Author Archive

Final Blog: Media Releases

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s incredibly important as a company to counitue to keep dialogue with your consumers through a social media news release. This can be very hard not because the consumer is not interested in what you have to say, but they hate the way that you are telling it. Remember just because a lot of information is being given does not mean that it has to be delivered in a boring and noncreative way. Here are some of the basics that are needed in a social media news release:

1. [company/brand name] announces [product/service name]

This press release is boring and will be considered spammy because it simply uses hyperbole to shamelessly promote a company’s product or service.

2. [company/brand name] announces [financial news]

This press release announces that a company is merging with another, has gotten additional funding, etc. And doesn’t really add any value to the experience of the end user (unless you’re announcing something like the Google acquisition of You Tube)

3. [company/brand name] plans [action]

This press release announces that a company plans to do something, i.e. ‘medical company plans to combat disease’. While we’re all for combating disease most social media users would appreciate it if you did it a little more quietly or make it more relevant.

4. [company/brand name] achieves [accomplishment]

This press release just pats its sponsor on the back by boasting what the company has achieved. Sure, we’re happy that you’ve signed up your 100,000th user, but what do you want us to do about it?


Here are the 3 main reasons why a press release would normally have zero chance of success in social media:

1. They have the wrong singular focus, which is on the company issuing the release.

2. They are full of marketing-speak that inherently engenders mistrust in the eyes of the social media audience.

3. They don’t have a specific audience in mind, and are written broadly and presented blandly.

Now, it’s perfectly fine to want to promote your company, because after all, we all have to make a living. But the social-web audience doesn’t like blatant sales and marketing speak.


Now remember although you want to be creative and catch the reader’s attention you don’t want to be corny or unprofessional. Professionalism is key! Know who you are talking to and deliver them a message that they will understand, but also will be intrigued by and drawn in.


10 Ways PR Professionals Drive Journalists Crazy

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

TOW #13 – COMM 4333

It is important for Public Relations professionals to keep good connections with journalists, do not tick them off 😀

1. When PR professionals do not regard deadlines.

— A PR professional needs to remember journalists have strict deadlines to follow and have their information together. By working together, both parties are able to be effective and on time.

2. When PR gives journalists a unreliable story.

— Give journalists the information they need, and enough facts and details that they are able to write a story. Do not waste their time with a story that will not work.

3. Repeated calls and follow ups.

— This is a technique used in the PR industry a lot more often with journalists. They have a lot more stories to cover than just your client, therefore stop calling them – it is not necessary.

4. Public relations professionals use different writing techniques than journalists.

— PR professionals use a lot of hype words, journalists are not trying to interest the reader as much as inform them. Try to avoid words that are to just get people’s attention or make a story appear better than it really is. This is just a way to better relate and work together.

5. Journalists can never get a hold of public relations professionals.

— Hilarious to see that PR people will call a journalist 100 times, but they are never available either. If you are always calling journalist, then the least you can do is pick up the phone.

6. Lacking cooperation

— Most media guidelines emphasize that public relations personnel should always be helpful/cooperative with the media. There are many times that PR people are not helpful or available to give more information.

7. Inappropriate Requests

— PR people shouldn’t make more work for Journalists. They hate it when PR people bombard them with further requests about publications, etc.

8. Public relations professionals try to sell their story.

— Keep the story to the facts and let that sell to the public. You can not have a story sold, it needs to be truth and journalist have to keep it to facts.

9. News Release Spam

— You have to submit releases in the correct format. Journalists hate it when they receive incorrect releases. They consider such as “nothing but spam” in their inbox.

10.  Journalist do not want public relations professional gifts.

–Journalists feel like these are bribes and do not accept it the way PR people do. There is no reason for gifts to be given in this industry, just don’t do it.

Drea ! xoxo


November 20, 2010 2 comments

TOW #12 – COMM 4333

An infographic is a visual representation of information. It is a logo that is a good representation of the company that can show statistics and relevant information. Google has some incredible infographics on their site. Click here to see.

if you are trying to promote something, then infographics are a great tool to express data to your audience. They are very useful in a story for your client for a couple of reasons. First of all, they are a great way to show information without having to list words and write a lot of information, because this is a much better attention grabber. When clients use the infographics, they are telling their audience that they are versatile and trying to keep the information relevant and interesting. Infographics are fun and make information clear and easily comprehended.

Are you interested in making one yourself? Here is the way to do that. The picture you choose has to represent your company well. I chose a basketball jersey for the Little Giants basketball league. This worked well to show the information I needed to show. You need to also know what information will be useful for your company to know and track, my information was attendance, ages of the children involved, and how many families in the community were involved. Keep it simple for everyone and clear information. Do not want to get too overwhelmed by information and creativity in the business world, therefore, keep it clear and simple for those you are trying to reach.

Client: Little Giants – River of Life Church Miami. Fl.


Tapping the Web and New Media

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Reading Notes 13 – COMM 4333

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

The world wide web can download information quickly and updates quicker. It allows interactivity where viewers can ask questions about products or services, download information of value to them and let the organization know what they think.

Online readers can dig deeper into subjects that interest them by linking to information provided on other sites, other articles and sources. Writing for the web defines objective of the site, design with audience in mind, update constantly.

New Media is characterized by:

  • Widespread broadband
  • Cheap/free
  • New distribution channels
  • Mobile devices, such as camera phones
  • New advertising paradigms.



Getting Along with Journalists

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Reading Notes #11 – COMM 4333

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques explains the importance of media relations, saying that it is the core activity of a public relations agent. The interaction between media personnel in different positions is important.

I learned a lot about this during our class discussions but I also saw key points in this chapter. Some of them are the areas of friction. The book compiled a list of people that might clash with our jobs.

They include but are not limited to the following: Hype and News Release Spam, name calling, sloppy/biased reporting, tabloid journalism, and advertising influence.

Public Relations is dependent on the media.



Tell the Media Your News

November 19, 2010 1 comment

Reading Notes #10 – COMM 4333

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques states that there are many ways to get your information to the media.

This is the only way that public relations can be effective and productive, therefore you need to get the information to all types of media and companies.

This chapter details such methods as e-mail, online newsrooms, electronic wire services, feature placement firms, mail, and faxing. Although there are many other ways to distribute also.

Main databases are written media, newspapers and magazines. Radio/TV/Cable gets the word out fast about what is going on. You can either hear it, hear it and see it, or just have basic cable which is hearing and seeing still. Internet Media are all your online media coverage. From CNN updates or even hulu or other forms of media. Editorial Calendars trade publications and business periodicals. Tip Sheets – find media personnel in material.

Distribution of Materials

  • E-mail
  • Online newsrooms
  • Electronic newswires
  • Mat distribution companies
  • Photo placement firms




Writing for Radio and Television

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Reading Notes #9 – COMM 4333

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques-6th Edition-Wilcox, D. states in chapter 9 that broadcasting reaches a wide audience through different mediums. 94% of adults over the age of 18 listen to the radio on a daily basis.

Radio news releases have a specific format, which is time sensitive; important for 30 seconds to be exact and same with a 60 second announcement. Important to be easy to read, double-spaced, and easy to read on the spot. Write out the numbers- one thousand NOT 1,000 whenever you are writing a news release.

They have a ANR (audio news release) which is a pre-recorded news release that is sent in complete. Actuality is a news release that a radio announcer would read off the entire announcement. A sound-bite includes both a announcement read and a customer testimony.

Tips to keep in mind: Topicality, Timeliness, Localization, Humanization, Visual appeal.

Public Service announcements are unpaid announcements that promote the programs of government or nonprofit agencies for the public interest. They can announce all type of information and events to the public through the media and it is a free service. Many times you hear government agencies announcing new programs available to the community.

After midnight is when most of the PSA are aired, health are the most common Public Service Announcements.

Television is a very powerful media because it is in every household nationwide. Talkshows really get the word out to the madd audience because of their popularity.

Get Your Story Out There:

  • Send TV station same news release you send to local print media.
  • Prepare media alerts or advisory that would lend itself to video coverage.
  • Call them or e-mail the assignment editor.
  • Write producer (VNR) video news release – like an audio news release but is formatted for immediate use. 5,000 are produced a year. Includes 90 second news report and much more. ($20,000- $50,000 in price)