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Cran-Hill Ranch Public Relations Campaign

Account Executive: Sara Miller

Table of Contents
Research Industry Organization SWOT Analysis PR/Communication Department Promotional Mix Competition Community Future Opportunity Statement Research Needed Action Plan Goals & Objectives Target Publics Influence Groups Communication Messages Strategies Tactics Timetable Budget Evaluation Appendix Invite to Social Media Postcard Social Media Guide How-To Press Release Summer Camp Poster Family Campground Poster Summer Events Poster T-Shirt Design Contest Materials T-Shirt Design Contest News Release Family Campground Survey Account Executive Resume 2 23 24 25 28 29 31 19 20 21 4 7 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Research: Situational Analysis & Issues Management


Brief History
The tradition of summer holidays away from home for children began in 1861. Gunnery Camp is considered the first organized camp in America. In 1861, Fredrick W. Gunn and his wife Abigail, who operated a home school for boys in Connecticut, took the school on a two-week camping trip. After hiking to their destination, the group set up camp and spent the rest of their trip boating, hiking, fishing and trapping. Due to its success, this tradition continued for another twelve years. In 1874, the Philadelphia chapter of the YWCA (Young Womens Christian Association) founded Sea Rest, a summer boarding and vacation house for young women to escape the drudgery of city life. In 1876, Dr. Joseph Trimble Rothrock founded the North Mountain School or Physical Culture, the first private camp, in order to take weakly boys out of the city for four months and into camp life in the woods. After the late 1800s and early 1900s, the concept of summer camp grew like a wildfire. What began as a two-week camping trip or the organized desire to escape the city and experience the outdoors has turned into a sophisticated experience that over eleven million children in the U.S. take part in annually. Today, camps range from the traditional escape from the city focus to a wide array of specialized programs. In 1910, the American Camp Association was formed to help regulate and set standards among summer camp organizations. In 1963, the Christian Camp and Conference Association was formed to maximize ministry for the Christian camp and conference profession.

In general, the summer camp industry has been experiencing decreasing enrollment in summer programs due to the struggling economy in America, smaller family sizes, a growth in supplemental educational programs, and the popularity if electronic media. Due to decreasing enrollment, many camps have been adding programs in hopes of attracting more campers. According to the American Camp Association, 75 percent of camps added new programs in 2006. Popular program additions included horseback riding, ropes courses, wilderness expeditions, traveling, team building and community service. Other additions that were less mainstream included challenging and adventurous activities such as climbing walls, zip lines, backpacking, mountain biking and cave exploring. Other trends include providing healthier food options to campers. While camp favorites such as French fries and chicken nuggets are still served, many camps are now serving them with healthy fruits and veggies as side dishes. Camps are also going green. The green initiative in American coincides with a popular camp theme, the importance of respecting nature and the environment. While campers are generally not allowed to use electronic devices or media at camp, there is an increase in camps with website and camps utilizing electronic media to reach potential campers.

Current State
Summer camp is a 150-year-old tradition in which children and adolescents attend a supervised program for a period of time during the summer. Summer camp is traditionally viewed as an outdoor experience where campers participate in activities such as hiking, canoeing, campfires and crafts. Campers are supervised by an adult staff as well as counselors or cabin leaders who are typically in their late teens or early twenties. Over the years, summer camp has evolved into a wide variety of specialized program including faith-based, music, performing arts, academic, special needs and weight loss. Faith-based or Christian summer camp programs have a strong foundation in America. Many organizations with summer camp programs also offer a variety of additional programs during the off-season. Christian camps in particular are known for utilizing their facilities for Christian retreats for religious organization during the fall, winter and spring seasons. According to the American Camp Association, more than eleven million children attend camp each year. There are approximately 12,000 camps nationwide. Approximately 8,000 camps are run by nonprofit organizations such as youth agencies and religious organizations while 4,000 camps are privately owned. Of the estimated 12,000 camps in America, 7,000 are resident or overnight camps and 5,000 are day camps.

Cran-Hill Ranch
Brief History
Cran-Hill Ranch was founded in 1968 as a ministry of the Michigan Synod of the Reformed Church in America. It was created to meet a growing need for youth camp programming as well as and family ministry through a campground experience. More than 42 years later, the ministry of Cran-Hill Ranch continues that original vision by operating four distinct non-denominational ministries. Summer and YearRound Youth Camps and Events, the Family Campground and Family Camping Ministry, Retreat Ministries and Christian Adventures are all ways in which the ministry of Cran-Hill Ranch reaches thousands of people each year with the message of Jesus Christ. The members of the CranHill Ranch board of directors are volunteers that oversee the agency and maintain a commitment to the camps mission. The board of directors includes; Henry Chen, Craig Jansen, Andy Kole, Todd Krygsheld, Jerry Schafer, Larry Schutt, John Tien, Bill Vanderbilt, Bill VanZee and Scott Barger. Full-time/Year-round Staff Scott Barger, Executive Director Eric Conklin, Guest Service/Christian Adventures Assistant Dianne Duran, Book Nicki Erler, Horsemanship Director Phyllis Grit, Registrar/Administrative Assistant Dan Grit, Maintenance Director Rylan Kahly, Guest Services/Christian Adventures Director Don Nunn, Development Director Dominic Pace, Marketing Director Malcolm Reeve, Program Director Bekki Sexton, Ministry Advancement Director Trevor Wickes, Ministry Advancement The camp recruits up to 50+ staff members for the summer programs. 7

Cran-Hill Ranch is devoted to being a ministry through which God is transforming lives into the image of Christ through Youth Camps, Family Camping, Retreats and Adventure Experiences.

The vision of Cran-Hill Ranch is to faithfully minister with excellence, growing in scope and impact as the Lord leads. Dynamic programs and activities that are fun, attractive, natural, and restful will foster eternal transformation in the lives of those we serve

Core Values
Unapologetically proclaiming the Truth of the Bible as Gods Word and Jesus Christ as the one and only Lord and Savior. Nurturing faith in Jesus Christ through Evangelism and Discipleship Providing opportunities to sense Gods Glory, Wonder and Creation Fostering a Safe Environment (physically, emotionally and spiritually) Cultivating Relationships and the development of Christian Community Christian Service and Volunteerism Hospitality and Servanthood Ministry to Youth and Families Locally Community Minded Biblical Financial Stewardship Partnerships with R.C.A. congregations and the wider Christian community Setting apart a natural and restful environment for the re-creation of heart, mind, body, and soul

Cran-Hill Ranch is located on nearly 300 acres of Michigan forest and sits between Cranberry Lake and Hillsview Lake. Cran-Hill Ranch offers a variety of summer camp programs. The campers are split up into three age groups: Momentum (ages 13-17), Fuel ( ages 10-13), Ignite (ages 7-10). Weeks are given themes throughout the summer. The themes or specialized camp experiences campers may choose from are Max-X, horsemanship, photography, water sports, and worship arts. Cran-Hill Ranch also offers day camps and special needs camps. About 1,000 campers attend Cran-Hills summer camp program every summer. Cran-Hill Ranch also hosts a family campground, various group retreat facilities and a Christian adventures program. Cran-Hill Ranch offers six retreat facilities which can hold anywhere from 25 to 230 people. Cran-Hill Ranch also hosts the Christian Adventures program. The CA program is an exclusive trip for groups outside of the Cran-Hill Ranch property to destinations in Michigan, Colorado or North Carolina. Cran-Hill Ranch has recently updated their website and has Facebook and Twitter accounts.

S.W.O.T. Analysis
12 Retreat Facilities Strong volunteer base Dedicated staff Beautiful property Christian Adventures Good summer staff training Community relationship Events Concept to implementation Website Balanced budget Barnstore

Small Staff New Volunteers/Organization Lack of indoor meeting space Donor development Vehicles Infrastructure Signage Fees to cover expenses/donor dependency Complacency

Facebook and Twitter memberships are increasing New markets in Cadillac and Grand Rapids areas Competition has less sophisticated electronic media

Governmental Weak economy Cultural trends Competition Decline of church support Changing world views


PR & Communication Department

The "marketing department" functions as part of Cran-Hill Ranchs ministry advancement team. It consists of Dominic Pace (Marketing Director), a sales person, a development person and a guest services person. The advancement team helps with promotional events and the marketing directors completes all "marketing" tasks.

Decision Making
Final decisions are the responsibility of the marketing director. However, the executive director and advancement team are consulted for some projects.

The marketing budget is around $65,000 a year.


Promotional Mix Tactics

The overall slogan of Cran-Hill Ranch is transforming lives into the image of Christ. This years slogan for summer camp is Mighty to Save.

Cran-Hill Ranch uses several methods of advertising to promote their organization. They promote their events and programs on radio stations by buying radio spots. They also advertise their events and summer camp in the Big Rapids Pioneer and in other Christian camp and recreation publications. Some direct mail promotions are also utilized.

Public Relations
Cran-Hill Ranch has a series of brochures and pamphlets on hand which they use to promote their programs. They also distribute posters for their summer camp to local schools. Other public relations tools include email lists and newsletters.

Personal Selling
A unique way Cran-Hill Ranch creates awareness for themselves is by attending promo shows across the state. The shows often focus on recreational activities that share a similar target audience with Cran-Hill Ranch. At these shows, they set up a kid-friendly area for kids to play in when they get bored.

Sales Promotions
Cran-Hill Ranchs primary sales promotion is their 3 for Free deal. A camper has three friends put his/her name on their registration form and they are reimbursed for 100% of their camp experience.


As an overall industry, summer camps are very competitive. They differentiate themselves by providing unique programs and finding a niche. Therefore, the closest competition is a summer camp which offers similar programs and is within the same geographic region. For this campaign, primary competition will be Christian camps with similar programs in the central portion of Western Michigan.

Primary Competition
Cran-Hill Ranchs primary competition is Geneva Camp & Retreat Centers of Holland, Michigan and Grace Adventures of Silver Lake, Michigan. Both of these camps offer Christian summer camp programs for children seven to eighteen and feature retreat facilities. Neither offers a camp program for horsemanship, water sports, or photography. These programs are unique to Cran-Hill Ranch. Of these three camps, Cran-Hill Ranch is the only one with a full-fledged campground. Grace Adventures in Silver Lake offers a family camp program during the first week of July, All three camps are similarly priced thought Geneva is the least expensive. Cran-Hill Ranch and Grace Adventures offer more specialized programs and these accounts for the higher fees. Cran-Hill Ranch has set themselves apart from their primary competition by creating unique camp programs and a family campground.

Secondary Competition
For the purposes of this campaign, all camps in the West Michigan area will be considered primary competition. This definition will include other Christian camps, general summer camps, athletic and academic camps or other overnight activities which children might opt to do instead of attending camp at Cran-Hill Ranch.


Rodney is located just 10 miles east of Big Rapids, MI. As of the 2000 census, the population of the City of Big Rapids was 10,849. The census also revealed that there are 1,473 families residing in the city. Big Rapids is the county seat of Mecosta County. The city is halfway between Grand Rapids, MI and Cadillac, MI. It is also the home of Ferris State University. The census states that there are 40,553 people, 14,915 households, and 9,888 families in Mecosta County. The median age, as of the year 2000, in Mecosta is 31.9 years old. The median household income as of 1999 was $33,849. According to a 2005 estimate there were 8,985 people living in Mecosta County between the ages of five and 19. For more information, please visit:

Communication Vehicles
Newspapers: The Pioneer (Big Rapids) The Torch (Ferris State University) Radio Stations: WBRN 100.9 (Country) WBRN 1460 AM (News/Talk) WYBR 102.3 (Top 40) WDEE 97.3 (Classics, Oldies) TV News Stations: 7&4 (Northern MI) 9&10 (Northern MI) WZZM13 (Grand Rapids) WoodTV8 (Grand Rapids) 14

Continued focus on providing healthier foods and going green. Camps will also continue to add programs/activities and new facilities to attract new campers. Camps are going to be using electronic media to reach potential campers.

Cran-Hill Ranch hopes to develop and improve some of the facilities including the beaches. In the future, the ranch would like to better utilize their social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The camping industry is transitioning away from the church denominational roots where churches founded camps and used them exclusively. Through the diverseness of our marketing and promotions we are expanding outside our traditional roots.

Society is going to continue to push healthier foods and going green.


Opportunity Statement
Cran-Hill Ranch has the opportunity to reach new geographic markets.


Research Needed
Several questions will need to be answered in order to effectively and efficiently plan and implement a public relations campaign. I suggest the following topics be researched prior to the implementation of suggested tactics. Number of past campers per year from Grand Rapids, MI Number of past campers per year from Cadillac, MI List of organization who have used Cran-Hill Ranchs retreat facilities from the Cadillac and Grand Rapids areas Demographics of citizens of Grand Rapids, MI Psychographics of citizens of Grand Rapids, MI Demographics of citizens of Cadillac, MI Psychographics of citizens of Cadillac, MI Other camps and campgrounds families from Cadillac and Grand Rapids visit in West Michigan What are their strengths and weaknesses How can Cran-Hill Ranch position themselves against them


Action Plan: Goals, Objectives & Publics


Goals & Objectives

To increase usage of Cran-Hill Ranchs facilities and programs by members of the Grand Rapids and Cadillac communities

Summer Camp: To increase summer campers from the Grand Rapids, MI area by 18 campers by August 2012 To increase summer campers from the Cadillac, MI area by 9 campers by August 2012 Family Campground: To increase the number of families who come to the campground from Grand Rapids, MI area by 32 by August 2012 To increase the number of families who come to the campground from Cadillac, MI by 16 by August 2012 Retreat Facilities To book at least one retreat with an organization from Cadillac, MI by January 2013 To book at least one retreat with an organization from Grand Rapids, MI by January 2013


Target Publics
Christian Middle-Class Families, primary public
Families with two or more children between the ages of 7 and 17 who live in or near Cadillac or Grand Rapids with an annual income of more than $50,000. These families have some disposable income, are family-oriented and have family values. They or their children also enjoy the outdoors and nature.

Leaders of Faith-Based Organizations, secondary public

Targeting the leaders of faith-based organizations will be essential to this plan for two reasons. First, they are opinion leaders among the Christian middle-class and could sway those they know to attend a summer camp or the family campground. Second, they are the primary target for the retreat facilities. Leaders of faith-based organizations are most likely to book a retreat at Cran-Hill Ranch.

Perceptions of the Issue

There has been no prior research done in regards to summer camps in West Michigan marketing to new geographic markets. In order to understand the perceptions of the target publics on this issue further research would need to be conducted.


Influence Groups
Related Groups
Churches are a very important related group. Most middle-class families attend some form of church or religious service. Faith-based organizations are another significant related group. They are also a place where Christian families gather in larger numbers. Christian schools are also a related group because Christian students first grade to senior year of high school are eligible to attend Cran-Hill Ranchs summer camps. Public Schools are a related group as well since Christian students also attend public schools and are eligible to attend summer camp.

Opinion Leaders
The following are opinion leaders in the Cadillac and Grand Rapids areas because they have influence over this campaigns target publics and many hold power or have authority in the above related groups. Pastors, Priests, Reverends, or other religious leaders Faith Formation or Bible Study Leaders School Principals


Communications: Messages, Strategies & Tactics


Overall Theme
Cran-Hill Ranchs summer camp, family campground and group retreat programs are the perfect setting to escape ones hectic day-to-day life and connect with God. And its only an hour away from Grand Rapids and Cadillac.

Overall Slogan
Your transformation is only an hour away. Begin your personal journey at Cran-Hill Ranchs summer camp, family campground or retreat programs.

Key Messages
Summer Camp
A life changing summer is only an hour away. Campers at Cran-Hill Ranch will grow closer to God during their ultimate summer camp experience. IGNITE. FUEL. MOMENUM. The ultimate summer camp experience in only an hour away at Cran-Hill Ranch.

Family Campground
Make memories that will last a lifetime. Cran-Hill Ranchs 300 acre retreat is the perfect family getaway and its only an hour away.

Retreat Facilities
The perfect setting for any group to connect and grow is only an hour away. Design your own or join a programmed retreat at Cran-Hill Ranch.


Business to Consumer
Business to consumer strategies and tactics will enable Cran-Hill Ranch to reach out and send information to its targeted public. It will be a stepping stone to other communication strategies and tactics which will foster interactions between Cran-Hill Ranch and its publics.

Business to Business
A business to business strategy will help cultivate business connections in the Grand Rapids and Cadillac areas. Building relationships with businesses in these areas will lead to an increased usage of Cran-Hill Ranchs facilities, especially the summer camp and retreat programs.

Print/Traditional Media
Print media is an efficient method reaching geographic regions for a campaign. It is also a great way to reach a large number of people or a target audience through one tactic. Print and traditional media are also cost-effective.

Electronic Media
Electronic media will be utilized for this campaign. Electronic media has many benefits. It allows a business to interact with its customers on a more personal and timely manner. It also enables a company to receive timely feedback from consumers. Many people use electronic media in their day-to-day lives, including this campaigns target audience.

Events are a great way to garner attention and awareness from a target audience. In this campaign, an event will be used to create awareness of Cran-Hill Ranch in Cadillac and increase enrollment in their summer camp program.


Invite to Social Media Postcard A postcard will be sent to all Cran-Hill Ranch alumni from the Cadillac and Grand Rapids areas inviting them to join Cran-Hill Ranch on Facebook and Twitter. The purpose of this tactic is to drive people to the social media sites and increase the number of people from Grand Rapids and Cadillac area who interact with Cran-Hill Ranch online. When they like the Facebook page or mention @CranHillRanch in tweets their friends and followers will see it. These people are likely to also be from Grand Rapids or Cadillac. Hopefully, seeing their friends interacting with Cran-Hill Ranch will drive them to learn more about the organization and to visit. Postcards will also be sent to new guests at the end of the summer season

Invite to Social Media Email A follow-up email about joining Facebook and Twitter will be sent to alumni inviting them to Cran-Hill Ranch for the same purposes as above. Emails will also be sent to new guests at the end of the summer season

Social Media Guide While Cran-Hill Ranch has a Facebook and Twitter account, they are not utilizing them. This tactic is a how-to guide to social media that also contains suggestions on content to share. The guide will also cover how to connect our target audience via social media. How-To Press Release A press release is a great way to generate awareness of events, programs and organizations at no cost. They also lend third-party credibility. This is a press release about how to write a press release. With it will be a list of ideas for events and programs Cran-Hill Ranch already implements that they could write press releases for. These press releases could be sent to the Cadillac and Grand Rapids area newspapers to increase awareness of Cran-Hill Ranch.


Summer Camp Poster A poster will be created to distribute to the Christian schools in Grand Rapids and to all of the schools in Cadillac. This poster will feature the key messages mentioned earlier in this campaign as well as create awareness of Cran-Hill Ranch in these new geographic regions. Family Campground Poster A poster will be distributed to churches and libraries in the Grand Rapids and Cadillac areas promoting the family campground in order to generate awareness of Cran-Hill Ranch and increase the usage of its facilities by members of the Cadillac and Grand Rapids communities. Informational Packets Informational packets will be sent to churches and faith-based organizations in the Cadillac and Grand Rapids areas. These packets will contain brochures and information sheets Cran-Hill Ranch has already created. They will be sent with a letter written by either the Marketing Director or the Executive Director extolling the benefits of the organization and its facilities as well as encouraging them to come and visit. This will help generate awareness and create opinion leaders. Summer Event Poster A poster will be used to generate publicity for the events held at Cran-Hill Ranch during the summer. This poster will be used in several ways. It will be put in the Cadillac News and the Grand Rapids Press as an insert. This was people will have a physical copy they can have in their home. It will also be sent to all of the libraries to create awareness. T-Shirt Design Contest A T-shirt design contest will be implemented in the Cadillac area. Students will have the chance to win a free week of camp if they win the contest. This will create an awareness of Cran-Hill Ranch in the area and increase summer camp registration from this area. A press release will also be sent to the Cadillac News announcing the contest and another will be sent announcing the winner.


Radio Interviews Radio interviews will be set up during prime summer camp registration and before major events to promote the ranch. A member of staff, preferably the Marketing Director or the Executive Director, will ask to interview with religious and popular radio stations in the Cadillac and Grand Rapids areas. This should increase the awareness and attendance of people from these areas.


Sept. 2011 Social Media Postcard Social Media Email Social Media Press Releases Radio Interviews Summer Camp Poster Family Campground Poster Informational Packets Summer Events Poster T-Shirt Design Contest X X...X X..X X X Oct. 2011 Nov. 2011 Dec. 2011 Jan. 2012 Feb. 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 X X


100 Postcards Printing Postage 200 Posters
100 Summer Camp 50 Family Camp 50 Summer Event

$25.00 $29.00 $120.00 ($0.59/poster)

Misc. Mailing Misc. Printing Total

$100.00 $30.00 $304.00

Evaluation: Monitoring & Post Program Actions


Monitoring Techniques
To monitor this campaign as it progresses many factors will need to be watched. The insight feature on the Facebook page will monitor how increases in fans from the Cadillac and Grand Rapids areas. The number of people registering for the T-Shirt contest and for summer camp will help monitor the success of the contest and the posters. I would also suggest adding a how did you hear about Cran-Hill Ranch question to the registration process. This will allow for more accurate results. The success of press releases will be determined by how often they are picked up by papers and radio interview success will be determined by how many times Cran-Hill Ranch is given air time. The success of the information packet will be determined by how many of the organizations book retreats or camping trips.

Post Program Evaluation

The above monitoring techniques should be recorded so that when deadlines arrive Cran-Hill Ranch will be able to compare the data to the objectives listed earlier in the this plan. If the objectives are met then the program was a success!

Follow Up Action
Follow up actions will depend on the success of the campaign. A follow up letter a year after the informational packets are sent out would probably be beneficial.


Social Media Guide

Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. Facebook pages are public profiles specifically created for businesses, brands, celebrities, causes, and other organizations. Unlike personal profiles, pages gain fans who like their page. Pages work similarly to profiles, updating users with things such as statuses, links, events, photos and videos. This information appears on the page itself, as well as in its fans' personal news feeds. Ads: Facebook ads are a great way to reach a targeted group of people, especially geographically. They are well-priced and businesses can choose specifics such as gender, age or city all the way to listed interests. It is my suggestions that Cran-Hill Ranch try a Facebook ad in the Grand Rapids or Cadillac area. Places: Facebook places allow users to check-in to locations they are visiting. When a user checks-in it shows up in their activities and in their friends newsfeeds promoting your business. Someone has already entered in Cran-Hill Ranchs address and several people have checked-in. I suggest that Cran-Hill Ranch claim the Facebook Place so they can edit and merge it with their Facebook Page. For a how-to guide, visit

Twitter is a free social networking microblogging service that allows registered users to share their thoughts or links to their followers in 140 characters or less via tweet. Unlike Facebook, Twitters default settings are public. Users may join virtual conversations by using hashtags (#) such as #keywords or #popularphrases. Users can interact with each other by using @ replies, direct messaging or retweeting something another user posted.

Hootsuite is a web based application containing an entire set of tools to manage, track, analyze and schedule social network media campaigns. In simple terms, Hootsuite makes managing a business social media easy. Users can schedule tweets and Facebook posts in advance, monitor responses or posting activity, and view analytics to measure reach. HootSuite also has a url shortner to condense lengthy links. The advantage Hootsuite has over its competitor TWeetDeck is its mobile or web-based features. TweetDeck must be downloaded to a computer or electronic device while users log-in to HootSuite much like any other social networking site.

Content Sharing Ideas for Facebook & Twitter

It is suggested that users post an average of 3 to 5 times a week to keep fans and followers active and engaged. Share YouTube Videos Share Photos Share short camper bios Create Events Three Weeks Before Favorite memory at Cran-Hill Ranch Use Facebook Questions or TwtPoll to create short online surveys What is your favorite Thing to do at Cran-Hill Ranch? Which city loves Cran-Hill Ranch the most? Which Cran-Hill Ranch services have you used? Summer Camp? Family Campground? Retreat Centers? What summer event is your favorite? Which have you attended? What new activity would you like to see us add? (create a list of possibilities)

Post an update or countdown for the camp (For example, Three weeks until summer camp kicks off! Whos excited?) Ask fans how their day is Announce when to start applying for camp counselor positions, include short description Remind them of other social media you are one Camp registration deadline Post about the weather. People in Michigan love to talk about the weather Ask fans a random question

How-to News Release

Contact: Dominic Pace Marketing Director Cran-Hill Ranch (231) 796-7669 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Month Date, Year HEADLINE ANNOUNCES NEWS IN TITLE CASE, IDEALLY UNDER 80 CHARACTERS The summary paragraph is a little longer synopsis of the news, elaborating on the news in the headline in one to four sentences. The summary uses sentence case, with standard capitalization and punctuation. City, County (Month Date, Year) -- The lead sentence contains the most important information in 25 words or less. Grab your readers attention here by simply stating the news you have to announce. Do not assume that your reader has read your headline or summary paragraph; the lead should stand on its own. Be sure to include your important keywords in the headline, summary and lead paragraph. A news release, like a news story, keeps sentences and paragraphs short, about three or four lines per paragraph. The first couple of paragraphs should answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. The news media may take information from a news release to craft a news or feature article or may use information in the release word-for-word. News Releases should be written in accordance with the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide. The standard press release is 300 to 800 words and written in a word processing program that checks spelling and grammar before submission. The ideal headline is 80 characters long. It is recommended that you write your headline and summary last, to be sure you include the most important news elements in the body of the release. Use title case in the headline only, capitalizing every word except for prepositions and articles of three characters or less. The rest of the news release expounds on the information provided in the lead paragraph. It includes quotes from key staff, customers or subject matter experts. It contains more details about the news you have to tell, which can be about something unique or controversial or about a prominent person, place or thing. -more-


SHORT SUMMARY OF HEADLINE ADD PAGE # Typical topics for a news release include announcements of new products or of a strategic partnership, the receipt of an award, the publishing of a book, the release of new software or the launch of a new Web site. The tone is neutral and objective, not full of hype or text that is typically found in an advertisement. Avoid directly addressing the consumer or your target audience. The use of I, we and you outside of a direct quotation is a flag that your copy is an advertisement rather than a news release. The final paragraph of a traditional news release contains the least newsworthy material, said Mario Bonilla, member services director for XYZ Company. But for an online release, its typical to restate and summarize the key points with a paragraph like the next one. For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release (or for a sample, copy or demo), contact Dominic Pace or visit About Cran-Hill Ranch: Include a short corporate backgrounder, or boilerplate, about the company. ###






News Release
Contact: Dominic Pace Marketing Director Cran-Hill Ranch (231) 796-7669

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 1, 2012 WIN A FREE TRIP TO SUMMER CAMP Cran-Hill Ranch, of Rodney, MI, will be giving the winner of their T-Shirt Design Contest a free trip to camp during their summer 2012 programs. Rodney, Mich (March 1, 2012) Cran-Hill Ranch is giving away a free week of summer camp to the winner of its first T-Shirt Design Contest. Children ages seven to 17 from the Cadillac area are eligible to enter. T-shirt Designs must reflect how Cran-Hill Ranch can provide kids with the ultimate summer camp experience in a space no larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches. Designs may be landscape or portrait but no more than two colors. Submissions must be received by Arpril 2, 2012 and a winner will be announced on April 16, 2012. Designs may be submitted by email or mail. For more information, please visit About Cran-Hill Ranch: Cran-Hill Ranch was founded in 1968 to meet a growing need for youth camp programming as well as and family ministry through a campground experience. Cran-Hill Ranch is located in Rodney, Mich. on nearly 300 acres of Michigan forest and sits between Cranberry Lake and Hillsview Lake. They offer summer camp programs, a family campground and retreat centers. For more information please visit, or call 231-796-7669.



Cran-Hill Ranch Survey

Date of Visit: __________ # of Adults: _________ # of Children: ______ How many times have you visited Cran-Hill Ranch? _______________ For which services? Summer Camp Campground Retreat

How did you first hear about Cran-Hill Ranch? _____________________ Where are you from? ________________________________________________ Dont forget to connect with us on


Sara J. Miller

Permanent: 9698 E. Spring Hollow Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684 Contact: 989.798.8743 | Website: May 2011 GPA 3.72

Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI Bachelor of Science in Business, Public Relations Honors Program Nouvel Catholic Central High School, Saginaw, MI Bishops Honor Roll (4.0 GPA or above)

Skills & Qualifications

Proficient in Microsoft Office 2010, Mail Merge, and Experienced in employing social media, including Facebook and Twitter Exceptional written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills Skilled in customer service and working under pressure

Ferris State University Marketing Communications, Editorial Assistant | Aug. 2010 May 2011 Developed copy and proofread university recruitment publications Participated in the promotion process of the Festival of the Arts in Big Rapids, MI Provided and evaluated comprehensive research on social media policies and marketing plans Ferris State University Business Office, Office Assistant | Aug. 2009 May 2011 Proficiently delivered customer service as a member of the front desk staff Responsible for answering phones, filing, financial transactions and student confidentiality Ferris State University Honors Program, Dawg Days Representative | Aug. 2009 May 2011 Two years of experience as recruiter for Honors Program on over twelve occasions Spoke to high school students as well as their parents about the benefits of the Honors Program at Ferris Traverse City Film Festival, Public Relations and Media Intern | May 2010 Aug. 2010 Created and managed four media contact lists totaling over 2,000 persons Wrote press releases and created a comprehensive press kit Approved legitimate media personnel for credentials, facilitated interviews and assisted press personnel Ferris State University Residence Life/Housing, Resident Assistant | Aug. 2008 May 2009 Planned and implemented over thirty programs and activities to educate and entertain residents Responsible for building community and creating a safe, welcoming environment for over seventy residents Ferris State University Honors Program, Orientation Leader/Panel Member | Summer 2008, 2009 Effective in giving campus tours and providing information to future members Competent as participant in a question and answer panel with an audience of over 100 people

Activities & Leadership

Up til Dawn for St. Jude, Executive Director | May 2010 May 2011 Managed the executive board of Up til Dawn at Ferris and communicated with St. Jude representative Successful experience raising more than $44,000 for St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in three years Handson experience promoting, planning and implementing over ten fundraising and promotional events Up til Dawn for St. Jude, Public Relations Chairperson | May 2008 May 2010 Demonstrated success in founding a new registered student organization at Ferris State University Effectively served as the main person of contact for the campus and community for three years Managed the official Facebook page and wrote campus announcements