This template press release is designed for firms who are involved in disaster recovery volunteer work with their local American Red Cross chapters. The customizable press release informs the public of your activities with the Red Cross and publicizes the publication Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues, its benefits, and availability.
The purpose of the press release is to provide information to the public to let them know (via your local media) of your firm’s involvement with the local American Red Cross Chapter and to publicize the disaster recovery guide, how it can help and where copies can be obtained.
Download the Sample Press Release template (MS Word format)
Instructions for Use:
YOU SHOULD ONLY SEND THIS PRESS RELEASE TO YOUR LOCAL MEDIA IF YOUR FIRM IS DOING DISASTER RECOVERY VOLUNTEER WORK WITH YOUR LOCAL AMERICAN RED CROSS CHAPTER.
Step 1: Fill in the blanks within the document (CPA firm name, dateline information, city for the local Red Cross chapter, name/title of Red Cross chapter spokesperson, name/title/firm name of your firm’s spokesperson, boilerplate information about your firm, and media contact information).
Step 2: Identify the business editor or consumer editor of your local newspaper(s), magazine(s) and/or business journal and obtain their contact details. You can do this by looking in an issue of the publication, calling the publication directly and requesting the information, or going online to the publication's Web site and looking for the appropriate editor(s).
Step 3: After you obtain the name and address of the editor or business editor, send him/her the document via the U.S. mail, e-mail, or fax. Make sure your contact information is on the press release. The reporter will call you if interested in publishing the news announcement about your involvement with the local American Red Cross chapter.
Step 4: If a news reporter calls you about your press release, please use the Talking Points (and suggested sound bytes, if possible) provided in the toolkit during the interview. If the reporter calls you live and you need a moment to gather your thoughts and message points, please tell the reporter you are just about to finish another call and ask if you could call him/her back. Take down the name and telephone number. MAKE SURE YOU CALL THE REPORTER BACK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE USUALLY THEY ARE WORKING ON DEADLINE AND WILL NEED TO TALK TO YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Step 5. When interviewed by the reporter, ask the reporter if your can send him/her additional information by email or fax. Tell him/her that you have a Fact Sheet as well as a PowerPoint Presentation describing the program and the participants. This will provide the reporter with additional background information to write a more complete and accurate story.
Step 6. Send a handwritten or email thank you note to the reporter thanking him/her for their time. This is good practice and something that is not often done (but should be!) and will be appreciated and set you apart.