Environmental Science 101: Press Release 3 Writing Prompt
For this press release you will write as the public outreach coordinator of a Public Utility District (PUD) or Waste Management Facility/Program. The purpose of the press release is to inform the public that lives in the area that the PUD (energy production and/or distribution) or Waste Management program (water, garbage, sewer, recycling, compost etc) services about innovative programs or technologies that they offer or use. Your choice of topic will be partly determined by the PUD or Waste Management Program that you choose. The press release may discuss (but not limited to) the following topic examples:
- Renewable energy portfolio (zero or low carbon energy -solar, wind, geothermal etc)
- Energy savings programs (conservation)
- Innovative waste management technologies (example:
- Zero waste program
- Recycling program
- Food waste program/composting
- Meeting federal regulatory standards in Waste Management (Toxics Substances Control Act -TSCA, Clean Water Act – CWA, Clean Air Act -CAA etc)
The press release should inform the public about the following:
- PUD/WM program and the specific program or innovation
- Why the program exists and its impact on ecosystem services and human health and well being (you can tie in a reading from press release 1 here if you would like).
- An in depth description of how the program or innovation works (cite 2 sources). For example, if you chose to write about a specific type of bio-filtration technology that will filter out 99% of PCBs coming into a Waste Water Treatment Plant
- Information about how the customer can participate in the program or learn more about the technology.
**The press release will be at a minimum 800 words in length (not including the heading, titles and your name).. The press release will paraphrase and/or summarize information from the sources used. You may also responsibly use direct quotes within reason. Please refer to owl purdue for guidelines on responsible use of quotes. The press release will use acceptable citation methods (i.e. APA, MLA etc).
Appropriate sources for this press release include: Scientific peer reviewed journal articles, government websites (examples: Bureau of Land Management, Department of Ecology, Department of Energy, etc), and the specific web page for the PUD or Waste Management Program.
Here are a few examples of PUDs and Waste Management Programs around the State of Washington:
- Snohomish County Public Utility District No.
- King County PUD
- Spokane County Waste Management
- Spokane County Water Resource Center
Format of the Press Release:
- If you are part of an organization, you would include a letterhead and logo and contact information. You may create an imaginary organization for this part. Then put your name as the contact information
- “For Immediate Release”, put this at the top of your document.
- Headline and optional sub-headline. Your headline should grab the attention of the reader and summarize what the press release is about. The sub- headline can go into a bit more detail. Your headline and sub headline should be approximately 65-70 characters long. The headline should be clear, avoid using “jargon” or “buzzwords”.
- Dateline: Date, State and Community where the press releases is issued. This should appear before the body of the release.
- Body of the Press Release:
o Paragraph 1: summarize the entire story.
o Describe the parts of the story from paragraph 1 in more details using facts. DO not include opinions. A few quotes are okay because press releases are fact driven. Quotes from the organizations or projects leader(s), experts, community leaders, etc. would be appropriate.
o Boilerplate: Standard language at the end of your release that summarizes your organization and reflects its values. This summary should only be a few sentences long, but will vary by organization.
You will signal the end of the release with ###