Ch. 14 Notes - Chapter 14 News Releases Media Alerts and...

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Chapter 14: News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters I. The News Release News Release or “press release” dates back to when Ivy Lee issued the first news release back in 1906 for the Pennsylvania Railroad Most commonly used PR tactic** A news releases is basically a simple document whose primary purpose is the dissemination of information to mass media such as newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines “A good 50 percent” (Putka of the Wall Street Journal ) of stories in the newspaper come from news releases Reasons the media rely on news releases: (1) Editors spend most of of their time processing information, not gathering it, (2) There is not enough staff in any media enterprise to cover every single event in the community, so a lot of information is provided by PR practitioners Public relations people are the newspapers “unpaid reporters” Must remember—a news release is NOT paid advertising—but judged solely on newsworthiness, timeliness, interest to the readers, and other traditional news values Helpful tips for “news-centered” releases ( O’Dwyer’s PR Report ): - Use short, succinct headlines and subheads to highlight main points and pique interest - Don’t use generic words such as “the leading provider” or “world-class,” but rather be specific with phrases such as “with annual revenues of” - Don’t describe products using terms like “unique” or “total solution.” Use specific terms or examples to demonstrate the product’s distinctiveness - Use descriptive and creative words to grab an editors attention, but make sure they are accurate and not exaggerated - Don’t highlight the name of your company or product in a news release headline unless it is a household name - Tell the news. Focus on how your announcement affects your industry and lead with that rather than overtly promoting your product or company - Critique your writing by asking yourself, “Who cares?” Why should readers be interested in this information? - Don’t throw everything into a release. Better to break your news into several releases if material is lengthy - Don’t use lame quotes. Write like someone is actually talking and eliminate the corporatese that editors love to ignore. - Target your writing—crate two different tailored releases that will go to out to different types of media rather than a general release that isn’t of
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greate interst to either group - Look for creative ways to tie your announcement in with current news or trends - Write simply and in active voice. Sentences should be no longer than 34 words - Following the Associated Press Stylebook and specific publications’ editorial standards for dates, technical terms, abbreviations, etc. -
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Ch. 14 Notes - Chapter 14 News Releases Media Alerts and...

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