Toolkit Bann3r

Writing a Press Release


Writing a story


When you have an important news story a press release can be the best way to share it widely. Below find some tips and tricks to write an effective press release:

  • Make sure your story is newsworthy!
    Your new cleaning rota may be important to you but will it be of interest to others? If the answer is no then hold off on writing a press release until you have an engaging angle to the story

  • Write a good headline
    Journalists receive an awful lot of news releases each day so make sure that when sending out your news release it must immediately be obvious it’s a news release and tells the journalist why they should feature the story

  • The First Line
    The first line of your news release is essential. It should be a summary of the story and should answer some of the important ‘Who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘when’ questions. It can useful to imagine how a TV News Presenter would introduce your story – that can be an excellent first line

  • Length
    A news release should be about a side of A4 long (400 words). If your news release is longer then it may contain some unnecessary waffle that can be edited out. Three or four short paragraphs and a couple of quotes is ideal

  • Quotes
    Quotes can be very helpful for journalists but they should be used to provide content that wouldn’t fit into the rest of the story. They should provide a personal view and take on the story – not information about the church

  • Notes for Editors
    A ‘Notes for Editors’ section at the end of the press release is a useful addition that can be used to provide the journalist with context about your church that can inform but is not essential to the story

  • Images
    A good image is essential in modern journalism and it is sensible to include an image attached to your news release however ensure that it isn’t a large file size that will clog up the journalist’s inbox. Attach a smaller image size and say in the ‘Notes for Editors’ section that a higher resolution image is available on request

  • Contact
    A news release is far more likely to be used if it is sent to the correct contact. Where possible don’t send it to a generic news@ email address and ensure that where possible it relates to the particular area covered by the journalist

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“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;

it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Matthew 13:31

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