Topic of the Week 6


Add a comment July 8, 2010

Chapter 14

Chapter 14 discusses Writing E-mail, Memos, and Proposals. I  learned that public relations personnel spend a large percentage of their working day engaging in interpersonal communications. I found it surprising that it takes a lot of time to just read all the messages that inundate us, considering all the technology that public relations professionals have access to.

It is important to follow the guidelines when writing e-mails, memos, and proposals that are set, which include:

  • completeness
  • conciseness
  • correctness
  • courtesy
  • responsibility

I learned that a memorandum also known as a memo, is a brief written message, they are usually a page or less in length. When writing memorandums it is important to have a purpose, and it be specific and to the point. The first paragraph of a memo should contain the key message that would be most of interest to the reader.

I learned that as a public relations professional you will write two kinds of letters, a personal letter and a less personal letter. Letters are commonly used to give information, ask for information, to motivate, and many others. the most important  part of any letter is the first paragraph . It should state exactly what the purpose is that the writer is trying to get across.

Proposals are commonly used to provide information on offering services to an organization. An informal proposal consists of  four components, they include:

  • introduction
  • body
  • conclusion
  • transmittal
  • table of contents
  • tables and exhibits
  • summary
  • introduction
  • body
  • recommendation
  • exhibits and bibliography

I found it surprising that public relations writers, often, author position papers for organizations.  Some tips for writing a position paper inclide:

  • on a cover page, use a title that tells exactly what the paper is about
  • use simple graphs, bar charts, and pie charts to present key messages
  • avoid overt marketing and promotion for the organization’s services or products

I wish the book would have provided more examples of proposals that i could see.

Add a comment July 8, 2010

Chapter’s 11 & 12

This information is based upon my reading from “Public relations Writing And Media Techniques,” 6th ed. by Dennis L. Wilcox.

Chapter 11 discussed Getting Along with Journalists. In this chapter I learned that media relations is the core activity in many public relations jobs. I found it surprising that public relations professionals and journalists have long had a love- hate relationship.

The relationship between public relations and the media is based on mutual cooperation, trust, and respect. Areas of friction between them include:

  • hype and news release spam
  • name calling
  • sloppy/biased reporting
  • tabloid journalism
  • advertising influence

I learned that media etiquette is crucial to public relations professionals. Failure to follow media etiquette often leads to poor media relations. They include:

  • Irritating phone calls
  • inappropriate requests
  • lunch dates
  • gift giving

Chapter 12 discusses Tapping the Web and New Media. I was surprised how big of an impact the internet has on our lives. The World Wide Web has traditionally had the following characteristics:

  • it is centralized, having a top down hierarchy
  • it costs a lot of money to become a publisher
  • it is staffed by professional gatekeepers known as editors and publishers
  • it features mostly one-way communication with limited feedback channels

Some advantages of the world wide web include the ability to update information quickly, it allows interactivity, inline readers can dig deeper into subjects that interest  them by linking to information provided on other sites, other articles, and sources.

There are some important tips that a public relations professional must follow when writing for the web. These tips include:

  • write the way you talk
  • limit each page to a single concept
  • use a lot of bullet- point lists
  • make sure each page provides the context readers need
  • limit the use of italics and boldface
  • don’t overuse hyperlinks within narrative text
  • make sure your hyperlinks are relevant
  • provide feedback options for readers

I found it surprising that the world wide web acquires a unique characteristic that traditional media does not, it is interactivity between the sender and the receiver.

Add a comment July 8, 2010

Chapter’s 9 & 10

This information is based upon my reading from “Public relations Writing And Media Techniques,” 6th ed. by Dennis L. Wilcox.

Chapter 9 discussed Writing for Radio and Television. In this chapter I learned that radio and television offer many opportunities for the public relations writer who wants to reach both mass and specialized audiences effectively. I found it surprising to learn that radio reaches about 94 percent of adults over the age of 18 on a daily basis, with an estimated audience of 225 million.

Unlike traditional news releases, radio news releases are based on sound and every radio release must be written so that it can be easily read by an announcer and clearly understood by a listener. Some tips for creating a radio news release include:

  • Topicality
  • Timeliness
  • Localization
  • Humanization
  • Visual Appeal

I learned that public service announcements are defined as an unpaid announcement that promotes the programs of government of nonprofit agencies or that serves the public interest. I found it surprising that profit-making organizations do not qualify for “free” PSA’s despite the “public service”nature of their messages.

Chapter 10 discussed Distributing News to the Media. In this chapter I learned that media databases usually provide such information as:

  • names of publications and broadcast stations
  • mailing addresses
  • telephone and fax numbers
  • e-mail addresses
  • names of key editors and reporters

Tip sheets are another good way to find media personnel who might have an interest in your material. I found it surprising to learn that tip sheets increase the odds of getting a media placement for a public relations professional.

There are several different ways that materials are distributed which include;

  • e-mail
  • online newsrooms
  • electronic newswires
  • mat distribution companies
  • photo placement firms

I found it surprising that there are firms that specialize in strictly the distribution of publicity photos and captions. I also found it surprising that although the internet is widely used snail mail is still popular among public relations professionals. I would have liked to learn more about photo placement firms, since I have an interest in photography.

Add a comment July 8, 2010

PR Connections for Week 5

Ok so my guilty pleasure is getting on to skinny vs. curvy… its the best website ever invented. You can get on and look up the most recent pictures of celebrities. The website has a vast majority of different categories that you can choose from, ranging from red carpet pictures to bikini pictures.

Its amazing to me to see how the photographers get so close to the celebrities especially in personal moments. I remember just recently there being a picture of Jessica Simpson leaving the gym. It makes you wonder how long they have to sit and wait just to get that one shot that can make millions.

The website also shows you the photo shopped version of the picture and the actual copy. Its insane how celebrities are made out to be perfect people without imperfections but when you see the original picture, they look entirely different and like every day people.

In my opinion it is wrong for celebrities to be photo shopped, it gives young girls the wrong expectation of what you should look like. Its a double standard because celebrities look beautiful in there picture but yet most of it has been edited to appeal to the readers.

Jessica Hits The Gym

Add a comment June 19, 2010

Chapter’s 7 & 8 Reading Notes

This information is based upon my reading from “Public Relations Writing And Media Techniques,” 6th ed. by Dennis L. Wilcox.

Chapter 7 focused on discussing Creating News Features and Op-Ed. During my reading I learned that unlike news releases that emphasize the timely disclosure of basic information about situations and events, feature stories provide additional background information, generate human interest, and create understanding in a more imaginative way.

Features are considered “soft news” rather than “hard news.” Feature stories come in all different shapes and sizes. All of them have potential to:

  • provide more information to the consumer
  • give background and context about organizations
  • provide behind-the-scenes perspective
  • give a human dimension to situations and events
  • generate publicity for standard products and services.

Evidence suggests that feature stories are on the rise and becoming increasingly popular with newspapers and magazines. There are different types of features such as:

  • Case study
  • Application story
  • Research study
  • Backgrounder
  • Personality profile
  • Historical piece

I learned that Op-Ed pieces provide an excellent opportunity for individuals and organizations to reach an audience of readers that will tend to be “influentials.” Some tips for writing the perfect Op-Ed include:

  • Concentrating on presenting one main idea or a single theme.
  • Don’t ramble or deviate from your principal points. An op-ed is not an essay that slowly builds to its point.
  • Be timely. The article should be about a current social issue, situation, or news event.
  • Query editors before sending an op-ed; it will save time and energy.

Chapter 8 dealt with Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics. I learned that components of a good photo include, technical quality, subject matter, composition, action, scale, camera angle, lighting and timing, and color. I learned that it is important to use a skilled photographer with professional experience.

I found it surprising to learn that a portrait photographer may not be good at photographing special events. I also found it surprising that the book stated that photographers, even for publicity, are not advertising. make sure you identify the news value of the story you want to illustrate. After reading both chapter’s I would have liked to learn more about photo’s and what components make the “perfect” picture.

Add a comment June 19, 2010

Topic of the Week, Week 5

During week 5, our assignment was to create a twitter account and follow people in our class. I am not a huge twitter fan. I remember when it fist came out and I first heard about it on the radio and I thought to myself, Wow that’s a weird name!

In all honesty, I had no desire to create a twitter account until it became a class assignment. I have always been an avid facebook fan, but i never could grasp the concept of twitter. I know its popular among celebrities because they get paid based on what products they promote via twitter, Kim Kardashian is famous for her high priced tweets.

During the week, I followed a few people I found to be interesting, one of which was my good friend Mandy. I began to get the hang of it. Although I didn’t know what to tweet about without sounding lame.It was hard for me to get on to my account several times a day due to my class schedule.

I’m pretty sure I tweeted about the test I was studying for. I checked out other people’s tweets and they mostly consisted of  personal updates about the weather or what they were about to do. If anyone wanted to stalk a person, twitter would be the way to go.

Although it only lasted a week, I was already running out of things to tweet about on the first day. I can understand why companies use twitter because its a good way to keep followers updated, but I don’t see the point of every day people using it to update when they are at the grocery store and what type of crackers they bought. I would have liked to enjoy twitter more but it just isn’t my favorite form of communication.

Add a comment June 19, 2010

Pr Connection Week 4

It is amazing too me how much celebrities get paid to be on twitter and advertise companies. Twitter has been a growing sensation in the media and one of its main attributes is the ability to follow your favorite celebrity on it and watch they’re every move.

Today stars are tweeting about everything, ranging from there favorite personal trainers to what toilet paper they prefer. We all know that we wouldn’t tweet about such personal thing’s unless someone was offering us money to do so.

It has been rumored that Kim Kardashian received twelve thousand dollar’s to tweet about how much she loves the product Quiktrim. I’m really confused as to why she is a celebrity in the first place, never mind being paid that much money just for tweeting about it. But that goes to show you just how powerful the media is and how big of an influence celebrities have over us.

My good friend Mandy folllows Kristin Cavallari’s twitter religiously. Every day shes like Oh My Gosh Kristin went to the gym for three hours this morning, or ill hear “Kristin likes grapes so i’m going to start eating them.”  I find it comical but a lot of people love following celebrities on twitter because it gives them a feeling that they know them on a more personal leve

I have yet to create a twitter account, but I know that I will have to for an assignment for this class so I guess I will see if I like it. Who knows, maybe ill become like the rest and be addicted to twitter. But I highly doubt it!

Add a comment June 12, 2010

Blog Comment 2

Add a comment June 11, 2010

The Lead Lab, Week 4

An assignment for this class we were too check out The Lead lab. I found this course very helpful. The lead lab discussed the importance of leads and how to properly write them. The first topic I chose to review was discovering how to write a lead.

Here, I learned that it is important to start with the five W’s and an H; What, who, where, when and how. Reporters and writers have used the 5 W’s and an H for over the past 100 years. Then when you acquire that knowledge, you choose two of them to zero in on. I found it helpful that they provided us with tips from writers. One tip that I found useful was try to put yourself in the place of the reader or audience. It is also important to interview your best source yourself.

Next you look for the tension in the lead. Many stories are believed to be told best when they involve tension in them. Tension, when two forces compete with each other, is not the same as conflict. Conflict is when two forces attack each other.

The last step is choosing your lead. It should depend on your news organization, the news,  and the timing of the publication. It is important that you are the first to report and in a timely manner. It is important that your reader’s hear the news from you first.Exclusivity also plays a major role in choosing a lead.

It is important to understand that leads should never begin with a quote. It is also important that your lead contains attribution, although it is important to readers to know where the source comes from. It can become overwhelming for a reader. I found it surprising that a good Lead is never more than three or four lines long, keeping it short is crucial.

It is important for the lead to sum up the story in one paragraph. Reader’s want the entire story compacted into one paragraph. Although this course was helpful too me I would like to see more examples of good leads and receive more tips on choosing the right words that are  catchy and should be included in leads.

Add a comment June 11, 2010






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