DUMAGUETE CITY—Information Officers (IOs) of the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program, together with some Communication Officers from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS), were equipped with new skills in writing press releases as part of the Department’s efforts to pursue comprehensive and proactive communication strategies.
The three-day training on Press Release Writing was conducted on October 18-20, 2021 in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. It aims to hone and improve the skills of the IOs in public relations and communications and empower them to increase awareness among stakeholders, partners, and the public about the different agri-fishery services and programs.
“Public relations and communications are both vital in an organization. These are essential in making the organization proactive and transparent by showing what is happening through news releases, memoranda, among other things,” said DA-SAAD National Program Director Myer Mula.
Meanwhile, James Konstantin Galves, a reporter from The Manila Times, emphasized that writers must ensure that the information included in the press release should have an impact on the readers.
“The press release must be beneficial to the readers for them to form an opinion. Nonetheless, it must be factual, not opinionated and editorialized,” said Galves who served as the resource person of the training.
Galves stressed that the press release need not include all the information of an event, instead, it must focus on the most important and latest content.
“Keep it short and simple,” said the veteran reporter. He added that a good approach is to keep the press release on point “because too much information may confuse the readers on the main point of the news.”
He also shared that the ideal length in terms of the headline of a press release is around 60-80 characters.
During the training, the participants developed press releases from the memorandum, bulletins, virtual pressers, and success stories available from the Department applying the tips and techniques they learned. These exercises are seen to help the IOs continuously promote the projects and activities of their respective agencies more effectively.
The DA-SAAD spearheaded the activity in support to the Strategic Communications initiative of the “OneDA” Reform Agenda.