Before you write your news release:
Tip #1: Pinpoint your story.
In one or two sentences, what message are you trying to deliver? What story do you want to tell? What major activities will take place? What impact will they have?
If you want to spread the word about a grant you received, look first at your Grant Agreement. Stick to that message. Don't concoct a "new" storyline. Just accurately reflect the details - and the spirit - of the grant described in the Agreement. The same points that impressed the funder will work to promote your grant to the public. (Note: Do not use the original grant application. The application represents what the grant-seeker hoped for at the outset. The Grant Write-up and Agreement show what has been agreed to.
Tip #2: Find the right news outlets.
Where should you send your release? To which news people? At which outlets? Have you listed them all? What about your local newspaper or news portal? Public radio station? Local bloggers? Are there school, business or community groups that should know about your news? Local Web sites or specialty groups? Are you posting the release on your own web site in a way that will get attention? Remember: These days, news can appear most anywhere.
Tip #3: Spread your news clearly, accurately.
Writing for the public calls for accuracy above all. It also calls for clarity. These are the cornerstones of sound communication. This web portal is here to help. Follow the steps below. There you will find: news release models; a news release worksheet; pitfalls to avoid; tools for the final polish. (You can actually scientifically measure the clarity of your release.)
Tip #4: Stay in touch with the funder.
Your news release is a joint venture between you and the organization funding your project. You do the writing. The funder will answer your questions, support your effort, help you revise. If you're a Knight grantee, we both approve the final draft. We’ll post the release on our web site, or link to it.