Media release fundamentals

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February 13, 2018
Average: 5 (8 votes)
This course will take you through the fundamentals of a great media release and help your organisation get noticed. A media release is a tool to announce news, events or special activities about your organisation. There is a specific format to them and they contain easy to digest information. Your local newspaper, radio, TV and online news outlets are full of stories that started their lives as a media release.

We explore the format of a good release and we take you step-by-step through the drafting process. You’ll get an understanding of the hook to a story, the who, what, when, where and why of your media release and what makes a catchy headline.

You may have started a media release or looking for tips on writing one, this course provides all the tips you need and can help you shape your media release. There is a media release template and a series of handouts developed to help you learn and create a media release that you can use today.
Hi, I’m Alice. Welcome to Lumin. For the past 5 years I’ve worked with some of Australia’s largest social change and not for profit organisations to help them develop and implement media relations, marketing and communications programs.

Today, I’m going take you through the fundamentals of a great media release, a release that will help you get your announcement noticed. A media release is a great tool to announce news about your organisation. They have a specific format and contain easy to digest information for a journalist to communicate to their audience.

Your local newspaper, radio, TV and online news outlets are full of stories that started their lives as a media release. This course will help you craft your media release from scratch, or if you’ve already started writing it, it’ll help you to check that you’re on the right track.

In this lesson I’ll teach you about the fundamentals of a media release – the language, style and tone. So let’s work through some of the keys points that make up a great media release.

1. You need ‘the hook’ – this is the heart of the story. We’ll cover that in more detail in the next lesson.
2. One page is best – two pages is the max!
3. Be clear, and to the point – paragraphs should be short and easy to read, with one idea per sentence.
4. Stick to the facts – content should be objective and shouldn’t argue a point of view.
5. Avoid over the top language – saying your program is the greatest ever invented in the world, might seem like a slight exaggeration. If it sounds like an ad, journalists won’t use it.
6. Use quotes – it brings colour and a human element into the story. These should be from a spokesperson from your organisation.
7. Try to use an active voice, for example – “the program will change lives” not “lives will be changed because of this program” and always write in the third person.
8. Finally, use easy words – do your mum and dad understand it? If not you might need to simplify it. Keep going until they get it… this can take a while.

So these are the fundamentals of your media release. They form the key rules of your work and will help you craft your release. You can have a look at the handout for further tips and join me in the next lesson if you’d like to learn more.

About the instructor

Alice Suter

An experienced and multi-skilled Account Director, Alice has successfully managed national media relations campaigns for clients in the government, non-profit and philanthropy sectors. For the last five years, she has worked with the Scanlon Foundation to help on the national launch event for its annual Mapping Social Cohesion Report, including event management, securing quality media coverage for the research and capturing migrant case study stories. She has played an important role in PR activity for the Organ and Tissue Authority since 2012 to support its annual awareness campaign, DonateLife Week.