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


Diversity is the most important aspect of the public when relating to PR.

Three Major Demographics:

  1. Youth and Young Adults- 15 to 24 year olds; convince parents to buy; spend at least 1/3 of their lives online.
  2. Baby Boomers- generation of American’s born after WWII; concerned with saving for retirement; don’t typically splurge on consumer goods.
  3. Seniors- 65+ years old; demand great value for consumer goods; extremely health conscious; travel a lot; watch a lot of tv due to free time from retirement.

TV is an important form of media because it reaches several different demographics, as well as being informative on world affairs.

PR practitioners can be held legally liable if they provide advice or support an illegal activity of a client or employer.

  • Libel is a printed falsehood
  • Slander was an oral statement that was false

Public relations 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 inquires about employees

Also, a professional must be aware of copyright laws, as well as trademark laws.

Trademark is a word, symbol, or slogan, used singly or in combination, that identifies a product’s origin

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

Conflict Management

4 key components to strategic conflict management:

1) Strategic- for the purpose of achieving particular objectives
2) Management- planned, deliberate action
3) Competition- striving for the same object/ position as others
4) Conflict- sharp disagreement or opposition resulting in a direct, overt threat of attack from another entity.

2 strategies often used when responding to a crisis:
1) Denial- A company will deny there ever being a crisis.
2) Full Apology – A company will take full responsibility for the crisis and make a public apology.

Threat appraisal is an assessment of the demands that a threat makes on the organization as well as what resources are available to deal with that threat.

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

When emotional appeal is high mass media has a greater chance of influence on an individuals opinion.

Two different types of opinion leaders which are:

-Formal opinion leaders (power leaders) – positions as elected officials, presidents of companies, or heads of membership groups.

-Informal opinion leaders; They can be role models who are admired or opinion leaders who can exert peer pressure on others to go along with something.

Psychographics is an audience-analysis tool that attempts to classify people by lifestyle, attitudes, and beliefs.

In persuasion, the most difficult task is to turn a hostile opinion into a favorable one.

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

Evaluation: Evaluation is the measurement of results against established objectives set during the planning process.

The most widely used forms of the evaluation process are:
◦Measurement of production
◦Message exposure
◦Audience awareness / attitudes / action
◦Advertising Equivalency

The most widely practiced form of evaluating public relations programs is the compilation of print and broadcast mentions.

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

5 Elements of a communications model:
1. A sender/source (encoder)
2. A message
3. A channel
4. A receiver (decoder)
5. Feedback from the receiver to the sender

5 steps of the adoption process:
1) Awareness
2) Interest
3) Evaluation
5) Adoption

50% of what an individual retains comes from what they see and hear: This indicates there should be a use of visual aids.

Most importantly, it’s imperative to keep the audience’s attention; to do this one must employ several different forms of communication. Remember that not everyone thinks the same as you.

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

Program Planning

Known as the “action” step, program planning gets an organization to start making plans to do something about a situation or issue. 

A program plan is a brief outline or an extensive document telling what needs to be done and how to do it. PR firms prepare these for a clients approval and there is a joint consultation about budgets, strategies, and tactical communication tools.

Public relations plans include eight basic elements:

  1. Situation
  2. Objectives
  3. Audience
  4. Strategy
  5. Tactics
  6. Calendar/timetable
  7. Budget
  8. Evaluation

Public relations firms often have their own planning model, which usually includes market research, demographic segmentation of target audiences and establishment of key messages.

Three situations that often prompt a public relations program are:

  1. The organization must conduct a remedial program to overcome a problem or negative situation
  2. The organization needs to conduct a specific one-time project to launch a new product or service
  3. The organization wants to reinforce an ongoing effort to preserve its reputation and public support

An objective is usually stated in terms of program outcomes rather than inputs. There are three aspects to establishing a calendar and timetable for a program:

  1. The timing of a campaign
  2. Scheduling of tactics
  3. Compiling a Calendar

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron


Public relations professionals use research in the following ways:

  • 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 crisis
  • to monitor competition
  • to sway public opinion
  • to generate publicity
  • to measure success

Studies have shown that public relations departments spend about 3 to 5 percent of their budget on research. One type of research is primary research which is research conducted by companies from scratch. Another type of research is secondary research, which uses existing information in books, magazine articles, electronic databases etc…

Two other ways to categorize research is by distinguishing between qualitative and quantitative research.

  • Qualitative research– affords the researcher rich insights and understanding of a situation or a targeted public.  It also can provide warnings when strong or adverse responses occur.  This type of research is especially good for probing attitudes and perceptions, assessing penetration of messages, and testing messages.
  • Quantitative research– Can be more expensive and complicated, but it enables a greater ability to generalize to large populations.  When large amounts of money are to be spent this type of research should be spent.  In particular this type of research technique can provide good insights to public relations personnel and help them formulate effective programs

There are 5 parts of qualitative research:

  1.  Content analysis
  2.  Interviews
  3. Focus groups
  4.  Copy testing
  5.  Ethnographic techniques

Four major sources for conducting what also is known as literature review are:

  1. Academic Search Premier
  2. Expanded Academic Index
  3. LexisNexis
  4. Factivia

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

A department of public relations in an organization usually does not go by the term “Public Relations” but usually under the terms of corporate communications, communications department, corporate relations, marketing and corporate affairs, investor relations, public affairs, marketing communications, community relations, and external affairs.

There are also many specialized sections within a department which are:

  • Media relations
  • Investor relations
  • Consumer affairs
  • Governmental relations
  • Community relations
  • Marketing communications
  • Employee communications

The staff functions within an organization operate at various levels of authority.

Advisory: where the line management has no obligation to take recommendations or even request them.

Compulsory-advisory: organization policy requires that line managers at least listen to the appropriate staff experts before deciding on a strategy.

Concurring authority: limits the freedom of the public relations department by not allowing things to be approved until the public relations department approves it first.

 Accreditation is the major effort to improve standards and professionalism in PR around the world.

Objectivity, variety of skills and expertise, extensive resources, offices throughout the country, special problem-solving skills, and credibility are noted as advantages of using a PR Firm.

Superficial grasp of client’s unique problem, lack of full-time commitment, resentment by internal staff, need for strong direction by top management, and costs are among some of the disadvantages noted by using a PR firm.

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

Ethics and Professionalism are two characteristics that are essential to PR.
There are four ethical characteristics of a PR Practicioner:

  1. Independence
  2. Responsiblity to society and the public interest
  3. A concern for honor within the profession
  4. Loyalty to the profession standards, not the client/employer of the time-being.

Professionals say there are three basic values a PR Professional must remember:

  1. Absolute- every decision is either right or wrong
  2. Existential- choices are made on the basis of immediate practical choice
  3. Situation- every choice is made on the basis of what could cause the least harm/the most good

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the largest national public relations organization in the world and is headquarters in New York City with a base membership of 22,000 and an organization of 110 chapters nationwide.  It is also the parent organization to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

Information from the post can be found in Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. Authored By: Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron