Agriculture Communication

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News Release Guidelines

NDSU Agriculture Communication prepares and electronically disseminates news releases to nearly all North Dakota daily and weekly newspapers, radio stations and TV stations; selected regional and national media; and staff who request to receive them. Current and past news releases are at www.ag.ndsu.edu/news.

Ag Comm also keeps email lists for Fargo-area media and ag media for targeted news releases.

The primary goal for Ag Communication’s news and feature releases is education, but also appropriate for release is information about faculty, staff and occasionally students, as well as events and activities sponsored or co-sponsored, under the Vice President for Agricultural Affairs.

General Guidelines

Check with the appropriate Ag Communication writer/editor listed below on specific issues.

  • Ag Comm focuses on educational news, but also distributes releases about state and national award winners and honorees. Check with the writer/editor for your unit to see if your topic is appropriate for a news release.
  • Send Ag Comm a draft or provide the information (who, what, where, when, why, etc.) so a writer/editor can write the release. Also, try to provide or suggest photos or other graphics.
  • Timeliness
    • Information about an upcoming event should reach Ag Comm at least three weeks prior to the event. That gives staff time to prepare and disseminate the release; news media, particularly weekly newspapers, time to use it; and citizens adequate notice to put the event on their calendars.
    • Information on subjects such as awards and competition results should reach Ag Comm as soon as possible, but no later than a week after the competition or awards presentation. Old news is no news.
  • Relevance
    • Upcoming events should be of educational nature and open to the public.
    • Ag Comm will not prepare news releases on an event, activity, award, competition, etc., unrelated to NDSU Agriculture.
    • News releases should focus on results or content, not just the fact that a grant was received or that a publication has been published.
  • Ag Comm coordinates with NDSU University Relations, and Research and Creative Activity on release of news and feature stories. Except for team results, University Relations typically releases student news rather than Ag Comm.
  • All news releases going out from Ag faculty and staff must receive prior editorial approval from Ag Comm, University Relations or Research and Creative Activity.
  • News conference vs. media advisory
    • A news conference brings the news media together so everyone receives the same message at the same time from the same speaker or speakers. News conferences are hosted only for truly big news events.
    • A media advisory lets the news media know when and where something is happening. The news media then can attend and talk to those involved in the event.
  • Instead of a news release, Ag Comm sometimes sends out a tip sheet – a page with story ideas, background information, contact people and other information for reporters to develop their own stories.


News Release Contacts

Ellen Crawford, 231-5391
Animal Sciences
Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences
Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences
Ag and Biosystems Engineering
4-H Youth Development
Community Vitality
Carrington REC
Central Grasslands REC
North Central REC

, 231-6136
Plant Sciences
Plant Pathology
Food Systems
Human Development and Family Science
Agribusiness and Applied Economics
Natural Resource Sciences (Entomology, Natural Resource Management and Soil Science)
Langdon REC
Williston REC
Hettinger REC
Dickinson REC
Agronomy Seed Farm

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