The Turing Scheme provides life-changing opportunities for participants across the UK and sharing your stories in the press is a great way to raise awareness of your organisation and the opportunities it brings to your learners, pupils and students.
As well as reaching a wider audience and raising the profile of your organisation, press releases are a great way to talk about the interesting activities of your project. They can be used on your website, as handouts and as highlights across your social media channels.
They will also help in your dissemination and reporting activities.
Top ten tips
Talk to your communications colleagues who will be keen to hear about news-worthy stories and may even write the press release for you. If you manage the process yourself, here are some top tips to think about when writing and sending your release.
1. Types of press releases
Press releases should highlight anything innovative and topical about your project. They can also reflect key milestones or events, such as:
- announcement of application success and funding amounts
- outline or launch of project activities
- hopes and expectations of participants heading abroad
- feedback from participants while abroad or those recently returned
- launch, celebration and activity events
2. Who, what ,where, when, why?
Journalists will always want to make sure they have all the facts, so try and cover all the key details for your project. Also think about why it is relevant to their audience and why would people want to know about your Turing Scheme activities.
Content linked to individual or group success stories is likely to be most successful.
Always include fully attributed quotes – they add credibility and make the story more personable. This is your opportunity to say something striking about your project.
If you would like a quote from the Turing Scheme Delivery Partner or the Department for Education, please get in touch with us.
4. A picture says a thousand words
Photographs are often the best way to grab attention so try to include a relevant photograph, preferably of a participant or senior spokesperson from your organisation. Include all names of participants that are in the photo and make sure that you get consent to use the photograph, and parental permission if they are under 18 years of age.
Attach both a jpeg and PNG version of the photograph so newspaper sub editors can easily compose the layout of the news item.
5. Feedback and approval
Get someone else to read through your press release to check for clarity and help spot any errors. Run it past other people in your organisation (managers or marketing colleagues) to make sure it is giving the right messages about your organisation and your project.
Try to send your release earlier in the week, as this is usually when editors will be meeting to plan that week’s content. Generally, Monday mornings are a good time to send stories; forget Friday afternoons though as it is likely your message will be missed.
7. Issuing your press release
As well as attaching your release as a Word document, you can also copy and paste the text into the body of the email, so the journalist can see your story as soon as it comes into their inbox. Consider calling or emailing your local newspaper to identify the best journalist to send it to or use their general news desk email. Twitter has also become a great way to reach out to relevant journalists and local newspapers.
Think about contacting community media such as the Community Media Association and local websites and blogs as well. Remember to post the story on your own website, in your news section.
8. MPs and local governmental departments
To further raise the profile of your project with your press release, why not share it with your local MP. If you do, Friday, Saturday or Sunday are the recommended dates to contact them, as usually they will be in Parliament throughout the remainder of the week.
9. Keep trying
Don’t give up if your first story doesn’t get published. There are many reasons why some releases don’t get published, whether there is a bigger story developing or simply due to staff availability. Try again with a different story, contact person, or even just on a different day.
10. Use our press release template
To make it easier for you to write your story, we have produced a branded press release template (42 KB) which captures all these key points and more.
Want more information on how to promote your Turing Scheme activities? Visit our manage your project page.