News Release Pointers

Short Description

News releases are a great way to inform the community and campus about your chapter’s fundraising and service efforts. They are also a great way to recognize individual members’ achievements and chapter achievements. Keep in mind the following guidelines when writing and distributing news releases:

Target Audience

Secretary
All Officers

Borradaile Challenge or Area of Focus

Communications

Deciding to Publicize

Ask yourself the following questions when deciding whether or not an event or achievement is “newsworthy”:

  1. Will our peers, administrators, professors and community members be interested in this event/this accomplishment?
  2. Does this event/accomplishment impact the campus, community and/or others?
  3. Might this event/accomplishment help us gain the support or notice of university administrators? Of potential members?
  4. Will this release help us gain support from the community?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a newsworthy event or accomplishment to publicize.

Writing the Release

News releases can be long or short, simple or complex. The best releases are often brief and to the point, as newspapers often have limited space to run releases. Follow these basic guidelines for an effective news release:

  1. Pay special attention to the lead (first) paragraph of the release. Be sure that it includes the basic (who, what, where, why, when) information about your event. Try to keep it to one or two sentences.
  2. Continue the release by listing the most important information at the beginning and then listing more general information at the end.
  3. Releases should be typed, double-spaced and printed on white paper.
  4. If the release continues on a second page, note the page number and release subject on the top of each additional page.
  5. End the release with three number signs ( # # # ). This will let the editor know that they have all the copy they need and they haven’t misplaced a page.

Distributing the Release

  1. News releases should be sent at least four weeks before the event takes place. Releases often run only when the paper has space so they may file your release and publish two or three weeks after you send it in.
  2. You may fax, mail or hand-deliver a release.
  3. Address the release to the editor (call the paper to ask the editor’s name).
  4. Place a follow-up call to the media source a day after they receive the release. Ask them if they have any questions or if they would consider sending a reporter to your event for further coverage. Always be polite and respectful of their time.

If you have questions about publicizing Phi Tau’s good works, please contact the Phi Tau communications department at 1-800-PKT-1906 or gro.uatappakihp|rotide_lerual#gro.uatappakihp|rotide_lerual.

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