writing across the media
writing across the media
You work for a company or NGO and are planning an (hypothetical) event tied to your umbrella topic.
To promote the event, you need send a press release to the press: newspaper, radio, or television.
A press release is an official request and invitation for the press to report information on your event on its platforms, or even cover the event.
Once you plan a mock event, create a mock Press Kit and select the best media outlet that could cover and write about your event.
Your final project must include:
A cover (or pitch) letter targeted to an editor/media outlet and appropriate section with a clearly stated goal to get some kind of press coverage. It should be formatted as a proper business letter (not an email). (2-3 paragraphs)
A Press Release (2-3 paragraphs)
Bio/background information sheet highlighting relevant information for your targeted pitch letter (3-5 paragraphs, use footnotes to document your information sources)
Other info (reviews, press clippings)
A two-page reflfection paper (typed, doubled-spaced) explaining your strategy (including who you are targeting and why) and goals.
Note: Everything should be single-spaced except your reflection paper.
The event could be a film screening, book signing, concert, fundraiser, or something of your own invention. Your challenge is to make it newsworthy.
When selecting your event:
Be sure it contains the news value criteria discussed in class.
Define your communication goal (the big picture)
Determine the kind of event you want
Specify where, when, and at what time it will take place
Be sure to know what is your target audience and location so that you can….
Address and target the proper and specific news/media outlet for that community
Determine what outcome you want from the media outlet
COVER (PITCH) LETTER
Your cover letter should be targeted to a specific media outlet and staff with a clear goal.
Your objective is to have the media outlet publish your Press Release, and even more, to write an article, review, cover, or conduct an interview at your event.
You’re pitching for an actual article or feature to be written (not only an announcement, listing, advertisement or sponsorship).
Convince the media to cover your event by adding news values and highlighting why your event is worth covering.
Remember that a media outlet or agency is NOT an advertising agency so avoid addressing it as one. It’s not the press obligation to cover your event.
Your press release should highlight all the important information about the event, plus information about the organization offering or hosting it.
Use your writing skills to convince the journalist to write about the event, by addressing all the news values again, the relevance to the immediate community, and the significant impact it will have. Develop a vivid picture of what the event is about.
Your bio/background page should supplement your press release with additional information (such as biographies, organization profiles, or statistical and factual information) that support your main communication goal.
OTHER INFO PAGE
An additional page with “other info” should include quotes, reviews or press clippings related to your promotion.
This assignment will be graded on:
Adherence to format of a cover letter and press release with a clearly targeted goal
Ability to write effective headlines, ledes and summaries
Ability to define a specific target audience and to write to that audience
Formatted for clarity (readable fonts, proper paragraph spacing, etc.)