It is important to publicize any activities or events you organize in your local newspaper. Send regular press releases to the editor of the Community Events section of the newspaper with photos. Provide the newspaper with a press release as well as supplementary information on French and on your students and their activities. In that way, the reporter or editor can use what you supply as is or may even choose to do a feature article on the French program. Remember that, in most cases, once is not enough. You must contact journalists and other media outlets repeatedly and with interesting, well-presented information to awaken their interest. The media cover events, what is happening in the community, and any information you provide should be presented as an event.

The following sample press releases can be used to announce events. Remember to announce presentations by students to various community groups as well as competition results with photos even when the activity is not open to the general public. Be sure and obtain permission before submitting students' photos.

Sample Press Release 1

Celebrate National French Week. The [group] in [city] have planned a [community event] on [date/time]. This event is being organized by [students/teachers] from [school(s)/chapter] and will include [performances/sketches/music/film] in French and related to the French-speaking world. The public is invited. [Mention any admission fees] Contact [name/coordinates] for more information.

National French Week, [dates], is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French, the national professional association for French teachers founded in 1927. The purpose of this week-long celebration is to highlight the many contributions of French explorers, artists, musicians, scientists, and philosophers to world culture and civilization. French is spoken by over 200 million people in 43 countries on 5 continents. [The (local) AATF chapter, with over (#) members, is led by (name), President.] Watch for French students in our community who will be publicizing the many reasons to learn French throughout this week. Congratulate them on their accomplishments and interest in other parts of the world.

Sample Press Release 2

French students from [school(s)] have planned a number of events to celebrate National French Week, November [dates]. On [date] the theme of [cuisine/sports/technology] will be highlighted with a [dinner/demonstration/performance] at [place/time/fee, if applicable]. On [date], students will focus on [theme] by organizing a [event] at [place/time/fee, is applicable]. On [date/time] the public is invited to [event] which will celebrate [theme]. [Mention fee, if applicable] The public is welcome at all these events in honor of French contributions to literature, music, science, fashion, and culture. Contact [name/coordinates] for more information.

National French Week is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French, the national professional association of French teachers founded in 1927. In our community, French is taught in over [number] schools and chosen by more than [number] students annually. Come see the results and recognize these students and teachers for their hard work and accomplishments.

Sample Press Release 3

National French Week, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French, will take place November [dates]. 10,000 French teachers across the United States and their students will celebrate the contributions of the French and French-speaking world to literature, art, music, civilization, science, fashion, cuisine, and many other areas. The [local] AATF chapter will organize [event] on [date/time/place/fee]. In addition, area schools will organize events during each day of National French Week. [List these events.] The public is invited. [List contact names and coordinates of individuals who can provide additional information.]

The American Association of Teachers of French was founded in 1927 to "represent the French language in North America and to encourage the dissemination of knowledge concerning all aspects of the cultures and civilizations of France and the French-speaking world." [Information about local French heritage, such as explorers, historical sites, place names, sister city relationships, and other "French connections."] The [local chapter] invites our community to celebrate the French heritage that is all around us.

Reprinted from AATF National Bulletin, Special Issue, Vol. 24 No. 5 (May 1999)


Created: April 25, 1999
Last update: July 31, 2015