By Rebecca Wikler & Chris Shaffer
Ad2 Reno President & Treasurer Respectively

When is your story worthy of a press release?

Have you raised a significant amount of money, cans of food or school- books? Do you have an upcoming event or fund-raiser? Will dignitaries be present showing their support? These are all newsworthy. If you don’t have any big-ticket facts or figures to draw in a reporter, think about the human interest. Journalists like an interesting story about an oddball donor or a story of human triumph over adversity.

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Whose voice belong in a press release?

Remember, you’re writing for the news media, who have to remain un- biased. Therefore, you should be writing your press releases in the same way that an unbiased observer would write about the content in your re- lease. This not only makes it easier for journalists to translate your press release into a story for their organization, it also lends more credibility when publishing your release to your website or social media networks.

So, how do I achieve “unbiased voice?”

Remember to refer to your organization in the third person. Think about it in the way a journalist would report on your event, fund-raiser or an- nual report – they’ll refer to you by your organization’s name, and they’ll keep the facts in the forefront. Journalists look for impressive facts and figures. Dollars raised, meals served, acts of kindness tracked.

How to put together your media list

Building and using your media list is one of the most critical elements of your press release process. The list should be made up of journalists and media organizations who are likely to cover your story.
The easiest way to get started is by searching local or regional media outlets for similar stories to see which outlets covered them and which reporter was assigned to the story. For example, a nonprofit that focuses on children and education would reach out to a reporter who might have recently covered the school district. Find their email address or preferred contact method and send them your press release in the email and as a PDF attachment. Don’t forget to include how to contact you if they have questions.
Another great way to build your list is by using social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to locate traditional journalists and bloggers who may be interested in news.

About the Author

- I am a recovering adrenaline junkie turned tech geek - I started out as a breaking news reporter and have since dove headlong into the wondrous world of website design, marketing and multimedia production.


  1. Kaitlin Godbey
    Apr 11, 2012

    You guys! I love this :) I think one thing to remember too is how important personal relationships with journalists as opposed to the “cold” press release. If you know what journalist covers what beat, a simple email can also be a great pitch.


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