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In class we talked about news releases and the 13 things you may find in one. 

  1. Letterhead of the company with the address. 
  2. The words: News Release or Press Release
  3. For Immediate Release or Embargo. (embargo will be held until noted. If it will kill your story to be leaked before date desired, don’t send it out.)
  4. Media contact information. (this informs the journalist who they should contact. Make sure the information is something checked often, questions need to be answered when they are asked.)
  5. Headline and sometime a subhead. (headline should be ALL CAPS, bold, and centered)
  6. Dateline. (this is where the information in the release is taking place, and date- NEW YORk, Jan 24, 2008
  7. Lead. (the 5 W’s & H: who,what,where,when,why, & how. 
  8. Quotations. (these should sound like a normal person said this, not the PR department.)
  9. Body. (anything after lead, written in AP style, more information on product/event/service, etc.)
  10. Page slugs. (this lets you know when to go the next page. an example would be MORE on the bottom of a page and a running head on the top of the next page.)
  11. Additional Contact Information. (woven into one of the last paragraphs, another location of who to contact.)
  12. Boilerplate. (information about the company, not something unique to press releases.)
  13. End Sign. (examples-###, END, -30-,XXX)

We talked about the article Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! by Tom Foremski. 

In short, know your audience (the journalist), give them what they want, how they want it. This can also include if they prefer getting attachments or having the content in the e-mail. Provide it the way the journalist wants it, not they way you want it.


It is no doubt that Twitter has started its way down the road to stardome. But will they reach their peak soon?

Oprah joined twitter on April 17th with her first tweet at about 9:11 A.m.

That Friday, she announced this on her show. The result? 1.2 million new people joined Twitter.  All that comes to mind is what my friend at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) refered to Oprah as in their marketing class. “God”. We have all seen the response when Oprah endorses something.

What will be the fate of twitter with rumors of a charge?  This article was a good one.

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is joined by special guest Oprah Winfrey and his wife Michelle Obama during a rally held at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire on December 9, 2007 in New York City

Two Domino’s employess Kristy Hammond and Michael Setzer have made headlines recently with their home-made video of them at work. Dominos has fired these employees and are seeking legal action. Their

response from their twitter page about legal action: 

“Some might think we’re being harsh. Want to point out the local DA is pursuing felony charges, not us. The govt takes food issues seriously

Dominos Response was delayed, but sent out through many social media outlets, including youtube and twitter. 


#dominos video – the pair was fired & criminal complaints filed. there are warrants for their arrest. – pls RT!


This article from advertising age looks at the good and bad PR moves made by Dominos

Whether is social media networks, newspapers, or television news, Dominos is everywhere.


This is why I love my intro to PR class, we find out stuff that is really interested, and sometimes jaw dropping.

Has anyone else heard of what the kids have come up with now? Smoking smarties

This kid had 75,242 views. All the others are in the tens of thousands as well. I don’t understand how this fad started or why. This is teaching kids that smoking is cool I suppose. I don’t understand why this has becoming the new cool thing for kids to do at school. Im just utterly dumbfounded. What will they come up with next?

In class we talked about intercultural nonverbal communication, gestures, and what they mean in different countries. It was interesting to hear some of them; the US the thumbs up means good job but, in Austrailia is equivalent to our middle finger. Also, while we can call someone over with our palm up, fist closed, and using out pointer finger opening and closing. This is also offensive to Australians, you place your plam down, fist open, and scratch open/ close with 4 fingers.

We also talked about how to irritate your co-workers. Most of them I totally agreed with like, always being a “one-upper” by topping their story, and rushing your co-workers by making them feel like they’re not worth your time. I learned I may be irritating co-worker by finishing people’s thoughts, I always looked at is as active listening and establishing an understanding. I then realized, when your not finding “their words” you can send then off topic and just be plain old rude.

I think my favorite part of my PR class is we are always learning buisness etiquette!international2

This section addresses where PR began and trends now found today in PR. The most influential part of the book was talking about PR Pioneers. Such names as Samuel Insull, Henry Ford, Teddy Roosevelt, Ivy Lee, George Creel, and Edward L. Bernays were all influential PR pioneers. The first publicity agency, the Publicity Bureau, was established in Boston in 1905. The biggest influence or genius of them, in my opinion was Edward Bernays. Professor Barbra Nixon, my intro to PR professor, shared with us a youtube video (the one also found here) which I found very interested. Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud and greatly understood behavioral psychology, as well as the importance in formulating campaigns to change people’s perspective and encourage certain behaviors. His new model of pubic relations was demonstated in a video we watched briefly in class. In the video Bernays discussed his clients concern for the taboo on women smoking in public. The client was the Tobacco company, so Bernays sought out a psychoanalysis who informed him that cigarettes were a symbol of the penis and male sexual power. To get women to smoke he would have to find a way to portray smoking as a way of challenging male power, giving them their own penis. “Torches of freedom” were lit up dramatically by women suffragist debutants during the New York annual Easter Day parade for newspapers to capture and show the world.

Ch. 14 News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letter April 22, 2009
Filed under: Reading Notes — epond6 @ 11:56 am Edit This

News Release (also called press release): The first press release was issued by Ivy Lee in 1906 for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Today, it is still the most common used PR tactic. This is a simple document with the primary purpose of getting information to the mass media (newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines,etc.)

The Wall Street Journal admits that “a good 50%” of the stories in the newspapers come from news releases.

Why does the media rely on news releases?

Today, journalist spend most of their time processing information, not gathering it
Staffing, there are not enough people to cover ever single event taking place in the community. PR people are the newspapers “unpaid reporters”
News releases are judged soely on the newsworthiness, timeliness, interest to the readers, and other traditional news values.

When Planning a news release, a number of questions should be answered:

What is the key message? (one sentence)
Who is the primary audience? (affects where release is sent, daily newspapers or a trade magazine)
What does the target audience gain from the product of service? (potential benefits or rewards)
What objectives does the release serve?
The news release is written like a news story, the inverted pyramid. A summary of the most important part of the story is at the top nad the following paragraphs descend in order of importance/urgency. This is because your story may be chopped in half. Either by reports who need so many words, or readers who get bored after the first few paragraphs.

Difference between internet press releases and tradition include:

Traditional, mailed out press releases, are double spaced on an 8.5×11.
A news release sent via e-mail is single spaced.
Online news release usually list the contents at the end, not the top.
B.L. Ochman, writer for The Strategist suggest ”[thinking] of the electronic news release as a teaser to get a reporter or editor to your Web site for additional information.”

* Two major newswires online are: Business Wire and Newswire. Each transmits about 18,000 news releases monthly to media outlets.

Mat feature release: Different from a traditional news release because a feature angle is usually used instead of a lead that gives a key message. They can be distributed in a variety of forms including word documents, jpeg, and pdfs.

The concept is to provide helpful consumer information and tips about a variety of subject in an informative way with only a brief mention of the company that has distributed the release.

Media Alerts (also called Media Advisories): The PR staff, on occasion, will send a memo to reporters and editors about a news conference or upcoming event that they may with to cover, intended to inform or alert.

They can be sent with an accompanying news release or by themselves.

Fact Sheets: Distributed to the media a part if a media kit or with the news release to give additional background information about the product, person, service, or event.

*usually prepared for major events and new product launches.

One to two pages. Should provide to journalist:

organizations full name
products or services offered
its annual revenues (not always offered if private)
number of employees
the names and one-paragraph bio of top executives
the markets served
position in the industry
any other pertinent detials
*usually found in media kit.

*this always needs be accessible, have several copies in several ways.

Media Kits (also called Press Kits): Purpose is to give editors and reporters a variety of information and resources that make is easier for the reporter to write about the topic.

Basic elements of a media kit:

the main news releases
a news feature about the development of the product or something similar
fact sheets on the product, organization, or event
background information
photos and drawings with captions
biographical material on the spokesperson or chief executives
some basic brochures
Pitch: a short letter or note written by a PR practitioner or publicist to an editor to try and grab their attention.

Usually attached to the media kit and lets the editor know, in brief form, about the program

*this is used because of the difficulty in getting the attention of the media gatekeepers due to the hundreds of news releases and media kits received weekly.


Wilcox, D.L. & Cameron, G.T. (2009). Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th Edition). Boston: Allyn & Bacon

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