Presentation on theme: "What makes a great news item Pat Leon for services conference February 10, 2005."— Presentation transcript:
What makes a great news item Pat Leon for services conference February 10, 2005
Whats news? For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news Gloria Borger, US columnist Dog bites man or man bites dog? Whats your burning issue? Is it a story? Bear it in mind…….
You Youre pressured and have inherited a press and publicity brief You know what you do, but how do you tell others? Who needs to know? Who would you like to know? If they knew, whats the spin-off?
Them Big brothers - Jisc, Hefce, research councils and boards, institutions The family - users, academics, librarians, students, managers Near relations Distant relations the competitors Progeny
Media and message Different notes for different folks Press releases, briefs, news stories, features, captions, headlines, interviews, profiles, opinions, letters, briefings, papers National: newsletters, bulletins, publications, websites, national press, radio, television, conference synopses Local: university publications, local newspapers,radio, television With all: keep it simple
Basic instincts Think people Who did what, where, when Why and how What do they say about it What do others say What difference does it make What happens next
Basic instincts: part II Make those first five words count Write tight Be active, not passive Identify jargon Try layman/womans language Avoid acronyms Spice things up Hot news, not hot air
Pack a punch Word length - depends on media The intro Second, third paragraph expand, bring in new information Fourth paragraph - quote Quote again Watch the grammar…and spelling Check names and facts Put contact details if needed
Page layout Is it a dogs dinner or eye-fest? Symmetry or asymmetry Fonts and sizes Upper and lower case Column widths Paragraph length White space Avoid clutter But also stodge
Have a go Draft a 4/5 paragraph press release Pair or triple up Five minutes of questions Who, what, where, when, how Get a quote Keep it simple Read stories back to table