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News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

13 Nov

News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

Reading notes COMM 2322 Chapter 14

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

The News Release

                        A.k.a. the press release has been around 1906 with Ivy Lee’s work for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

                        Continues to be the most commonly used public relations tactic.

            Planning a News Release

                        What is the key message? Who is the primary audience? What does the target audience gain from the product or service?

            The Content of News Releases

                        Writing like a news story

                        Double-check information, eliminate boldface and capital letters, include organization background, localize whenever possible.

            Format of a Print News Release

                        Standard size paper, identify sender/contact, provide a boldface headline, dateline, start with a clearly stated summary, never split a paragraph from 1 page to the next, and place an identifying slug line and page number at the top of each page after the first one.

Publicity Photos

            Quality, Subject Matter, Composition, Action, Scale, Camera Angle, Lighting, and Color.

Mat Releases

Media Alerts and Fact Sheets

Media Kits

            Includes: 1) main news release 2) a news feature 3) fact sheets 4) background information 5) photos and drawings with caption 6) biographical information on spokesperson or chief executives, and 7) some basic brochures


Pitch Letters

               Short letter or note to editor that tries to grab their attention

 Distributing Media Materials




            Electronic News Services

            Online Newsrooms


Tapping the Web and New Media

13 Nov

Tapping the Web and New Media

Chapter notes COMM 4333-chapter 12

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

 The Internet: Pervasive in Our Lives

            It is not hard to picture life without it.

            Media was traditionally followed these characteristics:

1.)    It is centralized 2.) It costs a lot of money to become a publisher 3.) It is staffed by professional gatekeepers known as editors and publisher 4.) It features mostly one-way communication with limited feedback channels.

            Two spheres of influence have emerged that are constantly interaction with each other:     the Internet and the World Wide Web.

            New Media is characterized by:

1.)    Widespread broadband 2.) Cheap/free 3.) New distribution channels 4.) Mobile devices, such as camera phones; and 5.) New advertising paradigms.

The World Wide Web

            The Web has enabled public relations people to do a better job of distributing a variety of messages.

            Writing for the Web

                        Write the way you talk. Limit each page to a single concept. Use a lot of bullet-     point lists. Make sure each page provides that context readers need. Limit the use of             italics and boldface-use them only to highlight key points. Don’t overuse hyperlinks          within narrative text. Provide feedback options for readers.

            Building an Effective Website

                        Should be attractive and easy to navigate.

            Making the Site Interactive

            Attracting Visitors to Your Site

                        Hyperlinks, search engines, advertising

            Tracking Site Visitors

                        Hit, page view, page impression, and unique visitor

            Return on Investment

            Who Controls the Site?

                        70% of the respondents believed an organization’s communications/public relations function should manage and control the Web content.

The Rise of Social Media

            Blogs are the most dominant manifestation, but social networks such as MySpace,             Facebook, and YouTube are also major presence in today’s world.

            The Explosion of Blogs

                    Corporate Blogs

                     Employees Blogs

                     Third-Party Blogs

           Making Friends on MySpace and Facebook

           YouTube: King of Video Clips

          Flickr: Sharing Photos

         Getting a Second Life

         Texting, Twitter, and Wikis

                 Wiki- is a collection of Web pages that enable anyone who accesses it to provide input and even modify the content. – Wikipedia

        Podcasts: The Portable Medium

The Next Generation: Web 3.0

1.)    The continuing evolution of smart phones 2.) affordable mobile data plans