Annex 4: press release
The press releases are characterized by the written presentation, and periodic brief information of public interest in the theme of preparation, attention and recovery in the face of volcanic eruptions. The information must be specific and respond to the real needs of information to maintain credibility.
The newsletter should be prepared following the rules for writing the news. “In the news media it is customary to use the newsletter directly as the text of the briefing note; in consequence, the editor of the bulletin of the press should avoid the use of forms like us… the newsletter must be impersonal and his reading equivalent to any note of a newspaper”.17
17. Galindo, Carmen; Galindo, Magdalena; and Torres – Michúa, Armando. Manual of writing and research. Grijalbo. Mexico, 1997.
For the preparation of press releases note the following recommendations:
1. Define the format to use for the newsletters of your institution or of the health sector. Select the paper size, the font type, the internal distribution of the information (sections or paragraphs), and the means of transmission, normal and alternative (fax, internet, regular mail). You can use stationery with letterhead institutional or design a template on which to work, this will depend on the possibilities of each institution. In any case, keep the file (or institutional role) are available to send newsletters at any time.
2. Develop a directory of media and other recipients of their press releases. Including those responsible for each one, phone, fax, address, web, e-mail and other contact information.
3. Include the information sufficient, clear, and concise manner so that journalists have a thorough idea of what happens. Avoid putting all the details and present contact data (phone, office, e-mail) where journalists can refer to for further information.
4. Press releases should never be longer than one page (page) and a half of paper, to be the ideal a single sheet.
5. The frequency with which to transmit the bulletins of the press depends on the pace of the facts. For example, when there is no imminent danger of volcanic eruption, the bulletins of the health sector can be submitted every two weeks, every month or sporadically (for example, by presenting the actions of prevention and preparedness in the health sector or the recommendations for the population potentially affected). When it has given the alert, newsletters should be more frequent and give an account of the development of the emergency from the point of view of the health sector (What are they doing? what who what are you doing?, censuses, statistics, etc); in this case it is possible that the health care sector and the institutions require to send out newsletters every hour, or even more frequently, to the media.
6. When it comes to information, immediate and of vital importance to the public (for example, to communicate to the population that stay in their homes because it increased the ash fall), highlight the header of the boletín18 for the persons responsible of the media to give it priority. In these cases, it is advisable to reinforce the sending of the newsletter with phone calls to the media.
18. Could use a larger font size in the title, or well, include words like “URGENT” or “IMMEDIATE” to call the attention of those who receive it. Only use these resources when it is strictly necessary.
7. In addition to the means of communication, transmit the media through press releases to the staff of his institution, the health sector and to other institutions with which it has generated partnerships, government offices, social service organizations interested in the topic of volcanic eruptions or involved in the actions presented.
8. Always keep a copy of newsletters that are sent, will help you to confront the versions published by the media, and to record the actions of the health sector at each stage of the risk management for volcanic eruptions.
9. The structure of the next page will help you to organize your newsletter.