PR Connections (Part 2)

PR Connections

Commentary, reflections and opinions about PR issues that I have found are listed below. For other PR connections check out my other blogs titled: PR Connections- Comment on Shelz & Neville Report & PR Connections (Part 1).

  • On PRWeek, I found an Opinion based article explaining a debate on ethics in PR.  Though this article came out in 2007 of February, its a great article that I think everyone should look into. The issue that I find questionable is concerning how PR people admit to being dishonest at times. A statement that stood out to me is this, ” The fact that PR people admit they need to lie occasionally is a sign of growing honesty and confidence in what they do.” Weird, huh? In my mind, I am wondering what do they think is right? Do they know the difference between morals and values?  Click to read the article called “OPINION: Honesty on display at Ethics Debate” and tell me what you think.
  • A website that I came across goes into detail about how the industry can manipulate you through public opinion and guess which one they choose.. Yes,  they chose Public Relations as one of the many professions that manipulate public opinions. Click to read more on “How the industry manipulates public opinion.”
  • Another issue that many people may not know about is accreditation for public relations professionals. They question why is it that they need to become accredited in order to pursue there career when they have been working in the industry for years. One main reason to become accredited is to help the continuous growth of the industry. Do you believe that its necessary for public relations people? Take a look at the video below and  you decide.

Video Titled: Is Public Relations Accreditation Worthwhile?

  • I came across a unique blog titled ” Why PR Sucks”. This blog was published by Todd Defern in 2004 from the blogging site PR Squared. A very unusual way to put it but he was very direct and truthful on what he believes why PR Sucks. There are different reasons why but he clearly defines which part in PR sucks. Read and tell me what you think about his blog.
  • In looking into public relations issues. I found a presentation concerning some public relations issues. The deception within media comes from the PR firms, who are  behind many company scandals; such as Walmart blogs,  When AOL apologies for release of user search data and  the Myspace glitch that gave hackers teen data. These are all dilemma and issues that PR firms have created. Take a look at this power point. Its short, simple and to the point.

Power point: Public Relations Issues

  • Another video that I will like to share with you is called “The Most Dangerous Ideas About the Future of Public Relations”. This video from Ad Age in 2004 asked the Advertising Editor Jonah Bloom with a running of only 3 minutes about why he thinks the future of public relations is a dangerous idea. When you listen to what he has to say, he is presenting his opinion and what he believes is about to come.  I do not totally agree but it is definitely something to think about when it comes to your future career going into shambles. Take a look and let me know what you think.

  • In this article, It states how bad PR forces Apple to reconsider banning a prize-winning satirist. This article was published on April 16, 2010… Yes, its a recent article and it surely explains why Apple wants to reconsider the resubmission of an app made by Mark Fiore. Funny thing about this is why would Apple ask you to resubmit something after banning it? Confused, huh?  Here is why: “Because the app satirized public figures in violation of its policies. Fiore did just that Friday morning, even though he says he feels a bit odd about it.” For more details as to why this was Bad PR, read the article here: “Bad PR Forces Apple to Reconsider Banning Prize-Winning Satirist”.


To read more PR connections, go back to the top of my blog and click the links to my other PR Connections. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.

Writing Email, Memos, and Proposals

Chapter 14

Book: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques (sixth edition) by Dennis L. Wilcox

The Challenge of Managing Communication Overload

  • Public Relations Writers not only communicates to a broad audience, they communicate through personal things, such as emails, memos, phone calls, and face-to-face communication.
  • A smart writer follows the basic guidelines which are clarity, completeness, conciseness, courtesy, and responsibility… these things should be in all writings.

Memo’s should be on one page or less and state the key message immediately. A memo has five components: date, to, from, subject, and message.

Email is rapid and cost efficient. It is not, however, a substitute for personal one-on-one communication. Email is less formal than a letter, but more formal than a telephone call.

Increase the effectiveness of email by:

  1. Providing key information in the subject line
  2. Keeping them to 25 lines or less
  3. Using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation

NOTE: Keeping things simple, short and to the point is a great way to reduce information overload.

Click this link for more detailed information on Chp 14 (in presentation format)

Social Media News Release

Social Media News Release

This video is shares an overview of Social Media News Release from RealWire

What is a Social Media News Release (SMNR)?

Social Media News Releases are a new kind of press releases. SMNR’s are taking advantage of the online and media tools in order to communicate a message to the “online” community. It includes videos; such as YouTube, images, hyperlinks and audio. It’s like blogging from a business aspect yet in a creative fashion.

Some say that Journalist love receiving Social Media News Release’s more than the printed paper version of news releases. Pretty cool, ey!

PR Practitioners should use SMNR’s instead of or in addition to a “regular” news release when they want to reach an online audience. In order for them to do so, they would have to go through the measures of submitting a SMNR to convey their story with their message to their online community. An advantage for PR people in submitting a Social Media Release is allowing the two-way communication between the PR practitioners and the audience.

For examples and more info, Go to the links below:

What do you think about SMNR’s? What are some better examples of Social Media Release’s than the ones shown above?

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?

Public Relations & Journalism

Chapter 10: Distributing News to the Media

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

  • Selecting the right channels of distributing to the media is key to guarantee that your work is reaching the correct media and the correct audiences.

Media Databases vary but they do have five things in common that provides essential information:

  1. Names of publications and broadcast stations
  2. Mailings Addresses
  3. Telephone & Fax numbers
  4. E-mail Addresses
  5. Names of key editors and reporters
  • Editorial Calendars– where trade publications and business periodicals tend to operate.
  • Tip Sheets– is a way to find media personnel who might have an interest in your material
  • “Online news rooms are part of the organizations website, which is now a primary source for journalist seeking late breaking news and other information about an organization.”
  • Key words are important with search engines optimism(SEO). Publicist must use key words that is helpful in use to search for information.
  • Camera ready features are widely used by newspapers and other media outlets because they reduce staff cost and fill spaces.

Chapter 11- Getting Along with Journalist

Public Relations professionals and journalist have had a long love-hate relationship. With this in mind, two-thirds of journalist do not trust public relations people, but there is also the realization that they are mutually dependent on each other.

In a sense, media depends on public relations professionals.  In most mass communications, reporters and editors spend most of their time processing information and not gathering it.

Fun Fact

PRWeek conducted a national survey of Journalist and found that almost 60 percent used news releases “all the time” or “often.” Thirty percent acknowledged that they relied more on public relations sources than they did 5 years earlier.

The purpose of public relations is to inform, to shape opinions, attitudes and motives.

Giving gifts such as coffee mugs or T-shirts are Gimmicks that reporters and editors does not easily enjoy receiving.

The major complaint about journalist is that they are sometimes sloppy and they aren’t accurate, nor take the time with their homework.

The bottom line in effective media relations is being accurate, truthful, and providing outstanding services.

NOTE: Don’t irritate reporters by asking, “Did you get my news release? Also, don’t ask to see an advance copy of the story or when a story will be published.

For related information on PR VS Journalism: Take a look at 10 ways that PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy.

10 Ways PR Practitioners Can Drive a Journalist Crazy

Journalism & PR Practitioner: Soul mates

Many people see Journalism and PR Practitioners as enemies when really they are people who have to learn how to work hand and hand. But there are some iffy situations where PR Practitioners can bug the Journalist.

Here are 10 Ways they drive Journalist Crazy:

  1. PR Practitioners tend to not have enough background information when it comes to representing a product or service. This confuses and frustrates the journalist while trying to edit and complete the publishing factor.
  2. Journalist believe that PR Practitioners have no clue on what’s “newsworthy” , because they often write about whats in the job description instead of writing whats current and relevant.
  3. Journalist get annoyed with hype words that are unrealistic for news release such as “one of the Best”, they tend to think that PR Practitioners are incompetent and not capable of producing good news.
  4. Journalist also think that PR people have a tendency to twist their story. They forget to sell the story but instead they sell whatever to fit their agenda.
  5. When trying to contact for information or questioning, Journalist notice that PR people are never available and/or they never have a comment.
  6. Deadlines: When publishing a story, journalist have to have a story before the deadline just in case there are needs for rearranging or changing up a story.
  7. Calling: PR people tend to annoy Journalist with repeated phone calls asking why there story was not published.
  8. Gifts can become annoying.. more like “persuasive gimmicks”, that is attached with there news release kits. Seems more like a bargain than presenting a great story.
  9. Over obsessive: Faxes & emails are unnecessary when asking about your news release being published.
  10. Last but certainly not least, Journalist would like PR Practitioners to write the story, not by overly using words, but by giving the meat of the story.

Sources: PERCEPTIONS ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PUBLIC RELATIONS PRACTITIONERS AND JOURNALISTS & 10 Things Journalists Hate About PR Professionals

What are some of your thoughts on this?

Selecting Publicity Photos & Graphics

Chapter 8- Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics

Book: Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques- Sixth Edition
By: Dennis L. Wilcox

In this chapter, you can explore the elements that make a good publicity photo or graphic and it also will help explain how to prepare the material for media consideration.

Photographs and graphics are important components of news releases and feature stories. They add interest and variety, and they often explain things better than words alone.

The adage says that a picture is worth a thousand words. A picture in a newspaper or magazine often takes the same space as a thousand words, but it has much more impact.

Digital cameras are now used for publicity photos; such photos can be taken and distributed almost instantly.

A public relations writer should be familiar with the elements of good publicity photo: quality, subject matter, composition, action, scale, camera single, lighting, and color.

PUBLICITY PHOTOS SHOULD BE SHARP, CLEAR, AND HIGH CONTRAST.

Action is important because it projects movement and the idea that something is happening right before the reader’s eyes. Photos with action and informality are more interesting than rigid, posed shots.

Terms

  • Caption all photos sent to the media need a caption.
  • Photo news releases-(PNR) a photograph with a long caption beneath it that tells an entire story
  • Clip art line art and other graphic designs that can be used in public relations materials. Clip art is available on CD and online.

Know that:

Crop photographs to remove clutter and get a tighter focus on the main subject.

Photo captions are short, use present tense to describe the action and provide context.

Charts, diagrams, maps, etc., should be simple, colorful, and uncluttered.