Writing Press Releases

A press release (a proposed news article written by you) should be no more than one page in length. Only essential information should be conveyed. Realize that the press release may be edited before being printed.

Here is the process to effectively PR your student organization information or events using press releases:

Step 1:Compile Basic Information:

Information to Include in Press Release
  • Contact Person: Designate a contact person for the event and include phone number. This person needs to be willing to take calls from the media at any hour. It could be the student organizing the event, the student leader, the campus advisor, a knowledgeable university employee.
  • Basic Information: The order listed should be time, date, place of the event. Make sure all names are spelled correctly; double-check all the information in the release. Key elements include:
    • Identification: Organization letterhead is best for press releases; if unavailable, make sure your organization’s address and phone number are included in the upper left hand corner of the page.
    • Disposition: This tells the editor when the release should be published. The day, date, and year should be placed below the last line of identification in capital letters. If you want the released published upon its receipt, type “For Immediate Release.”
    • Headline: This is a brief one-line summary of the release that appears directly above the body of the release.
    • Copy (or Body): Copy should be straight news style with an informational sentence in the first paragraph which includes “who, what, when, where, and why.”
    • Contacts: Include a name and number at the end where someone may call with additional questions or concerns.
  • Format: Releases are double-spaced and arranged in order from the most important to the least important facts.

Step 2:Write Press Release
The order listed should be time, date, place of the event. Make sure all names are spelled correctly; double-check all the information in the release. Remember to spell-check the press release before you bring it to the University Communications office.

Step 3: Submit Press Release to Media Sources
Press releases should be submitted in a timely manner for a greater chance of inclusion in media sources.

  • Upcoming Events: For a press release announcing an upcoming event, submit the press release at least one week before the event.
  • Completed Events: For a press release announcing an event that has already happened, submit press release within two days of the event.

Newspapers usually have an "event column" and will sometimes advertise your campus event absolutely free-of-charge.  For additional information concerning procedures and deadlines, please contact the Mirror (student newspaper) at mirror@drury.edu or University Communications (Drury's media office) at drury@drury.edu.

The University Communications office is easily able to take what you have written for your group, copy and paste it onto their template, and then send it out to community contacts.  By using this resource, your group can ensure an accurate and effective use of Drury's publicity resources.

Visit http://newsroom.drury.edu/ for the online archive of Drury University Press Releases if you would like to view samples you may modify.