How the News Gets the News

We may get our news from popular media outlets like CNN, Fox News, CBS, or MSNBC, but where do they get their news from? Media outlets, and any other news source for that matter, get a large majority of their information from press releases. Press releases act as a medium between the source of information and media outlets. A company writes a press release to a media outlet if they think the information is noteworthy such as new technological developments, upper management changes, or even new book releases. Sometimes, a company will post press releases to their website for reporters who are searching for a story to write about. Other times, the company may contact the media directly through fax or e-mail.

The format of a press release differs from what you may be used to reading. A press release has, like most documents, a title. The title must be intriguing enough for a reporter or journalist to even want to begin reading the press release. Geoffrey James at CBS Money Watch writes about a press release with a terrible title sent to him:

“As a reporter, my immediate response to that press release was that it’s not important because it expended an entire sentence saying absolutely nothing. And I assumed (probably rightly) that the company’s marketing team was a bunch of idiots.”

A stack of newspapers.Press releases generally include the following information as well:

1) The Date of Release
This information is generally somewhere towards the top of the document—usually below the title.

2) Contact Information
Contact information of the person who wrote the press release is at the beginning of the document and often times scattered throughout. It is important that a reporter or journalist can get in contact with the author of the press release or a company’s marketing team. This information should not be difficult to find.

3) An Introduction
The introduction outlines the purpose of why the presented information is newsworthy. If possible, the introduction should answer the five W’s: who, what, when, where, why.

4) The Body
Information is thoroughly explained in the section. It needs to give context and detail about why the information is newsworthy. This section contains the main reason you would be writing a press release.

5) Boiler Plate
You may be familiar with a boilerplate as a standard set text for legal documents, but a boilerplate in a press release usually only contains information about the company. A boilerplate in a press release displays the company’s name and contact information for their marketing team.

6) The Close
Once all that is written, a press release must have a close. The close is not a summary paragraph, but a set of defined symbols which indicate the release is over. These symbols vary, but two common closes are “-30-” and “###.”

7) Contact Information
Unlike the boiler plate which contains the company’s contact information, this contact information is specific to the writer of the press release or the company’s marketing team. Typically, the author of a press release leaves a phone number, e-mail, and fax number.

While all important, some of these elements can be left out. Robert Wynne from Forbes suggests, “Headline. Opening Sentence. Body. (What’s the story, why does it matter?) Contact Information.” If you’re confused, you can examine the formats of different press releases and find common themes between companies. For an example, check out this press release from Publishers Weekly.

Even if you have all these elements perfectly written, the title is the most important. It is crucial the title is clear and concise, since it is the first—and usually the only—element a reporter will initially see. Reporters must scan through hundreds of titles a day. For yours to stick out, it needs to be attention grabbing and directly to the point. Avoid long strings of meaningless adjectives and prepositional phrases. This way, reporters are more likely to understand what your press release is about. If they understand your title, they’re more likely read to read the whole release.

Accounting I Press Release

Jillian Murphy
706-864-1556
jillian.murphy@ung.edu
Accounting I
University of North Georgia Press, April 30, 2018

Dahlonega, GA—The University of North Georgia Press is pleased to announce the release of our latest Open Education Resource: Accounting I by Christine Jonick, PhD., out April 30, 2018.

Well-written and straightforward, Accounting I is an asset to the business education world. Written in order to directly meet the needs of her students, this textbook developed from Dr. Jonick’s years of teaching and commitment to effective pedagogy. It has over 100 charts and graphs, instructional exercises appearing both in-text and for Excel, and resources for student professional development. Peer reviewed by academic professionals and tested by students, this textbook is a needed contribution to open-sourced pedagogy.

As the University Press Partner for Affordable Learning Georgia, UNG Press is publishing this textbook as one of six Open Education Resources releasing this year. As an Open Education Resource, this text is completely open access. It can be reused, remixed, and reedited freely without seeking permission.

Accounting I (978-1-940771-15-1) releases April 30, 2018. Print copies can be bought through Ingram, Amazon, and other major retailers for $29.99. Free digital copies can be downloaded from the University of North Georgia Press homepage at www.ung.edu/university-press.

British Literature I Press Release

Jillian Murphy
706-864-1556
jillian.murphy@ung.edu
British Literature I Anthology: From the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century
University of North Georgia Press, April 30, 2018

Dahlonega, GA—The University of North Georgia Press is pleased to announce the release of our latest Open Education Resource: British Literature I: From the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century, out April 30, 2018.

Featuring over 50 authors and full texts of their works, this anthology follows the shift of monarchic to parliamentarian rule in Britain, and the heroic epic to the more egalitarian novel as genre. Edited by Laura Getty, Ph.D., and BJ Robinson, Ph.D., the anthology offers historical, cultural, social, and aesthetic framing, paired with original Author Introductions, Reading and Review Questions, and Key Terms. A forthcoming ancillary will be supported by open-enabled pedagogy, allowing readers to contribute to the project.

As the University Press Partner for Affordable Learning Georgia, UNG Press is publishing this anthology as one of six Open Education Resources releasing this year. As an Open Education Resource, this text is completely open access. It can be reused, remixed, and reedited freely without seeking permission.

British Literature I: From the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century (978-1-940771-28-1) releases April 30, 2018. Print copies can be bought through Ingram, Amazon, and other major retailers for $49.99. Free digital copies can be downloaded from the University of North Georgia Press homepage at www.ung.edu/university-press.

“The Secret Battle” Press Release

Jillian Murphy
706-864-1556
jillian.murphy@ung.edu
The Secret Battle
University of North Georgia Press, May 28, 2018

Dahlonega, GA—The University of North Georgia Press is pleased to release The Secret Battle by A. P. Herbert, edited by Dr. Austin Riede, out May 28, 2018.

Originally published in 1919, The Secret Battle honestly portrays the mental horrors World War I inflicted upon soldiers. Harry Penrose is an Oxford student who enlists in 1914. He’s hard working, modest, and dutiful but struggles to cope with the toll of war. During the Battle of Gallipoli, Penrose seeks refuge to avoid shellfire, but another office sees him and accuses Penrose of desertion. Court martialed and branded a coward, Penrose is betrayed by the very system for which he fought.

Though not autobiographical, Penrose and the narrator follow experiences of author A. P. Herbert, who fought in the Gallipoli Campaign. Penrose’s trial is likely based on that of Sub-Lieutenant Edwin Dyett, an officer who was court martialed and executed for desertion in 1916. Considered a literary masterpiece, The Secret Battle is an early example of war literature, showcasing the importance of a soldier’s mind as well as his body, and deserves “a permanent place in war literature” (Winston Churchill, from the 1988 Oxford University Press edition).

The Secret Battle (978-1-940771-38-0) releases May 28, 2018. It is a 6×9 paperback. Part of the UNG Press’ World War I series, it will make the perfect addition to any historian’s collection. It can be purchased through Ingram, Amazon, and other major retailers for $24.95.

“The War in the Air” Press Release

Jillian Murphy
706-864-1556
jillian.murphy@ung.edu
The War in the Air
University of North Georgia Press, May 28, 2018

Dahlonega, GA— Nothing ever changes in Bun Hill, the simple country town where Bert Smallways lived. It’s enough that motor-bicycles crowd the road and the South of England Aero Club hosts a weekly ascent. But when Mr. Alfred Butteridge successfully flies his heavier-than-air machine from the Crystal Palace to Glasgow and back, Bert’s known-world disappears.

By chance or fate, Bert is trapped in Butteridge’s hot air balloon, then kidnapped by a German air fleet. Led by Prince Karl Albert, the German fleet crosses the Atlantic Ocean to launch the world’s first aerial attack against America. Forced into their service, Bert encounters the horror of war first-hand as human civilization collapses around him.

H. G. Wells’s foreboding futuristic novel was published in 1908. Much of his work discusses human nature in the face of warfare and includes many technological developments before they existed. This 100-year-anniversary reprint edition remembers a world before aircrafts ruled the skies. Edited by H. G. Wells scholar Aaron Worth, this reprint includes an introduction as well as additional reading recommendations.

The War in the Air (978-1-940771-30-4) releases May 28, 2018, from the University of North Georgia Press. It is a 6×9 paperback and will make a wonderful addition to any World War I collection. It can be purchased through Ingram, Amazon, and other major retailers for $24.95.

“New Army Officer’s Survival Guide” Press Release

Jillian Murphy
706-864-1556
jillian.murphy@ung.edu
New Army Officer’s Survival Guide: Cadet to Commission through Command
University of North Georgia Press, February 12, 2018

Dahlonega, GA—Introducing the advice-equivalent of a double espresso for junior Army officers. The New Army Officer’s Survival Guide: Cadet to Commission through Command provides everything a new officer needs to know, before they need to know it. Active military have access to plenty of veteran life guides, but their search for current officer guidelines falls short. New Army Officer’s Survival Guide rescues them.

Author Levi Floeter spent 10 years learning how to be an officer. He’s been a Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Company X.O., and a Military Science professor. This book is the culmination of his hard work. The exact survival guide he wished he had, instead of the unanswered questions he was left with.

It is an inclusive military officer guide. The advice given is applicable for ROTC cadets to Captains to every promotion in between. The survival guide is divided into three sections: The Cadet, The Lieutenant, and The Captain. CPT Floeter shares his experiences about NCOERs, counseling, planning unit training, and more. He knows the Army successfully tells officers the “what” of their job, but “too often, the officer corps doesn’t have a lot written down in the “how” category.”

The New Army Officer’s Survival Guide is the personal experience of a senior Army officer. A biography as much as a guide. CPT Floeter’s goal is to provide help and advice. In his own words, “we are always personally responsible for growing ourselves. If you are satisfied with your measure of accomplishment, you have just lost the most important battle in the war for self-development.” He’s amicable, honestly sharing his worst experiences as well as his best. The advice comes from a proven leader that any junior officer can trust.

The New Army Officer’s Survival Guide: Cadet to Commission through Command (978-1-940771-40-3) releases February 12, 2018 from the University of North Georgia Press. It is a 5×7 nonfiction paperback: the perfect size to carry about and throw in your bag as a reference. It can be purchased from the University of North Georgia Press at www.ung.edu/university-press/, Amazon, and other major retailers for 24.99.

Don’t miss out on our other exciting New Army Officer’s Survival Guide events:

Press Release: The Military and the Monarchy now available through ebrary!

The University Press of North Georgia (UPNG) is proud to announce their partnership with ebrary!

Founded on the idea that books and other information should be available online to meet the growing needs of libraries, researchers, and publishers in the Internet era, ebrary has a leading e-book provider to libraries and researchers worldwide.

The first book from the University Press of North Georgia now available through ebrary is The Military and the Monarchy: The Case and Career of the Duke of Cambridge in an Age of Reform written by Kevin W. Farrell. The book follows Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, through his military career and, though him, explores the changing relationship between the Military and the British Monarchy during the Victorian Era. It was published in October 2011 and became available through ebrary in February 2012.

The UPNG is a teaching press housed at North Georgia College and State University. Its primary function is to promote education and research, with a special emphasis on local and global cultures. It publishes several titles per year.

For more information about the University Press of North Georgia or its publications, please visit their website, http://www.upnorthgeorgia.org. For more information about ebrary, visit http://www.ebrary.com