Press Releases

Press Release

Newspapers and TV stations receive hundreds of press releases every week. To increase the chances of getting your press release covered, consider the following:

  • Keep press releases brief and to the point.
  • Write clearly.
  • Include contact name and number so that the media can reach you with further questions.

Format of a Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date

Contact person’s name, phone number (can also include:  agency name, fax number, email address, web site address)

Headline

City, State – Opening paragraph (should contain: who, what when, where, why)

Body of text – Should include relevant information, statistics, quotes, etc.

After last paragraph, summarize message one last time.  For additional information direct readers/viewers to website, resources, etc.

### (indicates Press Release is finished, should be no longer than one page)

If sending to a newspaper or a TV station (by email or regular mail), send to the reporter or editor who covers the area you are targeting.

 

Sample Safe Sleep Press Release 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Date

CONTACT: Name, phone number

With Proper Safe Sleep Steps, Preventable Infant Deaths Can Be Avoided

City, State – Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, or SUID, is Michigan's leading cause of preventable infant death. Michigan currently ranks 37th among states for overall infant mortality and the state's infant mortality rate, 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, remains one of the highest in the nation. In 2015, 159 Michigan babies died, or more than two children every week, due to sudden unexpected infant deaths.

[UPDATE STATS ACCORDINGLY]

Michigan babies have suffocated while sleeping in adult beds, sharing a bed with an adult or child, sleeping on furniture, and sleeping with pillows, cushions, and blankets. In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, follow these basic infant safe sleep recommendations to protect babies from suffocation or accidents during nightly sleep and naps:

  • Infants should be placed to sleep on their backs.
  • Use a firm sleep surface and firm mattress covered only with a fitted sheet.
  • Remove soft objects and loose bedding from the crib (no pillows, quilts, comforters, stuffed toys, bumper pads, or other soft objects).
  • Do not share a bed with your baby.
  • Avoid allowing your baby to become overheated.
  • Encourage "tummy time;" it's important to practice supervised tummy time while your baby is awake to build strong neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Make sure everyone caring for your baby knows these guidelines, including babysitters, friends, and family members.

There are many resources available to the general public, parents, families, professionals, and caregivers of infants. Parents, professionals, and more can visit  www.michigan.gov/safesleep for more information. Clinics or doctors’ offices can order brochures, posters, decals and DVDs about safe sleep at  www.healthymichigan.com or call 800-353-8227. Additionally, online training is available FREE at https://courses.mihealth.org/PUBLIC/home.html to provide individuals caring for pregnant women, infants, and caregivers with strategies to promote a consistent safe sleep environment.

# # #

Sample Safe Sleep Press Release 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Date

CONTACT: Name, phone number

Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month Puts Focus on Preventing Infant Deaths

City, State – September is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month and to recognize this important observance, [YOUR ORGANIZATION] is reminding parents and caregivers of techniques that can help to substantially reduce the infant death rate in Michigan.

[QUOTE FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION]

After years of significant decline, Michigan’s infant death rate has held relatively steady since 2003, indicating that not all parents and caregivers are getting the message about safe sleep practices. By eliminating just the unsafe sleep deaths, Michigan’s infant mortality rate could be reduced below the national average.

“Although we have made great strides in reducing the number of preventable infant deaths in Michigan, more work remains,” says [ORGANIZATION SPOKESPERSON]. “In 2015, 159 Michigan infants died in unsafe sleep environments. The loss of these babies to unsafe sleep environments is such a tragedy, particularly since such deaths are largely preventable.”

All babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs, never on their sides or tummies, in their own crib. Other lifesaving steps parents and caregivers can take to protect their baby include:

  • Never put the baby to sleep with adults or other children as the practice exponentially increases the chance of a tragedy occurring.
  • Put babies in cribs of their own, never on adult beds, pillows or couches.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tightly-fitted sheet.
  • Ensure that the crib does not contain any extra items -- including pillows, crib bumpers and stuffed animals – and use a safe sleep sack instead of blankets.
  • Place the baby to sleep on his or her back, not on the stomach or side.
  • Do not overheat baby.
  • Make certain that no one smokes around baby.

For more information please visit  www.michigan.gov/safesleep.

# # #

Sample Safe Sleep Press Release 3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Date

CONTACT: Name, phone number

Recent [X County] Infant Deaths were Preventable

[INSERT NUMBER] babies in [COUNTY] didn’t live to see their first birthdays due to sleep-related deaths.  Had caregivers been educated on safe sleep, those children would be learning to walk, talk and attending preschool today. During September, nationally designated as Infant Safe Sleep Month, [ORGANIZATION] reminds parents and caregivers to protect babies from suffocation and other sleep- related risks.

After years of decline, Michigan’s rate is beginning to increase, indicating that not all parents and caregivers are getting the message about safe sleep practices. From 2010 to 2015, [X #] [COUNTY] infants died due to unsafe sleep-related causes, according to CDC SUID Case Registry Project, Michigan Public Health Institute. “With the passage of the Infant Safe Sleep bill into law in 2014, a greater number of parents are receiving the vital information they need about safe sleep practices for their newborns,” says [ORGANIZATION SPOKESPERSON]. “But too many parents still need to change their behavior. The loss of these babies is a tragedy, particularly since such deaths are largely preventable.”

“We are striving to save babies’ lives and make Michigan a place for infants to not only survive but thrive,” [ORGANIZATION SPOKESPERSON]. “All babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs, never on their sides or tummies.” Other lifesaving steps parents and caregivers can take to protect their baby include:

  • Never put the baby to sleep with adults or other children, as the practice exponentially increases the chance of a tragedy occurring.
  • Put babies in cribs of their own, never on adult beds, pillows or couches.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
  • Ensure that the crib does not contain any extra items -- including pillows, crib bumpers and stuffed animals – and use a safe sleep sack instead of blankets.
  • Do not overheat the baby’s room.
  • Make certain that no one smokes around baby.

# # #

Sample Safe Sleep Press Release 4

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Date

CONTACT: Name, phone number

[ORGANIZATION] Recommends Safest Baby Shower Gifts

The preferred baby shower gifts are no longer the traditional blanket or crib toy. In light of the high number of infant deaths due to unsafe sleep environments, [ORGANIZATION] is urging friends and family of expectant parents to choose safe baby gifts when shopping for showers.

“We’ve all been to baby showers where the expectant parents opened packages that contained many of the items we now know should not be put in the crib with the baby,” explains [ORGANIZATION SPOKESPERSON].  “Baby showers are an ideal opportunity to have the conversation about a safe sleep environment.  Unfortunately, too many parents and caregivers haven’t heard the message, but they will listen to informed friends and family members.”

In 2015, 159 Michigan infants died due to sleeping in environments that posed some risk.  Babies are not able to roll over or even turn their heads until they are older, so they can easily suffocate due to something as innocent as a pillow, blanket or bumper pads in the crib. Instead of blankets, toys or pillows, [ORGANIZATION] offers a list of baby shower gifts that will keep babies safer when they sleep and may help reduce the number of infant deaths in Michigan.

  • Sleep sack
  • Fitted sheets
  • Bassinet
  • Crib
  • Portable crib
  • Firm mattress to fit crib or bassinet

A sleep sack is the preferred sleepwear for an infant under the age of one and is recommended in place of covering the infant with a blanket.  It is designed to keep the baby’s temperature comfortable for sleep, making blankets or quilts unnecessary.

Babies should always sleep alone in a crib or bassinet that has been cleared of all other items. Babies should only sleep on their backs, never on their tummies. The mattress should be firm with a tight- fitting sheet.  The room should be well-ventilated and kept at a comfortable temperature.

“Infant deaths due to unsafe sleep environments are largely preventable,” [REPRESENTATIVE FROM ORGANIATION] says. “If we can educate grandmothers, aunts, friends and babysitters, they can help carry the message to parents.”

# # #