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Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
МИНИСТЕРСТВО ОБРАЗОВАНИЯ И НАУКИ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ
ФЕДЕРАЛЬНОЕ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЕ БЮДЖЕТНОЕ ОБРАЗОВАТЕЛЬНОЕ
УЧРЕЖДЕНИЕ ВЫСШЕГО ПРОФЕССИОНАЛЬНОГО ОБРАЗОВАНИЯ
«ИРКУТСКИЙ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ ЛИНГВИСТИЧЕСКИЙ УНИВЕРСИТЕТ»
Е.В. Подкаменная
Press Releases
Учебно-методическое пособие
по обучению профессионально ориентированной письменной речи
Иркутск
ИГЛУ
2011
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
ББК 81.432.1- 923
П 44
Печатается по решению редакционно-издательского совета Иркутского
государственного лингвистического университета
Рецензенты
С.А. Домышева, канд. филол. наук, доц. кафедры
американистики ФГБОУ ВПО «Иркутский государственный
лингвистический университет»
О.Ю. Левченко, канд. пед. наук, доц. Забайкальского института
предпринимательства
Сибирского
университета
потребительской кооперации
С.А. Фетисова, канд. филол. наук, доц. кафедры иностранных
языков для специальных целей ФГБОУ ВПО «Иркутский
государственный лингвистический университет»
П44 Подкаменная Е.В. Press Releases [Текст]: учеб.-метод. пособие. – Иркутск:
ИГЛУ, 2011. – 89 с.
Пособие состоит из четырех циклов, включающих теоретические
сведения о создании англоязычных пресс-релизов различных типов согласно
предложенной автором типологии. Практические задания построены на основе
современных аутентичных пресс-релизов и направлены на формирование
иноязычной профессионально ориентированной письменной речи.
Настоящее учебно-методическое пособие предназначено для студентов
старших курсов направления подготовки Реклама и связи с общественностью.
ББК 81.432.1- 923
© Подкаменная Е.В., 2011
© Иркутский государственный
лингвистический университет, 2011
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Introduction
1.
2.
3.
4.
What is PR Writing?
Over the first lesson we are going to discuss several points, summarized as
follows:
People like stories. PR writers get paid (and paid well!) to tell stories.
PR writing is a particular kind of story-telling, requiring a particular discipline.
PR writers write for a very specific primary audience -- editors. Editors aren't
interested in ideas. Editors are interested in stories.
Press release is one of the basic tools of PR.
People like to hear stories. There is plenty of evidence that this is very basic to
human nature -- you might almost say it's how we think.
Most of the stories in the paper start as PR writing. Of course, some stories are
initiated by the news media covering breaking events -- a train wreck, for example, is
covered "live" by reporters who rush to the scene as soon as their scanners pick up
emergency officials' call for help. But most stories are generated as part of an
information campaign by someone.
It's rarely obvious exactly who's behind the PR. A reporter will never begin a story
by saying, "I got a press release today and it said..." But you can often tell how the
key information -- the message of the story -- started out.
TASK 1. Use your professional knowledge and draw the template of Russian
press release. Explain what each part stands for.
TASK 2. Read the story “Deerfield Tries to Decide if Circus will Come to Town”
by Courtney Flynn, Tribune staff reporter and answer the questions after it.
May 18, 2007
Two Deerfield charitable foundations imagined that a circus would be a hit with
families and provide thousands of dollars for park and education programs.
But some Deerfield residents are upset about the plan to bring a traveling circus to
town, saying that elephants are treated inhumanely. Deerfield trustees are expected to
decide Monday whether to issue a permit.
"I feel like we all need to look beyond the entertainment aspect and look at what price
the elephants pay," said longtime resident Michelle Shields. "I hope that the village will
reflect on it and realize that it's not a good fit for a community like ours."
As part of a joint fundraiser planned for Sept. 18, the Deerfield School District 109
Education Foundation and the Deerfield Park Foundation want to host the Oklahomabased Kelly Miller Circus at Brickyards Park on the south end of town.
Two performances under a tent could draw as many as 2,400 people and raise $30,000
for the foundations. The education foundation would use its half of the money for
teacher grants, special education programs and instructional programs, and park
foundation's funds probably would go toward creating a playground or other park
programs, officials said.
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"We're all just volunteers who are trying to do good things for the kids," said Sandy
Robbins, president of the education foundation.
Robbins and Deerfield Park Foundation Chairman Bill Smirles said their foundations
spoke with circus representatives and officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
which regulates and issues licenses for circuses, and were told that the Kelly Miller
Circus has no current violations or citations. A spokesman for the USDA did not know
immediately whether the circus had any violations, but said violations in general are
"fairly rare."
"If we weren't comfortable, there'd be no way we'd be moving forward," Robbins said.
"We've done our due diligence, and we're comfortable with moving forward."
Deerfield Mayor Steven Harris, who used to be chairman of the Deerfield Park
Foundation, said the Village Board probably will defer to the research done by the two
foundations in deciding whether to issue a permit.
"When people are coming to us for a permit, we have to rely on their good work,"
Harris said. "And they just better be right."
A representative of the Kelly Miller Circus did not return calls for comment.
Some towns, such as Naperville, stopped hosting the Kelly Miller Circus two years ago
in search of other ways to raise money for the Naper Settlement, but the Wilmette
education foundation and a Gurnee school PTO said the circus was successful in their
communities.
"It was very well-run, very professional," said Lauren Weir, who helps organize
fundraisers for the Gurnee District 56 PTO.
But some Deerfield residents contend that the elephants are too large to be
transported to suburban destinations and spend too much time in cages. They hope
that trustees refuse to issue a permit.
"Morally wrong is morally wrong," said resident Diana Paserba. "Perhaps Deerfield
could be a leader instead of a follower in issues of humane treatment of animals."
Karen Rappaport, a Riverwoods resident whose children attend Deerfield schools, said
the community might be supportive of circuses that use gymnasts instead of animals.
"I look at [circuses] as one of those outdated things, like rodeos," said Rappaport. "As
we progress and evolve, they shouldn't be acceptable anymore."
Smirles and Robbins said their foundations are at ease with the circus and hope that
the village issues the permit.
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"We understand this is a concern for some residents in the community," Smirles said.
"We feel comfortable that the Kelly Miller Circus treats their animals in a humane
way."
a. Now answer the questions:
o Who is doing something newsworthy? Who is the indispensable factor without
whom there would be no story?
o What is the important thing that he or she (or they) is doing? What action, right
now, are they taking that makes this an interesting story?
o Where did it happen? Is this a local story?
o When did it happen? ...this week? today?
o Why is this significant or newsworthy? We know Who did What and now we need
to know why or how it matters.
o Who do you think got this into the newspaper? Did some intrepid reporter just
happen upon this story? Or might one or more of the people or institutions mentioned
in the article have made an effort to get coverage. Think about this and then
reconsider your choice for a "Who" (and "What").
b. Now, to show how news stories can vary, I want you to re-think the story presented
in this article. Shift the point of view. Using the same basic facts, ask yourself:
o Who else could be the center of this story?
o What is it they're doing (or having done to them) that could make them the center?
o When is it going to happen (or when did it happen)?
o Where?
o Why or how is this story newsworthy, with this new center of focus -- it could be the
same as in the article, or it could have other significance.
TASK 3. One of your assignments today is to do a news analysis.
As you page through the paper, use your imagination. You won't necessarily
know for sure, but with a little creative guessing you will usually be able to identify
not only the structural elements of the story -- the 5 W's -- but also the underlying
message that launched this story into the "infosphere" -- the world of information
exchange.
Doing a News Analysis

First, go online and find a news article that you have reason to believe was
generated as part of a public relations campaign. Use your imagination as to whose
PR campaign it might be a part of.

Copy the link to the story.

Do a one-page analysis, "filling in the blanks" for the following questions:
1. In the upper left hand corner: Your name, and the words, Lesson One News
Analysis
2. Article headline, source, and date
3. The 5 W's -
Who is the story about? (Do you think this person could be the PR
source of the story?)

What are they doing (or having done to them?)
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Where is it all happening?

When did it or will it take place?

Why is it happening? -- How is it significant?
4. The Message -- in a nutshell, what is the story trying to say? ...and since we have
identified this as the successful result of a press release, What was the take-home
point that the PR writer wanted you to understand?
5. Why do you think the editor has chosen this press-release for his article? Present
the results of your analysis to the group.

Here are some news links:
http://www.foxnews.com/
http://www.cnn.com/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/
http://abcnews.go.com/
http://news.google.com/
Unit I
Lesson 1
Components of a Press Release
At this stage we are going to observe the general structure of English press-releases.
Even though there are many different types of press releases, all press releases should
include several common components. Here are the basic components of an English
press release, and what should be included in each section:
Release Time – The release time of a press release is where you would note “For
Immediate Release”, "For Release Before [date]","For Release After [date]" or
“Embargoed Until” followed by a specific date (for releases that aren’t permitted to
be published immediately).
*Contact Info – Full contact info, or at least as much as possible, including a full
media contact name, phone number, and email address. A mailing address, fax
number, and cell phone number can also be included.
Headline – The headline, or press release title, should be attention-grabbing while
still telling journalists the essence of the news contained in the press release.
*Dateline – This will include the distribution date of the press release, followed by
the hometown of the person or company presenting the news, and finally followed by
the start of the first body paragraph.
Lead(the first paragraph) - The who, what, when, where, and why questions should
all be answered in this paragraph if possible, followed by any quotes and supporting
facts.
Press Release Body – The body of the press release will go into further detail about
the news. Using a strategy called the inverted pyramid, the body of the press release
should be written with the most important information and quotes first. This inverted
pyramid technique is used so that if editors need to cut the story to fit space
constraints, they can cut from the end without losing critical information.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Boilerplate – A press release boilerplate is a paragraph after the press release body,
often preceded with a line saying “About CompanyXYZ,” which gives general
background (not usually directly related to the news angle) about the person,
organization, or company issuing the press release.
*Call to Action – Generally a one-sentence closer following the boilerplate of the
news release, and starting with something like “For more information about
CompanyXYZ or this news angle…” followed by a media contact person’s name and
phone number, and sometimes email address.
Closing – To close a press release (to let the journalist know there isn’t a second
page), center ### or -30- at the bottom of the page.
____________
* These parts can have different forms and places in press-releases of different
companies.
Here is press release template you can also use while writing:
Your Logo Here
Contact Information:
Program Director Name
Address for the site
E-mail
Website
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“Title Here” (Example: New Students Anxious to Get an Upper Hand on
Technology)
CITY, STATE (Example: AUSTIN, TX), DATE – This is the opening paragraph, and
it should be really brief but explain all important points. This paragraph should be
anywhere from 3 to 5 sentences. It should include the event that’s going on, the date,
time and important people.
The next paragraph goes into more detail. For example, this section could explain the
importance of the event and why it’s taking place. This is a good place to mention
that the program and its participants depend on grants and other outside funding. In
general, remember that most important information should be placed at the beginning
of the article - information at the end is less likely to be read.
Another section could talk about the need for your particular program(s). This is
where you’ll go in detail about how it got started and what services you offer. Once
again, you should keep paragraphs at about 3 to 5 sentences in length.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
The very last paragraph is called the “boilerplate.” It is usually no more than 2 to3
sentences. Example: The Digital Workforce Academy strives to meet workforce
demands in the digital economy by providing technology skills to underemployed
members of our community. The academy is a non-profit organization that fosters
community revitalization through education and technology training.
###
Notice we're using the inverted pyramid style here. As you know from intro
courses, this is the journalistic style that says "Put the more important stuff at the
top, the less important in the middle, and the least important at the bottom."
Reporters know that editors want to be able to cut a story from the bottom up -- if it's
ten inches and they only need eight, they want to be able to simply snip two inches
off the bottom. The story has to hold despite the loss of that last paragraph. Then, if
necessary, the editor needs to be able to snip again and maybe again -- until only the
top paragraph or two are left. With a well-crafted inverted pyramid, the story is still
intact, even though now's it's only a "news note" -- a brief item.
Task 1. Now compare the templates of Russian and English press releases and
state the difference.
Task 2.a. Read the press-releases given below and define their structure. What
information does each paragraph contain?
I.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Ted Collier
Surety Finance, Inc.
Phone: 303-677-2171
Email: info@suretyfinance.com
Surety Finance Breaks $1 Million in Judgment Collection Accounts for 2003
Denver, CO---January 29, 2011---Surety Finance, Inc. announced that the company
processed over one million dollars in judgment collection accounts in 2010. Surety
Finance provides free service with no upfront fees to help individuals and businesses
collect money awarded to them in a lawsuit.
While a judge or jury can award people with money through small claims or civil
court, it is up to the individuals to physically collect those monies. Statistics show
that 80% of all judgments nationwide go uncollected. Unlike collection agencies and
law firms, Surety Finance requires no upfront cash. Clients only pay if and when
Surety Finance collects the money. This new and unique service offers the help that
the courts do not provide. Instead of paying money up front to a collection company
and risk losing even more money, clients can enlist the aid of Surety Financial
because Surety’s investigative services are free. The company only makes money if it
retrieves the money owed to clients through judgments.
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Surety Finance spokesperson Ted Collier said, “We are very pleased to have hit the
one million mark this year. We have a very dedicated team and great clients who
know that we are providing a valuable service in collecting money that is rightfully
theirs.”
While Surety Finance encourages clients to seek all legal means to collect the
judgments on their own, the company is frequently asked to step in to collect the
money and close the cases when necessary. Surety Finance specializes in judgments
that are anywhere from one to five years old in amounts ranging from as little as $500
to as much as $500,000.
With access to worldwide databases that are linked to hundreds of other judgment
recovery professionals throughout the United States and abroad, Surety Finance’s
exploratory fingers reach far and wide. Surety Finance’s high technology and
investigative powers leave little room for individuals or businesses to hide. Their
experienced investigative teams employ innovative and advanced methods of seeking
and finding individuals and their assets. To seize assets, Surety Finance has the
capability and the means that ordinary collection agencies do not have. In fact, many
attorneys use judgment recovery professionals such as Surety Finance to aid in their
own efforts to collect funds for clients.
For more information email info@suretyfinance.com or call 303-677-2171.
###
II.
FOR RELEASE AFTER NOVEMBER 12
Contact:
Stephen Thomas
Professional Investment Group, Inc.
Phone: 303-664-2291
Toll-free: 800-664-2291
Email: jthomas@pig.com
Web site: http://www.pig.com
Professional Investment Group (PIG) announces Jeremy Solis to join Board of
Directors
Denver, CO---November 12, 2010---Professional Investment Group (PIG), a leading
multi-manager investment group, today announced the addition of new Board
Member, Jeremy Solis, CPA.
Mr. Solis is President of Highground Asset Management, Inc., a firm specializing in
executive compensation and benefits design, funding and consulting. As a founder of
HAM, Jeremy’s experience in the executive compensation area spans 15 years.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
PIG focuses on creating stable investments and optimized risk-adjusted returns and
provides objective customized solutions to assist individuals, professionals and
business owners in reaching their financial goals. PIG delivers measurable results
from assessment, proven strategies, and excellence in execution.
Mr. Solis's expertise includes equity planning, executive compensation, benefits
consulting, security alternatives and liability funding. Mr. Solis is a graduate of
Michigan State University and is a CPA, formerly with Taft Associates in Newark,
NJ.
"Mr. Solis brings years of experience to the table. We have worked together
successfully in the past and he is a true asset to our team. We are happy to welcome
him aboard," said Bartholomew M. Thomas, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Solis joins a team of other Board Members, which include Gregory Vsticoff of
CPGS Group, Bradley Hancock of Stregle & Traddeit, Ltd., Simon Fowl of Lerner
Thomas, Inc., H. M. Herne of Brunner-MacDonaldson, Burgher Nelson of Nelson &
Associates, and Bernard H. Soghren, founder and CEO of Professional Investment
Group, Inc.
About Professional Investment Group, Inc.
Professional Investment Group, Inc. is engaged in consulting in areas such as
benefits, actuarial, compensation, and plan administration and manages capital for a
diverse group of investors including approximately 230 leading pension funds,
financial institutions, endowments, and high net worth individuals. PIG’s
conservative approach and tolerance of complex investment situations have enabled
the firm to produce consistently high risk-adjusted returns for investors on five
continents. Professional Investment Group’s corporate headquarters is located in
Denver, Colorado.
###
III.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Dennis Mauer
Rock Sold Construction Company, Inc.
Phone: 800-223-2600
Email: dmauer@rocksolidconstructionco.com
Web site: http://www.rocksolidconstructionco.com
Rock Solid Construction Company Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings
Chicago, IL---May 12, 2011--- Rock Sold Construction Company, Inc. (NYSE:
RKC) today announced that it has scheduled its 2010 annual and fourth quarter
earnings release conference call for Thursday, July 28, 2011, after market close.
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Management will conduct a conference call with a live Webcast to discuss results on
Thursday, July 28, 2011, at 4:30 p.m. EST (1:30 p.m. PST). A live audio Webcast of
the conference call will be available on the company’s Web site. Following the
conference call, an archived recording will be available at the Rock Solid
Construction Company’s Web site. Those who would like to access the live
conference via telephone may call 800-223-2601 from within the United States or
773-223-2601 from outside the United States at least 10 minutes before the call is
scheduled to begin.
About Rock Solid Construction Company, Inc.
Rock Solid Construction Company, Inc., (http://www.rocksolidconstructionco.com)
based in Chicago, IL, has operations in 54 markets across the U.S. The company is
the nation's leading builder of luxury condominiums and town homes. In 2004,
Forbes ranked Rock Solid Construction Company number 1 in customer satisfaction
in 10 U.S. markets.
For
more
information,
call
800-223-2600,
email
dmauer@rocksolidconstructionco.com,
or
go
to
http://www.rocksolidconstructionco.com.
###
IV.
DisasterUpdates.com Goes Online Just as 2009 Hurricane Season Kicks Into
Gear
Media Contact:
Dave Miller, Spokesperson
DisasterUpdates.com
Phone: (904) 566-9634
Email: info@disasterupdates.com
Website: http://www.disasterupdates.com/
NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2009 — Tropical storm activity has taken off the last few
days … and just in time for coastal residents, businesses and tourists, there is a new
website to provide current hurricane news and information. Disaster Updates
(http://www.DisasterUpdates.com) consolidates hurricane and other disaster news for
quick and easy reference 24/7.
“The website provides more than just disaster news; it also provides a variety of
helpful web-based tools,” stated website spokesperson Dave Miller.
Miller provides an example of how the Disaster Updates portal can help a family
multitask during a disaster emergency:
With this website parents can have their kids track an approaching hurricane with the
site’s hurricane reports and storm tracking maps while mom and dad learn how to
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
protect their family, pets and property from the coming storm and review possible
hurricane evacuation routes; then, after hurricane landfall, they can file their FEMA
disaster application online.
“Existing web resources were either too specialized or too complex for the average
homeowner or businessperson in need of quick disaster information. To this end, the
website was specifically designed to be more useful by individuals, families and
businesses reacting to a disaster emergency,” said Miller.
As the name implies, Disaster Updates is not just for hurricanes, but for many types
of disasters. Consider it a “disaster information portal” or a “disaster directory”
because it consolidates news and information on many natural and man-made
disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, floods, pandemic flu, terrorism,
accidents, and more.
For the latest news on Hurricane Bill or other disaster news you can get help 24/7 at
Disaster Updates.
About Disaster Updates
Disaster Updates (http://www.disasterupdates.com/) is a disaster information portal
that provides one-stop access for disaster news, resources and FEMA help 24/7.
Disaster Updates was designed by a disaster expert with over 20 years of experience
in disaster relief. His disaster work experience includes such major disasters as
Hurricane Katrina,the Northridge Earthquake and the 9/11 Terrorist Attack on the
World Trade Center.
###
Task 2.b. Define the target audience of each press release. Compare the style of
the releases. Why do you think it is different? What linguistic means are used to
influence each audience?
Task 2.c. Answer the questions:
a.
What is the release time? Why?
b.
What makes the headline attractive?
c.
What mass media could be interested in publishing this pressrelease?
d.
What is the target audience of the press-release?
e.
Analyse the information considering the pyramid style.
Task 3.a.Read the following paragraphs and decide what parts of press-release
they could be:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
About Saving Lives Transplant Foundation:
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
The Saving Lives Transplant Foundation was established in 1971 to help find living
kidney transplant donors. In 2001, Saving Lives began to accept lung, liver, and
pancreas donations from live donors. Saving Lives Transplant Foundation has
recruited over 300,000 donors and facilitated nearly 3,300 transplants since 1971.
New York, NY---June 3, 2011---The Saving Lives Transplant Foundation will hold
its fifth annual Saving Lives Gala on the evening of July 15, 2011 at the Park Central
New York Hotel. Four kidney transplant recipients will be introduced to the donors
who saved their lives. Each year, Saving Lives Transplant Foundation honors its
remarkable transplant donors, volunteers and philanthropists who make its life-saving
work possible.
Notes for editors
Harryfashion, the parent company of Make Your Own Jeans, employs a team of
young, dynamic clothing professionals with more than 25 years experience selling
denim and other high-end fabrics and clothing. The company produces jeans, jackets,
suits and more. Based in Mumbai, India, Make Your Own Jeans has a global
presence with a strong customer base in the UK, US, Germany and Australia.
Since launching in 2005, the company has established itself as a presence in the
fashion industry. It works closely with organisations that cater for people with special
needs - such as tall people, plus sizes and individuals with physical disabilities. Make
Your Own Jeans has been featured on the National Marfan Foundation website as a
recommended supplier of fashion garments (Marfan syndrome is an inheritable
condition that affects the connective tissue, making it defective and difficult to hold
the framework of the body together.)
"We have manufactured more than 20,000 pairs of jeans for our customers," says
Harry Shahari, founder of Make Your Own Jeans. "Apart from our regular orders, we
have made jeans with up to 85-inch waists and 73-inch lengths. We also regularly
create comfortable contemporary styles for people in wheelchairs and others with
special needs."
Other speakers at the gala include Dr. Robert Wegmann, Chief Executive Officer of
the New York rinity Healthcare Systems and Dr. Bruno Seidel, Director General of
Providence Health Network in Los Angeles, CA.
Make Your Own Jeans Creates Custom Fit Denims – Because People Aren’t
Mass Produced!
Regardless of the shape or size of a person, Make Your Own Jeans can create a
custom-designed pair of jeans, sport coat, suit, or other piece of clothing that will be
attractive, appropriate and comfortable to wear. Custom clothing is offered at the
lowest price possible and most custom jeans cost only £29. Make Your Own Jeans
has recently expanded its product line to include more than 150 different types of
stretch and non-stretch denim.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Receiving Saving Lives’ Lifetime Achievement honor is Kurt M. Hofman, CEO of
the LMP Corporation, a leading provider of wholesale and retail telecommunications
services. Mr. Hofman became involved with Gift of Life 17 years ago, when a
member of his community was in need of a kidney transplant and sponsored a
recruitment drive at LMP’s headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.
Harry says: “Customers are so infatuated with Make Your Own Jeans' customer
service and quality of clothing that they continue to return time after time.”
Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2007 — Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman
Christopher Cox announced today that the source code for the Interactive Financial
Report Viewer that enables investors to analyze companies’ interactive data filings is
now available via its Web site for free use by the market.
To aid customer loyalty, Make Your Own Jeans saves its customers' measurements
and refers to these vital statistics whenever a repeat order is placed. The latest
technology is used to store and retrieve measurement data for each custom-made
garment. So, for example, it is no problem to make the perfect pair of jeans for
someone who is 5'9”, with a small waist and muscular thighs who would rarely find a
‘high street’ pair that fit… and then make them again, and again…
“The SEC is committed to making the source code for all of our interactive data
applications, including our Web-based interactive data viewer, available to the world
as a basis for developing new XBRL-enabled products,” said Chairman Cox.
“Contributing this to the public domain will encourage the development of software
that uses SEC data feeds to give investors better and faster information with cuttingedge tools created by the private sector.”
“People aren’t mass produced, so why should their clothing be? Our garments have
character, flair and style – and they fit properly.”
- Ends For further information, please contact:
Harry Shahari, CEO , Harryfashion
Tel: 0091 9821142770
Email: info@makeyourownjeans.com
Site: www.Makeyourownjeans.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Breakthrough in Introduction of Interactive Data Reporting to Be
Announced Next Week in New York
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According to Harry, the company received such overwhelmingly positive feedback
about the jeans that it also decided to add a suit component to its product line. The
recently-launched
offshoot,
Make
Your
Own
Suits
(http://www.makeyourownsuits.com), includes sport coats – to go perfectly with the
jeans! Custom suits start at £57 - believed to be the lowest-priced bespoke suit on the
internet
Separately, Chairman Cox said the SEC will participate in a news conference with
XBRL US and others on Tuesday, Sept. 25 in New York to announce a major
breakthrough in the introduction of interactive financial reporting.
The SEC’s XBRL Voluntary Financial Reporting Program is an initiative to make
filings more accessible and understandable to the common investor by allowing
public companies to submit documents in eXtensible Business Reporting Language
(XBRL) format as exhibits to periodic reports and investment company act filings.
The Interactive Financial Report Viewer, first released in December 2006, allows
investors to view and analyze the XBRL-based filings submitted to the SEC.
The source code is
xbrlviewerlicense.htm
now
available
at:
http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl/
Saving Lives Transplant Foundation Director Richard Flemming stated, “This is such
a special time of year for us. It’s the rare moment when organ recipients can share
their gratitude with donors face-to-face, and donors can see how greatly their
generosity has affected the recipients who may live thousands of miles away. I
suspect there won’t be a dry eye in the house.”
Interactive data is powered by XBRL, a computer software language that labels
companies’ financial and other data with codes from standard lists so that investors
and analysts can more easily locate and analyze desired information.
Contact:
Richard Flemming, Director
Saving Lives Transplant Foundation
Telephone: (800) 346-2201
Email: rflemming@savinglivesfoundation.org
Web site: www.savinglivesfoundation.org
Kidney Transplant Recipients to meet Donors at Saving Lives Gala
Event Details:
Please call 1 (800) 346-2201 or visit www.savinglivesfoundation.org for details.
Dinner commences at 7:00 p.m., Park Central New York Hotel, 870 Seventh Avenue
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at 56th Street, New York, NY. Tickets are $450 per person; please call in advance to
reserve tables. Seating is limited.
Says Harry: “If the customer wants it, we can make it. The process is easy and an
individual – or whatever size or shape - simply enters their measurements and other
special requirements, if necessary, on our web order form. And, soon, the custommade jeans will be winging their way to the customer in the post.
October 15, 2010 - Press Dispensary - In a world filled with people of all shapes,
sizes and physical needs, the fashion industry needs to recognise that many of us
aren’t a perfect match for its standardised garments. Make Your Own Jeans
(http://www.makeyourownjeans.com), a fashion-savvy company that realises the
importance of non-conformist, eye-catching styles, is inviting people to customise
their own jeans and get the look – that really fits - at a price they can afford.
###
Task 3.b. Put the paragraphs given above in logical order. Consider the pyramid
style.
Task 4. Imagine you are an editor. Read the following press releases and decide
which paragraphs could be cut.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Edward Mayer, VP Sales
Feedex Industries Inc.
Phone: 208-366-2804
Web site: http://www.Feedexindustries.com
Email: info@feedexindustries.com
Feedex’s Latest Technology Fattens Up Cattle with Proper Nutrients
Midway, Idaho--July 18, 2010--Edward Mayer, an Idaho cattle rancher, enlisted the
help of a friend and animal nutritional feed engineer, Don Newbury, to help him
improve the health of cattle on his ranch. Together, they brainstormed and came up
with the Feedex system. The results were so spectacular that they had to share it with
others who were commercial cattle raisers. Inadvertently, Feedex Industries was born.
Today, Feedex markets the only chemical -free nutrition system that works for cattle.
The Feedex Nutrition System works for anyone who has a cattle population, from
farmers and ranchers to feed production companies, veterinarians, dairy farmers and
rodeo producers. Any venue that involves cattle can eliminate the problem of poor
nutrition. Government departments, schools and public works all have a
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responsibility to monitor the nutritional habits of marketable livestock. It
inadvertently impacts the nutritional value of beef consumed by children and adults.
Consuming unhealthy or steroid-injected beef with chemical additives can
compromise the health of the entire human population.
The Feedex System is an aggressive approach to elevating the health of American
cattle as well as cattle raised on foreign soil. Marketed exclusively to the cattleranching industry in the past, it’s now available to the mass market where nutrition
problems exist for cattle populations anywhere. Inventor, Edward Mayer says, “We
thought if farmers and ranchers could solve their problems with our system, anybody
else could also. With this system you do not wait for the cattle to become
malnourished or chock full of steroids and chemical-laced feed, you institute the
system directly to prevent poor nutritional health.”
Patented and registered with the EPA, the Feedex system comes in giant barrels that
are sized according to the number of herds and heads to be fed. Barrels can be
customized to meet the needs of small farm/ranch/rodeo operations to large
commercial cattle-ranches. Cost of the feed is pennies per head for a six-month’s
supply. The barrels have a built-in feed dispenser that works by pushing a button that
shoots a calibrated mixture of high-density all-natural vitamins and minerals down
through the feed troughs. Presto. The cattle receive the exact correct mixture for
achieving optimum nutritional balance. An all-natural preservative mixture allows
feed to remain fresh for up to a year.
The Feedex features the latest advances in solid-state electronic ignition controls and
circuitry. It allows the operator to create an instant log of animal’s approximate
weight and measurements and how much Feedex was ingested. The system is nontoxic and contains no chemicals. The archaic practice of fattening up the livestock
with mealy fillers and steroids is no longer needed.
Derek Brown of Wildlife Damage Control in Washington, D.C. said, “The Feedex
system has been a great boon for me in my line of work. Keep up the good work!”
Rebecca Bailor, editor of The Cattle Manager Magazine dubs it “The Best System
that has come down the pike for producing healthy cattle with the minimum of fuss.
It will addict you to Feedex forever.”
For further information or to order the Feedex system, call 800-756-4519 or visit the
Web site: http://www.feedexindustries.com or email: sales@feedexindustries.com.
###
Spare Some For Autism Hosts First Celebrity/CEO Kids Bowling Challenge
Raleigh, NC, USA(SANEPR.com) October 8, 2010 -- Spare Some for Autism, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with Autism, is now in
full operation and encouraging others to get involved. Spare Some for Autism also
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seeks to support families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by educating
them on such topics as literacy and coping with disabilities so that families will be
better prepared to support each other.
“The purpose of Spare Some for Autism is to encourage those in the community to
give whatever they can to help find answers and, ultimately, a cure for those who
suffer from ASD,” stated Beth Jarvis, Executive Director of Spare Some for Autism.
“Our desire is that people will be moved to spare some time, spare some love and
spare some hope for those individuals who deal with this disorder on a daily basis.”
Although the organization was only recently established, Spare Some for Autism is
already working hard on its first Celebrity/CEO Kids Bowling Challenge. The
Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to be the presenting sponsor and Pump It Up of
Raleigh and Wake Forest has signed on to be the Pairings Party sponsor.
This year’s Spare Some for Autism Bowling Challenge will be held Sunday, March
2, 2011 at AMF Pleasant Valley from 5pm to 7pm. Local celebrities, including
members of the Carolina Hurricanes, will sign bowling pins to be sold during the Silent Auction.
Proceeds from the 2011 Spare Some for Autism Bowling Challenge will benefit the Wake County
Public School System’s special-needs area in the form of a grant to further their work with students
with
autism.
As part of their ongoing support, Pump It Up will also host Special Needs Awareness Days every
Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm beginning October 15. The locations at 10700 World Trade Blvd in
Raleigh and 230-107 Capcom Avenue in Wake Forest will donate a portion of their admission fee
to Spare Some for Autism.
One in every 150 children born in the US has autism. It is estimated approximately 1 million in the
US have this disorder. A new case of autism is diagnosed nearly every 20 minutes There are 24,000
new cases diagnosed in the U.S. per year. The economic impact of autism is more than $90 billion
and expected to more than double in the next decade. Autism receives less than 5% of the research
funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases. (Source: Autism Society of America).
About the Spare Some for Autism
Spare Some for Autism seeks to improve the quality of life for children with Autism Spectrum
Disorder. We are dedicated to funding programs that will directly impact the individuals that suffer
from ASD and allow them to achieve their highest level of independence within their home, school,
and community, all while gaining respect and support for themselves.
Spare Some for Autism also seeks to support families affected by ASD by educating them on such
topics as literacy and coping with disabilities so that families will be better prepared to support each
other. Spare some time… spare some love… spare some hope. For more information about
becoming a sponsor or how to take part in the 2008 Spare Some for Autism Bowling Challenge,
visit www.sparesomeforautism.org.
MEDIA CONTACT:
Graham Wilson
PRStreet
gwilson@prstreet.com or 1.888.736.3787
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Lesson 2
PR for the WEB
The advent of the Internet has ushered in a new kind of press release known as an
optimized press release. Unlike conventional press releases, written for journalists'
eyes only, in hopes the editor or reporter would find the content compelling enough
to turn it into print or electronic news coverage, the optimized press release is posted
on an online news portal. Here the writer carefully selects keywords or keyword
phrases relevant to the press release contents. If written skillfully, the press release
can rank highly in searches on Google News, Yahoo or MSN News (or the many
other minor news portals) for the chosen keyword phrases.
Readers of optimized press releases constitute far more than journalists. In the days
before news search engines, a press release would have landed only in the hands of a
news reporter or an editor who would make the decision about whether the content
warranted news coverage. Although the news media is always privy to online press
releases in the search engines, most readers are end-users. Optimized press releases
circumvent the mainstream media which is formerly—but no longer—the gatekeeper
of the news
Task 1. Read the press releases given below and try to identify which one is an
on-line press release and which one is a hard-copy press release. State the
differences. Find the key words of on-line press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Martin Jenkins
Antique Auctions
41159 Bluegrass Drive
Lexington, KY 40522
Phone: (859) 570-2238
Fax: (859) 570-2239
marc@antiqueauctions.us
http://www.antiqueauctions.us
Proceeds from the 10th Annual “Race to the Finish” Auction go Straight to
Charity
Knoxville, TN---September 26, 2010---Tack and trailers, hoods and horseshoes, all
from Triple Crown winners are available at Antique Auctions’ 10th annual “Race to
the Finish” charity auction. You can own that sport-hallowed memorabilia as well as
some 600 items worn, used or owned by horse racing greats.
From Sir Barton to Seattle Slew, the goods just don’t get any better. Those who
remember the 1973 Belmont will certainly want to bid on the professionally framed,
matted, and “autographed” three by four foot limited edition photo of the famous
sixth furlong. Secretariat’s hoof print leaves an indelible mark on this fine piece of
history. Historians and members of the horse set will also remember the wild
Whirlaway and his customized left blinker. For the first time ever, over 60 years after
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his surprising win at the Kentucky Derby, Whirlaway’s famous blinder will be
available for auction.
Sales from the auction are expected to total well over five million dollars. Antique
Auctions spokesman Martin Jenkins said, "We have dedicated our lives to finding the
most desirable horse racing memorabilia. Our auction results are exceptional and are
considered to be the best in the industry for rare, hard-to-find horse racing antiques."
Antique Auctions donates proceeds of the annual horse racing memorabilia auction to
animal hospitals and horse rescue foundations throughout the Southeast. The
company, with some 20 years of experience in collecting horse-racing artifacts,
carries an extensive inventory all year long for dedicated collectors seeking the most
historically memorable items.
Among the rare items up for auction include the whip that Jean Cruguet waved after
Seattle Slew won the Belmont Stakes in 1977; Count Fleet’s 1943 saddle and
harness; candid photos of Assault, “The Clubfooted Comet” at King Ranch; single
edition photos of Omaha’s burial at the Aksarben race track in Omaha, Nebraska;
Seattle Slew’s last horse trailer; and fabric used in the making of Man O’ War’s
custom-made
casket.
Other
notable
items
may
be
viewed
at
http://www.antiqueauctions.us.
For more information, go to http://www.antiqueauctions.us, call (859) 570-2238 or
fax (859) 570-2239.
###
Greenbelt Law Firm to Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Rock & Roll Gala to
Benefit Local Housing Charity
Bon Jovi keyboarder Jeff Kazee to head all-star band. M&T Bank heads list of
sponsors for charity event that will raise money for the Housing Initiative
Partnership, Inc.
Greenbelt, MD (PRWEB) October 8, 2007 -- Joseph,
Greenwald & Laake, P.A., the largest law firm in
We are very pleased
Prince George's County, will host a Rock & Roll
that M&T Bank has
Charity Gala on March 14, 2008, to mark the firm's
agreed to essentially serve
40th anniversary.
as a partner in the event
and our first major
"Believe it or not, we have been around for 40 years
sponsor
next year. We started out as a group of six young
lawyers and are now one of the largest law firms in
the Maryland suburbs. Prince George's County has been very good to us, and we
intend to return the favour by raising money for a local charity," said David Bulitt,
the firm's assistant managing director and Gala organizer.
Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc., has been selected by JGL as the focus of its fundraising Gala. HIP has a variety of services aimed exclusively on the lower-income
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
citizens of Prince George's County. Originally conceived to rehabilitate local derelict
housing and to sell the renovated homes to lower income families, HIP has expanded
its services over the years to include homeownership counseling in English and
Spanish, a mentoring program for local youth, and a reading encouragement program
which provides free books to low and moderate income children.
"Since we began, we have provided homes to several Prince George's County
families, helped to send young men and women to college, and distributed hundreds
of books to kids who never owned a book before," said HIP founder, Mosi
Harrington. "We are very grateful to be the focus of JGL's anniversary fund-raiser,"
Ms. Harrington said.
"We are very pleased that M&T Bank has agreed to essentially serve as a partner in
the event and our first major sponsor," said Mr. Bulitt. Other early sponsorship
commitments include Direct Mail, Inc., which is contributing its design and printing
services, Barbara's Flowers, which is donating flowers for the event, Jerry Frishman
Photography, which will photograph the event and has pledged a percentage of all
sales to HIP and Webharmony, LLC, which is donating free website design and one
year of web hosting.
Corporate sponsorships are available at three donation levels: Platinum Level for a
donation of $5000.00, Gold Level for a donation of $2500.00, and Silver Level for a
donation of $1500.00. Although all sponsorships include tickets and other benefits,
Platinum Sponsors are given exclusive "BACK STAGE PASSES" that provide
access to the superstar band's sound check session during the afternoon of the event
and personal photographs with the musicians.
Jeff Kazee, who is currently touring as keyboard player and back-up singer with Bon
Jovi, will organize the band for the Gala. Mr. Kazee is also a longtime member of
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Mark Rivera, the longtime saxophone player
for Billy Joel, has also agreed to appear with the Gala band. Mr. Rivera has also
played and toured with Elton John, Ringo Starr, Foreigner, and Hall and Oates. The
Gala band is expected to have at least eight members and additional commitments are
expected soon.
"These guys are going to blow the roof off the Marriott. If anyone is sitting down, I
will be surprised", said Mr. Bulitt.
Tickets for the Gala will be $200 each and purchasers will be provided written
confirmation of the extent of tax deductibility. A Silent Auction is also planned, to
feature fine jewelry by N.R. Ferris & Co., of Bethesda.
The Gala will be held on Friday, March 14, 2008, at the Greenbelt Marriott Hotel. A
limited number of rooms have been reserved at a discounted rate for Gala attendees.
For further information, please contact David Bulitt at (240) 553 1193 or check the
Joseph, Greenwald & Lake website at www.jgllaw.com.
The following information will assist you when writing a news release for
distribution through the PRWeb press release network.
Formatting Your Press Release
How you present your news is just as important as its content. Some of these
suggestions are specific to PRWeb's distribution service.
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Mixed case. NEVER SUBMIT A PRESS RELEASE IN ALL UPPER CASE
LETTERS. This is very bad form. Even if your release makes it past PRWeb's editors
(highly unlikely), it will definitely be ignored by journalists. Use mixed case.
Word processor. Write your press release on a word processor instead of composing
online. Writing online will not achieve best results. Take time to do it right. Write,
print, proof read. Rewrite, edit.
No HTML. Never embed HTML or other mark-up languages in your press release.
Your press release will be distributed over a wide array of networks. Including such
formatting will negatively impact the readability of your press release.
Summary paragraph. PRWeb asks you to include a one-paragraph summary. Some
distribution points only receive your headline, summary and a link to your press
release. If you fail to include a summary paragraph, you may reduce the effectiveness
of your press release.
Do not include your e-mail address in the body of your release. We have a special
place during the submission process for you to include your e-mail address. If you
include your e-mail address in the body of your press release, you run the risk of
receiving spam. This is because your e-mail address will be available to the public.
Spiders routinely scour the Internet harvesting e-mail addresses for spammers.
Provide your e-mail address only in the space(s) provided during the submission
process.
Follow a Standard Press Release Format
Make sure your press release looks like a press release.
Task 2. Read and think which information here refers only to on-line press
releases and which to both types?
Headline Announces News in Title Case, Ideally Under 80 Characters
The summary paragraph is a little longer synopsis of the news, elaborating on the
news in the headline in one to four sentences. The summary uses sentence case, with
standard capitalization and punctuation.
City, State (PRWEB) Month 1, 2006 -- The lead sentence contains the most
important information in 25 words or less. Grab your reader’s attention here by
simply stating the news you have to announce. Do not assume that your reader has
read your headline or summary paragraph; the lead should stand on its own.
A news release, like a news story, keeps sentences and paragraphs short, about three
or four lines per paragraph. The first couple of paragraphs should answer the who,
what, when, where, why and how questions. The news media may take information
from a news release to craft a news or feature article or may use information in the
release word-for-word, but a news release is not, itself, an article or a reprint.
The standard press release is 300 to 800 words and written in a word processing
program that checks spelling and grammar before submission to PRWeb. This
template is 519 words.
The ideal headline is 80 characters long. PRWeb will accept headlines with a
maximum of 170 characters. PRWeb recommends writing your headline and
summary last, to be sure you include the most important news elements in the body
of the release. Use title case in the headline only, capitalizing every word except for
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
prepositions and articles of three characters or less.
The rest of the news release expounds on the information provided in the lead
paragraph. It includes quotes from key staff, customers or subject matter experts. It
contains more details about the news you have to tell, which can be about something
unique or controversial or about a prominent person, place or thing.
Typical topics for a news release include announcements of new products or of a
strategic partnership, the receipt of an award, the publishing of a book, the release of
new software or the launch of a new Web site. The tone is neutral and objective, not
full of hype or text that is typically found in an advertisement. Avoid directly
addressing the consumer or your target audience. The use of "I," "we" and "you"
outside of a direct quotation is a flag that your copy is an advertisement rather than a
news release.
Do not include an e-mail address in the body of the release. If you do, it will be
protected from spambots with a notice to that effect, which will overwrite your email address.
"The final paragraph of a traditional news release contains the least newsworthy
material," said Mario Bonilla, member services director for PRWeb. "But for an
online release, it’s typical to restate and summarize the key points with a paragraph
like the next one."
For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release (or for a
sample, copy or demo), contact Mary Smith or visit www.prweb.com. You can also
include details on product availability, trademark acknowledgment, etc. here.
About XYZ Company:
Include a short corporate backgrounder, or "boilerplate," about the company or the
person who is newsworthy before you list the contact person’s name and phone
number.
Contact:
Mary
Smith,
director
of
public
relations
XYZ
Company
555-555-5555
http://www.prweb.com
###
Task 3 Outline the structure of on-line press-releases (similar to the one in
Introduction p.6-7).
Some special points to make here:
Style -- When you adapt any PR writing for the Web, you have to go over it and
make sure you have simple sentences with few conditional clauses. Sometimes this
means "dumbing it down" -- not because you're leaving out important stuff, but
because you're always trying to woo the reader into hanging in there with you.
Brevity -- It's important to manage your text in short, readable chunks. Try not to
write long paragraphs, in part because it's hard to read solid paragraphs on the screen,
and also because ideas should always be broken down into their component parts...
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Templates – PR writing for the Web should have a certain similar look and style.
This makes it easier for you to get the hang of it. It also serves as a kind of branding
technique. Just as editors appreciate the predictability of a standard release format,
people browsing your Web site take comfort from standard layouts made possible by
your use of a single template for similar pages.
There are many other considerations for Web writing, and whole books have
been written full of useful advice. Our work is focused on writing rather than design.
But it's important to remember that it's all about communication -- whatever it
takes to get the message across -- and every aspect of communication is
important.
Task 4. Search for on-line press releases of different companies and analyze
them, considering the following points:
a)
What do they have in common?
b)
How do they differ?
c)
What common features of press releases of one and the same company can
you name?
*You can use the following sites for search:
http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Business_to_Business/News_and_Med
ia/News_Services/Press_Releases/PR_Newswire/
www.prweb.com
www.pressbox.co.uk
www.pressreleasenetwork.com
http://www.massmediadistribution.com
Lesson 3
Press-release Leads





In this lesson we're going to concentrate on how to plan your writing to make it
easier. The first order of business is how to coordinate the three main elements of a
press release lead:
5 W's (main points of the story)
news angle (what the editor needs)
message (your client's requirement)
Pay close attention to your introduction to these three elements.
5 W's -- decide who is to be the focus of your press release. Close your eyes
for a minute and watch the movie in your head: who is the featured player? what's
happening to your "star"? where is this going on? when will it or did it happen? why
is it remarkable, or how is it worthy of note? These are the basic elements of the story
and they're what an editor is going to want to know.
Angle -- you have investigated the details of the story, but it's "not yet news" -not until you've satisfied the needs of an editor. We can call this the "Sixth W" -"So what?"
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
You need to have an answer ready for that question. Why should an editor "hold the
press" for your news item? Is it really news?You know from just paging through
the newspapers that some stories are more interesting than others. You glance at
the headlines and something catches your eye. You read the first paragraph and you
get the gist of the story. You make an unconscious decision -- "That's all I need to
know about that," or "Hmmm -- tell me more." And then you settle in to read the
story... or you turn the page.
Message -- this is the most important element of the Message Planner, and it
is the culmination of your entire pre-writing process.
Now put your entire story into a sentence or two -- the main points of the story,
what makes it newsworthy, and anything else that you want to communicate for your
client, all phrased compactly in a paragraph of one or two sentences.
One way to think of it: as a short news item. Imagine you're driving home after the
press conference, which was a big success. A radio station who received your press
release has boiled it down to a short broadcast news story -- 30 seconds or less. What
is it that you're hearing on the radio? That's your message.
How do a message and a lead paragraph differ? In the same way that your rough
drafts differs from the final copy of a love letter. Since you're doing your pre-writing
for yourself -- no one else (but me) is going to see it-- you can feel free to use
whatever hype or exaggeration you please. When you turn from pre-writing to
writing, you'll "clean up your act," and make your lead more journalistic -- keeping
the hype toned down. But your message should be unabashedly enthusiastic -- it
should be the theme of your press release, the "take-home" point that you want
people to be talking about when your successful PR campaign has done its job.
Task 1. Read the leads, define and put down in your copy-books the 5 W’s, news
angle and the message of the press-releases:
a. MIDWAY, IDAHO--July 18, 2011--Edward Mayer, an Idaho cattle rancher,
enlisted the help of a friend and animal nutritional feed engineer, Don Newbury, to
help him improve the health of cattle on his ranch. Together, they brainstormed and
came up with the Feedex system. The results were so spectacular that they had to
share it with others who were commercial cattle raisers. Inadvertently,Feedex
Industries was born. Today, Feedex markets the only chemical -free nutrition system
that works for cattle.
b. LEXINGTON, KY---February 15, 2011---The Southeastern Batting Academy
encourages high school baseball players to take a break from the usual batting cage
blues and spend Spring Break with some of baseball’s greats. Located on the
outskirts of beautiful Lexington, KY, the Southeastern Batting Academy provides
students with hours of customized instruction by baseball greats such as Tony
Gwynn, Cecil Travis, and Elmer Smith, followed by video analysis and then
personalized batting sessions on the field.
c. BERLIN—September 19, 2011 — Apple® and T-Mobile today announced that TMobile, the leading network operator in Germany, will be the exclusive German
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carrier of Apple’s revolutionary iPhone™ when it makes its debut in Germany on
November 9. iPhone combines three devices into one—a mobile phone, a widescreen
iPod®, and the best mobile Internet device ever—all based on Apple’s revolutionary
multi-touch interface and pioneering software that allows users to control iPhone with
just a tap, flick or pinch of their fingers. Apple sold its one millionth iPhone just 74
days after it went on sale in the U.S. on June 29.
d. TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - As part of its ongoing commitment to children and
education across Canada, RBC Foundation will be providing more than $2 million in
funding for 77 of Canada's leading after-school programs for the 2011-2012 school
year. The recipients represent a diverse range of community-based organizations, and
were chosen by panels of local citizens.
Now close the book and try to reproduce all given leads using the information
about he 5 W’s, news angle and the message
Task 2. Look at the 5 W’s, news angle and the message and try to write the lead.
5W’s
Who:
Women’s Fitness Form
What: offers fastest growing franchises.
Where: 70 locations, over 200 reserved territories, and projection of 400
territories.
When: now
Why/How:
to invite entrepreneurs to come and grow with the
company
News Angle
The company is the largest and fastest growing fitness franchise for women
in the world, that creates quick workouts with long-lasting results to busy
women. It is seeking for representatives for it’s exclusive territories
throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Message: The world leader in fitness industry Women’s Fitness Form offers
entrepreneurs fastest growing franchises throughout the world.
Task 3. Exchange your leads and define the 5 W’s, news angle and the message.
Compare it with the original.
Different types of Press Release Leads
Summary Lead (and extended lead)
The most common lead is the summary lead. It wraps up the most important facts of
the story in a straightforward statement, laying out the who, what, where, when and
why or how...
Look at this summary lead1 and notice that although it presents the basic facts
objectively, and without hype, that doesn't mean it has to be lackluster, or devoid of
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spin, even when the details are complex. The first words of this lead are not the who
and what -- in fact, surprisingly, they are the where (don't worry; it will be clear why
in a few minutes.)
Chicago students will soon be able to study history, math and science as easily and
enjoyably as they now play video games -- that's the idea behind a new computerized
education project being developed by Consolidated Consumer Products and the
American Teachers Association.
The second graf of this release is actually still a part of the lead -- another important
point to keep in mind. If you think your paragraph is too long, you can split it into
two paragraphs, as an extended lead. When you think the material, or your approach,
requires it, do not hesitate to split your lead paragraph into two paragraphs. The
following could be part of the previous paragraph, or an extended lead continuing
into the second paragraph:
Students will learn a variety of subjects by "interacting" with their lessons on a
computer screen. Computer-assisted educational programs are planned for grades 112 in history and science, and in math for grades 9-12.
Or take this story from the Chicago Tribune, on March 19, 2001, on the front page of
the Metro section:
State officials are planning a major expansion of the city's quarantine zone for Asian
longhorned beetles, pushing the boundaries north to Chicago's border with Evanston,
according to sources familiar with the plan. 2
Delayed leads
All leads other than Summary leads are called delayed leads. The key information is
delayed, following the first paragraph which uses some device -- narrative, contrast,
staccato, direct address, a question, a quote -- to interest the reader.
For this reason, all delayed leads require a "nut graf" immediately following, which
does the heavy lifting of the lead -- combining the 5 W's, the angle and the message.
Narrative lead
The narrative lead uses techniques of fiction to create an atmosphere or stimulate an
attitude in the reader. A narrative lead might include elements of character, setting,
costume, even plot -- elements that work in getting readers engaged in a tale. Notice
that the character himself ("Johnny") is fictional, but you could use a real-life
example as well:
Johnny breaks into a wide smile as his computer game makes happy noises of
celebration. It's the same look he used to wear whenever he zapped the villains on the
video games he played after school. But today Johnny's not wasting time. He's doing
his homework.
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Now you need to follow that with a "nut graf" -- otherwise the editor won't know
what your story is about. The nut graf should come immediately after, with only the
briefest "delay" of the leading information:
That's the idea behind a new computerized education project being developed by
Consolidated Consumer Products and the American Teachers Association. Students
at all grade levels will be stimulated to learn a variety of subjects, by interacting with
their classroom material on a computer screen. Computer- assisted educational
programs are planned for grades 1-12 in history and science, and in math for grades
9-12.
Notice how the "nut graf" resembles the summary lead? Now, here's a narrative lead
for our Chicago Tribune story:
On the surface, all is calm. A gentle breeze stirs the leaves on the tree-lined street,
and children play in the shade of a spreading maple. But deep within stirs an alien
being that threatens this peaceful scene...
Contrast lead
A good way to enliven your prose is to juxtapose two opposites. It works every time.
You can always find something to contrast with the point you're trying to make. In
general you should use the contrastive element first, and then the point you're trying
to make. For example,
Last summer, students aged 7- 13 wasted on average seven hours a week, playing
video games in shopping arcades or on home computers. But this fall, those same
students may spend twice that much time playing video games that teach history,
math and science...
Then, of course, you'd follow with the nut graf. Here's the same principle applied to
the Tribune story. This delayed lead would be even more effective if you did a little
research and provided the name of an actual resident you could include in the story:
Last fall, Ravenswood residents grumbled about all the leaves they had to rake. This
spring those same residents are praying they will still have leaves to rake come
September...
Staccato lead
You may be familiar with the staccato lead from ad copy -- and so are editors. The
staccato lead makes the most of short, pointed little facts spiking the first paragraph,
to attract attention. But unless you get right to the point, it will irritate editors. So use
this one sparingly (in fact, use all delayed leads sparingly -- but especially this one)...
it attracts attention but it can be annoying.
History lessons. Kings and presidents. 1776 and 1492. History gets old fast. But not
any longer, if a new computerized educational project realizes its aims...
... and then follow with the nut graf.
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Task 5. Give the Trib story the staccato treatment.
Direct-address lead
This is the lead that uses the word "you" -- appealing directly to the reader's personal
interest. It's another steal from the world of direct marketing and ad copy.
You never thought you'd see the day when your child volunteered to do extra
homework. She's already three lessons ahead of her class. Yet there she is, begging to
put off bedtime for another half hour, so she can start another lesson...
Like other delayed leads, the direct-address lead could be described as a variation on
the narrative lead, since it often makes use of narrative techniques. Using the facts of
the Tribune story,
You scraped up the money to buy your own place in a tree-lined neighborhood, where
maples blocked the sight of the city traffic. Now you're learning you may lose those
trees -- and the quality of life they symbolize...
Question lead
This gets their attention by asking a provocative question. The question lead often
plays off an angle that suggests controversy of some kind.
Will teachers be the latest profession to be automated out of their jobs by computers?
Are the asian longhorned beetles winning the battle for Chicago's trees? City
officials are making a desperate stand, fighting it out at the border...
Quote lead
Quotes should never be empty quotes -- that's the most important fact to remember
about any quotes in a news story, but especially quote leads. The quote must do the
work of communicating the message, not merely representing someone by using his
or her name. A good quote will enhance the message by doing what quotes do best -adding pungency, a personal flavor, or a catchy turn of phrase to convey more than
mere information. Notice how this quote lead (followed, of course, by a nut graf) gets
right to the key point of the press release in the first four words, at the same time
expressing a strong opinion which would not be appropriate in straight, objective
news copy:
"Video games that teach are going to revolutionize the world of education, just as
surely as the word-processor revolutionized the workplace." So says Jason R. Burton,
president of Consolidated Consumer Products...
The Asian longhorned beetle story could start with a quote like this one, adapted from
material in the actual Chicago Tribune article:
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"The battle of the beetles is turning in our favor," says Alderman Eugene Schulter
(47th), "but we're going to have to use every weapon in our arsenal -- including
quarantines -- to win this war."
Remember who writes the quotes -- not Jason R. Burton, but Jason R. Burton's PR
writer.
Task 6. Read the examples of each type of the lead again and analyse how they
change the impact.
Task 7. Read the definitions and think what type of the lead they describe:
1. the lead that represents the key information through someone’s personal
opinion.
2. the lead that uses personal pronouns.(you, your)
3. the lead which compares something with something.
4. the lead that represents the key information in a straightforward manner.
5. the lead that asks the readers instead of answering them.
6. the lead split in two paragraphs.
7. the lead that uses different fiction techniques.
8. an abrupt spattering of rapid images that creates a context without much syntax.
Task 8. Read the leads and define their type and target audience:
1. Cairo, Egypt (PRWEB) October 9, 2009 -- World's Last Chance released a video,
available at You-Tube and Google Video, unravelling the mystery behind death. This
7-minute video answers, What is the essence of life, which when removed, causes
death? When does life after death begin?
In simple language, using Bible verses, it explains the enigmatic connection between
the soul and the body to clarify exactly what it takes for a human to become a living
soul.
2. The word California invokes many images: miles of sunny beaches, streets lined
with swaying palm trees, mountains that touch the great blue sky and cold nights
filled with thick, dense fog. What was that? Cold? Fog?
Since the "beachgoer's dream" summers that preceded 1998, California has
experienced consistently cooler and foggier summers than usual - not exactly grade-A
performance for the coast that's supposed to have the most. The question many sun
worshipers may be asking is, "Why?"
3. Bayshore, NY---August 26, 2010---When the clock strikes 9, Eastern time, your
chances are close to over for acquiring any one of 328 notable collectibles marking
the stupendous careers of such tennis greats as Bjorn Borget, Ross Canner, Evonne
Boolabong, Chris Ebert, Jimmy Cannor, Billy Jean Ring, John McReilly and others.
But the 10-minute rule lets you stay in the game until the bidding stops.
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4. Coconut Grove, Florida –June 20, 2011 - “The Bay of Bisque casts a spell over
sailors who taste her fickle waters. Whether gliding atop her mirrored beauty or
plowing through skittish wake, the bay calls to seamen and landlubbers alike.
Lawrence Johnson was one of those who answered her siren call. He chose to lead
where none had gone before.”
5. Charlottesville, VA -- April 12, 2011 -- Before you invest time and money
defending or proceeding with an anesthesia-related medical malpractice case, check
with expert board-certified anesthesiologist Joseph A. Stirt, M.D. Whether you are a
defense or plaintiff attorney, Dr. Stirt can not only tell you if you have a case but also
how best to structure it, based on a detailed medical review.
6. MENDOCINO, CA -- While airlines rush to impose fuel surcharges on
beleaguered passengers, hotels around the United States are taking the opposite tack:
They're offering rebates to offset the high cost of gas.
7. BRIGHTON, England (UPI) -- Mrs. Pamela Bransden slowly counted five,
snapped into a hypnotic trance, and gave birth to an eight-pound baby. It was as easy
as that.
Today she relaxed at her home here, delighted that she has become Britain's first selfhypnosis mother.
8. Square roots. Common denominators. Quotients and remainders. Some kids just
can't work up much enthusiasm for the study of math.
But that may change this fall, when new education tools make it possible for
students to learn math and physics by playing video games.
Task 9. Transform the given lead into:
- direct-address lead
- question lead
- contrast lead
MONTEREY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s no secret that the holiday season can
often become synonymous with stress. This year, SHOP.COM, an e-commerce multimerchant site where shoppers can search, compare and buy from hundreds of their
favorite stores, has created a one-stop holiday shop to help consumers find “More
Time for Joy” (www.moretimeforjoy.com) and spend less time stressing out.
It happens every year – you want to make the holidays special, but instead you end up
trying to do too much in too little time. SHOP.COM has the antidote to holiday stress
with items from more than 800 retailers along with a gift center and tips from
shopping expert Alison Deyette (www.stylebakery.com). Whether you’re looking for
holiday gifts and decorations or want ideas on how to host the perfect holiday party,
you’ll find it all at SHOP.COM
Lesson 4
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Headlines
A press release is written for an audience of editors and journalists. It should have an
engaging headline but not use the creative license associated with a newspaper article
headlines which often use puns, humor, and emotional triggers. It should convey the
key point raised in the opening paragraph in a light-hearted manner that catches
imagination and attention. For example: Headline: Press Box Launches Press
Release Posting Service
A headline should tell the entire story and answer the "who" and "what" questions in
two lines or less. It should be less than 80 characters. Don't be cute with titles. Avoid
vague, ambiguous, or gimmicky headlines that try to "trick" editors into reading on. If
an editor cannot immediately tell what your press release is about by reading the
headline, he's likely to ignore the press release completely. Your well-written how-to
article is likely to be forgotten, too, if the editor can’t figure out from the headline
why readers should care about what you have to say.
Consider connecting your headline with a current event or a theme that is presently
popular in the public's imagination. For example: If the organization promotes
literacy, a headline about new school reading programs would be perfect for
September and a headline about summer reading would get attention in June.
Your headline is also a matter of knowing your audience. For journalists, a direct and
simple approach is best, since this will be the closest to a normal story. For investors,
going into more detail is acceptable, with headlines of several lines being common.
Know your audience, especially when writing headlines.
The best headlines have these characteristics:
 They arouse curiosity.
 They promise answers to a question or solutions to a problem.
 They are laden with benefits.
 They promise to reveal secret information, or information that’s hard to find
anywhere else.
 They create emotional appeal.
 They interrupt the readers and make them stop what they’re doing to read
more.
Here are 9 Tips Summarizing the Main Points for Writing Better Headlines:
1. KEEP IT TO ONE LINE.
More than one line and you are likely to lose a busy journalist who would receive
hundreds of media releases a day.
2. EDIT FOR BREVITY.
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You probably won't achieve point one on the first go. Rewrite and edit every time.
Remember with headlines that ‘less is more’; so keep it to five words or less.
3. DON'T TRY AND BE TOO SMART.
Writing headlines for the print medium is a real art form. Leave it to the
professionals, namely, newspaper sub-editors. Remember that newspaper headlines
have to sell papers, your headline has to engage one reader - a cynical journalist or
editor with a 'so what, who cares' attitude.
4. WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF THE STORY?
The headline should summarise the story and answer the who, what, why, when and
where.
5. USE A BIGGER FONT SIZE THAN THE REST OF THE RELEASE.
Don't go smaller than size 12 for the main body of the text and use size 14 or 16 font
or bigger for your headline or title.
6. USE THE SAME FONT STYLE AS YOUR TEXT.
Never change font styles in a release. Times New Roman is the most accepted and
professional.
7. USE BOLD TO MAKE IT STAND OUT.
8. CENTRE IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE.
1.
9. ALWAYS SPELL CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK FOR TYPOS.
Task 1. Consider the following examples of headlines and decide which one is a
good example and which one is not and why:
a. The Rose Foundation's New Nutrition Chart Officially Replaces "The
Food Pyramid"
b. Improve Your Child's Bad Eating Habits Today: Remarkable Healthy Eating
Guide!
2. a. Identity Finder Announces Identity Theft and Data Loss Prevention
Affiliate Program with Industry-Leading Commission Levels and Performance
Bonuses
b. Privacy Software Can Ease Customers’ Fears of Identity Thieves While
Promising Greater Affiliate Earning Potential
Task 2. Read the following headlines and analyze them from the point of view of
an editor:
1.Join Paws Across America to Help Abused and Hungry Animals
2.
New Technology Transforms Digital Painting into Modern Art
3.
Auction! Auction! Historical Tennis Memorabilia Features Collections of
All-Time Greats
4.
Patient Sues Foma Pharmaceutical for Going Deaf
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MD-Tested Topical Formula Treats Feet to Prevent or Cure Athlete’s Foot
The International Golf Group Makes Golfers Dreams Come True with Big
Money Tournament
7.
Anesthesiologist M.D. Offers Expert Defense/Plaintiff Case Analysis of
Potential Medical Malpractice
8.
HOW YOU CAN SAVE YOUR EXPENSES AND ALSO SAVE THE WORLD
FROM POLLUTION?
5.
6.
Task 3. Match the leads and headlines, analyse where the headlines are suitable
or not, define the target audience:
a. Miami, FL---April 15, 2010---The International Golf Group’s 'Million Dollar
Dream Contest' challenges golfers to win one million dollars in just three days.
Tournament director Evan Meyers said, "I'm giving 19 golfers 18 holes in a
professional tournament environment with a chance to win $1,000,000—winner takes
all."
b.Miami, FL---June 28, 2011---Vivian Romero, a Chilean businesswoman and
photographer living in Miami, brings new meaning to modern art in the age of
technology. Always with a discriminating photographer's eye, the artist in Romero
had a passion for film, fine art and technology. She has combined these man-made
elements with nature's beauty and her own considerable talent to create what she calls
Digital Painting.
c.Australia. (SANEPR.com) November 20, 2010 -- What is D-Gas Technology? It is
a unique and innovative diesel enhancement technology offered to the automotive
world by D-Gas Pty. Ltd. Australia. While the people the world over are craving for
alternate fuel for their diesel engines and the 100% alternative to petrol-diesel is still
on the research labs, here is the solution to use diesel but at the same time reduce the
minus points of diesel usage and also enhance the performance of diesel engines to a
trouble-free
level
of
high-efficiency.
d.Knoxville, TN—June 14, 2011--On June 29, 2011, Paws Across America will join
hands and paws to help end animal neglect and abuse. 4 Our Pets, a nationwide nonprofit organization, is sponsoring the event. Organizer and Executive Director, Mark
Heartsen, is asking Americans to join hands with furry and non-furry family members
on June 29 in support of all the hungry and abused pets that do not have loving homes
and full bellies.
e.Miami, FL---July 12, 2011---Following a course of medical treatment, James Johns,
a patient of Dr. Harold Brown, took two prescribed doses of Nova and went deaf. The
drug, produced by Foma Pharmaceutical, is a new treatment for upper respiratory
infection. Neither the doctor nor Foma CEO thinks Nova was the cause of Mr. John’s
deafness.
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f.Encino, CA---June 25, 2011---Original Athlete’s Foot is a newly developed 100%
natural topical formula to help treat the uncomfortable foot conditions caused by
specific fungi and to prevent them from recurring. Phase 1 of the two-step system
contains a potent anti-bacterial agent to reduce and control bacteria on the surface of
the skin thus decreasing possible infection. An exfoliant removes dead cells and
prevents buildup from recurring. Phase 2 contains a vasodilator to increase
circulation to tissues thus increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin.
This will help protect the tissues from being attacked by Athlete’s Foot fungi and
speed up the healing process and prevent excess accumulation of moisture. Original
Athlete’s Foot also contains an effective moisturizer to prevent foot skin from drying
and cracking.
Task 4. Study the latest headlines in the Internet and choose the most
professional ones.
Task 5. Read the press release and write the headline for it.
Northeast worst region for asthma, Southeast worst for hypertension
WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A report released today by
the American Hospital Association (AHA) quantifies the toll common chronic
conditions such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension take on American workers.
These three chronic conditions cause working Americans to miss an estimated 164
million work days each year at a cost of $30 billion to employers. Of these three
conditions, asthma takes the greatest toll.
"Millions of Americans are unnecessarily suffering from chronic conditions," said
Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO. "One thing today's study demonstrates
is the need to keep people feeling better -- able to go on with their lives and work. We
can manage chronic conditions. The message is clear, preventive medicine and
wellness programs must be central to our health care system."
Additionally, the study highlights that:
-- For every 1,000 working Americans, an estimated 1,221 work days are
lost each year due to asthma, diabetes and hypertension.
-- Nationwide, asthma accounts for roughly 900 missed work days per 1,000
working Americans with the greatest impact in Rhode Island, Maine and
Massachusetts where more than 1,200 work days were missed. South
Carolina and Hawaii were least affected by asthma per 100 workers.
-- Missed work days related to diabetes was highest in Mississippi and
West Virginia while Colorado and Minnesota had the least diabetes
related missed days. Nationwide, diabetes accounts for an estimated
112 days missed per 1,000 working Americans. The lost work time is
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estimated to cost employers $2.8 billion.
-- In California, hypertension alone accounts for an estimated 2.8 million
lost work days each year. Nationally, hypertension accounts for 200
days missed per 1,000 employees in the Southeast but fewer than 160
days missed in the North and Southwest.
Progress in preventing and treating disease has added approximately 30 years to
Americans' life expectancy since the beginning of the 20th century but among
working Americans, the incidence of chronic conditions is on the rise. According to
Harvard economists, a one-year improvement in the life expectancy of the U.S.
population translates into a four percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP), an
increase currently equal to about $540 billion. Recognizing that healthy people are
essential to a healthy and productive economy, more employers are linking health
status to better employee quality of life and improved day-to-day productivity.
A copy of the study with the complete methodology can be found at
http://www.aha.org.
About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations that
are committed to health improvement in their communities. The AHA is the national
advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems,
networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, AHA provides education for
health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.
Task 6. Read the press-release and write a headline for it. Compare it with the
others in the group. Choose the best headline, define its audience.
CHICAGO, June 10, 2011 — In this age of web 2.0, more parenting conversations
are happening online. One new website has opened up these conversations for a
segment of parents typically ignored by media - dads. Savvydaddy.com was launched
by Chicago suburb resident Tony Chen in April 2011 because, "I needed it myself."
Chen continues, "There are so many questions I faced as a new father, and I had
nowhere to turn. I decided to start a web community I would be passionate about
using myself."
Since the launch two months ago, hundreds of dads have started conversing on
everything from good scotch recommendations to bringing out the leader in your
child to military dads adjusting to family life. In one particular instance, a group of
dads started talking about how to talk to their kids about their racial heritage. Chen
remarks, "We literally had a Chinese-American, a Dutch Australian, and a
Presbyterian Southerner chatting about how to give our kids a sense of where they
came from. Meanwhile, there were ten dads in a separate thread debating in what
order their kids should watch the six Star Wars movies."
While numerous websites exist for moms, websites exclusively for dads are few. As
more and more of America’s 25 million dads take a more proactive role in parenting,
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and more dads choose to stay at home (some estimate 300,000 stay-at-home-dads),
websites like Savvydaddy.com fulfill an important niche.
"Time Magazine calls it ‘Fatherhood 2.0.’ Being a dad has changed - in some sense,
we are charting our own path. So many dads have thanked me for giving them a
voice. They thought they were alone in this daddyhood journey, but it turns out
there’s a passionate band of proactive dads who face the same issues and who want to
positively impact society," Chen said.
Notable to Savvydaddy.com is its commitment to positive societal change, donating a
portion of their proceeds to a children’s charity voted upon by the community of
registered users. Also, both Savvy Daddy bloggers have chosen charities that Savvy
Daddy contributes to on their behalf. Anthony Romanelli, a middle-school English
teacher in Naperville, IL, says, "As a cancer survivor, donating to Children’s
Memorial, and to cancer research specifically, was a perfect fit." Won Kim, an editor
living in NYC, gives to a Cambodian missionary that works with orphans. Kim
believes that "being a great dad isn’t just about being there for the family," and
continues, "I hope my sons will see that generously helping others is a core value in
my life."
About Savvy Daddy
Savvydaddy.com is a web magazine and online community for dads who want to be
the best dads they can be. Through combining insights and perspectives from real
dads with unique research-driven articles, Savvy Daddy provides the information and
connection points that all dads need with a thoughtful smirk.
Contact:
Tony Chen
Phone: (847) 650-0747
Email: tony@savvydaddy.com
http://www.savvydaddy.com
###
Task 7. Read the headline and the lead. Is the headline appropriate here? Why?
If not, make up the correct variant observing all the rules of headline writing.
Free Blogging Advice Guidelines - Free Educational Project
USA. (SANEPR.com) October 18, 2007 -- TargetProcess, Inc. provider of the web based
tool that helps companies succeed with agile software development, announced a
significant update to its agile life cycle solution. Brand new iteration planning concept and
great usability improvements power agile teams with better project planning and tracking
options. TargetProcess v.2.6 increases productivity via inline editing in lists, improved
customizability, superior visualizations and simpler navigation.
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Task 8. Read the press-release and write different headlines for it depending on
target audience: on-line media, corporate site, editor of tabloid press, editor of a
specialized journal.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20, 2008 — The Cure Our Children Foundation, a nonprofit
charitable foundation dedicated to children, announced today that the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Orphan Drug Designation of the
foundation’s unique drug product for children with Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer. The
efforts to develop this drug were made possible by the generous volunteers and
researchers in private industry and at two universities.
Orphan Drug status allows for recognition of the potential viability of a drug therapy
while providing a variety of benefits during the drug approval process. These benefits
include waivers of certain FDA fees, the availability of government grants, and FDA
attention and assistance during the review process.
This groundbreaking new drug combines two modern technologies: biotechnology
and nanotechnology. This incredible technology is analogous to the concept of a
Trojan Horse, and is expected to have very far reaching implications for other cancer
treatments. The product consists of cell matter that is modified to have the same
genetic code as the cancer cells, but that matter is not viable food for the tumor cells.
The cell matter is then placed in a nanotechnology formulation which allows the
matter to migrate through the body’s own vessels directly to the tumor cells. When
the tumor cells uptake the matter, they cannot reproduce, and they die. Key elements
of this drug technology are:
* Fewer side effects may be possible
* The drug is directed only at the tumor cell and not at healthy cells
* The product is so small that it migrates right through blood vessels and cell walls
* This technology be applied to other diseases in the future that have a genetic
component
The President of the foundation, Barry Sugarman, a 30-year veteran executive and
consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, and father of son who has survived
Ewing’s Sarcoma, will continue the development of the drug product by raising
money from individuals and foundations.
The Cure Our Children Foundation identifies important under-researched children’s
issues and devotes extensive resources to educate and guide parents, professionals,
government
and
the
public.
The
foundation
website
at
http://www.cureourchildren.org receives thousands of website visits every month.
The results of the research are provided as a public service, and are supported by
donations to the foundation. The foundation has a number of other research projects
underway that will continue to benefit children and families.
Contact:
Barry Sugarman, B.S.ENGR., President
The Cure Our Children Foundation
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barry@cureourchildren.org
Phone: 310-355-6046
Fax: 310-454-9592
http://www.cureourchildren.org
###
Lesson 5
What about Quotes?
A good English press-release is never written without at least one quote. So why are
quotes effective?
Here are a few reasons:
Quotes add personality -- you see those little curly quote marks in any kind of
literature and something warm bubbles in you... there is a human being in the room,
and not just a load of "ideas"...
Quotes add authority to a press release -- it's one thing to say poverty is on the rise,
and it's another thing to cite state statistics... it's one thing to say that the city is
behind this project, and it's another thing to be able to write, Mayor Cline said today,
"The city is behind this project." Quotes add third-party credibility – information
straight from the horse's mouth.
Quotes allow you to use colorful phrases -- in a release about resource allocation of
city funds you might write City officials are concerned that the park district is
consuming a disproportionate share of the revenue resources... or you might quote
your client as saying "The parks are hogging all the funds." That's a much pithier and
more memorable phrase, but it's the kind of language you could never use in a news
item -- except in the form of a quote.
Quotes allow you to inject opinion -- although journalistic style permits you to
convey enthusiasm, you have to stop short of hype... if you're writing about a new
play that's opening, you can't claim that It will be the biggest hit in Turtle Bay since
Elvis Costello played at the Westland Auditorium ... the editor would consider that
pure hype -- that's your opinion -- and it would make your release less professional...
but it would be perfectly appropriate to quote the director of the play, Dale Levensan
-- "Even before it opens, we've got a hit on our hands," says director Dale Levensan.
"Our advance sales are stronger than the time Elvis Costello played at the Westland
Auditorium."
Quotes allow you to restate your message. This can be especially effective when
you use a quote as the last graf, to wrap up your release. The message you packaged
in your lead can be restated, in stronger, more colorful personal language, to bring
readers back to the point where they began.
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We never put 'A quote' in the outline of paragraphs" -- a quote is a way to deliver
your point, it is not the point itself. When you use a quote just for the sake of quoting
someone, you are guaranteeing that it will be an empty quote -- sheer puff and hot air.
Instead, let the quote do some of your heavy lifting. In the pre-writing (that is, on the
Message Planner), you can circle an item on the outline of paragraphs to indicate that
the point will be conveyed by a quote. For example, when writing a release on "From
the Heart," in the outline of paragraphs, paragraph six could be about the students'
"Challenge to the community." I will circle that item on the Message Planner. This
means that when you get to that paragraph, instead of writing
The Westland College Student Association is issuing a challenge to the other civic
institutions of Turtle Bay, to take responsibility for the other six days of the week.
you can use a quote to do the work of that paragraph:
"We're challenging the other civic institutions of Turtle Bay to follow our lead," says
Westland College Student Association president Sue Jennings. "We're taking care of
Wednesdays but there are still six other days of the week."
Three last things you should know about quotes
Always attribute -- You must never use a quote without identifying the person being
quoted. You can't say, "It was terrific," one member of the audience said. Readers
(and editors) need to know the person quoted and who they are in the context of the
story (i.e., not just Sue Jennings, but Sue Jennings, president of the Westland College
Student Association).
No puffy or "excited" quotes -- The editor doesn't care that "everyone here is
extremely excited about the new developments!" or other evidences of enthusiasm or
self-praise. The editor wants the facts that generate the enthusiasm, not the raw
enthusiasm in a gushy quote.
Do not submit a press release draft with a gap in it where you expect a quote to be,
expecting your client to "say it in your own words." Your client expects you to write
the quote. If appropriate, you can then present it deferentially -- "I took the liberty of
quoting you where I think it will be most effective; of course, feel free to change the
words any way you like." Any client used to dealing with professional PR writers
will not need to be handled deferentially -- they'll understand what you're doing, and
will expect you to act as their ghostwriter in the press release.
Task 1. Find quotes in the press releases you have read before, define their
function.
Do you see any weak quotes? Why do you consider them weak? Would you use
the same quotes for the given press releases?
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Task 2. Read an abstract from the press release and compare two variants of
one and the same paragraph written in different forms. How does the one in the
quote form differ from the other?
Out In Style, Inc. Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Online Retail with Special Rebate
Program
BROOKLYN, N.Y., Sept. 4, 2009 — Not many online retailers can make the claim
that they’ve been in business for 15 years. But Out In Style, Inc. (OIS)
(http://www.outinstyle.com), an Internet-based portal for more than 30,000 camping,
hunting, law enforcement, military products and clothing items, as well as disaster
relief, first-responder, survival and safety gear, is officially celebrating its 15th
Anniversary of Web-based sales this September, having first launched in September
1994.
To celebrate its landmark success, OIS’ president, Abraham Perkowski, has just
announced that the company is offering its loyal customers a 20 percent rebate off all
items this month. The promotion is timely because it provides an extra incentive for
purchasing disaster-relief products, particularly those pertaining to hurricane response
and the approaching H1N1 Flu season.
a. 15 years ago for many people it was hard to believe that the Internet trade would be
profitable for the company. Nevertheless OIS became the leader within its industry.
The key to its success are beneficial programs for its customers, timely delivery of
quality products, personal service.
b. “When we started online sales 15 years ago, there was an overtone of pessimism
about us taking this Internet route - people just weren’t sure it would ever be
profitable or practical,” Perkowski says. “But we’ve stood the ‘test of time,’ and
come out as a leader within our industry. The key to our longevity remains in our
ability to provide programs that truly benefit buyers, ensure timely delivery of quality
products, and give our customers the personal service they deserve. You don’t find
that with just any and every online retailer.”
Task 3. The last paragraph in the press release below is omitted. Write the
paragraph in the form of a quote.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Mark Heartsen
4 Our Pets
1518 Blackwood Drive
Knoxville, TN 37923
Phone: 877-357-2281
Email: mark@4ourpets.org
Web site: http://www.4OurPets.org
Join Paws Across America to Help Abused and Hungry Animals
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Knoxville, TN—June 14, 2005--On June 29, 2005, Paws Across America will join
hands and paws to help end animal neglect and abuse. 4 Our Pets, a nationwide nonprofit organization, is sponsoring the event. Organizer and Executive Director, Mark
Heartsen, is asking Americans to join hands with furry and non-furry family members
on June 29 in support of all the hungry and abused pets that do not have loving homes
and full bellies.
4 Our Pets, founded in 2001 by veteran animal rescue worker Mark Heartsen,
motivates people to take action against the injustices to animals in today's society. He
started this charitable organization to spread the word about existing animal abuse
and hunger in America. Mr. Heartsen said, "For every pet that enjoys the attention
and love of a caring family, four others are homeless, hungry, and in desperate need
of medical attention."
Paws Across America will make a worldwide statement in support of helping pets.
While the 4 Our Pets organization works daily to raise awareness and to raise funds
to help animals in need, this is the first large public event it will launch. At 6:00 pm
(dinner time) on June 29, 2005, 4 Our Pets is asking families across America to take a
moment to reflect on how pets have enhanced their quality of life. People without
pets are encouraged to donate time or other resources to their local animal shelter or
the Humane Society.
For more information on Paws Across America and 4 Our Pets, go to
http://www.4OurPets.org or call
877-357-2281.
###
While writing a quote use the following information:
 the author is Mr. Heartsen
 the event is symbolic.
 it is organized in hope to draw public attention to abused and hungry animals.
 all donations will be used to prevent animal abuse and hunger in the US.
 this is a charity event (none of the organizers will be paid)
Lesson 6
Planning your Press Release
Read the following information very attentively:
Your press release needs to be planned. You need to be sure that you've developed
your message and delivered it effectively. To help you do that we have invented the
Message Planner.
The Message Planner is a form for you to follow as you do your pre-writing on
your press release. Pre-writing is the process of getting your act together before you
write the first draft of your press release. Different writers work differently, but this
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method will help you apply the lessons of this course to any kind of writing you do -especially writing on subjects you don't know much about and could care less.
In the message planner you will find separate sections devoted to the principles
of pre-writing. It is important that you include all these steps for every press release
you write in this class from this point forward. Here is what you need to include, in
the order that they appear on the Message Planner:
Date File Opened: Sep. 10, 20xx
Project: (Name you give to PR campaign)
Objective: (What do you want people to do as a result of your PR efforts?)
5 W’s
Who:
(Who’s the “star” of this story? Who’s doing something that is
newsworthy?
What:
(What is it they’re doing that is newsworthy. These two
elements, the “Who” and the “What,” are the backbone of your story.)
Where:
(The editor wants to know it appeals to local readers.)
When:
(The editor wants it to be timely – happening now)
Why/How: (This is where you first get into the most interesting aspects of
your story.
Angle:
(This is the “6th W” – the “So What” – the facts don’t always
speak for themselves and you need to convince the editor that this story is
worth assigning a reporter to write it.)
Message Planner
Project: ________________________________ Date File Opened: _______________________________
Objective:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
What do you want people to do?________________________________________________________
5 W’s
Who:____________________________________________________________________________________________________
What:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Where:____________________________________________________________________________________________________
When:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why/How:__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Key Ideas:
Angle: “So What?”
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Outline of Paragraphs:
Lead: __________________________________________________
2. _____________________________________________________
3. _____________________________________________________
4. _____________________________________________________
5. ______________________________________________________
6. ______________________________________________________
7._______________________________________________________
8. ______________________________________________________
“What’s the Headline?”
______________________________________________________________________________________________
Message:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Visual*:
______________________________________________________________________________________________
Key Ideas:
This should be a long list, running down onto the next page,
of every fact you know about this story,even the most obvious facts.
Like a detective solving a mystery,
you will benefit from mulling over every detail
as you try to make connections.
In addition to the facts of the matter,you can list other ideas that occur to you.
But make sure you don’t omit any facts
The list will be much longer than this one.
Don’t omit any key ideas.
Outline of Paragraphs: (Just a few key words for each, to help you structure your
ideas.
What’s the headline? (Ideally, what would you like to see on the front page?)
Message:
(This is the point of the Message Planner. It should be a short, twothree sentence “sound bite” that sums it all up – facts (5W’s) plus the news angle
(“Angle”)… it will not be identical to your lead, because your lead is crafted in
journalistic style, while your Message can be more conversational and intuitive.
Think of it like this: if someone stuck a mike in your face and said “Tell our listening
audience the story you’re trying to get across,” what would you say?
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Visual*:
(If this story makes TV news, what will the most compelling visual be.
What would you want to see on the screen? This will help you “see” your story, even
when you don’t’ expect it to be on TV.)
__________
*optional point
Task 1. Read the press-releases and fill-in the Message Planner form:
I. Russian Cold War Era Immune Biotechnology Gives Retired Pharmacist
Second Career
BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 14, 2007 — A Cold War era Soviet doctor and scientist,
General Vsevolod Ogarkov, had no idea the fruits of his bio-warfare research
program would be used by 21st century American doctors and patients for immune
system support and to beat winter colds and flu.
Thirty years later, a Colorado pharmacist has found his retirement has taken
unexpected directions as a result of Ogarkov’s research program.
During the 1970s, Ogarkov’s researchers were studying lactobacillus bacteria, which
made sense to the Russians, as these bacteria are found in traditional Eastern
European foods such as yogurt. Called "probiotics" in current market jargon, the
researchers beieved these natural bacteria held a key to jump-starting the human
immune system. By "lysing," or processing the cells into pieces, the Russians
designed a product to protect the Soviet army from bio-warfare agents such as
anthrax.
After his 1998 retirement, business associates introduced pharmacist John Sichel to
the Russian product, called "Preparate." When he discovered the cell-wall fragment
powder eliminated his daughter’s hepatitis C symptoms in 1999, Sichel shared it with
friends, who reported relief from everything from chronic coughs to chemotherapy
and radiation side-effects. Many said cold and flu symptoms disappeared in four to
24 hours.
The details of the story read like a Michael Crichton novel, but the short version is
that Sichel began marketing the product as a nutritional supplement in 2002, moving
manufacturing from St. Petersberg, Russia to Indianapolis, Ind. His company, Pure
Research Products, now has a customer base of over 15,000. Sichel has done virtually
no advertising - business has grown via word-of-mouth out of his Boulder basement.
The product has fans, including medical doctors, in all 50 states and in 10 countries.
New studies on the American-made product confirm the Russian researchers’
findings. Research shows that the lysed lactobacillus cell fragments increase levels of
immune activity, specifically natural interferons, which are important keys to
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immune function. The research also shows significant increases in tumor necrosis
factor (TNF), and natural killer (NK cells).
"If you had told me 10 years ago this would happen, I wouldn’t have believed it,"
Sichel said. With his "big pharma" background from marketing Valium in the 1960s,
Sichel added that reported results are more in-line with a drug than a nutritional
supplement.
Several doctors are giving the product, called "Del-Immune V," to patients. "This
product is consistently safe, effective and has no side effects," said Dr. Elin Ritchie of
Taos, N.M. cold and flu bouts.
"We often see liver and stomach problems in chemotherapy and radiation patients,"
said Dr. Lee Rieniets of Melville, Western Australia. "On Del-Immune V, many of
those problems clear up." Dr. Reinierts, also a biochemist and geneticist, added that
he regards the product as a highly effective immune booster.
Information is available at http://www.delimmune.com.
Contact:
Pure Research Products
Pamela Sichel
(303) 530-7761
###
II. Top Meeting and Event Planning Company Is First to Go Green in D.C.
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2008 — Event Emissary, a women-owned meeting and
event planning company founded in 2003, has combined its staff’s personal interests
in responsible ecology with an expertise in event planning to become the first
business in its local category to offer green services.
Co-founder Jenna Mack states, "We have taken extensive steps to reduce our
company’s carbon footprint and are educating our clients on the environmentally
friendly options available to them. Event Emissary strives to create high-impact,
successful meetings and events while treading lightly on the earth."
Event Emissary works with clients to determine all the ways their events can be more
environment friendly, while leaving the level of green visibility and transparency up
to each individual client.
"We call them meetings and events with eco-flair," says Mack.
"It’s our job to find innovative earth-conscious solutions and offer them to our
clients. We recognize that not every recommendation may fit a client’s program or
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current corporate culture, so we provide the opportunity for our clients to determine
just how green they want a program to be," comments co-founder Stephanie
Campbell.
There are plenty of environmentally responsible options available when it comes to
event planning - and many of them don’t cost more than the standard products or
services. Mack and Campbell raise awareness of these options, which clients may
never have considered, and help turn an ordinary event into a "green" one.
Event Emissary’s unique services enable clients to take advantage of:
environmentally friendly hotels and conference or meeting venues; caterers that offer
sustainable, local and organic cuisine; composting of food waste and collection of
recyclables at the event; recycled or recyclable materials for use whenever possible
for brand marketing materials; travel arrangements, shuttles, valet services, door-todoor staff escorts and public transportation incentives; contingency planning; and
much more.
"If every aspect of a meeting or event was guaranteed to be flawless, then meeting
and event planning would simply be a matter of organization and attention to details.
Event Emissary takes it a step further - we help make green events possible, prepare
for every conceivable contingency and are ready to improvise in any situation," says
Mack.
About Event Emissary
Founded in 2003 by Jenna Mack and Stephanie Campbell, Event Emissary has
quickly
become a rising star among Washington, D.C.’s destination management companies.
Events Emissary has been recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of
Washington, D.C.’s Top Meeting and Event Planning Companies and for designing
and executing hundreds of successful corporate, non-profit and government events
over the years.
To learn more about the company and its green service offerings, visit
http://www.eventemissary.com/.
Contact:
Jenna Mack
202-369-5695
jmack@eventemissary.com
###
Task 2. First, read the facts and be ready to answer some questions:
 Today's date is January 10, 2007 (use your imagination)
 (You'll see why in a minute)
 Westland College is a small state college in Central Illinois
 It's located on the edge of Turtle Bay, Ill., in Persimmon County
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Recently a factory closed, just outside of Turtle Bay, Ill.
Westland Students study liberal arts, mostly
The Westland College Student Association is a student organization on campus
The factory made marshmallows. Persimmon County was once the "Marshmallow
Capital of the Midwest"
About 400 workers were laid off when the factory closed
They were mostly migrant workers
Students in a sociology class discovered that homelessness is a problem in Turtle
Bay
The number varies, but state welfare statistics show that about 200 families and
individuals are living in chronic poverty, with no fixed address, in Persimmon
County
Students decided to do something about the poverty
The sociology students convinced the Student Association to get involved in the
problem
Poverty figures were generated before the Marshallow Factory lay-offs
There's a social service agency in Turtle Bay called the Anodyne Center
It's at 450 Eastlake Drive
They are hard-pressed to keep up with the social needs
The students plan to sponsor free meals for the homeless every Saturday night
President of the Student Association is Sue Jennings
The Student Association has, as part of its mission statement, "dedicated to
connecting Westland College learning to the social needs of Persimmon County"
The students will launch a food drive on January 14, at a news conference
They want canned goods and staples dropped off at Building B, Sociology
Department, on campus
They'll take checks too, for perishable items, made payable to WCSA and mailed
to the Westland College Student Association, Westland College, Turtle Bay, IL
60699
They plan to host weekly free meals for the homeless, beginning Saturday, Feb.
14 (Valentine's Day)
They call their program "From the Heart" (get it?)
They'll serve meals every Saturday, 4-7pm, "for as long as people are still going
hungry in Turtle Bay"
Director of the Anodyne Center is David Jackson
Food will be served at the Anodyne Center
At the press conference on Jan. 14, Mayor Jimmy Cline will be on hand
He will also be on hand on Feb. 14, and will help serve food, wearing an apron
and chef's cap
He'll also wear an apron and chef's cap for the press conference announcing the
beginning of the food drive
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 The students are thinking there are six other days in the week. If students can take
the lead, maybe other civic groups in Turtle Bay can pick up the other six nights
of the week.
 That would be okay with David Jackson. The Anodyne Center is willing to
provide meals seven days a week, as long as there are civic groups to do the work
Now choose a client you are going to write a press release for (WCSA, The
Anodyne Center or Mayor Jimmy Cline) and fill-in the Message Planner form
for the Turtle Bay press-release considering the information you have just read.
Task 3. Read the information below and make necessary corrections for your
Message Planner.
Here are some typical problem areas for message planners:
1. Spend some time thinking about objectives. Too often, students tend to skimp on
this. Think about the things you want to accomplish with your story, including
 Getting people to bring food
 Getting people to donate money
 Enlisting volunteers
 Good publicity for the Student Association
 Good publicity for Westland College
 Getting other civic groups to pick up the other nights
These were just some of the ideas students had. You may have other ideas... don't be
skimpy, be creative!
2. The 5 W's are an important place to start. Remember, this is where you do the
"casting" of your story... Who's at the center of it? What's going on? Here's a very
important formula:
W+W=Sentence.
That means that your Who joined together with your What should always become a
sentence.
Something like this is always wrong:
Who: Westland College Student Association
What: Food drive to feed the homeless
Why is it wrong? Because put together, like W+W, it comes out Westland College
Student Association food drive to feed the homeless and that is not a sentence.
The Who/What combination forms the most important sentence of your prewriting because it's what orients everything else.
For example, "Mayor Cline is pledging city support to a food drive at Westland
College..." -- if your client were Mayor Cline and you chose this combination of
Who and What it would take a very different spin from, say, The Westland College
Student Association is sponsoring a food drive..." -- wouldn't it?
3. Your "Where" and "When" should always somehow be translated to "Here"
and "Now" When editors are polled to learn what they look for in news -- that is,
what makes a story newsworthy -- they have a lot of answers but they all agree that
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the top two factors are Proximity (is it a local story?) and Timeliness (did it just
happen, or is it just about to happen, or is it happening as we speak?)
4. Your "Why/How" -- the 5th "W" -- is where your story gets interesting. You
will have more than one "Why/How" as you get warmed up. For example,
...in order to feed the hungry families of Persimmon County.
...in response to the crisis caused by the layoffs when the Marshmallow factory
closed.
...in order to begin a program of free hot meals every Wednesday at the Anodyne
Center.
...to demonstrate that students are neither apathetic, nor binge-drinking party animals,
but
caring
citizens
who
want
to
make
a
difference
...to inspire civic organizations of Turtle Bay to pitch in and help with the other six
days of the week.
Again, as you consider "Why/How," let your creativity flourish. You will have so
many ideas that they will flow down into the Key Ideas area just below the 5 W's -and they will spill over onto the next page.
Your key ideas can begin as a list -- or as a brainstorm mess of information -- but
sooner or later you're going to need to put them in list form. This is so you can begin
to order them and put the dominant key ideas -- Mayor Cline will be on hand, in
chef's cap and apron -- with subordinate key ideas (which are no less important to
include), like the address of the Anodyne Center is 450 Eastlake Drive.
5. The Angle is another problem area for many students.
Press releases are written for editors. The editor is the gatekeeper. The client
may love it, and newspaper readers may be sure to love it -- but if the editor doesn't
buy into it, it will never be passed on to a reporter, it will never be written into a news
story, the newspaper readers will never see it and the client is sure to be unhappy. PR
Writers write for editors. All editors care about is news. The angle is to help you
convince the editor your story is news.
The angle is where you hear the editor say "So What?!" when you tell him your
good news. You have to have an answer ready.
For example,
 You: The students are going to have a food drive on campus starting this week, to
feed the hungry and homeless of Turtle Bay.
 (Notice how this sentence is constructed entirely of the 5 W's?)
 Editor: So what?
 You: The problem of homelessness is getting worse since the closing of the
Marshmallow factory. They're not just wringing their hands, they're doing
something about it.
 Editor: So what? I mean, good for them, really, that's great. They should put that
in their association newsletter.
 You: But they need help spreading the word, to get food and money donations.
 Editor: I wish them luck, God bless them. But so what? -- what does this have to
do with me? They should put up posters or something. I print news, not good
deeds.
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 You: But it's unique. It's never happened before, not like this -- it's a human
interest story of young people taking charge when civic institutions fall down on
the job.
 Editor: This is starting to sound interesting.
 You: And they've got Mayor Cline in the act. He's going to put on a chef's cap
and apron and take part, dishing out food.
 Editor: Hmmm. A mayor who can dish it out. Mayor takes off his hat to student
activism... you're starting to get my attention...
Of course, you have this conversation with yourself, not with the editor. Your
press release is going to have only about a 10-second chance with the editor... he or
she will look at the letterhead, note that the format is crisp and professional (this will
happen in a nanosecond) and then glance at the headline and the first graf. Most
releases then go straight into the trash. Yours will be assigned to a reporter -- if
you've figured out, in advance, why this story is news and not just an appeal for
the editor to help you out.
6. The outline of paragraphs is another problem for many students. It is where you
put your ideas in order.
For example,
1. Lead paragraph
This will be a graf that communicates the 5 W's, the news angle and the message
2. Mayor Cline's involvement
A graf that highlights the mayor's support of the program, including the fact that he
"was" on hand for the Jan. 14 announcement (colorfully attired in his chef's cap and
apron) and that he will personally help serve hot meals to the homeless when the free
meal program debuts next month.
3. Westland College Student Association
A graf that touts the student organization, which saw the need and took action -consistent with their charter and despite the notion that students just wanna have fun.
4. Background on poverty problems, county statistics
Here is where you'll show how this story has impact; a lot of people are involved -not only the growing numbers of poor families, but the quality of life for everyone,
rich or poor, who live in Persimmon County.
5. Need for food, money, volunteers
You'll need to explain where staples (only) should be sent, where money can be
mailed, for buying perishables, and that you're also asking for volunteers.
6. Challenge to the community
A graf making the point that "From the Heart" will be taking care of Wednesday
nights, but there are still six other nights of the week, and other civic organizations
should emulate the students and dedicate their efforts to making sure no one ever
goes hungry.
7. Where and how food will be served
We haven't said anything detailed about the actual meal service -- just the food
drive. But obviously we need to explain that the meals will be served starting Feb. 14
-- Valentine's Day -- hence "From the Heart" -- and that they'll be served at the
Anodyne Shelter.
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8. Anodyne Center
You may want a graf that talks about the Anodyne Center and its role in the
community, with reference perhaps to its director David Jackson.
9. Westland College
Often a press release about a student organization will contain a simple graf that
gives information about the college, for releases that may end up across the country
(or with the Associated Press for widespread distribution).
(You don't need to write all this down in your Message Planner -- just the lines in
bold black, not the italics.)
You may not agree with this order of paragraphs: For example, you might want to
put #7 higher up in the order. That's the advantage of dealing with short abbreviations
at this point -- they're easy to erase and move up or down.
Task 4. Write the press release for the Turtle Bay story.
Task 5. Exchange your Message Planners you completed for Task 1 and try to
write a press-release based on them. Compare it with the original.
Unit II
Lessons 1,2
Different Types of Press Release
The different types of release include:
 The Announcement Release, including the product release, a type of
announcement release.
 The Financial Release, usually written by lawyers, to comply with SEC and other
regulations.
 The Spot News release, written to shape breaking news.
 The Response (or Reaction) Release, when a competitor or adversary has
attacked you.
 The Bad-News Release, when you need to get your version of the whole story
out.
 The Feature Release, soft news that still has to be news, but not urgent.
 The Fact Sheet, which is a kind of non-narrative press release.
 Column notes, letters, guest columns, and similar vehicles to send your
message: Letters to the editor... guest columns... notes to columnists... reader
exchanges... recipes... sports sections, etc.
The Announcement Release
The most common type of press release is the announcement release -- used for
just about every purpose -- the opening of a new facility, the launching of a food
drive, the beginning of rehearsals for a new play in production, new company
policies, personnel appointments, hirings, layoffs, promotions, mergers, awards,
honors, price changes, introducing a new product, announcing financial results, etc.
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The key criteria for an announcement release: you control the timing. Generally
speaking, that's the hallmark of an announcement release. A key executive can't fly in
for the press conference until next week? No big problem – you'll do the press
conference next Tuesday instead of this Thursday. Final product photos won't be
ready till Wednesday morning? You control the timing of the announcement, and you
can plan your product release for the next day.
There are also legally required Financial releases, written by lawyers, to
comply with SEC and other regulations. They are different from announcement
releases to publicize financial results, mentioned in the first paragraph above. You
may be called upon to improve the lawyers' efforts, but the final draft will probably
go back to the lawyers before being distributed, since these financial releases are
really management instruments, not pure publicity tools.
Sometimes events will not be under your control. You may be called upon to write
a release so that you and your client can help influence the spin on a breaking story,
or a story that you know will soon break. In these situations you are not simply
creating news, you are anticipating news and trying to be the first to frame the news
in terms favorable to you and your client.
Here are some of the different types of press releases for situations that might
arise:
Spot News release
Your company has won a national award for its environmental efforts. The award
will be announced in Washington on Thursday. You must respect the award
committee's wishes to hold the news till Thursday, but you should write your own
press release right now, ready for release on Thursday. You know reporters will be
covering this story, but your release can help shape those stories so that they
emphasize your key points, and perhaps add other stuff you've been trying to
publicize along these same lines.
Response (or Reaction) release
A competitor (or, for lawyers and politicians and government officials, an adversary)
has leveled an attack on you... or a critic has blasted you. Your response should be
made in the same news cycle -- as soon as you know about the problem, and as soon
as you can mobilize your executives to decide on the desired response. In this way,
your attacker will not get a "clean shot" at you -- when the story is reported, it will
include not only the attack but also your mitigating response.
Bad-News release
Sometimes bad things happen. For example, the south wing of your chemical plant
blew up earlier this morning. Or maybe it's a company executive who embezzled last
year's profits and is merrily on his way to Brazil. Before long, reporters will be on the
story. A bad news release is always forthcoming and truthful -- stonewalling can be
disastrous and lying is worse -- and don't bury the news: put it in the lead. But still,
you can couch even bad news in a positive context -- for example, making clear that
you had disaster procedures in place and the damage was contained to only the south
wing, and contamination of the groundwater was limited to only two acres.
Media Alert
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A media alert will trumpet an upcoming event (press conference, grand opening,
groundbreaking, significant speech, photo op, etc.). Naturally, you would never
distribute a media alert at a press conference -- the media is already there with you!
You prepare a media alert to notify assignment editors of a press conference, or any
other event that you believe will generate news for the media to cover. It is always
one page, brief but compelling, and sufficiently informative to arouse interest, usually
(but not necessarily) without giving away the story. It should make clear that there
are visual opportunities for TV cameras and print photographers.
*See also Supplement for other views on press release types.
Task 1. Read the press releases given below and define their type. What
peculiar features of each type can you observe in the examples?
I. Red Cross Responds to Help 35 Seniors in Avon
GENESEO, N.Y., Wednesday, July 28, 2010 – The Northern Livingston County
Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping 35 senior citizens displaced at Avon
Green Apartments. The Red Cross was called to help the individuals around 9 am
after a vehicle damaged the building and the residents were forced to evacuate.
“The Red Cross is currently assisting the residents at the Avon Village Hall,” said
David Parrish, Executive Director of the Northern Livingston County Red Cross.
“We’re partnering with the Office of the Aging and Kraft General Foods, which has
donated lunchables and drinks for the individuals.”
The Greater Rochester Red Cross deployed its Emergency Response Vehicle to Avon
to provide Mass Care (drinks and snacks) to the officials on the scene and has
additional supplies of snacks for the residents as well.
The Northern Livingston Red Cross will continue to assess the situation and will be
ready to provide shelter for the residents if they are unable to return to their home
today. The Northern Livingston County relies on generous donations from the
community, which allows the Red Cross to respond to disasters such as this and
provide immediate items to help people get back on their feet.
Avon Green Apartment residents impacted by this disaster should call the Northern
Livingston Red Cross for more information and assistance at 585-243-7029.
Media inquires may be directed to Nadine Krimow at 585-370-1834 or
nadinek@grcarc.org
II. Griffin Honored with Tenth Year on FORTUNE Best Companies to Work for
List
DERBY, Conn., Jan. 22, 2009 — Griffin Hospital has been honored with a 10th year
on the FORTUNE 2009 “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Griffin ranked 62 on
the 2009 list released today. Griffin is the only hospital in the nation to make the list
for ten years.
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Griffin was first invited to apply for selection to the FORTUNE list in 2000 and has
made the list every year since. FORTUNE has issued the list of “100 Best Companies
to Work For” since 1998. Only 13 of the original companies named to the list remain
on the list in 2009 and only 37 have been on the list for ten years.
Griffin’s tenth year on the list is very timely as the hospital is also celebrating the
100th anniversary of its founding. Griffin was founded in 1909 with the support of
community leaders who were convinced that the Valley should have its own hospital.
What Griffin’s founders couldn’t foresee is that a hundred years later Griffin would
be recognized internationally for its innovative programs, Planetree patient-centered
approach to care, its unique healing environment and as a model for other healthcare
organizations. They could also not have envisioned that Griffin would be recognized
as one of the nation’s best employers, joining such nationally recognized companies
as Google, Nordstrom, Microsoft, FedEx and the Mayo Clinic.
“Our tenth year on the FORTUNE list is a notable achievement that distinguishes
Griffin Hospital as an employer of choice,” said Griffin’s President Patrick Charmel.
“As the preferred hospital employer, Griffin has the ability to attract the best
caregivers who enable us to provide an exceptional patient experience. We consider
every employee a caregiver committed to putting the patient first and providing the
highest quality of care and service to patients and their families.
Describing what makes Griffin a great place to work, FORTUNE said: “Famous for
its patient-centric philosophy, Griffin soothes patients and staff with music in parking
lots, family kitchens, chair massages, and noise abatement.” FORTUNE Managing
Editor Andy Serwer noted, “No matter what happens with the economy, the demand
for talent will remain. Great companies know that super-motivated, happy, worldclass employees are an incredible competitive advantage.”
In the past year Griffin’s leadership team was selected by HealthLeaders magazine as
the nation’s “2008 Top Leadership Team in Healthcare” for community and mid-size
hospitals, selected by the Journal of Sacred Work for the Healing Trust as one of
America’s top ten Healing Hospitals for the second year in a row and named to
Training Magazines list of the “Top 125 employers for staff training and
development” for the second time. Griffin’s Digestive Disorders Center nurses were
recognized in a cover story by Advance for Nurses as New England’s “Best Nursing
Team for 2008.”
FORTUNE selects the companies on the list based on evaluation of the policies and
culture of the company and the opinions of the company’s own employees. Twothirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a confidential 57-question
survey. The survey goes to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees from
each company and asks about things such as attitudes toward management, job
satisfaction, and camaraderie.
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More than 81,000 employees from 353 companies responded to the survey.
Website: http://www.griffinhealth.org
Contact:
Bill Powanda, V.P.
203-732-7515
###
III. The Silverfern Group Expands Merchant Banking Team – Christopher
Marlowe Joins as Managing Director
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4, 2009 — The Silverfern Group, Inc. announced today
that it has continued the expansion of its senior merchant banking team with the
addition of Christopher Marlowe, the former Head of the West Coast Financial
Sponsors Practice at Wachovia Securities.
In bringing over 10 years of Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity experience to
the Silverfern team, Christopher has completed over $30 billion in private equitybacked transactions and has been responsible for advising private equity clients on
financings, acquisitions, and exits in both the public and private markets. His
experience spans a number of industries, with specific industry expertise in
Technology, Consumer, Retail, General Industrial and Healthcare.
Prior to joining Silverfern, Christopher was responsible for advising on and raising
financing to support leveraged buy-outs and recapitalizations, advising private
equitybacked companies through the IPO process and providing private equity firms
with Megers & Acquisitions advice at Wachovia Securities. Christopher was a
member of the initial team responsible for opening the Wachovia Securities office on
the West Coast in 2001.
Based in San Francisco, Christopher leads Silverfern’s West Coast Private Equity
Coverage effort, which includes coverage of private equity firms located in
California,
the Pacific Northwest and Chicago.
Silverfern Chairman & CEO Clive Holmes said, “We are delighted to upgrade our
West Coast Client coverage effort so substantially with the addition of Christopher to
our San Francisco office. At a time when other banks are cutting or reducing Sponsor
coverage, Christopher joins a growing team of over 15 Silverfern Managing Directors
focused intensely on the Private Equity community - a unique value proposition as
our Clients increasingly seek proprietary deal origination and co-investment equity
capital.”
About The Silverfern Group, Inc.
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The Silverfern Group, Inc. (Silverfern) is an independently owned Merchant Bank
specializing in originating and structuring proprietary (non-auction) buy-side Mergers
& Acquisitions opportunities, Private Equity Fundraising, and through its affiliates
Silverfern Co-Investment Partners and Silverfern Debt Advisors in making private
equity co-investments and debt investments with relationship private equity firms
worldwide. Silverfern’s senior merchant bankers deliver a compelling competitive
advantage to its Clients - combining exclusive access to robust proprietary deal flow
and leading managers with the highest levels of Wall Street advice, analytical support
and negotiating deal experience. The Silverfern Group, Inc. is a U.S. Broker-Dealer.
Member FINRA. Additional information is available at http://www.silfern.com
Contact:
John R. Cattau
Principal & CAO
Tel: +1 (212) 209-8860
jcattau@silfern.com
###
IV. Innovative Audio Service Launches New Method for Preserving Stories of
Life
LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., July 11, 2007 — LifeOnRecord, an audio journaling company,
announced today it is introducing two new patent-pending services that take the
traditional means of recording memories one step further.
Subscribers to the LifeOnRecord Personal Audio Journal receive a phone number to
call and record their thoughts and stories of daily life that might otherwise be
forgotten.
The LifeOnRecord Weddings and Events Services capture the well-wishes and
anecdotes that surround special occasions. Guests invited to a birthday, wedding, or
other special occasion call a toll-free number and record their sentiments and favorite
stories about the guest of honor.
With both services, the recordings can be preserved on a keepsake CD, managed
from a web site, listened to on a telephone, automatically emailed, and one-click
downloaded into iTunes. The services take the traditional means of scrapbooking,
journaling, and home videos one-step further.
Alaa El Ghatit, founder of LifeOnRecord, created the company and its services to
accommodate a personal need that, after talking with others, was revealed to be more
universal. As El Ghatit explains, "Although you frequently see people using digital
and video cameras, the meaningful, day-to-day stories are being forgotten."
Tom Zengeler, owner of Zengeler Cleaners - the Midwest’s largest chain of drycleaning stores, employed LifeOnRecord’s Events Service to include the community
in celebrating its 150th anniversary in business. The company communicated their
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LifeOnRecord number on their website, through the newspaper, and by direct mail to
their 18,000 customers.
"We’ve been there as our customers prepared to look their very best for important job
interviews, weddings, christenings and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs," said Zengeler. "As a
result, our families share some wonderful and significant memories."
"LifeOnRecord provides a truly unique way to have our customers participate in our
150th celebration," said Zengeler. "The messages left have been very special and
passionate. We teamed with LifeOnRecord because they offered a one-of-a-kind
service to make it simple for our customers to call and save some of the meaningful
memories we have in common."
In addition to helping companies celebrate milestones, LifeOnRecord’s Event
Services are used for birthdays, weddings, graduations, births, retirements, reunions,
and more.
"You can’t pass a card around the country for everyone to sign, and for most people
talking is easier than writing," says El Ghatit. "There’s a lot of power and emotion in
hearing someone’s voice that you don’t get when you read words written on a page."
"The elements of technology we’re using for these services have been around for a
long time," says El Ghatit. "LifeOnRecord just puts them together in a one-of-a-kind
package that makes for convenient, easy-to-operate memory keeping that meets the
needs of today’s lifestyles."
To learn more about LifeOnRecord
http://www.LifeOnRecord.com.
and
the
services
it
offers,
visit
Contact:
Alaa El Ghatit: 847-271-2266
Email: media@LifeOnRecord.com
Fax: 888-259-6561
http://www.LifeOnRecord.com
A Media Kit is available from a link at the bottom of http://www.LifeOnRecord.com
V. GordonsGuide.com Launches Educational Travel Category Adventure
Travelers Show Growing Interest in Learning and Education
FRESNO, Calif., Aug. 17, 2006 — Gordon’s Guide - Adventure & Active Travel
Worldwide, the leading publisher in adventure and active travel, has launched its
newest travel category — Educational Travel — at http://www.GordonsGuide.com.
The site offers 10,000 trips to 3,000 destinations in 126 countries, for vacationers of
all ages, making it the largest online marketplace for adventure and active travel.
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"More and more travelers are incorporating education and learning into their vacation
experience, such as learning a new language abroad," said Timothy E. Gordon,
founder and CEO. "We are seeing more families scrapping traditional travel plans for
more meaningful and interactive vacations. This trend will continue as more vacation
providers accommodate the growing demand so this category will expand. Whatever
the trends may be, adventure and active travelers will find what they’re looking for at
GordonsGuide.com."
As part of the Educational Travel category, travelers can choose to learn about the
world of art from Art History Abroad, where instructors teach on site and expose
travelers to the many beautiful treasures of Italy and London. For those desiring to
learn a new language and cultural immersion, Languages Abroad, a leading languagetravel organization, offers to teach 30 languages in 50 countries with a variety of
travel options and programs to suit travelers needs.
Additional categories at GordonsGuide.com include archeological tours, eco-tourism,
culinary vacations, safaris and special interest travel categories such as family camps,
women’s travel and corporate team building adventures. The site also offers dude
ranches, heli-skiing, ATV vacations, houseboating, surfing camps, whitewater rafting
and four and five-star resorts and unique retreats worldwide.
GordonsGuide.com is designed to help active travelers easily research adventure
vacations, comparison shop and communicate directly with vacation providers
worldwide to ask questions and learn of trip availability via electronic requests.
Travelers can navigate quickly through the site and find exactly what they are looking
for without encountering frustrating, dead-end or irrelevant searches. Once travelers
find their ideal vacation, they can click on direct links to vacation providers to book
trips.
About the Company
Founded in 1997, Gordon’s Guide - Adventure & Active Travel Worldwide is a
leading publishing company focusing on one of the fastest growing segments of the
travel industry. Based in Fresno, California, the company publishes highly regarded
magazinestyle travel guides and an award-winning website, GordonsGuide.com, the
premier information resource for active travelers, offering the finest adventure and
active vacations from around the world. Gordon’s Guide has partnered with premier
vacation providers and resorts such as O.A.R.S., GAP Adventures, Dean Cummings
H2O Heli Guides, Intrepid Travel, Backroads, Fairmont, Vail Resorts, Hilton
Caribbean, Forever Resorts, Intrawest, ARAMARK Parks and Resorts and Delaware
North just to mention a few of the vacation providers on the site. Forbes Magazine
has awarded
GordonsGuide.com "Best of the Web" for seven straight years. 10,000 Trips, 3,000
Destinations, 126 Countries - 1 Web Site.
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Media Contact:
Hilda Martinez
Gordon’s Guide - Adventure & Active Travel Worldwide
HildaM@GordonsGuide.com
(559) 490-2800 ext. 128
http://www.GordonsGuide.com
###
Task 2. In the Internet find examples of press releases of different types.
Task 3. Write Bad-news release based on the situations below:
1. In 1982, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) faced a major crisis that had the potential to send
the company into financial ruin. Tylenol, the country’s most successful over-thecounter product, with over one hundred million users, was under attack.
Sealed bottles were tampered with and extra-strength Tylenol capsules were replaced
with cyanide-laced capsules. These bottles were then resealed and placed on shelves
of pharmacies in the Chicago area. Seven people died as a result. Tylenol was called
upon to explain why its product was killing people.
2. Ford Motor Company. During the late 1980s into the 1990s, Ford Explorers
equipped with Firestone Wilderness tires were linked to nearly 150 deaths and more
than 500 injuries in the United States alone.
Lesson 3
Product releases
Task 1. Read the examples of Russian and English product releases. Find the
differences.
A New Way to Make Vacant Homes Look Occupied
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., July 21, 2008 — The housing market correction has left
more than 2 millions homes vacant, making them prime targets for burglars and
vandals. But now, an inexpensive new burglar deterrent device called “FakeTV”
gives property owners a new and convincing way to make these homes look
occupied, making them less likely to become targets for crime. FakeTV(TM) gives
off light in just the way a real television does, so from outside the home it looks like
someone is watching TV. A builtin light sensor turns FakeTV on at dusk, and it stays
on for a preset time. FakeTV’s super-bright, computer-controlled LED’s faithfully
reproduce the scene changes, color shifts, flicks and fades of a real television.
Viewed from outside the home, the effects of FakeTV are essentially
indistinguishable from the real thing.
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So, some savvy owners of vacant properties use FakeTV to give their home a lived-in
look. A “For Sale” may advertise to potential home-buyers, but also sends the “might
be vacant” message to potential thieves. Real estate agents have placed FakeTVs in
vacant houses to make them look like someone is still living there. An unfurnished
house can be an easy target for vandals, criminals looking for copper, arson, or even
squatters looking for a place to live. A California contractor deployed two FakeTV’s
during a recent renovation of a vacant property, saying that “crime has been a bit of a
problem in this neighborhood, and I wanted to make sure nobody broke in and stole
my tools!”
Few burglars will risk prison by breaking into an occupied house. A prowler
canvassing a neighborhood at night, upon seeing the light from FakeTV, is likely to
move on to an easier target. When the burglar sees the light from an operating
television, his imagination supplies the image of the person watching it. Modern
televisions turn on with push buttons, so they cannot be put on timers. Whether or not
they have given it any thought, people generally associate an operating television
with an occupied home.
The usual tips remain the first line of defense for a vacant property: keep the yard
maintained, stop the mail, and frequently clear away advertising material that gets left
at the door. These steps are especially important if a “For Sale” sign graces the front
lawn. But now, in the battle against burglars, FakeTV gives property owners a
powerful new deterrent. FakeTV costs less than $40 at a number of on-line retailers
and at http://www.FakeTV.com.
For more information visit http://www.FakeTV.com or call 1- 888-621-5800.
For high-resolution images, visit http://www.faketv.com/pressrelease
Contact:
Rein Teder
President
Opto-Electronic Design, Inc.
888-621-5800
info@faketv.com
###
Возможности, о которых Вы просили Нас!
1 Октябрь, 2008 - 12:02
НПО "Арсенал" представляет новую серию приемно-контрольных приборов
"Циркон", предназначенных для автономной и централизованной охраны
объектов, оборудованных электроконтактными и токопотребляющими
охранными и пожарными извещателями. Данная серия приборов отличается
кардинально обновленным дизайном, а также улучшенными функциональными
особенностями.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Основные особенности серии "Циркон":
Богатый выбор вариантов исполнения: 3, 5, 6 или 8 шлейфов сигнализации
Подключение внешнего источника резервного питания
2 выхода для питания извещателей и оповещателей - отключаемый и
неотключаемый
Возможность подключения выносного светодиода для удаленного контроля
постановки/снятия прибора с охраны
Гибкое программирование прибора с помощью USB-программатора
Каждый шлейф сигнализации обеспечивает ток нагрузки до 1,5 мА
На международном форуме "Технологии безопасности-2008", приборы
"ЦИРКОН" были
удостоены медалью I-й степени в номинации "Лучшие
Инновационные Решения в Области Технологий Безопасности 2008 года".
Подробная информация на www.arsenal-npo.ru
Now some theory:
Product releases are a different type of announcement release – but for all their
differences, they are still among that wide category of press releases known as
announcement releases.
As with other announcement releases, you do have control of the release date
when you write a product release. But you have to take a slightly different approach.
What is a product release? It is an announcement release that you do as part of a
marketing campaign for a new product.
Obviously, a new product is always 'news' in a trade magazine – and often you'll
get listed without even trying, in the "new products" columns of the local papers. But
that's not the objective of a product release.
Even a secretary who mails out a brochure to the 'trades' will get the product
noticed – But PR Writers worth their salt are not going to be satisfied with the trades
or the "new products" columns
In order to make it 'news' you have to give your story a sharp news angle as you
prepare your Message Planner. With a product release, even more than other types of
release, you can expect the editor to ask "So What?" You have to anticipate that
scepticism, and head it off.
Now you have to go the next step, and write your press release 'backwards' so
the editor doesn't throw it away as a cheap marketing ploy. If your release looks like a
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product promotion flier, why should the editor entertain it for a minute? He or she is
all about news, not pushing new products.
'Backwards', in this case, means going from the general to the specific. Instead of
leading with the 5 W's in your lead, your message will speak generally of the need or
desire that your product answers, and then work its way back to the wonders of the
product itself. The manufacturer – that is, your client – may not get mentioned until
the very end of the release.
Every marketing campaign for a new product highlights a USP – a unique
selling proposition 1 – which gives the product its market niche. Your new soap
isn't like any other soap. It floats! Oh, there's already a soap that floats? Then yours
floats and it's half the price of the other one that floats. There's already another halfprice floating soap? Then yours is cheap, floats, and is shaped like a cell phone – get
the picture? Hopefully your USP will be a little more persuasive than my example...
Whatever your USP, your job as a PR writer will be to set the stage for the
product – in effect, to create the context for the features your product promises... If
your product is the answer, what's the question – that's what you'll be putting in
place.
For example, let's say your product is something like the one described below.
Here's a lead you would not want to go with:
Natgo, Inc., has developed a conversion kit, selling for only $150, that will enable
cars to operate on natural gas instead of gasoline – at a savings of about $50 every
1,000 miles.
Now that happens to be a great lead graf for a news story – it's the graf you would
hope a reporter would write once your press release has done its job – but if you
wrote it that way, the editor might throw it out before a reporter even gets a chance at
it.
Instead, here is how a product release might finesse the editor:
Would you be willing to pay $150 for a conversion kit that would let your car use
cheaper, cleaner natural gas – and give you savings of $50 every 1,000 miles? A
new product on the market promises to do just that, and its manufacturer is betting
that there are millions ready to make the switch.
As you have learnt from the previous lessons, there are different kinds of lead
that work better for certain kinds of press release, including feature releases and
product releases. The second graf of this release might continue to describe the need
or desire for a product like this one, or its advantages (for example, environmental
implications) and still not mention the company itself. The more you can paint a
newsworthy picture without mentioning your client, the more likely you are to win
the editor over to your story
It is conceivable that a product release won't even mention your client's name –
not likely, but it happens. For example, if your client manufactures printer ink
cartridge refills, you might do a release about a new generation of printers, and talk
all about Epson and Hewlett-Packard, without ever mentioning Hubert's Ink, your
client. Or a dairy association might promote recipes using dairy products without
identifying itself in the release. We're not talking about deception here – after all, the
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letterhead of the press release makes it clear where the story originates – but the
content of the story might well omit mention of the client.
Task 2. Read the paragraphs of product releases and put them in the correct
order.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Craig Newmann
TriCode Technologies
Phone: (907) 688-2232
Toll-free: (800) 227-3391
Email: cnewmann@tricodetechnologies.com
Web site: http://www.tricodetechnologies.com
Tricode CEO Craig Newmann stated, “We are pleased that the LiteFone has received
this award. The sales certainly speak for themselves, but it’s great to receive this kind
of acknowledgement. We’re on the cutting edge of cellular technology and hope that
our upcoming line of Blackberry-inspired mobile devices is as well-received.”
Tricode Technologies’ Lightweight Mobile Phone Voted Top Product of 2004
John Doe, President and CEO of EverCleanOven, Ltd., stated, “With home
ownership on the rise, especially among families with two incomes, it just makes
sense that people would select appliances that will save them effort and time—time
that is better spent with the ones they love. We are pleased to offer an affordable
option that requires virtually no effort or time on the part of the homeowner.”
Anchorage, AK---January 22, 2005---The Tricode LiteFone VX10 mobile phone has
been voted one of the top products of 2004 by Cellular Media, Inc. Chosen for its
impact and innovation, Tricode Technologies’ new LiteFone is the latest in a line of
lightweight camera phones that Tricode has developed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
John Doe
EverCleanOven, Ltd.
P.O. Box 1211
Billings, MT 59105
Phone: 866-336-2112
Web site: http://www.evercleanoven.com
Email: info@evercleanoven.com
EverCleanOven partners with HiTek Elektroniks to take Self-Cleaning Oven
Technology to the Next Level
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Billings, MT—June 21, 2005—EverCleanOven, Ltd. and HiTek Elektroniks
announce the launch of the first self-cleaning oven that automatically cleans itself
after each use. While the average selfcleaning oven takes approximately three hours
to complete a full cleaning cycle, the EverCleanOven takes only 30 minutes.
The U.S. and international patent-pending EverCleanOven is manufactured in the
United States of America. For more information or to order your own
EverCleanOven, go to
http://www.evercleanoven.com or call 866-336-2112.
Added to Tricode’s product line in early 2004, the LiteFone quickly became
Tricode’s best selling cellular device in its seven-year history by providing
consumers with an affordable, extremely lightweight mobile, Bluetooth-enabled
cameral phone. The vibrant, high-resolution color screen, backlit keypad, and
lightweight aluminum casing make the LiteFone a slick addition to any technophile’s
collection.
About EverCleanOven, Ltd.
EverCleanOven, Ltd. is a subsidiary of AppliancesPlus, Inc., based in Billings, MT.
AppliancesPlus is a leading wholesale provider of luxury appliances to retailers
around the world. For more information, visit http://www.applicancesplus.com.
Tricode offers an extensive line of mobile phones for personal and professional use.
Tricode customer service received highest ratings by Consumer Research for the past
five consecutive years. All Tricode products are manufactured in the United States.
About HiTek Elektroniks
Established in 1998, HiTek Elektroniks has headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany and
manufacturing locations in Taiwan, India, and U.S. HiTek Elektroniks specializes in
the development and manufacturing of electrical systems for appliances, boats, and
aircraft.
For
more
information
on
HiTek
Elektroniks,
visit
http://www.hitekelektroniks.com.
###
The short cleaning cycle is a result of patented HiTek Qwikburn technology. After
the oven has been turned off for five minutes, the oven door locks and self-cleaning
automatically begins. During the cleaning cycle, QwikBurn coils set the oven
temperature to over 1500 degrees Fahrenheit within eight minutes. After the cycle is
complete, the oven automatically turns off and a quick dusting of the ash residue will
make the oven as clean as when it was first purchased.
To find out more about Tricode Technologies’ products call (800) 227-3391 (toll
free) or visit
http://www.tricodetechnologies.com.
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###
Task 3. Search on-line resources and find 3 examples of product releases.
Analyse them.
Lesson 4
Media Alert
You prepare a media alert to notify assignment editors of a press conference,
or any other event that you believe will generate news for the media to cover. It is
always one page, brief but compelling, and sufficiently informative to arouse interest,
usually (but not necessarily) without giving away the story. It should make clear that
there are visual opportunities for TV cameras and print photographers.
Keep in mind the main differences between press release that should be
distributed at the event and media alert:
o
A media alert will trumpet an upcoming event (press conference, grand
opening, groundbreaking, significant speech, photo op, etc.). Naturally, you would
never distribute a media alert at a press conference -- the media is already there with
you!
o
A press release is written in the style of news coverage, as the story you
would like to see written after your media event has taken place. Its lead is,
essentially, the sound bite you'd like to hear on the afternoon drive-time radio... and
on the TV news tonight. If you could have your wish, the press release is the story
that would be featured on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper, with a big fat
photo. It is always written from the point of view that the announcement has already
taken place, or that the news event is now ongoing. Thus -
Mayor Cline today announced a new initiative ... or

The Cline administration is taking legal action to ... etc.
o
A press release is always wrong if it says something like, "Mayor
Jimmy Cline will appear at a press conference today where he will announce..."
Remember, the press release is what you distribute at the press conference -- the
reporters are already there in the room with you.
So, a media alert is generally a tool used by public relations professionals to
get attention for an upcoming event. It is more brief, to-the-point and factual than a
press release. It is usually used in tandom with a press release with the media alert
being sent out the week of, or the day before the event. A newsroom person should be
able to scan it quickly and understand the basic who, when, where and what of the
event.
Here is the media alert template:
Media Alert
Assignment Desk
(or type in name of reporter or editor; fax, email and then call
reporter/editor)
Headline
SUBHEAD HERE GIVES MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION, TIMES AND
DATE(S)!
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WHAT
WHO
WHAT
WHEN
WHERE
WHY
Describe WHO is the center of the event
Describe WHAT is happening here
Date and day
Time
Any cost or price information
Name of location
Address
City and state
Describe here WHY this event is newsworthy or
WHY
important
CONTACT For more information call [your information here,
phone, cell phone and email]
Now an example of media alert for the Turtle Bay story:
Media Alert
Who
Mayor Jimmy Cline, together with Dr. Arnold Bevins,
Commissioner of Economic Development and Bernard J. Haskins,
Chief Architect and CEO of the architectural firm of Ogilvy,
Wollman and Hubben
What
The mayor's economic development team will make a major
announcement concerning development of land formerly owned
by the county at Two Day Road and I-69, just within the city
limits.
Where
The announcement will be made on site, on the north end of the
parcel. Those using I-69 exit 405 (approaching from north or
south) will see the colorful green and white tent on the left (south)
side of the ramp past the toll booth. Those approaching from town
on Two Day Road will see the tent on their left. Parking will be
clearly marked. Note: no electric power is available on site.
When
Monday, March 6, at 11:00 p.m. A luncheon buffet will be served
from 11:00 to 11:30. The press conference will begin at 11:30
promptly. The mayor and other participants will be available for
live TV and radio interviews beginning at about noon.
Why
Mayor Jimmy Cline was reelected on a platform of development.
His "Blueprint for Progress" included plans for expansion of light
industry and retail commerce from the Orizon River to the
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interstate. This press conference will be the first in a series of
important announcements concerning progress in this effort.
Contact
Press office: Jennifer Burton, Press Secretary, or Hugh Stevens,
Depty. Press Secretary, at 309-345-8900
Task 1. Find 1 or 2 examples of media alerts describe the event and try to
write a press release.
Task 2. Read the press release given below and transform it into a media
alert:
YachtFest San Diego Offers Glimpse of Glamour During Rough Economic
Waters
10th Anniversary Event Celebrates a Decade of San Diego’s Yachting Success
SAN DIEGO, July 20, 2011 — Recognized as the West Coast’s premier boutique
yacht show, YachtFest San Diego 20011 will open the international yacht show
season at San Diego’s Shelter Island from September 17 to 20.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, YachtFest San Diego, presented by San Diego
Marine Exchange, offers what larger shows don’t - a close glimpse inside some of the
world’s most luxurious floating vessels that range in size from 60 to over 155 feet.
“Our 10th annual event will entice yachting enthusiasts to sail toward America’s
Finest City,” said Doug Sharp, of Sharp Design and YachtFest Board Chair.
“YachtFest San Diego is the foremost place in the Western United States to buy, sell
or charter premium yachts, not to mention one of the classiest venues to step aboard a
glamorous first-class superyacht.”
With San Diego recently dubbed the “new super-yacht capital” by CNN, new and
improved megayacht facilities, and the wave of affluence in the city – YachtFest
organizers anticipate greater interest in builder, charter, fractional and brokerage
yachts.
More than $60 million worth of boats, yachts, super yachts, luxury cars and other
accessories will be on display and for sale during the show at Shelter Island’s Island
Palms Hotel and Marina at 2051 Shelter Island Drive. In addition to viewing yachts,
attendees can check out the newest in yachting products and gain exclusive access to
luxury goods.
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YachtFest San Diego will be open Thursday through Saturday, September 17 through
19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ticket
prices vary, including:
* General Access tickets: $34. Allows guests to experience the life aboard a firstclass yacht. Two Day General Admission tickets are available for $48.
* Preferred Access Badge: $64. Gives yachting enthusiasts priority when boarding all
yachts, as well as a complimentary beverage.
* Two-Day Preferred Access Badge: The ultimate package for yachting connoisseurs.
Available for $78, this badge enables guests to soak in the lavish lifestyle of a
yachtsman.
All general admission tickets are $5 off, and preferred access badges are $10 off if
purchased before Sept. 1. Children 14 and under are free with a paying adult, and
active or retired military will receive a 50 percent discount with I.D.
About YachtFest San Diego
YachtFest San Diego attracts visitors from around the world for an impressive
showcase of mega-sized, luxurious yachts in addition to the latest equipment and
other related luxury products for sale and on display.
YachtFest sponsors include San Diego Marine Exchange, Landmark Aviation, Sharp
Design, Fraser Yachts Worldwide, Driscoll Boat Works, Wright & L’Estrange, The
Marine Group, Bartell Hotels, Shelter Island Marina and Knight & Carver.
For more information on attendance, sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities, log on to
http://www.yachtfest.com or call Integrated Sports Marketing at 858-836-0133.
Contact:
Sandy Young / Jean Walcher, JWalcher Communications
sandy@jwalcher.com / jean@jwalcher.com
###
619-295-7140,
Task 3. Think of some significant event (a press conference, economic forum,
exhibition etc.) and write a media alert for it.
Unit III
Social Media Release
The social media release (SMR), is a next-generation press release format that was
inspired by Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher. The release is the evolution of
traditional press release formats for the dawning “social media” age. SHIFT
Communications – a mid-sized independent PR agency – is the first to offer a
template for use by PR professionals. The “Social Media Press Release” is also
distinctive for tying together various multimedia elements in one place, enabling the
journalist to view and/or “re-mix” media elements.
The press release of tomorrow offers a brief summary of news facts, a pertinent quote
by the CEO or an analyst as well as background information through links
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incorporated in the text. It will offer tags that relate to similar coverage and topics
that deal with issues mentioned in the release. In today’s visually-dominated media
world, it is also important to offer pictures, graphics or a video link.
How does the social media press release look?
Headline: No explanation needed (I hope)
Sub Headline: No explanation needed (besides, its optional)
Highlights / Key Facts: This is one of the major differences of the Social Media
Release compared to a traditional press release. Highlights, aka key facts, are short
and to the point statements that are the important takeaways that are the reason for the
release. There is no technical limit on these highlights, only practical limits of
brevity.
Summary: This is intended to present the highlights of the Social Media Release in
paragraph form for those who do not like reading the bullet format – it also allows
more room for tonality and perspective.
Tags / Keywords: By specifying the most highly relevant tags / keywords for the
information contained in the Social Media Release, it will have a higher chance of
being discovered by people who monitor social media for those particular keywords
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and phrases. At present, search engines like Technorati and other services create
‘feeds’ for these tags that individuals and organizations use to connect to the
information that most interests them. This is a very important piece of ensuring the
release gets to the right people and as widely as possible in the social media
ecosystem. There is no technical limit as to how many tags can be included, but as a
practical matter it is probably best to keep it more focused than less, else the value of
the system will be eroded as email has been by spam. An optional component here
might be to create an additional field that would specify any 3rd party service(s) to
which these tags should connect such as Technorati, Delicious, Digg, FURL or even
Personal Bee. The addition of these services would enable easier socialization of the
information in the release and enhance the ability to track its influence and reach.
Links / URLs: While links may be embedded in most of the other areas of the Social
Media Release since most elements allow HTML, this specific designation of all the
links in a separate field emphasizes them in a way that makes it easier for people to
access them.
Link Types: One of the reasons for having a separate area of the Social Media
Release for Links is to identify them as link types, which adds even greater value.
These enable the recipient to identify the links source, relationship and relevancy.
Link Types will be defined over time based on real world usage. They are initially
intended to be left as an open, practitioner-defined field. Examples of link types
include, 3rd party review, supporting research, case study, company web site, buy
link, and most notably, collections of links such as those created on sites like
Delicious and Furl.
Reserved Link Types: There is the possibility of having special link types reserved
such as CSS, where a CSS link type can be used to display the Social Media release
on different sites with a particular style and emphasis. This would allow companies
control over the visual presentation of the release. Additionally, the recommended
presentation style can be made available as a default option through the working
hRelease Microformat Web site. In fact, it may actually be used for some of the other
elements listed here such as company Web site and Source URL rather than keeping
them as independent fields. This is where dialogue with the experienced
Microformats community comes in.
Quotes: As an easily identifiable and widely used element of the traditional Press
Release, calling out quotes as a unique field is an obvious requirement. This also
leads to types of quotes, which require further discussion and may in fact be left as a
user defined field in the initial standard
Embedded Audio, Video and Images: Use existing RSS protocols for creating
enclosures that enable practitioners to include logos, photos, audio clips, video and
other similar content along with the release.
Embed Other Microformats: In the event that the release is about a particular event,
we would like to include the hCal, another type of Microformat that defines event
specific information such as date, location and start time. This can also be done for
hCards to include relevant contact information. The process used here for embedding
other Microformats in the Social Media Release should enable all other Microformats
to be embedded as they are developed.
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Traditional Press Release: For those who like to ‘kick it old school’, we want to
allow the inclusion of the standard release in text format. This allows recipients to
receive and republish as they always have done and accommodate our multi-channel,
write once, distribute everywhere communications philosophy. In short, it helps
bridge the gap between the traditional press release and the Social Media Release.
Company Information: This should include separate fields for Company Name,
Description, Company Web Site, Ticker Symbol, SIP Code and whether or not the
company shall be considered the primary source of the release rather than a party to
the release. There can be multiple company descriptions in each hRelease.
Contact Information: Multiple hCards can be included here with one being
designated as the primary contact. hCards are similar to the types of contact cards that
you find in Outlook and contain all relevant information in a common Web standard
format.
RSS Feed for Company: Within each Social Media Release is the information on
the location where someone can find and subscribe to all releases from this company.
This URL for the feed may exist on the company site or at a 3rd party location such
as FeedBurner or PR Newswire. Additionally, this may serve as a location for all
feeds from the company’s blog or just the specific feed for the company’s hReleases.
Date/Time Stamp: At the original point of publishing, a date/time stamp is added to
the hRelease to validate when it was published.
Modifications / Corrections: This item is a bit trickier and may not be addressed in
the initial specification. There is good reason to include it as a type of data being
described, but there is some concern that this might be something that should be
handled outside of the Social Media Release standard as a piece of functionality
within the services that leverage that information instead. At the very minimum we
need to store the ‘last modified’ date / time stamp. In the ‘blue sky’ no limitations
version of the Social Media Release, it would also include a form of “versioning” that
addresses each modification made, descriptions of the modification, and even perhaps
a link to a new release intended to call attention to the correction / modification.
Geography: If the release is intended for a specific geography, the Social Media
Release can specify the point of origin using geocoding specifications together with
an extended radius field. This again is intended to allow for a more targeted
connection between the source of the information and those that care about it most.
Source URL: The source URL should indicate where the Social Media Release was
originally published and allow for individuals to return to that source to see if any
modifications were made. This also makes it easy for people to reference a link to the
original release and for practitioners to track citations to it. Another piece of
important information here might be a separate verification mechanism to absolutely
authenticate the content using a security mechanism such as Pubic Key Infrastructure
or a Checksum (techie stuff, but strong and proven technology).
Trackback URL: Following standard conventions of blogging and RSS, a trackback
URL will enable the conversation around the release to be tracked more cohesively –
at least among those sources that want to demonstrate that their audiences can feel
comfortable knowing that the source of the information is trusted and accurate.
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While this is the end of one phase of the discovery process, it is really only the
beginning of the process. Now we need to get some wider inputs on this and engage
in some deliberation on the finer points of the Social Media Release (aka hRelease)
with the Microformats community and other interested parties.
The social media press release:
• Must be highly searchable by the likes of Google;
• Increase “findability” in popular search engines;
• Incorporate keywords, popular acronyms and jargon;
• Use a writing style that reflects how people are speaking about your subject; and,
• Reach old and new media directly – and your client’s end-users!
An SMR written in either bulleted or narrative format, partnered with a “static”
release – each containing reciprocal links – can not only distribute meaningful news,
but also offer building blocks (shareable content); facilitate and encourage
conversations and sharing (via social media tags); and ensure a presence in both blog
and traditional Web search engines (via SEO and SMO).
Task 1. Find a few examples of SMR in the Internet and analyse them, compare
them with traditional press releases.
Task 2. Choose one of traditional press releases we have studied and transform
it into SMR.
Task 3. Try your hand at writing SMR connected with your job, hobby or some
other aspect of your interests and place it in the blogosphere.
Unit IV
This unit will sum up everything we have learnt about writing powerful press
releases.
While doing the tasks keep in mind the information you have studied at the previous
lessons.
Task 1. Read and analyse the following press-release and make the required
changes.
Gardeners' Question Time is quite simply а gardening institution. For over 50 years
'the team' has been Britain's voice of expert advice and common sense on all things
gardening.
Beautifully produced and illustrated, this book is the ultimate, most invaluable source
of gardening information available.
● Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time has been the top radio show for over 50 years.
● It attracts 1.3 million listeners each week.
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● Research shows that there аге just 350 questions oг variants of questions which
cover 95% of all those asked: this book is а compilation of these questions and
answers.
● The book is divided into five informative sections: Trees, Shrubs and Herbaceous
(John Cushnie), Pests and Diseases (Pippa Greenwood), Fruit and Vegetables (Bob
Flowerdew), Garden Design (8unny Guinness) and House Plants (Аппе
Swithinbank).
● Where appropriate, the answers incorporate specialist information, such as organic
alternatives from Bob Flowerdew, pest treatment from Pippa Greenwood and design
tips from 8unny Guinness.
● Gardeners' Question Time: AII Your Gardening ProbIems Solved is illustrated with
90 bIack and white line drawings to show diseases and techniques and over 70 full
colour photographs.
● There is а comprehensive cross-reference index.
Task 2. Read the following press-release and decide what’s wrong with it.
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Task 3. Imaging you are running a competition on press release writing at our
university. Write several on-line press releases for this event:
-
one press release to announce the requirements for the competition;
another to announce the competition itself;
the third to announce the results.
Try to follow the strategies for Web writing.
Task 4. Choose one of the situations below and write a press release on it.
Remember: different situations require different types of press releases.
a. A new recreation center will be opened soon in our city.
b. Your company received an award for the best eco project.
c. Your competitors spread a rumour that your company has become bankrupt / produce
bad quality goods / bribes government etc.
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d. You work for the central heating company. There has been a break on one of major
pipes and several streets have been flooded, the whole district has now hot water and
central heating, and it is -30 outside.
e. A famous pop star is coming to Irkutsk with a charity concert.
Final Lesson
The group is divided into pairs which become PR agencies. Besides 2-3 students
are chosen to be the panel of editors.
PR agencies get the tasks for writing press-releases.
Editors analyse them and choose the best press releases.
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Supplement
I. Press release template
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Attention-Getting Headline in Bold Goes Here
Contact: name
Address: address
Phone: phone number & availability
Alternate Phone Number: phone number
Email: yourname@yourdomain.com
URL: www.yourdomain.com
City, State – quick summary
First Paragraph ~ Grab the attention of the reader here. Answer the important
questions like who, what, where, when, why & how
More information and facts.
Add a quotation to break up the release and make for easy reading. Quotations can be
from you or a testimonial from customers.
Direct the readers to the page on your website where they can find more information
on your announcement.
###
II. How We Grade a Press Release
In grading a press release we are looking at five separate areas:
In your headline/lead combination, is the PR message clear and compelling?
-This is what your client cares about
and it's key to the success of your PR strategy
In your headline/lead combination, is your news angle sharp and irresistible?
-This is what the editor cares about
and it’s what you need to make your story news
Are your 5 W’s and key ideas organized effectively?
-This is what the reader cares about
poor organization = unreadable copy
Do you use a convincing journalistic style?
-Press release writing is journalism
read newspapers so news style becomes natural
Are the basics in place – grammar, sentence and paragraph mechanics?
-Poor grammar signals a lack of professionalism
misspellings = automatic drop of one grade point
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Grading writing papers is less scientific than teachers like to admit. Here is a guide to
how we evaluate your press release.
Element
Head &
Lead
(message)
Head &
Lead
(news
angle)
Key
Ideas
Professional
style
Best = 5
The PR message is
clear and compelling.
It's
not
simply
informative,
but
charged with interest
and
a
sense
of
importance
that
involves the reader. A
great lead will make
the reader say, "I didn't
know that!"
News angle is sharp,
irresistible. Clearly a
story of real news
value, written with
editor's needs in mind.
He or she might well
spike another news
story to make room for
this one.
The story's best 5 W's
have been exploited,
and the other key ideas
have been assigned
their place in the
marshalling of points
to support the message
and validate the news
angle.
Paragraphs
methodically develop
the
argument,
in
descending order, with
effective use of quotes.
Release is written in
cool, crisp professional
style. The tone is
ostensibly
dispassionate
and
objective, even when
Adequate = 3
The PR message is
identifiable. A reader
already interested in
the subject will keep
reading. The essential 5
W's are there. It's
informative rather than
compelling.
"Good
enough for
Poor = 1
The PR message is
absent. The lead
does not convey the
5 W's. There is no
reason to expect a
reader to keep on
reading.
Technically, this is a
news story, not just PR
puffery, but the news
angle
is
merely
identifiable,
not
dominant -- an editor
might well say "So
what?" The writer has
not fully exploited the
news potential in the
material.
The story's 5 W's can
be identified. Other key
ideas are present but
could be arranged more
effectively in support
of the message. No
(inverted) pyramid of
argument
in
the
paragraph order. No
quotes,
or
they're
bland,
or
poorly
identified, or don't
move the story forward
Release
attempts
professional style, but
other
influences
invade,
including
newsletter chattiness,
or promotional puffery,
The
basic
information may be
in place but the story
has no news value.
It's written not for an
editor but for a
teacher who doesn't
have the option
enjoyed by the editor
-- to simply toss it
The writer does not
seem
to
have
definitely decided on
all 5 W's, or has
otherwise left out
key
information.
Poor organization.
Repetitiveness. No
quotes. Release too
short.
The
writer
apparently does not
understand
what
professional style is.
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enthusiasm is evident.
No way it could be
confused
with
advertising copy.
Basics
Spelling, punctuation
&
grammar
consistently
good.
Sentences effectively
and pleasantly varied,
with few subordinate
clauses -- rarely more
than three typewritten
lines. Paragraphs are
each based on one
dominant idea, and
rarely exceed three
sentences.
or Comp I narrative.
Likely
the
writer
doesn't
read
newspapers, but is at
least making an effort
to imitate a formalistic
style.
Occasional
spelling
errors. Unclear on
punctuation
rules.
Minor difficulties with
grammar amounting to
awkward structure or
poor
choices,
not
glaring
errors.
Sentences too long or
too choppy. Paragraph
structure does not
reflect
organized
thoughts.
Poor spelling AND
poor
punctuation
AND poor grammar.
Run-on sentences,
fragmented
sentences.
Poor
understanding
of
principles
of
paragraphing
Here are the most common problems in press release assignments
You should review every press release against this list:
1. Format problems: something's out of whack -- Remember that format is the allimportant first impression that editors receive. When they handle hundreds of releases
every day, they learn that they can discount releases that don't look professional -chances are that such releases are unprofessional in other ways as well. You can expect
that your release won't even get read if the format is shoddy. Format is also important to
your boss, who might have different requirements from those of your "boss" in this
"agency" -- my classroom. Needless to say, follow the format of the folks you're working
for, or they will put you in the private category of "screw-up" -- someone who needs to be
told more than once "how things are done around here."
This is not an impossible list of requirements. It's a short list of essentials for every press
release. PR Writing is formal writing -- that is, it must follow a certain form -- and this is
a significant lesson for you to learn, which is why format is so important to your grade.
2. Your "Who" and your "What" are off the mark -- This is where you make the first
decision about what's important in your news story. Who is the story about? What are
they doing that calls for a news story? You have not made a good choice if you picked
"The homeless of Turtle Bay" for the "Who" in your "From the Heart" release...
remember, when you pick your "Who" you are "casting" your production. What the editor
wants to know -- and what you need to know -- is "Who" is at the center of this story.
"Who" is doing something that is newsworthy? Your release will be greatly aided by a
good choice at this early stage of development. And of course, I immediately know you've
missed the point if your "Who" and your "What" don't fit together as a single sentence.
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You must be bored hearing me say this by now, but about half the Message Planners I
look at are still missing this point.
3. Your "Where" and your "When" are not "Here" and "Now" -- As you know,
"Proximity" and "Timeliness" are the two most important considerations for newspaper
editors. If your Jan. 14 food drive press release leads off with information about a Feb. 14
program of free meals, the editor's instinct will be to file your release not with story ideas
for this week, but in the "February file." You'll get a story in February, maybe, but you
could have had a story in January and a story in February.) The same principle applies to a
March press release which focuses on an April opening of "Evita." Your lead -- and your
Message Planner -- should highlight the local, timely reasons why your story is news
today.
4. Your "Why" or "How" aren't interesting -- If your "Who-What" combo helps you
figure out what your story is about, your "Why-How" helps you figure out what makes it
news. There will never be a single answer to this question. "Why" the food drive? -- well,
to feed the hungry, of course... but also, more precisely, to collect food for the program of
free meals that will begin Feb. 14... but also, more generally, to realize the students' aim of
making a difference in their community... but also, by the way, because of what sociology
students found out about their own community, which set everything in motion... that is,
because of the problems following the layoffs at the marshmallow factory... but that's on
top of the previous problems of poverty in Persimmon County... but also because the
Westland College Student Association exists to translate good intentions into actions... but
also because the Anodyne Center is there and can handle the traffic... but also because the
students want to take responsibility for one night a week and set an example that will
challenge other civic organizations to pick up the other six nights... and also because
Mayor Jimmy Cline is willing to put the town of Turtle Bay behind this effort... and so
forth. There may be more emphasis on "How" than "Why" if the story is about a product or
service like the "Natgo" release -- but either way, your pre-writing will generate a wide
range of ideas. There are many possible approaches to "Why" or "How" and you need to
list them all and then pick out the most interesting. Which leads to the next most common
problem:
5. Not enough Key Ideas -- When you are working out all the possible answers to
"Why," you keep a record of your brainstorming in the form of a list of Key Ideas. Some
of those ideas may be pretty much off-the-wall, and others may be obvious. But sometimes
those "obvious" ideas turn out to be the key to your lead. When I see a Message Planner
with only four or five Key Ideas I know I'm looking at the work of someone who felt they
could do the assignment without really giving it much careful thought... without doing the
hard work of sifting through all the material available to them... that is, without doing the
pre-writing work. Usually, when you're "winging it," that becomes apparent in the results.
6. An angle that isn't sharp -- Remember, the difference between an item of information
that belongs on a bulletin board, and a real news story, is the news angle. It can't be a
mushy generality -- it has to be the most unique, unusual, significant, notable fact about
your story. Otherwise your story makes an editor say "Aw, ain't that nice, but why are you
telling me all this?" Or, more curtly: "So What?" Before the editor says "So What?" you
should ask yourself that same question -- anticipate it, and answer the question before it
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comes up. The quality of the news angle is the biggest difference between press releases
that get prominent placement in the news, and those that merely make the listings, the
"news notes," and the back pages. Often an editor will do a favour for a worthy cause by
including an item somewhere in the paper -- so long as there's no real news to bump it...
but you don't want charity -- you want your story on the front page.
7. A message that isn't complete -- I can always tell when a student hasn't been paying
attention when I read a partial message on the Message Planner. The whole point of the
Message Planner, remember, is to focus your message. By the time you get to the end of
your pre-writing you should have a message of two sentences (but sometimes three, and
occasionally just one) that says it all. The test of a good message is that it contains all the
information you would expect to hear in a succinct radio news summary. That means it
will include most or all of the 5 W's, and it will emphasize the angle -- whatever makes it
news and not simply information. You can't assume the reader (or the listener) knows
anything about your story, so you have to simultaneously tell them what it's about and also
why it matters. If the 5 W's are the essential facts, the message is the complete story in a
nutshell. Do it right, and your lead paragraph will write itself. Do it wrong, and you'll be
limping all the way.
8. A weak lead paragraph -- All the work you do in your pre-writing should
produce a strong lead graf that makes the reader -- in your case, initially, the editor -want to keep on reading. This is where your own creativity comes to the fore.
Regardless of your "Who" or your "What," and regardless of your choice of news
angle, your opening sentences are going to captivate the imagination of whoever
reads your release. Your "Who" was not "The homeless of Turtle Bay," but your lead
paragraph may well open with those words, if they flow into a colourful, compelling
first sentence. If you have come up with a lively "Visual" on your Message Planner,
you may find that it helps make your lead paragraph that much livelier. Remember,
most of the time your lead paragraph is going to do the whole job, all by itself. Very
few editors will take the time to read beyond the first graf, before making a decision
about whether to assign the story to a reporter. This is where your skills decide the
issue.
9. Poor organization of paragraphs -- Not just on your Message Planner, but where
it matters -- in the release. When you set out to communicate a message, you make
sure that your lead paragraph sets the tone -- but it will probably not convey the entire
message. It may summarize the message, but you will need to make a number of
points to clarify or emphasize. For example, in your "From the Heart" release, you
will probably need an entire paragraph to describe and demonstrate the extent of
Mayor Cline's support for the project... you will need another paragraph to explain
what the Westland College Student Association is all about... you will need yet
another paragraph to identify and give credit to the Anodyne Shelter... and so on.
These don't have to be long paragraphs (remember my guidelines: no sentence longer
than three typewritten lines, no paragraphs longer than three sentences) but they do
need to be arranged in the most effective order. That's your job. You should use your
pre-writing to create the order, but in the writing you may discover a more effective
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flow... go with it. Just keep in mind: each graf should be centred on a single point,
and when you've made the point, indent 15-20 spaces and make your next point.
10. Ineffective (or absent) quotes -- Every press release benefits from a good quote
or two. But if your quotes are empty -- expressing simple enthusiasm, for example,
without advancing the story with fresh information -- then they're not pulling their
weight, they're just taking up room. It's always a good idea to figure out what points
you want to make, in what order -- and then to assign one of those points to a
quotation. It's often a good idea, too, to finish your press release with a good strong
quote that restates your message in a fresh way. You have a different kind of problem
if your quotes are not attributed correctly, or punctuated poorly, so pay attention.
11.Spelling and grammar problems. -- Poor spelling and grammar problems will
automatically lower your grade by one point. That means that no matter how well you
write, you can't make an "A" in this course if your final portfolio includes work with
misspellings. Why? Because you couldn't send press releases with misspellings and
grammar problems to editors and expect to be taken seriously. In the classroom -when students do their finals without the benefit of word processor spell-checks or
the opportunity to have someone else proofread their work for errors, I don't enforce
this rule... after all, why should you be punished for the shortcomings of your
elementary education? But for every assignment I expect that you will take every
opportunity -- including the help of a friend as well as spell-checking software and
even grammar-checking software -- to make certain that there are no errors.
12. A story that doesn't flow -- That is, I can't "hear your voice" in the press release.
This is probably because you didn't read it out loud to yourself. Your writing should
be as smooth as your conversation. Good writing is never stuffy or pretentious. Good
writers don't use big words just because they sound important. In fact, they usually
choose short Anglo-Saxon works instead of longer Latinate words -- like "use"
instead of "utilize" and "get" instead of "acquire." One way to achieve this is to read
your release out loud to yourself and see how it sounds. If a sentence sounds
cumbersome -- if it's something you would probably not say -- then it's probably
something you should not write. It's a problem you can fix -- by listening to your own
voice.
III. Ideas to Generate News for Your Organization
THIRTY-TWO WAYS TO CREATE NEWS FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Tie in with news events of the day.
Work with another publicity person.
Tie in with a newspaper or other medium on a mutual project.
Conduct a poll or survey.
Issue a report.
6. Arrange an interview with a celebrity.
7. Take part in a controversy.
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8. Arrange for a testimonial.
9. Arrange a speech.
10. Make an analysis or prediction.
11. Form and announce names for committees.
12. Hold an election.
13. Announce an appointment.
14. Celebrate an anniversary.
15. Issue a summary of facts.
16. Tie in with a holiday.
17. Make a trip.
18. Present an award.
19. Hold a contest.
20. Pass a resolution.
21. Appear before public bodies.
22. Stage a special event.
23. Write a letter.
24. Release a letter you received.
25. Adapt national reports and surveys for local use.
26. Stage a debate.
27. Tie into a well-known week or day.
28. Honor an institution.
29. Organize a tour.
30. Inspect a project.
31. Issue a commendation.
32. Issue a protest.
From Wilcox, Ault and Agee, Public Relations: Strategies & Tactics, 3rd ed. (1992),
p. 274.
IV. Writing a News Release: A Checklist
A PRESS RELEASE CHECKLIST
Challenges of writing publicity material
Limited news hole
Alternative viewpoints possible
Write for many media; editors have different interests, quirks
Varying news value of items
Editors' skepticism
Publicists are responsible for errors, have no editors.
How releases can be used
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As-is (generally limited to routine, noncontroversial news)
As source of information for a story written by a reporter (can use
facts, quotes, background information)
As the basis for an interview
Format
1-2 pages maximum (400-500 words)
Inverted pyramid format
Strong lede (5Ws&H: Who, what, when, where, why, how)
Typewritten, double spaced, one side of sheet
-more- at bottom of pages; identifier (slug) on subsequent pages
-30- or ### at end.
Important items to include:
Contact Name and Phone (Be available for follow-up inquiries)
Release time (Immediate release or embargo with specified time)
Headline (identifier)
Dateline (optional; include if location is important)
Date (possibly serial number, too)
Common Problems:
No news of interest to editor (usually a misdirected release)
News is buried (often a ploy when news is bad)
Ledes with wrong focus, wordy
Missing information; fail to anticipate basic questions
Excessive commercialism (self-laudatory, excessive adjectives)
Lacks strong angle (Remember key elements of news: Prominence,
Drama, Human Interest, Localness, Consequence, Oddity, Topical)
Make your key points
Near top (first or second paragraph)
Be sure to include standard (ideal) description of organization
Work other (positive) points into text
Avoid overstatement; beware of claims as first, only, unique
Use quotes to incorporate opinion, subjective ideas, explain
rationale for actions. Avoid trite quotes, purge cliches.
Cite the most appropriate spokesperson for organization
In case of bad news, stress actions being taken to rectify.
Write like a pro!
Use clear, concise, vivid language
Sentences should not exceed 15 words; paragraphs should not exceed 30 words or
four typewritten lines
Follow news style (not advertising style)
Check for proper grammar, spelling, punctuation
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Provide neat, clean copy
Distribute on a timely basis, meet deadlines
Write for the audience, not the client
Proof, proof, poof!
V.
Issues of Style
Over the years, the Associated Press has become the arbiter of journalistic
standards. The Associated Press Stylebook’s rules for journalists have become, by
common consent, the standard of professionalism in journalism. You need to be
aware of the styles and conventions practiced by editors and other working
journalists.
Public relations agencies will usually have a copy of the Associated Press
Stylebook handy, but you should have your own copy and be familiar with it. You
won’t be able to memorize every rule (you have better things to do with your
imagination) but you should be able to find the rules that apply, when you have
questions.
More information on the Associated Press Stylebook is available at -- that’s just for
your information, not part of an assignment. Here are some of the Stylebook’s rules
for the more common concerns you will have as you write:
Dates and times
Always capitalize the names of months, but not days of the week. If you’re giving
a specific date, abbreviate the month if more than five letters. (That is, don’t
abbreviate March, April, May, June or July.) Never abbreviate the month if used
without a date. Surround the year with commas if you’re giving the month, date and
year – otherwise, no commas. Don’t use 1st, 2nd, etc. – it’s Dec. 4, not Dec. 4th.
December 1999 was unusually windy. Monday, Dec. 1, 1999, is a date I’ll never
forget. November was calm but the trouble started at midnight, Nov. 30.
For hours of the day, use figures and abbreviations as follows. Use colons only to
separate hours from minutes if necessary (don’t supply :00 minutes). Spell out noon
and midnight. Use “o’clock” sparingly – I only use it in direct quotes.
The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. but they’re coming around 7 p.m. “I’ll be
there by 7 o’clock,” she said.
Spelling by the numbers
Should you use figures or spell out the numbers? Here is what the Stylebook has
to say about it, culled from entries throughout the usage manual:
1-9 rule: spell out numbers under 10, otherwise use figures, even when it means
mixing figures and letters together:
He has 10 kids and four dogs. They had four four-room houses, 10 three-room
houses, and 12 10-room houses.
This is the basic rule, but there are some exceptions among the following
explanations:
Amendments to the Constitution: 1-9 rule
The 14th Amendment extended First Amendment rights to everyone.
Ages: always use figures:
She is 5 years old but plays with the 7-year-olds.
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Betting odds, ratios: use figures with hyphens; you don’t need the word, “to” when
a ratio is used as an adjective:
3-2 odds, odds of 3-to-2, a 5-4 court decision, the score was 4-3, ratio of 2-to-1, a 21 ratio.
Cents: use figures and spell out “cents” under one dollar.
Cigars were only 5 cents. You could get twenty for a dollar. But, on the
commodities exchange, cigar shares were priced at $1.01.
Dollars: use figures and the dollar sign; for more than $1 million, use the dollar sign
and numerals up to two decimal points.
Tickets are only $6.75. Last year they were only $6. Reaganomics put us $4 trillion
in the hole. The parks budget for 2001 is $1.98 million (or, almost $2 million, or
just under $2 million, or less than $2 million, depending on the point you’re trying
to make). Market thresholds click in at price levels of $500, $1,000, and $100,000.
Century: 1-9 rule, the word “century” lowercase
The 20th century has much in common with the ninth century.
Channel: capitalize, with figure:
The weather report on Channel 2.
Dimensions: use figures, and spell out units:
He is 5 feet 6 inches tall… the 5-foot-6 man [or] the 5-foot-6- inch man… we had 5
inches of snow… the 9-by-12 rug… the rug is 9 feet by 12 feet.
Distances: 1-9 rule (see Speeds, below)
Drive six miles north, then head east on Route 1 for 13 miles.
Fractions: spell out amounts less than one, with hyphens. For precise amounts
greater than one, use figures. Use decimals where practical. If you use fractions, use
hyphens and spaces, unless you have a fraction key:
Two-thirds is more than seven-sixteenths. A two-by-four is actually 1 5-8 inches by
3 5-8 inches. Administer 11/2 teaspoon honey.
Percentages: use figures with the word “percent” and repeat the word if repeating
figures:
Use a 1 percent solution. We heard that 2 percent to 5 percent of the cases would
never be solved.
Names and titles: use figures as follows:
2nd District Court… 4th Ward… Public School 3… No. 1 choice… DC-10…
747B… Route 1… Room 2
Proportions and recipes: use figures
2 parts powder to 6 parts water.
Sizes: use figures:
She wore a size 9 dress.
Speeds: use figures:
Winds of 5 to 10 miles per hour replaced the calmer 3-mph winds of this
morning… He drove five miles at 5 mph… do not exceed 70 miles per hour.
Temperatures: use figures. Note that temperatures get <i> higher, </i> not warmer
(It’s wrong to say, “The temperatures are cooler here.”)
It’s 5 degrees above zero. I hate this 5-degree weather.
VI. Writing Problems
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Developing PR writers need to pay attention to a number of writing problems
simultaneously. The following pages will be a big help.
When you’re working on your angle, how do you know what editors consider
newsworthy?
Timeliness… Thirty men, women and children were killed in cold blood on the
lakefront, near the site of McCormick Place. This fact is not news, since it happened
in 1832 – Chicago’s “Dearborn Massacre.” Editors want to know that your story is
news – that it’s all about what’s happening now.
Proximity… That flash flood that killed five people – if it happened in Schaumburg,
it’s news. If it happened in Sri Lanka, you probably won’t read about it in the
Chicago Sun-Times. Editors want to know that your story is local – that it’s all
about what’s happening here. (How can you make a national story local?)
Eminence or prominence … If you get stopped for driving while intoxicated, it
probably won’t make the news. If Governor Ryan gets stopped, you can look for it
on the TV news tonight, and the front page of tomorrow’s papers.
Impact… If your story affects 1,000 people, an editor will find it more interesting
than one affecting only ten people – but it’s likely to be bumped by a timely local
story that affects a million people. Big money talks, too – not to sound too much
like Dr. Evil in “Austen Powers,” but “$1 million” will catch an editor’s attention.
Unusualness … Editors are always willing to pay attention to the unusual – because
they know readers want to read about the unusual. Sometimes you can frame a story
in the context that it’s a departure from common assumptions, or business as usual.
Conflict … News reporting thrives on conflict. Often this hook will seem
counterproductive – why would you want to emphasize conflict in a positive piece
about your client? – but there may be ways to use conflict, especially if your release
is about a service or product or event that will appeal to the majority while
protecting them against adverse interests.
Human Interest… This is a catch-all that covers a multitude of attractions –
children, kittens and puppies, love relationships, humorous or ironic complications.
Hard to describe, but you know them when you see them because they’re so much a
part of our human nature. Different editors will have different definitions, of course.
Other things editors look for include such things as stories that reflect the interests
of their publisher or owner… stories that flatter major advertisers… stories that
adhere to a political or ideological point of view… etc. These are specific to certain
editors more than others, but should not be overlooked.
VII. Six Types of Press Releases
By Jennifer Mattern on Mar 29, 2007 in Press Releases |
Press releases are often lumped together as one single tool in PR writing or publicity.
However, there are many different types of press releases, all with their own rules,
formats, and other subtle differences in how they convey a message to members of
the media. Some examples of types of press releases include general news releases,
launch releases, product press releases, executive / staff announcement news releases,
expert positioning press releases, and event releases. Here’s more on those six types
of press releases:
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General News Releases – General press releases are what most people think of when
they think of press releases. A general press release simply includes news that needs
to be disseminated to members of the media in the hopes of media coverage and
exposure. For example, a general news release might be used if a company runs a
contest, wins an award, or has some other general news about the company,
organization, person, or website.
Launch Releases – Launch press releases tend to follow the format of a general news
release, but with a more specific function. Launch releases have to carry an extra air
or urgency or timeliness to generate buzz around the launch of a company, website,
organization, or initiative of some kind.
Product Press Releases – Product press releases can sometimes carry a slightly
different format than general press releases, because they’ll often include specs for
the product. Product press releases can overlap with launch releases when a new
product is launched, and can also be used if products win awards, reach sales
milestones, have to be recalled for some reason, have an upgraded version released,
and can be used with any other product-focused news. Product press releases will
often benefit from including photos.
Executive / Staff Announcements – Companies often send press releases when there
are staff changes, especially in high levels of management. The primary difference
with staff announcements (as opposed to general news releases) is that more of the
release can be biographical as supporting information to justify the staff change and
introduce the new staff member. These will also often include at least one photo.
Expert Positioning Press Releases – These press releases are often less urgent than
more general news releases. They may revolve around a report issued by the
company, by offering statistics and results, or they may involve news from a third
party organization with quotes or other supporting information from the issuing
company or individual. These releases are used to demonstrate someone’s expertise
in a certain subject matter, to hopefully make them a go-to source for information in
the future for members of the media.
Event Press Releases – Event press releases are often formatted differently than a
general news release, because they need to very clearly lay out the who, what, when,
where, and why, often in a list or outline form rather than laid out in paragraphs. As
opposed to media advisories, which are intended to convince members of the media
to actually attend an event, event press releases are usually issued in hopes that the
media will announce the event details to the public.
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Учебное издание
Подкаменная Елизавета Васильевна
Press Releases
Учебно-методическое пособие
по обучению продуктивной письменной речи
Печатается в авторской редакции
Подписано в печать 30.09.2011. Формат 60х90/16.
Тираж 50 экз. Поз. плана 100. Усл. печ. 5,6.
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Иркутский государственный лингвистический университет
664025, г. Иркутск, ул. Ленина, 8
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