- ESF And Syracuse University
Creating a press release, and other tips to working with the media
this page was adopted from the SEAC organizing guide, page 96
- First make a list of all local, alternative, and mainstream media outlets (info for the news and education desks)
- For important events fax out a press release advisory early on (a week ahead of your event).
- Send out your first press release 3 days ahead of time with a phone call to pitch the story to and make sure they received it.
- On the day of the event call to make sure they are covering it.
A press release should:
- Clearly include the reasons for the event
- It helps if you write FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE a few times across the top of the paper, just so they know it's a press release and not a worthless fax
- When, where and directions to your event.
- List two or more spokespersons (who will be easily accessible by phone)
- the rest of the press release should contain a short history of the issue, appeal to their sense of muckraking journalism. Convince them that the issue is important and worth covering
When Working with the media remember:
- Be nice to them, even if they screw up it is sometimes essential to good coverage
- Feel free to stop, pause, rephrase, etc. Relax- you're in control. This is your chance to say what you want to say. If you say something that you would like to be put in there, specifically say, "i'd like it if you'de use that."
- Tell them what's important, spell it out for them
- Feel free to ignore a question-don't get put on the defensive, if they don't ask the right question, ask it yourself, and then answer it. Most reporters have very little idea of what is actually going on and are probably racking their brains about what question to ask you.