Presentation on theme: "News Releases. Objectives State the purpose of a news release Describe the writing style and format used in a news release Describe the way a news release."— Presentation transcript:
To inform the media about a newsworthy event or to provide additional information about an ongoing case in a clear and easily understood manner. To notify a number of media outlets simultaneously about a newsworthy event. Purpose
To produce a news release that can be run verbatim in the next day’s paper or read verbatim by an electronic journalist. - Accuracy: verify the facts - Brevity: give JUST the facts - Clarity: keep it simple Goal of a News Release
Elements of a News Release Header (SC NG) Contact name, phone number and/or email Conditions for release (Immediate) Headline Dateline Story (one page only, if possible) Clear indication of ending (“###” or “30”) Format
General Guidelines Fact: Just because the Army is putting out a news release, doesn’t mean the media will find it newsworthy – that’s your job! Grab their attention with the Headline, but don’t tell the whole story in the headline Make maximum use of space!
Use simple construction and words Write in active voice Use vivid words Use abbreviations and acronyms only when they can be understood by the general public Be specific! General Guidelines (Cont.)
Organization Inverted Pyramid Style – facts arranged in order of importance from most to least Lead Bridge Body Least Important FACTSFACTS Most Important
The Lead Tells the gist of the story Must answer the 4 main Ws –Who, What, Where and When Should be one sentence, 30 words or less Don’t try and jam all your info. In the lead People are almost always your lead emphasis LEAD Bridge Body
Lead BRIDGE Body The Bridge Transition paragraph that connects lead to body WAITS: –Ws not in the lead (Why/How) –Attribution –Identification –Tie-back information –Secondary information
The body Lead Bridge BODY The rest of the story Should list all remaining pieces of releasable information, in descending order of importance
AP Style The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, usually called the AP Stylebook, is a style and usage guide used by newspapers and in the news industry in the US. The book is updated annually by Associated Press editors, usually in June.
AP Style Grammar Acronyms Punctuation Principles and practices of reporting
Research your subject thoroughly - Internet, trade magazines, bios/fact sheets, previous stories Prepare questions before the interview Pre-interview other people Schedule place, time for interview Set up photo opportunity Preparation and Research
Determine appropriate SMEs The “who” or “what” will determine SMEs Use additional resources Vary your SME’s on similar stories Interviewing
Remember military bearing Be flexible Avoid Yes/No questions (probing) Focus on your questions Don’t ask dumb questions Conducting the interview
Interviewing Get rid of any awkwardness Build a real sense of interest Keep the door open for follow-ups Send a copy of the article Conducting the interview
Interviewing Use personal form of shorthand Go back over notes ASAP Learn to keep writing and talking simultaneously Keep writing even if uninterested Learn to get the high points Review notes prior to concluding the interview Effective note taking
Interviewing Records everything Captures rapid speakers Lets you listen Captures quotes accurately Eliminates “I didn’t say that…” Allows for self-criticism Tape recorders: advantages
Interviewing Records everything Tapes must be transcribed Mechanical failures Might intimidate the subject ALWAYS supplement with notes!!! Tape recorders: disadvantages
Quotes One to three sentences. Attribute after first sentence if more than one. Used to give specific details. Used for opinions or feelings. AP stylebook tip: On second reference, only a person’s last name is used, unless there is more than one person with that last name!
Q. What are essential elements of a news release? A. Header, contact info, conditions for release, headline, dateline, story, and indication of ending.
Q. State the purpose of a news release A. To inform the media about a newsworthy event or to provide additional information about an ongoing case in a clear and easily understood manner. To notify a number of media outlets simultaneously about a newsworthy event.
Q. What is AP Style? A. It is a style and usage guide used by newspapers and in the news industry in the US.
Write a news release Situation: Your unit is conducting off road driver training during annual training right before hurricane season. This is the first time in 8 years, so a majority of the unit hasn’t done it. Location: McCrady Training Center, Eastover, SC Quote: “We want them to learn these fundamental skills so they will be able to navigate any obstacles in the event of a hurricane,” said 1 st Sgt. Jim McQueen.