Writing and distributing news releases are a key part of any public relations department—and it’s no different here at University News. Well, that’s a lie. We focus on the real news of RIT—an event on campus or the accomplishments of our professors or researchers—instead of shamelessly touting profits or new and improved products.
There’s much more to writing a news release than slapping something together and sprinkling it with quotes. It must be well-written, accurate and easy to read. There are several steps a news release goes through before it becomes a news placement. I’d love to go all Schoolhouse Rock! on this, a la “I’m Just a Bill,” but I lack the necessary animation, rhyming and musical skills. Here’s the short version:
Writer hears about event/accomplishment. Writer talks to key players and writes release. Release goes to key players for review and approval. Release goes back to writer for changes. Release goes to associate director for review and approval. Release is approved and sent to me or release is sent back to writer for rewrites, then sent to associate director, then to me. I read and edit release, then enter it into our database. Release appears in News & Events Daily and/or is sent to select media outlets. Reporters contact writers for more details and/or writers touch base with reporters to make sure they saw release. Reporters cover event or accomplishment. RIT appears in newspaper/online/on TV.
It’s a long process, but our numerous and often prominent news placements are worth it.
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