Sample Press Release for Nonprofits

The following is a Sample Press Release Template that can be used by nonprofits or individuals serving a positive cause:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(CONTACT NAME) name of spokesperson for this event or coverage

(TODAY’S DATE)

(CONTACT’s PHONE # and/or EMAIL)

HEADLINE: SHORT AND IN CAPITAL LETTERS, CENTERED ALIGNMENT

Paragraph 1:
What: 2-3 sentences what is happening
When: date and time
Where: address…
Who: name of people or organizations involved
Why: 2-3 sentences that highlight why this event is important or newsworthy

Paragraph 2-3:
Quote(s) from an expert(s) or testimonial emphasizing the significance of the newsworthy story or event.

Paragraphs 4-5:
Additional details on the newsworthy event or topic (any photo opportunities, details about the speakers or organization, and any further helpful quotes).

###

Above symbols are meant to indicate the end.

Usually, a press release should be limited to one page, but if you need to add an additional page, indicate MORE at the bottom of the page so they know to continue reading.)

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Example of a press release for a fictional public health advocacy group in Massachusettes:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: May 30th, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Smith; President of FocusDriven
Phone: 617-555-5555
Email: jsmith@focusdriven.org

Grieving Parents Demand Massachusetts Pass Bill to Prevent Deaths:

The Time Has Come to End Accidents caused by Distracted Cell Phone Drivers

The nonprofit organization FocusDriven will hold a media event to remind legislators of the families who have lost loved ones to preventable cell phone distracted driver car accidents. A media event will be held to symbolize the vast number of car accidents that result from distracted cell phone drivers each year in the United States. Demonstrators will meet on the lawn of the Boston Common to emphasize the sheer number of preventable deaths caused by distracted drivers. Speakers from FocusDriven will then tell the personal stories of the emotional loss members have experienced, and why it is time for Massachusetts to stop this from happening again. In honor of commemorating the lives of their loved ones, the event will be held on Memorial Day, May 31st, 2010 from 2pm to sundown.

Shelley Forney, member of FocusDriven will be there to tell her daughter’s story, “Erica was riding her bike home from school on November 25, 2008. It was the last day of school before Thanksgiving break. A woman driving a Ford Expedition looked down at her cell phone and struck Erica. The accident occurred just a few houses from our home. Two days later, on Thanksgiving Day, Erica died. She was just 9-years-old.” She continues, “No call, email, or text message is worth more than a life.” It is now Shelley and the other members of FocusDriven’s mission to end these completely preventable deaths from cell phone drivers.

The data supporting their cause is clear: More than 50 peer-reviewed scientific studies have identified the risks associated with cell phone use while driving. The National Safety Council estimates that 25% of crashes—or 1.4 million crashes each year—are caused by drivers using cell phone. Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted driver, and more than half a million were injured (NHTSA). And currently, Massachusetts holds no bills governing the use of cell phones on the road.

FocusDriven knows that banning cell phone use while driving will save lives. The organization hopes that this year will be the year that Massachusetts will join the movement of the nation to come to understand that cell phone use is a danger to our security. It takes away the freedom to drive safely on public roadway. It is the Massachusetts legislation’s duty to pass a bill that will maintain our security and protect our families.

____

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: May 30th, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Smith; President of FocusDriven
Phone: 617-555-5555
Email: jsmith@focusdriven.org

U.S. Department of Transportation Vows to Avenge Preventable Deaths:

Mass called to join nation in movement to ban cell phone distracted driving

Secretary Ray LaHood of the US Department of Transportation will be speaking to policy makers in Massachusetts, calling them to act on a bill that could potentially save thousands of lives: SB 1906an act to require hands-free cell phone devices on public roadways while operating a motor vehicle. The bill addresses the unnecessary grievances of Massachusetts citizens who have lost loved ones to distracted cell phone driver car accidents. The Secretary will hold a press conference on Memorial Day, May 31st, 2010, from 12pm to 1pm outside the State House facing the Boston Common to address the necessity of the bill’s passage.

The US Department of Transportation aims to get Massachusetts to join the rest of the country in efforts to eliminate unnecessary dangers to citizens on its public roadways. It is essential to protect the security of the public by preventing the devastating effects resulting from accidents caused by distracted cell phone drivers. Secretary Ray LaHood states, “nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 died in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured.” He continues, “We know it will take all of us—federal officials, law enforcement, researchers, policy makers, private industry, and advocates- to tackle this problem effectively.”

As recently as March 2010, Massachusetts still enforces no laws on cell phone use while driving. This includes youth cell phone driving laws, texting, and a bus drivers all cell phone ban. According to the National Safety Council, in a 2008 national survey, roughly eight out of every ten (81 percent) cell phone owners report they talk on their phones while driving and one out of every five (18 percent) report texting while driving. Scientific studies have quantified the risk and arrived at essentially the same conclusion: A driver talking on a cell phone is four times more likely to be in a crash. This is evidence for the severity of the dangers of cell phone driving. It is essential that Massachusetts legislators act now to pass the bill that would make this practice illegal.

 

Post your successful press releases or campaigns below, or any tips you have found helpful in your own work.

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