Press releases are an excellent and inexpensive tool for Nonprofits trying to increase awareness and attract more supporters to a charity auction event.
What is a Press Release?
Press releases are an official statement issued to newspapers and media outlets providing information on a newsworthy announcement, event or issue. They serve as an initial outline for journalists to develop a potential story for TV, print or the Internet.
Why Write a Press Release?
Press releases are how you get your organization into the news, helping you increase awareness of your cause and upcoming events. Releases are written in the third person even though you are writing the press release about your own organization. This means referring to your organization by name and using words like "they, their and them" instead of "we, our and us".
The point is to make it as easy as possible for a journalist to develop a feature news story. Any headlines you can get will be extremely helpful, bolstering the credibility of your organization and allowing you to reach a much wider audience. Even if the release doesn't get turned in to a full article, many media outlets will at very least add it to their public calendar of community events.
While it's unlikely you are going to catch the attention of national media, it’s fairly easy to get local newspapers, TV stations and even local bloggers interested. The local media are always looking for stories, and they are often interested in stories that shed a positive light on the community.
In Part 2 we will discuss best practices for how to write a one page press release. We will talk about what information to include and how to structure it so it is clear and concise so it catches the attention needed to get it picked up as a news story. In Part 3 we will cover methods for distribution.