How can you go about drumming up some excitement for your animal shelter or animal rescue? You write an AWESOME PRESS RELEASE!

Having your press release picked up by the news will help bring needed awareness to your animal shelter or rescue. The coverage can help you reach people in your community you have not been able to before. A press release should grab the attention of a journalist or reporter while being as objective and news-worthy as possible. Follow these tips for writing an exciting press release for your animal shelter or rescue!

  1. Brainstorm a list of ideas that are newsworthy.
    • When you send your press release, the reporter or journalist receiving it is going to want something that is newsworthy. They need something that is interesting and relevant. Luckily, people love stories about animals, so we all have a hand up there. Keep a running list of ideas and/or reasons you would want your rescue or shelter to be in the news. These will be reasons to write a press release.
    • Here are some reasons you may want a press release about your animal shelter or animal rescue:
      • You need more adopters, fosters, and/or volunteers
      • You are holding a community event and want to use the news to spread the word
      • You are holding a large fundraising event that will allow you to help save more animals
      • Your rescue or shelter made an impact on the community, maybe you helped in a hoarding case or saved a large group of animals from an abusive situation
  2. Write an exciting headline.
    • After you decide what you are going to alert the news about, it is time to come up with an impressive headline. Your headline should grab the journalist’s attention, tell them what the release is about, and entice them to read more.
    • Don’t make the headline too long. About one sentence is good.
  3. Keep the rest of it short, sweet, and to the point.
    • Journalists and reports received hundreds if no thousands of story ideas pitched to them. Just like we run short on time, so do they. You’ll want to keep your press release short and sweet. As you write your press release, keep in mind the reporter or journalist receiving your story wants to read something that is newsworthy and relevant. They want to hear about things happening at your rescue or shelter that they can turn into a story for their viewers.
    • The first sentence should give them the who, what, when, where, why. The rest of the press release should expand on this idea. You could even consider using a bullet-pointed list to highlight everything they need to know.
  4. Include information about your animal shelter or animal rescue.
    • Tell the journalist exactly WHO you are. Include things like your mission, the size of your animal shelter or rescue, when you were started, and maybe a fun or interesting fact that aligns with the news you are sharing.
  5. Send it out with your contact information.
    • Send the story to your local television stations and newspaper outlets. Check their websites, they may have places to send press releases or you can give them a call to ensure the release goes to the right person.
    • Make sure to include your contact information or the person they should contact for media inquiries.
  6. Follow- up
    • If you don’t hear back from the reporter right away, don’t fret! Again, they are busy! Give it three to five days, and then send a follow-up email. Be polite and succinct. Emphasize, again, the piece of news surrounding your rescue or shelter. You could offer why this is relevant to their audience, and let them know you look forward to hearing back.


Use press coverage as an opportunity to gain community awareness and as a resource to help you keep saving lives!