Press release



Master's thesis: Heikki Puustinen


The purpose of writing a press release is to demonstrate knowledge about the subject of the thesis as well as written language skills. The press release is written in the language of the thesis. As an exception, students who have completed their first or second degree studies in Finland, but have acquired a bachelor’s degree abroad, write the press release in Finnish or Swedish.

The press release is written without supervision and sent to the instructing assistant via email.

The press release can be written and submitted as soon as the main results of the thesis are clear. In practice, the first version of the thesis should be written and reviewed by the supervisor.  The press release should be written no later than month before the meeting of the master's programme committee where the thesis is to be accepted.

A press release should be informative, comprehensible, interesting and short (approx. 1 A4).  Main points to consider while writing a press release are:

Target audience: It is important to express the results of the thesis in a way that is understood by the target audience.  Potential target audience is, e.g., the professionals and researcher in the field operations research or the readers of technology or economy orientated newspapers and magazines. If it is probable that the target audience does not comprehend the terminology or the methods used in the thesis, they must be elaborated.
Headline: A press release has its own headline, different that of the thesis’. Its purpose is to grab the reader’s attention and summarise the results of the thesis. For example: “Dynamic optimization brings competitive advantage for suppliers”.
Structure: A press release is characterized by the introduction of the most important and interesting content first.  The first paragraph should start with the mention of the author, the field and the title of the thesis as well as the organizations at which the thesis is written and targeted to.  The main results of the thesis should also be briefly discussed. The key is to answer the question Who?, What?, When?, Where? and Why? as soon as possible.  Further issues such as the background, the methods used in the thesis, broader meaning of the results, applications and further research are presented in their own paragraphs in the order of importance.
Style: Use short sentences to keep the press release comprehensible.  Avoid using technical jargon, abbreviations and numbers. It is usually better to write in active and present tense in order to keep the press relase more engaging.
The instructing assistant gives additional information about writing the press release if necessary.