informed military sources or some other truthful, but
not specifically identified, individual imparting the
information. In such cases, the ground rules are clearly
understood and agreed to by all participants. In most
cases, especially when the subject is not of a technical
nature, these briefings are conducted by the command
Features, or time releases, differ from spot news
mainly in the degree of immediacy. That is, it makes
little difference whether particular news accounts are
passed along to the general public today, tomorrow or
A feature may concern previously undisclosed
developments dating well into the past or some
upcoming event or anniversary. Either way, it must
contain a high degree of general human interest. This
type of release is usually made in writing, but it may be
given out through an interview or news conference.
Often a feature release lends itself to pictorial treatment
by the use of still photographs or videotape. Feature
releases are issued for both immediate and future use.
You read about advance releases (stories) in
Chapter 5. Advance releases are issued concerning
events scheduled or anticipated for the future. They are
generally on a Hold For Release basis, specifying exact
times, to make sure of simultaneous use by all interested
media and to prevent premature disclosure. An advance
release often is accompanied by an invitation to media
representatives to attend an event and is usually supple-
mented by follow-up releases. Official photographs,
printed programs or other material providing in-depth
background on a forthcoming event are often enclosed
with an advance release.
Personal appearances include formal speeches and
informal remarks by Navy officials and authorized
spokespersons in which information is released to
appear as an official news announcement. The
information could be given at public or semipublic
meetings, in public forums, on radio and television
programs or during any other contact with the public.
The size of the group being addressed is irrelevant, and
it does not matter whether the remarks are or are not
reported by the news media.