20 July 2007
Agitate and organise: the press release
Following on from my last posting, if matters do come to a head on a council estate because the social work filth are attacking our children, then any attempt to prescribe action will fail. It will fail because what is likely to happen is that some father, outraged at the way his family is treated will explode in some way or another. The press will get involved, the TV, and any local political group that is involved with the family will only have to play catch-up to an agenda that will be media led.
In a situation like this, a group needs to understand basic media techniques, and the most basic of all is the press release. If written properly a press release will be used by the local newspapers as is - so make sure that you know how to create them.
The basic format of your press release should always be the same. This is mine:
1. At the top of the page you have the name of your group in headline text and below it, in a slightly smaller font, the words "Press Release". You can call it a news release if you want to because sometimes the TV and radio get a bit twitchy if you don't.
2. Below this on the left side you should have, contact, address, telephone, e-mail. Always issue your press releases under one person's name - that way the local hacks can get in touch with an individual with whom they will build up a relationship over time.
3. Put in a horizontal line at this point. That way the journalist knows that the basic information is over and the release is about to begin.
4. Below the line put in the headline. Use a size 14 font.
5. Next comes the text, in a 12 font. Try to write as if you were the jounalist - you want them to use your text verbatim for the story. Keep it simple, keep it sweet, but remember that you are an agitator, so you can use synonyms to alter the readers' perceptions.
Let me give you an example. Back in 1996 Oldham social work filth were trying to get my late father into a nursing home. I decided that a shot across the bows was in order and sent out a press release to the two local newspapers.
The headline read:
"Oldham social work industry seeks to force war veteran into a workhouse."
Now let's look at the language used here. The first thing we note is my use of "industry" instead of "department". That was deliberate and aimed at undercutting the the social workers sense of self importance. If you look back to the previous posting, you will see that I argue that central to the middle class sense of worth is the notion that what they do is morally good - take that away from them and you have hit their morale. Thus whenever a met a piece of social work filth I would always adopt a matey, jocular tone with them. As if I understood that they were just timeservers and jobsworths, leaching off the public purse. That attitude started with this press release.
Secondly we have the war veteran reference: my father was a veteran, and this aimed at putting him on a higher level than a mere "old man". He was an old man, but he was also a war veteran.
Finally the use of the word workhouse should be considered. It still strikes fear into many old people's hearts and conjurs up images of breaking rocks for a night's bed. That was why I used it: I knew that it would provoke an immediate sympathy for him amongst the elderly.
The first paragraph of the release read:
Charles Bell (81) thought that he had seen the last of conflict the day he stood on Lunebourg Heath in 1945 and watched the German army stream in to surrender. However, he had reckoned without the actions of Oldham social work industry, who are determined to force old soldier Charlie into a workhouse.Note how Charles Bell became Charlie? The idea was to make him friendly - good old Charlie, nice old Charlie, decent old Charlie. First I used his formal name because I wanted the notion of soldier Charles Bell to be drummed home, but after that it was all about poor, persecuted Charlie.
Note also how language from the headline is repeated in that first paragraph - ram the message home, people!
My press release caused quite a stir. The Oldham Chronicle telephoned me in Mexico and did an interview. They ran the story in their own words, but the free sheet used my exact press release - so after that I mainly sent stories to them and they always ran them.
It got to the stage where I invented "sources close to Oldham Council," and "a social work source" and the social work filth went wild. They started an internal investigation to find out who was leaking information. Nobody was - I made it all up!
So press releases work and they should form to first line of attack for any group seeking to further agitate the waters.
However, and here is the kicker, they only work if they are about matters of public interest. So find the local issue, whatever it is, and use it to your advantage.