Archive for the ‘Reading Notes – COMM 4333’ Category

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)




Photo Shoot Here We Come

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Reading Notes #8 – COMM 4333

Selecting the appropriate publicity photographs and graphics are important to portray a certain image. I have been able to work on this skill a lot this semester by choosing blog photos. Although it can slightly differ, either for blogs or for print, photographs will speak volumes to anyone viewing your piece.

They add interest to the piece, instead of just words. We love visuals, and this is no exception to that rule.

Good photos are based on technical quality, subject matter, composition, action, scale and many other aspects because it needs to have all elements included.

Contracts are written document helps you avoid misunderstandings about fees, costs of materials, and copyright ownership.

Questions for the Photographer

  • Do you shoot digital?
  • Can you show me your other work and photos you have taken?
  • What contacts do you have with the media?
  • how will you help me distribute the photo once it has been shot?



Feature Stories and Op-Ed

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Reading Notes #7 – COMM 4333

We all have gotten through quite a few Communications courses to find ourselves here. Therefore, we have a basic idea of the fundamentals needed to write a feature story, or soft news.

Feature stories differ from the regular “hard news” stories because most have more human-interest and are less focused on the time frame because the stories are not about todays robbery but cover last weeks community event.

A feature story has several parts to follow. A headline, lead, body, summary, and photos with captions.

Types of Features

  • Case Study
  • Application Story
  • Research Study
  • Backgrounder
  • Personality Profile
  • Historical Piece.


Fact Sheets, Advisories, Media Kits, Pitches- OH MY!

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Reading Notes #6 – COMM 4333

Preparing Fact Sheets, Advisories, Media Kits, and Pitches is all covered in chapter 6 of

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques -6th Edition-Wilcox, D.

Fact sheets come in all different forms, including event information, new product details and for corporate profiles.

A fact sheet is a one page background sheets about an event, product, or the organization.

A media advisory is also known as an alert and it lets the press know about a certain upcoming event and should try and persuade them to cover the event with publicity. The key to this is showing the press multiple reasons of why they should be involved and how it can also benefit them!

Media (press) kits are a wonderful tool to assemble in time for a product launch or a major event.

They include the fact sheets for the specific event or product, along with the main news release and a news feature. Background information about your product needs to be in the kit also so that the reader will be able to know about the organization.

Photographs and captions should be inside the presentation and a short bio on the spokesperson allows an inside look for all the press agents. Brochures can show a different side of the project including some of the testimonials or pictures of prior events. All of the information we compile for the media kit is to give them a better idea of who we are and our purpose.

Never neglect the visual aspect of it because the receiver will always want a professional and neat presentation; therefore, the kit should be placed in a new folder with the organization name written on it.

Preparing a perfect pitch is a process and the key to persuasion is tailoring it to the specific client. Find out how they like to be contacted and build a mutual trust between you and the reporter because the networking will prove to be very beneficial.