Archive for September, 2010

Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Writing the News Release

  • The media are flooded with hundreds of news releases. To beat the odds and get space or time, your release must be newsworthy, timely, and well written.
  • Planning worksheets and answering the five W’s and H are the basic first steps in writing a news release.
  • There are several types of news releases: announcements, spot announcements, reaction stories, bad news, and hometown releases.
  • One key to successful news release writing to emphasize the local angle.
  • Contacts listed on a news release should be knowledgeable about the topic and highly accessible to reporters who call for more information.
  • News releases are highly structured pieces of writing. Use inverted pyramid style, with the most important fact sheets.

Read Full Post »

 Avoiding Plagiarism

One major way public relations practitioners can avoid legal hassles is by avoiding plagiarism. Plagiarism is very common these days with all of the information on the internet with no real way of knowing its credibility if not cited.

In an article I found on ehow.com titled, “Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in Writing,” I found many helpful tips. The main four focuses of the article had to do with defining common knowledge, creating citations and bibliographies, taking accurate notes, and the understanding of paraphrasing.

Defining common knowledge can be hard and causes many issues leading to plagiarism. Knowing what common knowledge is crucial. If it is not obvious, meaning that a large group of people would know what you are talking about, then the information being distributed would not be considered common knowledge and would require a reference that can be cited.

The second point discussed in the article is the usage of citations, bibliographies and references. Most pieces of writing should have citations, unless it is personal writing, etc. You can find correct ways to cite your information all over the web or in an AP style handbook.

Accurate note taking has been noted to be the best way to avoid plagiarism. It is important to keep your ideas separate from the ones taken from the source and if you use any exact words it is crucial that they are in quotation marks.

In addition to quoting, paraphrasing should be cited as well. The correct way to do so is to change the words and structure of the original source without changing the idea or content and should fit smoothly. This does not take away the need to use citations.

While plagiarism is easy to do without realizing, it is also easy to avoid. If you pay attention to what you are writing and use the points provided above, you should find yourself becoming a stronger writer and less apt to plagiarism accusations.

Read Full Post »

In an article I retrieved from jacksonwightman.com titled, “Weddings and your PR event,” I learned four tips to making a press event more like a wedding. These tips are offered to build stronger relations with the media.

The first is to personalize the invite (media advisory), meaning addressing the invite with the attendee’s name. This is a tactic used with modern public relations.

The second is to participate socially before and after you send the invite in an inconspicuous manner via twitter, facebook, etc. This way people will be aware of the event previous to invites. 

The third is to “be the hub of dialogue around the event.” This behavior is similar to that of brides, grooms, families and people in the wedding parties in that they talk about the event consistently, even after you send the wedding invites, or in the event case, a blast release.

The fourth is to make certain you provide information and contacts that drive pre event activities. Such actions include rsvp cards, picking food, and creating a website address.

Read Full Post »

In an article I retrieved from gawker.com titled, “Steve Jobs in Email Pissing Match with College Journalism Student,” I was wildly shocked as to how Steve Jobs, Apple cofounder responded to a Long Island journalism student when asked why the Apple PR department was not getting back to her.

 Chelsea Isaacs was given an assignment regarding the usage of Apple Ipads in the academic setting. After calling the Apple PR Department six times with no response, she decided to e-mail Steve Jobs at sjobs@apple.com. Instead of helping her with her assignment, he responded, “Please leave us alone.”

As a public figure in a worldwide company such as Apple, I find this response absurd. Isaacs was reaching out for help and the least Jobs could have done was reply nicely if he wasn’t going to offer any aid. I think this incident is negative PR for Apple and they should re-evaluate their customer service.

Read Full Post »

Upon taking the NewsU Cleaning Your Copy course, I learned many and was reminded of many elementary common mistakes that take place during the writing process. The four main topics in the course were grammar, AP style, punctuation and spelling. 

I found that I exceeded in the AP style, punctuation, and spelling areas of the course, however my grammar was not quite as high.  When taking the quizzes, I kind of grazed through and put down what I thought was the obvious answer without taking a deeper look into the correct answer. This caused me to make many small errors. When reviewing the questions that I missed I realized they were just stupid mistakes that could have been avoided had I looked harder.

While most of the mistakes I made were due to not evaluating the questions thoroughly, I will admit that part was due to not being sure of the correct answers. There are many cases that come up in writing that I think everyone has to think twice about. For example, the usage of their/they’re/there or except/accept. Writing can be tricky and it should be studied so that you don’t make small grammatical errors.

I was surprised to see how poorly I did in the grammar portion. Writing is a passion of mine and I always thought of myself as a decent writer. I did not expect to do so poorly in that area, however, I tried to learn from it and found it very helpful.

I would like to see more quizzes though. There were only two quizzes available from what I could see and I think that it would be more beneficial if there was a mini quiz at the end of each topic. That way it would be easier for the person taking the quiz to remember and apply the information learned.

Read Full Post »

Chapter 4

*Finding and Making News*

  • A major objective of many public relations programs is to generate publicity for the employer or client
  • Publicity is not an end in itself. It is a means to help achieve organizational goals and objectives.
  • The first step in preparing publicity is to become thoroughly familiar with the company or organization through use of internal documents and interviews. Use of external sources, such as media coverage, also is recommended.
  • Problem-solving skills and creativity are required to generate publicity. One way to get creative ideas is through brainstorming with colleagues.
  • The satellite media tour and the cyber media tour are now used by organizations to book a spokesperson on a television or radio news program.

Read Full Post »

Chapter 3

*Avoiding Legal Hassles*

  • A public relations practitioner can get caught up in a lawsuit or a case with a government regulatory agency in a number of different ways. Practitioners may be held legally liable if they provide advice or support the illegal activity of a client.
  • Employees are limited in expressing opinions. Online communication can be monitored by the employer. Employees can be fired for revealing trade secrets or harassing fellow employees through e-mail or websites.
  • Copyright is the protection of creative work from unauthorized use. It is assumed that published works are copyrighted, and permission must be obtained to reprint such material.
  • New copyright issues have been raised by the popularity of the Internet and the ease of downloading, uploading, and disseminating images and information.
  • A cooperative relationship must exist between public relations personnel and legal counsel. It helps if both groups report to the same top executive and both are represented on key committees.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »