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Thread: SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE From One of Your Personal Stories

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kaprikorn1's Avatar
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    SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE From One of Your Personal Stories

    This is How Your Personal Story becomes a Press Release

    Since there has been so much confusion about the Personal Stories and the press releases to be written from them, I am posting a sample. Keep in mind that this is a first draft and has not been fact-checked or finalized. I am simply posting it to show everyone how this is done.

    This is the "Personal Story" I received from Donna Freed about her son, Josh, and his accident. Keep in mind that while Donna is a very good writer, you don't have to be. We just need the facts. Donna also included in her letter a long list of all the newspapers and TV stations in her local and regional area. You do not need to do this, but it sure does help us out if you can pick up your phone book and copy some press names, addresses and phone numbers.

    Sample of a "Personal Story" sent in:

    Kap,

    My son Joshua and I are interested.

    Joshua Whalen
    317 Elm Grove Road
    Livingston, Tennessee 38570

    Home Ph# 931-823-8365
    Cell Ph # 931-261-8574
    On Sunday, September 1, 2002, our life took a tragic turn. In the very early morning while driving alone on a back road in Putnam County on Hwy 136, our 17-year old son, Joshua, lost control of his Toyota truck on a sharp curve and rolled his truck at least three times, ending with his seatbelt hanging him in the truck and breaking his neck at the Cervical area of C6 & C7. Thus, changing our lives forever.

    It took the Cookeville paramedics a while to rescue Joshua from the wreckage. He was life-flighted from the scene of the accident to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanoogna, Tennessee where he was clinging to life, paralyzed from the nipple line down and was put on a ventilator. For several weeks my husband Art and I lived at the Ronald McDonald house. After a surgery to stablize Joshua's neck we had him transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Joshua lives at home with his Dad and myself and attends Vol State Community College which is not far from our home. He has just begun to drive a Chevrolet S10 that has been modified for him through Vocational Rehabilitation. He could transfer him in and out of bed, shower, truck, and onto the couch, until December of this year. A kidney infection got into his blood stream causing sepsis, with a 107 degree fever and almost died, set him back. He is now attending Occupational Therapy at Cookeville Regional Hospital outpatient center. He is much stronger, back in college and driving his truck. He is unable to do all of his transfers by himself at present, but is pushing on to get stronger and we have no doubt that he will succeed.

    I feel with the special centers that he has attended, ie. the Shepherd Center (twice), Erlanger Hospital, Cookeville Regional Outpatient Therapy Center, Ronald McDonald House in Chattanooga, Assessed at Vanderbilt University for the Treadmill therapy, and his Dad is a Nursing Home Administrator who works for American Health Center, Inc. that we could put together some really good publicity in the Tennessee area. Joshua is now 20 years old, he was 17 when his injury took place and was a senior in highschool. For a very long time Joshua wanted to die, he did not want to live this life. Our family, friends, therapists, doctors and community has watched as Joshua has struggled from the beginning of this struggle to the point that he is at now. The 107 fever was yet another struggle where he almost died. We need to make a difference so that others know that this struggle could have been their family struggle and still could be a member of their family at any one time and the importance of the government speeding the money and passing legislation for stem cells and so forth. The sooner that we all work together we can end someone else's disappointment and have a cure for paralysis.

    Even though Joshua continues to gain strength, the mental and physical anguish becomes tedious for us all at times. But, our belief in God, carries us on.

    Our local papers are: (long list of media clipped)

    Sample Press Release produced from Donna's e-mail:


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    March 1, 2005
    Contact: Bill Earls
    555-555-5555

    Livingston Resident Will "March" On Washington

    Rally to Increase Awareness of Spinal Cord Injuries and Promote Research


    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Joshua Whalen, a 20-year-old Livingston resident who was paralyzed in a car accident three years ago, will represent Tennessee in a "virtual march" in Washington, D.C., on April 12 to promote awareness and encourage federal funding for spinal cord injury curative research.
    The "virtual march" is in conjunction with a rally at the U.S. Capitol, which is expected to draw hundreds of people whose lives have been affected by paralysis. Whalen, who is unable to attend the rally in person, is among those whose names will be included in a letter to President Bush and members of Congress. All 50 states are represented in the letter.
    "We need to make a difference so that others know that this struggle could have been their family struggle," said Whalen's mother, Donna. "The sooner that we all work together we can end someone else's disappointment and have a cure for paralysis."
    The Spring Into Action Rally on Washington will coincide with the re-introduction of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act, which, among other things, authorizes funding to expand research on paralysis at the National Institutes of Health. The rally will begin with a key note address in front of the Capitol by Dana Reeve. Christopher Reeve died in October 2004 from complications of a spinal cord injury that he sustained in a 1995 equestrian accident. The rally will conclude with visits to members of Congress.
    Joshua Whalen broke his neck in an automobile accident on Highway 136 in September 2002. Whalen suffered a setback in December after becoming ill from a kidney infection that entered his bloodstream. Urinary tract infections are common in people with spinal cord injuries and are often fatal. Whalen attends Vol State Community College and is receiving occupational therapy at Cookeville Regional Hospital outpatient center.
    â–¬
    Cure Paralysis Now is a nonpartisan grassroots activism group that arose from CareCure, an online community of 10,000 people worldwide whose lives have been affected by paralysis. To interview Joshua Whalen, contact Bill Earls at 555-555-5555.
    ###

    Hope this helps you guys and encourages you to help this effort out by sending in your own stories.

    Kap

    "One generation got old...One generation got sold...This generation got no destination to hold...PICK UP THE CRY!"

    ~Jefferson Airplane~

    [This message was edited by Kaprikorn1 on 02-09-05 at 05:06 PM.]

  2. #2
    Banned Faye's Avatar
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    Kap, thanks!

    This is a very good example of the PR work done by the PR committee.

    That really clarifies the process.

    Let's give Kap and the PR committee more stories for them to work on!!!

    ~ Choices Are The Hinges Of Destiny ~

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kaprikorn1's Avatar
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    BUMP

    "One generation got old...One generation got sold...This generation got no destination to hold...PICK UP THE CRY!"

    ~Jefferson Airplane~

  4. #4
    I did it! Beth and Marilyn, it should be in your inboxes today.

    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

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    This story was about equipment purchased through a CRPF Quality of Life Grant, I managed to get information about the March included. VinceExpress Times link

  6. #6
    Banned Faye's Avatar
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    Originally posted by VJS:

    This story was about equipment purchased through a CRPF Quality of Life Grant, I managed to get information about the March included. Article
    VJS, thank you!!

    Great article!

    ~ People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about. - Franklin D. Roosevelt ~ www.CureParalysisNow.org

  7. #7
    Member Nurse Donna's Avatar
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    What is going on with the press releases? I am a little disappointed that we have not been contacted yet for the rally.

  8. #8
    Banned Faye's Avatar
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    Cure Paralysis Now has hired a Public Relations company called Cause Communications

    http://www.causecommunications.com/

    Together with them a template will be developed for everyone to make their own contacts with their local news organizations, just like Erika already did.( please see MattandErika thread)

    I'm sorry CPN hasn't been able to follow up on your story, hopefully you will be able to make contact with your local news media yourself. And once you get the official template which will be developed in conjunction with Cause Communications, it will be a lot easier to do.

    ~ People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about. - Franklin D. Roosevelt ~ www.CureParalysisNow.org

  9. #9
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Nurse Donna:

    What is going on with the press releases? I am a little disappointed that we have not been contacted yet for the rally.
    Donna,

    Since I was involved with PR for the rally for a short time, I need to explain the chain of events that led to my departure.

    I volunteered to coordinate PR activities, including writing and distributing press releases, both for individual members and for CPN. I am Vice President of a DC-based strategic communications firm with more than 10 years of experience in journalism and PR. I felt that I could contribute my expertise to the rally, and the steering committee initially was very responsive to my offer.

    From the beginning, I urged the organizers to locate a PR firm and, at the very least, seek pro-bono services. The rally budget was zero at that time, so my suggestion was not very well-received. Still, I continued to offer my assistance.

    I grew very frustrated because handling PR tasks for an event of this size is more than one person can handle. I also was frustrated because I felt that my professional advice was being ignored. There was a lot of pressure to start sending press releases back in January, before any details were solidifed. I urged patience.

    After my firm said "no" to providing pro-bono services to supplement my efforts, I contacted a steering committee member and strongly suggested hiring a PR firm. I felt overwhelmed and told her that I would be unable to continue. Fortunately, another CC stepped in to take the PR lead. He asked me to rejoin the effort by providing strategic guidance and press releases. I developed a press release template for personal stories and wrote fivve of them -- including one for your son. But before any of these press releases could be sent to CC members, the PR leader left the steering committee. He passed along the template to the committee, which then contacted me. I offered some basic guidance and use of the materials I had created. But without any help, I told the committee that I could no longer participate.

    Only recently did the committee hire a PR firm. (A firm that is highly suspect, in my professional opinion.) The committee has treated me very poorly and could not even muster the courtesy to reply to my private message and e-mail. I felt that if someone disagreed with the prevailing opinion of the committee, that person was brushed aside and ignored. I know this to be true because it happened to me. So now the committee is touting its hiring of a PR firm, as if the idea was their own. Sadly, they turned off someone (me) who could have provided a lot of help -- if only they would have been willing to communicate.

    I know the rally will be a great success. I just wish the organizers had not treated me this way.

  10. #10
    Yeah, I'd do a lot of things differently Clipper. I don't know about a PT or email being ignored. I'm no pro but I like our PR guy real well. We chose them because when we had zero funds they had the only website with how-to info for grass-roots orgs w/ desire and little else. With our guy cooperating w/ the crpf and mp people the Washington blitz should be good. We sure don't have the staff to follow up on everybody's stories but it would be great if people could do it themselves. Tomorrow is the target date we had chosen for that, but people will have to contact their local news outlets independently.

    Sorry to anybody who is disappointed.

    Writing your legislators now means they know we are serious when we get to DC! Grease the wheels for us if you can't go! congress.org for addresses. Tell them SCI care is $14 billion a year, SCI clinical trial network can be started for $300 million. And don't forget...We are not asking for any controversial cellular type research.

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