. Public address system. A good PA system may
be needed if the room is large.
Conducting the News Conference
After the site has been selected, concentrate on
conducting the news conference.
Put together a press information kit for the news
conference. Each media representative should receive a
kit (for television teams, one press information kit per
crew is enough) either as they enter the room or when
the news conference is completed. The kit consists of
biographies, photographs, unclassified fact sheets,
advance copies of speeches and any other pertinet
information. The purpose of the press information kit is
to provide accurate background information about the
event in a convenient form. Be cautious not to flood
reporters with a lot of unnecessary material.
The next step is selecting a moderator. Usually, the
PAO assumes this role. The moderator is that
all-important individual who must conduct the news
conference. He is responsible for performing the
Making the introductory remarks, including a
statement of the purpose of the news conference,
a brief outline and duration of each segment,
introduction of any distinguished visitors in
attendance, statement of procedures to be
followed during the question and answer
segment and ground rules in effect (ground rules
should be on the record and for attribution by
name and title).
Moderating the overall media briefing.
Introducing the CO once the media has been
Conducting the question and answer period.
Closing the news conference by saying, for
example, We have time for one more question.
Thanking the media for their attendance and
making additional administrative announce-
After the moderator makes the introductory
remarks, a principal statement is made. This is normally
done by the CO and may include a further introduction
of distinguished visitors or the introduction of subject
matter experts as necessary.
Tape-record the news conference and transcribe the
tape. This gives you a hard copy from which to answer
resulting questions as they arise. In addition, you should
prepare a news release on the conference and distribute
it to news media who could not attend, but were
interested in the subject. If possible, telephone the
release to the media.
Whether it be routine operations or large-scale
exercises, the media embark is an excellent way to
release news to the media. The media embark is
designed to let the actions and words of the men and
women in the fleet tell the Navys story. You and the
PAO should make sure the embark is approved by the
proper authority and that the reporters are adequately
briefed before embarking. In addition, you and the PAO
should prepare the command for the embark and
identify and train escorts.
The approval authority for media embarks depends
largely on the impact of the news medium and the nature
of the embarkation. All embarks involving national
media must be approved by CHINFO, who coordinates
with ASD(PA) as needed. Submarine media embarks are
approved by the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations
(Undersea Warfare) after a recommendation from
CHINFO. Other media embarks may be approved by
the proper fleet commanders in chief, provided the
following information is included with the media
The names of the reporters
The reporters positions, affiliations and any
other appropriate identifying information
The ship or unit to be embarked, dates, points of
embarkation and debarkation and any inter-
The reasons for the requested embarkation and
description of how embarkation is an essential
part of the proposed story
A statement that the embark will be on a space
available, not-to-interfere basis at no cost to the
The name, command and telephone number of
the project officer who will be directly