WSU COMSTRAT 312 - Gatekeeper Influence Over Style (3 pages)

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Gatekeeper Influence Over Style

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Gatekeeper Influence Over Style


writing tips for press releases

Lecture number:
Lecture Note
Washington State University
Comstrat 312 - Principles of Public Relations
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Comstrat 312 Edition 1nd Lecture 23 Outline of Last Lecture 1 Publicity exposure 2 Gatekeeper Influence Over Content 3 Gatekeeper Influence over style print and some digital Outline of Current Lecture 1 Gatekeeper Influence Over Style 2 Broadcast Media 3 Considerations for local TV Current Lecture 1 Gatekeeper Influence Over Style Print and Some Digital a Writing tips i Keep release short and focused ii Keep words and sentences and paragraphs short iii Write in an active voice and use simple sentence construction iv Stick to the facts avoid overuse of adjectives puffing v Completely identify all persons mentioned in release vi Use quotes when available b Avoid common mistakes i Send release to the right person in the newsroom ii Know publication cycles avoid deadlines and heavy news days iii Avoid gimmicks 1 All caps or underlined words iv Avoid jargon 1 Fully explain technical meanings v Don t push too much into a release keep it simple and narrowly focused vi Never send releases with spelling or grammatical errors vii Do not over use releases These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor s lecture GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes not as a substitute 1 Be realistic about the news value of your info don t disguise advertising as news viii Never color the facts or mislead a reporter 1 Credibility is critical ix Avoid blanket mailings 1 Have a specific purpose and target for your release x Don t pitch every story c Consider the need for additional information especially in news kits and online newsrooms i Visual and links to video and related information ii Tip fact FAQ sheets iii Backgrounders iv Biographies v White papers position papers 2 Broadcast media a Same publicity exposure linkage i Practitioner gatekeeper audience b Gatekeeper influence over content i Journalists determine news value similar to print ii More flexibility iii A great deal depends on the outlet 1 Especially in radio c Gatekeeper influence over style radio i Again depends on individual outlets ii If releases are written to be read 1 Use all caps iii Short 10 30 seconds iv Provide phonetic spellings when appropriate v May use creative teaser lead d Radio interviews i News directors reporters often are interested in actualities sound bites quotes or voices a full story ii When talking to journalists be prepared to respond to impromptu questions 1 Have a short statement ready 2 Lead with important information 3 Considerations for local TV a Determine the appropriate vehicle i News release ii Interview iii Press conference or other format availability iv Self produced package

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