Ch 11: Getting Along With Journalists

Basically, journalists and publicists will never see eye to eye.  Although a journalist needs a PR professional to accomplish a majority of his or her stories, they will never fully admit it. Journalists view PR professionals as the “spin doctor”.  They pretty much see PR professionals as an annoyance.

It is understandable why journalists get frustrated with PR professionals, though. Imagine if you inbox’s (e-mail and voice-mail) were filled with pitches, news releases, media kits and unsolicited calls. That would get pretty annoying. Trying to sort through what is good and bad would be a complete pain in the behind if I’d say so myself.

But, it is extremely important to develop a positive relationship with reporters when you are in the field of PR.

To develop a positive relationship, PR professionals should begin to research the journalist. Following their research, they need to:

  • Be familiar with that particular journalist’s editorial requirements and format
  • Write effectively and sufficiently
  • Avoid too many unsolicited e-mails and phone calls
  • Be knowledgeable about their product/service.

All in all, the media relies on PR efforts. It ends up saving them time, money and effort.  “The purpose of PR is to inform, to shape opinions and attitudes and to motivate” (P. 247).

My admirable mom <3

My mom is like a flower: very delicate, very kind. When the going gets tough, she only gets stronger.

My mom and I

Imagine you were pregnant at the age of 15. What would you do? You have lived approximately 5,475 days, it is your sophomore year of high school, you are an honors student, and on the cheerleading squad. There is so much still to achieve, yet with such little time.

The questions one ask themselves:

“What will happen to my grades? How will I get through high school? How will I be able to afford college? Will I be able to raise a baby while still being a child? Will the father stick around? Will be worth throwing everything away that I have going for myself?”

People will surprise you and experiences will amaze you. My mom has inspired and influenced me in so many ways.

Through her joyful fear and careful decisions, she grew up and matured early knowing that is what she needed to do in order to raise a baby. She graduated high school early, and then got a full-time job. She gave up doing the “things” that a normal teen does, because she now was not able to be a normal teen. She was a mom.

My mother who was at once a child, who gave up her own childhood, nurtured her baby girl into a responsible young adult. Without her love and support all these years, who knows what would have happened to me. She always stayed strong, never gave up.

She’s someone to look up to, admirable, a survivor, a hero… my hero, my mother.

Ch 10: Distributing News to the Media

recover-files.ca

Chapter 10 discusses ways to reach the media. The primary distribution channels are:

  1. Email
  2. Online news rooms
  3. Electronic newswires
  4. Mat distribution companies
  5. Photo placement firms

Emails are the most preferred communication method over any other medium. They are less pushy than phone calls, more convenient and efficient, less aggravating and annoying and it reduces telephone tag.

Newsrooms are a primary source for journalist to find news that is “late breaking news (p. 270).” This chapter says that 70% of journalists visit newsrooms. It is a way to quickly send out information when there is a crisis.

Wire services are timely and immediate when it comes to delivery. It allows you to access everyone at once. A newsroom allows your materials to show up on online search engines, as well as distributes multimedia news releases.

Mat distribution companies use cutting and pasting of articles, but they have become less common. Now, it is more popular to post articles to a website of a feature placement firm. Features do not have to be time sensitive, as they can be distributed over a time of several months. They fill news space on the insides of the newspaper and reduce staff cost.

Photo placement firms “specialize in the distribution of publicity photos and captions (p. 267)”, and are cost efficient.

Ch 9: Writing for Radio and Television

Photo from earblessings.com

Since we have been concentrating so much on writing news releases and advisories that are targeted to reporters, my main focus has been newspapers.  I never realized the importance of the radio to a PR professional. But, after reading this chapter, it does make sense that the radio reaches a wide range of people. I, for example, listen to the radio every time I drive.

I found a radio news release to be interesting. It’s like a news release with a few formatting differences.  Some of the formatting guidelines in a radio news release include: all uppercase letters, double-spaced, length of release must be specified and the writing must be written in a conversational way.

In this chapter audio news releases, public service announcements and radio media tours were also discussed, and are used by PR professionals when trying to get out a message.

This chapter also discussed television as an important medium. Like the radio, television also has its own news release that contains sound and visual elements. PR professionals also transfer messages through public service announcements and satellite media tours through the television.

New Days, New Experiences

Today I was able to experience something that I have never done before. Although I didn’t take much part in this activity, it was still exciting.

Some of my friends and I went out to another friends farmland to shoot some guns! Note that the people I went with are experienced hunters… unlike myself. My friends wanted to go shooting because they got a new machine, which is called an electric clay shooter. People use this device to practice geese hunting. They shoot out pieces of clay into the air and try shooting the clay before it lands. Who would have ever known, right?

Electric Clay Shooter

Well, I took the role of pushing the button to shoot out the clay pigeons in hopes I wouldn’t get asked to try shooting a gun. My plan failed as I was learning how to hold a rifle. It was heavy and complicated. I, of course, was scared and asked to see someone else shoot it first. Once my friend, Kyle, pressed the trigger, I noticed that the force of the gun pushed him back. At the same moment, my other friend, Nikki, told me about her bruises she always gets after a day of shooting.

All I have to say is that I went back to my originally duty of pushing the button! Even though I didn’t end up shooting any guns, it was still nice to enjoy this beautiful day outside with my friends learning a few new things. I’d have to say the first half an hour was more interesting than the last two hours!

This is me after 30 min of "hunting"

Ch 8: Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics

It has been told time and time again that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. It’s true that more people “read” pictures than they do articles.

In public relations, professionals will need to know the elements of producing a picture for publicity uses. These elements include quality, subject matter, composition, action, scale, camera angle, lighting and color.

A good publicity photo must have high-resolution and contrast, sharp detail and be clear.

Other than using photographs to add creativity, you can also add other graphics. “Charts, diagrams, renderings and models, maps, line drawings, and clips are widely used (p.202).” However, these types of graphics should be organized and colorful.

Here are some pointers when using graphics:

  • Be creative
  • Do not use more than four people in one picture
  • Try to avoid posed shots
  • Keep focused on main subject
  • Avoid clutter
  • Always use a caption that briefly tells about the picture and its source
  • Do not use the caption to write a description

Take me to Waffle House

English: I took this picture in Fort Worth wit...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure we have all had our late night Waffle House adventures before, but has anyone ever considered going there for a special occasion? Maybe for, uh, lets say the most romantic holiday of they year. How would you feel if you lover took you to Waffle House next Tuesday?

Today as I was searching the web, I came across an interesting story. Apparently, participating Waffle House’s prepares a special Valentine’s Day event. Dayne Young said, “The Waffle House in Tifton already has 12 reservations, and they say they are going fast.”

Waffle House started this Valentine’s Day dinner five years ago at an Atlanta Waffle House.

Chris Parrot, Waffle House area director, explains that Waffle House will have cloth napkins, table clothes, dimmer lights, alcohol free campaign, and the atmosphere of five-star sit down restaurant.

The specialized menu includes ribeye and eggs, a porkchop dinner and a T-bone dinner. Of course, the regular menu items will be available, as well.

“The idea is to bring an endearing feel to a southern tradition,” says WALB.

Do you think Waffle House will really be a hot spot for Valentine’s Day this year? What would your reaction be if your honey surprised you here for your romantic dinner? Would you be excited? Would you be irritated? If you would feel offended by this, remember that it is the thought that counts.

While everyone is out with his or her loved one on this special holiday, keep in mind to cherish your time together. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have someone to spend this special day with

Click here to watch a video clip:   Waffle House on Vday

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