How to Write the Perfect Press Release- Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC Spokesperson
In its 2020’s assessments, the Spokespersons’ Digest has recognised Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as an outstanding Press Release Writer.
As a public relations strategist and Head, Media and Publicity at the EFCC, most of Uwujaren’s daily press releases are published unedited by the media.
An award-winning journalist and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Uwujaren had worked in a number of media organisations, including The News. He was as Assistant Editor, Business and Economy at TELL magazine before he joined EFCC in 2005.
With a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Benin and Master’s degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Lagos, Uwujaren attended various courses locally and overseas including the prestigious New Managers programme at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa.
In this interview with the Spokespersons’ Digest, Uwujaren provides hints for creating.
the perfect press release in today’s competitive business environment.
Spokespersons’ Digest: How would you compare press release with Press conference as tools of media relations and their advantages?
Both are means of reaching the public but the special advantage of the press release is that it offers you the opportunity to frame your messages and limits the likelihood of gaffes. But unlike press release, press conference offers the opportunity to take follow up questions and make clarifications where needed.
Spokespersons’ Digest: How will you describe a Press Release and its importance essential?
A press release is a complete communications instrument that meets the standard communications requirement of the Five Ws and H of journalism which are Who, What, When, Where, What and How.
Spokespersons’ Digest: What are the key factors for writing a press release?
The major factors to consider is to identify what you want to sell and how best do you intend to sell it. It is necessary to be direct and factual while writing the release. Ensure that the most important message appear in the opening paragraph as editors often are impatient to go through your entire piece. Also, make sure there are quotes, for emphasis.
Spokespersons’ Digest: From your experience as a former reporter/editor what are the major media’s attraction from a press release?
A good press release writer is an editor’s delight. Because editors operate under pressure, they value press releases that not only offers them news but give them less hassles by way of editing.
Spokespersons’ Digest: How often and when should a release be written and sent to the media?
As often as there is new information that is of public interest.
Spokespersons’ Digest: Can you mention some major mistakes in press release writing?
Grammatical errors are a put-off. Information overload and verbosity are equally not healthy. The messaging should be concise and to the point, to avoid misrepresentation.
Spokespersons’ Digest: What are the essentials of a rejoinder is it also a Press release?
Rejoinders are different from the press release. They are often reactions to correct misrepresentation or misinformation. They are fact-based and laced with a superior argument, otherwise, they are unnecessary. It should also be used sparingly because it often provides more prominence to a negative report.
Spokespersons’ Digest: What is your advice to Spokespersons on press release writing?
This is a medium that you have one hundred percent control over, please use it to project and protect your organization. Ensure that all your releases are credible as false information could cost you the trust of the media.