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Offline Tintagel

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Re: The News Release
« on: March 03, 2014, 05:36:42 AM »
I'm posting here because I can't post in the ZC board.

I write press releases as part of my job.  I write them a lot.  I supplied Tausami with some tips and templates to write one.  They're not hard.  I haven't seen the one he wrote (I gather it was straightforward and unbiased, as it should have been), but I read Thork's variant, and have to explain why this is not the right approach.  Not only is it not formatted correctly, it would be completely ignored by the media, and makes us look like a bunch of amateurs.  It's biased and sensationalist - which I understand is what Thork was going for, but for a press release that's the wrong approach.

Press releases are supposed to be un-biased.  They're supposed to relate the facts, and nothing more.  WHat's being announced?  Say that first, give some supporting information to the announcement.  Here, let me give you an example.  This is how a press release should look.

Quote
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact:
Tom Bishop
email@domain
March 3, 2014

HEADLINE OF PRESS RELEASE CONTAINING PRIMARY KEYWORDS
Subhead with Supporting facts with Secondary Keywords

The newly elected leadership of the Flat Earth Society today announced that .... (fill in content of the announcement here). 

Since its founding in 1956 (then called the International Flat Earth Research Society) by Samuel Shenton, the society has gone through many such changes, and according to Tom Bishop, member of the Flat Earth Society's Zetetic Council and media spokesperson, "(insert quote from Tom here)."  Bishop goes on to add, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet."

Looking ahead, the Flat Earth Society members hopes that the new changes within the organization will help usher the society into a new period of popularity.  Since opening its doors, the society's new website at tfes.org has already seen an influx of new members... etc etc.

ABOUT THE FLAT EARTH SOCIETY
A couple paragraphs about the society itself here, nothing to do with whatever you're announcing.  Close with a call to action.  For more information, visit tfes.org.

Simple. 

Begin with "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE," include the press contact and a dateline.  Not too long, 3 paragraphs.  Announce what you want to say, back it up with a quote from someone reputable, close with a paragraph of what the announcement means for those not already involved, and then pin on our boilerplate "about us" info with a call to action to visit the site.  That's it.  Should be able to get it all out in 300-500 words. 

Also, look into syndicating the press release ourselves via a service like Pitchengine (monthly fee) PRLog (it's free) or PRWeb (will get us into more searches, but it's pricey, starting at $99 per release).

I really don't want to step on any toes here so I say this with all due respect to the council, but there's a right way to do a press release, and I know how do to it.  I don't want us to waste our time.

Tausami, if you'd like me to review/revise your release I'd be happy to.  No sense reinventing the wheel if you've already put together a draft. :)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 03:37:30 PM by Tintagel »

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Offline Tau

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Re: The News Release
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 05:44:53 PM »
If you look in the thread, I post a link to a Google Doc. The release is in there. Feel free to edit it if you want.

EDIT: or, I could just link it. That would be easier. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N0PAVtdZKy-W8auC3vi21IRRRs9CN3X6tTTHo66EABU/edit

Thanks to Tint and to anyone else who decides to do something constructive to it.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 05:52:49 PM by Tausami »
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

Read the FAQ: http://wiki.tfes.org/index.php?title=FAQ

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Re: The News Release
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 06:40:43 PM »
Should we refer to him as Daniel "Shenton" if that's not his real name?

Also, we know his real name. It is not Shenton.

I don't know how PP knows that, or even if he's right (Would it be possible to get some elaboration on that, PP?  Please?), but assuming that it's true, I don't think we should bother to keep up the pretense.

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Offline Tau

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Re: The News Release
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 07:08:21 PM »
I wasn't aware of that. My mind is blown.

I mean, do we have his permission to use his real name? It's probably not very nice to go and expose him if he wants to use a pseudonym.
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

Read the FAQ: http://wiki.tfes.org/index.php?title=FAQ

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Offline Tintagel

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Re: The News Release
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 07:29:54 PM »
I wasn't aware of that. My mind is blown.

I mean, do we have his permission to use his real name? It's probably not very nice to go and expose him if he wants to use a pseudonym.

I'd concur with preserving the pseudonym.  Both Daniel and Wilmore know my real name (and probably several others as well), but are courteous enough not to publish it.

edit: made some edits to the text, all pretty minor.  Also cleaned up the closing paragraphs to work them into a boilerplate "about us" section that can be used on every news release moving forward.  Good job Tausami!  Let me know if you need help publishing it.  Googling "free press release service" should give you lots of options.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 07:54:10 PM by Tintagel »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: The News Release
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 08:12:32 PM »
Would it be possible to get some elaboration on that, PP?  Please?
Not too long ago, the domain theflatearthsociety.org was registered by a Daniel, but his last name was not Shenton. All other details were perfectly consistent with the contact details on the home page (back when that existed). My assumption is that he entered his legal name there, since you're technically supposed to do that. It was still out there when I posted about it, so it's not impossible that he changed it in reaction to that.

I mean, do we have his permission to use his real name? It's probably not very nice to go and expose him if he wants to use a pseudonym.
Yeah, I'm not posting his name in public for that reason. However, I see no issue with people here knowing that it almost certainly is not his actual name.
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
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Offline markjo

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Re: The News Release
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 09:27:14 PM »
Should we refer to him as Daniel "Shenton" if that's not his real name?
"Shenton" is the name that Daniel uses for his official FES activities (such as they are), so I would say that it's the name that you should use in the press release.
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

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If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

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Re: The News Release
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 12:15:15 AM »
Interestingly enough, he only updated his name on his registration of theflatearthsociety.org, but not other domains he owns. For a moment I was thinking he might have changed his name by deed poll, but that does not seem to be the case.
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