Sunday, September 7, 2008

Reading Response Week 8

In summary, the key points that I have learned from this week’s reading are that in order for a media release to be entered into a publication it must exhibit one or more of the following characteristics: mentions well known people, timeliness, a local angle, public interest, novelty, achievement, or appeal to emotions (Tymson, Lazar, & Lazar 2006), that there is a distinction made between what is referred to as soft and hard news, that the appropriateness of a media release varies across different publications, and that there is a certain formula one can follow in order to produce a captivating media release.
Soft news encompasses human interest stories while hard news consists of stories describing significant current events, those possessing great social or political significance and “usually occupy the front few pages of a newspaper" (Tymson, Lazar, & Lazar 2006). Public relations practitioners would be wise to determine whether their media release falls into the category of soft or hard news as this could possibly aid or hinder publication. Stories are also portrayed differently across different publications. For example, a story that explores America’s declining housing market could find in audience in both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and yet it would most likely experience greater readership if published in the New York Times. Public relations practitioners should carefully select a publication relevant to their media release as this will certainly increase the chance of publication and their ideas being heard.
When it has been decided what publication would best suit a particular set of ideas to be conveyed, public relations practitioners can then begin to write a media release following a simple formula which consists of a headline, a lead, a body and a conclusion. The best section to start with would be the lead as it discusses the details of who, what, where, when and why. From there it is simple to derive a captivating headline, a supporting body and conclusion which provides a brief summarisation of the history behind an event, organisation or person (Tymson, Lazar, & Lazar 2006).
My learning builds upon previous learning about public relations in that media releases, as with all facets of a public relations campaign or program, require research and strategic planning in order for this tactic to produce positive results. A poorly written media release will be tossed aside by journalists and submission of media release to a publication that lacks relevance to the ideas addressed will meet the same fate.

No comments: