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Mississippi State, MS 39762
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Media Relations Help

Definitions

News release: a brief, informational summary of an upcoming event or an announcement

a. Goals: to invite people to register or participate, to encourage a newspaper to write a story, to get information into the calendar section of a newspaper, or to share news of an award or filling of a significant position.
b. Timeline: sent out 3 to 4 weeks before an event or a registration deadline, or when an announcement needs to be made.
c. Special requirements: recent staff portrait for awards, events open to the public and space available.
d. Examples: Extension Service hires new beef specialist; MSU professor awarded national teaching honor; School groups invited to CVM open house.

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Media advisory: an invitation for print and TV media to come to your event

a. Goal: to get local news coverage conducted by the outlets’ own staff.
b. Timeline: sent out 3 to 4 days before an event.
c. Special requirements: best times for media to be at event, a person at the event who is prepared to be on TV or speak to a reporter, an understanding that there is no guarantee the media will attend.
d. Examples: 4-H Legislative Day at the Capitol, Crosby Arboretum lecture, 4-H robotics kick-off.

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Photo and cutline: a picture and brief description of an event or award.

a. Goal: to quickly promote an event or award (takes up less space in a newspaper than a story so it may get more use than a feature).
b. Timeline: for Associated Press, must be sent out within 24 hours of event; for general news, ideally within a week.
c. Special requirements: must have signed permission for any minors pictured, must have names of people pictured, electronic file must be high resolution (300 dpi or greater; phone cameras do not work well); OAC photographers may be requested but must be scheduled in advance.
d. Examples: Landscape Architecture Week, 4-H Day at MSU Homecoming.

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Fill-in-the blank cutline or news release: a template given to attendees of an event with a group photo they can submit to their local paper.

a. Goal: provide a standard cutline in newspaper style to encourage local media to print photo of or report about someone’s participation in an event.
b. Timeline: should be prepared 1 to 2 weeks before the event so it can be shared with participants at the event.
c. Special requirements: may require slight changes in wording from one user to another.
d. Examples: 4-H legislative day, 4-H Congress, county supervisors training.

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Feature story: a traditional news article based on interviews with DAFVM sources, usually 500-750 words plus photos.

a. Goal: to promote the programs, individuals, research, and accomplishments of MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
b. Timeline: depends on the type of story, but they are best when sent as close to the event as possible.
c. Special requirements: two sources, one of whom must be affiliated with or employed by DAFVM (can be a student, graduate student, administrator, faculty or staff); topic should be newsworthy, timely and relevant to the average Mississippian.
d. Examples: Land-grant universities study wells, water; Warm winter has bees buzzing early; Updated plant maps show state is warmer; Sale of Champions sets new record.