How to Write a Press Release

A press release is a corporate document sent to journalists on behalf of the University to announce news or events associated with the University - communication of which provides a corporate benefit to the University.

The Press Office will write press releases for you, publicising your research and events news. This guide is intended to introduce you to the process which we undertake to help with your understanding of the information we need to write a release. You will NOT be expected to write your own press releases.

A press release provides the basic facts needed to develop a news story and increases the chances of your news being reported.

Journalists like clear and concise releases providing all of the information they need to know about what's going on presented in a newsworthy manner to attract their interest and encourage them to cover the story.

For smaller publications and online news sites, the press release may appear in its original form. Elsewhere, the release acts as a teaser, garnering attention which will then be followed up by the journalist who will find their own angle on the information.

Journalists are looking for a hook which will form the main focus of their story. They like to know outcomes of research and they prefer a human angle to ensure the story has a public interest.

A press release acts as an invitation for the press. Once you send out a release, you have to be prepared to talk to the media as they are likely to want to follow up on the information they have received, viewing your approved release as an invitation to get in touch.

The Press Office has a video presentation that summarises the process of writing a press release. Watch part 1 here (5 mins) and watch part 2 here (2 mins).

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