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Writing for Mass Media

3 Oct

Chapter 5- Writing the News Release

Text: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques-6th edition- Wilcox, D.

The Backbone of Publicity Programs

            Press releases are the backbone of almost every publicity plan.

The Value of News Releases

  1. Help achieve organizational objectives. 2. Cost effective 3. Credibility

Planning a News Release

            The Basic Questions- what is the subject? What is the focus? Who is the message for? What is in it for this audience? What is the goal? What do you want to achieve? What messages should news release highlight?

            Other factors- Selections of Paper, Spacing and Margins, and Use AP Style

Types of News Releases

  1. Announcements 2. Spot announcements 3. Reaction releases 4. Bad news and 5. Local news

      Spot announcements- when things due to some outside action or influence happen to an organization

Parts of a Traditional News Release

  1. Letterhead 2. Contacts 3. Headline 4. Dateline 5. Lead paragraph 6. Body of text 7. Short summary of the organization

                        Example: pg. 125

Writing the E-mail News Release

            Use bullets, write only 2 or 3 short sentences in each of the five paragraphs, above headline, or at bottom, be sure to provide contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and URL for additional information.

Preparing the Multimedia Release

            The major change in the evolution o the humble news release is the advent of the multimedia release, or “smart media release”.(SMR)

            DO

                        Include helpful links, place terms in key positions, and distribute a release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites such as Yahoo! Finance, AOL News, and Netscape.

            DON’T

                        Go link crazy, use low-resolution images, or use all tools, all the time

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Research

3 Oct

Chapter 5- Research

Text: Public Relations Strategies and Tactics-9th Edition-Wilcox, D. & Cameron, G.

Importance of Research

            Essential first step in the public relations process.

Defining the Research Role

            Information must be gathered and data must be interpreted before any public relations program can start.

            Many different types of research

            Ask questions like- what is the problem? What kind of information is needed? How will the results of the research be used? How much will it cost? Etc.

Using Research

            Studies show that PR departments spend 3-5 % of their budget on research.

            Use research to: achieve credibility, define audiences, formulate strategy, test messages, help management keep in touch, prevent crises, monitor the competition, sway public opinion, generate publicity, and measure success.

Research techniques

  1. Secondary research, qualitative research, quantitative research based on scientific sampling.

Secondary Research

            Archival

            Library and Online

            The Internet and WWW

Qualitative Research

            Content Analysis

            Interviews

            Focus Groups

            Copy Testing

            Ethnographic Techniques

Quantitative Research

            Random Sampling

            Sample Size

Questionnaire Construction

            Carefully consider wording, avoid loaded questions, consider timing and context, avoid the politically “correct” answer, and give a range of possible answers.

                        List of guidelines on p. 144

How to Reach Respondents

  1. Mail questionnaires, 2. telephone surveys, 3. personal interviews, 4. omnibus surveys, 5. Web e-mail surveys.