The following is my Top Ten List of things I have learned about PR this semester:
- A company or organization’s endorsers should be genuine/authentic and knowledgable when it comes to whatever they are supporting.
- Silence on a serious incident is hurtful, not helpful. When crisis hits, it is important to release a smart statement as soon as possible.
- Research is a must – you cannot know what the people want and what you have to offer for them if a research effort is not made.
- The greatest behavior change will come from the persuasion of an opinion leader. Opinion leaders are people who are knowledgable experts who articulate opinions about specific issues in public discussion.
- Public Relations practitioners must reach a diverse and constantly changing audience. It is so important to identify the target audience in order to appropriately and effectively customize communications and public relations efforts. Keeping a close eye on values and trends is key in knowing how to get through to your audience.
- News releases are a great way for free publicity. 77 percent of journalists use press releases and 80 percent use public relations sources. Therefore, it is important to submit only what can actually be considered a news story and to with a clearly stated summary that contains the most important message.
- With social media being so big, PR practitioners have to learn how to condense their writing to get the point across.
- When it comes to conflict management, it is important to be aware of the Life Cycle. First there is proactive. This involves environmental scanning, issues tracking, issues management. The point of it is to avoid conflict before it is able to happen by taking the action necessary. The next method is strategic. It involves risk communication, conflict positioning, and crisis management. Then there is reactive. This is a response to crisis that is unexpected but happens to occur. It involves crisis communication, litigation PR, and conflict resolution. Lastly, there is the recovery stage. It involves reputation management and image restoration.
- When planning a public relations campaign you should consider these eight basic elements: situation, objectives, audience, strategy, tactics, calendar/timetable, budget, and measurement. It’s important to set goals and know what your main purpose/point is. You work with your time and budget to reach this goal.
- Lastly, you can’t win unless you start the R.A.C.E. — that is follow the process — research, action, communication, and evaluation
According to a study by Arketi Group, 77 percent of journalists use press releases and 80 percent use public relations sources. This means that there is tremendous potential for Public Relations practitioners to get stories across. With any PR News Release, there must be a legitimate story and news hook. It shouldn’t be announcing something that’s already being done, but something new.
When writing a news release there are a few key questions to ask:
- What is the key message?
- Who are the primary audiences?
- What objective does the news release meet?
- What does the target audience gain from the product or service?
Tips for crafting a PR news release:
- Identify sender – give the name, address, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address
- Provide a headline – make it specific to what the release is about
- Provide a dateline to indicate where the news release originated. For example: “Boston, MA: December 7, 2012”
- Use 10 to 12 point font, standard type
- Start with a summary that contains the most important message you want to get across to the reader. (It should be three to five lines.)
- Don’t split a paragraph from one page to the next
- Place a slug line and page number at the top of each page (after the first one).
- Use AP
- Be concise and double check all info
- Provide a thumbnail
- Localize the press release because it will get published more often
- It should be like a news story
- Use inverted pyramid style – lead paragraph most important because editors cut stories from the bottom and readers look at a lot of headlines and first paragraphs but not much else.
- Succeeding paragraphs give details in descending order
PR news press releases are important because they can lead to free publicity for a company or organization. However, people should also be aware at how effective their methods are at reaching audiences. PRNewswire claims that its multimedia news releases get 80 percent more views than the standard e-mail release and that readers are 3.5 times more likely to share the multimedia release with friends. Many of the electronic distribution services have teamed up with Google and other search engines to promote maximum exposure of the news release. Therefore, it may be worth it for a company to invest in using these electronic distribution services so that they do not have to worry about dealing with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). With Social Media news releases or multimedia news releases it is important to include high-res photos and graphics, video, and audio components. Social media is used much more often than newspapers are read so this can be highly effective. Video releases are also a great tool because people tend to be lazy and would more easily click play on a video. It is just a matter of getting it seen. Overall, news releases are a great way to bring attention to what a company or organization has going on!