Press Release Tips
Press releases, typically 600-800 word summaries written for a non-technical reader, are distributed to members of the media (and others) to highlight a newsworthy activity, event, or major institutional change.
To help determine whether a press release might be warranted, consider the following questions:
- Does the research have major scientific implications or practical applications?
- Is there a news hook (i.e. something broad-based that a reporter might find intriguing)?
- Is the research groundbreaking, original, and timely?
- Is the research unusual or unexpected (e.g., how a Venus flytrap snaps or creating bubbles that maintain their shape for a year)?
- Do you have engaging or beautiful accompanying photos, movies, etc.?
- Is there a patent pending or collaboration with industry?
- Is the award “major” (Nobel, NAE, etc.)?
- If the work is being published in a journal, what is the embargo policy? Does the journal issue its own press releases or promote authors in other ways?
- If the work is collaborative, have you discussed the possibility of a issuing a press release with your colleagues? (In such cases, it is wise to have the SEAS Communications Office coordinate efforts with other institutions and organizations.)