The Press Release

One key element to the process of public relation is writing. You can ask any PR firm, business, government entity, non-profit organization and they can tell you that a great skill to have as a PR practitioner is to write and speak well. All of us know how to write and speak. But public relations professionals should write and speak better than their colleagues. Communication—that is, effective writing and speaking—is the essence of the practice of public relations.

“One of the most common forms of public relations writing is the news release. The news release is information, usually written in the form of a news story, that an organization wishes to make public through the news media. A news release, like a news story, should follow a consistent style; it should be written concisely and precisely as possible; it should answer all of the pertinent questions about the story and it should emphasize what an editor will think is the most important part of the story. In short, a good news release differs very little from a good news story.” (Stovall text, 11.4: Writing News Releases)

Imagine that you are an industry public relations practitioner and need to write a news release for your organization’s upcoming fundraising event (that you want people to attend) to send to the local media outlets. What would you include in the news release? What form would you write it in order to get it ready for the media outlet? What does the article need to include to get people to attend?

In order to complete this assignment, you need to identify an actual organization that is having or sponsoring an upcoming (in the next 3 months) local fundraising event.
Write a news release for the event using information obtained from the organization’s website, in-person or phone interviews with the staff member(s) who is organizing the event through phone calls and/or emails. Gather as much information as you can.

Sample Solution