Thursday, 1 July 2010

Tip #38: Send out good press releases

By Dan Parkes (Director)

Writing a press release to announce important events in your film production is an excellent way to increase publicity and interest. The most important thing to remember is to write it in a way that means journalists can copy and paste information directly into an article; the easier you make their job the more likely they are to carry the story! I know that from my experience as a newspaper journalist…

This is an actual press release we sent to newspapers and magazines, in PDF format, here: PRESS RELEASE LINK. Take a look and notice these following points:
  1. Make sure you have something newsworthy.
  2. Format: A clear format, with a film logo and news feel to it.
  3. Date it: In the top right it has a release date (in this case 23 April 2009). This is especially important if you don’t want your news released until a specific date, and makes it newsworthy.
  4. A bold and interesting headline. Find the key most interesting aspect of your news that will catch the newspaper’s attention. In this case it was popular local actor Brian Capron’s name.
  5. The first sentence of a press release should be a short summary of the news. The following sentences and paragraphs provide supplementary information.
  6. Provide clear and detailed information, with full names, dates and locations.
  7. Spell check and ensure it reads like an article with appropriate grammar.
  8. Don’t use unnecessary flowery language and keep it objective –use an impartial voice.
  9. If you want to include opinion you can create your own quotation, as seen here with a quote from the director, as if he had been interviewed. This saves time for the journalist –they don’t have to call to get a quote!
  10. At the end provide contact details for more information and if possible always say that cast and crew are available for interviews.
  11. Send by fax and e-mail (PDFs are ideal).

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