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View Diary: For Immediate Release: The Jeff Gannon Controversy - A Primer for the Press (436 comments)

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  •  Constructive advice (4.00)
    From a broadcast and print media veteran, please accept this advice in admiration and support of your noble efforts.  Having been on the receiving end of press releases for many years, know that the majority of releases are never read at all if they are more than one page.  This one will literally be one of hundreds, if not thousands, received each day.  They simply haven't the time, except for a thirty-second scan, to see if it piques their interest.  Faxed releases in this day and age are almost never read, unless it is a small media outlet.  Email is your best bet.  Make your subject concise and eye catching.  You aren't writing ad copy, yet you're trying to grab someone's attention and quickly.  Remember, "brevity is the soul of wit." As someone who is now an independent media consultant (on the other end of the system) and professionally writing press releases, may I suggest you drop the memo-type format as the heading.  Go for a professional format by centering your title at the top of the page in bold and uppercase, with a subtitle underneath in upper and lower case; follow that with your contact info including name, phone and email address on the left.   In the body, rather than long narrative paragraphs, use bullet points to highlight your salient points of the release.  Always use ### at the bottom, signaling to the reader that it's the end of the release.  A final optional paragraph can be something like "If you want more information or to schedule an interview with John Doe, please contact Jane Doe at (phone number and email address).

    I hope this helps.    

    •  I think (none)
      I think they need to do a much better job at framing this. Don't frame it as an attack on Jeff Gannon. Jeff Gannon quit, and the progressive community should be asking why he quit. Did Jeff Gannon really recieve threats? From whom?

      If you let the Republicans do all the spin, this story is going to be ignored by most moderates and only the far left will pay attention to this.

      It would perhaps be a good idea to take a more moderate approach to this investigation.

      Thank god for facism.

      by Lucian on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 02:27:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What evidence is there (none)
        that Gannon quit or was fired or was even hired and by whom?  Do you have anything other than a post on his web site or an email from him?  Who was providing editorial supervision to this "reporter?"
    •  Yes. Very good advice ... (4.00)
      ...Caledonia. Over the years, I've been on the receiving end of tens of thousands of press releases, too, and needless to say, most of them get skimmed for a couple of paragraphs and only the grabbiest of them get read all the way through, much less acted upon.

      One of your recommendations I disagree with: don't put those contact numbers in the last paragraph, put them top right.

      •  Actually I (none)
        may have confused you.  Yes, I put the contact at the top -- left, right doesn't matter.  That's a matter of style choice.  However, the final optional paragraph is a call to action for interviews.  Oft times that is a different person than the contact info at the top.  I find that approach to work wonders for my clients, even if it's a repeat of the same name.

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