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Public Relations News
Public Relations: Breaking Down the Press Release

By Terri Fassio, Public Relations Co-Director

  MARCH 9, 2015 --

Understanding how the media works, what makes news and how to make the news, is valuable knowledge for any Grange. The perfect place to start is with a well-written press release.

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 existence of 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. 

Some of the best writers will occasionally miss grammatical errors or typos, but by making sure you read, edit and re-edit your press release, you drastically reduce the chance for error.

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 in some cases media interviews with appearances on television and radio stations as well.

Here’s a few tips to help you with writing your press release:

1.) Make sure the information is not only interesting, but newsworthy.

2.) Tell the reading audience that your 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 why you are announcing this information.

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 press release are effective, as they are the most important.

6.) Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language. Deal with just the facts.

7.) Provide as much contact information as possible: individual to contact, address, phone, fax, e-mail, website address.

8.) Make it as easy as possible for the media to do their jobs.

In the ever-expanding 24/7 online and traditional media world, if you can pitch your Grange professionally, then you have a chance at media coverage and reaching many more people than you ever thought possible.

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

E-mail: publicrelations@ctstategrange.org or information@ctstategrange.org.


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