Case Study : The Irish Red Cross

Here at MediaHQ, we see hundreds of press releases being sent from our system on a weekly basis. Government organisations, PR agencies, charities and in-house PR teams from top organisations in Ireland use our system to get their message to the media and make the news.

With World Red Cross Day taking place on the 8th of May, this week we are taking a look at the PR/Comms work of the Irish Red Cross. The Irish Red Cross is part of the largest global network of voluntary humanitarian action in the world, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Run on a voluntary basis, the society’s activities include mountain rescue, first aid education of the public, the provision of ambulance services and first aid at public events, as well as services such as the training of carers. The society also volunteers abroad, providing relief and humanitarian services in response to natural disasters and in regions of conflict.

They are one of the many organisations that use MediaHQ to distribute their press releases, and have distributed over 700 stories though our database. So, what makes their press releases so successful?

Consistently concise

Here at MediaHQ, we always encourage our clients to monitor the length of their press releases. The Irish Red Cross are skilled at keeping their press releases short, simple and to the point. Averaging around 400 words each, their press releases are long enough to include the important facts of the story, and short enough to omit any unnecessary information that may cause their reader to lose interest. They often write in a bullet point fashion to allow the journalist to scan through easily and quickly.

Journalists do not want to sift through reams of text. Simplicity is key.

Quotes and figures

The Irish Red Cross consistently include figures and quotes in their press releases. This helps to maximise credibility and improve the quality of their press releases. They often include direct statements from their Chairperson, Pat Carey, which also helps to put a face to the organisation.

While you should be conscious of the amount of quotes you include in a press release, giving journalists one or two relevant quotes for their story has given many of the Irish Red Cross’ press releases that extra zing.

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High quality headlines

The headline is the first thing that the journalist sees when they receive a press release. For that reason, it needs to be attention grabbing and unambiguous.

One of the most chilling press releases that the Irish Red Cross have released was on the  “Let’s ban the bomb’ campaign, run by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Their press release included shocking facts about the new developments in nuclear weapons and the increase in use over the last few years.

The headline included in their press release ensured its success. It read, “Is the world ready to face a nuclear war? No. So let’s ban the bomb”. This headline was both engaging and succinct, the perfect mix for a perfect press release.

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Since its establishment in 1939, the Irish Red Cross have been committed to “changing the face of community response”. MediaHQ has made their relationship with the media quick, easy and effective. This gives them the best chance of making the news.

 

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With over 6,000 contacts on our database, we offer the largest database of Irish media contacts and a dedicated newsfeed to notify you of updates in the Irish media industry. Like The Irish Red Cross, we want to give you the tools to help you make the news. Click here for more information on our PR software or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.