IMR – A career in public relations

For Intro to Media and Reporting

Public relations, or PR, is the practice of promoting your business or organization by presenting information and building the image of your organization or business. Publicists are hired by these businesses, organizations and individuals to work with the media on their behalf to promote their reputation and bring awareness to their activities.

Publicists and PR departments draft and submit press releases to the media to announce something newsworthy and to garner attention to the group or individual they represent. Press releases can announce a news conference, ribbon-cutting/groundbreaking ceremony, promotions or hiring, new opening or product, special event or to manage accidents or a crisis.

Press releases contain the following:

– Company letter head/logo

– Contact information and date for release of information

– Main Headline/Title in caps; subheadline/title in lowercase

– Grab the attention of your reader with a catchy lead. Journalists receive a lot of press releases – how are you going to get yours to stand out? Really sell what you are promoting.

– Write in inverted pyramid. Be ethical as you want to do you job of promotion in the release, but you cannot embellish or exaggerate facts. Let the facts tell your story. Comply with AP Style. And make it interesting – use strong adjectives and tell the story.

– Make sure your release is timely. You want to get it out with enough time for the media to plan for coverage but not so early that it gets put aside and forgotten. Timing will vary by event.

– Do not use cliches or jargon. If you wouldn’t publish it in a news story, don’t include it in your press release.

– End release with your boilerplate, which is a 2-3 sentences of background information of your company, business or organization.

– After boilerplate, add ### as this signifies the end of the release. One the line after ###, wrap up with the publicist’s name and contact information.

Assignment: Create a press release for an upcoming Coppell High School, Coppell ISD or Coppell community (think of something at your church, library event, Farmer’s Market, etc.) event. Release must be one page and include all of the items listed above. Your are the publicist so be sure to list yourself as the contact with your contact information (use your school email and 214.555.5555 for the phone number). Your release must be factual so research the necessary information so that you have everything you need. The event does not have to be “huge” as it can be as simple as a school club or organization selling baked goods for a fundraiser. Try to think of something you are involved in.

Deadline: End of class Tuesday, Feb. 11. Turn in to folder on Google Drive.

press release



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