News Conference Assignment

News Conference Assignment

Write a news release based on the case provided with the news conference assignment for your client. Both “journalists’ and “public relations practitioners” must

complete the news release assignment independently and individually to get a full credit.

Format/design ? 8.5 inches by 11 inches ? Wide margins – at least 1 inch ? When possible, the news release should be on your organization’s stationary ? Type NEW

RELEASE in the center of the page below the company’s logo in big bold letters, usually 24 point type ? Below that specify FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT data: include

the name of a contact person, the person’s title, a phone number and an email address ? Double-space the text of the news release Headline ? Center and boldface the

headline. All words in the main headline should be uppercase. In the sub-headline, capitalize the first letter of key terms and the names of people, buildings,

organizations. Lowercase all other words. ? Neither write a vague or catchy newspaper headline nor a boring academic one. Write an informative headline. ? Write your

headline in present tense. ? Whenever gracefully and logically possible, mention your organization name or product in the headline. ? The headings should be single-

spaced. Dateline ? Begin the dateline in capital letters and dash ? Datelines give the location of the story (location and date) ? They help establish local interest.

? Include the date when the date in not mentioned under “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” or “FOR RELEASE” o Example: EUGENE, Ore., Nov. 29 – o Or: EUGENE, Ore. –

Content and organization ? Adhere to AP style. Check AP style manual for proper usage of numbers, times, abbreviations, etc. ? Start your news release with an

attention-grabbing lead, using some of the five W’s and H. ? Structure the news release as an inverted pyramid, which means that the most important information is at

the top of the story. ? The introduction should capture the interest/attention, preview the points, reveal the thesis/claim, establish the newsworthiness, and

establish your organization’s credibility, if necessary. ? Whenever appropriate, include a good quotation, facts, figures (make up the quote, do not get it from the

Internet). ? Use active voice and not passive voice. For example: The sheriff shot the robber. (active voice) vs. The robber was shot by the sheriff. (passive voice).

? Double space the news release. ? The news release can be one and half to two pages long: Type “-more-“at the bottom of the appropriate page, if your news release is

more than one page long. ? Beginning with page two, place a condensed version of the headline — called a ‘slug” -and the page number in the upper-right corner. ?

Include organizational boilerplate at the end of the news release. ? After the last line of the news release, space down one more line and type ###. Center the hash-

marks. ? Let someone read your news release before you give it to the instructor. Final drafts are expected to be ready to be sent to the media. Miscellaneous ? Each

subsequent paragraph follows-up on the news angle mentioned in the headline and lead. ? Keep paragraphs to two-three sentences. ? Focus on “features” and benefits”

when appropriate. ? Periods go inside of quotes. ? Avoid slang. ? Ask yourself — can it be said more concisely The assignment will be evaluated based on four criteria

? Content that sufficiently reports “the news” which the news release is announcing, including relevant details and discussion that address the five Ws and H ? Writing

style: write clear simple sentences, official language ? Strong, relevant quote or quotes from key leader of the organization ? Proper grammar and spelling ? Proper

formating of the news release

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