As a guide for writing news releases and issuing public information requests, the VSP News Release and Public Information Policy provides instructions to VSP department members. You can use this document to determine when to release a news release, what information should be included, and when to issue a public information request, among other topics. These guidelines can help you ensure that your public information requests and news releases are both informative and effective.
VSP News Releases: What are they?
Its mission is to protect life and property, support community resilience, and provide access to emergency services to those in need across the United States.
In addition to online media, social media, press releases, and website content, the VSP releases news and public information. Information about the organization’s activities should be available to the public through the VSP’s news release policy, which provides guidelines on how information should be released.
By providing accurate information about its activities and working with the media, the VSP strives to maintain a positive public image. The policy also details how the VSP will respond when allegations are made against it.
VSP News Releases: What are they for?
Information about VSP programs and initiatives is disseminated to the public through a VSP news release. It is important for VSP releases to provide factual information on VSP-funded projects, updates on programmatic and policy changes, and highlights staff accomplishments. A release should also reach a broad audience within the public, private, academic, and other stakeholder groups.
Providing effective communication of VSP information requires well-written, concise, accurate, and timely releases. News releases should also comply with all relevant government reporting requirements. The following key principles should be considered when preparing a news release:
Communicate clearly the goals and objectives of the program
Use clear, concrete language that is easy to understand by the general public
Avoid confusing jargon or technical terms
Repetition should be minimized
Organize content with headings and subheadings
Keep your story focused on the main points
Keep a positive tone throughout the release
Make sure readers have enough information to make informed decisions
Provide contact information so that more detailed information can be obtained
What are the requirements for submitting a VSP news release?
You may submit a VSP news release if you represent a state or local government entity and have newsworthy information to share.
Your organization must meet all of the following requirements in order to submit a VSP news release:
Applicants must be an agency of the United States government, a state or local government entity, or an authorized representative.
A newsworthy piece of information includes information about events within your jurisdiction, new policies or regulations that affect your jurisdiction, and updates on your organization’s programs or initiatives.
If you do not have a website yet, we may assist you in developing one if you do not already have one.
We recommend reading our public information policy before submitting a VSP news release and making sure your release meets all of the requirements listed therein. Please do not submit your release if it does not meet all of the requirements. We will be happy to assist you if your release does not meet all of the requirements.
What is the process for submitting a VSP news release?
To submit a news release to the VSP, you will need to complete a few steps. First, you will need to create a draft of your release. This will help you to ensure that the content is accurate and ready for distribution. Second, you will need to submit your release through our online form. Third, make sure that all of the information in your release is accurate and up-to-date. Finally, make sure that your release is formatted according to our guidelines so that it looks professional when submitted.
How do you write a VSP news release?
The first step in writing a news release is to gather as much information as you can on the story. Next, develop a concise, clear message that can be conveyed in a few sentences. Finally, create a catchy headline and write the body of the release in an easy-to-read style.
The first step is to gather information about the story: What is the issue, who are the key players, and what happened?
Develop a concise, clear message: What does your release say about the issue? What are the implications?
Write catchy headlines: What words or phrases will make people want to read your release?
Write your release in an easy-to-read format: Where can people find more information? Who should they contact if they have questions?
How should a VSP news release be formatted?
VSP’s Public Information Manual contains guidelines on how news releases should be written, formatted, and how often they should be issued.
A news release should not exceed one page and include the following information:
Introduction of one paragraph
What was announced and when it occurred, as well as the main points of the release
Any graphics or photos used should be explained
Links to supporting documents or websites, as well as any source material used
A news release serves as an important communication tool for the VSP. Make sure it is well written, accurate, and concise; and keep it focused on your key message.
In a VSP news release, how should I handle confidential information?
This policy can help to ensure that the release of confidential information does not jeopardize relationships with sources or damage the organization’s credibility as a news organization.
When releasing confidential information, there are a few guidelines to follow:
Make sure the release of information is necessary and justified.
Any accompanying images or videos that contain confidential information should be censored.
In describing the situation, avoid using inflammatory language.
Make it clear who provided the information and why it was considered confidential.
How should I proceed?
We at VSP strive to provide the public with timely and accurate information, but we realize that not everyone needs and wants this information at the same time. Our Public Information Officer (PIO) has established a policy that all releases and other public information must go through our Public Information Officer (PIO) in order to ensure everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.
In order to reach the widest possible audience, the PIO must coordinate, time, and format all releases and other public information. They also help develop guidelines for how The VSP communicates with the public, track media coverage of VSP events and activities, and respond to information requests.
Please contact our Public Information Officer if you would like to request formal press releases or other public information from The VSP.