After reviewing the reading and lecture on press releases, examine the two press releases and then reflect on the following:
- Which one is the good release? What makes it good? Highlight/refer to specific examples in the release to support your claim.
- Which one is the bad release? What makes it bad? Again, highlight/refer to specific examples in the release to support your claim.
The bad press release is the one about the St. Jude give thanks. Walk. It is unprofessional and does not provide all the information a journalist would need. The paragraphs in a press release are either indented and double-spaced or block style and single-spaced. This press release is indented but it is single-spaced. In addition, the press release has no letterhead. Therefore, the journalist cannot tell what organization the press release is from. The journalist also does not know when the press release can be released, because the PR professional did not indicate a specific date or write “for immediate release.” The PR professional did not even include a date in the dateline. There is no boiler plate or “###” mark to indicate the end of the press release. Furthermore, if a journalist wanted to ask the PR professional more questions about press release, he or she could not because the PR professional did not provide adequate contact information.
The good press release is the one from the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. It is written professionally and provides all the information a journalist and readers need to know. It has a letterhead indicating that the press release is from the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. It also has “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” printed on the top of the page to let journalists know when it can be released. The headline is bolded and concise. The dateline provides the city and date. The lead and body of the press release answer the questions: who, what, when, and where. The press release even includes a quote, which helps strengthen the credibility of the information. Sine it goes onto a second page, the press release includes a slug and a page number. At the end of the press release there is a boiler plate about the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. The PR professional used the symbol, “###” to indicate the end of the press release. Lastly, the PR professional printed her name, phone number, and e-mail address so journalists know how to contact her.