The Office of Strategic Communication cultivates relationships with the news media by providing legitimate news stories, written well and delivered in a timely manner. The chief vehicle for disseminating news about CSUSB is the Associated Press thus campus stories are written in the basic news style, so wire services and newspapers that want to use them have to make few or no changes. The stories provide sufficient facts to permit the paper to write its own story or to serve as background for a journalist’s interview.
The making of a story
News releases and tip sheets are created in the same manner as the news media creates its stories, with one important exception. OSC writers offer the source of the story an opportunity to check it for accuracy before it is released. Our news gathering steps include:
- Interviews with appropriate faculty and staff and reviews of written source material
- Discussion of content, target audience and timing
- Writing of a draft release and initial editing
- Source approval
- Final editing
- Reproduction and distribution
Timing is everything
OSC staff works with faculty and staff to coordinate the timing of a news release so that it will coincide with a publication in a professional journal or a presentation at a professional meeting. Besides ensuring that the university does not “scoop” a professional publication, this coordinated timing often increases news interest in the story.
In addition to transmitting CSUSB stories electronically to Associated Press, the world’s largest news gathering and distribution network, OSC staff sends the information to newspapers and magazines around California and beyond.
One reason OSC writers adhere to a strict journalistic style is to reduce the necessity for changes by the media. Often, editors at AP and other media will make few or no changes to CSUSB stories. Others may shorten it, change the style or rewrite it completely. Some may print it immediately, save it for weeks, or file it and contact the source months, or even years, later.
The CSUSB Office of Strategic Communication cannot control what the media does with a release after it leaves our office. We can increase the potential for accuracy by giving reporters and editors well-written, factual material at the start.
Cell (951) 236-4522