Chapter 14 PR – Preparing Materials for Mass Media

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Importance of Mass Media
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Traditional media still pervasive – 70% of U.S. adults follow local news – Considered trusted source of info – Symbiotic relationship with new media
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The News Release
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Created by Ivy Lee, 1906 Disseminates info to mass media including newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines Media rely on news releases for two reasons: – Reporters/editors have to process info in addition to gathering it – Limited staff availability prevents coverage of all events
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Planning a News Release
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What is the key message? Who is the primary audience? What can the target audience gain? What is the objective for having a release? Is a news release the best format available?
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Basic Online News Release
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– Short, inverted pyramid style – Immediately identifies organization – Headline can double as email subject Include SEO keywords – AP style formatting (dateline, short paragraphs) – Provide links, additional info – Use boilerplate
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Multimedia News Releases
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AKA: Smart media release (SMR) Online distribution services include Business Wire, PR Newswire, PR Web Also specialized wires like CSR Wire Include high-res photo/graphic, video, and audio embeds Use search engine optimization (SEO) Provide social media tags
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Tips for Multimedia Releases
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– Concise, clear headlines – Use keywords in first 2 paragraphs – Link early – Include multimedia – Include logo
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Social Media Release Components
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Sharing buttons Short headlines (55 char. or less) Video embed Shareable audio Photo gallery Comments link for discussion Contact info Tracking data (back-end)
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Publicity Photos
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Elements to consider include: Quality Subject matter Composition Action Scale Camera Angle Lighting Color
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Infographics
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Facts and figures… zzz… but infographics (!) People are visual Visuals enhance stories Visuals are shareable Elements have more distribution power
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Media Kits
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AKA: Press Kit Prepared for major events, new product launches Provides greater variety of info and resources
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Types of Media Kits
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Traditional kit usually 9×12″ folder with pockets – News release – News feature – Fact sheets – Photos – Executive bios – Brochure – Contact info Digital kits distributed by email, website, flash drives – News release – Multimedia including product photo, headshots, video clips – Trademark info – Industry links – Brochures
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Types of Mat Releases
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AKA: Camera-ready pages Uses feature angle instead of traditional lead Aims to provide useful consumer information/tips about various subjects with only brief mention of the nonprofit or corporation – Canned features – Regular columns featuring an expert – An entire color page layout that a newspaper can publish without cost
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Media Alerts
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Most common format of media alert/advisory is short, bulleted items Should contain: – One-line headline – Brief paragraph outlining the story idea or event – Some of journalism’s 5W1H – Contact information
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Fact Sheets
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Summary sheet that contains: – Information about product characteristics or organizational announcements – Quick reference info for journalists – Corporate profile is a type of fact sheet – One-page, bulleted list with basic organizational facts
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Pitching Stories
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When PR practitioners and publicists contact editors to convince them about the newsworthiness of a story Channels for pitching include: Phone Text Email Social Media Media queries
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Sending an Email Pitch
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Use succinct subject lines Get to the point Keep the message brief Don’t include attachments Provide links when necessary Don’t sent “blast” e-mails Tailor your pitches Remove redundant recipients from database Allow editors to get off of your list Establish ongoing relationships
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Distributing Media Materials
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News releases, photos, media kits and other media materials can be distributed by five major methods: First-class mail Fax E-mail Electronic wire services Online newsrooms
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Media Interviews
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Public relations practitioners help interviewees say something to inform or entertain the audience – Know interview’s purpose to assemble facts and data for client to use – Be acquainted with the interviewer’s style Print interviews are slightly different – Person-to-person talks often result in 400-600 word stories – Asking to approve a story before publication is considered censorship
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News Conferences
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News (press) conferences allows for quick, widespread dissemination of a person’s comments and opinions to numerous reporters Planning and conducting news conferences involves: – Assessing whether info can be distributed first – Importance of the announcement – Need to reach multiple journalists simultaneously Alternately, online news conferences can be cost effective, increase attendance, heighten impact
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Organizing a News Conference
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Select a convenient location Consider the date and time Distribute a media advisory Write and rehearse spokesperson statement Anticipate press questions Prepare a media kit Prepare visual materials as necessary Make advance room arrangements Arrive 30 to 60 minutes early
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Media Tours and Press Parties
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3 types of media tours – Trip or “junket” – Familiarization trip or “Fam trip” – Executives travel to key cities and talk to selected editors Press Parties – Luncheon, dinner, cocktail party – Host rises at end of socialization period to make “pitch” – Parties open communication channels

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