a good relationship with the media This will help with future press releases
Tips Fax, mail, or hand-deliver your release to the chosen media contacts 3-5 days before the date you want coverage Send a media advisory with basic info only (date, time, place) for coverage of an actual event at least one week beforehand Save your news for slower days whenever possible Letters to the Editor & Guest Opinions are good ways to get your message out
Sources “ How to Write a Press Release,” wikihow: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Press-Release , accessed January 10, 2011. “ Media Guide 2010: Spreading the Word,” United Way of Greater Cincinnati, http://bit.ly/hkDyv4 , accessed January 10, 2011. Salzman, Jason, “Let the World Know: Make your Cause News,” Nonprofit World, Vol 15, No. 1 (January/February 1997) 40-44.