Tracking the journey of PRCA 3330

Archive for the ‘Reading Notes’ Category

Chapter 14 of our text by Wilcox talked about the different forms of interpersonal communication a writer has at their disposal. E-mailing and memos are two methods commonly used by PR professionals today. There are certain guidelines that improve effectiveness when followed.

When sending an e-mail it is important to remember that while it is an informal communication, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING STILL COUNT. I cannot tell you how big of a pet peeve of mine it is to receive an email that is poorly formatted.  Also, make sure to remember because a person does not hear the tonality of your voice, word choice is key. Generally speaking, attachments are frowned upon. Unless another document is absolutely necessary to the message do not send one.

A memo (short for memorandum) is a bit more formal than an e-mail. Memos serve a wide variety of purposes within a community but are generally used to distribute information on a widespread level. Proper grammar and spelling are still important, as well as remaining brief. If the memo is being sent via email be sure to include specifics in the subject line to avoid your message being overlooked.

 

Chapter 12 of our text by Wilcox is especially important to PR professionals today and the up and coming PR professionals of tomorrow. Chapter 12 discusses writing for the web and other forms of new media that exist today.

I wish I had read this chapter before beginning my blog earlier this semester. The tips for online writing would have helped to ensure that my blog was as effective as possible from early on. It is important to know that writing online differs from traditional print writing. The format and rules are completely different. Online writing should be

  • Concise– an article written for the web should be no longer than one screen’s length; it is also interesting to note that an article written online takes 50% longer to read than a printed article
  • Nonlinear– articles written for the web should not have to be read in a certain order to be understood.
  • Conversational– by writing online articles the way that you talk it will make the article more interesting to your reader

Chapter 11 of our text by Wilcox is all about the importance of Media Relations. Media Relations is one of the most important responsibilities of PR professionals, so it is important to get it right.

PR Text
The textbook used by Nixon’s PRCA 3330 class for the fall 2010 semester.

My favorite section was about media etiquette. Most of the tips seem like they would be common sense, but because of their importance it is crucial to follow these guidelines:

  •  Don’t annoy the reporter about when/if your story will be published. You should assume that they received your news release unless you hear otherwise. You don’t want to irritate the reporter or come off as desperate.
  • Don’t take a reporter to lunch for any reason other than business. You don’t want to cross the line or break any company policies.
  • DO NOT give expensive gifts.  It makes others think you are trying to influence a reporter or editors thoughts about publishing or covering your story.  Keep gifts under $25.  Leave gifts at the door or with a secretary.  This way the reporter can decide to accept on decline a gift without pressure.

In chapter 10 of our text, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox, I learned several important things.

The chapter introduced the concept of “push” and “pull” strategies to me. The “push” strategy is when people put their news out there to media outlets.  An example is distributing email news releases on a regular basis.  The “pull” strategy is when you make your information easily available to attract journalists and media to the information.

The chapter also introduced the idea of tip sheets to me. I was unaware that publicists had a continuously updated sheet with contact information and what kind of material the client is looking for.

Chapter 9 of our text by Wilcox covered Public Service Announcements, also known as PSAs.

In the chapter I learned that PSAs are sold for a discounted price rather than being free, as I had previously believed. I also learned about the time frame it takes for a PSA to be aired. It is best to expect five to six weeks after submission to the station before a PSA is aired.  It is important to know that the best time to submit a PSA is in January because 0f the lull in advertising.  In contrast, the  text says that those submit PSAs should not be submitted around Christmas because of the large amount of paid advertising.

The book also mentioned that most PSAs are aired during non-peak hours. I think it is sad that PSAs are not aired during the time period that stations can air profitable advertising.

Chapter 8 of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox was especially important for me to read. Photography has never been a hobby of mine, but I need to have an understanding and basic skill set to be a well-rounded PR professional. Today’s PR professionals are expected to have all of the skills it takes to put together publicity material. You have to be in essence, a one man band, to be competitive in today’s job market.  According to the text a photographer should move in closer rather than far away when focusing on the intended subject. The book also touched on the ethics of Photoshop and retouching photos.

Captions are a big part of photography as well. I was on my high school year book staff and am very familiar with writing these tedious little guys. It is important to remember to write your captions in present tense and briefly cover the 5 Ws of the photo.

Prior to reading chapter 7 in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox, I didn’t really understand what a personality profile was. PR professionals help the journalist writing the profile in order “to ‘sell’ the idea of a profile, make the executive available, provide background information, and arrange photo shoots.” I really like the fact that the profile isn’t always on someone high up in the company food chain. In many cases it is about someone new to the group.  Ideally, the profile is on a hard-working, contributing member who the PR professional thinks should be recognized.

The chapter also clarified what an op-ed is for me. The text explains that op-ed pieces provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations to reach an audience of readers who tend to be opinion leaders or “influentials.”


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