Writing a Press Release
A press release is a longer document that tells the story about an event, report, or news item the way you would like to see the media cover it.
One trick to writing a press release is to pretend that you're writing the story you would like to read in the paper the next day. Start with the news that you're making, include quotes from one or more of your spokespeople close to the beginning, and be sure to include the most important messages you want people to hear.
Don't think you have to include every detail about Census 2010. A press release should be short enough (usually one page) for reporters to quickly get your key messages. You can provide more background in a fact sheet or in a conversation.
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Community Leaders Launch Campaign to Make Sure Every Resident is Counted in 2010 Census
Diverse group of leaders, organizations pledge intense campaign
to protect the city's economic and political interest in a complete count
A diverse coalition of X-City leaders today announced a coordinated campaign to make sure that everyone is counted in the 2010 census. At stake is billions of dollars in resources for X-City communities and fair representation in Congress and the state legislature.
"This is a chance we only get once every ten years, so let's get it right," said Dr. Jane Doe, director of Community Health Clinic. "We all have a lot to gain by getting a complete count, and a lot to lose if we don't. That's why we're coming together to tell every resident to complete the census form and make themselves count."
Rev. Sue Rodriguez, head of the United for Justice Coalition, described an intensive public education campaign that will work through schools, churches, social service providers, neighborhood associations, and other community groups to convince people to complete the short census questionnaire that will be distributed in February and March. Smith urged residents to see the census as a chance to do something powerful for the health of City families, schools, and neighborhoods.
"Many people don't know how much is riding on the census," said Smith, "We're out to change that. We want everyone to understand that for every person who goes uncounted, we lose political influence in the state capital and Washington, and we lose resources that make a difference in the lives of all of us. Everyone can take a little time to take care of themselves and take care of our community."
The census is carried out every 10 years as required by the U.S. Constitution. The information it gathers about individuals and households is used to determine how many representatives each state gets in Congress and to draw congressional and state legislative district lines. In addition, census data is used to allocate almost $400 billion a year in federal funds and billions more in state funds.
Campaign spokesperson John Washington said the Make it Count campaign will deal head-on with some residents' concerns about giving information about themselves and their families to the census bureau.
"Census responses are completely confidential and protected by the strongest privacy laws out there," said Washington. "No government or private agency can get its hands on individuals' census information. We want everyone to know that the census is simple and it's safe."
Washington noted that anyone who returns their census form by April 1 will save themselves a phone call or visit from the Census Bureau.
For more information about the local census campaign, contact Joe Johns at 222-222-2222.