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Journalists,Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them- Ch. 11 Reading Notes
April 28, 2010, 12:02 am
Filed under: PRCA 3330 Reading Notes

Chapter 11 in Dennis Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques is called, Getting Along with Journalists.

The book says, “The relationship between public relations and the media is based on mutual cooperation, trust, and respect.”

There are sometimes conflicts between people in public relations and their relationship with journalists. PR people think that journalists are annoying and exaggerate. On the other hand, journalists feel that PR people name-call and have sloppy/biased reporting.

A few tips on how PR practitioners can aid in making the relationship more peaceful:

  • Schedule the news conference at a time that is convenient for the reporters.
  • Chose a site that is convenient for the reporter and can accommodate the necessary technological needs.
  • Invite more than local reporters. Also, send invitations with enough time to RSVP.
  • Keep the news conference short, organized, and punctual.
  • Once the news conference is over, allow reporters to ask the spokesperson any questions they may still have.

This information and more can be found in the text, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis Wilcox.


Extra Extra! Distributing News to the Media- Chapter 10 Reading Notes
April 27, 2010, 11:43 pm
Filed under: PRCA 3330 Reading Notes

In chapter 10 of  Dennis Wilcox’s text, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, distributing news to the media is covered.

There are several ways to distribute news to the media.

  • E-Mail – surveys confirmed that email is the major form of communication among public relations writers, clients, and journalists.
  • Online Newsrooms- This is the first place that journalists turn to for basic information about an organization.
  • Electronic Wire Services- The three major newswires are Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Marketwire.
  • Mail- sometimes called snail mail.
  • Fax- is like e-mail but sent like a telephone call. A fax requires more attention and readership than an email that can be deleted without ever opening it.

This information and more can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques Sixth Edition.

Chapter 9 Reading Notes
April 27, 2010, 11:22 pm
Filed under: PRCA 3330 Reading Notes

Dennis Wilcox’s Public Relations and Writing Techniques chapter 9 covers Writing for Radio and Television.

News stories and releases are not just for news paper. Reporters can write for TV and radio. According to the book, “Radio reaches about 94 percent of adults over the age of 18 on a daily basis with a total estimated audience of about 225 million.” That is a huge amount of people! Most people think that when advertising or getting information to the public the only medium to use is television or the more modern internet. However, radio is a superior medium as well.

A radio news release is a news release that is released on the radio. It is short (30-60 seconds) and written in a more conversational  style. Televisions use Public Service Announcements (PSAs). They are unpaid government or nonprofit agencies delivering helpful information in 30-60 seconds. PSAs can also be used on radio too.

Some practitioners prefer to skip news releases on tv and radio and speak directly to the public on a talk show. This has its advantages because the speaker is talking straight to the viewers. There are no editors or journalists filtering the news that you wish to give.

Other ways to get news to the public through radio and television are radio news releases (RNRs), issues placement, magazine shows, radio promotions, and documentary videos.

This information and more can be found in Dennis Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.

Chapter 8 Reading Notes
April 27, 2010, 11:06 pm
Filed under: PRCA 3330 Reading Notes

Chapter 8 Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics found in Dennis Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques is one of my favorite chapters in the entire book. I enjoyed this chapter the most because I am highly interested in photography and the photography that accompanies a news story.

Chapter 8 discusses topics such as how to work with photographers, how to write captions for the photos, and most importantly how to take a good news worthy photo.

The book says that “More people ‘read’ photographs than read articles.” This means that capturing and publishing a great picture is extremely important. A photographer must chose a relevant subject matter that shows what the story is reporting and is clear enough for readers to understand what  is in the photo.

A few tips about composition of a photograph

  • Concentrate on what you want the reader to get from the picture, have minimal background.
  • Emphasize details rather than whole scenes. (Take multiple pictures to capture different scenes and this will help readers understand the pictures while multiplying the coverage).
  • Try to frame the picture. (not a literal frame)
  • Avoid wasted space. For example, if you are taking a photo of a group of people, the people should stand close together.
  • Sunglasses are a no-no. Ask subjects to remove sunglasses, hats, or anything that takes away from the image.

Action shots are valuable because it lets the reader see the event happening in the present. Showing pictures to scale allows viewers to understand the tiny-ness or magnitude of the object. Also, camera angle ads “spice” to a picture by showing the image through a rare perspective. Another tip to remember is lighting and timing. Always have a flash for indoor pictures and for outdoor pictures you should be aware of the direction of the sun.

Lastly, always get permission or a contract when taking pictures and distributing them to avoid legal hassles.

This information can be found in Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques Sixth Edition

Chapter 7 Reading Notes
April 27, 2010, 10:45 pm
Filed under: PRCA 3330 Reading Notes

Chapter 7 covers News Features.

This chapter was very helpful to me because I am also enrolled in a journalism class and I was able to look back at this chapter when it was time to write a feature story. This chapter can be found in Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques Sixth Edition.

Some key points of the chapter are:

  • Feature stories are not news stories, they are stories that provide additional background information, generate human interest, and create understanding in a more imaginative way.
  • Three things to keep in mind when planning a feature story are: you have to conceptualize how something lends itself to feature treatment, you have to decide if the information would be interesting and useful for a particular audience, and you much be sure that the feature helped achieve organizational objectives.
  • You can distribute the story to various publications yourself or you can have a feature service distribute it for you.

Frequently seen features:

  1. Case study
  2. Application Story
  3. Research Study
  4. Backgrounder
  5. Personality Profiles
  6. Historical Pieces

Feature stories are formatted similar to regular news stories, they consist of a headline, a lead, the body, the summary, and photos and/or graphics.

This chapter and information can be found in Dennis L. Wilcox’s textbook Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques Sixth Edition.

Final Assignment- Social Media News Release
April 23, 2010, 2:38 am
Filed under: Final Assignment

According to Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, a social media news release (also called a multimedia release or a smart media release) is an online news release. These online releases allow a news release to be embedded with high-resolution photos/graphics, video, and audio components. It is often used for major event and product launches.  Hyper links are embedded into the text, and links are made to social media networking sites.

                Realwire describes a Social Media News Release (SMNR) simply as, “a press release format designed for the online world.”

Some advantages of a SMNR found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques , Carrie Beth Abramson and Social Media Training are:

  • optimised for search
  • optimised for conversation
  • optimised for sharing
  • tells the story through multimedia
  • provided context on complicated stories.
  • maximize exposure of the news release through online access
  • a broader variety of people on the internet have access to your SMNR
  • Members of the media can be directly linked to company websites, videos, podcasts, etc. directly
  • The speed at which they are communicated

Some disadvantages of a SMNR found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques , Carrie Beth Abramson’s blog and Copy Blogger are:

  • if you have too many links it will confuse journalists
  • if the release is boring it will most likely be considered spam
  • An overabundance of links or graphics can defer attention from the main message
  • They can only be used online because they are multi-dimensional

According to Copy Blogger and Hub Pages  and Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques a PR practitioner should consider using a Social Media News Release when a company or brand is introducing a new product or service, announcing financial news, or company achievements. Also a PR practitioner should use SMNR if they are releasing that new product or service and want to use pictures, graphics, and or video to convey more detailed information to the client or reader. Some people are visual and are persuaded more when they can see exactly what a product or service looks like and how it works. Graphs and models are helpful with this. SNMRs are also helpful because clients and readers can give instant feedback with can be responded back to in minimal time- it is a more direct communication.

With the help of  Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques , and Writng Matters and HubPages here are some tips for creating a Social Media News Release:

  • Don’t use too many graphics, videos, or links, it will draw focus away from the key message.
  • Use high-resolution multimedia
  • Focus mainly on conveying your message, and then add the extra bells and whistles.
  • Link your SMNR to search engines
  • Write your SMNR for online readers since they scan content anyway. Keep it clear and to the point.
  • Focus on key words
  • Always update your SMNR- technology is always changing


Here are five websites that offer help to creating a SMNR


Here is an example from Dr. Kim Bariatric Specialists website of what a SMNR looks like.

Lastly, here is a brief in dept video from RealWire explaining all about Social Media News Releases

5 Steps to Story Telling TOW 14
April 21, 2010, 1:06 am
Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

I recently took the NewsU course, Five Steps to Multimedia Story Telling and I learned a tremendous amount of information about multimedia story telling. I was not even aware of where to start. I imagined that it was just like writing a news story but I was wrong, there are several differences.

I learned how to:

  • Identify the elements in a multimedia story
  • Understand which stories are more suitable for multimedia
  • Sketch a concept for a story
  • Identify tools needed to gather content in the field
  • First, you have to choose a story, A good story is one that is interesting and has several visual elements such as graphs, video, strong quotes, and audio. Once a story has been decided you must create a story board and organize the information and brainstorm how you want the story to look to the readers. Once you have made your “rough draft” you have to work to making it come to life.

    I was most surprised by all of the basic and technology needs that a reporter must have on hand. I would have not thought to bring the instruction manuals to the equipment that I use in case of a question arises. Another thing that I would not have thought to bring would be duct tape for quick emergency fixes or rubber bands to keep your cords and cables in order when filming.

    I want to learn more about the actual technology of how to put the actual multimedia story online. I am not technologically savvy and I would like to learn more. In the NewsU course the reporter had help with loading her material on to the web. The reporter recommended using website making templates and simply inserting your graphics, audio, still photos, etc into the desired spots. She said that she used a lot of Photoshop as well. I would like to become more familiar with the software, Photoshop.

    I enjoyed this course because it showed me a whole different side to reporting.