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Tips for engaging with local media, pitching to the press, and more go here!
We’ve received requests from some community members for a press release template for Wikipedia’s 15th birthday. This section includes a possible structure that can be adapted for your needs, as well as a more general press release if you want to see an example. Feel free to remix and translate in whatever way makes sense!
Why write a press release?
- A press release is one way to raise awareness about an announcement.
- Wikipedia’s 15th birthday is a global celebration, and local press releases can raise awareness in specific regions while showing the diversity of the movement.
How do you write a press release?
- A press release should read like a news story, written in third-person, citing quotes and sources and containing key information about an announcement.
- You can find a framework below that explains the structure of a typical press release.
How do I distribute a press release?
- There are a number of ways to distribute a press release:
- Share it by email with local reporters who might be interested. (Many publications have a contact us form on their website with reporter email addresses).
- You can share a press release by email before you publish it “under embargo.” An embargo asks the journalist not to share before a pre-set time and date. You should check if the journalist will respect the embargo before sharing anything with them.
- Publish it on an affiliate/community blog, or in the press section on your website.
- Share a link on social media.
- Use a press release distribution service (this costs money and is not always the most effective approach).
When should I distribute a press release?
- Anytime! Many chapters and affiliates we’ve spoken to are publishing press releases a few days before the 15th to raise awareness about events before they happen. The Wikimedia Foundation will issue a general press release on January 15, 2016 but we hope many community and localized press releases will be out already.
- You can share your press release with reporters before you publish it, so they have a “heads up” and are more likely to cover the news. This is sometimes called an “embargo.” For more tips on working with the media, see the movement communications skills page.
Here are a couple resources if you decide to publish your own press release!
We’ve been asking social media users: What does Wikipedia mean to you?
By that, we mean – how do you use Wikipedia? What is Wikipedia’s role in the work you do and the ideas you share with your friends and the world? What does Wikipedia mean for the way you learn, the way you interact with information, and the way you understand the world? What does Wikipedia or free knowledge mean for your community?
We are hoping you will tweet mentioning #wikipedia15 and @wikipedia. Please say anything that is right for you. If you need examples, you could say something like:
- Knowledge is powerful. Thanks @wikipedia for being open and free for everyone. #wikipedia15
- I use @wikipedia to look stuff up with my kids. You never know what you’ll find. #wikipedia15
- Happy 15th birthday, @wikipedia. Thanks for giving free information to the world! #wikipedia15
You can also consider including a Wikipedia 15 illustration or animated GIF too!
- Twitter: @Wikipedia_15 (Mostly handled by NahidSultan and JElder (WMF) knows the password too)
- Hashtag: #Wikipedia15
Please add a row and share what you are working on regarding media outreach for Wikipedia 15. This could serve as a "live" overview of who does what where. Is there something you could help somebody else with? Need inspiration yourself? Want to plan together or do simultaneous releases?
|Name||Affiliation||Languages||Contact information||happy to help with...||looking for...||WP15: currently working on...|
|Michael Jahn WMDE||Wikimedia Deutschland||de-n, en-4||talk page and michael.jahnwikimedia.de||pitching, messaging||international stories and Wikipedia insights||mapping the German 2016 calendar with focus on public highlights. Goal: backbone for press work throughout the whole year.|
|Katherine Maher (WMF)||Wikimedia Foundation||en-n, de-1, fr-1||talk page or katherine wikimedia [dot] org||messaging, event coordination, design, social||ways to support global organizing, great user stories||supporting community events, producing a celebration website, thinking about a global social sharing campaign, developing press targets. So many things, and we can't do it alone :)|
|Jan Apel (WMDE)||Wikimedia Deutschland||de-n, en-3||talk page or jan.apel wikimedia.de||messaging, pitching, coordination||ideas to exchange, stories about the local groups and Wikipedias||Together with Michael: mapping the German 2016 calendar with focus on public highlights. Supporting community events in Germany.|
|Richard Knipel (Pharos)||Wikimedia New York City||en-n, fr-1||talk page or richard wikimedianyc.org||messaging, event coordination||ways to support global organizing||Hosting Wikipedia Day unconference in NYC, coordinating our locality with global events|
|Sam Lien and Joe Sutherland (WMF)||Wikimedia Foundation||en-n, es-1||Talk pages, or slien wikimedia.org; jsutherland wikimedia.org||pretty much anything||ways to support global organising, and stories||Developing media tips, in association with the community, to help user groups better promote Wikipedia 15 events locally.|
|Nahid Sultan||Wikimedia Bangladesh||bn-n, en-3||Talk page, or nahidwikimedia.org.bd||coordinating, social, messaging||ideas to exchange and stories to share||Developing local event pages both online & offline; collecting ideas from the community and thinking about a better way to promote Wikipedia 15 events locally. Doing social promoting through @Wikipedia_15 twitter handle.|
|David Parreño Mont||Amical Wikimedia||ca-n, es-n, en-3, fr-1||talk page and comunicaciowikimedia.cat||messaging, social||planning actions together, sharing experiences, etc||Planning events and preparing the main messages to pitch the press and encourage people to edit|
|Giselle Bordoy||Wikimedia Argentina||es-n, en-n||talk page and comunicacionwikimedia.org.ar||messaging, social||Special WikiChallenge||Wikimedia Argentina documentary with the main focus in our community|
|Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska||Wikimedia Polska||pl-n, en-3, es-1||talk page and natalia.szafranwikimedia.pl||messaging, social, event organizing||sharing ideas, inspirations and experiences, coordinating||collecting ideas from the community, organizing a conference and planning different events throughout the year, preparing an official website, coordinating with Wikimedia Poland 15 anniversary in September|
|Krzysztof Machocki||Wikimedia Polska||pl-n, en-3, es-2, ru-1, cs-1||talk page or krzysztof.machockiwikimedia.pl||messaging, event coordination, design, DTP||ideas to implement, cross-border cooperation, translation of useful brochures||same as Magalia above: collecting ideas for great events from the community (we plan to extend the W15 celebrations all the way to 26 September, Polish Wikipedia's 15th anniversary), organising and planning the events and much more|
|Eryk Salvaggio||Wiki Education Foundation||en-n||talk page and erykwikiedu.org||coordinating, spreading the word around education initiatives in USA and Canada, Year of Science campaign||Support and tie-ins of Wiki15 to Year of Science||Wiki Edu is developing social media tools to extend the birthday celebration into the rest of the year.|
|Claudia Garád||Wikimedia Österreich||de-n, en-4, fr-2, hu-1||talk page or claudia.garad wikimedia.at||messaging, pitching, coordination||ideas and stories to exchange||Supporting community events in Austria. WP15 explainer video in collaboration with simpleshow.|
|Iván Martínez||Wikimedia Mexico||es-n en-4,||talk page||messaging, pitching, coordination, design, event planning||ideas and stories to exchange, support with Iberocoop countries.||Supporting community events in Mexico and Iberocoop countries.|
|RYU Cheol||Wikimedians of Korea||ko-n en-3,||talk page||messaging, pitching, design, event planning||ideas and stories to exchange||Supporting community events in Seoul. Facilitating an unconference.|