Publicity and Media Relations
Publicity and Media Relations JTC 351
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Date Created: 09/22/15
JTC 351 Public Relations Practices Five Basic Types of Announcement Releases Tips for generating news about your client organization Personnel Announcements News stories about people are the simplest and most common type of news release These stories nd ready outlets in People in the News columns of trade and business publications and local newspapers Use news releases to announce hirings promotions in rank transfers elections to professional offices involvements in civic activities and retirements Many of these announcements appear as one or twosentence items in columns or roundup stories Nonetheless they are valuable mentions of the employer organization showcase the quality of the organization s staff and underscore the vitality of the organization I Personnel announcements can be simple and brief as brief as 23 paragraphs and should always focus on the person 7 not the organization or the officials making the announcement Use the person s professional name and exact title Summarize his or her new duties and indicate the facility where the person will work For localized newspaper stories about new managers of local establishments include the street address of the bank branch office or store Include limited personal information relevant to the job age required by many business publications experience hometown where the person resides and college attended If the person graduated indicate the degree earned and year otherwise just say attended Exclude personal information about marital status family home address hobbies compensation or other personal informationunless there is a reason to do so Compile information for the release by asking the individual to supply a current resume to fill out a questionnaire created for this purpose or to complete a brief interview Always obtain approval of the release by the person prior to distribution Some people might not wish to publicize their new job or whereabouts because of privacy concerns Distribute personnel announcements to appropriate trade professional and business publications Also send copies to hometown newspapers in the community where the person resides college alumni publications and any other publications the person might suggest or request Most personnel announcements feature a single person However organizations can also announce multiple personnel changes in the same release Event Announcements Organizations conduct meetings seminars clinics health screenings concerts exhibitions rallies and many other activities as part of their routine operations Events taking place in a community represent legitimate news Use news releases to encourage public participation as well as to create awareness of the organization and its mission News releases can be used as advance announcements or post event reports about an event I Preevent announcement releases should be distributed to local media at least two weeks in advance Allow a longer leadtime for national trade or business media A typical preevent announcement identifies the name of event sponsor date start time participants dignitaries speakers entertainers etc admission charge if any and information about how to register Include a compelling explanation for why people should attend I Large regional or national events announced 24 months in advance are often promoted by issuing a series of supplemental announcements that contain additional important details not announced previously If used judiciously a series of carefully crafted supplemental announcements can serve as teasers to remind people about the event andor reach people who might have missed earlier announcements Issue a postevent release following an event The release should be written in past tense and summarize what occurred key remarks actions taken winners of competitions etc Commercial or retail events such as the opening or reopening of a facility following remodeling are more difficult to publicize than entertainment educational cultural sports or fundraising events Consider a strong newsgenerating angle or gimmick 7 invite a prominent personality conduct an offbeat activity or add a humaninterest element that will attract attention Feature these elements prominently in both pre and postevent announcements I Releases about fundraising events should stress the societal benefits of the activity Prominently feature name the name of the event and the benefiting organization the need for support the good works that the proceeds will make possible and details about giving Speeches and Presentation Announcements Speeches are a specific type of event that can be especially useful because the speaker usually articulates key messages important to an organization or cause in a legitimate news setting that is often held under the auspices of an outside organization a professional society civic organization or community club Issue an advance news release to promote attendance at the speech to raise awareness of an organization or cause among people not attending the talk and to entice news media to attend Use a speech summary release to recap the marks after presentation I Advance announcements about a speech should include the name position and affiliation of the speaker title or topic of the speech venue location time date place and information on admission if applicable A note at the end of the release should provide relevant information about how reporters can attend obtain a transcript and or interview the speaker Be sure to mention the name of the organization sponsoring the speech 7 and include a telephone number or emailweb address where people can obtain more information or register Postspeech releases should summarize key points of the remarks in the same way a reporter would cover the speech Include the name position and affiliation of the speaker the venue and date If desired describe the nature and size of the audience No need to include details commonly included in an advance story such as the title of the talk venue or time Summarize the main idea in a hardhitting lede and feature threefour provocative quotes from the speech Provide background about the speaker and cause as appropriate Send the full transcript or selected excerpts to key media offer the transcript or excerpts to others through a note at the bottom ofthe release Product Announcements Manufacturers and retailers routinely issue news releases to announce new products and services Although highly commercial in nature product announcements about new products and services provide valuable material to editors and readers of many trade publications hobby and special interest consumer magazines and productrelated web sites and blogs Product information is also of interest to syndicated columnists assigned to particular business or consumer product topics and to editors of the soft sections of newspapers food fashion travel automotive and entertainment Successful product announcements must provide legitimate factual newsnot advertising uff I New product announcements can include pre announcements about plans to market a product available soft launch or news releases announcing a product s availability hard launch New product announcement releases vary in length depending on the complexity of the product Focus on the new or unusual features and bene ts of the product Editors run new product stories based on facts about the inherent qualities of the productinot hype Include the product s name a brief physical description uses and bene ts manufacturer s name and headquarters city and the price or price range Furnish additional details as appropriate technical speci cations supplemental uses or applications rollout or distribution plans certi cations endorsements or recommendations from third parties and background on the inventor or manufacturer Following a successful product introduction marketers often strive to issue a series of product related news releases to generate a continuing ow of favorable news to sustain the product s visibility Examples of possible story topics appointment of new distributors contracts to sell the product through major retailers availability in new regions of the country or world endorsements or favorable recommendations by experts and preliminary sales or performance figures Trade publications often devote major stories to new products expected to reshape the marketplace However the trades also use product releases as part of roundup or trend stories and as new product briefs compilations of product news in the backofthebook Among consumer media hobby and special interest publications publish straight product announcements asis and in staffwritten articles Columnists who cover speci c product categories for hobby or special interest publications often use product announcements to identify products to feature Editors for magazines syndicates or newspapers might choose interesting products to feature in their seasonal giftgiving guides or reviews of best products of the year Awards and Honors Announcements Awards received and awards presented routinely generate positive media exposure Awards received by a client organization are an implicit or explicit recommendation from a thirdparty organization Awards bestowed by an organization on others 7 customers distributors sales staffs employees members students 7 can be used to underscore values important to the organization service ingenuity hard work scholarship etc and position the presenting organization as a leader in the eld I Releases announcing awards received should focus on the award 7 including the exact name of the award a brief description of the award s purpose and the reason that the client was cited Include the exact name a brief description and the headquarters city of the awards presenter Quote the presenting organizationnot the client recipient Avoid selfserving or trite quotes in response As appropriate explain the implications of the award for the organization and mention new activities in which the client is engaged that illustrate why the honor was won Where possible ask the presenting organization to issue the release Offer to review the release for accuracy and assist in the distribution of the release by supplying list of media and other people who receive the information Alternatively the PR representatives for the honored organization can simply forward the announcement to other after the release is issued When announcing the presentation of awards always focus on the recipients not the client presenting them Cite the reasons each person or organization received the award Stated accolades should be individualized and should resonate with people familiar with the recipients Avoid inauthentic boilerplate If multiple recipients are named issue a wrapup release Then if practicable issue an individual release for each honoree and distribute it to appropriate trade business hometown and alumni publications Key point Organizations should bestow honors selectivelyia ood of too many or too frequent awards will deplete an announcement s impact September 2008 3