Preparing News Releases

Risk & Crisis Communication
Online Course
1.5 hours
University of Iowa
Upper Midwest PERLC
Emergency Public Information and Warning

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This course is intended for PIOs/PAOs who need to improve their skills in communicating with the public during an emergency. The course focuses on writing effective news releases, public service announcements, news advisories, and preparing for and conducting news briefings and news conferences.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Discuss the importance of deadlines in different types of news releases
  • Describe who’s who in the newsroom
  • Focus on newsworthy elements of the story by using clear and simple language and consistency in the style and usage
  • List the eight properties of a news release
  • Summarize and organize information in a manner that creates clear and accurate understanding
  • Understand the use of the 5 W’s and the inverted pyramid style in newswriting
  • Write the lead, body and headline for a news release
  • Explain the importance of quotations in a news release and use them in an appropriate manner
  • Explain the review process for a news release
  • Explain the dissemination process for a news release
  • Adequately prepare for follow-up questions from the media
  • Effectively monitor and analyze news reports, utilizing Rapid Response when appropriate
  • Develop talking points using the “message triangle.”
  • Describe the criteria used to select broadcast media stories
  • Describe four essential qualities contained in effective broadcast news stories
  • Write effective public service announcements
  • Describe the difference between a news release and a news advisory
  • write an effective news advisory
  • Distinguish between a news release, a news conference, and a news briefing
  • Prepare for and conduct a news conference or briefing
PHEP Capabilities: 
Community Preparedness
Emergency Public Information and Warning
Information Sharing