Public Relations Writing.docx

15 Pages
Unlock Document

Monash University
General Education Studies
Richie Barker

Exam Notes: Writing in a PR context: PR – The deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation (or individual) and its (or their) publics. Roles of PR practitioners: - Internal communication. - Corporate communication. - Media and community relations. Purpose of media relations: - Promotion via news media – proactive e.g. a new product launch. - Advocating for client/employer – proactive and reactive e.g. anti- smoking campaigns. - Responding to media queries – reactive e.g. police media. - Managing issues/crises – reactive and proactive e.g. company redundancies. Media relations tasks: - Pitching. - Organising interviews. - Spokespeople briefings. - Press conferences. - Media contact lists. - Media releases/media kits. Media release: - Building block of PR writing activity. - Written like news stories. - Achieves a communication goal regarding reputation. Difference between PR and advertising: PR Both Advertising Use of 3 party Seek to make Paid for media to inform endorsement to inform something known to an and persuade e.g. and persuade e.g. news audience. advertisements. mrdia mentions. 3 party usually a journalist. PR writing for the media: Planning process (before we write): - Public (who we want to reach). o Different publics have different needs and preferences. o Shape your message to suit. - Message (what you want to say). o Reduce to a simple key message/s. o Keeps you and the audience on track. - Medium (what‟s the best way to do it). o Characteristics of the medium/media. o Technical qualities and requirements. Target publics: - Whom you wish to inform or make aware. - Whose attitude/s you wish to change. - Whose behaviour/s you wish to modify e.g. employees, members, voters, and customers. Key message or messages: - What the organisation wants to make known to a target public. - The focus of the 1 paragraph, repeated in different words throughout the copy. - Reflects strategic intent. - Communicated via a range of PR tools. Media release: - The supply of information on issues and events to the media, usually in written form. - Used for: o Announcements. o Thought leadership (survey, speaker). o Statements concerning events affecting the organisation. o Responses to external events. Write like a journo: - PR writing for the media is journalistic writing. o Your goal is to have your material used completely intact, but a responsible expectation is that parts of it will be used. Media release writing: - A media release will only be used by a media outlet if: o It has news value. o It has audience appeal. News values: - Affects lives of media outlet‟s audience. - Out of ordinary/bizarre. - Timeliness, proximity, novelty. - Celebrity. - Public interest. - Conflict. - Tragedy, humour. - Confidentiality. - Romance, sex. - The future, money. - Human interest. Audience appeal: - Pathos: o An appeal to emotion. o Messages that affect people‟s emotions. o Different for each public. - Logos: o An appeal to intellect. o Messages that inform with facts, examples, statistics. o Different for each public. ABC of PR: - Accuracy – Check the facts and details. - Brevity – Say a lot in few words. - Clarity – Easy to understand. Media release components: - Letterhead and title. - Headline. - Lead paragraph/intro. - Body (supporting facts and quotes – least to most important). - Contact information. Lead paragraph: - Should communicate key message. - Approaches to writing leads: o Classic – „hard‟ news story style. o Narrative – feature or „soft‟ news story. - Should answer (in lead or 2 nd paragraph): o Who, what, when, where, how, why. Media release structure: The lead: - Classic approach – who, etc. - News angle/newsworthy. - Must communicate client‟s key message. - Must have audience appeal (emotional or rational connection). - Less than 30 words. Key messages: - Information that needs to be communicated to target publics. Headlines: - Summarise the lead. - Less than 8 words. - No subheads. - Say it straight. The body: - Most important to least important fact. - One sentence per paragraph. - One idea per sentence. - Facts that support key message. Format: - Letterhead and MEDIA RELEASE title. - Headline. - PR person‟s contact details. - One page, Arial. - „Ends‟ or „more‟ at bottom of page. - Only capitalise proper nouns. - Don‟t capitalise titles. - Lower case headlines. - No full stop after headline. - Past tense or future tense. Introducing spokespeople: - Lead or 2 ndparagraph. - Then quote them. Quoting: - Use conversational language and tone inside quote marks. - Develop quotes to support the key message and communicate important facts. - If quote runs over more than one paragraph, don‟t „close‟ it in the 1 . st Media categories: - Newspapers. - TV news and current affairs. - Radio news and current affairs. - Magazines. - Trade press. - Social media. Grammar, writing and punctuation boot camp: - Write in 3 person. o Avoid „I‟, „we‟ or „our‟ (except in direct quotes). nd - Avoid 2 person: o Avoid referring specifically to the reader. Grammar: - Active and passive voice: o Active – subject of the sentence performs the action e.g. school bus hit the wheelie bin. o Passive – subject of the sentence has action done to it e.g. wheelie bin was hit by the bus. - Wherever possible, write in active voice. - Past tense: o Used when referring to quotes.  „Said‟ not „says‟. o Individual organisations are singular entities.  E.g. „Myer is hosting‟, not „Myer are hosting‟. o Omit „that‟. Punctuation: - Apostrophes: o Indicate possession or missing words. o Not in dates:  1990s not 1990‟s. o Colons:  Used as a mark of introduction for a word, phrase, sentence, passage or list. o Semi-colons:  Avoided in MRs. o Commas:  Used to set off a quote.  If sentence is long use a colon instead.  Sometimes aren‟t required. o Names and titles:  Traditional approach.  Mr Joe Bloggs, then Mr Bloggs thereafter.  Avoid caps whenever possible.  E.g. chief executive officer or CEO, not Westpac Chief Executive Officer.  Italicise publication, TV program, book, film and play names. o Full stop:  If in doubt, try a full stop.  Inside quote mark, except if quoting a phrase.  No exclamation marks. o Numbers:  Write out 1-9.  Use figures for 10-9999.  Dollars:  $1, $10,000, $1 million.  Percentages:  Always use figures i.e. 3 per cent, not three per cent. o Dates:  Monday 21 March 2011, not Monday 21 March 2011. Beyond the MR and ethics: PR writing tactics: - Two key approaches: o Controlled. o Uncontrolled. Controlled communication tactics: - When you control the content of the message and its delivery. - E.g. websites, brochures, email, speeches, etc. Uncontrolled communication tactics: - When you don‟t control the outcome – you put the wheels in motion. - Movement away from reliance on these media relations tactics because of new ways of reaching target publics e.g. digital media. - Have a strong credibility factor. - E.g. MR, feature stories, social media, media conferences. The client brief: - All PR tactics should be based on a client brief. - Clients can be both internal and external. - In large organisations, PR teams often act as an internal „agency‟. Research and the PR writer: - Policy: o Guidelines on acceptable organisational behaviour. o A considered statement of purpose, position or direction. o E.g. employee policies, CSR policies. - Background material: o A body of facts and ideas that varies depending on the situation. o Answers the questions who, what, etc. o Provided by the client on independent research. - Publics: o Information collected about target publics. o Demographic information i.e. income, sex, education. o Psychographic information i.e. lifestyles, attitudes and behaviours. - Key message/s: o What you need to say with your communication tactic. o Reduced to a simple idea. o Not just a PR activity, performed in conjunction with management. - Media: o What is the best way to reach a target public/publics: o Which media characteristics suit the message? o Which technical qualities are important to know about? - Research sources: o Secondary sources – government records, databases, research reports. o Primary sources – interviews, surveys, focus groups. Types of media relations: - What is the purpose of media relations? o Achieving publicity – proactive. o Advocating for client/employer – proactive and reactive. o Responding to media queries – reactive. o Managing issues/crises – proactive and reactive. Ethics in action: - Both proactive and reactive media relations incorporate constant ethical dilemmas. - PRs have great power. - PRs have great responsibility. Ethics in PR: - PR ethics are the application of knowledge, understanding and reasoning to questions of right or wrong behaviour in the professional practice of PR. - PR ethics are NOT: o What has become accepted practice. o What you can get away with. o Just following the law. What do ethics do? - Set parameters in everyday conduct, - Shape what you do without thinking about it. - Checking facts for the MR. - Treating clients and the media with courtesy. - Apologising for an error. An ethical approach: - A good rule of thumb: o Don‟t lie. - Shades of grey: o Don‟t tell journos/target publics confidences of present/former employers and clients. - Confidentiality: o In some circumstances information about people/organisations is private/secret – other people/organisations respect and ensure this is the case. o These circumstances might be specified by law/rules or simply because the person/organisation specifies it. o Such privacy/secrecy must be maintained unless there are compelling and justifiable reasons not to. Media kits and our client brief: - What are media kits? o A pack of material about an organisation for distribution to the media.  Used for both proactive and reactive media relations.  Not just for media, can be used for publics.  E.g. announcement of a senior executive, organisation launch, mergers and acquisitions, issues and crisis management. o Often distributed at a media conference or major event e.g. trade show. - Media kit components (one approach): o Cover letter. o MR. o Backgrounder. o Fact sheet. o FAQs/Q&As. o Profiles. o Photos and graphics. o Corporate approach:  Cover letter.  MR.  Backgrounder/s: company, project, issue.  Fact sheet covering major points: company structure, products.  Biographies on key personnel.  FAQs/Q&As.  Past media coverage e.g. press clippings.  Photos of key personnel and other relevant graphics. o Arts and entertainment approach:  Cover letter.  MR.  Information about project – artistic, technical, contextual.  Profiles of artists involved, including history.  Photos of key personnel and other relevant graphics.  Performance clips.  Dates of performance.  Previous reviews.  Video interviews with key personnel. o Where do you start?  Client objectives.  Target audiences.  Background information.  Research.  Media kit structure. Finishing your MK: - Backgrounder: o One page. o In-depth information on a topic relevant to MR. o Often a general news story containing background or research material. o May also be used as an independent document. o Consider w
More Less

Related notes for ATS3833

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.