The physical arrangements described above launch a newsroom. But its primary purpose is to produce news. In this, the PIO performs a most vital function.
The release, text or abstract is the keystone in the newsroom operation. Multiple copies are needed, based on the number of media people you expect to attend. If you did not receive multiple copies originally, you should have them photocopied. If possible, you might provide news releases, abstracts and other materials on standard computer disks in ASCII format.
When the newsroom is set up, the multiple copies of papers, abstracts, and news releases should be placed on tables and arranged chronologically by release times. Placards on the wall behind the tables designating the dates and release times for the papers beneath them are a help to journalists.
The PIO should keep on file in the newsroom a master copy of each news release and report. If the table supply is exhausted, the file copy can be photocopied.
Biographical information on the speakers should be available, either on the tables or on file, disk and/or web site. Similar information should be on hand about scheduled panel members. The panel members are often overlooked in newsrooms. If possible, also make available a directory of where scientists, PIOs and other journalists are staying. Emergency numbers should be included, at which a PIO can be reached at all times.
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