- Make a list of the facts.
- Be accurate. Check your facts.
- Be honest.
- Speak from your own experience. Remember you know more about it than the reporter does.
- Make sure you have news to report (Check previous item what is news?)
- Keep your writing simple: short, everyday words and sentences.
- Avoid jargon.
- Use direct quotations from a person involved in the story.
- On first mention, use full names. Then use initials or last names when its a persons name.
- Spell names correctly.
- Consult a news writing stylebook (e.g. The Canadian Press) or contact the Communications Branch for help.
- Make sure you provide a contact name, phone number and if you have one, web site address so the media can reach you.
- Fax, e-mail or hand deliver your news release to your list of media contacts.
- Make sure your news releases are posted to your web site in an easy-to-find location.
- Follow up your news release with a phone call to each media outlet to ensure receipt.
Sample news release
USE YOUR LOCAL CUPE LETTERHEAD OR CREATE A CAMPAIGN LOGO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (INSERT DATE)
ONE IN THREE WORKERS STRUCK, BITTEN OR KICKED BY NURSING HOME RESIDENTS
SMITHS TOWN, Alberta A survey of employees at the local nursing home shows that 35 per cent of aides have been struck, bitten or kicked on the job during the last two years.
“We knew there was a problem, but we didnt realize how widespread the abuse of staff by the homes residents had become,” said Juan Shymanski, president of CUPE 123, which represents the 75 nursing home aides.
Shymanski adds that the root of the problem isnt unruly senior residents but staffing and program cuts which leave them confused and frustrated.
“There isnt even time for us to offer some personal assistance or chat with residents,” said Olivera Hernandez, one of the CUPE aides. “Ten positions have been cut during the last two years and the resulting speed-ups make the place seem more like a factory than a real home.”
(INSERT YOUR NAME AND THOSE OF EACH PERSON QUOTED ALONG WITH YOUR TITLE AND PHONE NUMBERS WHERE YOU CAN BE REACHED. INDICATE HOURS AT EACH PHONE NUMBER IF NECESSARY.)