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Month: March, 2013

Chapter 9: Television and Radio

Broadcasting an advertising message has the power to influence a wide range of people. There are five methods that many public relations writers use to reach their broadcast audiences: news releases, video news releases, radio and television tapes and actualities, interviews and talk shows, and corporate advertising and public service announcements. Video news releases are used at many local news stations that are looking for time-filling informational pieces. Radio and television actualities are used heavily in the news. An actuality is a firsthand account of a news event on tape. By using actualities, it makes stories more credible. Interviews and talk shows are used by local radio and television stations. Corporate advertising is used specifically to promote an idea or image, not to sell a product. As opposed to corporate advertising, PSAs are free to advertise. PSAs are reserved for nonprofit organizations and are aimed at providing an important message to its target audience. 

Broadcast messages are called spots. In television spots, there are various camera shots, camera effects, and transitions that are used to make the advertisement catchy. It also makes the message flow easier.When writing television advertisements, you have to write for the eye as well as the ear. Therefore, it is essential to visualize what your target audience wants to see and put that vision onto paper. After the basic idea is created, the next step is to write a script treatment. This is basically a narrative of the spot. Shooting scripts and accompanying scripts must be written, too. The two most common television spots are talking heads and slice-of-life spots. Both of these have been criticized for certain things, but altogether they have been successful in completing their specific tasks. Another task that should be completed before the package is sent off the a news station is to time and cut the script. Timing is essential in getting the point across in the fastest way possible without rushing it. The script should be cut if there are long transitions, long visuals, or minor characters that are not essential to the main storyline.

Radio is a very flexible media to advertise in. There are two types of radio announcements: spot announcements and as-recorded spots. The difference between the two spots is that as-recorded spots are ready to be played by the stations receiving them and the spot announcements are read by station personnel. PSAs are able to be played on radio stations as well.

Additional Information:


Chapter 6: News Releases and Backgrounders

A news release is information a company or organization wish released to the press, usually through print media.  All news releases should contain at least three elements: publicity, angle, and story.  They are important to PR professionals because it is used to gain publicity, which can lead to more business. It is important that to gain publicity it is newsworthy and reaches the right medium.

Three types of news releases are publicity releases, product releases, and financial releases. Publicity releases cover any information occurring within an organization that might have some new value to media. Product releases deal with specific products or product lines. These releases are normally targeted to trade publications within specific industries. The third type of release is a financial release. They are used normally in shareholder relations, but can also be of interest to financial media.  Other examples are event announcements, personnel releases, and tips/hints releases.

News releases should follow and inverted pyramid style. The most crucial information should come first. The headline needs to entice the reader. It should include the who, what, where, when and why. Then the news release should include the call to action and additional information. Quotes should be included in your press release. To end your release you should include -30-, “30”, or #####. Some tips for writing good press releases are to keep it short, answer the necessary questions, make the news clear, provide full contact information, and avoid promotional information.

Blog Post: Chapter 5, Media Relations and Placement

Creating and maintaining positive relationships with all possible media outlets is key to being a successful public relations practitioner. Since public relations is a form of uncontrolled media, it is crucial for public relations practitioners to package and deliver their information in the most media-friendly forms. There are many things that make things “news worthy” such as if it is unusual or exciting and if the material is time appropriate. News can be broken into two main categories: hard news, information that is time sensitive and has an immediate impact on the audiences receiving it, and soft news, information that will not lose value if delivered at a later time. By thinking like a journalist and creating personal relationships with local journalists, public relations practitioners have a greater chance of having their messages heard and delivered in the way they want it to be heard.

There are a variety of media platforms to which information can be spread. Determining which outlet best fits the information is very important in how successfully the message is heard. Depending upon the outlet chosen, the message must be packaged appropriately. Press kits are commonly used to package and distribute information to the media. These kits include pertinent information such as new releases, fact sheets, newsletters, photos, and a biography. These give the media a broad variety of information to create a news story from. For more information about what to include in a press kit, click here.


Taylor Jackson & Ashton Theiss