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News Releases In the Social Media Environment
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News Releases In the Social Media Environment

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How to craft a news release in the age of social media--a presentation given at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.

How to craft a news release in the age of social media--a presentation given at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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  • 1. News Releases& The Social Environment BOB CONRAD, PhD, APR @BobConrad /conradcommunications
  • 2. Today• Downsized / eliminated newsrooms• Arab Spring• Occupy movement• Partisan press / misinformation• Instantaneous ‘news’ BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 3. What does this mean? BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 4. What does this mean?1.You are the news2.The New Media have trouble with this3.Your news may or may not be News4.Becoming News is more difficult5.Start with a news release BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 5. Is it news?Checklist:• Are lives changed / improved?• Is it similar to other news?• Will people have an emotional reaction?• Why (should I care)?• Does it have a local tie/angle?• Will an editor / reporter agree? BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 6. 1. Tell us what it isBefore anything:• ID it is a news release• Provide the date• Give contact information (only one) – Name, email, affiliation BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 7. 2. The headline• Short, sweet, to the point – NO ALL CAPS – Use as few words, characters as possible – Think like a headline writer – Think like an SEO specialist BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 8. 2. The headlineWhat’s wrong with this headline? THE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FROM JEP ADVISORY PANEL FOR STREET IMPROVEMENTS IN NORTH VALLEYS (Answer: Everything.) BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 9. 2. The headlineTHE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FROM JEP ADVISORY PANEL FOR STREET IMPROVEMENTS IN NORTH VALLEYS Fixed:County Commission approves street improvements in North Valleys Or: Commission supports road enhancements BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 10. 3. The subhead• Optional• Provides additional info.• Do not repeat headline words• More words OK, be sparing• Should supplement / compliment head BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 11. Ex. New head & subhead THE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FROM JEP ADVISORY PANEL FOR STREET APPROVEMENTS IN NORTH VALLEYSCounty Commission approves street improvements in North Valleys Commission supports road enhancements Panel recommends North Valley street improvements BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 12. Examples (NYT)Construction Giant to Pay $50 Million in a Vast Fraud CaseBy WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM 4:54 PM ETLend Lease agreed to pay fines and restitution in a deal to avoid criminalcharges for overbilling on scores of projects in New York City.Hints of Collusion Between News Corp. and British MinisterBy JOHN F. BURNS and ALAN COWELL 12 minutes agoEvidence presented at an inquiry suggested that the culture minister, or anaide claiming to speak for him, worked covertly to help win approval for atakeover of the BSkyB network.2 More Secret Service Employees Are ResigningBy MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT 6:28 PM ETThe Secret Service announced the fates of five remaining employees underinvestigation in connection with misconduct involving prostitutes in Colombia. BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 13. 4. Dateline• AP style• No date – Examples: 1. RENO, Nev. – It was announced today… 2. NEW YORK – It was announced today…• What’s wrong? – RENO, NV – It was announced today… BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 14. 5. The lead• First sentence (or two)• Most important (after headline)• Short, sweet, attention getting• Should tell the story BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 15. Example BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 16. 6. The body• Write like a journalist – WWWWWH – Inverted pyramid – Most important first; least, last – Quote after first or second paragraph – AP style (almost always) – Short paragraphs – Simple, declarative sentences• Length (300-500 words)• Avoid jargon, fluff• Burying the lead (sissies) BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 17. 7. The end• Add contact (maybe)• End with: ###• Add boilerplate – Short statement about you / your organization• Put social links, address, additional info. BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 18. How to send it• Email – Text in body – Word (2003-07) attachment – Don‘t pitch – Contact info. BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 19. Where to send it• Always target – Research – Know reporters / beats – Know media outlets – Think beyond print • Radio shows • Podcasts • Blogs • Newsletters• Maintain up-to-date media lists• Online services• Hire consultant• thisisreno2@gmail.com | ThisIsReno.com BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 20. Conclusion• Writing/editing, learned crafts• Maintain press relations• Targeting/pitching take time• Social media has transformed communications• You are the media BOB CONRAD 775-636-7959 conradcommunications.com
  • 21. Questions ?BOB CONRAD, PhD, APR @BobConrad /conradcommunications

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