Ch. 14 News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

1 05 2009

The news release is the most commonly used PR tactic.  A news release is sent to a news medium with the hopes of making it past the editors to find its home on the news columns.    A lot of news releases end up as published articles.  Accurate, informative, and written in journalistic style are the basic criteria for  a good news release.
Publicity photos are used as an attractive supplement  to enhance the story  and increase the story’s appeal.

Mat releases are a form of a news release that is typically used to inform for a non-profit organization.

A media advisory is designed to let journalists know about an upcoming event like a news conference, etc..

The media kit a.k.a the press kit is a combination of news releases, press photos, fact sheets, and features about a new product, event, or other newsworthy projects affiliated with the organization.


Ch. 11 Reaching a Multicultural and Diverse Audience

1 05 2009

No audience is exactly like another.  They are groups with diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, and economic attributes.   Due to advancements in technology people are now capable on breaking down audiences into smaller groups (segments) in order to aid the PR communicator in understanding the characteristics of the segmented group to better communicate with them.  Because the groups are different characteristically, there are specific ways to cater to each group.

Chapter 9 Notes: Public Opinion and Persuasion

30 03 2009

Public opinion is definitely one of those subjects with a large ‘gray’ area. It is hard to put one single common outlook on a topic for a large group of people in the public.

Public discussion plays the primary role in the process of forming public opinion. There are two types of leaders that play a huge role in public opinion. They are formal leaders (power leaders) and informal leaders (role models ).  These leaders allow information to “flow” from them to the public.  Persuasion has many uses…it can change or neutralize hostile opinions, crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes, and conserve favorable opinions.  There are important factors involved in persuasion.  They are audience analysis, source credibility, appeal to self interest, message clarity, timing and context, audience participation, suggestions for action, content and structure  of messages, and persuasive speaking.  The negative aspect  or view of propaganda came about during the world wars being negatively associated with the informational activities involved with the enemy.  Though it has changed today, it still has  a negative connotation.  Today the word is typically associated with political or ideological persuasion emphasizing deceit and duplicity.  The techniques used in propaganda are similar to the techniques of advertising and other publicly related messages.

Chapter 8 Notes: Evaluation

30 03 2009

Evaluation is the measurement of results against the campaign objectives.  This stage will lend insight into future campaigns and show whether or not the objectives were met.  There must be objectives to be met for the evaluation stage to exist.  Measurement of the message and its affects can be done on three levels.  First  is message distribution and where it was placed, second is the measurement of the audiences awareness of the message and if they retained it, and third would measure the changes in attitudes and behaviors of the target audience.  Measurement of message exposure can be checked through where the message was placed in the media, print, broadcast, or print media.  The audiences awareness of the message can and also must be measured.  This can be done through audience surveys.  The audiences attitudes and actions are also measured.

Chapter 7 Notes: Communication

30 03 2009

After planning, the third step in the public relations process is communication.  This can also be called execution.  The objectives at this stage are exposure, accurate dissemination of the message, attitude change, and change in overt behavior.

For any message that is sent, for it to be considered communication, it must be received.  sender-receiver.  Due to the fact that everyone is unique, this means that everyone receives messages differently.  So, each message is designed specifically for the target audience and how they receive and react to certain messages.  It is is important to understand the state of mind of the people you are trying to reach.  For the passive audiences, style and creativity must be utilized to send a message.  For the more active audiences seeking a certain product or message, the message content must have more depth and clarity.  Public relations professionals must be aware of common language of their target audiences.  This makes the communication easier.  “Key variables in believability include source credibility, context, and the audiences predispositions, especially their level of involvement.  Repeating the message is a good way to keep it at the forefront of a market and minds of those involved.  For a target audience to accept a message, there are five steps to be completed:  awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption.

Chapter 6 Notes and Summary: Program Planning

30 03 2009

Following the research step of the of the public relations process is program planning.  This is designed to complete organizational objectives.  The objectives of a program can either be informational or motivational.  Informational creates an awareness of a product or service and motivational tries to generate more customer participation and sales.

There are two approaches to program planning.  They are management by objective (MBO)  and strategic planning models.

“MBO provides focus and direction for formulating strategy to achieve specific organizational objectives.”

Most public relations firms have their own planning model consisting of market research, demographic segmentation of target audiences, and establishment of key messages.

“A program plan is either a brief outline or an extensive document identifying what is to be done and how.”  There are eight basic parts of a program plan:  situation/opportunity, objectives, audience, strategy, tactics, calendar or timeline, budget, and evaluation.

Chapter 5 Notes and Summary: Research

30 03 2009

The basic groundwork of any public relations organization is research. Research involves gathering information to be utilized and the interpretation of that information.

Secondary research frequently involves archival research, which is the inventory of organizational materials at the start of the campaign. This can show sales history, profile of customers, etc…People also seek out information from libraries and online databases like search engines. The search engines allows everyone with computer access to search for information, statistics, and such on the internet.

Qualitative research is designed for probing attitudes and perceptions, assessing how far the message travels, and the testing of messages. ” The primary techniques for qualitative research are content analysis, interviews, focus groups, copy testing, and ethnographic observation and testing.”

Quantitative research is information that is used to represent the general population. This information can be attained by conducting random sampling studies which allows everyone in the target audience to be in the sample. “Sample size determines the margin of error in the statistical findings.”