Posts from the ‘PRCA 3330….Reading Notes’ Category

Becoming a Persuasive Writer

Chapter Two Notes

I think that the Diffusion and Adoption section is very important to learn and understand.

Diffusion-process of acquiring new ideas has five steps.

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Trail
  • Evaluation
  • Adoption

Adoption- a number of factors affect the adoption process.

  • Relative advantage
  • Compatibility
  • Complexity
  • Trailability
  • Observability

It is very important to be able to be a persuasive writer. Your purpose is to persuade your target audience.  View the Tips for Success on pages 42 & 45 for some great tips.

  • Tips for Success….How to Write Persuasive Message, these are tips that everyone should know.
  • Tips for Success…..Appeals That Move People To Act, has great persuasive message themes.

Writing E-mail, Memos, and Proposals

Chapter 14 Notes

Emails are becoming more like texting messaged. I work in Career Services and I cannot tell you how may emails we get in one day that has abbreviations for example, instead of writing out you, they put the letter u.

Here are some suggestions about the content of an e-mail that came from our book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.

  • Use language that falls halfway between formal writing and spontaneous conversation.
  • Temper your language.
  • Keep messages brief.
  • Double-check who will be receiving your message before sending it.
  • Always reread an e-mail message before sending it.
  • Respond to relevant, work-related e-mail messages in a timely manner.


  • Subject line-opportunity to say briefly what the message is about.
  • Salutation-just begin with the person’s first name.
  • First Sentence or Paragraph-Get to the “bottom line” right away.
  • Body of Message-short and brief. As a rule of thumb, 20-25 lines single-spaced and no more than 65 characters per line.
  • Closing-sign off with a brief word such as “Regards.”

Tips for Success…Mind Your E-Mail Manners has great tips.

  • Avoid the “Reply to All” button.
  • Skip the CAPITAL letters.
  • Save the fancy stationery.
  • Give your response first.
  • Keep forward to a minimum.
  • Don’t be a cyber-coward.
  • Keep the 500KB image file to yourself.
  • Fill out the subject line.
  • Avoid HTML format.
  • Count to 10 before hitting the send button.

Tapping the Web and New Media

Chapter 12 Notes

Rise of Social Media

  • Blogs
    • Almost anyone can create a blog. A blog is ideal for a small business or large company
    • Start up cost are often minimal….Free
    • Links can be made to other blogs and Web pages.
    • Material can be updated and changed instantly.
  • MySpace and Facebook
    • Excellent opportunities to make “friends” in several ways.
    • Marketing and Public Relation personnel believe networking sites were vital for
      • Gaining consumer insights
      • Building brand awareness
      • Creating customer loyalty
  • YouTube
    • Popular medium of communication
    • YouTube video’s are:
      • Humorous
      • Entertaining
      • Educational
  • Flickr
    • Allows individuals to share photos with the rest of the world.
    • Primarily used for personal use.
    • Organizations are strongly discouraged from trying to sell products and services, however Public Relation personnel find creative ways to use the social networking aspect of Flickr to build awareness of an organization or brand.
    • Flickr can be used for public relations purposes only of the focus is on generating participation and involvement on the part of consumers and the general public.
  • Texting
    • Broadcast text, companies often use to send a brief message to all employees at the same time.  Example, text may be to remind employees about sign up for something.
    • Subscription, Users sign up to receive text messages from groups or organizations. Example, a reporter may sign up to receive text messages from a company the he or she covers on a regular basis.
    • “One-off,” a cell phone user can send a text message to a source to get an answer to a question.
  • Twitter
    • Another form of text messaging
    • Free social networking and microblogging service.
    • Allows users to post messages of up to 140 characters in length on computers and mobile devices.
  • Wikis
    • A collection of Web pages that enables anyone who accesses it to provide input and even modify the content.
  • Podcasts
    • Digetial media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers.
    • Three major advantages of podcasts
      • Cost-effective
      • Ability of users to access material on a 24/7 basis
      • Portability
    • Organization use podcasts for a variety of purposes, including
      • Provides news about a company
      • In-depth interviews with executives and other experts
      • Features giving customer tips about use of products and services
      • Training material for employees

Getting Along With Journalist

Chapter 11 Notes

I really liked the tips given on page 283, on how to handle interviews with print or broadcast personnel.

  • Listed below are a few of the tips that I liked most or that I found more helpful:
    • Determine, in advance, what key points or message you want to convey on behalf of the organization or client.
    • Anticipate questions and plan answers. Be totally familiar with facts, figures, and details that will help you sound credible.
    • Don’t tell half-truths. Don’t exaggerate.
    • Don’t let reporters put words in your mouth.
    • Be quotable. Say it briefly, clearly, and directly in 30 seconds or less.
    • Never say “NO COMMENT”
    • There is no such thing as “OFF THE RECORD”
    • Don’t speak ill about the competition or other individuals.
    • Watch your attitude. Don’t be arrogant, evasive, or uncooperative.
    • If a question is unfair or too personal, say so and refuse to answer.

I also found the section about news conferences to be very interesting and helpful. There are a lot of key points in the reading. Below, I have broken it down and pulled out points that I thought were most important.

  • Scheduling a News Conference
    • In general, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday mornings are best for dailies and broadcast media. Allows sufficient time for reporters to get stories in the next morning’s daily or on the 6 p.m. news.
    • Avoid Saturday and Sundays, as well as major holidays.
    • Try to schedule the news conference on a day when there are not other major announcements or news events.
    • Selecting a location (must meet several criteria)
      • Convenient for the media invited and be relatively close to their place of work.
      • Room selected must have the necessary facilities to accommodate both print and broadcast media.
      • Room must have plenty of electrical outlets. In some cases television people may want ground floor near an entrance, they may want to run cables from the truck to the room for live broadcasting.
      • Radio reporters will want a room with phone jacks.
      • Make room available 1 or 2 hours in advance so that radio and television crews can set up.
      • Have general seating arrangements.
      • More great tips can be found under the invitation, handling the conference, and after the conference section.

Distributing News to the Media

Chapter 10 Notes

  • Tip sheets- good way to find media personnel who might have an interest in your material.
    • Weekly newsletters, report recent changes in new personnel and their new assignments
    • How to contact them
    • What kinds of material they are looking for
    • How to pronounce people’s names
  • Online Newsrooms
    • Vital necessity, it’s often the first place journalist turn to for basic information about the organization, its products, and its services.
    • Link should be high visible on homepage
    • Should be easy to navigate with a minimum number of clicks
    • Five Components
      • Contact information
      • Corporate background
      • News releases and media kits
      • Multimedia gallery
      • Search capability

Tips for Success: The Components of a Successful Food Feature pg. 265 has great information on mat feature and how they should be informative and appealing to consumers.

Writing for Radio and Television

Chapter Nine Notes

Although there is a lot of important material in the chapter, I chose the following  because these are things that I have touched on in other classes and the professors say are a “big deal” to learn.

1)      Radio News Release

    • Format
      • Letterhead
      • Contact
      • Subject
      • All uppercase letters and double-spaced (standard practice)
      • Length of the radio release must be given Example: RADIO ANNOUNCEMENT:30”…this indicates the announcement will take 30 seconds to read.
    • Timing is vital
    • Strong, short sentences
    • Try to set a goal for an average sentences length of 10 words

Tips for Success: How to Write a Radio News Release pg.212

2)      Audio New Release (commonly called ANR)

    • Format
      • Preferred length is 60 seconds, including soundbite of 20 seconds or less.

3)      Public Service Announcement (PSA)-unpaid announcement that promotes the programs of government or nonprofit agencies or that serves the public interest.

    • Format
      • Written in uppercase and double-spaced
      • They can be 10, 15, 20, 30, or 60 seconds long (most popular length is between 15 and 30 seconds in length.

4)      Video News Release (VNR)

    • Format
      • 90 seconds standard length
    • Advantage of being used by numerous stations on a regional, national, or even global basis.

Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics

Chapter 8 Notes:

  • Photos must have high resolution and sharp detail to be used.
  • Any agreement with a photographer should be in writing.
  • You have the responsibility to honor the original photographer’s work and not  make alterations that would violate the integrity of the original photo.
  • All photos sent to the media need a caption.
  • Composition: take tight shots with minimal background. Concentrate on what you want the reader to get from the picture.

** Photos are very important, usually this is the first thing that catches the reader’s eye.