Writing a media release

An attention grabbing, well thought out media release will help make sure your Playday celebrations are reported in the local media and get everyone talking about play.

Check out the tips below and get your Playday event talked about across the whole of your local community and beyond!

Getting the details right

Remember the 4 Ws. Who is involved? What is your message?Where is the event taking place? When is the event taking place? It doesn’t have to be in this order!

What’s different? Mention something unique and be upfront. Local radio stations, for example, can get as many as 40 media releases a day, so think about what makes yours stand out. Try to grab the reader’s attention in your opening paragraph.

Make it easy to digest. Avoid using small print or making it too wordy and try to keep to one page.

Don’t forget contact details. Send the release to both your personal and general contacts. Include your own contact details and those of the named spokesperson, making sure you say when they’re available for comment – and that they actually are!

The early bird… Send your media release before 8am, so they get it in time for the morning meeting.

The attention grabber! What is going to make radio listeners keep with the story even if they have to get out of the shower or out of the car for example? What’s going to make people talk about the story they read in the paper, later that day?

The story

Run a campaign. Local newspapers love local campaigns. If your Playday event is part of a wider campaign for children’s play, include information about the issues in your media release. You could also find out what other campaigns and initiatives are active in your area that you might be able to link to.

Get the angle right. Human-interest stories are high on the agenda of the local reporter. Think of a unique selling point for your story – maybe there’s a Playday veteran on your planning group who has organised lots of Playday events over the past decade, or a child or young person who’s getting involved for the first time. Can you find a local family that are willing to give a quote about Playday, or talk more widely about their experiences of play in your community?

Keep it local. Get local facts and figures, have a quote ready from a relevant local expert or have a media spokesperson available for comment and think about why local people would want to know about your story.

Have fun! Local councillors and politicians can make a good story, especially if they are getting involved and playing!

Think 360 degrees. Think about how your story will work on social media, in print, on the radio or on the TV. Many newspapers push their online resources and put much more coverage on their websites. Playday is the perfect opportunity to provide them with fun and engaging video clips.

A helping hand. If you can plan the story for them, the media is far more likely to cover it. It’s okay, and most welcome, to approach media contacts with ideas on how they could cover your story. If you provide ready made quotes, people they can interview, places they can go on location and an interesting local angle, you’ve got a great chance of getting your story featured.

And finally. If you’ve not worked with the media before, or have tried before but not had a story covered, it can feel daunting. The good news is that every year, the local and regional media provide a phenomenal amount of coverage on Playday – it’s exactly the type of story this group is interested in.