The press release
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The Press Release. A Media Manager’s Most Basic Tool. By Jason Van Dyke, M.M., Special Assistant (Administration). Are You A Communications person?. You all are!. Agenda. Relationships Targeting The Press Release Formatting / Writing Follow-up. Relationships.

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The press release

The PressRelease

A Media Manager’s Most Basic Tool

By Jason Van Dyke, M.M., Special Assistant (Administration)

Are you a communications person

Are You A Communications person?

You all are!



  • Relationships

  • Targeting

  • The Press Release

  • Formatting / Writing

  • Follow-up



  • THE single most important aspect of communications

  • How are relationships built?

    • On reputations

    • Hard work

    • TRUST / Honesty

    • Follow-up



  • Care and feeding of one’s relationships are critical to success



  • Ultimate goal of the release is to have language you use and define used by the reporter in their story

  • Reality—Most releases are not read

  • How to catch attention and reach the goal?

    • Targeting



  • Two step process:

    • Know your audience

    • Anticipate and meet their needs

Knowing your audience

Knowing Your Audience

  • Generally 2 audiences for a release

    • The reporter

    • The end readers

  • Each is different, but must be addressed simultaneously

Who is the reporter

Who Is The Reporter?

  • Professional

    • Standards and norms they must conform to

  • Gatekeeper

    • They, along with the Editor, decide what is news

Who is the reporter1

Who Is The Reporter?

  • Public good

    • See themselves as serving their readers

  • Provide a Product

    • Must provide a productpeople WANT

Who is the reader

Who is the Reader?

  • The “average citizen”

    • Best to imagine some just like you

  • Looking for information AND entertainment

    • They want hard news, but in a form that is interesting ,compelling, and relevant

Who is the reader1

Who is the Reader?

  • Pressed for time

    • Busy lives and lots of competing information

  • Don’t assume they know anything, but NEVER lie or “stretch” the truth

Audience needs

Audience Needs

  • The Reporter

    • Good story

    • News values

      • Impact• Current interest

      • Timeliness• Conflict

      • Prominence• Proximity

      • Novelty

Audience needs1

Audience Needs

  • The Reader

    • The five W’s

      • Who• When

      • What• Why

      • Where• How

    • Conditioned to accept the News Values as valid

The press release1

The Press Release

  • Basic tool

  • Fixed format

    • Looks and reads like a news story

    • Gives information in briefest space

    • Easy to read and understand

  • When used correctly – very effective

Press release format

Press Release Format

  • Who is sending the message / contact information

  • The words “For Immediate Release” and the date

  • A headline or title

Press release format1

Press Release Format

  • A lead (leade) that encapsulates the entire story in the first sentence

  • Background information in the last paragraph

  • Some sort of symbol indicating the end (### or -end-)

Example a

Example A

Valley example

Valley Example

House of the temple design

House of the Temple Design

Ap style

AP Style

  • How all news is written

    • AP Style Guide

  • Active Voice

  • Inverted pyramid

  • Lead(e) Sentence

  • Quotes are important




  • Action pictures

  • People pictures

  • Avoid clichés

  • Include attribution / credit

Send it

Send It!

Follow up


  • Do you already have a relationship?

  • Good time to start one

  • Also includes watching the news, getting the paper, or checking online to check your coverage

  • Assess success / failure

Let s try it

Let’s try it!!!

  • Facts:

    • Election of Officers

    • Event happened yesterday

    • Picture will be included

Example 2

Example 2

  • Facts:

    • Event: RiteCare® Clinic Opening

    • Next week at 3:00 pm

    • Mayor will be there

    • Food will be served to the public

    • Free testing for children

    • Ribbon will be cut by local news anchor who was treated forstuttering

The press release2

The PressRelease

A Media Manager’s Most Basic Tool

By Jason Van Dyke, M.M., Special Assistant (Administration)

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