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Communications and social media

How to write a press release

Template and guidance for writing a press release

FAO (for the attention of):

Always try and direct your release for the attention of a named person, for example:

FAO Sarah Davis, chief reporter, Chatham Times


Embargoed until:

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


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:

  • Big Local is administered by Local Trust using over £200m in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. It was launched in July 2010 to support 150 small urban and rural communities to come together to make their areas even better places to live.
  • Big Local is targeting areas that may not have been successful in gaining funding and resources in the past. Each Big Local area is receiving at least £1m Lottery funding over at least the next 10 years, along with support, training, and networking opportunities, to help residents develop plans to improve their area and empower them to find solutions that work for their communities. More information on Big Local is available at
  • Local Trust, a company limited by guarantee with company number 07833396 and charity, number 1147511. Local Trust is the corporate trustee of Big Local Trust, a charitable trust with charity number 1145916 established by the National Lottery Community Fund and Local Trust to fund Big Local. Local Trust works closely with Big Local areas and partner organisations to support residents to help them make best use of Big Local and their funding.
  • For enquiries about Local Trust or Big Local please call 020 3588 0565 or email:
  • The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. Full details of the work of the National Lottery Community Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website: National Lottery Community Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888, Out of hours: 07867 500 572, Public enquiries line: 0345 102030, Text Relay: 18001 plus 0345 4 10 20 30