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How to write effective news briefs

How to write effective news briefs

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  • Sherry, thanks for putting this together. It is and will continue to be a great asset in our ability to better serve our citizens and the public.
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  • The inverted pyramid is an anti-narrative structure of writing about events. Instead of starting at the beginning, the inverted pyramid structure demands that you begin with the most important information and that your present information in a decreasing order of importance. This style is widely used in many kinds of writing including business. It allows the reader to get the most important information first.
  • Redundant phases: Added bonus, at the present time, basic fundamentals.

Transcript

  • 1. 5 tipsfor writingeffectivenews briefs Office of Marketing & Public Relations / Sherry Fletcher Monday, Jan. 7, 2013
  • 2. TODAY’S TIPS1 Target your audience2 Know what news is3 Understand 2 basis tenets of journalism4 Composing a news brief5 Publish once, reprint often
  • 3. 1 2 3 4 5 TIP #1TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE
  • 4. 1 ASK YOURSELF Who are you writing for? What do they care about? What are they facing? What can you tell them?Does it address the City’s mission?
  • 5. 1POSSIBLE AUDIENCES Stillwater City Council Administration Team Operations Group City of Stillwater Employees Stillwater Residents Media, Professional Groups, etc.
  • 6. 1 REMEMBER Anything that is shared by email can and will be forwarded.Is this information ready to be shared with the allof the possible audiences?
  • 7. 1 2 3 4 5 TIP #2KNOW WHAT NEWS IS
  • 8. 2What’s the point?NEW Factual INTERESTINGConflict CURRENT Impact PROMINENCE Proximity Timeliness HUMAN INTEREST
  • 9. 2 BE USEFUL Our readers race through the News Briefs looking for something interesting.Convey a sense of benefit or value. Be specific.
  • 10. 2NEWS FOR EMPLOYEES Organizational culture and value How to get things done Roles and responsibilities Where to find information Expectations
  • 11. 1 2 3 4 5 TIP #3 UNDERSTAND2 BASIC TENETSOF JOURNALISM
  • 12. 3 OBJECTIVITY Expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortions by personal feelings, prejudices or interpretations.Let the facts speak for themselves. Limit fluff or puffery.
  • 13. 3INVERTED PYRAMID Must Have Information Not Crucial Information Background Information Nice to Have
  • 14. 3INVERTED PYRAMID Newsroom standard for writing.Summarize first. Explain later.Helps readers grasp facts quickly. Helps writers arrange facts quickly and efficiently.
  • 15. 1 2 3 4 5 TIP #4 COMPOSINGA NEWS BRIEF
  • 16. 4“I have to make this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short.” ~ Blaise Pascal“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  • 17. 4 3 Csof Powerful Content Be Be BeClear Concise Compelling
  • 18. 4 • Did you answer the 5 Ws? Who, what, when, where, why and how • Use inverted pyramid. • Write active voice rather than passive. BeClear • Use everyday language. • Use strong verbs. • Suggest subject heading One of the Ps).
  • 19. 4 • Make your point and be done. • Omit needless words. Do a word count. Go back and cut by 10 percent. Don’t take out useful information or detail; instead, remove extra words. Be • Avoid redundant phrases, jargonConcise (words only your profession uses) and clichés. • Use adjectives, adverbs, pronouns sparingly. • Avoid flattery and puffery. Instead, use facts to make your point.
  • 20. 4Avoid redundant phrasesafford an opportunity allow, letas a means of toat this point in time nowdue to the fact that becauseduring the period duringhas a requirement for needsin a timely manner quickly, promptlyin accordance with by, following, per, underin advance of beforein regard to about, concerning,in the event that if in the near future shortly, soonno later than June 1 by June 1
  • 21. 4 • What do you want to happen as a result of this News Brief? • Ask yourself: “Whats the point of Be this News Brief.”Compelling • Be an advocate for your department or division. Use the News Briefs to further explain issues. What can you tell your audiences that they don’t know but should?
  • 22. 4News Brief Sample The Stillwater Public Library family suffered a loss last week with the death of one of its strongest advocates, board member Linda Rodgers. During her tenure that began in 2007, the Library accomplished many milestones including the dedication of the Dr. Angie Debo statue; the receipt of an estimated $93,000 federal broadband grant; and the establishment of the Oklahoma Virtual Library consortium. Linda’s leadership and her support of the Library will have an impact on the Stillwater Public Library for many years. She will be missed by those who were privileged to have known and worked with her.
  • 23. 4News Brief Sample Patty Evans, Paula Dennison and Jason Peek met with Oklahoma Department of Transportation to review Stillwater’s Urban Area Boundary Map. After each census, the Federal Highway Administration proposes adjustments to each map depicting urban areas. The City Council will be acting on the adjusted map at its Dec. 17 meeting. The map will be used for transportation planning purposes until after the next census in 2020.
  • 24. 1 2 3 4 5 TIP #5PUBLISH ONCE,REPRINT OFTEN
  • 25. 5 OPPORTUNITIESMedia Releases Web PagesVideo/YouTube Facebook/TwitterPowerPoints/SlideShare Utility NewsletterPublic Presentations Blog TopicsInterviews with Media Print MaterialsPublic Presentations Intranet
  • 26. AND REMEMBER…
  • 27. Don’t be afraidto break the rules.Communications is art, not science.
  • 28. Discussion Topics • How often to publish? Bi-weekly? Once a month? • How many briefs from your department? Are all divisions represented? • Other improvements?
  • 29. -30- ### The End