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

            E-Kits

Pitch Letters

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

 Distributing Media Materials

            Mail

            Fax

            E-Mail

            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

Public Relations During Times of Crisis

11 Nov

Public Relations During Times of Crisis

 In my opinion crisis management is a major/important part of public relations. You never know what could go wrong and when something does you need to know how to handle it. During lecture in my PR Application’s class today “crisis” was specifically defined as “a nonroutine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threatens significant reputational damage.” Crisis is inevitable, it’s how it’s handled that is going to make it or break it.

4 Types of Crisis

                Meteor

                                Out of no where

                Predator

                                I person specifically tries to create problems/hurt image

                Breakdown

                                A person doesn’t do something that could have/should have

                Lingering

                                Reputation/Idea that stays with you organization, even if it’s happened years ago.

 Many things can spark a crisis. It is important to plan ahead and be prepared for when a crisis occurs.

A crisis communication kit is an important necessity for when a crisis hits. A Crisis kit often includes:

  • List of member on the crisis management team
  • Contact information of key officers, spokespersons, etc.
  • Fact sheets of the company- specifics are good
  • Profiles and biographies for key people within company
  • Copies of your company, division and product logos, your press release format and the scanned in signature of your CEO on disk
  • Pre-written scripts answering key questions
  • Contact information for each of your key media contacts both locally, nationally, etc.

Being prepared is vital and having a crisis kit is just one of the many things that companies/organizations should do and have to be ready to handle any crisis, big or small.

And make sure to remember the 3 Rs of Communication within a crisis

                Research

                Response

                Recovery

 To see the lecture and find out more about crisis communication click here.

 And to make the idea of crisis more real here is a video:

Doing Business Around The World

10 Nov

            So Tuesday (11/9/10) in my PR Applications class with Barbara Nixon we stirred things up a bit, we traveled around the world. The class broke into groups and each group was assigned a different country. With a country assigned it was their job to find out some professional “Do’s and Don’ts” when working in that country. The countries we took a look at include Germany, Japan, China, Mexico, Canada, and Israel. I really enjoyed looking at how professional customs can be so different depending on the country. For instance do I bring a gift or do I not? Do I make strong eye contact or no? These are just a few of the many questions that people need to know the answers to when doing business in another country.

            My group was assigned Canada.

A few of the Do’s we came up with

  • Shake hands, good friends kiss on the cheek
  • Knowing French would be a good idea since both English and French are considered the official language
  • Know some stuff about hockey-it’s pretty big over there

Some Don’ts:

  • Don’t say “Eh” after statements. It’s not as common, or as funny as you may think.
  • Don’t disrespect wildlife. Critters are pretty important over there, especially the horse and the beaver.

Aside from learning about Canada I learned a lot of cool things about the other countries as well. For instance in Mexico if a woman makes eye contact with a man she if flirting with him. Or in China you shouldn’t accept compliments right away, or if you’re in Germany you probably don’t want to bring up the Holocaust or Hitler. (I’d like to assume that one is common sense.)

Anyways if you are planning on doing work or interacting in other countries make sure to take the time to know the cultural Dos and Don’ts.

Happy Travels!

Infographics

9 Nov

Infographics

 What are they?

            From the definition I found on google, “Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge.” Or in other words, they are graphs that portray information using visuals. To see some cool Infographics for yourself check out Cool Infographics Blog.

How could one be useful in a story for you client?

            Infographics are used to portray important information in a way that is simple yet creative. In speaking to a client infographics can be used to simplify information in a beneficial and quick avenue. Infographics are fun and make information clear and easily comprehended.

How do you go about creating one?

  1. Know the information that you need to portray

      I’d say that this speaks for itself. The information you are capturing will define all that your Infographics entails.

     2. Use visuals that are relevant

      Use visual that apply to idea, product, company. For instance if I was making an infograph for a Car company I would use cars…make sense?

     3. Keep it creative yet simple

      It’s probably best not to overdo it. The point of an infograph is to keep it fresh and easily understood.

     4. Be clear

Okay so for an example:

Client: College Republican Club at Southeastern University

Information: Number of republican students on nearby college campuses (percentages).

Infograph:

I would have an Elephant (republican symbol) representing each school. Each elephant would be colored in a certain amount depending on percentage of republicans attending that school. For example if Polk Community College students are 45% republican less than half of the elephant would be colored in. Make sense yet?

 If you want to look further into making your own infograph check out this blog post by Wild Apricot Blog.

Coming Up PR Podcast

9 Nov

T.O.W. 11-2322/ T.O.W. 12-4333

                  Recently I spent some time listening to the Coming Up PR podcast on ITunes. Coming Up PR is a podcast hosted by Mary Attard, Mike Kerr, and Cheryl Brean based out of Canada. According to their blog “Coming Up PR is a podcast designed by three Corporate Communications post-graduate students in Toronto.” Coming Up PR is a bi-weekly show that “identifies and discusses trends in communication.” 

            One podcast I would like to highlight is episode #11. In this Episode Mary, Mike, and Cheryl discuss everything from internship experiences, twitter gadgets, and social media. While listening to the podcast I heard about Twitter Sheep and Klout for the first time. Both are sites connected to Twitter that show who is interested in what and who is having the most influence/interaction on Twitter. I really like Twitter so it was nice to know about two more features that add on to what the site has to offer. I found the Klout score of my teacher, Barbara Nixon, and she had a Klout score of 37. She was also in the 70th percentile. It was pretty cool to see in a somewhat tangible way the amount of influence that different people have on Twitter. It is important to know and helps marketers and communicators figure out who they should have “on their side.” Ha.

            I also enjoyed the discussion and feedback on the use of Social Media by agencies and organizations. I’m very interested in social media and I personally believe that, if used correctly, it can be beneficial for organization. I seem to be hearing more and more that companies, agencies, etc. are hesitant about embracing the social media world. Like one of the hosts said I guess it just “takes time.”

            The podcast closed with some “back to school” advice. I appreciated the comment of “treat it like your job” and “attend networking events” I think both of these statements are great advice for a PR student looking to get involved in the communications/PR industry.

Reaching a Multicultural and Dirverse Audience

6 Nov

Chapter 11

Reaching a Multicultural and Diverse Audience

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

Diverse and Multicultural Nature of the Public Relations Audience

            The audience is a complex intermingling of groups with diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, and economic attributes whose interests coincide at times and conflict at others.

Reaching Diverse Age Groups

            Youth and Young Adults, Baby Boomers, and Seniors.

Reaching Racial and Ethnic Groups

            Understanding Cultural Values, Using Ethnic Media

Other Emerging Audiences

            Catholic and Evangelical Groups

            The Gay/Lesbian Community

            The Disability Community

            Women

Reaching Global Audiences

Matching the Audience with the Media