An individual receiving an award or accolade may also receive additional attention and promotion through the release of an announcement. Whether the award was given at the elementary level, or involves a more professional offering, the organization generally issues press information. The release may involve the name of the recipient, family background and community information, if appropriate, and the basis upon which the award was given. Local newspapers, school officials, and/or places of business usually receive such a notice, whether written professionally or informally. Writing an effective press release, however, involves the same tools on any level, knowledge of the subject and sufficient familiarity with the award given.
Research the award's origin. Many businesses, colleges and organizations issue awards every year, but the basis upon which they do so will vary. In writing the award announcement, make certain to include the background information of the individual or group awarding the gift. Not all awards receive the same focus and attention, and many reading the announcement may have no prior awareness of the award. A well-worded press release not only announces the award at hand, but also serves to educate others who may also wish to compete in the future.
Contact the award recipient. Composing the announcement may involve speaking directly to the winner in order to obtain personal background information. Some press releases need not contain formality, but others may require a brief history of the individual receiving the award. Name, age, education and/or employment history, among other items may provide a colorful back story. It also allows those associated with the recipient an opportunity to comment. Press releases or announcements of this kind vary in length, depending on the weight and esteem of the award. Compose your announcement according to the specific needs of the individual awarded, and do not lose sight of the personal focus. While the organization receives publicity for awarding the gift, the individual recipient and his unique story can drive the attention received or not received by the public.
Seek out sample letters. Most announcements for an award receive professional attention. But family members may also wish to compose their own. One can find a number of announcement samples online, which will aid in answering any form and content questions. If unaccustomed to writing such an announcement, you may also scan the local newspaper for an example. Most business pages or community pages publish releases on a regular basis. The main components involve the who, what and why of the award and the recipient. But depending on the newspaper, the editor may cut the fluff, leaving out what you considered important. If unable to discern what the announcement should and should not include, call your local newspaper and ask for length ideas. Most papers, however, only decide what to cut when laying out a page for publication, regardless of who submits the release. But having an idea of acceptable article size offers the chance to include what matters to the subject.
Dee Taylor is a Virginia writer and editor, based near the Washington, DC area. She has 10 years experience in journalism and publishing, having worked for the Gannett Co., Inc., and the National Academy of Sciences. She holds a BA in Political Science, and a MS in Publishing.