Writing a press release

The press release is the basic tool in media relations, but it never can take the place of personal relationships with reporters who are covering an emergency. Often in the early hours and even days of an emergency, events are likely to be developing so quickly that you are not relying on press releases but rather short and compelling quotes and the direct pitching of spokespeople.

A press release is a public statement that offers current, accurate, interesting and newsworthy information. Press releases (sometimes called media release, media statement or news release) should be short and direct, approximately one page in length.

Full CARE guidance on how to write a press release can be found on the CAREShares Global Communications Hub here: Press release writing – training and tips

Basic tips on how to write a press release

  • Women and girls are our area of expertise and our unique selling point – make sure they feature centrally.
  • Come up with a strong headline.
  • Use clear embargo/release details.
  • Use the inverted pyramid structure: put the strongest information in the opening paragraph.
  • Don’t mix too many issues. Keep it clear and concise by focusing on the ‘headline’.
  • Provide accurate and compelling information.
  • Make it conversational and don’t use jargon/abbreviations.
  • Know your audience: what does the reader want to know about?
  • Include at least one quote. Ideally this should be about how women and girls are affected. The more quotes the better as these can be taken verbatim by media when they write up their interviews.
  • Include information on spokespeople available.
  • Include information on other materials available such as photos, audio and video/b-roll.
  • Give details of who to contact for more information.
  • Email by blind copy to journalists (BCC on email) and send to yourself in the ‘To’ field

Examples of CARE press releases:

Example of a shorter media statement featuring a quote: