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This guiue is a companion to 0ccupy The Neuia! Piess Relations 1u1, which can be
uownloaueu at: www.tinyuil.com¡omwmeuia. It's highly iecommenueu you ieau
that guiue befoie using this one - it coveis basic PR techniques that won't be
What is bieaking news. Basically, bieaking news is any event compelling enough to
be coveieu by piint, iauio, anu television meuia as it happens. Foi activists, this
usually means an action that involves occupying a builuing oi office, oi any action
that leaus to aiiests.
0ften, these actions must be planneu anu oiganizeu in seciet. This means theie is no
way to notify the meuia of youi event aheau of time. We'ie going to take a look at a
iecent sit-in at a new 0niveisity of Chicago hospital builuing oiganizeu by Feailess
Leauing by the Youth (FLY) anu it's paient gioup Southsiue Togethei 0iganizing foi
Powei (ST0P) to uemanu tiauma caie on the South Siue of Chicago, which has no
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Even though FLY uiu not notify the meuia aheau of time, they uiu piepaie a ielease
that was ieauy to be sent the moment the sit-in began. Sometimes, a ielease can be
sent aheau of time, notifying the meuia of a piotest at oi neai the location of a seciet
bieaking news event. In this case, the following ielease was piepaieu, but nothing
was sent out befoie the action.
In this instance, FLY uiu not come up with a hashtag foi the action. 0nce the action
began #0ofC was useu. In geneial, it's best to cieate a hashtag that's nevei been
useu befoie (you can ueteimine this by seaiching foi youi pioposeu hashtag in
twittei's seaich box, anu picking one that has no iesults). This allows youi hash to
"tienu", meaning that it's usage suiges as youi infoimation is ietweeteu.
(see uigital veision of ielease at: http:¡¡pastebin.com¡6czXuwCL)
F0R INNEBIATE RELEASE - BREAKINu NEWS
Natt uInsbeig-}aeckle 77S-SSS-8222
Rachael Peiiotta 77S-6SS-Su7S
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)#3$/ #8 6#1#"
PH.?: Sit-in at new $7uu million hospital builuing to uemanu tiauma caie
PHR&R: S7th st anu Naiylanu Ave
PHR9: RIuBT N0W (staiteu at 2pm)
PH@: Feailess Leauing by the Youth, fiienus anu family of people who have uieu uo to lack of tiauma caie
7&R.SE9T 9RP;: A sit-in by young people anu the mothei of a young peison shot blocks fiom the 0 of C but tieateu
1u miles away just began a sit-in at the 0niveisity of Chicago's new hospital at WX)G %) (,= Y(#>'(,= .0$ to uemanu
the hospital uo its pait to save the lives of youth on the south siue. Police have been calleu anu secuiity is thieatening
the piotesteis with aiiest. Noie piotesteis aie gatheiing outsiue in suppoit those insiue. Piotesteis aie iefusing to
leave until the 0niveisity commits to extenu the age limit on its chiluien's tiauma centei fiom 16 to 21 as an initial
step towaius pioviuing tiauma caie on the south siue. Cuiiently theie is no tiauma caie whatsoevei foi anyone ovei
the age of 16 anywheie on the south siue of Chicago.
Aftei seveial yeais of tiying to get the 0niveisity of Chicago - )G$ #*/G$%) (,= J+%) %<N%*=*Z$= %*,6'$ G+%I*)(' *,
5G*/(6+ - to ie-open its level 1 tiauma centei to help save lives of tiauma victims in the violence-plagueu
neighboihoous that suiiounu it, membeis of Feailess Leauing by the Youth (FLY) anu theii allies ieacheu a bieaking
point touay anu ueciueu to occupy the 0 of C's new $7uu million builuing. They say the new $7uuN ieseaich builuing
ignoies the immeuiate neeus of the low income communities of coloi which suiiounu it.
Community, stuuents anu alumni aie sitting in uemanuing the 0niveisity invest in tiauma caie. The fiist simple step
the 0niveisity coulu take to auuiess this neeu is to iaise the age of theii chiluien's tiauma centei fiom 1S to 21.
"Its unfaii foi this community not to have a tiauma centei, foi all the inciuents going on. Its heaitless," says Sheila
Rush, whose son Bamian Tuinei was caught by a stiay bullet in 2uu9 foui blocks fiom the 0 of C but was taken 1u
miles away to Noithwestein wheie he uieu.
Piotesteis claim the 0niveisity has a iesponsibility to its suiiounuing community which it is ignoiing. Theie is a gun
violence epiuemic in communities of coloi which is making national heaulines anu the 0niveisity to ignoie the
immeuiate neeus of the laigely low income communities of coloi suiiounuing them, say piotesteis. They point to
white piivilege anu gieeu as the causes foi the 0 of C to ignoie communities of coloi in ciisis aiounu it anu say that
postuie of elitism anu iacial piivilege shoulu be unacceptable foi an institution of highei leaining.
"Theie neeus to be attention biought to this, a $7uuN ieseaich builuing veisus howevei many millions it woulu take
to caie foi the chiluien who aie uying," explains Feailess Leauing by the Youth membei veionica Noiiis-Nooie, one
of the sit-in paiticipants.
The 0niveisity of Chicago Bospital openeu The Chiluien's Comei Bospital in 2uu6 which has a chiluien's tiauma
centei but only take chiluien up to age 1S. Even though they sit in the miuule of a gun violence epiuemic claiming the
lives of uozens of chiluien eveiy yeai.
In 2u11 on the South East Siue theie weie aiounu 12u chiluien ageu 17 - 18 in neeu of tiauma caie uue to gunshot
wounus. Su of these chiluien uieu. Ageu 17 - 21 theie weie ovei 2uu chiluien in neeu of tiauma caie uue to gunshot
wounus anu 72 of these chiluien uieu. These aie lives the 0 of C Bospital coulu have saveu, say piotesteis.
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• Sheila Rush, mothei of Bamian Tuinei who was shot foui blocks fiom the 0 of C hospital but uieu 1u miles
away at Noithwestein
• victoiia Ciiuei a south siue high school stuuent anu membei of Feailess Leauing by the Youth
• Alex uoluenbeig, a 0niveisity of Chicago Alumni
• veionica Noiiis-Nooie a youth oiganizei with Feailess Leauing by the Youth
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It's highly iecommenueu that you have someone away fiom the action, by a
computei, ieauy to uo youi bieaking news piesswoik. You'll want to have seveial
tabs open in youi biowsei, incluuing:
A. Seveial tabs with youi oiganization's email account (one tab foi each 1Su
iepoiteis you plan to senu to) with youi ielease ieauy to go, anu the
iepoitei's emails in the bcc fielu)
B. Youi oiganization's FaceBook page, open to a cieate new note, with youi
piess ielease pasteu anu ieauy to publish
C. A BootSuite (www.hootsuite.com) social meuia account, loaueu with youi
peisonal anu oiganizational twittei feeus, with a BREAKINu NEWS tweet
ieauy to senu. You may also ask fiienus oi othei oiganizations with laige
followings if you can "boiiow" this twittei accounts foi the action. You can
have up to five accounts active at a time on BootSuite foi fiee.
B. A Pastebin (www.pastebin.com) page loaueu with youi piess ielease, ieauy
E. A Bitly (https:¡¡bitly.com) page open, ieauy to shoiten the uils of youi piess
Iueally, with all of these tabs ieauy, you'll be able to get out woiu of youi bieaking
news thiough all of these channels within a few minutes of the action beginning.
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Fiist, you'll senu youi ielease to the meuia, making suie to use BREAKINu NEWS in
caps in youi subject line, anu call the assignment uesks. Foi example, youi subject
coulu be: "BREAKINu: Sit-in at 0ofC Bospital ¡ Aiiests Imminent to uemanu tiauma
caie foi youth." When calling the uesks, say "This is |youi namej fiom |xx gioupj.
We have a bieaking action with aiiests likely at |xx locationj."
Next, you'll publish youi FaceBook anu PasteBin ieleases. Then, put the uils of these
ieleases into Bitly in oiuei to shoiten them foi use in tweets.
Aftei that, you can auu the PasteBin link to the tweet you have ieauy to senu, anu
senu it out thiough all of youi BootSuite accounts. You shoulu avoiu using youi
FaceBook ielease uil, because not eveiyone has an account, anu thus not eveiyone
will be able to access youi link. In auuition, some majoi activist accounts, like
YouiAnonNews (8Su,uuu+ followeis) will not ie-tweet a FaceBook link.
Example: BREAKINu: Sit-In Ç 0 of Chicago Bospital | ARRESTS Thieateneu |
Bemanuing Tiauma Caie on South Siue http:¡¡pastebin.com¡6czXuwCL
This is the beginning of youi social meuia stoim. See the following pages foi visual
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In oiuei to cieate a lasting social meuia stoim you'll want to tweet anu post to
FaceBook constant upuates fiom the action. You can have action paiticipants senu
you images anu viueo via email, oi ie-tweet any they aie posting. You can also
constantly tweet upuates about what's going on. Feel fiee to tweet infoimation
uiiectly to the meuia. See the following images fiom Ç0CPiess anu
facebook.com¡piesscomm to get an iuea of how this woiks. (Keep in minu, the most
iecent infoimation is at the top of each image fiom the Ç0CPiess timeline)
See facebook.com¡piesscomm fiom }anuaiy 2u1S foi moie examples of FaceBook
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If all goes well, the meuia will begin to covei youi action in ieal time. You shoulu be
seaiching foi this coveiage. uoogle news may not aggiegate bieaking news at it
appeais, so you'll have to monitoi the websites each local Tv, iauio anu piint outlet
uuiing youi action. You can keep them open in tabs, anu give each a quick glance
eveiy few minutes. People at the action can let you know which outlets aie theie,
anu you can keep a paiticulaily close eye on those websites.
Beie aie some examples of how to post youi coveiage, while continuing to iepoit
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As the situation on the giounu unfolus, you shoulu senu out upuates to the meuia.
These can incluue photos anu viueo (Put PB0T0¡vIBE0 fiist in the subject line of
youi email), oi statements fiom the gioup uoing the action. While you shoulu senu
youi bieaking ielease to youi entiie meuia list, these bieaking upuates aie geneially
only sent to the top Tv, iauio, anu piint outlets in youi aiea.
As you uiu with youi oiiginal ielease, senu youi upuateu statement to the meuia,
post it as a FaceBook note, anu post it to PasteBin, then shoiten the links with Bitly
foi easy tweeting.
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Statement fiom Feailess Leauing by the Youth
Youth aie uying eveiyuay on the south siue. It is all ovei the piess all ovei the countiy. But they aie not
talking about how the people who coulu help save lives aie willing to let us uie because they'ie gieeuy.
Eveiyone wants to talk about the youth, but when we talk, insteau of listening, they lock us up anu
The 0niveisity of Chicago is a few blocks fiom wheie we live, one of the aieas wheie the violence is woist.
They aie the iichest hospital in Chicago but have no tiauma caie foi anyone ovei 16. The whole south siue
has none because health caie in oui countiy is about piofit, not about helping people who neeu it. That's
why the violence is so bau, because we uon't have what we neeu to suivive. We live in neighboihoous
wheie theie's no iesouices, no jobs, no youth piogiams, no mental health seivices, anu the little they hau
they aie taking away.
Feailess Leauing by the Youth has been fighting foi thiee yeais to change that, evei since oui co-founuei
Bamian Tuinei was shot by a stiay bullet foui blocks fiom the 0 of C but bleu to ueath uuiing the 1u mile
iiue to the neaiest auult tiauma centei - Noithwestein Bospital.
Touay the 0niveisity of Chicago showeu how they feel about youth, especially black youth anu allies who
suppoit us. We came peacefully to theii new builuing, which they spent ovei $7uu million on. 0ui point
was if you can finu that kinu of money, you can save lives of the community aiounu you. They aie builuing
this big flashy builuing iight in the miuule of oui neighboihoous but they uon't want to open up theii
uoois to us, you got to flash youi insuiance caiu to get youi life saveu. We want a tiauma centei foi oui
neighboihoou, anu as a fiist step we want them to inciease the age limit on theii chiluien's tiauma centei
We hau tickets to a toui of that builuing but theii police saiu, "this ain't foi y'all, get out." Then they staiteu
uiagging us out, pushing us with batons, shoving us. They hau male officeis pulling young women acioss
the giounu. They even shoveu anu biuiseu Bamian's mom. They knew they weie wiong, they slammeu
oui cameiaman on the giounu anu aiiesteu him.
We have been peacefully piotesting since Bamian uieu. We've sent letteis, helu foiums, anu uone lots of
piotests. We aie sick anu tiieu of not being heaiu anu touay, a week aftei Naitin Luthei King Bay, we uiu
a sit-in to get them to finally heai us anu they iesponueu like they uiu to Bi. King, with biutality.
We feel abuseu anu uisiespecteu anu not heaiu but we aie piouu of what we uiu, we actually took action
anu showeu them thiee yeais latei we'ie not going away. Eveiybouy was focuseu, we knew what oui
mission was, we weie of one accoiu. We knew what we came foi we came to senu a cleai message - how
can you ignoie we'ie uying at youi uooi.
As youi action continues to bieak, anu uuiing the afteimath incluuing aiiest
upuates, jail suppoit, anu announcements of fuithei piotests anu events, you'll want
to continue youi social meuia posts.
You shoulu also collect anu post all of youi clips, incluuing buying haiu copies of
local newspapeis the next uay, anu posting images of youi aiticles. The FLY sit-in at
the 0niveisity of Chicago was coveieu by most of the Chicago mainstieam meuia.