News Media Communications

How news is conveyed has changed tremendously through the advent of the internet. Because there are now so many more ways of disseminating information, organizations need to think more strategically about how to share news relating to their evaluation findings. 

In the past, organizations simply sent out “press releases” or statements to assignment editors and journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations or networks, etc. Nowadays, it is possible to reach a wider audience through on-line media as well, such as through free or commercial news release distribution services and search engines; and via websites and social media tools such as blogs, news feeds, tweets, on-line video sites, etc. (see more about these tools under Website Communications). 

But making a press (or “news”) release still follows a very simple, clear and succinct format that allows others to quickly rework the raw material into different kinds of stories and media. Critical elements of a press release are: 
 
  • no more than 1 page, mostly in a narrative format;
  • the most important information comes immediately at the beginning; 
  • a clear and catchy title; and 
  • contact information on where to get more details, hyperlinks.  

Example

Press/News Release

The following example is an excerpt from Oxfam (2012)

Prime Minister Gillard must show global leadership in new UN role on aid

Posted: 21 JUN 12

Written by: Oxfam Australia Media

Oxfam Australia congratulates the Prime Minister on her appointment as co-chair of the United Nations Advocacy Group for the Millennium Development Goals.

Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett said the appointment was both a great honour and a great responsibility, as the Prime Minister would be leading the world’s final push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

“Her appointment comes at a crucial time, as the recent and ongoing financial crisis has put pressure on rich nations’ budgets,” Mr Hewett said.

“This year, we’ve seen global aid levels in decline for the first time in 14 years. This decline must be arrested, and developed countries need to re-commit to the cause and demonstrate to the world that they will not balance the books at the expense of the world’s poorest people.”

He said the appointment of the Prime Minister demonstrated international recognition that Australia’s aid budget had been growing.

“But it is not an indication that Australia’s job is done,” Mr Hewett said.  “Of the 23 OECD nations that give aid, Australia only ranks 13th.

“The Government’s budget announcement that they would delay achieving the 0.5 per cent target, for the sake of a surplus, was very disappointing.

“The Prime Minister must demonstrate the global leadership that is now required of her and strengthen Australia’s efforts to reach the target that will see 50 cents from every $100 of our national income go to aid.

“Upon her return to Australia the Prime Minister needs to work with the Coalition to re-establish an ambitious and bi-partisan deadline to reach the 0.5 per cent target.”

For more information please contact Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801

Advice

Advice for CHOOSING news media (tips and traps)

  • Making a press/news release is useful if you have something new and interesting to tell and a clear target - such as a particular news forum, editor or journalist.

Advice for USING news media (tips and traps)

  • Think about the audience you would like to reach, and what the best way is to get the news to them. 
  • Keep the press/news release short – 1-2 pages at the most, and use simple and direct language.
  • Make the title as interesting as possible to catch attention – and do not go beyond twelve words.
  • Convey the most important information at the beginning.
  • Start with the traditional, narrative press release, then use it as the basis for targeting other media types. 
  • Post the news on your website, blog about it, make it available to a news feed.
  • Tweet about your news.

Resources

Guides

Sources

Falkow, S. (Producer). (2012). Social media news release webinar with step- by step guide. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://news.press-feed.com/digitalpr.php?include=143353

Fleet, D. (2008, February 02). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://davefleet.com/2008/02/social-media-news-release-extra-tool/

Fleet, D. (2009, March 12). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://davefleet.com/2009/03/news-release-press-release/

Oxfam Australia. (2012, June 21). Prime Minister Gillard must show global leadership in new un role on aid. Retrieved from https://www.oxfam.org.au/media/2012/06/prime-minister-gillard-must-show-global-leadership-in-new-un-role-on-aid/

 

Updated: 14th January 2014 - 1:50am
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A special thanks to this page's contributors
Author
Banana hill.
Wageningen.
Reviewer
Research Fellow, RMIT University.
Melbourne.

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