How to write a press release
Press releases are an important element in letting the rest of the world know about your PhD work. You write the press release yourself; the Faculty will distribute it to the relevant media. The press release should be submitted in Norwegian and English if your thesis is written in English, and in Norwegian only if your thesis is written in Norwegian.
Handy hints on writing press releases
A press release should always contain something that is newsworthy. Explain the significance of your research to people outside your field. How is it useful to society? How can your findings be applied? Give concrete examples.
- Heading: Come up with a good, short heading that will capture people’s interest
- Main things first: Start with the conclusion – what did you find out?
- Main point: Concentrate on one main point; do not try to present the entire thesis
- Avoid details: Paint with broad strokes; try to avoid too many if’s and but’s
- Active sentences: Use direct language; avoid impersonal and passive forms
- Be brief: Approx. one third of a single-spaced A4 page (max. 1500 characters including spaces)
- Be straightforward: Use plain, everyday language; avoid technical terms and jargon
- Quote yourself: Exaggerate a little to get the main point across and use quotes from the thesis
It can be useful to read the press release aloud to a friend who is not an academic. If the text lends itself to being read aloud, it probably flows well as a piece of writing too.
Look at the Faculty of Humanities’ list of disputations to see how previous PhD candidates have formulated themselves in their press releases.
Submitting your press release
Submit your press release to the Faculty’s executive officer, along with a digital photo (a .jpg file) of you. The Faculty will let you know about the deadline for submitting information material in the letter informing you about the dates for your disputation and trial lecture.
The Faculty sends the press release to relevant editors and contact people roughly one week before your disputation.