Press Release Suggestions
Why write a press release?
How can you increase the connection between your community and your students while seeking to increase support for your Laws of Life Essay Contest? Sending out a press release to local media is a great way help build connections and gain support. Consider using a press release to announce to the community the beginning of your contest and recognize your students' writing at the completion of the event. Write your press release with the goal of attracting judges and financial support for next year.
Your pre-contest press release should include a short description and the purpose of your contest. Provide the dates of the event and what grade levels are involved, identify contest sponsors and any current financial sponsors (please include a statement to the effect that the essay contest is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation), and finally, indicate how and when the winning essayists will be recognized.
For your post-contest press release, you may choose to emphasize your winning essays, the number of students who participated, or comments and/or quotes from students and judges. Whatever you decide to publicize, make it fit your contest and community!
How to Write a Press Release
- Provide contact information at the top of your press release so a reporter can reach you easily. Include name, phone, address, e-mail, web site - as much as you can!
- Include the date you send the release and when you would like the release to go out. You may want it to go out right away ("For immediate release") or the week before your event (include date - "For release on November 10, 2000"). Place this below your contact information.
- Give your release a catchy but short headline and center it on the page. Put yourself in the shoes of a reporter. What would catch your attention?
- Be concise. Keep your release short and simple. Use short sentences and keep it to one page double-spaced.
- Make sure the first 10 words of the release are interesting and persuasive. They are the most important. You need to convince a reporter to keep reading.
- Your release should start with the important facts and answer these questions:
Who will be (or was) involved?, Where will it take place?, When will it take place?,
What will happen?, Why will it happen?, and How will it happen?
- A well-written release is important. A reporter probably won't look at a release with bad spelling, poor grammar, or confusing sentences.
- Make your press release as easy to read and understand as possible. Help the reporter by being short, powerful, and organized.
- Consider sending out a press release before and after your contest.
Further Program Information
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