Press Release Best Practices

Press releases, typically 600- to 800-word summaries written for a non-technical reader, are distributed to members of the media (and others) to highlight a newsworthy activity, research, event or major institutional or departmental change.

When appropriate, the Penn Engineering Office of Marketing and Communications will draft a press release (with your input and final approval) and coordinate outreach to the media (including general and technical publications as well as internal Penn publications).

Please note that, just as with all projects, we require a 30-day notice for press releases. If your request is received with less notice, the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications will have to make a decision with your Department Chair regarding your requested deadline.

Do I need a press release?

For research, announcement and event-related press releases, please consider the following questions to help determine whether a press release might be warranted:

  • Does the research have major scientific implications or practical applications?
  • Is the research newsworthy? (i.e. something broad-based that a reporter may find intriguing or current within the news cycle)?
  • Is the research groundbreaking, original and timely?
  • If the research is being published in an academic journal, is there an embargo policy? Does the academic journal issue its own press releases or promote authors in other ways?
  • If the work is collaborative, have you discussed issuing a press release with your partners? (If this is the case, please submit the contact information of the peer organizations or institution’s communications office to MarComms in order to coordinate efforts and approvals).
  • Do you have photos and/or video to accompany your research? If not, would you like them from our office? (Please note that this request requires at least 60 days’ notice).
  • Is there a patent pending or collaboration with industry?
  • Is the announcement or award “major” (Nobel, NAE, Franklin, etc.)?

Contact us if you feel your project meets the standard(s) above for a press release.

Contact MarComms:

Penn Engineering Marketing and Communications can be reached at Once your message has been received, the appropriate team member will respond to you.

MarComms Team:

Eleni Rengepis
Executive Director

Bella Ciervo
Digital Marketing Manager

Mark Griffey
Director of Digital Marketing

Olivia McMahon
Senior Writer, Executive Communications and Institutional Projects

Melissa Pappas
Junior Science Writer

Charles Rorke
Marketing and Communications Specialist

Ian Scheffler
Senior Science Writer

Holly Wojcik
Director of Media Relations

Mailing Address:

Penn Engineering Marketing and Communications
Office of the Dean
1B Towne Building
220 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6391