Wikimedia communications package/India materials

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(The following are suggestions for developing a communications package for use in conjunction with Wikimedia India Chapter activities. These are meant to be loose guidelines and should be localized by press representatives with the chapter)


Press Release: Template[edit]

Headline: [Insert headline here]
Secondary Headline (optional)

First Paragraph:
[Location: City, State]—[date press release published]—[1-2 sentence summary of the story; try to include information on Who (Wikimedia India), What, Where (if applicable), When, Why, How. The Why and How may be reserved for the second paragraph if more appropriate]

Second Paragraph:
1-3 sentences to expand on first paragraph and provide background information. Explain significance/impact, statistics are optional.

Third Paragraph:
Quote from representative of Wikimedia India.

Fourth Paragraph:
1-3 sentences with any additional details not mentioned in previous paragraphs.

Fifth Paragraph:
Optional additional quote from either the Wikimedia Foundation or another organization relevant to the story

OR

Additional details

Last Paragraph:
Optional closing statement

Boilerplate: [About Wikimedia India]
[Include appropriate websites, links, and press contact]

Press Release: Explanation[edit]

Headline: Press release/[Insert headline here]
Secondary Headline (optional)

  • Most traditional press releases and news stories provide a short, broad and attention-grabbing headline (see here for examples) followed by a more specific and explanatory secondary headline (see here for examples). We chose to adopt this format for its usability; it would provide journalists with a ready-made headline and the Foundation would retain control of how it is portrayed by the media by issuing its own headlines.


First Paragraph:
[location of Wikimedia India]—[date press release published]—[1-2 sentence summary of the story; try to include information on Who (Wikimedia Foundation), What, Where (if applicable), When, Why, How--the Why and How may be reserved for the second paragraph if more appropriate]

  • The first sentence of the first paragraph should ideally contain the 5 W's and 1 H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, see here for more information). Utilizing the principle of the 5 W's and 1 H will allow the reader will be able to efficiently grasp the general idea of the article in one concise sentence (see here for examples).
  • The press release should follow the structure of the inverted pyramid as closely as possible, presenting the information in descending order of importance. This is the structure traditionally used by journalists, because it allows readers to quickly pick up the key points of an article without having to read the whole thing. It is important to keep this structure in mind for the informational paragraphs of the press release. See here for a useful checklist.


Second Paragraph:
1-3 sentences to expand on first paragraph and provide background information. Explain significance/impact, statistics are optional.

  • An informational paragraph expanding on the general details provided in the first paragraph should directly follow the first paragraph. If any of the 5 W's and 1 H were not explained in the first paragraph, the second paragraph should contain that information. In addition, it should effectively provide the general background of the event in question and act as the foundation for the rest of the article (see here and here for examples).


Third Paragraph:
Quote from representative for the Wikimedia Foundation.

  • It is standard for press releases to have the first quote in either the second or the third paragraph. In most of Wikimedia's past press releases (see here and here for examples), the first quote appears in the third paragraph, so this will be established as the convention for future press releases regarding the Foundation's activities. This allows room in the first two paragraphs to sufficiently develop the central details of the story before adding the Foundation's commentary. The quote is typically from a prominent representative of the Foundation such as Jimmy Walsh, Sue Gardner, or Jay Walsh, but other representatives may be acceptable or even preferable, depending on what contributes the most to the story.


Fourth Paragraph:
1-3 sentences with any additional details not mentioned in previous paragraphs.

  • Ideally, the 5 W's and H should have been covered in the first two paragraphs of the press release. If not, provide the remaining details here. Otherwise, the fourth paragraph can be used to clarify, to include any additional details which may be less central to the overall story, or to give background information.


Fifth Paragraph:
Optional additional quote from either the Wikimedia Foundation or another organization relevant to the story
OR
Additional details

  • The inclusion of a fifth paragraph is optional. The Wikimedia Foundation's press releases generally have 5-7 paragraphs (see here, here, and here for examples). These paragraphs typically provide additional details, but if there is another relevant quote, that can go here as well.


Last Paragraph:
Optional closing statement

Boilerplate [About Wikimedia India]

http://wikimedia.in/

The Wikimedia India Chapter is an independent and not-for-profit organization that supports, promotes and educate the general Indian public about the availability and use of free and open educational content, which includes the ability to access, develop and contribute to encyclopaedias, dictionaries, books, images, etc. It is an autonomous entity that does not have any editorial control over content on Wikipedia and its related projects. The Chapter does not have access to the servers hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation in the USA. Wikimedia Chapters are independent organizations founded to support and promote Wikimedia projects within a country. Chapters are formed by people from within the community and enable volunteers to take their work beyond what they can do individually, besides providing the benefit of a formal organisational set-up. While independent, chapters are recognised by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Media Contact:

Tinu Cherian
Communications
Wikimedia India
[phone number]
press@wikimedia.in

Links to best practice materials[edit]

Bharti: Airtel crosses 50 million customers mark in Africa
TCS: TCS signs MoU for restoration of iconic Rajabhai Clock Tower and Library at Mumbai University
The Times of India: Adult children need parents approval to stay with them Bombay high court
The Indian Express: Moderate Nasheed forced out in Male
Hindustan Times: 'Kolaveri unexpected success'