Press Release Tip 14
Optional note to the media and the Safe Harbor Statement
The sixth part of a press release is the optional note to the media. For public companies only, the seventh part is the Safe Harbor Statement.
In my sample release, my note to the media is highlighted it in red here. It’s an opportunity to offer extra things like photos, graphics or illustrations, or other sources for stories they are writing. My note grants them permission to reprint tips from my booklets.
Notice that in my note, I’ve addressed newsletter publishers and bloggers. That’s because Iwant them to know that I consider them a part of the media, too.
The Safe Harbor Statement
Publicly held companies must include a Safe Harbor Statement in their press releases. I’ve included one sample below. It goes at the end of the press release issued by a public company in which the information could be considered “forward-looking,” by having an impact on the future performance of the company.
Safe Harbor language was required as part of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is supposed to be a protection for investors and for companies, letting investors know when content in a press release could have an impact on future performance such as stock price.
It’s also protection for the public company (hence the title “safe harbor provision”), with the idea being if you let the public know in your release that it included “forward-looking statements,” you somewhat reduce your liability from shareholder actions, especially lawsuits.
I am not an attorney and the sample below is not to be considered legal advice. If you are a publicly-held company, please consult with your attorney on the exact wording.
Here’s a sample Safe Harbor Statement:
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements involve a high degree of risk and uncertainty, are predictions only and actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to differences include the uncertainty regarding viability and market acceptance of the Company’s products and services, the ability to complete software development plans in a timely manner, changes in relationships with third parties, product mix sold by the Company and other factors described in the Company’s most recent periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its ____[YEAR] Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.
Opportunity #14 to write a press release: Contributions to charities
If you or your company contribute to a charity, this is an ideal time to write a press release. It also gives you an opportunity to include a quote that explains all the reasons why you think it is worthy of donations.
If you’re sending a press release about a contribution, please do not include with it the standard “check-passing” photo. You know the kind. You’re passing a big cardboard check to the recipient, or a real check that’s so small that it can barely be seen in the photo.
These photos look cheesy because they’re staged. Besides, every check-passing photo looks the same. Here’s a better idea. Wait until the recipient uses the money for a worthy cause, then think about a photo. For example, if you’re contributing money for a piece of equipment for your local hospital, write the press release and distribute it. When the equipment arrives, arrange with the hospital for a photo that shows a patient using the equipment. Then publish the photo online, at your blog, along with a caption that mentions your contribution. Be sure to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Next: You’ll start Module 3 and learn about press releases for routine news.