Posts tagged ‘public relations’

Chapter 6 Notes- Preparing Fact Sheets, Advisories, Media Kits, and Pitches

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques- 6th Edition

by: Denis L. Wilcox

Expanding the Publicity Tool Kit


  • fact sheets – one page background sheets about an event, product, or organization
    • a list of facts in outline or bullet form that a reporter can use as a quick reference when writing a story.
    • types of fact sheets:
  1. for upcoming events
  2. one-page sheet giving key facts about an organization – corporate profile
  3. a summary of a new product’s characteristics.
  • media kits/press kit – contains news releases, fact sheets, and photos; assembled to introduce new products, services and major events.
    • Usually prepared for major events and new product launches.
    • A basic media kit may include:
  1. News release
  2. Fact sheets
  3. News feature
  4. Background information
  5. Photos and drawings with captions
  6. Biographical information on the spokesperson or senior executive
  7. Basic brochures
  • media advisories/media alert – let editors know about a newsworthy event or an interview that could lend itself to photo/video coverage.
    • types:
  1. Most common format uses: one line headline, brief paragraph outlining story, 5 W’s, and reporter’s contact info
  2. Used to announce time/location
  3. Used to let reporters and editors know about an interview opportunity
  • making a pitch – writing effective memos and e-mails that will persuade reporters/editors to cover your product, service, or event.
    • A good pitch has three phases
  1. Researching the publication or broadcast show
  2. Writing the e-mail or letter and making the call
  3. Following up

March 4, 2010 at 8:20 pm 2 comments

One Week of Twitter

Last week for our Public Relations Writing class we were assigned to create a Twitter account and use it to follow our classmates and various PR professionals.  I already had created an account when I started taking Professor Nixon’s classes so I continued on with the rest of the assignment which was to send out 20 “tweets” and also respond to five of our classmates “tweets”.

I enjoyed this assignment so much!  First, I think that it provided a great introduction to students who do not know much about TwitterTwitter is an extremely useful tool in engaging relationships, asking questions, getting answers, and especially networking.

In our field, public relations, I believe that Twitter will be invaluable, if not necessary when trying to accomplish various things.  For example, I have had to do a project recently where it was necessary to use a “Twitter Search” in order to see what the masses were saying about a company/product I was researching.  I’ve also used Twitter to reach out to authors whose books I am reading and reviewing for classes and many of them have responded back to me.  Most of the people on Twitter use it as a tool to engage with others so they generally like for you to “follow them” or even “mention” them and get in contact with them.  This is great for me as I am currently looking for advice often and will be on the job hunt soon.

This past week was great because so many of my classmates were involved with Twitter.  I could see what they were “tweeting” about and even felt like I could share funny or interesting things that were PR related and they would see them.  Often I feel like I am posting interesting links and they are not being seen by anyone in particular.  This past week when I posted a question or a link to something followed by our hashtag (#PRCA3330) I would sometimes get a comment or an answer back.

I loved this assignment and I sincerely hope that my classmates will stick with Twitter so that we may stay connected.  I understand that Facebook is a fun social networking site that is easy to update your status, post photos and message your friends, however I believe Twitter can be used as a more professional platform for students especially in the public relations field.

I will certainly continue using my account to follow Professor Barbra Nixon and my classmates, as well as to follow the top trending topics, and  Professor Nixon’s suggested list of PR professionals.

*Click follow me (above) to follow me on Twitter

February 27, 2010 at 9:05 am 2 comments

Chapter 5 Notes- Writing the News Release

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques Sixth Edition

by: Denix L. Wilcox

The Backbone of Publicity Programs

  • Press release- backbone of almost every publicity plan.
  • 55%- 97% of all news releases sent to media outlets are almost never used
  • 1) Standardized Format  2) Provide information that will be interesting to the audience   3) Material must be timely

Basic Questions when planning a News Release

  1. What is the subject of the message? Specific focus?
  2. Who is the message designed to reach?
  3. What is in it for the audience? Benefits/rewards?
  4. What goal is the organization pursuing? What is the organization’s purpose? Is it to increase sales? Position the company as a leader? Show company’s concern for environment? Etc.
  5. What do you want to achieve with the NR? To change attitudes/behavior or to increase attendance at a local event?
  6. What key messages should this news release highlight? How can they be tailored to the format of a specific publication and its readers?

Types of News Releases

  1. Announcements – personnel appointments, new products/services, mergers, awards, parties, anniversaries, openings/closings, etc.
  2. Spot announcements- When a storm disrupts the services of a public utility or a fire or an accident stops work, a flood closes roads, etc.
  3. Reaction stories – when a n event or situation has an impact on the organization.
  4. Bad news – The only way to make the best of a bad situation is to confront it; a release giving facts and the organization’s point of view should be drafted immediately.
  5. Local news – most common reason that news releases get used is the presence of a local angel

Parts of a Traditional News Release

  1. Letterhead
  2. Contacts
  3. Headline – brief, sometimes have a second headline known as a subhead
  4. Dateline
  5. Lead Paragraph – most important part of any news release
  6. Body of Text – write in inverted pyramid style. Most important facts go at the beginning of the news release so the editors will see the most interesting lines first thing.

February 23, 2010 at 3:49 am Leave a comment

PRCA 3330: Is AP Style Still Important/Relevant For PR Practitioners?

I stumbled upon this blog entry posted by Jason Kintzler that asked the question “Is AP style still important/relevant for public relations practitioners?

The readers shared many insights through their comments, most saying that “AP style is absolutely without question still relevant”.

What are your thoughts?

February 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

PRCA 3330- Blog Comments

Part of our assignment of creating and maintaining a blog for Professor Barbara Nixon’s PRCA 3330 Public Relations Writing course, is to comment on other’s PR blogs.  We are to keep a running list of comments throughout the semester following these guidelines:

  • Comment # (keep a running list)
  • Title of blog post you commented on, followed by the author’s name
  • Hyperlink to the blog post
  • Date of your comment
  • Your complete comment (copy and paste)

#1   Dan Santow’s 4th Annual Proofreadapalooza (from Dan Santo’s blog Word Wise)
Posted by: Kelseyeh.wordpress.comJanuary 29, 2010 at 01:05 PM

I thought that this blog entry was very helpful. I am currently taking a Public Relations writing course and we’re working on grammar and little things before we move on to actually writing press releases and things like that. These little tips and pieces of advice are things that no one usually thinks of but are so helpful. For example, having a clean desk? A messy environment for me can easily distract from the task at hand. I also thought the part about proofing not reading was interesting. How when you read you subconsciously fix the mistakes. I had never thought about it like that. Avoiding interruptions and giving myself enough time are my two biggest problems. I am first and foremost a procrastinator but I have improved immensely in that area, however I do get easily distracted with other social media like Facebook or Twitter or even email while trying to sit down and write or proofread. I will try to work on this though. Thank you for ideas.

#2  “4 Reasons That Writing Blogs Can Enhance Your Executive Job Search”- by Heather Eagar
Posted by: Kelsey On: 2/4/2010 2:41:33 PM

Heather, “4 Ways that Writing Blogs Can Enhance Your Executive Job Search” was a great blog entry for me.  I have just created a blog as an assignment for a class and it is encouraging to read a post that details why a blog can help you further your career.  I have actually already followed some of your advice and joined LinkedIn and linked my blog to my profile so that would-be employers can see my blog and give me feedback or advice.  I think that it is a great idea to show a company physical evidence of something on your resume, for example news releases or blog entries.  Thanks for the great post!

#3 Tiger Woods” by Allie Harrington
March 4, 2010

Allie,
I do think that he is moving in the right direction as well. He has shown some remorse or at least acknowledgment of his actions by apologizing and going to therapy. However, I think his apology was too little too late. I think that his publicists and PR team should have pushed for a statement, announcement, or something months ago when this event first occurred.
The public has been hearing tons of stories from various mistresses including text messages, video, photos, etc. and Tiger Woods has been almost “defenseless” the whole time. He has not once said he is sorry, or denied any allegations.
I realize that it is some people’s opinion that this is a private matter between Tiger and Elin, but I think that it became public the second Tiger crashed his car into the tree outside his house and a media circus developed. Where was his statement when there was speculation that Elin beat him up or that he was on drugs that night? Or where was his statement of apology when more than 10 women came forward claiming to be in a relationship with him and that they could provide evidence?
I just think he (and maybe his publicity team) could have done better to diffuse the situation!

January 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment


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