When to Send:
The Jewish Chronicle’s deadline is Wednesday. However the Community section is often finished before then so it’s best to send submissions as soon as possible – ideally Thursday, Friday or Monday. For big events and chaggim (e.g. Mitzvah Day, Purim), the paper may do a large spread.
What to Send:
Submit a short press release and photo/s of your community’s event. See below for more info on this.
Writing a Press Release:
A press release is not a lyrical story – it doesn’t need to be elaborate, shouldn’t take long (in fact it should be short!) and is nothing to be frightened of. Aim for a limit of 100 words. The golden rule is to start with the most important information and finish with the least important. Your press release must be pasted into the body of your email – do NOT send attachments as these will not be opened.
Follow these basic guidelines if you’re not sure:
TITLE: Use a clear and concise title that contains all the basic information, e.g. Fifty People Attend First Ever Pets Service at the Montagu Centre. The title should be copied and pasted into your email subject line.
LOGO: You can include your synagogue’s logo at the top of your email.
INTRODUCTION: Your introduction should immediately address the who, what, where, why, when of the event, e.g. Fifty people attended the first ever pets service at the Montagu Centre last Saturday morning to celebrate Animal Welfare Week. No need for pretty adjectives or fancy window-dressing.
BODY TEXT: Give additional interesting and essential information. Becoming familiar with the JC’s Community section is the only way to get a sense of this. You can be sure that if the journalist wants more info, they will be in touch. Do bear in mind that what may be of interest to you or those close to your community may not be of interest to readers in the wider Jewish community.
QUOTE: Include a quote from someone who organised the event or attended it (could be a rabbi, other prominent figure or even a child), e.g. Toby Jones, 17, said: “This event truly changed my life and as a result I have applied to university to become a vet. The Montagu Centre always has such amazing events and I can’t wait until the next one.”
SOURCE: Don’t forget to add a name, telephone number and email address should the journalist require further information. This can be at the top or bottom of the press release.
Email your press release to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re going to send photos you can write ‘Photos available’ at the end of your email. NEVER attach photos to your press release.
Photos need to be interesting and dynamic, between 750KB and 2MB in size and JPEG format. Photos of children are especially popular, but you must get permission from the parent or guardian before you submit these. Send photos in separate emails (one per email) to email@example.com.
In the body of each email you need to supply the name/s of those featured, the event and its location, and a photographer’s credit (if any). Send as few photos as possible – flooding the community inbox will decrease rather than increase your chances of having a photo included.
Article by Alexandra Ben Yehuda, former PR Officer for Liberal Judaism