Archive for What I Read…

News or Not??? (chapter 4)

Chapter four is all about news. Chapter four talks about what news is, how to find news, and how to create news. Public Relations professionals have to know what makes news in order to surpass media gatekeepers.

  • Timeliness- news must be current
  • Prominence- news should have celebrity or a prominent place or person
  • Proximity- news should have a local angle
  • Significance- news should affect a substantial number of people
  • Unusualness- news should contain something out of the ordinary to attract attention
  • Human Interest- people enjoy news about other people whether the people are celebrities or people in need
  • Conflict- news should contain controversy between two different parties
  • Newness- news should contain new information about products or other items

If you make sure your stories hit on at least one or two points from the list above, you will be sure to have a good news story.


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Look at the Legalities and Learn the Law (chapter 3)

Chapter 3 describes essential laws that Public Relations professionals need to know. It is important to stay ahead of the law so we don’t get into trouble with the law.

  • Public Relations personnel shouldn’t give advice to their client or knowingly allow their client to engage in illegal activity. PR can be held liable for such acts.
  • PR should “watch their language” and clients’ language. With the wrong word or phrase about someone else, you can fall into trouble with a defamation suit.
  • PR have to be careful about what information they reveal about thier employees. Revealing too much information about an employee can become invasion of privacy.
  • PR should know copyright laws in order to keep track of when and where your client’s works are being utilized. And to be sure that a client’s works are being used legally.
  • Trademarks are important to companies and need to be protected.  Trademarks are protected by law and companies need to be sure trademarks aren’t being used unlawfully.

These aren’t the only laws that PR should know but this is a good start. PR should learn about these and other laws more in depth to help their clients stay away from the court systems.

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You’ve Got Mail… Memos and Proposals (Chapter 14)

Chapter 14 takes time to explain what you should and shouldn’t do when using written communication. This chapter talks about e-mail, memorandums, letters and proposals. There were different guidelines presented in chapter 14 for each form of written communication. I compiled lists of each group of guidelines.

The main guidelines for everything you write are:

  • Completeness- make sure what you write serves its intended purpose
  • Conciseness- be brief as possible, less is better
  • Correctness- make sure you write accurately
  • Courtesy- write personably but don’t go too far
  • Responsibility- think of how your reader will perceive your writing

Email Guidelines:

  • Use emails to keep up with events, make appointments, and review or edit documents.
  • Make your emails simple in appearance, always fill out the subject line, and avoid replying to all.
  • Use email language that’s formal yet conversational. Be sure to use standard English and abbreviations.
  • Always reread e-mails before sending them.

Memorandum guidlines:

  • Use memos to ask for information, supply information, confirm a verbal exchange, planning a meeting, remind and write almost any other message.
  • Distribute hard copies of memos even if they are sent in an email.
  • A memo should be a page or less in length.
  • Put the key message into the first sentence or first paragraph

Letters Guidelines:

  • The first paragraph should concisely atate the purpose of the letter or give the “bottom-line.”
  • Write letters on standard business stationery.
  • If you are unsure of the specific name you need, head your letter in the form of a memo.
  • The body should be four to five paragraphs.
  • Be sure to use spelling and grammer checks before sending your letter.

Proposal Guidelines:

  • Know the purpose of your proposal.
  • Know what your proposal will address.
  • A proposal may be a few or multiple pages depending on it’s scope.
  • Be sure to include sections in your proposal like: background information, goals and objectives, basic strategies, timeline of events, and a proposed budget. (There are other sections to use as well.)

 Now that you have some simple yet important guidelines to follow, you are ready to communicate through written language effectively.


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The Art of “Tap” (Chapter 12)

Chapter 12 reinforces the fact that as PR professionals we must stay on top of the web and other forms of social media.

The internet is a strong influence in the life of a PR practioneer. We use the internet for a global reach  for publishing our information. We keep in contact with the world and stay on top of what’s going on it it.

We use the World Wide Web to update and disseminate information electronically. We can maintain an interactive relationship with anyone who views our information. We can receive feedback and questions from those viewers and improve aspects of our information to further help the veiwers.

While the World Wide Web is an important tool, we must know the proper way to use it. We should know how to write for the web, effectively build a website and make the site interactive. Using those three criteria can help in other web areas, such as, attracting visitors to your site and tracking visitors.

Social media grows almost daily. The most prevelant social media is blogging though there are a number of other social media that is very useful to PR practioneers. The social media outlets include: Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, and even more sites.

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How to Get Along (Chapter 11)

Chapter 11 explains how to get along with journalists. I pulled out three important aspects from Chapter 11: why media relations are important, the relationship between journalists and PR, and the dependance between PR and media.

The first apsect is why media relations is important. Media relations is the core to most public relations jobs. If you cannot keep up with good media relations  it will be extremely hard to do your job well. 

Over time pr and journalists have had a less than perfect relationship with each other. But the underlying idea is that they are fully dependant on one another. PR and journalists may not trust each other they still must use each other to survive.  Without the media, PR wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. It would be hard to disseminate information if a PR professional couldn’t use the media to release information. Without PR, the media wouldn’t have most of the information for mass media. Journalists don’t collect information and that’s where PR shows up the most.

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Let the Media Read All About it!!!

Chapter ten has the importance of media databases, different forms of distribution methods pr practioneers and uses for editorial calenders and tip sheets.

Media databases provide useful information necessary for public relationists to contact the media. This information includes: names of publications, mailing addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and the names of key editors and reporters.

Distribution methods include: emil, online newsrooms, electronic wire services, feature placement services, feature placement firms, photo placement firms, mail, fax, and CD-Roms. The use of each method of distribution is specific to how quickly a practioneer needs to send out information.

Editorial calendars give practitioneers a heads up for what the editorial focus is and what type of story may be wanted. Editorial calendars help increase the rate of placements  for pr practioneers. Tip sheets give relationist information about news personnel change, contact for them, new personnel assignments and sometimes it says what types of material personnel are looking for.

Keeping up with the media’s contact information makes the job of a relationist that much easier.


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Can You Write For Radio???

Chapter nine tells us the importance of radio publicity, public service announcements (psa) and television publicity.

The radio is an inexpensive medium to reach different demographics of large numbers of people.When trying to publicize on radio, be sure to write your  radio news release in a way it can be easily read by the radio announcer and understandable to the audience.

A psa is an free promotional announcement from government and/or nonprofit agencies that support the public interest. A psa can be on any subject and using sound effects are very effective to get the audience’s attention.

Television reaches a bigger mass than radio but video news releases (VNR) are not as cost effective as radio releases. Since vnr’s are more expensive and take more time to make; it’s essential that the VNR is current and newsworthy once it is made.

Television and radio are essential for reaching the masses but practioneers we must use them thoughtfully. Remember to use radio news releases and video news releases to your advantage.



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