News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

14 Nov

Chapter 14 Reading Notes COMM 2322

Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics

The News Release – also called a press release. it is the most commonly used public relations tactic.

  • Use short headlines
  • Use descriptive and creative words to grab an editor’s attention.
  • Tell the news instead of promoting your product or company.
  • Don’t throw everything into a release.
  • Don’t use lame quotes. Write like someone who is actually talking.
  • Double check all information.
  • Use 8.5 by 11 inch paper. Should be white or organization letterhead.

Publicity Photos

  • More people read photos than reading the articles.
  • Quality – photos must have a great contrast and sharp detail so that they can reproduced in a variety of formats.
  • Composition – the best photos are uncluttered. Have tight shots with minimum background, an emphasis on detail, not whole scenes and limited wasted space.
  • Action shots with different scale.
  • Angles – interesting angles can make the photo compelling.
  • Lighting – to make the subject look the best.
  • Color – have several formats available and send what the publication or Web news site needs.

Mat Releases

  • Originally called “mat” because they were sent in mat form ready for printing press.
  • Today, we know them as word documents, jpegs, and pdfs.

Media Kit

  1. The main news release
  2. News feature about the development of product
  3. Facts sheets on the product, organization, or event
  4. Background information
  5. Photos and drawings with captions
  6. Biographical material on spokesperson or chief executives
  7. Some basic brochures

Pitch Letters

  • Use a succinct subject line that tells the editor what you have to offer.
  • Keep the message brief.
  • Don’t send out blast e-mails.
  • Personally check the names in your e-mail database to remove redundant recipients.
  • Good pitch is based on research and creative idea that will appeal to the editor.

Distributing Media Materials

  1. Mail
  2. Fax
  3. E-mail
  4. Electronic News Services
  5. Online Newsrooms
  6. Web pressrooms

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Pubic materials are distributed electronically.


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