Anatomy of a news release

James
James McLeod
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Through the process of examining the marketing and communications apparatus within the provincial government, the Telegram heard about an internal document.

The Communications Reference Manual doesn’t have a very flashy name, but in 48 pages, it lays out in excruciating detail the template for how to craft news releases, press conferences and all manner of official government communications.

The document serves as a handbook for the 50 communications workers within the provincial government civil service who are responsible for crafting the government message and maintaining a consistent brand.

The document tells workers to test out the sound system in advance and what typeface to use for news release headline.

It advises event planners to make sure that there’s a room for politicians to hang up their coats at a government announcement.

The Telegram requested the document as part of a larger project looking into the number of communications workers within the provincial government, as well as associated government agencies and arm’s-length taxpayer-funded entities.

The template doesn’t always get followed to the letter, but here, we break down a typical news conference and see how aspects of the government’s communications playbook get put into action.

 

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

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