How news becomes the news
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How news becomes THE news … …and how you can exploit it. “See the ball, hit the ball” How news becomes the news How news becomes the news Staged events How news becomes the news

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How news becomes THE news …

…and how you can exploit it.

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“See the ball, hit the ball”

How news becomes the news

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How news becomes the news

Do we really need four zones of climate control in an interior cabin with 109 cubic feet? This feature was among nearly $20,000 worth of options included in the tested $105,000 S550 …

And this is just the very short list of things that can be had in the '07 S550 sedan. If you want the unabridged version, you can cozy up with the 700-page owner's manual that comes with the car…

"Car" really doesn't cover it. The S550 is a spectacular machine - an automotive engineer's playground - packed with mind-blowing, omigosh technology not likely to be seen in mainstream motor vehicles for at least a decade.

- Mark Glover, The Sacramento Bee, April 21, 2006

Cherry picking from other stories

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How news becomes the news

Cherry picking from other stories

“… 700-page owner’s manual…”

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How news becomes the news


Tips & Investigation

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How news becomes the news

Press releases & media advisories

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How can my department get positive exposure through the media?

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The new world

We’re getting smaller:

  • Print circulation in slow decline

  • Ad revenue down

  • Staff shrinking

  • Print newspaper is smaller

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The new world

We’re getting BIGGER:

  • Reaching more readers / users than ever

  • Developing more niche news and entertainment products for the Web (like The State Worker)

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News judgment



Prominence or celebrity



“What the hell?”


Speed/ease to report

Access to sources

Access to data

Familiarity with topic

Learn to think like a journalist

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Scout the outlets

Who covers your department?

Who would you like to cover your department?

What kinds of stories do they produce?

What geographic area do they cover?

What kinds of voices does the outlet seem to prefer in its stories?

What do people quoted in those stories say about the outlet?

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Make it hard to say “no”

  • Develop personal relationships.

  • Build a sterling reputation.

  • Become indispensable.

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Send out media notices*

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 CONTACT: xxxxx xxxxxxxx, (916) xxx-xxxx

EMAIL:nameless@xxxx.comWay Less Opens First Fresh Market in Shadville Grand Opening Celebration Offers Events, Entertainment and Giveaways to Customers

*At your own risk.

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Ontario, CA – On Wednesday, April 30, the new Way Less store at 1000 East Howell Street in Shadville will officially open for business, bringing exceptional customer service and signature one-of-a-kind shopping experience to the community.With an inviting store ambiance and convenient store layout, customers are sure to enjoy their newest neighborhood store, with expanded product selection and convenient services, making a trip to the grocery store more than just another chore. “We are very pleased to be opening our newest Way Less in Shadville,” said Way Less CEO, Chad Melville. “We look forward to becoming a part of this special community. We warmly invite our Shadville neighbors to come and discover the exceptional quality of our meat and produce, our extensive wine and gourmet cheese selection, along with our world-class customer service! All are invited to visit, browse, and celebrate with us at the grand opening of our newest Way Less Store.”

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The grand opening of the new store brings an array of celebratory events to Shadville, commencing with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 30 at 8:30 a.m. in the store. Community members and local dignitaries will be onsite to kick off the opening day and officially declare the store open for business, including Farrell Jackson, the Mayor of Shadville and Mary Guardiola, CEO of the Shadville Chamber of Commerce. Customers will enjoy coffee and refreshments, food sampling and many in-store giveaways, including free bags of groceries throughout the Grand Opening day. Later that afternoon, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the parking lot, customers can sample savory, barbequed Tri-Tip and enjoy live country and bluegrass music by The Bayou Boys from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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The store celebration extends into the weekend with  celebratory events to Shadville, commencing with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Champion Pro Bull Rider Chad Denton rounding up some fun in Shadville – known as the ‘Cowboy Capital of the World’ – with a guest appearance at Way Less from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 1. On Saturday, May 3, Joe Theismann, former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and NFL great visits the store from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for an exclusive autograph signing! At the Something Extra Open House on Sunday, May 4, guests will enjoy free sampling from local vendors and cooking demonstrations featuring authentic Latin cuisine.

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The store features a wide array of services and foods specifically designed for busy customers, including:  Fine Bakery and Fresh Deli, offering fresh-baked breads, prepared salads and fully-cooked entrées ready to heat-and-eatFull Service Meat and Seafood, featuring Black Angus Beef and fresh seafoodNatural Foods, a signature department featuring natural supplements and organic offeringsProduce Department, offering the best in certified produce and organic produce

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Street’s Coffee & Tea, specifically designed for busy customers, including:   serving specialty coffee drinks and exotic tea blends

Gourmet Sandwich Shop, featuring grilled panini sandwiches

Soup Kiosk, pour a cup of gourmet, hot soup

Cheese Island, with dozens of gourmet cheeses to pair with food and wine

Self-Service Sizzling Wok, offering hot Chinese food

Chef-Prepared Sushi, hand-rolled and made fresh every day

Fresh Take-and-Bake Pizza, delicious meals made to order

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For customers to make the most out of their shopping trip:  Self-Checkout, four do-it-yourself stands give customers another optionFloral Department, offering beautiful pre-arranged fresh flowers and custom arrangementsGuaranty Bank, an in-store branch allows customers to shop and bank in one trip to the store 

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Community Commitment:  Way Less also offers its customers an easy way to give to local residents in need. The company brings a strong commitment to each community it serves with its support of local food banks through its own non-profit charity that gathers donations year-round from customers and colleagues to help feed the hungry in the communities each store serves. One hundred percent of donations made in Shadville will go to the local chapter of The Salvation Army, which serves families in need in the community. 


Way Less is a privately-owned supermarket chain with headquarters in Orinda, CA. The company has 420 stores - located in California and Nevada.

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I absolutely love PIOs who…  

…understand the Beast.

…have sources who will talk to me.

…have news judgment.

…can write punchy press releases.


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  • Launched July 24  

  • Collaborative effort – first discussed more than a year before launch.

  • Premise: Develop a blog for state workers about state workers.

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July 24, 2008  

Governor's threat jump-starts The State Worker

The governor's warning that he'll fire some state workers and whack the pay of the rest if there's no budget by Monday has ticked off California's public employees -- and prompted us to unveil The State Worker a week ahead of schedule.

Our well-crafted plan was to debut this blog and an accompanying print column next week. Events dictate otherwise, and we're opening up the blog today …

Eventually, this issue will pass. A budget will get done. And this blog will roam far and wide for topics that interest you. We hope you'll submit ideas, throw us tips and keep us in line. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Looking for…  

Individual awards

Departmental achievements

Service milestones

Special events

Facilities news

Any other state worker / workplace news