Friday, August 6, 2010

Press Release for YOU to use!

Please don't feel obliged to get news media involved; we know some folks want to simply get together with friends and not have the attention of media. That's just fine too!

Are you going to have a Birthday Bash - and do you need help getting the word out to your local media outlets? We have help for you!

Below is a link to a generic press release you can download and repurpose. Please be aware it's in a format that newsrooms are used to, so don't modify it other than:
  1. Change "town" to your town's name.
  2. Change "(STATE)" to your state's two-initial abbreviation; keep the parentheses.
  3. Change the event details to your own. Don't get too wordy, keep it simple!
  4. You can then change the text on the customizable sections to black.
Send the press release to your local tv, radio, or newspapers. A few other thoughts:
  • If you know there's a reporter or news anchor who typically reports "good news" stories, direct it to their attention. Otherwise look on their website for someone who accepts news "tips" for stories, or the editor or program director. Addressing it to an individual is more likely to get a response than "anyone at the paper."
  • "Slow news days" are good times to drop a note to a reporter; you might aim to send it on a Friday, so they might fill in some slots on the weekend.
  • For pre-publicity for the event, brainstorm with some friends about where they get their event news. Does your town have a community calendar? A free newspaper? Does the Chamber of Commerce  put out a publication or bulletin board?
  • You can attach a personal note/cover letter to it (in either your email or snailmail) inviting them to cover your event, or to help promote it. Be sure to spellcheck your note and check your grammar; approaching the press should be done respectfully of their time and interest! Your note can be casual/personal; see sample below:
Dear (name),


I'm so excited to share this event information with you! I've been handcrafting cards for Operation Write Home for X years now, and have sent in a total of about X so far! It's wonderful to do what I love and have it benefit service members at the same time.


I'm organizing our community to support deployed heroes, and this is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved. I would love your help both in promoting the event, and covering it that day! Please share the Press Release with others in your organization who might be interested. Thanks!


Sincerely,


(name)

Be sure to let us know how it goes - if your news outlet publishes anything online, link us up!


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