Sending your installation news to your local newspaper can pay dividends to your Bethel.
See the following message posted (with permission) from the JDI World group.
"Well we did it again! Yeah! Our installation along with a photo of our HQ Elect made it in Alamo Today. I had a heads up that they had planned to print most of the article but there is just something more
fulfilling about seeing it for myself in print.
For those of you who aren't from here let me give you a little
information here. Alamo is an unincorporated town adjacent to
Danville. Most of our members come from Danville or San Ramon.
Alamo has been sort of an untapped market over the past several
years. The people in Alamo seem to read this pretty diligently cause we have literally had some response every time we have had something printed in there. It's usually people who already know about the
organization but didn't realize there was a Bethel so close by that was still active.
I believe that if we keep getting the name out there it is going to help us in the long run.
Anyone else getting publicity in the local newspaper/magazines? What kind of success have you had?
Newspaper Article Input Jan08
Newspaper Article Jun08
Bethel #4 Jan08 Installation Article in the "St. Johns Review"
Letter to the Editor of the Gresham Outlook
I am not an expert on press releases but I have picked up some guidelines over the years that I will share with you. The format is not as critical as it was in the past but I feel it is best to have some structure so the reporter does not have to search for information. I strongly believe that "newsworthy" events should be sent to your local newspaper for publication. Smaller towns have better success than the larger towns, but all will consider your article if it is in an understandable format and has a good story. I have attached some news releases that give you a flavor of some articles that were published.
Get the word of "Job's Daughters" out in the public. You have no idea how many "sleepers" that are out there who have not thought about Job's Daughters since their youth and now have daughters that are of age to join. Here are some of my suggestions for submitting a press release.
1. CONTACT INFORMATION – This is very important and must be accurate. I suggest placing this information at the top of the release on the left margin. This identifying block should include the complete address, name of the contact person, and telephone numbers (both day time and night time number).
2. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Type "For Immediate Release" or a release date on the right margin, two lines below the contact information.
3. HEADLINE – The headline should be centered two lines below the release date, in slightly larger font size, and bolded. It should be an indicator of the message that the press release is trying to convey. This should be short and have impact.
4. CITY/DATE – This should appear two line spaces after the headline and should consist of the city in which the press release is being issued and the date that it is being sent out. The state is not needed if a local city.
5. OPENING PARAGRAPH – This paragraph should contain a catchy opening that grabs the readers’ attention. The lead sentence is the hook that entices the reader into your story. This opening paragraph should address the "who, what, where, when, and why" of the announcement; all of this information does not have to be in this first paragraph. Editors often take fewer than 30 seconds to peruse a news release.
6. BODY TEXT – This is where you can go into more detail about your announcement. In the body of the release, you should give supporting information such as quotes, facts, and possibly a short pitch for Job's Daughters.
7. CLOSING PARAGRAPH – This is where you can restate your announcement and it should end with the information for a contact person including name, telephone number, and email address. This should normally be the Guardian.
8. (Optional) JOB'S DAUGHTER'S BIO – In italics under the press release you can give a brief bio on Job's Daughters. This should be no longer than five lines.
Now that you are aware of the proper press release format, here are some basic tips:
E-mailing is now the preferred way of sending in press releases. Try to find a sympathetic person (supports youth submissions or is a Mason) on staff at your local newspaper as the point of contact. If not, find the e-mail address for the appropriate department for your release. The media prefers that the submission be in plain text, i.e. in the message format and not in Word or some other publishing program. Know the deadline dates/times for submissions, especially weekly publications. Old news will not be printed.
Your e-mail needs to stand out from the rest. Don't get fancy, but then again have impact. Prior to the actual press release you may want to provide a pitch message. This part of your submission should be short but gives the reporter rationale on why he/she should publish your release and why his/her readers should care. This letter would only be needed when you are sending a press release to someone who is not familiar with Job's Daughters. Be creative, to the point, and clear in you pitch. If you are long or complicated, the reporter/editor will toss your press release. If you are sending this on paper, the pitch letter should be on a separate sheet of paper than the actual release. The release should be by itself.
Keep the language in your release simple. Do not try to use big words or complex sentences. Releases will more likely be printed if they are original, short, concise, and relevant. Tailor your writing towards the average reader. Be especially careful when using "Job's Daughters" terms.
Keep your press release brief. Stay focused on the purpose of the article and, if appropriate, give a small pitch for Job's Daughters. One page will usually suffice; two is okay if you have a lot to say, but be careful because the newspapers sometimes look for fillers and long articles could be rejected just because they do not have room. Also keep in mind that most papers reserve the right to edit all contributed material; you may not even recognize your own submittal.
Always spell check, use proper grammar with active voice, and proof read your documents before submitting. I suggest that you have someone else look over your release before sending. The body of the news release should be double-spaced. Paragraphs usually are indented with normal spacing between the paragraphs. I would use 12 pitch and either Arial or Times Roman font.
Include appropriate photographs. Requirements change but normally submit high resolution (1000 x 1000 pixels) JPEG (preferred), TIF (usually too large), or BMP files (find out from the newspaper their preferred format). The image should be a minimum of 2" x 2" in size. Submit the pictures in CMYK (not RGB) format. Resolution should be no lower than 300 dots per inch (dpi).
Example of a press release format:
Bethel # XX, Job's Daughters International
Contact: Your Name
City, OR Zip
For Immediate Release
PRESS RELEASE CONTENT
Salem, OR – 08/21/2004 – Dateline – First Paragraph (5 Ws)
Second Paragraph – supports the first with additional detail
Third Paragraph – typically includes a quote
Fourth Paragraph – includes additional information but be careful
Final Paragraph – boilerplate information