Mallory Boulware

This is a blog for PR Writing

Chapter 4 Notes February 18, 2010

Filed under: COMM 4333,Reading Notes — mbboulware @ 3:33 pm

These notes come from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox

  • A publicist is a PR writer who writes and places stories in the media. In order to be effective, these publicists must know three things:
  1. Be familiar with journalistic values
  2. Know where to find news and how to select an interesting angle
  3. Must be creative enough to find new ways of creating publicity
  • There are four obstacles for publicists to overcome:
  1. Media gatekeepers-decide what info qualifies as news and is newsworthy
  2. Migration of advertising to the Internet
  3. People no longer look to one form of media. They get their news from multiple mediums
  4. Information overload-News is everywhere, all the time
  • What makes news:
  1. Timeliness-announce something as it happens, relate a story to an event that is already being covered by the media or has national recognition, offer info linked to holidays
  2. Prominence- bring people in to get the media talking. Ex: celebrities, public officials, politicians, etc…
  3. Proximity- localize information
  4. Significance- think about how many people will be affected by the angle you’re going with
  5. Unusualness- go for things out of the ordinary
  6. Human Interest- people like to hear about other people
  7. Conflict- protests, wars, other public issues
  8. Newness- new products, new approaches, new anything…
  • How to find news:
  1. Internal News Sources- important papers (policy statements), periodicals, clipping files, other published materials
  2. External News Sources- Be a “media junkie,” always search for news around you
  • How to create news:
  1. Brainstorm- Jot down ideas and then sort through them to find the most efficient ones
  2. Special events- anything to get media attention. Think about how the event will reflect on the brand identity, create fun visuals, give the media a clear idea of those visuals in advance
  3. Contests- “if all else fails, sponsor a contest.” Plan early, get celebs involved, localize events
  4. Polls and Surveys- the topic should be timely, the research firm should have credibility with journalists, the survey questions should support journalistic findings
  5. Top 10 Lists
  6. Product Demonstrations
  7. Stunts- Guinness Book of World Records, etc…
  8. Rallies & Protests
  9. Personal Appearances- someone can make a speech or address, media tour ( signing)
  10. Awards

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