Writing@CSU Guide

Press Releases

As a mediated form of communication, a press release is an extremely effective way in which to communicate with the public. Corporations and organizations do this on a regular basis. Rather than reacting to specific media inquiries, not all of which are necessarily welcome, they proactively manage the news about themselves.

Through press releases, business intentions, priorities and accomplishments can be converted into newsworthy items. As news, information in press releases invoke a certain level of legitimacy in the eyes of the media and, when properly issued, the media will be happy publish or broadcast them free of charge.

The trouble is that many press releases (actually most of them) are quickly recognized for what they are: cheap end-runs at getting free publicity. These end up in the wastebasket. Advertising never ends up in the wastebasket. Guess which one creates the revenue stream in a media organization.

There are many legitimate topics that press releases cover. Depending upon the specific topic, they serve one or more functions, all strategically related to public relations goals. Regardless of topic and functions, all press releases follow a preformulated structure and style.

Instruction for writing effective press releases can be found by clicking the guide links on the right hand side of this page. These guides provide helpful instruction, video commentary and samples. Included also is an interactive template for drafting, saving and editing each step of your work.

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