Tips on writing a press release
Before you start: Line up people who are willing to be quoted and can speak to reporters who want to write about your event or news item. Think about appropriate messengers for the news item. Clients and their families are often the best messengers of news. An articulate 6th grader often has more chance getting quoted than a local doctor! You may write the quote for them and get permission to attribute the quote to the messenger. It happens all the time. Do not use people’s quotes without their permission. Get parental permission before quoting children.
Know the media: Call each media outlet to find out which reporter covers health care or education (depending on the story) and ask whether the reporter prefers to receive news by mail, fax or email. Don’t send the same info to more than one person at a publication or broadcast station. If you are emailing a press release, send it individually to each reporter. Do not email to large groups of people, as you might be labeled “spam” by their servers. Paste the press release into the body of the email and also attach it as a Word document.
Start strong. How often do you read beyond the first paragraph or two of a story? You need to have a strong opening to convince the reader that your story is worth finishing. What is the hook?