I Have News to Share
Are you are organizing an event? Have a great news story you'd like to share with the public? Not sure what to do next? The best way to get your message out is to draft a news release.
If you aren't the source of the news, but have a news tip, you can send the details to: email@example.com.
A news release is one tool used to inform the media of University events and research and to promote the expertise of the administration and faculty. Written in an explanatory journalistic style, a release summarizes key findings and helps make faculty work accessible to the average reader.
The communications specialist - public relations issues releases on major research, events and initiatives affecting the University community and/or are important to society. We encourage institutes, departments, schools, student groups and other University organizations to develop news releases to promote activities.
When available, the communications specialist - public relations may provide assistance in editing and distributing news releases for the media.
1. Plan your news release. To encourage reporters to write news articles, you should begin compiling information for your news release at least three weeks before your event. However, keep in mind that calendar listings and ads have to be submitted separately to the events sections of some newspapers as early as a month in advance. Before you decide to issue a release, make sure that guest speakers and others have given appropriate permission to publicize the event and include the media.
2. Draft the release. Write a release that outlines the who, what, when, where, why and how of the event. Include information about any attendance restrictions, such as if the event is limited to campus only. The intent is to give reporters all the information they need to explain to the public why the event is significant or why they would want to participate. Therefore, make sure to: Include full information about the time, date and location; explain who planned the event and why; quote at least one representative from the campus department, group or organization that is playing a central role in hosting the event; add comments about how participants will benefit; list all the departments, groups, or agencies hosting the event; and include at least a sentence of biographical information about the main speaker(s) to demonstrate why s/he is qualified to speak on the topic. Near the end of the release, also list the event sponsors. Events expected to attract a large media contingent also should include a media RSVP deadline -- typically two days before the event -- to allow time to make arrangements for potential space and technology needs.
3. Designate a media contact for questions. To prepare the release for media distribution, supply the name, e-mail address and phone number of the person that will be designated as the individual the media will contact for additional information. Whenever a release is issued as a University release, the communications specialist - public relations will be the designated contact and handle most remaining logistics for media involvement.
4. Submit the release. In most instances, the communications specialist - public relations will distribute the release to local media on your behalf. The release will list a department or student representative as the primary contact. However, if the event has sufficient University-based sponsorship or is expected to attract a level of media attention demanding our office's full support, we may use the draft release to develop a University-issued release.
5. Adhere to the deadline. The release should be ready to be distributed to reporters no later than eight working days before the event -- or at least three days prior to registration for an event requiring registration. Therefore, a completed draft should be submitted to the Communications Specialist - Public Relations at least 11 days prior to the event.
6. Distribute the release. Our staff can distribute news releases on your behalf. Departments that maintain their own lists of reporters may distribute their releases.
7. Monitor media interest. The designated media contact should compile a list of reporters who express an interest in coming to campus to cover the event.
8. Track media coverage. It's important to find and read the printed or online accounts written by the reporters who attended. Tracking allows you to check articles for accuracy and collect them for your constituents.back to top