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The Rules of Engagement 27 June 2012. How to write an engaging press release Creating your press release Practice session Issuing your press release Following.

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Presentation on theme: "The Rules of Engagement 27 June 2012. How to write an engaging press release Creating your press release Practice session Issuing your press release Following."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Rules of Engagement 27 June 2012

2 How to write an engaging press release Creating your press release Practice session Issuing your press release Following up your press release More practice Final Q&A/discussion

3 Introductions… Your name and institution Area of research Your press release scenario

4 Why use a press release? Is it news?

5 Creating your press release

6 The angle Define your message What is/are the points of most interest to the outside world? Think about the bigger picture

7 Structure Date Embargo Headline / subheading Crucial first para Quotes Contacts Notes for editors

8 Tone of voice and style

9 Don’t forget! Proof read your press release and get someone else to check it too Make sure contact details and date/embargo are correct Get the release signed off and send it for information to partners/colleagues if needed

10 Your turn…

11 Issuing your press release Target your press release Research your contacts carefully Cover all types of media The personal touch for important contacts

12 Be prepared! PICTURES! Q&A Spokespeople

13 Following up your press release Be persistent and tenacious Pick up the ‘phone

14 Afterwards… Collate and share coverage Keep a list of coverage and feedback from journalists

15 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: some examples

16 Bad For Immediate Release: August 1, 2011 Yale University, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Stanford University Publish Study on Red Dwarfs New Haven, Conn.—A team of scientists from Yale, Harvard and Stanford Universities analyzed data obtained from the spectra of red dwarf stars in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. They used powerful instruments on the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to analyze the spectra of eight elliptical galaxies located between 50 million and 300 million light years away and have published a paper about their findings in the Astrophysical Journal.

17 Why is it bad? Where’s the news in headline or first para? Off-putting scientific/technical jargon Small details in the first paragraph should come later Jumbled and confused So what?

18 Better For Immediate Release: August 1, 2011 DISCOVERY TRIPLES NUMBER OF STARS IN UNIVERSE - Leading Astronomers from Yale, Harvard and Stanford Make Red Dwarf Breakthrough - Astronomers from three leading universities have discovered that small, dim stars known as red dwarfs are much more prolific than previously thought and that the total number of stars in the universe is three times bigger than previously thought. The discovery, announced today (1 August) and published in the latest issue of Nature, sheds new light on how galaxies form and evolve over time.

19 Why is it good? Short snappy headline draws the reader in Inverted pyramid of information: the news comes first, details, background and context later Clear and jargon-free language I’m interested!

20 Embargoed until 00:01 on 5 December 2004 CATHEDRALS COUNT - Thought-provoking new research by English Heritage reveals the economic and social value of England’s Anglican cathedrals - New research has revealed that nearly nine million people visited England’s Anglican cathedrals in 2003 – two million more than visited Blackpool Pleasure Beach, five million more than went on the London Eye and almost twice as many as visited the British Museum in the same year. This is just one of many compelling findings in a report on the value of England’s cathedrals which is launched today (15 December 2004) as part of Heritage Counts, an annual audit of the historic environment carried out by English Heritage on behalf of the sector.

21 Your turn…

22 Any questions?


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