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Writing a Press Release

If you want your club’s news story to get into the local media, then it’s a good idea to write a press release.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a wordsmith wizard to put something together!

Here are some top tips:

  • Put the words 'Press Release' at the top of the page, in a large font
  • Next you need a headline, again in a large font. Make it punchy like you’d see in a newspaper
  • Summarise your news story in the first paragraph – it might be the only one they read
  • Who, what, when, where and why! Answer these questions and you should have everything covered
  • A quotation adds some colour to a story – but make sure it’s relevant. It could come from your Chairperson. The best are punchy and sound just how someone would really talk (you don’t want to come across like a walking corporate brochure!)
  • Avoid jargon – eg, instead of funding streams, say money
  • Spell out any acronyms – eg, instead of NGB, say National Governing Body
  • Keep it brief: one page is usually enough
  • Put any other info in your 'Notes to Editors' – for example, your website address and your social media handles
  • Make sure you add a contact number and make sure you’re available to answer any queries, should a journalist call
  • Timing matters – make sure you know when the media deadlines are: send too early and it might be forgotten, too late and it’s straight in the bin. So call first and ask!
  • Make sure your text is black and in a font that is easy to read but not too jokey
  • Get someone else to read through it to check for typos and grammar mistakes before you press send
  • Cut and paste your story directly into the body of your email message. This will increase your chances of a journalist reading it
  • If you’re writing a press release because your club has received funding – speak to the funder first to check if you can go public with the news. They may have a sample press release you can use and they will probably want to insert a quote of their own