An issue of alleged police brutality occurred while officers were arresting a suspect. The community has become outraged. You, as the police chief, must give a press conference. You must try to keep a riot from occurring at the same time as explaining what may have happened. You only know what your employees are telling you. You have not had a chance to talk to the people involved. You have not had a chance to look at any film of the incident. You must try to dissuade the public from rioting at the same time as explaining what will happen. Note that you will also have to worry about the trust of the populous, as the police may not “automatically be trusted” with the current climate. Follow the “formatting a press release” template on page 255 of the Allen & Sawhney text to create the Press release.
Most effective press releases Each press release should be on letterhead. Press releases that are posted on the Internet do not need to be a scanned version of the hard copy. At the top of the press release include a date, name and contact information. Make sure to provide a phone number and e-mail address if
applicable. Under the contact information let the media know if the information is for immediate release or if it is to be held for a later release date. For example, if it is election time and the sheriff does not plan on running again, the department may notify the media but say, “embargoed for release until November 1.” . After the release date, give the press release a headline. Headlines can be bold, underlined, centered and slightly larger than the body of the press release. The lead paragraph of the press release is where you will give the five Ws. “Every news story should contain the five Ws and an H: who, what, where, when, why and how,”
After all the hard facts and important information is given, now would be the time to provide a background paragraph. If the press release is about a safety program done by the department, explain how long this program has been running, how it got started, how it is funded, etc. Don’t send out press releases to every media contact; narrow it down to the appropriate editors. Keep the body text of the press release at 10 or 12 [point] size and the font in a standard style like Times New Roman. It is also a good idea to double space press releases and to not let them run past two pages. Finally, at the end …type “\##” to signify the end of the press release.
Source: Christy Whitehead and Law & Order magazine.”