Educate - Case Studies

Franklin, Tennessee

Franklin, TN Hits Home-Run with Press Release

The City of Franklin posted a press release on the official city website on October 3rd, 2016 to notify the public and encourage residents to participate in The National Citizen Survey. 

 

Press Release

The press release begins with a solid headline, “Franklin Seeks Community Opinion” and utilizes a sub-headline for clarification. 

 

The body of the press release is written in short, easy to read paragraphs.  No space is wasted before the important details are made known.  Within only three sentences, the writer addresses the Who, What, Where, When and Why questions.

 

Then a quality quote from the Mayor himself humanizes the press release and adds a motivational element.  “I encourage everyone living in Franklin to take the survey and help us chart our community’s future,” said Mayor Ken Moore.

 

The press release continues with smaller details that are relevant, though not as important to journalists as those mentioned on top. 

 

The end of the press release provides further information on The National Citizen Survey (The NCS) and National Research Center, Inc. (NRC), the force behind the community assessment tool.  Journalists need look no further to learn what exactly the survey is and who is responsible for it.

 

Overall, the press release spans one page with a word count of 462.

 

Looking near the top of the page housing the press release, the City provides a contact phone number.  It’s a part of the structure of the webpage itself, so each individual post does not have to list the contact phone number again.

 

A Twitter feed runs along the side of the webpage, prompting social media engagement as well.

 

Not only did the City produce an excellent press release, they have made it easy for journalists to keep in touch with them.  A sign-up form at the bottom of the webpage allows users to subscribe and even select the types of email updates they wish to receive.  This automates the distribution process to media contacts for the City, and keeps journalists from having to spend extra time hunting the website for good stories in their beat.

 

This press release was very successful.  The day after it was posted, at least three articles about the story were published by at least three different local news outlets: The Tennessean, WKRN-TV News 2, and Franklin Patch.

 

Local news outlets weren’t the only ones to broadcast this story.  Franklin also distributed the message (with links) across all their social media channels.

Twitter Post


Facebook Post

 

Although the news media ran the press release, the City of Franklin took the story to the next level.  A page about The National Citizen Survey rests within the “Government” tab of their website.  This is linked to from the home page in a visually engaging way.

Home Page

 The National Citizen Survey Page

The page headline makes sense, “The National Citizen Survey.”  And the sub-headline is approachable, “Franklin citizen survey of how city government is serving residents.”

 

The body of the webpage uses multimedia to draw the reader in.  A gallery of images dissolves along the top of the article.  A short paragraph details information that residents should know.  And a YouTube video features a smiling City Administrator, who pleasantly directs viewers on what to expect and how to participate in the survey.  Visual, auditory, cognitive - this webpage has something for almost every type of learner.



Then the page preemptively answers questions that residents would commonly ask.  And finally, a logo and more information about The NCS and NRC is included at the end.

 

This webpage reads easily, feels friendly and gives answers.  It’s clear that the intended audiences for this story are the residents of Franklin.  This article doesn’t rely only on local news media to publicize city updates, but rather allows Franklin to tell their own story.  The City's efforts to broadcast news of The National Citizen Survey earned them a very high response rate. 

Not only does this case study serve as an excellent example for writing press-releases, but it demonstrates how multiple channels of communication can work together to engage and educate residents in a compelling way.