Tapping the Web and New Media

Chapter 12

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques (Sixth Edition) by Dennis L. Wilcox

  • The worldwide adoption towards Internet and the World Wide Web takes less than the adoption of any other mass medium in history.
  • The World Wide Web is the first medium that allows organizations to send controlled messages to a mass audience without the message being filtered by journalist and editors.

The new media & Web have unique characteristics, they are:

  1. Easy updating of material
  2. Instant distribution of information
  3. An infinite amount of space for information
  4. The ability to interact with the audience

“Publicizing and promoting a website are necessary to generate traffic. Print and Internet advertising, e-mail, hyperlinks, and putting the URL on all printed material are some ways to promote a site.”

Blogs have become mainstream in terms of numbers and influence. There are three kinds of blogs, coming from a Public Relations standpoint:

  1. Corporate
  2. Employee
  3. Third Party

Myspace and Facebook are the most popular for social networking sites.

Public Relations professionals need to understand that “traditional” media and “new” media are not mutually exclusive categories.

The traditional media is still alive and well. Regardless of the new media in public relations. The content is in traditional media and it often makes people aware of new products and services.

For more information on “New Media”  Go to this Hyperlink: What is NEW MEDIA?

Jeff Houck with Pitching to the Media

Jeff Houck from Tampa Tribune

Jeff Houck is a food writer for Tampa Tribune and food blogger at The Stew on TBO.com.

On Tuesday, April 5th, I was privileged to hear Jeff Houck speak in my PR Writing Class about “Pitching to the Media’. His experience and knowledge with journalism has helped me to look the “fun” aspect of journalism. Not many people can say how effective and how fun journalism can be. Jeff Houck is a humorous and truthful person whose knowledge towards pitching to the media was very insightful.

Ten things when Pitching to the Media:

  1. Relationships are key: having strong relationships with people will get you far. Why? Because these people may become your future clients or they may help you land a great job.
  2. Bad Language: when having a pitch, make sure it is clear and straight to the point. If there is too much going on, chances are that your story will not be published.
  3. Pitching Errors: Before submitting a story make sure that there are no errors. Make sure you proof read your story several times (have a second eye also) before submitting. This will make the process easier for you and the journalist to submit the story.
  4. Deadlines: Not many people are cautious of the time. Deadlines are extremely important and you have to submit the deadline as soon as possible, even weeks before can be better. This will give the journalist time to edit and possibly submit the story even sooner.
  5. Honesty: When receiving information, know that everyone is not going to be honest. Have a back up plan when you decide to do the “pitch”.
  6. Selling the Story: Know your story but not too much that you have to over sell it. “Don’t sell the product, sell the story.”
  7. Headlines: When writing your headline, keep it short, simple and catchy. “Cut to the chase”
  8. Title your Email Correctly: When emailing a news release or trying to consume some information, make sure your email is professional including the title. This will help you to quickly achieve your goal and it helps your email to not be thought of as spam.
  9. Ask the Journalist: Before you do anything on sending information to a journalist, make sure you ask what would they like to see and what are there pet peeves. This will make it less stressful while trying to release your story.
  10. Have fun with pitching: Love what you do while doing it. This will insure that your work will come out greatly. Pitching can be easy, simple, and fun if you follow all steps.

Follow: Jeff Houck on Twitter

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Thank you to Barbara Nixon for having Jeff Houck speak in our PR Writing Class at Southeastern University.

Follow: Barbara Nixon on Twitter