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Chapter 14 April 20, 2009

 Chapter 14 is titled “News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters.”

What is the most common tactic used in Public Relations?

Press Releases.

The Publicity Insider gives great step-by-step instuctions for writing press releases.

News Releases must be:

  • accurate
  • informative
  • written in journalistic style (concise)

Sometimes a photo is included with a press release. These photos are called publicity photos. These help add appeal to a story.

A mat release is similar to a press release. These implement a lead with a message, rather than the “meat” of a story. Some examples of stories that may implement a mat release are home and garden, automotive, and food or cooking stories.

A media or press kit, are usually prepared for many events an organization may have. An example Professor Nixon gave in class was when the Georgia Southern football season opens. The kit will contain a traditional story, a fact sheet, a feature story, and possibly photos.

A pitch letter is how an employer “pitches” an idea for a story for his or her client. Creativity and research add up to a good pitch.

The tangible tools PR practitioners use can be distributed in five ways:

  1. Mail
  2. Fax
  3. E-Mail
  4. Electronic Wire Services
  5. Web Pressrooms

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 is called “Reaching a Multicultural and Diverse Audience.” Audiences change with generation. Some generation groups are Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Each of these have different characteristics, and require various media channels in order to understand information. The United States is becoming more and more diversified. This requires the media to become more diversified as well. Religious groups, gays and lesbians, the disabled, and women are other groups that are rapidly increasing. The media must be able to recognize these trends and change their messages to meet the needs of all of the different groups. 

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

 

Chapter 9

Chapter 9 is titled Public Opinion and Persuasion. The book states public opinion is elusive and difficult to measure it at any given moment. It is rare for people to have a common opinion, if they even have an opinion at all. The catalyst of public opinion is public discussion. As more knowledge is attained, more opinions are formed. Persuasion is an important part of PR. It “can be used to change or neutralize hostile opinions, crystallie latent opinions and positive attitdues, and conserve favorable opinions.” Factors in persuasion are:

  • audience analysis
  • source credibility
  • appeal to self interet
  • message clarity
  • timing and context
  • audience participation
  • suggestions for action
  • content and structure of messages
  • persuasive speaking

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

 

Chapter 8 March 22, 2009

Chapter 8 is about the evaluation stage of the program plan in Public Relations. The definition of evaluation given in the book  is the measurement of results against objectives. In order to have an evaluation, one must first have objectives. They will be used to evaluate success in obtaining the objectives. On average, about 4-5% of a public relations budget is put towards the evaluation stage. There are different levels of evaluation. On the most basic one, practitioners can measure message distribution and media placements. The next level, which is more sophisticated, measures audience awareness, comprehension, and retention of the message. The final and most advanced level is the measurement of changing attitudes, behavior, and opinions. Also involved in the evaluation process are the measurements of production, message exposure, audience awareness, audience attitudes, audience action, and supplemental activities.

Measurement of production:

Some examples of how this is done is by tabulating how many news releases, brochures, annual reports, etc. This is an estimate of employee’s productivity and output.

Measurement of message exposure:

Some methods are calculating media impressions (potential audience reached with a message), systematic tracking methods by using databases and software, percentage of key messages used, and the percentage of coverage related to the competition. At times, evaluation is also determined by researching the cost to reach each member of the target audience.

Measurement of audience awareness:

This process is used to find out the level of awareness and understanding the audience has of the message. This is usually measured through surveys.

Measurement of audience attitudes:

This is determined through a baseline or benchmark study. The awareness and opinions are measured before, during, and after a campaign.

Measurement of audience action:

This shows whether or not the campaign helped an organization achieve its goals through changing audience behavior, whether it involves sales, fund-raising, or the election of a candidate.

Measurement of supplemental activities:

Some methods are communcation audits ,pilot tests, split messages. Meeting and event attendance are measured by the number of people there and their attitudes. Newspaper readership can be evaluated by content analysis, interest surveys, advisory boards, and article recall.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

 

Chapter 7 March 14, 2009

Chapter 7 is called Communication.

Five objectives of communication are:

  • message exposure
  • accurate dissemination of the message
  • acceptance of the message
  • attitude change
  • change in overt behavior

Many things are important in communication. Some other key points are receiving the message (the more people, the harder it is to communicate), paying attention to the message (sometimes a speaker must tailor the message to meet the needs of the recipient), understanding the message (use common language), believing the message (depends on level of involvement), remembering the message (repeat extensively), and acting on the message (awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption).

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

 

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is about program planning. This is the next step in the public relations process after research. Planning should be strategic, creative, and pay close attention to reaching key audiences. Projects can have different objectives, ranging from purely informational to creating awareness. There are many different approaches to planning. One example is the MBO model. This is the Management by objective model which categorizes objectives, communication strategies, audiences, and the heart of the message. A plan should have a minimum of eight elements. These are: situation/opportunity, objectives, audience, strategy, tactics, calendar, budget, and evaluation. Planning is a key part of the public relations process.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

 

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 is titled Research. The main reasons for using research are:

  • to achieve credibility with management
  • to define audiences and segment publics
  • to formulate strategy
  • to test messages
  • to help management keep in touch
  • to prevent crises
  • to monitor competition
  • to sway public opinion
  • to generate publicity
  • to measure success

Research is done primarily and secondary. Primary research is directed to answer a specific question. Some examples of primary research are in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, and polls. Secondary research uses existing information, such as databases, books, and magazine articles. There is also qualitative and quantitative research.

Another important part of research is how to construct questions. There are a number of ways to create a questionnaire that is unbiased and politically correct.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.