A press release is “an official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter” (Google). Through press releases, you have the opportunity to raise awareness of your nonprofit, communicate the value and impacts of your work, and build public trust. Nonprofits can submit press releases to announce:
- fundraising events
- new partnerships
- successful programs, events, campaigns, etc.
- public engagement opportunities (ex: volunteering)
- events and services offered
Aim to submit press releases quarterly to maintain your public face and remain fresh. Like newsletters and email marketing, you must find the happy medium. Too many and people ignore you and become resentful, too few and you are forgotten!
To begin, define the purpose of your press release. What do you want people to do after reading it? Visit your website? Purchase tickets to a fundraiser? Your writing should guide readers toward the desired goal throughout the release.
Your press release should fit within one page (around 500 words), and should present a clear and compelling message framed within the context of a story. Editors and reporters are looking for human value – be sure to deliver. Here is a great example of a nonprofit press release.
Once written, you are ready to send out your press release! I have found the most success in copy and pasting the text directly into the email body. Like all of us, editors and reporters are a busy bunch and typically will not take the extra step of opening an attachment. Save them the hassle and copy your press release directly into the email body.