Once you have an idea of what problem you want to research in your neighborhood and who you can interview to learn more about this issue, grab a pen, a notebook, a camera, and a recorder! Don’t worry if you don’t have fancy, hi-tech, equipment. Most smart phones taken amazing photos and have built-in audio recorders. And if you don’t have a smart phone, work with what you do have—your pen and notebook!
Why Write a Press Release?
Press releases are a lot more formal than the typical social media announcement. They are formal, official announcements regarding something new or significant about you, your business, a speaking event, or something of that nature. Press releases may reach those who are not directly in contact with your organization through social media alone.
What do I include in a press release?
A good press release should:
- Promote your organization
- Archive important data for future use
- Convince the media to publicize your story
- Write a short, catchy headline.
- Get to the point – Summarize your subject in the first paragraph.
- Body – Make it relevant to your audience
Subject Headline – This is the most important part of your press release. The headline is the first thing that a journalist will see upon receiving your email. Journalists receive hundreds of emails a day, so if your headline is not good, your email won’t be opened. Quickly get to the subject: what’s the story? Why should I care? Why now?
Get to the point – What’s your pitch about? Say it. Avoid “echo headlines” where your Headline, sub-headline and first sentence say the same thing.
Body – This is where you follow up on the headline with more interesting information. Be sure to captivate the reader and keep them reading through the body. The reader should also have knowledge to take away when done.
Essential information – If this release is announcing an event, add the date, time, venue, fee (if any) and a link or phone number to register. If this release is reviewing an event that has already occurred, then just mention the venue and date it happened, and perhaps how many people attended if significant (I.e., hundreds of children attended….)