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Press Release Toolkit & PR Coordinator Resource Guide

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Positive media coverage is one of the best ways to promote the non-stop fun, amazing opportunities and tangible benefits today’s girls experience in Girl Scouting. When we share our Girl Scout news and activities it:

  • Increases our visibility in the community
  • Promotes our brand and signals value for the Girl Scout Program
  • Boosts our membership
  • Increases financial support

At Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, we do our best to report stories, latest news and important information relating to Girl Scouting in our coverage areas. But, with over 7,000 girls and over 2,000 adult members, it's not easy to issue media releases on all the awesome activities every Girl Scout is doing! That’s where YOU come in! You can promote your Girl Scout news and activities in local media.

Click  HERE to access the brand new PR Coordinator Resource Guide!

Our brand new Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England Press Release Toolkit & Public Relations Coordinator Resource Guide is designed to support you in your efforts and provides useful information. If you have questions or need help, please contact Rachel Pintarelli, Director of Marketing and Communications, at rpintarelli@gssne.org.

So, on to effective ways to write a Press Release!

What is news? 
The most important question to ask before you write a release is: IS IT NEWS? While many of your Girl Scout activities are interesting and fun for your Troops, not all are going to be newsworthy. Reporters and editors are inundated with press releases and they’re going to review your submission for its news value to determine whether or not it gets into their publication.

Tips for Writing Your Release

  1. Use this press release template to help guide you for formatting. You may choose to either cut and paste the content into the body of an email and send to your local media list contacts, or send it as an attachment. Either format is acceptable. (Also there will be occassions where a media outlet will ask you to submit using a form on their website. Use some of the same protocol rules when entering content into their form submissions too!)

  2. Write a catchy headline! The headline is what attracts attention and makes people want to keep reading. It should be one line in length and each word capitalized in the headline. 
    • For example: "Girl Scouts Save the Day with 100 Teddy Bears at Christmas Time for Homeless Children"

  3. Your lead paragraph should be no longer than three lines in length and should provide the who, what, when, where and why or your story. Think of the lead as a way to give quick facts and subsequent paragraphs as a way to fill in the details.

  4. Use a quote from your spokesperson in your second or third paragraph. Quotes should be to the point and used to add support to your story. Be sure to include quotation marks and list the person’s name, title and organization. 
    • For example: "All the girls in my troop were looking forward to visiting the Mouse Trap Museum," said Suzie Scout, Leader of Troop 000. "The girls used the proceeds from the Girl Scout Cookie Sale Activity to pay for the trip and everyone had a great time."
      
  5. Write in the third person and use declarative sentences.
    • For example, instead of: My Girl Scout Troop went to the Tea Kettle Museum last Saturday, use: Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England Troop 404 toured the Tea Kettle Museum on Saturday, November 23.
       
  6. Try to limit your release to around 300 words or less and proof it several times before sending it out! Check your facts, spelling and punctuation. And then check it TWICE!

  7. PHOTOS - Include an action shot to go with your release whenever possible. (Check out the tips for taking good pictures below.) When writing the photo caption, describe what is happening and identify people in the photo from left to right.
    • IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE! - You may only list girls by their full names IF PARENTS HAVE GIVEN YOU SPECIFIC PERMISSION! Otherwise, submit names as follows: Girl Scouts Jane, Suzie, and Annie, members of Girl Scout Troop 404, or Girl Scouts from Troop 404, etc.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Including a picture with your release increases the chances that your news will get printed! (Be sure you have parent/guardian permissions to share photographs with press. Releases should be on file but here is the photo release form if you need it in a pinch!)

Here are some helpful photo tips:

  • Take pictures that support your event and try to take a lot of pictures so you will have many shots to select from.

  • Avoid those group shots if you can. The group shot has its place but action shots are more fun and can make your event look more interesting. Get in close to capture faces and girls doing something!

  • Only submit bright, focused, good quality photos. Pictures should be saved as JPGS or TIFs and be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).