The Press Release Workshop was held on Friday, 30th August, from 9.30 am to 11.00 am. It was conducted by an ex-reporter of The New Age, Asma Housna. The workshop was very effective as a lot of information was given on proper ways to write a press release.
The first thing discussed was what a press release actually means, by definition, it is an official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter.
There are two parts to it; the first part is a brief writing which works as an invitation to the editors/journalists. The format includes a letterhead, an eye catching title, an introduction, a body part and a concluding remark. The introduction basically states the whole purpose of the press release, it is very crucial since it must be informative and interesting yet very short and precise. The introduction must include information about what kind of event will be taking place and the name of the organizers and the chief guests. The body part must consist of all information regarding where, when and what kind of event will be held. The next part of the body is the ‘boiler plate’; this is where we mention what our club is all about, who we are and what we do. Last part of the body includes ‘quotes’, this is optional, but if there are quotes stated by renowned people about the event then it is better to be mentioned. Then comes the concluding remark, it invites the editors/ journalist by stating how grateful we would be if they covered our event. Lastly the contact details must be given out, this can be also put at the beginning of the press release before the introduction.
The second part of the press release is given out to editors/journalists when they are attending the event. It follows the same format, but it is a more detailed version of the first part. It must have a detailed outline of the whole event, more information on the chief guests and the organizers.
The workshop ended with a discussion of a press release prepared by the ones who attended the workshop. Some of the important things about writing a press release, as discussed by Miss Asma Housna, were:
- to have a very attractive title, one that grabs the reader’s attention
- a good adjective used while mentioning the guest of honor along with designation ;if renowned, then the name of the guest of honor can bring exposure to the event, this can be highlighted in the introduction
- each paragraph should not be too lengthy and the whole write-up must not be monotonous
- the write-up must be on third person basis
- quotes may be of someone renowned stating something like ‘I look forward to this event every year’
- it should not be more than a page