This form is to help organize the writing and timely release of press announcements and releases. Please do your best to have this formed filled out correctly and sent to the press committee at firstname.lastname@example.org NO LATER THAN 5 DAYS BEFORE THE EVENT. This is important to ensure enough time to write, vote on, and edit our releases. More notice also means more time to spread the word.
POINT OF CONTACT
Has this event been approved by the GA?
Is this event on the Occupy Chicago Calendar?
Is there a Face Book page for this event?
WHO: What committees and/or organizations are involved?
WHAT: What will be taking place during this event?
WHERE: The address of the event’s location?
WHEN: What time does the event start, and when does it end?
WHY: Why is this event being held?
EXTRA: Anything additional about the event not covered above
Occupy Chicago Press Release Request Guidelines & FAQ
1. What is a press release used for?
Occupy Chicago uses press releases to invite the media to events. They can also be used to inform the media of issues and stories we would like to see covered, or to update them on issues we are working on.
2. What are the Occupy Chicago rules and process for sending out releases?
Occupy Chicago only sends out a press release for events that are formally endorsed or approved by the GA, and listed on the official Occupy Chicago calendar. We ask that Committees and event organizers send us a press release request form at least five days in advance. If an event hasn’t been promoted for five days, it probably won’t have the turnout to make it worth the media’s time and resources. Our goal is to maintain a strong relationship with media. By sending press releases for events with low numbers, we risk negative coverage, and less overall interest from the media.
Exceptions to the five-day lead will be considered depending on the circumstance, with a hard deadline of 48-hours notice. No releases will be sent out for events not on the calendar 48-hours before they are to occur, except in emergency situations. However, we are more than willing to help write content for social media events and calls to action, no matter the time frame. Internally, we write and edit over our listserv, and require three approvals inside our Committee to send a release to the media. To publish a release or call to action to the front page of the web site, we need three additional approvals from other Committees as well.
3. When should a release be sent out?
The media should be invited to well-planned events that are ‘newsworthy’. For actions or protests, this can include big numbers, flashy signs & banners, interesting street theater, or to highlight our solidarity with a union or community organization. Other events that may be release-worthy include special workshops or educational conferences, fundraisers, and internal events (like special GAs, 100th day of Occupation, etc). If we invite the media to an event, they should be able to walk away with the visual elements they need to put together a good story.
3. When is sending out a release questionable?
If an action or event is planned at the last minute, there may not be enough time for promotions and decent turnout. Some actions, like mic checks, work great with small numbers and quick planning. Small numbers can make a newsworthy protest, as long as there are strong visual elements, like costumes, or die-ins with fake blood, or arrests. We want to stay away from sending out releases about 15-person single-issue protests, with people in every-day clothes carrying signs. As an alternative to pre-event releases for these types of events, you can request that a post-event release be sent to the media. For this option, we still need advance notice of 5 days in most situations, and the event organizer will need to coordinate video/photo coverage of the action, ideally working with OC Visual Media.
4. What is an emergency situation?
The Press Committee will work with event organizers to get info to the media about emergency situations and events. Emergency situations include actions where police violence looks imminent. The media may not have been invited to these actions, or may have already left. In these cases, please call the press hotline at 773-417-6491 and we will do everything we can to get cameras out right away. Emergency actions can include solidarity actions when other Occupations are attacked, responses to big events in Chicago, and late notice of appearances by mic check targets. Actions that do not fall under these or similar categories will not be considered for press releases less than 48 hours before the event.
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