October Newsletter 2017

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Press releases are still a major source of news for journalists. However, as Brussels-based correspondent James Crisp points out, many press releases contain no news whatsoever. And even when there is news, it is often buried, the quotes are unquotable and the text stuffed with technocratic jargon.

On November 7, our MD Gareth Harding will offer his tips and tricks on how to write sparkling press releases drawn from over 25 years as a journalist, political communicator and media coach. Among them:

  • Only send press releases if you have real news for journalists.
  • Trumpet your news in the headline or first sentence. Don’t bury it at the bottom.
  • Craft quotes that voice strong opinions in vivid language.
  • Axe all jargon, make your messages punchy and provide plenty of context.
We have a limited number of places left for this course so sign up today!


In addition to Perfecting Press Releases, we have a smorgasbord of other tasty courses coming up in November:

                          November 14              Crafting Messages

                          November 22-23         Shooting and Editing Videos

                          November 29              Presentation Skills

Pick one or go for the full three course menu and get 30% off. Contact us for more info.


We at Clear Europe are sick of the ingrained sexism in the media, politics and business – as the above graphic on male-dominated panels in Brussels shows. So from now on we will refuse to send moderators or speakers to sit on all male panels at conferences. We call on others to do the same and support @EUPanelWatch in their great work.


Our social media coach Steffen Thejll-Moller has published a new e-book containing 10 great tips for using social media effectively in EU public affairs. Steffen will be leading our popular Mastering Social Media course on December 5.

Meanwhile, our other social media expert Jon Worth was named as the fifth most influential Twitter user in EU affairs in a recent survey by Euractiv and ZN Consulting.


What if we used a more creative approach to rethink European policy challenges? This was the central question posed by Cheryl Loh at the latest News and Booze event on how to use visual thinking to campaign better. If you missed her workshop, you can find the slides here.

AFP Brussels correspondent Alex Pigman will be the next News and Booze speaker on November 27. Save your spot or join the Facebook group for more info.


Our good friends at the European Journalism Centre are organising their last News Impact Summit of the year in Brussels on December 4. The free workshop will look at how this year’s crucial elections were covered by the media and how tools like verification, VR and 360 videos will change the way they’re covered in future.


  • The Independent offers three tips on how to avoid your speech ending up like Theresa May’s recent howler.
  • More than half of newsrooms fail to secure their communications and most are failing to keep up with the digital revolution. This and a treasure trove of other media facts from the ICFJ’s global survey on technology in newsrooms.
  • Objective journalism is a misleading and dangerous illusion, argues Rob Wijnberg.
  • The 10 types of copywriters: a Novelist Manqué, a Prima Donna, a Night Owl… Which one are you?
  • Read your work out loud, eliminate weasel words and focus on one big idea. Follow these and a bunch of other useful editing tips before hitting the publish button.
  • Four times as many Americans get their news from Facebook as Twitter. However, only 5% say they trust news from social media ‘a lot’ according to a recent Pew survey.
  • One of the most powerful speeches you will ever hear. Clear, direct and moving stuff from @AF_Academy.

About Gareth Harding

Gareth is the Managing Director of Clear Europe and head of the Missouri School of Journalism's Brussels Programme. He is a former journalist, speechwriter and political advisor.

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