Creating a Press Release
This support material is incorporated into critical challenges at grade 9, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.
The following document can be adapted and re-saved for your needs.
A press release is a brief summary used as a communication strategy by an individual or an organization to spark reporters’ interest as well as to provide information about an event, a particular issue or cause.
Press Release Outline
This chart provides an outline for the development of an effective press release.
To use this chart:
- ask students to create a headline introducing "Who" and "What they want" in five words or less
- ask students to research and record information regarding the issue
- ask students to use the information from the chart to write a lead paragraph presenting the most important information, answering the remaining four of the 5W questions and "how" including:
- What are the issues?
- Where do the issues arise?
- Who is involved in the issues?
- When did the issues arise?
- ask students to write a supporting second paragraph that explains or supports key aspects of the first paragraph, indicating why it is significant and providing details, memorable quotes, statistics and specific examples
- Why do the issues need resolution? (i.e., What is at stake if the issues are not resolved?)
- How does the stakeholder group propose to resolve the issue?
- remind students that press releases are written in the present tense, for example, "John says…" not "John said…"
- invite students to work collaboratively in their groups to prepare the press release outline before writing their own press releases by themselves. You may wish to develop criteria with your students for an effective press release. (i.e., an informative headline, catchy lead phrase)
- provide opportunities for students to peer assess each other's press releases using criteria for an effective press release and the chart. Remind students that an effective peer critique begins with what is working well, focuses on the key aspects of the work and offers constructive support.
Adapted from Critical Challenges Across the Curriculum series. Permission granted by The Critical Thinking Consortium for use by Alberta teachers.