Just another day in PR

Newsletter tips and tricks! October 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccameron12 @ 7:14 pm
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Newsletters. I get about 2 of a month, and to be completely honest, I scan right through them, unless something really catches my attention. They look exactly the same each month, and just seem so cluttered! So what should an organization or company do to help these common problems?

In my Public Relations Publications course I am currently in, we have just been assigned the task of creating a newsletter. So where do we start? What are some tips that we should follow to have a good, successful and most of all, READ newsletter??

The “Newsletter Design Clinic” on www.about.com has some great tips that are sure to help you when designing your newsletter! Here’s some quick tips from the website:

  • Use the 3 C’s: Consistency, Conservation & Contrast:
    • Use the same margins on each page.
    • Don’t switch fonts too much! Stick to one font, and change the style and size of that font!
    • Don’t have each page look completely different from the other — keep to a similar style or theme.
    • Don’t just insert graphics or clip art; make the relevant to the newsletter and the articles surrounding them!
    • White space is O.K.! You don’t want to cram things onto each page; it will get too busy!
    • Boxes and lines are great when used sparingly. Don’t box in every picture and all text.
  • Ask these three questions:
    • What is the purpose of the newsletter and who is the intended audience ?
    • Who is sending this newsletter?
      • Readers will question the motives of a newsletter that doesn’t clearly state who the newsletter is from.  Make contact information readily available and easy to find!
    • What type of image does the newsletter reflect?
      • Is your newsletter formal? Or casual?  Make sure it looks appropriate for your targeted audiences.  For example, don’t have tiny font if your target audience is the elderly.

For more helpful tips, visit http://desktoppub.about.com/od/newsletters/a/newsletter3c.htm.


Final Presentation for PR Writing April 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccameron12 @ 10:13 am

Okay- So here we are! We made it to the end of another semester!! For our PR Writing class we were assigned a final presentation. The objective was to share with the class the highlights (and maybe the lowlights) of your experiences during the course. What did we learn? What were our strengths/weaknesses?

For extra credit, we could place our powerpoints on our blogs; SO, here is mine! “The Real Deal” of Public Relations Writing:


Press Releases in the New Age March 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccameron12 @ 2:45 pm

In the ‘old days’ of press releases, PRs had to ‘snail mail’ a hard copy of a press release to newspapers around the world. Today, a press release doesn’t even have to touch the hands of a journalist. With the power of the internet, a PR can distribute a press release via their blog, website, or even through sites such as PRWeb. Darren Rowse, a PR professional and blogger, talks about how with the capabilities of the internet, a blog can now even include links. A word can be hyper linked to a website containing more information or a picture relevant to the press release. Not only that, but your press releases can be accessed by simple Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.

The best part? Well, besides the fact that your press release can now be accessed various ways online, the guidelines aren’t quite as strict. Rowse says that less and less “professionals” are needed to write press releases, because anyone can do it with some time and effort. The basic rules that Rowse suggests for web press releases are:

  1. Format correctly. Sorry-this one is a little aggravating but its a fact of PR life.
  2. Headline is VITAL. Your headline will be the deciding factor on whether or not anyone reads your press release. Take some time and think of a good one!!!
  3. Keep it short and sweet. Get to the point; a press release does not need to contain “fluff.”

To learn more about online press releases you can visit Darren Rowse’s blog at http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/02/29/stand-out-the-power-of-the-press-release/.

To learn how to write an effective electronic news release visit http://ezinearticles.com/?Promoting-Your-Exhibition-Or-Event-With-Electronic-Press-Releases&id=470082.


Journalists vs. PRs — The Showdown

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccameron12 @ 2:22 pm

Working at a newspaper gives me an inside view on how journalist really view PRs. While our paper is a pretty small, localized paper, we still receive TONS of press releases every day. While my co-workers don’t refer to PRs as “spin doctors” or any other degrading term, they do get very frustrated with the press releases we receive. Listed below are some annoyances that even I have with PRs and press releases due to my employment at the paper.

1. First off, we loath a faxed press release. We receive all sorts of junk (and by junk I mean spam) in our fax machine everyday. Even if a viable press release comes through, its likely to get chunked in the waste basket with the spam. Not only that, but anything received via fax machine is grainy, so its harder to read.

2. Secondly, if you choose to send a press release via ‘snail mail’ please, please email it as well. Just with a fax, our editors and copy setters do not have an abundance of time. If you email your press release, they can very well ‘copy & paste’ the parts they would like to use. Emailing just makes it more likely that your press release will get used.

3. If you are going to include a picture with your press release, make sure that it is a HIGH resolution, or offer a website where the editor can retrieve a high resolution picture. There’s nothing worse than sending a picture that is boring in content, has poor resolution, or is just a ‘crappy’ picture.

4. Lastly, it is SO annoying when a PR calls the newspaper and asks if you used their press release. Can you not read? We have so little time, and then a PR basically calls and says to you ‘Hi, I begged for free space in your paper, but I didn’t bother to read your paper, so can you tell me if you ran an article?’

These are just the main annoyances I have noticed while working at a local paper. Just because these things annoy us, does not mean however that they annoy all newspaper professionals. Some papers may like for you to fax a press release, although I don’t know why they would!!

For other views on journalists vs. PRs visit http://foreveramber.typepad.com/blog/2006/09/why_journalists.htm OR http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=38348&sectioncode=1.