Class 2: Writing for Public Relations
Types of Public Relations Writing <ul><li>Media Advisory:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alerts the media to an upcoming event or ...
Other PR Writing Terms Boilerplate: Generally a short &quot;about&quot; section, providing independent background on the i...
Average Journalist
Bored Intern
What makes something Newsworthy? Timing Significance Proximity Prominence Human Interest Quirk / Humor
1 2 3 4
1 2
Time for   a Break?
Is the Press Release Dead or Alive? “ Far from dying, the press release flourishes. Indeed, a credible survey by the Oriel...
Dead or alive… we ’ve got some changes to make.
Emerging themes in PR writing <ul><li>Fewer journalists, and yet, stories travel faster </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with...
Shrinking Newsrooms The U.S. Department of Labor has forecast another 120,000 newspaper layoffs over the next 10 years. Th...
At the same time: stories travel faster <ul><li>24-hour  “blackberry” news cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregators  </li></ul>...
OMG THEY ’RE TALKING ABOUT US, NOW WHAT?! When to respond. When not to respond. How to respond effectively.
The New PR -- equation Shrinking newsroom + Proliferation of publishing platforms + 24 Hour news cycle and blackberry synd...
Writing Assignment  <ul><li>Write a press release based on a new social project that is launching in Allston-Brighton. </l...
The MOST critical information:  Who, what, where, when, why Strengthening Details Quotes, future information, background E...
Components of a traditional press release <ul><li>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: </li></ul><ul><li>These words should appear at th...
Examples <ul><li>http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/08/24Steve-Jobs-Resigns-as-CEO-of-Apple.html </li></ul><ul><li>http:...
Components of a media advisory <ul><li>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: </li></ul><ul><li>These words should appear at the top left ...
Examples <ul><li>http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/07/15FY-11-Third-Quarter-Results-Conference-Call.html </li></ul><ul>...
 
 
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Public relations

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  • 6-6:10 How was writing bios? What do you think was the challenge there? WAYR / WAYF Did anyone after last class go find some blogs to share? 6:10-6:15 How many of you are public relations students? Why ’d you pick that major? What ’s public relations all about? Why?
  • Hand out examples of each. What is the commonality between all of these? = Newsworthy
  • What are some of the common components of each? Scenario 1: You are Lady Ga Ga ’s press agent. You have just found out that Lady Gaga has been nominated for 12 Music Awards. Scenario 2: You are PETA. You have just seen lady gaga at the MTV music awards, wearing a meat dress -- you are PISSED Scenario 3: You are working for an incumbant politician who is very favored to be re-elected. He has decided to step down for personal reasons. There are going to be a lot of people speculating as to why. Scenario 4: You are a technology company about to launch a new product. You will have a launch event. (advisory and press kit). Underneath everything -- you ’ve got nothing if you don’t have a story. Back to our questions in the first class. You ’ve got to be interesting. I don’t care if you’re selling mortuary services. You’ve got to find the angle. Why?
  • blog.tradetang.com Because THIS is who you ’re pitching. They are overworked. Frazzled. Uninformed about what makes you special. And… there are fewer and fewer of them. You think that ’s bad? Before you get to the editor. You’ve got to get through this guy
  • You think that ’s bad? Before you get to the editor. You’ve got to get through this guy Meet: Bored Intern Bored intern is a student at Northeastern who ’s dad pulled some strings and got him this job…which would be great if this job involved anything beyond sifting through emails To dazzle overwhelmed editor/journalist and bored intern, you ’ve got to be newsworthy.
  • Timing Particularly in a 24 hour news culture -- timing is everything. Significance The number of people affected by the story is important, as are major cultural implications. Proximity Stories which happen near to us have more significance. The closer the story to home, the more newsworthy it is. Prominence Famous people get more coverage. Human Interest Human interest stories appeal to emotion. They aim to evoke responses such as amusement or sadness. Television news programs often place a humorous or quirky story at the end of the show to finish on a feel-good note.
  • Significance, timing (right before 9-11, right after mosque) Prominance, proximity,Timing 3. Human interest, quirk factor 4. Proximity, timing
  • Significance 2. scandal MUST BE AT 7PM
  • What value do press releases provide? Why does Tom Foremski think the press release is dead? What cultural shifts have caused people to question it as a channel? If the press release begins to lose significance in media relations, how will announcements make their way to the pages or digital spaces of our media? What does this mean for you as potential public relations professionals?
  • What do they mean by 3 kinds of readers? What are diagonal readers? News aggregators -- GET AP RIGHT When and how to respond to posts/articles/ comments - astroturfing size of audience correct inaccuracies - do not pick fights Even tone, your job is to inform not incite
  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25773289/ Three journalists I used to pitch on a regular basis -- gone. Not replaced.
  • What does it mean that it ’s a 24 hour black berried news cycle? Aggregators -- You have to get AP right. (Press release: Salvation Army Story) Twitter -- http://boston-media-tweeters.wikispaces.com/ Do not pitch via twitter. Or if you do it -- make it gooood. Comment boxes -- knowing when to respond.
  • WHEN TO RESPOND Fix inaccuracies Add your perspective/stance When not to respond - size of audience If the blogger or commenter is clearly baiting, being antagonistic, or trying to incite a fight. Respond only, when you think it ’s productive or important. When not to respond: If the blogger or commenter is talking about another United Way. Hints on responding about United Way: Be transparent -- say that you work at a United Way. Don ’t pick fights or get pulled into them. They’re not productive. Don ’t speak negatively about another organization or individual. Answer thoughtfully, ask questions, your goal is to learn and inform. Provide a link to relevant content on your website http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/03/united-way-social-networking-spring-fever.html http://www.patriotledger.com/news/x7529572/South-Shore-organizations-get-130-000-from-United-Way Should be at 8:30 - if not -- got to ethics slide show.
  • Hand-out: information overload document
  • More than two quotes gets excessive If you don ’t get it, neither will the readers
  • Public relations

    1. 1. Class 2: Writing for Public Relations
    2. 2. Types of Public Relations Writing <ul><li>Media Advisory: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alerts the media to an upcoming event or announcement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explicitly calls out who, what, where, and when. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Press Release: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used for announcements, stories, or results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quote from expert or company representative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full details of announcement and implications. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes information about where to learn more </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pitch: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outreach to a specific journalist based on his or her interests or beat. Less formal, more personal. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public Statement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used when the public seeks a response or position from you. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Other PR Writing Terms Boilerplate: Generally a short &quot;about&quot; section, providing independent background on the issuing company, organization, or individual. (source: wikipedia) Press Kit: A more robust compilation of media materials including bios, testimonials, sources, specs, videos, or other relevant materials. Interview Brief / Talking Points: Materials to prepare a company representative for an interview - may include key points, background statistics, and/or information about the interviewer. Embargoed press release / Exclusive: A press release given to a media outlet with legal restrictions as to when the news can be “broken.” Usually embargoed press releases accompany exclusive rights to a story.
    4. 4. Average Journalist
    5. 5. Bored Intern
    6. 6. What makes something Newsworthy? Timing Significance Proximity Prominence Human Interest Quirk / Humor
    7. 7. 1 2 3 4
    8. 8. 1 2
    9. 9. Time for a Break?
    10. 10. Is the Press Release Dead or Alive? “ Far from dying, the press release flourishes. Indeed, a credible survey by the Oriella PR Network shows that nearly 75 percent of journalists questioned – over 750 in 15 countries during May-June 2010 – said they like to receive email press releases if the content is “high quality and well targeted.” -- Neville Hobson “ Press releases are created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then sent out at great expense through Businesswire or PRnewswire to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists.This madness has to end.” -- Tom Foremski
    11. 11. Dead or alive… we ’ve got some changes to make.
    12. 12. Emerging themes in PR writing <ul><li>Fewer journalists, and yet, stories travel faster </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with social media channels, at times, announcement through social media channels first </li></ul><ul><li>3. Response time almost nonexistent. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Skimmers - diagonal readers. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Three kinds of readers. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Shrinking Newsrooms The U.S. Department of Labor has forecast another 120,000 newspaper layoffs over the next 10 years. The Boston Globe Cut 50 Newsroom Jobs Last Year. Increased pressure to be first to report. Increased pressure to drive click-throughs.
    14. 14. At the same time: stories travel faster <ul><li>24-hour “blackberry” news cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregators </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Comment boxes </li></ul>
    15. 15. OMG THEY ’RE TALKING ABOUT US, NOW WHAT?! When to respond. When not to respond. How to respond effectively.
    16. 16. The New PR -- equation Shrinking newsroom + Proliferation of publishing platforms + 24 Hour news cycle and blackberry syndrome + Social media + Citizen Journalists and commentators The fastest, most critical conversation you ’ll ever take part in or lead. … and you must take part.
    17. 17. Writing Assignment <ul><li>Write a press release based on a new social project that is launching in Allston-Brighton. </li></ul><ul><li>Start with WAY TOO MUCH information, whittle it down to the core “newsworthy” story. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a traditional press release in the inverted pyramid style. </li></ul>
    18. 18. The MOST critical information: Who, what, where, when, why Strengthening Details Quotes, future information, background Everything Else
    19. 19. Components of a traditional press release <ul><li>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: </li></ul><ul><li>These words should appear at the top left of the page, in upper case. If you don't want the story to be made public yet, write ”EMBARGOED UNTIL ....&quot; instead. </li></ul><ul><li>Headline </li></ul><ul><li>Just like a headline in a newspaper. Make sure this describes the content of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>City, State/Country - Month Day, Year </li></ul><ul><li>These details precede the story and orient the reader. </li></ul><ul><li>Body </li></ul><ul><li>This is where the actual story goes. There should be more than one paragraph, each paragraph no more than a few sentences. if there is more than one page, write &quot;-more-&quot; at the bottom of the page. </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes: Insert approved quotes from relevant individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Company/organization info (Boilerplate) </li></ul><ul><li>Include any background information about the company or organization featuring in this press release. </li></ul><ul><li>### </li></ul><ul><li>This indicates the end of the press release. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Examples <ul><li>http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/08/24Steve-Jobs-Resigns-as-CEO-of-Apple.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://supportunitedway.org/press/2011/09/15/doug-flutie-joins-eastern-bank-and-united-way-literacy-breakfast </li></ul>
    21. 21. Components of a media advisory <ul><li>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: </li></ul><ul><li>These words should appear at the top left of the page, in upper case. If you don't want the story to be made public yet, write ”EMBARGOED UNTIL ....&quot; instead. </li></ul><ul><li>Headline </li></ul><ul><li>Just like a headline in a newspaper. Make sure this describes the content of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>City, State/Country - Month Day, Year </li></ul><ul><li>These details precede the story and orient the reader. </li></ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><li>When </li></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><li>Background info/boilerplate </li></ul><ul><li>### </li></ul>
    22. 22. Examples <ul><li>http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/07/15FY-11-Third-Quarter-Results-Conference-Call.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.csufresno.edu/ccchhs/documents/CCROPP/medAdvis.pdf </li></ul>

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