Press releases are useful for drawing the media’s attention to your project or individual successes. At KESS 2 we like to hear about all of our participants’ progress and good news! Whether you are a Student, an Academic, a Company Partner or Alumni, the KESS 2 team can help you promote and publicise your stories and activities via the News Page and on Twitter @KESS_Central.
Here are a few hints and tips to help you write an effective press release:
1. Make sure the information is newsworthy
- Press releases are news items and should contain information that is newsworthy: that means new and accurate information which is timely, relevant and interesting.
- Ask yourself, “How is this relevant to everyday life? How does it affect the man on the street? Why should they be interested in what I have to say?”
- Subjects can be new research/new developments, unusual or unique events, particularly noteworthy successes of stakeholders or students, important visits or events.
2. Keep it simple
- Press releases should use everyday language, avoiding long words and sentences (try to keep sentences under 25 words).
- Avoid the excessive use of jargon. Where academic language must be used, it helps to provide context or examples which communicate the topic effectively to a non-academic audience.
- Be short, clear and to the point. Stay under 450 words, preferably closer to 250.
- Write press releases in third-person. Use ‘he’, ‘she’, and ‘they’ rather than ‘I’, ‘we’ and ‘us’.
- Do not “advertise”. This is the news. Keep it fact-based.
3. Acknowledge our funders
All KESS 2 projects are funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and must be acknowledged as such. Please make sure all stories include reference to ESF funding and KESS 2 – this can also help make a story desirable as it shows how EU funds are benefitting R&D in Wales. You can use the following text for reference or include it in your story:
Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.
4. Structure your press release
- When writing your story use the 5 W’s as your guide: Who, What, Where, When and Why.
- Write the most important piece of information or the most eye-catching element in the first paragraph (Who, What, Where, When)
- The following paragraphs play a supporting role, adding more information and personal views or opinions in quotes. Put the story in context – Why it’s important and how it came about.
- Always include contact details (phone number & email) at the bottom of the press release, and make sure the named contact person is available to respond to any media enquiries so that you don’t miss out on follow-up publicity opportunities.
5. And finally…
- Think of images to accompany your release and include a photo if you can – photos can decide if a story gets used or not. Also, consider video/moving images for on-line content.
- Think of who will be available to give any interviews/answer any further questions and also if there would be a Welsh speaker available.
- Agree upon a release date for the story – for research stories you may need to consider the issues of confidentiality/IP/embargo.
- Media releases must be bilingual. The KESS 2 central team can help with getting the final agreed copy translated. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
You can click to download this handy guide here: Preparing a Press Release (PDF) [opens in a new tab]
Further guidance about media releases can be sought from your University or Company’s Press Office. For Bangor University you can visit: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/ccm/press-office.php.en [opens in a new tab]
The Guardian: How to write an effective press release by Janet Murray (July 2014)
https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/jul/14/how-to-write-press-release [opens in a new tab]
ProCopywriters: How to write an effective press release by Lorraine Forrest-Turner (Sept 2015)
https://www.procopywriters.co.uk/2015/09/how-to-write-an-effective-press-release/ [opens in a new tab]
KESS 2 is not responsible for the content of external links.