Psi Chi chapters can become more proactive in publicizing their events and achievements by sending press releases about successful programs and service activities; chapter members who have won awards, grants, or academic recognition; and chapter awards and recognitions.
General Tips for Successful Press Releases
General Outline for the Press ReleaseDate: Name of Chapter: Contact Information:
- Target the school’s newspaper, the school’s local community newspaper, and members’ hometown daily or weekly newspapers. These are likely to be the most productive outlets for chapter publicity.
- Build a relationship with the school’s public relations office so the pubic relations staff can help the chapter prepare press releases and announcements for alumni newsletters and magazines and faculty newsletters as well as local and hometown newspapers.
- Check your library or school’s public relations office for a copy of Bacon’s Newspaper/Magazine Directory to get the name and email address of the person to whom you should send the press release. This publication contains a comprehensive listing of all U.S. daily and community newspapers. If this directory is not available, use the Internet to track down information about the newspapers in members’ hometowns.
- Send the press release by email. Use the Subject line to catch the person’s attention.
- Target the typically slow days: weekends, Monday, holidays.
- Be persistent but not pushy or demanding. If you don’t get the first press release published, keep trying.
Include name of a contact person and his or her email address and phone number.Title:
Create a title for the press release that will capture readers’ attentionText of Press Release:
City, State – text of press release
Tips for writing the text of the press release:
Information About Psi Chi:
- Write simply, professionally (check for grammar and spelling errors) and in language readers will understand.
- Address who, what, where, why, and how in the press release.
- Put the most important information at the beginning.
- Write the first two sentences so that they capture the attention of the reader by establishing the link between the community and the content of the press release and showing why this information is important to that community.
- Keep the text short, simple, and focused on the event/accomplishment you want to publicize.
- The hometown angle is important with hometown daily or weekly newspapers so be sure to make the link between the award winner and the local area (e.g., local high school attended).
- Try to tie activities to current news events where appropriate (e.g., recent news story, time of year these events typically take place).
- Do not exaggerate; be accurate.
Include the paragraph below at the end of the press release. Include as much of this as space allows.
Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology, was founded on September 4, 1929, during the Ninth International Congress of Psychology held at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The Society’s purpose is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship, and to advance the science of psychology. Psi Chi is one of the largest honor societies in the world. Since 1929, Psi Chi has installed more than 1,090 chapters and inducted more than 500,000 members at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. These chapters not only recognize academic achievement by granting membership in the Society, but also sponsor programs that augment the regular curriculum, offer service to the campus and the community at large, develop leadership skills, and provide fellowship through affiliation with the chapter. For more information about Psi Chi and its grants, awards, and service programs, go to the Psi Chi website at www.psichi.org. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and an affiliate of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
Faberman, R. (personal communication, September 16, 2005).
Smulson, E. (2005, September). Messages in and messages out: How congressional members utilize the news media. In N. Levitt (Chair), Importance of effective communications: Using the news media to advance psychology within your community and on the hill.
Symposium presented at the 2005 Education Leadership Conference, Washington, DC.