The Press Release and Media Writing Course

Price: R 5 495.00

SPECIALISED COURSES

Press Release and Media Writing Course

Learn to Write Compelling and Polished Press Releases

Deliver print and online-ready media content

The Press Release and Media Writing Course will teach you to write and deliver media releases that work for busy journalists.

You’ll also find out how to:

  • repurpose your release for national and local pitches

  • handle photocalls and issue photocall notices

  • establish a professional reputation in the vibrant field of PR

This course is perfect for people who want to work as a freelance PR writer or in-house for a company. It’s also relevant to business owners who need more media exposure, or for those who work in a communications role.

Get insider tips and tricks from a communications expert with over 20 years of senior level experience.

The Press Release and Media Writing Course
Gives You...

Expert, Individual Feedback

Get prompt, honest, detailed feedback on every assignment from a professional writer. We focus on your unique writing strengths.

No Peer Reviews!

You will only be assessed by your tutor, an expert in their field. No more guessing and wondering how to write; you'll be guided line by line.

No Automated Marking

We use traditional methods of assessing work, as editors at publishing houses would. No generic feedback!

A Flexible Schedule

Work wherever and whenever you want to. You can easily fit our courses around work and other commitments.

Relevant, Usable Content

Easy-to-digest course notes that capture a lifetime of writing experience, ready for you to apply to your own writing.

Ongoing Assessment

Your writing is assessed continuously as your course progresses.

Master the Skill of Writing Stand-out Press Releases

Discover the power of positive PR

Every organisation, large and small, needs positive public relations. Developed by a PR expert, this course teaches you how to structure press releases and photocall invitations, identify target media and avoid common mistakes.

Over six modules, you will get the chance to deliver two full media releases on a topic of your choice, with personalised feedback from an expert tutor. You can either write on suggested topics or use copy drawn from your workplace or interests.

SA Writers College Certified Course

'Honestly, I'm not sure there's a way to describe my experience on this course. Wow! That's all I can say. My tutor, Fiona Walsh, was great. It's been an incredible experience and I'd highly recommend it to anyone.'

Gregory Seebregts, Press Release and Media Writing Course

Course Overview

Start your course at any time – applications open all year round.

COURSE FEE

Price includes VAT

NUMBER OF ASSIGNMENTS

5

The assignments vary in length.

NUMBER OF MODULES

6

These modules include around 200 pages of course notes.

COURSE DURATION

6

Work at your own pace – up to a maximum of six months.

START DATE: ANYTIME

Working with an individual tutor means you can start the course at any time.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

Basic writing skills are essential. Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required.
No previous tertiary qualification required.

Press Release and Media Writing Course tutor Fiona Walsh

Tutor for this course

Fiona Walsh

Fiona Walsh has an MA in Communications from City University, London and over 20 years’ experience working in PR and comms, including as publicity manager for the English National Ballet, head of press for the Royal National Theatre and director of press and marketing for Bermuda Shorts Film, all based in London. She currently works freelance for clients including SundanceTV, NBCUniversal, the National Theatre Live and the Joburg Ballet. As well as teaching online, she has lectured in public relations at Boston Media House, Johannesburg. 

She returned to the National Theatre in London for a year in 2012 as communications manager, responsible for managing all comms around the NT’s involvement in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad during the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. On her return to South Africa, she worked as an account director for Total Exposure PR, managing the team that looks after six BBC TV channels.

Course Curriculum

Module 1

Getting Started in the PR Industry

  • Overview of the publicity field
  • What is a press release?
  • Whom are you writing for?
  • What’s the angle?
  • Exercise 1: Identify target media and a news angle for a press release (for feedback and assessment).

Module 2

The Format and Structure of a Press Release

  • Finding the right style
  • The Inverted Pyramid
  • The opening paragraph
  • Five W’s (and an H)
  • Exercises 2 and 3: Use the Five W’s (and an H) model to draft an introductory paragraph (for feedback and assessment).

Module 3

Writing the Body of a Press Release

  • The second paragraph
  • Using titles
  • Incorporating quotes
  • Exercises 4 and 5: Draft a second paragraph and incorporate quotes into your release (for feedback and assessment).

Module 4

The Importance of the Good Closer in a Press Release

  • The closing paragraph
  • Headlines and footnotes
  • Layout
  • Less is more – edit, edit and edit again
  • The importance of credibility
  • Proofreading and fact-checking
  • Press Release 1: Use the key building blocks to draft a press release (for feedback and assessment).

Module 5

How to Issue Your Press Release

  • Issuing your press release
  • Adapting your press release
  • What happens next? Be prepared.
  • Press Release 2: Adapt your press release to suit a variety of different media (for feedback and assessment).
  • Introductory Letter: Draft a brief letter or email to accompany your release (for feedback and assessment).

Module 6

Understanding the PR Industry – Vital Insider Tips and Tools

  • Images versus photocalls
  • Building up a strong portfolio
  • Looking for work
  • Freelance versus in-house PR
  • Charging for work
  • Photocall Notice: Draft a photocall notice for picture desks (for feedback and assessment).

What Our Students Say

Tom Te Kooti AndersonPress Release and Media Writing Course
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The course was invaluable! The material was current and the tutor gave industry-savvy information and straight-talking feedback. This was fine with me because I expect to meet this kind of communication in the real world of business. It’s good practice to learn and take in the tutor’s years of experience and expertise. I would describe the course as responsive and relative to the industry as well as supportive and motivational.
Lisl WhytockPress Release and Media Writing Course
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The course was extremely well-structured, and I appreciated the personal interaction with my tutor. I loved Fiona’s promptness and her constructive criticism. I felt that I learnt a lot from her and was sad to have finished the course. I will definitely complete another course through The Writers College.
Jann RobertsonPress Release and Media Writing Course
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I very much enjoyed the practical assignments; they gave me the opportunity to practise my skills. It's one thing to have notes, but it adds such meaning when you actually have to apply them. I found my tutor, Fiona Walsh, to be prompt, considerate and generous. Her feedback after every assignment was always constructive and insightful; it gave me the tools to improve my writing. I found this methodology invaluable. Thank you.
Chani MacauleyPress Release and Media Writing Course
Read More

I found my tutor Fiona Walsh incredibly helpful. I really enjoyed working with her. She picked me up when I was down, was patient, helpful and very professional at all times. It was good to brush up on my writing skills and to increase my knowledge of pitching and understanding press targeting.
Laticia PienaarPress Release and Media Writing Course
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I've found the course very helpful in terms of my job as a communications officer. I feel more confident of my writing of press releases now. The positive feedback of the tutor helped me a lot and encouraged me to think outside the box. She created an atmosphere that was conducive for learning. This course is value for your money, excellent if you don't have the time to physically attend a course. Great online services.
Lekha GosaiPress Release and Media Writing Course
Read More

I loved it. It was a great course with detailed feedback from the tutor who was very knowledgeable about the industry. Fiona was great with giving feedback and motivating me to write.
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Get These Additional Benefits

Lifetime Course Access

Benefit from free lifetime access to future course updates and access to our writing resources.

Join a Community of Writers

You will have access to our friendly Facebook community, daily writing tips and writing inspiration.

500+ Bonus Articles on Our Blog

A superb, constantly updated resource with articles on writing and interviews with writers.

Work at Your Own Pace

Our courses work around you. You can pace your course around your busy life.

Work Opportunities

Top students are invited to join our writers and editors for hire service.

Be the First to Know About Writing Competitions

We'll help you keep up to date with the latest competition announcements

Risk-Free 100% Money-Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will love your course that if you’re not 100% satisfied with the quality of our training, simply ask for a refund within 30 days.

Complete the Application Form to Enrol on the Press Release and Media Writing Course

You will receive an approval email and invoice within one working day.

*If the application form doesn’t submit, please contact admin and we’ll assist you.

Questions? We've Got Answers

Detailed course notes covering the content of each module will be emailed to you.

At the end of each module, you will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes five writing assignments, one introductory letter, one photocall notice and two press releases, all of which counts towards your final mark.

Once a writing assignment has been completed and emailed to your tutor, you will receive an assessment, and the module will be considered complete. You can also participate in ongoing online discussions by posting comments about the course or other issues pertaining to writing on The Writers College blog.

Absolutely. You have direct communication with your tutor for the duration of the course. The more questions you ask, the more you will get out of the course.

You will get lifetime access to the course, and you’ll benefit from all future updates and improvements to the course.

For the majority of our courses, only your tutor will see your work. Your work will remain completely private unless you get it published. In the journalism courses, your work might be published in the public domain, but you do have the final say as to whether or not it is published.

You will receive a Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided you meet the following conditions:

  • You must have completed all writing assignments.
  • The course must be completed within 6 months of registration.
  • A minimum average of 50% must be achieved.
  • Basic writing skills are essential.
  • Basic computer skills, as well as email and Internet access are required.
  • No previous tertiary qualification is required.

Because you will work with an individual tutor, you can apply for a course and start as soon as you want to. There are no specific start dates as would be the case with a traditional college.

An application is usually approved within one working day. Once we see proof of payment, your course will start.

You could be starting your course today!

  • Reading Time: 15 hours
  • Writing Time: Up to 30 hours

Once your application has been approved, you will receive notice of approval and an invoice via email. As soon as we see proof of payment, you will receive the first module. We will also send you your tutor’s email address and your login details. Your tutor will also be in touch to welcome you.

Any work you create on our courses is owned by you. We will never make a claim to anything you produce. We follow the rule that copyright subsists with the creator (you).

'I enjoyed learning how to write a press release with Fiona Walsh. I found her to be professional, talented and accurate with her assessment of my work. It was one of the best courses I have ever done, and I wished I had done it years ago.'

Ruth Masani, Write a Press Release and Media Writing Course

Got More Questions?

We would love to help you choose the best course for you. Tell us what style of writing you want to develop and we'll give you some course options to consider.