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Student worksheet 2.1

Developing a media release

Tips on creating a media release

Keep it to one page with a good headline. Try to reflect your main message in the headline if you can. Think of the who, when, where, why and how of your issue when you are writing the release. It is good to quote people well-known in the area. Also, a simple graph or table is good to include, if relevant to your message.

Keep the message simple

The media message should relate to people's daily lives. Don't include theoretical information unless it is absolutely necessary, and if you do, use examples to show how it relates to peoples’ lives. It's essential that a media release be well presented and easy to understand. Keep in mind that your media release is likely to be used as a 60 second TV or radio news item.

Keep the stories local

One of the secrets of communicating successfully with a wide variety of groups and people is to individualise the message. Including a local angle will make the release more interesting to regional news providers. Try to relate your message to local people, towns and situations – people relate better to a message when it is about them. You can still use a national spokesperson, but try to include a local spokesperson as well.

If mailing – use coloured paper

Use coloured paper when mailing releases – it makes it easier for journalists to find among the faxes, press releases and media kits on their desk. Make sure you include contact details to make it easy for journalists to contact you.

What to put in a media release

  1. A headline that gets to the main message of the story.
  2. A first paragraph that summarises the story.
  3. Interesting quotes from a credible spokesperson.
  4. Some facts or statistics – possibly in a graphical form.
  5. Explanatory details.
  6. All hours contact and phone number and spokesperson details (if you are doing a national release, try to find local people to be available to speak).

Adapted from Social Change Media at http://media.socialchange.net.au/using_media/How.html.

Last update: 26th November 2014