30 January 2015

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Journos to learn how to write press releases

A one-day course for journalists wanting to move into public relations is being run by the National Council for the Training of Journalists at the end of this month.

It will cover how to structure and write press releases, taking clients views into consideration.

Upon completion of the course people will have an understanding of the essentials of PR and how journalistic skills can be applied successfully in the new industry.

The course will be held on 29 September at the NCTJ in Newport, Essex and costs £375 plus VAT. Go to the NCTJ website for more information.


  1. Alex

    That’s like teaching police officers to commit crime.
    Don’t do it people. Resist the dark side! (luckily none of us have £375)

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  2. former hack

    This is ridiculous. £375?! The best press releases are the ones which are written like news stories – with a proper intro and news hook. You don’t need telling how to suck eggs.

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  3. I Give Up

    £450.00 to spend a day learning how to write a press release ?

    It’s much cheaper to keep an eye on your in box and ctrl C ctrl V

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  4. Hacked off

    Why? So they are easier to cut and paste making it easier for bosses to cut more jobs?

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  5. Ex-Insider

    Don’t worry, folks. Help is at hand. I’ll do it for half the price. I’ll even throw in a few mandatory literals.

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  6. Emma, London

    Media Relations is an integral part of PR. However there is more to the profession than this if you look at the CIPR’s Introduction to PR for Journalists course. It covers CSR, ethical considerations, crisis communication, public affairs, internal communications…

    Instead of paying to “learn to write a press release” existing journalists, who have recently moved (or are considering moving) out of the media and into PR, could get an overview to help them to understand, plan and manage their new roles more effectively.


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  7. davy gravy, PR darkside

    As a former journo turned PR I can confirm there are a number of things you need to learn when making the switch. One of them, for example, is how to cope with the frustration you’ll feel about inaccurate and selective reporting.

    Sadly, then, this is a good (or bad) example – reading the headline (especially) and to an extent the copy, you’d think that the course was charging you £375 just to advise you how to write a press release. Certainly that appears to be what most other comments on this item have focussed on.

    Yet there are 14 different elements to the course (according to the NTCTJ website ad for it).

    Oh, and it actually says in the intro “PR is NOT just about writing press releases”.

    It actually looks like a perfectly decent course. If I was thinking of making the switch now and saw the NCTJ ad I would go for it – but not on the basis of this misleading article.

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  8. Davey

    There will be no newspapers in which to run the PR eventually.

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  9. Smartacus, Deepest, Darkest Nottinghamshire

    All well and good, but if you’re a journo who hasn’t already got a good grasp of what a press release looks like before you make the switch, then there’s no helping you.

    I crossed over into financial services PR about ten years ago and never struggled with the writing side and making even the most boring stories as appealing as possible to journos. The thing most frustrated me is that you become part of a corporate machine and have to toe the party line and heed your paymasters call at all times, regardless of what’s in your heart.

    The credit crunch changed everything and I quickly found out that the one thing that can’t be taught is how to handle a crisis when the boot is on the other foot and the national press is on your case for three months solid. You only learn that by getting your hands mucky.

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