Kourtni's Blog

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Chapter 15 July 5, 2010

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 6:54 pm

My notes from chapter 15 are from the book, Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. This chapter was all about media related sources like radio, television, and the web in how to get  news releases and other material out for the public to learn.

Helpful tips on getting an audio news release out to the public are:

  1. Topicality
  2. Timelines
  3. Localization
  4. Humanization
  5. Visual appeal

Different ways to get your news on the television are:

  1. Send the same news release that the local print media receive
  2. Media alert or advisory informing the assignment editor about a particular event or occasion that would lend itself to video coverage
  3. Phone or email the assignment editor and make a pitch to have the station do a particular story
  4. Produce a video news release package that is formatted for immediate use with a minimum of effort by station personnel.

I still feel as though the internet is the best way to get your information out there.


Chapter 14 June 16, 2010

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 11:52 pm

These are my chapter 14 notes from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics

Press Releases (News Releases):

  • Ivy Lee is known as the Father of News Releases
  • story that you write with hopes of having it published in a mass media channel (i.e. TV, internet, newspapers, radio)
  • Should be written in inverted pyramid style

Inverted Pyramid:

  • start with 5 w’s and 1 h (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?)
  • story formatted like this: invertedpyramidgif

Guidelines for news release:
1. double-check ALL information
2. eliminate boldface and capital letters
3. include organization background
4. localize whenever possible

Never send an internet news release as an e-mail attachment! (journalists very rarely open attachments, because it could be a virus)

Fact Sheets:

  • usually 1-2 pages
  • “cliff’s note” version of your organization
  • 8 things the fact sheet may provide:
  1. organization’s full name
  2. products/services offered
  3. annual revenue
  4. number of employees
  5. names and bios of top executives
  6. markets served
  7. position in the industry
  8. any other pertinent details

Media Kits (press kits):

  • prepared for major events or new product launches
  • more than just a story and facts
  • will include:
  1. main news release
  2. news feature about the development of the product/something similar
  3. fact sheets on product, organization, or event
  4. background info
  5. photos/drawings (with captions)
  6. bio material on spokesperson
  7. basic brochures


  • PR people use pitches to convince a journalist that their story is something their readers want! (impossible to do over e-mail or phone if they’ve never met the reporter before)


  • Most surveys show that editors and reporters prefer to recieve pr materials via e-mail.
  • Tips for e-mailing news releases and other materials:
  1. don’t send HTML e-mails
  2. don’t send attachments unless specifically requested to do so
  3. use extended headlines at top of news release that give the key message or point
  4. keep it short! reporters hate to scroll through multiple screens
  5. use blind copy distribution!! (no reporter wants to know that they’re part of mass mailing..this lowers your chance of your story getting published!)
  6. continually update e-mail addresses


Chapter 12

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 8:32 pm

These notes came from chapter 12 in Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. This chapter was about public relations and the law. I pretty much just took vocabulary from this chapter.

  • Libel is a printed falsehood.
  • Slander is an oral statement that is false.
  • Defamation is the combination of libel and slander.
  • Invasion of privacy is an area of law that particularly applies to employees of an organization. Public relation staff must be particularly sensitive to the issue of privacy in at least four areas:
  1. Employee newsletters
  2. Photo releases
  3. Product publicity and advertising
  4. Media inquiries about employees.

Chapter 11

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 7:45 pm

Chapter 11 notes from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics.

Generalizations made about audiences today:

  • diversity is the most significant aspect of the mass audience in the United States
  • the international audience for public relations has expanded swiftly
  • technology can be used to segment the mass audience and compile related valuable information
  • the public is increasingly visually oriented and seems to have a shorter attention span
  • audiences are increasingly taking controls of information streams
  • fervent support is generated for single issues
  • heavy emphasis is placed on personality and celebrity
  • strong distrust of authority and suspicion of conspiracy can arise from sensationalistic investigative reporting

Generation Y (born after 1980…this is where I roll!):

  • it has been projected that Gen. Y will spend 23 years online, which will have some interesting impacts

Generation X (born 1965-1980…my parents are even to old for this one!)

  • Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964…hi mom and dad!)
  • they comprise a market of 76 million people (28% of US population)

* “Those wishing to be successful in the market can’t ignore the boomer numbers, the wealth, and the spending power they have” – Pat Conroy, vice chairman of consumer business practices for Deloitte and Touche accounting firm

Seniors (men and women 65 years or older, although the AARP include everyone that is over the age of 50…wow, huge difference)

  • financially, they are better off than the stereotypes suggest
  • the Census Bureau found that people ages 65 to 74 have more discretionary income than any other group (median assets = $108,885)


  • the average person listens to 26-30 hours of radio per week (13% more than the general population)

Asian Americans:

  • Calif. is home to 70% of the US’s more than 650 Asian-American focused tv channels, radio stations, and newspapers. San Francisco’s population is 19.2% Asian

**PR professionals must be aware of emerging audiences and pay attention to them (catholic/evangelical groups, gay/lesbian community, disabled, and women)
Supermoms: (5.4% of mothers)

  • have at least 75 friends with whom they keep in touch
  • give their friends advice on what to buy and restaurants to try
  • spend at least nine hours a week on the internet
  • participate in online chats and discussion

Chapter 10

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 7:42 pm

These notes are from chapter 10 in Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. This chapter is all about crisis, conflicts, and how to deal with them.

The 3 major points of the chapter were

1. Issue Management

  • How to identify and how to approach the issue.

2. Crisis Management

  • This is more focused on the not good issues. An example would be a natural disaster.

3. Reputations Management

  • This dealt with how the economic outcomes, social responsiveness, and efficiency all deal with how the reputation is.

Chapter 9

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 7:38 pm

Here are my Chapter 9 notes from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics.

Public Opinion = the sum of individual opinions on an issue affecting those individuals; a collection of views held by persons interested in the subject.

Opinion Leaders: (as described by sociologists)

  1. highly interested in a subject or issue
  2. better informed on an issue than the average person
  3. avid consumers of mass media
  4. early adopters of new ideas
  5. good organizers who can get other people to take action

Persuasion is used for:
1. change or neutralize hostile opinions
2. crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
3. conserve favorable opinions

Persuasive Communication = the PR practitioner should be knowledgable about audience analysis, source credibility, appeal to self-interest, clarity of message, timing and context, audience participation, suggestions for action, content and structure of messages, and persuasive speaking.

Appeal to Self-Interest:
1. power
2. respect
3. well-being
4. affection
5. wealth
6. skill
7. enlightenment
8. physical and mental vitality

Propoganda – the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.

“What people in PR have to understand is not only do you have the facts on your side, you have to know how to communicate them.” – Peter Pitts, senior vice president of Manning, Selvage, and Lee


Chapter 8

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 7:35 pm

Chapter 8 notes from my textbook Public Relations Strategies and Tactics.

The main theme of chapter 8 was evaluation. Without this step in the PR process, we would essentially fail. Evaluation is a MUST at the end of the process. This helps PR firms/organizations to understand where they went wrong and how they should fix it.