How to write a press release
Getting news and information into the newspaper often requires writing a press release. Here are some tips for doing that well.
Provide the basics:
Every press release should answer the Five W's - Who, What, Where, When and Why.
For events, tell exactly what is planned and who is invited. For announcements, tell what happened and when to whom and why it is important.
Don't forget to include the time, date, place, directions, and cost, if applicable. Try to include everything the reader needs to know.
If possible, keep the press release to a single page or less.
Provide information, but don't embellish or offer opinions.
To publicize and event, sent the press release to the newspaper atleast two weeks in advance. For an announcement or similar type of new, send the press release when the news has just happened, not weeks or months later.
The Sentinel welcomes news tips, story ideas, photo submissions, sports results, calendar items and letters to the editor. We will respond to all email messages received. If you are having difficulty with a press release or need help, please call Aimee Henderson at 413-323-5999, for help and suggestions.
Readers, municipalities, non-profit groups, and civic organizations are strongly encouraged to send their news, announcements and photos to the Sentinel.
A Sample press release:
Contact: Jane L. Doe at 413-555-5555
Happy Mothers to Host Benefit Supper
LOCAL – The happy Mother's Club will host a ham and bean supper from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the United Church, 22 Walnut St. Proceeds will benefit the club's charitable program. The menu will include baked ham, homemade baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, steamed brown bread and pudding. Tickets are $7.50; $4 for children 5 to 12; free for children 4 and younger. Tickets will be sold at the door. The hall is wheelchair-accessible.