How to Write a Government Press Release
Ron Kluvers said that one important aspect of accountability is information. Therefore, it's vital that government offices be able to create and distribute press releases to share information about their affairs with the public. Government press releases differ from those for private companies in that they are not directly advertising something, but rather are sharing facts with the public to help build support and understanding for their actions and decisions.
Government offices are making an effort to word the information carefully to as to shine a more positive light on the office or elected official. Typically you want to focus on positive things that have been accomplished. Even if the press release provides information about a more negative event or decision, such as layoffs or a natural disaster, you still want for your office to be proactive on the issue so as not to seem that you are avoiding a problem.
After choosing the topic for your press release, write the content in accordance with regular press release rules:
- The language should be formal
- Sentences should be concise and simple;paragraphs should be no more than five sentences, and also, try to keep the length of the entire release to less than one page
- Consider your audience, what they are interested in, and what they understand
- Include the who, what, where, when, why, and how
Once the press release is completed, be sure to post it online and distribute it to your press contacts.
Logo and name of government office
"PRESS RELEASE" or "NEWS RELEASE"
Date of release (optional)
Contact information for main press contact(s)
TITLE OF RELEASE (centered)
SUBHEAD (optional; centered)
Name of City (in italics) - Press Release content (font should be easy to read, like size 12, Times New Roman. Have an extra space between paragraphs)
The first sentence should summarize the news.
The next paragraph should provide some information on the issue, or if the issue is simple, then a quote from the relevant staff member or official.
Provide background information on the topic, like what contributed to the decision or what happened in previous years.
### (centered; marks the end of the press release text)
Office name, address, and phone number (bottom, centered)
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