Press Release Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What makes for an effective press release? This lesson plan uses a simple and informative text lesson to outline key facts for students. An activity connects students with the materials in a meaningful way.


1.5 to 2 hours

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • outline the purpose of a press release
  • list key elements of an effective press release

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.


Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.


  • An example of a press release
  • Paper copies of the text lesson How to Write a Press Release
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated text lesson
  • An assortment of index cards, each of which is listed with a different mock product or event


  • Begin by reading the content of the press release aloud to the class.
    • What is the purpose of this document?
    • What type of document might it be?
    • Who is the intended audience for this document?
  • Pass out the paper copies of the text lesson now, one per student.
  • Instruct the class to read the introduction and 'What Is a Press Release?' section of the text lesson.
    • Did anyone correctly identify the example as a press release?
    • Was the purpose of informing the media and general public mentioned by anyone?
  • Tell the class to read the 'Writing an Effective Press Release' section of the text lesson now.
    • Can any of the four qualities of an effective press release be identified in our example?
    • What is meant by each of the four characteristics of a good press release (newsworthy, time sensitive, informative, and interesting)?
  • Ask the class to read the rest of the text lesson, underlining key points on each of the four qualities of an effective press release.
    • What might happen if a press release was lacking in one or more of the four required elements?
  • Pass out the worksheet and ask students to work together to complete it.

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