|Simple Reproduction Techniques - An Instructional Aid for Workers' Educators and Trade Unionists (ILO, 1977, 120 p.)|
1. Editors are busy people, always in a hurry, so the less you write the more chance there is of it being printed.
2. Editors like to have a ready-made article, so check the average number of letters per line in a column and limit your lines to their size. Do not exceed two pages.
3. Editors need space for corrections and changes, so type in double space and leave sufficiently wide margins on both sides.
- Readers should read your article, so make them want to read it by rousing and retaining their interest.
- Figures and statistics are interesting to the expert, but not to the common reader. Therefore you should try to avoid figures and give the message in a simpler style:
Example: Total membership increased by 10% would interest the reader more if you wrote, There has been a total increase of 10 members for every 100 during this period.
5. Complete your message by covering the following points:
(These are known as the 5 W's.)
6. You must also remember that reporters are human beings; their job is important and they like to feel important. Sometimes a friendly invitation will start and maintain a good relationship with the Press.
Mill City, December 15.
320 delegates representing the 4,323 employees of Glover Mill Company held an extraordinary conference according to article 25 of the Union Statute. The delegates discussed measures to be taken in view of the deadlock in negotiations, since even the provincial conciliation failed in its attempts to come to a peaceful conclusion.
The Deputy Vice-President of the Federation and Member of Parliament Harry Smith, and George McInnen, the General Secretary of the UGMU (United Glover Mill Union) summarized the reasons for their demands.
The prices for prime commodities went up by a national average of 12.75% and by 14.05% in Mill City. The cost of living for low-income families based on the official index for a family of 4.25 persons went up by 11.76 points.
The tendency is for a further increase due to the existing inflation and the lack of activities on the part of the Government.
The productivity per capita in Glover Mill went up by 6.3% due to the rationalisation of the flow of materials in the production departments. This resulted in a more intensive effort on the part of the workers.
Therefore, Glover Mill, owned by an International Company, transferred an increased profit margin of 15.75% to the foreign shareholders.
The demand of the Union through the Board for a 15% increase in all wages seemed therefore a reasonable demand. The assembly took a vote on the question of strike - the house was divided into 298 pro and 22 against.
The Union is asking the public to understand and support the strike.
Mill City, December 15.
Are the employees of the United Glover Mill Union walking out on strike?
This was the question which had to be decided by the 320 delegates in an extraordinary meeting held in the Conference Hall of our city.
The attempts to come to a peaceful agreement failed, and even the provincial conciliation was unsuccessful.
As the two officials Harry Smith M.P. and George McInnen pointed out, the whole city and especially local business is badly affected by the lack of purchasing power of the more than 4,000 employees of the biggest, most important enterprise of the town.
During the last year the prices of prime commodities went up by about 1/6th, and the official index shows that the purchasing capacity of this big consumer group went down by almost 12%. Due to the reorganisation and greater efforts on the labour side, every employee in Glover Mill produced almost 7% more.
Since Glover Mill is an internationally owned company, the 15% profits would now be transferred to the respective countries of the majority of the shareholders. Therefore, the employees of Glover Mill are asking for some share of the 15% profits and they are also asking for support from all the citizens of Mill City since they are willing to go on strike if Glover Mill is not willing to come to a peaceful solution.
If you compare these two examples, you will see the difference in style:
- In Example 1, you find the complete message, but it is too detailed. It is almost like a report, and there are too many special terms which may not be known to the reader. The article does not arouse the interest of the reader.
- In Example 2, on the other hand, you have the same information, or at least that part of it which may be of interest to the reader. Interest is aroused at the very beginning of the article and is maintained until the answer is given at the very end. The reader himself is shown how the situation is affecting him personally, and there is an attempt to create understanding, if not solidarity with the employees of the enterprise.
Produce one press release to be spirit duplicated on an event of your Union.
NOTE: Leave a double space and sufficient margins.
Discuss the results, bearing in mind the 5 W's, and the type of reader you want to address.