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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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