Media toolkit

Planetary Boundaries, Birmingham

Writing a media release

Sending an engaging media release to your local press is a great way of highlighting news of your National Lottery funded Platinum Jubilee project. We encourage you to use our template media release and read instructions and guidance within this carefully.

How to write a media release

Your media release should tell journalists who you are and what you have received National Lottery funding to do. Media releases are written in the third person and use factual and plain language. In a media release you should avoid using hyperbolic adjectives in the main part of the release, e.g “amazing” and “brilliant”. For example, instead of “the organisation’s brilliant new campaign”, say “the organisation’s new campaign”.

Be as local as possible in your wording. For example, refer throughout the release to your local area and the fact you want to work with and for the community.

Sharing your media release

Once you are happy with your release and have followed the necessary guidance, you should contact your local media. Local media can mean newspapers that are available to buy or are given out for free in the area your project is based, or it may mean local radio stations run by the community or bigger local BBC or commercial stations. This could also include your regional TV news – either BBC or ITV.

If you are unsure which area they cover, check the news outlet’s website for this information, or take a look at the locations of featured stories. If you are unsure, you can always ring the publication’s news desk and ask.

Think about contacting your local BBC radio station as well as any commercial stations in your area. You can also check to see if there are any local websites or blogs that might be interested in your story.

Follow-up with a call

After sending the release to the journalist, it can be useful to follow-up with a call a little later to see if they have received it and to ask if there’s any further information they require.

What to do before an election

This year we have local council elections in England, Scotland and Wales, and local council and devolved assembly elections in Northern Ireland. Ahead of any election in the UK, there is a pre-election period of sensitivity, when those receiving public funding need to take greater care in what they do, say and who they share a platform with in the public domain. Please ensure you are following the guidance for the pre-election period of sensitivity during publicity of your project, particularly if you are contacting a local MP, MSP, MLA or MS or councillor to be quoted in your media release.

Use pictures to tell your story

Eye-catching and inspiring photos of your project and people bring your story to life, online, alongside your media release, in the press and on social media. Some best practices to follow include:

  • Get permission to use the photos
  • Make sure they are of good quality
  • Use pictures showing people involved in your project
  • Don’t have a cast of thousands – images with a few people in are better than those with many faces.