As well as a love of science, people who know me well will be aware that I have a slight obsession with cooking programmes. I admit I’ve probably watched every episode of Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals, Nigella Lawson’s ‘Nigellisma’, Man vs. Food…
One evening, while putting off writing another blog to watch yet another episode of Jamie, it got me thinking about how I went about writing my press release. I followed the helpful points mentioned by the guest speakers to guide myself, much like you would follow a recipe. So here is my ‘recipe’ for a press release:
- The main ingredient is the headline. Karen Bidewell from the University’s press office told us it must be short and catchy, ensuring to interest your readers. Otherwise your article might be ignored by the public or even at the first hurdle of the press office!
- Next, begin to add the other ‘ingredients’ to get across the main ideas of the research. This must concisely explain the article in simpler terms – excluding any scientific jargon. Think of it as if explaining a story ‘down the pub’.
- Pictures and quotes can be sprinkled into the mix to entice readers. Journalist Mark Blacklock taught us to ensure you answered the ‘5 W’s’-who, what, why, when, where?
- After an hour or so in the brain-oven, you will have hopefully produced a press release which ultimately turns scientific knowledge into news, bridging the gap between academics and the public.