Reading Notes: Chapter 14 & 15

July 12, 2010


Chapter 14:

News releases, also called press releases, have been around since 1906 when Ivy Lee produced a press release for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The primary goal of a news release is to release information about events or issues to newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines. The news release is the most commonly used public relations tactic.  These are not paid advertisements and are often judged on their news worthiness, timeliness, and interest to readers. These should be written as news stories, by using the inverted pyramid style; the first paragraph should have the more important pieces of information.

Mat Releases are a variation of the news release where primarily a feature angle is used rather than hard news.

A media kit is meant to give editors and reporters a variety of information and resources to make it easier for the reporter to write about the topic, usually a major event or product launching.

Distribution of this media can be done in five different ways: 

  1. First-class mail
  2. Fax
  3. Email
  4. Electronic Wire Services
  5. Web-based newsrooms

Chapter 15: 

Radio news releases are called ANR’s (audio news release) and the major difference between radio and news is the ANR is written to be heard. This means that sentences must be short (average about 10 words), strong, and to the point for clear understanding by listeners.

When it comes to television, there are four approaches to getting viewpoints and an organizations’ news on the air:

  1. Send the same news release that the local print media receive.
  2. A media alert or advisory informing the assignment editor about a particular event or occasion that would lend itself to video coverage.
  3. To phone or e-mail the assignment editor and make a pitch to have the station do a particular story.
  4. To approach a video news release package that, like an ANR, is formatted for immediate use with a minimum of effort by station personnel.

 Radio and Television stations accept PSAs (public service announcements) from nonprofit organizations. This promotes the programs of government or voluntary agencies that serve the public interest. Public service announcements differ from standard radio news releases in that radio stations have similar announcements at different lengths.

Podcasts: a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program. These are made available through the internet.

Information on these two chapters can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics .
Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron


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