Today in Public Relations Applications, we discussed subjects from chapter 12 in the THINK: Public Relations text by Wilcox. We discussed how Public Relations Professionals act as medieval town criers in terms of getting information out to their public audiences.
To do this, PR professionals rely on a toolbox of “tactics” that help them to reach as many people as possible. To name a few: news releases, public service announcements, media conferences, and special events which can be sent to print, TV, and/or radio publishers once they’re written for the correct corresponding channel of communication.
It’s the job of the PR professional to get their messages accessible to the public. Utilizing different channels, other than social media, is a great way to do so. It is important for the PR professionals to understand how to prepare messages for each, but each channel, however, has important requirements that make it unique.
For example, printed material, such as news releases, must be written using the Associated Press Style; which has many different requirements from the standard English grammar format most people are used to writing in. Also, news releases need to be written, metaphorically, in the shape of an inverted pyramid. Information needs to be written in order of importance where the most important things are mentioned first and the least important are mentioned last so that people will read the most important information even if they only read the first couple of lines.
News releases prepared for print are very different from those that are prepared for radio. Radio announcements should take about 30 or 60 seconds (about 125 words) to read because broadcasters must fit their messaged in a rigid time frame that is measured down to the second. Strong and short sentences are preferred because they make the message more conversational, they allow the announcer to breathe in between thoughts, and because they help the listener follow what is being said. Television
Getting messages to be aired on TV can be a little more tricky than getting messages printed or read. Luckily, the text mentions four approaches PR pros can use to help get their viewpoints on local television.
1.) Send the same news release the the local print media receive. If the news director thinks the topic is worthy, then it may be mentioned by the news announcer.
2.) Have a media alert/ advisory inform the editor about an event that would lend itself video coverage.
3.) Phone or email the editor and make a pitch to have the station do your story. (The secret to successfully pitching to a TV news editor us ti emphasize the visual aspects of the story).
4.) Produce a video news release and send it into a station. This works because it requires minimum effort on the part of the TV station.
To read more about the tactics of PR professionals in terms of reaching their audiences, check out the textbook THINK: Public Relations by Wilcox.