Archive for the ‘Reading Notes’ Category

Chapter 14

Writing E-mail, Memos, & Proposals

  • Information overload is persistent in our society and you can help decrease disorder by keeping your messages simple, short and to the point. In addition, limit messages to only those who are in your key audiences.
  • E-mail bulge is overwhelming many organizations and individuals and one should use wikis, text messaging, RSS, and applications such as Twitter to reduce the flow.
  • E-mail is rapid and cost-efficient but it is not a substitute for personal one-to-one communication.
  • Memos should be one page or less and state the key message immediately. A memo has five components: (1) date, (2) to, (3) from, (4) subject and (5) message.
  • Proposals must follow a logical, well-organized format. They are prepared to convince management to make a decision about a contract or approve money and resources for a project.


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Chapter 12

Tapping the Web and New Media

  • Public relations practitioners are heavy users of the Internet and the Web. They disseminate information to a variety of audiences and use the Internet for research.
  • Writing for the Web requires nonlinear organization. Topics should be in index-card format instead of a long, linear narrative. This allows viewers to click on the information most interesting to them.
  • Webcasting, the streaming of audio and video in real time over a website, is now used by the majority of organizations for everything from news conferences to employee training.
  • Usenet is a bulletin board where users post notes and make comments. Listservs are used by organizations to send information to subscribers on a regular basis.
  • You Tube is the premier social networking site for posting and viewing videos. Organizations are heavily involved in posting video clips. The clips, however, must be creative, interesting, and somewhat humorous to attract an audience.

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Chapter 11

Getting Along with Journalists

  • Journalists depend on public relations sources for collecting most of their information; public relations people depend on the media for wide-spread distribution of information.
  • The major complaint about journalists is that they are careless in their accuracy and often don’t take the time to do their homework.
  • Media credibility is weakened when publications link advertising contracts with the amount of coverage that an organization receives.
  • News conferences should be held only if there is noteworthy news that lends itself to elaboration and questions from journalists. News conferences can also be held via teleconferences or webcasts.
  • Press tours, or junkets, should be used only if there is a legitimate news story or angle. Avoid junkets that “simply wine and dine” journalists.

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Chapter 10

Distributing News to the Media

  • Media directories are crucial tools for compiling media lists and distributing information.
  • Publicists use editorial calendars to find out what special editions or sections various publications are scheduling for the year.
  • Mailing labels must be correct; they should be addressed to a specific editor by name and include such details as the floor or suite in an office building.
  • Online newsrooms, which are part of an organization’s website, have become the main source for journalists seeking late-breaking news and other information about an organization.
  • Keywords are important for search engine optimization (SEO). Publicists must use keywords that clients will likely use to search for information.

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Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Writing for Radio and Television

  • The broadcast media are important channels of communication, but using them requires thinking in terms of sound and visual elements.
  • Audio news releases are more interesting because they include sound bites, music, and sound effects.
  • Radio media tours (RMTs) are a cost-effective way to reach many stations with an exclusive interview over a wide geographic area.
  • Television news releases must contain both sound and visual elements such as graphics, slides, or videotape.
  • Satellite media tours are widely used in the broadcast industry. A popular format is setting up interviews from a location that reinforces the story.
  • Talk shows offer numerous opportunities for reaching mass and specialized audiences.

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Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics

  • Photographs and graphics add appeal and increase media usage of news releases or features.
  • Digital cameras are now used for publicity photos; such photos can be taken and distributed almost instantly.
  • Publicity photos should be sharp, clear and high contrast.
  • Photos should be creative. Traditional pictures of “ribbon cuttings” no longer work.
  • A publicity photo should be creative. Traditional pictures of “ribbon cuttings” no longer work.
  • Through computer technology, charts can be made more visually attractive. They are often called “infographics.”

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Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Creating News Features and Op-Ed

  • News feature writing requires right-brain thinking- intuition, image-making, and conceptualization.
  • Features and background stories are part of a trend in the print media to do what is called service journalism- “news you can use.”
  • A good feature writer is curious and asks a lot of questions. He or she can conceptualize and see possibilities for the development of a feature article.
  • Feature stories are formatted much like news releases in terms of using letterheads, contacts, headlines, and datelines.
  • Photos and graphics are an integral part of a feature story package.
  • Letters to the editor usually are written to comment on, add information, or rebut an article or editorial that has already been published. Most letters should be 200 words or less to better ensure publication.

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