Press Releases, How to Use


How to Use Press Releases


A press release is an announcement of information. The goal is to get it printed or broadcast in local media to reach the targeted population, usually the community served by the AT reuse organization. The point of the press release is to get the announcement positioned as news, not advertising. This adds greater impact for the reader/listener and it is free.


What deserves recognition in a press release?


The following are circumstances appropriate for press releases:

The election of new directors, officers or key managers Opening, expanding, or relocating the AT center Significant gifts of money or equipment from government agencies, companies or private individuals (with their permission to publicize, of course) New alliances with private businesses or other organizations Special recognition or honors (related to the mission) received by the organization or one of its directors, managers or employees Special events open to the public


To whom should press releases be sent?


Make a list of local media (newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, cable operations and local internet sites) that carry special listings of local interest. Most of the above announcements might appear in business or community news, but announcements of upcoming events probably appear in a features section.


Create a media handbook of all the places to which a press release or event announcement will be sent. Attempt to contact the media outlet and identify the person (or position) to whom it should be sent. Get a mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number and fax number. Determine the preferred method for receiving information for each outlet. Find out the deadlines. Note whether photos are accepted. Include samples of print listings to show the preferred format.


Media Outlet

Contact Name






WXYZ Radio

Ben Stone



4 p.m. for following day


Village Gazette

Marcia Green


5 p.m. Tues. for Friday section


Do not assume that the media will always have space or time for the information. Get the announcement in early to increase the likelihood that it will be used. Format and What to Include

If the program has letterhead with a logo, use it to send the press release. At the very top left, provide contact information: Name, telephone number, e-mail address and the program web site if one exists. Under this information put the date the press release was written and the date of release for the information. Write a headline for the press release that communicates the message in simple terms. Write the press release like a news story. Give the basic facts in the first couple of paragraphs, then provide details. If a news source decides to include only a brief portion of the press release in print or broadcast coverage, make it easy for them to cut the content while preserving the essential information. Prepare a standard paragraph that explains the nature of the program, where it is located, who it serves and how it serves the community. Include a sentence about how the community can help the program. Always include this standard "blurb" on every press release. Keep the information current.


Please note that by selecting an Internet link you will be directed to an external site, and the Pass It on Center does not control the content of the site.



This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.



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Other Information

Title: Press Releases, How to Use
Module: Marketing/PR
Author: Trish Redmon
Audience: Implementer
Sub Title: Using press releases for public recognition
Organization Source: PASS IT ON CENTER
Last Reviewed: 09-22-2009 3:09 PM