How (and why) to Write an Association Press Release

press release 101 imageThe purpose of a press release is to get attention, make news, and generate publicity. It’s cost effective marketing (free) and they can be used to create brand awareness for your association.

The Basics of Crafting a Press Release:

  • Make it newsworthy; it’s not an ad, it’s a news article
  • Use an attention-grabbing headline
  • Be time sensitive – no one wants old news
  • Stick to one topic
  • Write it in a professional tone, or even better, write it like you’re a reporter
  • Proofread it and then have someone else proofread it

Key Components of a Press Release:

  • Letterhead (identify that it’s from your organization)
  • Date
  • “For Immediate Release” under the date
  • Headline: Limit it to 15 words
  • Subtitle (optional): Keep it short
  • Lead paragraph: Your organization’s location (city, state) in bold type and the 5 Ws (who, what, when, why, where) of the story
  • 2nd Paragraph: Supportive information and at least one quote
  • Other paragraphs: Additional, relevant, non-essential information
  • Call to Action: An exact, complete, non-embedded URL (notClick Here to visit website”) in one of the paragraphs
  • Conclusion: A brief description of your organization
  • Media Contact Information: Name, email, phone, and website

A Press Release Should Not:

  • Be longer than 1 page
  • Have a lot of formatting
  • Include exclamation points (unless it’s a direct quote)
  • Exaggerate
  • Use the words: I, we, our, me

Distribution of a Press Release:

  • Develop a media contact list of people you will send the release to
  • Send the release to an actual person, or at least to a specific news department
  • Use a detailed subject line in your email (not simply “Press Release”)
  • Post the release on your website
  • Share the release on social media

Incorporating all of this into your association’s press release should result in a well-organized, relevant article that is newsworthy.

 

SEE ALSO: Association Marketing Plan Basics »

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