How to write a media release

If you are holding an event or seeking publicity for White Ribbon Day it is helpful to send a short media release to your local newspaper or radio station which sets out exactly what you want to say.

White Ribbon offers men the opportunity to be part of the solution to end violence against women. The campaign is led by men who condemn violence against women and take action. It can be useful to arrange for a local man to champion White Ribbon Day and act as a spokesperson – perhaps a well known sportsman, businessman or someone working within community services.

A media release should be sent out well in advance of the day or your event – at least one week beforehand.  Also follow it up with a call to the newsroom to check they have received it and to talk to them in more detail and find out what more information they may need.  That personal contact can make the difference in getting your story run.

Writing the media release

The aim of a media release is to attract a journalist’s attention and make them want to cover your story. You need a catchy heading and introduction, with a local news angle, eg something happening in your community, or a human interest story. If you have a good photo opportunity, mention it.  Newspapers love photos!

Whatever focus you choose for your story, you must remember to cover the basics. Your media release should always say what is going on, why it’s happening, who is involved, and if it’s related to an event you need to say where its taking place and when.  Include the key messages about White Ribbon Day – what it is and what it’s about.

Key messages

White Ribbon Day (25 November) is the international day when people, particularly men, wear a white ribbon to show they won’t tolerate or condone violence towards women.

It is also the day for celebrating the many men willing to show leadership and commitment to promoting safe, healthy relationships within families.

General tips for writing a media release

  • Keep it brief and to the point, no more than one A4 page, formatted with type that is at least 11 point and spaced so that it is easy to read.
  • Write a snappy headline that summarises what your release is about.
  • Use short sentences.
  • Order your information from most important to least important.
  • Journalists like quotes from a spokesperson that add colour – quote yourself if there is no one else. If you quote somebody else, ask their permission first.
  • Include your name, phone numbers and email address.
  • Check the spelling and grammar are correct and double check any times, dates and venues that are mentioned.
  • Follow up your media release with a phone call.

Sample media release

18 November 2008

Media release for immediate use

No Town Ties Up White Ribbon Day

Eight-year-old Jamie Brown will be helping to tie white ribbons around lamp posts in No Town in the lead up to White Ribbon Day on 25 November.

White Ribbon Day (25 November) is the international day when people, particularly men, wear a white ribbon to show they won’t tolerate or condone violence towards women.

It is also the day for celebrating the many men willing to show leadership and commitment to promoting safe, healthy relationships within families.

In No Town organisations are banding together to tie white ribbons around all the lamp posts on the Main Street.  On Tuesday 25 November, businesses are putting on a lunch time barbecue in the street to raise funds for the No Town Stopping Violence Service which helps men who want to change their abusive behaviour.

Mr Person from the No Town Chamber of Commerce says “We all have a role to play in ending violence within our communities and within our families.  I’m proud that all the men of our organisation will be wearing a white ribbon this week to show that they will not tolerate violence towards women.  I’m also very pleased that we are able to do something practical that will help men who want to change their behaviour.”

For more information contact:

Your name
Your organisation
Phone numbers
Email address

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