About press releases
A press release is a useful free communication tool that is distributed to the news media. Its purpose is to announce news items, events, product launches or business updates.
Journalists are more likely to cover your story if you have taken the time to draft your own release. They don't have the time to hunt around for the information they need. By providing everything they need at their fingertips, your story is more likely to be published and/or covered. It's also helpful to provide an image, something other than your logo.
A press release should not look like advertising, but rather contain information that is informative and educational to the general public. Keep it simple, try to avoid repetition at all costs and keep sentences clear and concise.
You should issue a press release about 2-4 weeks before the event, and anther press release 1-3 days after, which should include high resolution pictures that highlight the event.
Some news media publish press release in hard-copy print, while other only publish them electronically via their website.
How to create a Press Release
Fill out this online form, and we will email you a press release that you can send to the news media.
How to contact the media
Here is a website that lists all of the News Media in the State of Virginia, Here is a custom list. You will need to simply click on the one in your area to visit their website, from there, look for the Contact section of their website, there you should find names, mailing address, phone numbers, and email addresses. It would be helpful to follow-up with a phone call.
What Masonic information can use or not.
You can put in the press releases most any Masonic information that is already in print. Do not include any of our ritual.
Do I need to get permissions from the Grand Lodge
You do not need to get permissions from the grand Lodge to have a press release published, you do however need to get permissions from the Worshipful Master, and it would be a good idea for the Worshipful Master to run it by the District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM) or the chairman of the Grand Lodge committee on public relations.
Can a Lodge have paid advertising
Yes, paid adverting assures the information will get published, press releases are free, but there is no assurance they will be published.
Other ways to publicize an event
- The Virginia Masonic Herald accepts both free and paid advertising.
- For larger events, i.e. District events, let the Committee on Public Relations know about it to see if it can be published to the GL Facebook Page.
Can a Lodge hold Raffles and Lottery's
Yes, please read the Methodical Digest, section 2.12 on page 43, and Edit E-1-2008 on page 185. Make sure to get approval from the District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM).
Read this page.
Read the Grand Lodge of Virginia IT Policy.
- Don't publish our Masonic ritual. (Refer to the GLOVA IT Policy)
- Don't identify any person without their written or implied consent. (Refer to the GLOVA IT Policy)
- Don't identify any minor child by name, or picture without the explicit written permission of the parent or legal guardian. (Refer to the GLOVA IT Policy)
- Don't send emails with file attachments, i.e. MS Word documents, because of the possibility of viruses, many emails system will block emails with file attachments, or the recipient will not open them, so put your press release in the body of the email. If you are requested to send high resolution pictures, emails including file attachment should be no lager then 10MB, some email providers allow emails to be up to 25mb.
Where can I find some Masonic Images
Here are some links to Masonic images, or you can just search the internet. The higher the resolution the better, size should be more than 200 x 200 pixels, thye should also be in JPG format with at least 72 dots per inch (dpi). Make sure they are not trademarked or copyrighted, the standard Masonic Square and Compasses are not, nor is the US Flag, however, the Virginia State Seal is, and must not be used.
Who do I contact if I need more help
Visit the contact page
What makes a good press release
There are 5 basic parts to a press release
1- Contact information
2- Heading, the headline title of event
Give your press release an interesting title – don’t worry too much about it being snappy. You just need your release to stand out from the crowd. Make sure your title is in bold. Put a date on your news release, ideally on the same date it’s issued. This will add gravitas to your story.
3- Who -- What -- When -- Why
5- Purpose -- Contact -- or visit Website