Power of the Written Word
Not every academic area uses the same
professional writing style manual (Chicago Manual of Style,
Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual, the MLA, etc.).
The Office of University Relations adheres mainly to the
AP Stylebook in its news releases because most of these
go to news outlets familiar with AP style. The main reason
for adopting any particular writing style is consistency
in the presentation of certain kinds of information: names,
titles, addresses, statistics, numbers, etc. Consistency
in such things is desirable because it causes readers the
least amount of effort and confusion while leaving writers
the freedom to be creative and imaginative where it will
give readers the greatest benefit.
News from Fort Hays State can be anything:
student, faculty, staff accomplishments; events and activities;
research; personal stories; professional stories; even
what-I-did-last-summer/fall/semester/spring break stories.
University Relations can distribute news to any newspaper
or broadcast outlet in Kansas and beyond and can provide
guidance on what news outlets are most appropriate for
a given story.
While newspapers are still the bulk
of our news distribution, the decline in their readership
and the advance of technology is driving a more Web-centric
news focus, a change that will only intensify with the
university’s move to a revamped and expanded Web
presence. The Web is rapidly becoming our primary news
News does not have to be “cleared” through
the news bureau of University Relations. In fact, we encourage
faculty and staff to develop their own news contacts, but
we also urge you to work through our office to distribute
formal news releases because of our experience in dealing
with media. This also ensures that
the news release will become part of the university archives,
and it prevents the possible duplication of news releases
which can create confusion and ill will at
The Office of University Relations has
a sophisticated, highly effective system for delivering
news releases. News can be submitted to Kurt Beyers, assistant
director of University Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by using the form available on the FHSU Web site at
Please make sure the information is
complete. Whether or not you use the Web site form, use
it as a guide for the information you need to provide.
Any pertinent or interesting information should be included – background
on the people and organizations involved; quotes from someone
on the significance of the event; the hometowns and classifications
of any students involved; any special requests for distribution;
anything else you think adds to the story. Double check
names, dates, times and places.
It is especially important to get names
of people spelled correctly and in the form preferred by
the owners of the names. The full proper name of any organization
involved should be included and designated as such. Do
not let it go with the shorthand version used around your
office. It is quite likely nobody else will know what you
are talking about.
Lastly, allow enough time. University
Relations can get information to local news outlets at
almost any time, but if you wait until the morning of the
day the information needs to go out, your news may fall
victim to more urgent priorities. Anything from three or
four days up to two or three weeks of lead time will be
necessary, depending on the nature of the news. If you
have any questions about any aspect of getting your news
out, call Beyers at (785) 628-4480 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
The news you send to University Relations
does not have to be in final form. We prepare it the way
news people like to get it, so you can make your submission
to the news bureau as chatty and long as you like.