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Public Relations News
Press Release Essentials

By Terri Fassio and Robert Charbonneau, Public Relations Co-Directors

  MAY 2, 2011 --

Understanding how the media works, what makes news and how to make the news, is valuable knowledge for any Grange. Favorable media exposure means recognition in the community, acknowledgement of Grange activities, services and accomplishments and a higher profile of your Grange among potential members. The perfect place to start is with a well-written press release.

An engaging press release with an interesting‚ “hook‚” or angle is an excellent way to gain exposure for your Grange and can lead to not only publication in newspapers, magazines and on the internet, but media interviews with appearances on television and radio stations as well.

The objective of a press release is to capture the attention of your audience, whether this is within your community or state-wide, and to educate the reader on not only on the activities of your Grange, but on the Grange itself.

We cannot stress enough the importance of a well written press release. We constantly come across inaccurate, poorly written or unedited press releases that simply will not be read by the media. They become a waste of time to journalists who are already bogged down with information overload. And some releases are just not publishable. A poorly written press release will be a very fast turn off for any journalist or editor and will reflect negatively on your Grange's efforts. Although some of the best writers will occasionally miss grammatical errors or typos, by making sure you read, edit and re-edit your press release, you drastically reduce the chance for error.

So our advice? Write a strong, well written press release and be sure to proof-read and edit before submitting it. The following tips will help you with writing your press release:

1.) Make sure the information is newsworthy.

2.) Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.

3.) Start with a brief description of  the news (called the “hook”) then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.

4.) Ask yourself, “How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?”

5.) Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.

6.) Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.

7.) Deal with the facts.

8.) Provide as much contact information as possible: Individual to Contact, address, phone, fax, e-mail, website address.

9.) Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.

10.) Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs.

In the ever-expanding 24/7 online and traditional media world, reporters and journalists are hungry for authentic original sources and stories. Pitch yours professionally, and you have a chance at media coverage and reaching many more people than you ever thought possible.

If you or your Grange needs help writing press releases, please contact the Public Relations Committee.  We’re here to help!


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