10 Essential Tips for Writing Press Releases
Preservation Week inspires action to preserve personal, family, community, and library, museum, and archive collections and raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural organizations can play in providing preservation information. We urge you to do at least one thing, even if it’s small, to celebrate Preservation Week.
One good way to get the word out about your Preservation Week event or activity is to send a press release to stakeholders and others in your community who you want to know about it. If you don’t already have a list, here are some recipients to consider for your press release: media (newspaper, radio, cable TV); elected and appointed officials who make decisions that affect you; your Board or advisory group; your friends organization; local schools and teachers, especially through their media center/library specialists; past donors; social, history, and collectors’ organizations, and others you’d like to participate in your program; partners and potential partners; museums and archives in your community; and anyone else who can help publicize your program and your organization! Here are the essential tips:
- Make sure the information is newsworthy.
- Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.
- Start with a brief description of the news, then say who announced it (not the other way around).
- Ask yourself, “How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?” Use the answers to build your press release.
- Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective—they are the most important.
- Use plain language. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy words.
- Focus on the facts.
- Provide as much contact information as possible: Individual to contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.
- Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.
- Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs.
Preservation Week is an initiative of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) and other founding collaborators.