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How to write a press release

Template and guidance

August 2013

FAO (for the attention of):

Always try and direct your release for the attention of a named person.

FAO Sarah Davis, chief reporter, Chatham Times

Date:

Embargoed until:

If you don’t want the news to be made public until a future date then use an embargo date.


Headline

Make this catchy, but accurate. You might end up coming back to have a go at the headline last.


Paragraph 1

What’s the story? (who, what, where, when, why?) What’s the most important part of that story? Is this something which has just happened – or is something about to happen? Keep it to one or two sentences.

Think about what’s of most interest to each media type (press, radio, TV). For local press and radio, highlight the local angle. For national press, you’ll need to write a different press release but the story will need to be really newsworthy.


Paragraph 2

Details and context. This is where you can explain a bit more background about the story, how it came about, and why you think it’s important or interesting.


Paragraph 3

Example, case study, strong quote (from someone like the chair of the partnership or someone who has benefited from Big Local), sound bite and/or endorsement from a notable person (can you persuade any well-known local figures or celebrities to say something endorsing your Big Local activities?)


For more information please contact:

Your name and contact details (you don’t want to miss any calls so give a mobile number on which reporters can definitely reach you, and make sure your phone’s on and close to hand – busy reporters might not try a second time).
Date/time/venue/photocall (give these details if the press release is designed to generate interest in something happening soon – like an event or important announcement).


Note to editors:

Use this space for background information, or anything else that the journalist may find helpful for example:
What is Big Local?
Which other communities are involved?
Where did the money come from?

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