An accidental spill of a
hazardous substance has occurred at your facility and a worker has been
injured, hospitalized and released with a minor burn. You have been asked to
write a press release to be sent to the local news media explaining the spill incident
and facility response. Press releases are very succinct, so keep the length to
4 paragraphs (1 page).
The press release is a short (typically less than a page), written
document that is mailed, e-mailed or faxed to the news media. It should be
â€˜media-friendlyâ€™ — that is, written for the convenience of the
reporter/announcer who will cover the story.
When you draft a release:
Ã˜ Put it on organization letterhead.
Ã˜ Give it a title that â€˜spinsâ€™ the story the way you want. For instance,
if there has been an accident, use the title to state the organizationâ€™s fast
& effective response.
Ã˜ Include contact names and telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
Ã˜ Include â€˜release informationâ€™ such as â€œFor Release: Wednesday, May 23,
Ã˜ Start the text with a dateline such as â€œCollege Park, MD, May 23 â€“ .â€
Ã˜ Put the most important stuff up-front.
Ã˜ Keep it to a page, or as short as possible.
Ã˜ Include direct quotations â€“ which you can make-up â€“ from the senior
facility or organization executive. Put these â€˜quotesâ€™ up front in the release.
â€œI am very proud of the companyâ€™s commitment to improving health and safety,â€
said COE Joe Smith.
Ã˜ Remember to ask yourself if you covered the â€˜what, why, who, when,
where & howâ€™.
Please check out someEXAMPLEpress releases by going to a website of your stateâ€™s environmental
For example, you can go under the Michigan Department of Environmental
Protection (MDEP) and search for press releases for examples.