Carrots, onions, & the perfect news release – SCN Encourager 6/10/2014

How’s your “relearning” going this week?

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 9.18.56 PMLike Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner) used to say on Saturday Night Live in the late 70s, “It’s always something…”

Tell me about it.

Even the standard news release template is being re-engineered for the 21st century.

At least, I think it is.

It’s hard to be sure.

Our ever-helpful politicians haven’t issued any “best practices” guidelines about them.

So, attempting to relearn the art of writing a news release can be overwhelming.

You’re on your own.

When you google “news release templates” about 274,143 samples pop up.

I had my summer intern to count them all yesterday so no one can write me back and claim that I just throw figures together on the fly.

As we both know how school communicators can be sticklers about such things.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 9.13.44 PMMy research online revealed that many of the featured formats for news releases are just like this one.

Boring. Boring. Boring.

So boring, in fact – I had to double-check my files to make sure that I didn’t compose this particular one myself.

It looked familiar.

Its “blah-blah-blah” wording gave the appearance of my “authentic voice.”

But truth be told, I didn’t create this, and Google failed to show the name and location of the blatant copycat.

In the midst of these trivial distractions, somehow it occurred to me that the best way to relearn the essential components of a news release might be to skip all of the templates and just find an actual five-star real-world news release.

This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Pouring through skads of news releases from ESPN and Sports Illustrated got me zilch.

Luckily, I found this short news release from Whole Foods (from a year ago no less!) about the foods we’ll miss if our bee population continues to decline.

You gotta check out the flow of this baby!

It presents a compelling story in 4-5 brief paragraphs and weaves in a list, some bullet points, a creative compare and contrast visual, a place to go for more background info, and also serves up an “expert” at the end.

Two thumbs up!

The only negative I can point out is that the news release is about vegetables and not sports.

But hey, I tried!

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