This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 423,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Learn to write a press release that will publish

For people working in the arts, marketing, public relations or with nonprofit organizations, publicity is everything.

To help, the Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition presents “The Art of Writing a Press Release,” a workshop taught by newspaper editor Christopher Fox Graham, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 26.

The fee is $10 for Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition members, $15 for the general public. The workshop takes place at Keep Sedona Beautiful, 360 Brewer Road, Sedona.

Workshops taught by public relations professionals may focus on writing a press release, but as a professional newspaper editor, Graham approaches the topic from the other angle — representing the media professionals responsible for choosing which press releases to publish and where to place them in their publications.

Drafting an effective press release may seem an impossible skill to master. Press releases often lack key information, such as location, dates, costs or contact information. Others fail to provide sufficient background to be considered effective by the media outlets and news organizations that receive them.

Creating an effective, informative, yet brief and easy-to-read press release is often more art than skill. A good press release provides succinct details to inform newspaper or magazine readers, website users and radio listeners about news events, offering just enough information to pique readers’ interest in the topic without boring them.

Using real-world examples, Graham will demonstrate the differences between good and bad press releases; how to transform a bad release into a great one; what media professionals look for; mistakes that will get your press release thrown out and how to avoid them; how to write an eye-catching and informative press release; and how to deal with members of the media.

The workshop is designed for artists and musicians trying to promote their work, public relations and marketing professionals, nonprofit organizers and business owners.

Graham is currently assistant managing editor of Larson Newspapers, which publishes the Sedona Red Rock News, The Camp Verde Journal and the Cottonwood Journal Extra. His duties include receiving, prioritizing and editing press releases and assigning them to pages for publication.

Graham earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on literature and linguistics and a minor in history from Arizona State University.

He has worked as senior copy editor for The State Press at ASU, copy editor for Larson Newspapers’ three publications, managing editor for Kudos and a private media consultant.

Graham is also a writer and performance poet. Over the last 10 years, he has toured and competed worldwide in poetry slams, a competitive art form that is focused as much on how the language is presented as on the content itself.

Workshop seating is limited. To reserve a seat, send a check for the correct amount to Jerry Buley, 659 Navahopi Road, Sedona, AZ, 86336.

For more information, Buley can be reached at 282-5499.

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