Chapter cinco

Types of News Releases


  • herald appointments promotions and changes
  • good idea for highest ranking person in the organization to make announcement

Spot Announcements

  • when an action or influence happens to an organization a spot news release mamy be in order
  • if organizations do not provide news to the media , reporters will write their own stories

Reaction News

  • used when an event or situation has an impact on the organization
  • hitch a news event or public issue that not directly involves the org but has sime bearing on it

Bad News

  • holding back news that you feel will make you look bad makes things worst
  • confronting an issue is the best way to address bad news

Local News

  • gets the most presence
  • two ways to localize
  1. use names of local people
  2. use info of local significance

Parts of a Traditional News Release

  1. letterhead  
  2. contacts
  3. headline
  4. dateline
  5. lead paragraph
  6. body of a text

Planning a News Release


  1. what is the subject of the message? what is the specific focus of this release?
  2. Who is this message designed to reach?
  3. What is in it for this particular audience
  4. What is the organization pusuing?
  5. What do you want to achieve with the news release?
  6. What key message should this news release highlight?

Selection of Paper

  •  colored paper – no
  • 8.5 x 11

Spacing and Margin

  • double spacing standard
  • if email or internet single space is standard

Chapter cuatro

Public Relations Writing and MEdia Techniques 6th Edition

The Challenge of Making News

  • publicity – resulting coverage from information provided to the media in hopes that it will be published or broadcast
  • publicist – public relations writer who writes and places stories in the media
  • effective publicist must know
  1. must be well educated on familiar and traditional journalistic news values
  2. know where to find news and pick what is most interesting to journalist as well as the pucblic
  3. must be problem solvers and come up with creative publicity tactics that break throuh a competing messages
  • obstacles to overcome when generating coverage in the news media
  1. gatekeepers
  2. shrinking news hole
  3. traditional mass media being fragmented
  4. keeping in mind the objective of the client or employer

What Makes News


  • most important characteristic of news
  • providing info on a topic that is already being extensively covered by the news media is a good approach
  • scandals provide publicist with a timely opportunity
  • topics or issues generate media and public interest over a time period
  • relate organizations products or or services to another event that has national recognition
  • offering info linked to holidays on the public agenda


  • media rarely cover events like grand openings unless there is a prominent person involved
  • presence of celebrities and stars draws crowds and the media coverage by using prominent people
  • prominence is a way to cut throught the clutter of competition
  • its not restricted to people


  • news releases most acceptable to media gatekeepers are those with a local angle
  • ^ those stories are called hometowners
  • most media coverage is devoted to local companies
  • proximity has strong news value
  • easy to localize by using software applications
  • another form of localizing is highlighting various aspects of a person


  • any situation that draws a substantial number of people is signficance
  • know how many people and and who will be affected


  • people like to read about other people
  • it is not restricted to celebrities
  • pr writers have opportunities to humanize stories


  • advertising and marketing find the word FREE most useful
  • old products for new uses are the basis of most food publicity


How to Find News

Internet News Sources

  • become totally familiar with the organization you represent
  • news media are getting distrustful of claims that a product or service is new
  1. Important Papers
  2. Periodicals
  3. Clipping Files
  4. Other Published Materials

External News Sources

  • getting into the news can come from almost any source
  • always think how to make news events to create publicity


Twitter… Tweeple… Tweeps… Twiggas… Tweethearts…

Being on twitter less than 4 months now has been an up and down experience.

I created a seperate twitter account for this writing class in order to keep my social life seperate from my education.

My account created from class was  a boring experience… I gained no new information and the people I followed were just not on the same playing field as me. As i stated in my previous post about readers being scanners, clearly defines what I did on my twitter account for class. I just used a tweet today to contact someone in class but I can honestly say that I could have used facebook or some other form of social media to contact the person so I do not see what makes twitter more important than the next.

I created a fun account a few months ago and quickly removed it when I realized that I just could not simply get with it. I created a new Twitter and stopped for over a month and a half because i do not feel as though i have that much to say that others would be interested in and I did not check it enough so it was completely overwhelming. Were you supposed to read them all, what came first in a retweet, and etc.

I recently became more active in my account over the last couple of weeks. I decided to give it another shot and this time I added celebrities to see if that would gain some of my attention and keep me interested. INDEED  IT DID

It may seem trivial of me to be completely consumed in celebrities lives, but I see an art behind it. Someone is setting up all of the press releases they do, mall appearances, talk shows and etc. I not only follow black celebrities but ALL celebrities when I find one. Im so intrigued by the efforts they make to give back because they have the money to do so. They have hearts too… and I love how they act as their own publicist on twitter by telling what they are doing, where they are, and what you should do to support them.


TOW – What makes a Story Newsworthy

First and foremost I think a story cannot be newsworthy without importance. Bob may not find a story about a knitting fest important but if the writer can justify within their stoy the importance of the fest then it is newsworthy.

Making your story unique is a key point. If it is something that the public has heard over and over again then it is up to the writer to find a different angle to present that grabs the attention of its readers in order to gain the attenion. After getting the attention it is the writers duty to keep the interest of the reader because many readers today are said to be scanners and I believe this is true simply from my reading habits alone.

The art of adding human interest to the publication makes it newsworthy. Adding human interest makes the reader evoke emmotions and when you find an emmotional interest you can maintain the reader. This is a tricky thing to do, simply because you want to continue to make the story full of factual evidence but you do not want to make it a fictional novel.

Of course if you do not want to write about something people have heard over and over then finding some ORIGINAL RESEARCH will always help to make a story newsworthy. Being the first on something gives you the most credit.

Finding something unusual in the news is similar to finding new research but adds a twist on it because it adds a little flavor.  

As you see there are no set rules to making something newsworthy. I would more say TIPS. Originality and making the reader connect are of the most important in gaining your reader, but the content is what makes the story newsworthy. The writer is the one who has to be good because a monotone sounding story is the DEATH of making newsworthy interesting.



Who doesn’t like to go ahead and get the bad out of the way so that the good can lift your spirits??!!

Least Favorite Commercial


Sometimes people should just stick to the original


This commercial lacked an effort in thought. Boost Mobile usually tries to target a younger crowd with their ethnic and urban trends in commercials. This Super Bowl they decided to re create an original Supr Bowl Shuffle performed by the Bears years ago. I get that they tried to make a commercial to relate to the actual football event that the Super Bowl is, but it decided to target a differnent audience. The old school rap and remix of another commercial hits an older crowd. The younger demographics that they usually try to appeal to propbably did not get it and were uninterested.



Coke… an icon in itself… used another icon.. The Simpsons… to get their traditional message across “Have a Coke and a Smile”

They found a way to relate to EVERYONE by incorporating the hard times that we find ourselves in and simply told a story that took you from depressed to a Smile.

Considering  a popular drink like Coca Cola, if not the most famous soda, you would think  their brand just speaks for itself. In my opinion it their reputation does, but they have to provide commercials to keep their drink on your mind. 

This commercial reaches one of the largest target audiences. Using a community based tv show it allows for everyone to relate to their own personal favorite character and it includes the young and the old. The show has been around for so long that their is no hidden untold story that you need background info to understand like the Tim Tebow commercial.  And i think it was extremely effective in its how it relates to a man down and out. Someone provides him with this great drink and it brings him all the happiness he did not know of before.




Chapter Tres

Libel and Defamation

  • Libel – injury to reputation
  • Defamation – courts use this as a collective term to explain differnt aspects of Libel

-The Fair Comment Defense

  • 1st amendmetnt protects freedom of speech – known as “comment priviledge”

-Avoiding Defamation

  • key words “watch your language”
  • organizations can offer opinions if  the context clearly shows that the communication is a statement of opinion attributed to someone. – classified as puffery


Invasion of Privacy

-Employee Newsletters

  • organizations do not have the right to publicize the activities of its employees
  • newsletters should be organization oriented
  • avoid anything that may embarrass an employee

-Photo Releases

  • PR practicioners are not required to to get a signed release if they have “Implied concent”
  • must take precaustion filing photos dating and giving context of the photos

-Product Publicity and Advertising

  • mut have signed releases from its employers in order to use photos, videos and etc from them
  • written permission required if used for a sales brochure  or annual report
  • misapropriation of personality – the use of a persons image perticularly a popular personality without permission

-Media Inquiries About Employees


  1. confirmation of emplyment
  2. title and job description
  3. date of hire and if applicable teremination

     do NOT Provide

  1. salary
  2. home address
  3. marital status
  4. children
  5. org memberships
  6. job performance

-Employee Blogs

  • sometimes encouraged to get public feedback
  • concerns of distributing confidential info

TOW Grammer Girl – Comma Splice

I went to the Grammer Girl website and immediately looked for the search engine in order to type “comma’s”.

Comma Splices are common errors that I continue to make. Not being fully aware of when to use a comma cause s what grammer girl referred to as “comma confetti”; when you use more commas than needed or incorrectly place them in sentences.

The comma splice blog that I read included errors from an author who asked Grammer Girl to review his book. Normally Grammer Girl uses made up examples, but instead used real ones because Scott Sigler, the author, asked her to be brutal and tell it like it was. She was able to use many examples from his work because he had just that many errors.

What did I learn?

I thought when I reached the point of answering this question it would be strictly about commas. To my surprise I actually learned a new family set when it comes punctuation. This set includes comma’s, periods, and semi-colons.  According to Grammer Girl the “Comma Splice Repair Kit” includes semi-colons, periods and coordinating conjunctions. With these you can fix any comma splice.

What surprised me?

The examples she used allowed me to learn the correct way to use semi-colons (the most surprising bit of information) and commas as well. It was most surprising because I have always wanted to know the correct way to use semi-colons but I searched for commas because it is my biggest form errors grammaticaly. I knew the senteces had to be related but I have learned that the second sentence has to expand on an idea from the first.

What do I want to know more about?

Near the end of the post it mentions that comma splices are sometimes acceptable but the post did not elaborate on the correct ways to use it. It focused on the incorrect forms and how to fix them. I would like to find examples of comma splices used correctly but only after I make sure that I know how NOT to use them.

December 2018
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