Bay Watershed Education and Training Program Communication Toolkit materials
The sample press release is designed as an announcement to alert local media and other stakeholders that the area’s students, teachers, or schools will be or are participating in a B-WET project. It contains placeholders for specific details about your project, participating targeted audiences, and a quote from organization leadership, project participants, or project beneficiary about the value of the program. Please feel free to fill in that information as appropriate, or remove the placeholders prior to issuing the press release.
The template example is framed as an announcement about receiving a B-WET grant, but it could be modified to announce major project milestones or other key project achievements. The press release template should be used when you want to highlight something the news would be interested in covering. Before you begin drafting your press release, ask yourself if a press release is the best vehicle to distribute this information and if you could be more effective and efficient with a news blast, pitch call, or social media post.
How to use these materials: (Avoid using email attachments, which increase the likelihood that your message will be caught in a spam filter.) The plain-text press release can quickly and easily be copied and pasted into the body of an email, loaded into a web template or shared as a stand-alone document or PDF.
To share the press release with local media, simply locate the email address for the news desk, news editor, or someone you know who writes about local education, and copy and paste the press release into the body of an email message. Alternatively, post the press release online, or use it as complementary background material along with other items from the toolkit.
General tips for writing press releases:
- Tell the numbers, i.e. number of students/teachers impacted, number of NOAA scientists involved.
- Try to address who, what, when, where, why, and how.
- Include where your program/activity takes place.
Include your contact information: telephone number and email is best. Use proper punctuation for telephone numbers: a dash after (not parentheses around) telephone area codes, and “ext.” before the extension number, one space after a period, not two.
Include quotes. Quotes are a great way to share information and convey buy-in from others. Consider getting quotes about your program from B-WET staff to give national or regional context. Quotes should be no more than 2 sentences each. We recommend using at most 2 quotes.
- Create an attention grabbing headline! Use action words to highlight what you are trying to convey. Examples include:
- [Local Area] Students to Study in Hands-on, Living Classroom with NOAA Scientists
- NOAA B-WET-funded Project Helps [#] Students Experience Watershed
Date: [Enter Date]
Contact: [Enter Contact]
For Immediate Release
NOAA B-WET Funded Project Helps [#] Students Experience Watersheds
[Organization] is pleased to announced it has received a [$] grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET). These funds will support [program name, details].
[Insert a brief description about your project including who will be served and what you will do; include impact numbers, and how your project incorporates Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). For example, you could say something like “This 13-month project will engage 200 high school students and 10 teachers from an urban school district [insert school district] in interrelated MWEEs, stewardship activities, and professional development. Over the coming months, students will engage in activities that include both outdoor and in-classroom learning to increase understanding and stewardship of local ecosystems.”]
[Insert a quote(s) from organization leadership, project participant or beneficiary, and/or national or regional NOAA B-WET program staff.]
The NOAA B-WET program is a competitive grant program that promotes Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences: activities driven by rigorous academic learning standards that aim to increase participants’ understanding and stewardship of watersheds and related ecosystems. To read more about the NOAA B-WET program, please visit http://www.noaa.gov/office-education/bwet.
[Insert brief description of your organization].
[Include links to website/social media that directly refer to your project. If linking to a website, make sure URLs are preceded by the scheme, i.e., “http://” or “https://”].
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