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DPWH-8 PIOs media workshop
DPWH Public Information Officers are all smiles at the end of the workshop posing with the resource speaker Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano (wearing white polo shirt).

DPWH-8 PIOs hold workshop on press release that lands a media coverage

Press Release
March 28, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VIII continuously exert efforts to enhance their news writing skills.

Recently, DPWH PIOs held their first Quarterly Meeting Cum Workshop at Leyte 1st District Engineering Office (DEO) Maintenance Sub Office, Brgy. Sto. Nińo, Tanauan Leyte on March 22-23 with the topic ‘’Press Release (PR) That Lands a Media Coverage’’.

With different career background among DPWH PIOs, Ms. Antonieta R. Lim, DPWH Regional PIO said that conducting workshops under the department’s Communication Development Program will improve the capacity of the designated district PIOs on their duties and responsibilities to inform the public of its programs, policies and projects.

There were at least 30 PIOs from 13 district engineering offices attended the said workshop with Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano as the resource speaker.

Meniano is currently the editor of Philippine News Agency in Eastern Visayas Region.

One of the highlights of his discussion is sharing the most common mistakes in PR writing. According to him, there is only 2.6 seconds to win over a visitor. Having a wrong headline is a total waste while good headlines makes a difference.

The best clock worthy headlines according to him is dealing with statistics. From the planning stage, design, construction and maintenance of national infrastructures, DPWH deals with statistics every day. He gave advice to focus more on the project updates, number of kilometres, number of beneficiaries and the like.

Aside from writing a good headline, Meniano also encouraged the participants to use active voice in their news writing instead of the passive voice because it is shorter and more direct.

He also shared the most common mistakes in DPWH press releases. Among of these are having the very long start, too many names in news lead, too many technical terms, overuse of unfamiliar acronyms, less attention to the substance, no direct quotations and more.

“PRs that doesn’t require much correction from the editor have a bigger chance on landing a media coverage since it would not cost much time for the editor to edit,” said Meniano.

To test the learnings of the participants, they were tasked to re-write and identify mistakes from the sample news release given by the resource speaker. The activity gave the participants a better understanding on writing a good PR.

The workshop ended with an open forum from the participants followed by the 1st quarterly meeting of PIOs.

DPWH PIOs will continue to conduct trainings and seminars under the Communication Development Program to acquire and develop their communication skills.