F inal Analysis Sponsored By: Jennifer Braner Press Releases FOCUSED AND FUNDAMENTAL An insider look on the industry’s press methods Featuring the Chicago White Sox, Bears, and Blackhawks PROFESSOR HK 11.22.10 WRD 301
Preview of Today’s Match Up This analysis aims to identify the different components within a sports press release. In doing so, this examination will the highlight the successful features of a press release. Also, it will compare the use of a press release in three different sports industries, specifically the Chicago White Sox, Bears, and Blackhawks, in order to identify continuity, if it is present.Importance of Public RelationsPublic relations has become a key focus over the past twenty years; especially with the creation of the internet.Now that consumers have constant access to varying viewpoints and information, it is important for companiesto maintain in contact with their audience.This mentality holds true, not only for large corporations, but also for sports franchises. Because sports teamsrely so heavily on their fan base for income, it is fundamental to appear in touch with the fans. This goal isachieved is through various public relations efforts. Most effectively and effortlessly is the press release.Press Release PurposeThe purpose of a press release is to communicate something news ―Now we are all exposedworthy to the media. Press releases can announce a wide range of to a huge wealth of information every day —items. Typically, they are utilized as a way to provide reporters with not just online but acrossthe basics needed to create a news story. all media — which makes us better informed than ever about what’s going in the world.” -Dominic Stinton of TalkTalk In sports, press releases inform news outlets of different establishments within the franchise. This can be a new manager, a team trade, a player winning an award, the re-naming of a stadium, etc. This analysis highlights a trade acquisition.
Spotlight: Press Release AudienceBecause press releases are utilized as a way to attract favorable media attention, the main audience is mediaoutlets. Press releases provide reporters with a basic outline needed to develop a news story. Typically, pressreleases are geared towards news outlets in hopes of generating a feature story.Sports press releases are also geared towards media outlets. However, for sports related reasons, they are notgeared only towards local and national news outlets. Sports press releases aim to reach sports networks. Thiscommonly includes certain networks, such as ESPN or Comcast Sports Net. By doing this, news is able toreach a local and national audience while most importantly reaching the most extreme sports fans. Beyond the Uniform: A Stripped Down look at Press Release ContentA sports related press release can appear very limited in content. Thelength itself is noticeably short which translates into restrictedinformation. Specifically for sports press releases, the information onlycovers a few key areas of the athlete (because this is addressing player acquisition). In addressing a new playergain, press releases focus on a few specific areas that are of most importance in the sports world. These areasare typically: the athletes’ college, number of games played, their previous team(s), and their current statistics(batting average, tackles made, or goals scored). Along with this is also a picture of the athlete, whether it anindividual team photo or an action shot can differ.There is continuity in this information across the board; however Inoticed a clear difference in the Chicago Bears press release. Though ―It’s great to get a second chance at gettingthe Bears highlight each of these aspects in their new player back to the NFL. I thankacquisition, they also include more personal information. In the press this organization and therelease I focused on, there was more background detail included. head coach for believing in me and giving me aAlong with this were quotes from both the player and Bears head second opportunity.‖ –coach. This changed the press release from a basic outline to a more Chicago Bears new acquisition Charles Grantcompleted story of who the player is and the teams feelings in regardsto his presence.
Going One on One with Document Design and Format Press releases, like other formal documents, have a clearly stated format. Some of the most common structural elements “In order to be the best, you first need to work at it. This in- of a press release include: headline, dateline, introduction, depth look at design and format body, close, and media contact information. Though certain allows insight into how the pros stylistic elements have changed or evolved with the internet, work- before they can play.” -J. Braner this information is pretty standard in the creation of a press release.When analyzing this genre, there are basic structural features present throughout. Each analyzed press releasecontains an obvious headline, the date, an introduction to the player acquisition, a body paragraph withinformation about the players’ career, closing information about the player, and a link to the franchises publicrelations department.Knowing these guidelines, there is also a standard length to press releases. Press releases, especially thoserelated to sports are notably short in length. This allows for the basic, necessary information to be providedwithout any frills; an attribute that compliments the perception of sports. The Blackhawks and White Sox pressreleases that were analyzed were no longer than two full paragraphs. Because the Bears press releases providedmore personal information, it was noticeably longer; however it was only a page long- and this is consideredextensive.
Sentence Structure When examining the syntax of a sports related press release, there “Like any championship team, a are some clear standards. Each press release is made up of good piece of writing needs noticeably short, simple sentences. It is interesting to note that structure. Here you can see the the sentences in each press release do not exceed two full lines. ways press writers format their There is a clear avoidance of fragments and commas, except winning pieces.” when necessary. This conveys simplicity to the reader and makes -J. Braner information, such as statistics, easy to gather and understand.Diction & LanguageThe diction utilized in the examined press releases is predominately jargon. Because the subject is sports, thepress releases include statistics and other information related to sports; such as batting average, penalty minutes,individual points and sacks. These are industry terms that are inaccessible to anyone who does not watchsports. At the same time, the overall language of the releases is both formal and professional. Though wordshave a jargon connotation, they are significant to subject matter. The trade acquisitions are detailed extremelyobjectively and by qualified sports writers. ● ● ● Final Score ● ● ●In conclusion of the analysis, there some fundamentalfeatures of sports press releases that penetrate industrybarriers. The White Sox, Bears, and Blackhawksreleases are all tied up in terms of Structure Audience Language Basic ContentHowever, the main difference was length; specificallyin terms of the Bears press release. I propose that thislength is utilized purposefully as a way to create a fullstory for fans. Because the Bears player acquired inthis trade was to be a starter, the Bears knowinglyincluded information in order to justify their move.