PR Campaigns – The blog

February 21, 2009

Tips I Wish I Had Learned

Filed under: Mission Public Relations — kparma @ 12:00 pm
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Most public relations students who graduate from Arizona State’s J-school will know how to write a press release. We all know press releases are supposed to include main points about whatever it is we want media outlets to know about, but what are the media really looking for? What is going to get my release noticed over all the others?

I came across a guest post by a former professor of mine named Daryl James for the PR Practitioner. I also interned under him at the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. I learned a lot by working there in terms of seeing how the media operates and how they weed through the hundreds of leads that come in each week. I think working in a newsroom is something every PR student should do.

James’ post gives five tips to PR professionals about what to include and what to leave out of press releases.

  1. Only include facts – James suggests bullet points containing the who, what, where, when, why and how
  2. It’s about the readers – Ask yourself, why should readers care about this?
  3. Don’t create more work for the editor – Paste the release in the body of the email and don’t use attachments
  4. Be honest – Don’t add more than there really is to the story or next time your release will get deleted without a second thought
  5. Be aware of your audience – Understand who your story is for

After reading this post I was a little upset. I had learned to write a press release in a PR class but not like this. We were taught to tellĀ a story and include all the details. I would have liked to know things like bullets are OK and that it’s not about you or your client, it’s about the readers.

If those previous five points are true, what else do the media look for? What else can be done to put your releases above the others? What can I include in my releases to make editors eager to receive them?

Considering I am graduating in May and that hundreds of press releases are deleted every week at any given news organization, I found these tips to be extremely helpful. I just wish I had known facts like this earlier on.

October 1, 2008

Is Journalism Really Dying?

Filed under: The Agency — bkranz @ 10:53 pm
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As a new member to the world of blogging, I decided to Google PR blogs and see what else is out there. I came across Naked PR, a blog written by Jennifer Mattern. Mattern refers to her blog as “cutting through the crap in online public relations” among other things. In reading her blog, which is quite interesting (although uses the occasional expletive), I discovered the entry “Journalism is Dead?”, a post about a media summit in which those attending discuss the concept of journalism and PR as a dying profession because everyone these days is a “communicator.”

The issue with this belief is that while everyone is indeed a “communicator,” not everyone is skilled to practice PR or journalism. It is a studied profession in which we are taught the correct way to go about our jobs in an ethical fashion. I find it hard to believe that the two professions will disappear because without both, many businesses could not survive. I do agree with the notion that the profession must be more than a press release, as Neville Hobson states, but I think that it’s already more than that. The creation of a PR campaign requires an educated team of PR professionals who know how to go about planning and executing a successful campaign. It isn’t all about press releases.

What do you think of the idea of PR and journalism being dying professions?

September 29, 2008

Another bell tolls for the press release

Filed under: Prof. Gilpin — drgilpin @ 11:22 am
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Sheila Scarborough, at Every Dot Connects, says she can’t imagine ever sending out another traditional press release. Announcements that the press release is dead are hardly new or blogworthy. However, she does explain how she plans to go about publicizing some of her own upcoming events, so students should find this post worth reading.

Her approach won’t work for every situation, but it’s something to think about.

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