Archive for July, 2010

TOW #8

For this weeks topic of the week we were asked to provide 10 tips for writing an effective news release.  I found a few really good tips from some websites but I also came up with a few of my own from previous experiences writing news releases. The two websites I took information from are called press release writing.com and prwebdirect.com, both of these websites offered great tips on how to start on your first news release and also great ways to edit an already finished news release. 

1. Make sure the information is newsworthy. -A good press release answers all of the “W” questions (who, what, where, when and why), providing the media with useful information about your organization, product, service or event. If your press release reads like an advertisement, rewrite it.

 2.  Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.

 3.    Write for the Media. On occasion, media outlets, especially online media, will pick up your press release and   run it in their publications with little or no modification.

 4. Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.

 5. Does your press release illustrate? Use real life examples about how your company or organization solved a problem. Identify the problem and identify why your solution is the right solution.

 6. Pick an angle. Try to make your press release timely. Tie your news to current events or social issues if possible. Make sure that your story has a good news hook.

 7.    Provide as much Contact information as possible: Individual to Contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.

 8.    Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs.

 9.    Beware of jargon. A limited amount of jargon will be required if your goal is to optimize your news release for online search engines, the best way to communicate your news is to speak plainly, using ordinary language.

 10.  Avoid the hype.The exclamation point (!) is your enemy. There is no better way to destroy your credibility than to include a bunch of hype. If you must use an exclamation point, use one.


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PR connections- Teens losing interest in facebook?

Currently just about every high school and college student has some kind of social networking site and in particular they are using facebook.  An online gaming site just recently surveyed 600 teens ages 13 to 17 in late April and found that teens spend two hours per day online on average, 80% of which is spent using a social network. These same teens are, however, showing signs of “Facebook Fatigue.” Nearly one in five (19%) who have an account no longer visit Facebook or are using it less.

Those whom are saying goodbye to facebook 45% have lost interest, 16% are leaving because their parents are there, 14% say there are “too many adults/older people” and 13% are concerned about the privacy of their personal information.

Although facebook may be losing some interest in a few of its users it is still ranked as the number one social networking site among teens — 78% have created a profile and 69% still use it. YouTube ranks second; 64% of teens claim to have a YouTube profile and continue to use the site. MySpace comes in a distant third (41%) and Twitter takes the fourth spot (20%).

Many teens claim that they are using facebook more now to play games instead of solely connecting with friends and blogging.  Times are beginning to change and I kind of wonder what facebook will add next to raw more attention of its users.

Statistics may show that facebook’s users are declining in numbers but everytime I turn around I always see someone on facebook.  The thing that wierds me out the most is how so many adults and company employees are joining the facebook network.  I will admit that I have a problem with repetitively checking my facebook daily.  I have never played games such as farmville because of the fear of getting a virus or some sort of spam on my computer.

I do believe that facebook will have to make alterations to their network or more and more teens in particular will keep losing interest.  I honestly tink it is a good thing that teens are starting to lose interest with facebook because it provides way too many distractions and teens are spending way too much time on the internet as it is.  What ever happened to the good old days when everyone went outside to play instead of spending hours in front of the television and computer screen?

Article from: Mashable/social media

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Isreal Soldiers get down

I found this video and I thought it was really funny and might make a few of you guys laugh as well.  Who knows maybe the war in the middle east isn’t as bad as we all may think.  Isreal soldiers take a break and dance to” TIK TOK.”

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PR connections- The worlds most interesting intern

While searching through articles on PR daily’s news feed I came across “The worlds most interesting intern,” which is a spoof off of the main guy in the Dos Equis commercials.  The YouTube video is of a young intern named Greg Justice who works at Cisco, the Silicon Valley networking giant.

 The video was picked up last week by technology blogs and now has more than 46,000 views. It’s among the most popular on Cisco’s YouTube channel.  The idea for the rap video came after a brainstorming session Mr. Justice had with his boss, John Earnhardt, Cisco’s director of corporate communications.  Mr. Justice’s first video, shot in about 15 minutes in a plain conference room, pokes a little fun at corporate culture, but he isn’t some rogue intern. The Stanford University English major is working in Cisco’s communications department, and the company planned to have him write blog posts over the summer to generate buzz about the company and incorporate its products — including Flip camcorders and TelePresence videoconferencing.

The video is a great idea and has already received a lot of positive feedback from its viewers.  I can see how some may think it is childish and dumb but sometimes in the media world these types of videos receive more interest than say a video on the president of the united states.  I would be very surprised if this young man does not receive a job offer after the end of his internship with such a creative idea!

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PR Connections- What will the King do next?

As many of you know, sports fans or not, in the past week NBA super star Lebron James has been all over the media.  I just recently read an article written by the Chicago Tribune and tonight, July 8, 2010 James will make his decision of either going to f Chicago, New York, New Jersey or Miami, or will stay in Cleveland.  He decided to become a free agent because of the need to win a national championship ring.  Millions of sports and Lebron fans are anticipating this evening’s decision so much that ESPN has even titled the 9 pm broadcast as “The Decision.” 

Hopeful cities have even started to make jerseys with Lebron’s name on the back and many celebrities have given him a plead to come to their city to play ball.   ESPN has allowed James’ LRMR to line up its own sponsors with proceeds earmarked for the Boys & Girls Club of America for jersey and other memorabilia purchases. 

Some lead marketing agents explain that if Lebron really wanted to make money he should have followed after the hit television show the bachelor or other popular reality television series.   He could have kept an ad-supported video diary, including behind-the-scenes video of meetings with franchises.  Of more importance from a business standpoint, fans would have been invited to register to vote for their team and receive updates through e-mail and Twitter, creating a valuable marketing database.  Lebron and his people had their chances to make it big with this huge situation, but instead they failed miserably. 

In my opinion I feel that it is kind of stupid that everyone is making such a big deal out of where Lebron decides to go.  Do not get me wrong I love basketball and I am from Ohio so I love Lebron, but I feel that this has blown way out of proportion.  My Facebook and twitter walls have been filled up with people’s predictions of where they believe Lebron will go and honestly I could really care less.  I do believe a company should have taken advantage of this situation and made a sitcom out of his “decision,” but the only problem he would have had to wait for the show to be aired until he revealed his decision which would have delayed the whole process.  It really amazes me how popular one athlete really can be.  If I did have to predict where he will go I would definitely say the Heat, but who knows I guess we will have to wait until Lebrons final “decision.”

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Reading Notes Ch 15

Chapter 15 Radio, Television, and the Web from: Public Relations Strategies and Tactics 9th ed. by: Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron

In this chapter the authors discuss how radio, television, and the web and incorporated within public relations.

 Broadcasting and its various forms, which now include Webcasting, are important because they reach the vast majority of the American public on a daily basis.  Currently there are more than 13,000 radio stations in the United States and there are more than 800 television stations.

 Radio News Releases

                -in the industry they are called audio news releases and are written for the ear.  The emphasis is on strong, short sentences that average about 10 words that can be easily understood by a listener.


–          There are four approaches for getting an organization’s news and viewpoints on local television which are:

  1. Send the same news release that the local print media receive. 
  2. A media alert or advisory informing the assignment editor about a particular event or occasion that would lend itself to video coverage.
  3. To phone or e-mail the assignment editor and make a pitch to have the station do a particular story.
  4. To approach a video news release package that, like an ANR, is formatted for immediate use with a minimum of effort by station personnel.

 Product Placement

                -Television’s drama and comedy shows, as well as the film industry, are good vehicles for promoting a company’s products and services.

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Reading Notes Ch 14

Chapter 14 News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters from Public Relations Strategies and Tactics 9th ed. by: Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron

The main topics of this chapter are news releases, media alerts, and pitch letters.

News Release

  • Also called a press release, continues to be one of the most commonly used public relations tactics.  It is a simple document whose primary purpose is the dissemination of information to mass media such as newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines.
  • Before writing news releases a number of questions should be answered to give the release direction and purpose.
  • Content of news release- should be written like a news story, use inverted pyramid style, first paragraph should summarize the most important part of the story.


Mat releases

                –A variation of the traditional news release.  Different than traditional news releases because a feature angle is usually used instead of a lead that gives a key message.

Media kits

                –also referred to as a press kit, usually prepared for major events and new product launches.  Its purpose is to give editors and reporters a variety of information and resources that make it easier for the reporter to write about the topic

Pitch Letters

                -Are when public relations practitioners and publicists will write a short letter or note to the editor that tries to grab their attention

* When doing a pitch by email use these few guidelines :

  • Use a succinct subject line that tells the editor what you have to offer
  • Keep the message brief
  • Don’t include attachments
  • Don’t send blast e-mails to a number of editors
  • Send tailored e-mail pitches to specific reporters and editors


Distribute Media materials in five different ways

  1. First-class mail
  2. Fax
  3. E-mail
  4. Electronic wire services
  5. Web based newsrooms


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