Reading Notes Comm 2322

Reading Notes Ch.14 Comm 2322

News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

Content of a News Release

Use the inverted pyramid structure with the first paragraph summarizing the most important parts of the story and the succeeding paragraphs to fill in the details descending in order of importance.

Distributing Media Materials can include:

  1. Mail
  2. Fax
  3. E-mail
  4. Electronic News Services
  5. Online Newsrooms
  6. Web pressrooms

A press kit should include the following:

  1. The main news/press release
  2. A news feature about the development of the product or something similar
  3. Fact sheets on the product, organization or event
  4. Background information
  5. Photos and drawings with captions
  6. Biographical material on the spokesperson or chief executives
  7. Some basic brochures
  8. A business card of the PR contact person

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Reading Notes Ch.9 Comm 2322

Public Opinion and Persuasion

This chapter opened up talking about three different types of leaders they were:

  1. Formal opinion leaderselected officials, presidents of companies or heads of membership groups.
  2. Power leaderspeople in formal leadership positions.
  3. Informal opinion leaders those who have clout with peers because of some special characteristic. Exert peer pressure for others to go along with it.

Uses of Persuasion

  • Change or neutralize hostile opinions.
  • Crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes.
  • Conserve favorable opinions.

Factors in Persuasive Communications

  1. Audience analysis
  2. Source credibility
  3. Appeal to self-interest
  4. Clarity of message
  5. Timing and context
  6. Audience participation
  7. Suggestions for actions
  8. Content and structure of messages
  9. Persuasive speaking

Reading Notes Ch.8 Comm 2322


Evaluation: the measurement of results against established objectives set during the planning process. The desire to do a better job next time is a major reason for evaluating public relations efforts, but another equally important reason is the widespread adoption of the management-by-objectives system by clients and employers to public relations personnel.

Measurement of Message Exposure

  • Media Impressions
  • Hits on the Internet
  • Advertising Equivalency (AVE)
  • Systematic Tracking
  • Requests and 800 numbers
    1. Content Analysis
    2. Readership Interest Surveys
    3. Article Recall
    4. Advisory Boards
  • Return on Investments
  • Audience Attendance

Measurements of Supplemental Activities

  • Communication Audits
  • Pilot Tests and Split Messages
  • Meeting and Event Attendance
  • Newsletter Readership

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Reading Notes Ch.7 Comm 2322


To be an effective communicator, a person must have basic knowledge of (1) what constitutes communication and how people receive messages, (2) how people process information and change their perceptions, and (3) what kinds of media and communication toll are most appropriate for a particular message.

James Grunig, professor emeritus of public relations at the University of Maryland, lists five possible objectives for a communicator:

  1. Message exposure
  2. Accurate dissemination of the message
  3. Acceptance of the message
  4. Attitude change
  5. Change in overt behavior

People use mass media for such purposes:

  • Surveillance of the environment to find out what is happening , locally or even globally.
  • Entertainment and diversion
  • Reinforcement of their opinions and predispositions
  • Decision making about buying a product or service

Tips on writing for clarity:

  1. Use symbols, acronyms, and slogans
  2. Avoid jargon
  3. Avoid cliches and hype words
  4. Avoid euphemisms
  5. Avoid discriminatory language

Five-Stage Adoption Process

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Evaluation
  4. Trial
  5. Adoption

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Reading Notes Ch.6 Comm 2322

Program Planning

The second step of the public relations process, following research, is program planning. In the RACE acronym mentioned in Chapter 1, this step was labeled “Action” because the organization starts making plans to do something about an issue or situation.

A strategic planning model:

  • Category facts.
  • Product/service issues.
  • Competitive facts.
  • Customer facts.


  • Business objectives.
  • Role of public relations.
  • Sources of new business.


  • Target audience.
  • Current mind-set.
  • Desired mind-set.

Key Message

  • Main point.


  • Strategy 1: Build brand success and awareness
  • Strategy 2: Include core consumers in the 10th anniversary activities
  • Strategy 3: Announce new licensing partnerships
  • Strategy 4: Convert awareness, fan involvement to media coverage


  • Objective 1: Communicate the popularity and staying power of Pokemon by securing 500 stories in media outlets
  • Objective 2: Engage core customers in celebration of the brand and drive them to the website
  • Objective 3: Reinforce the brand’s leadership position among licensees through trade and media coverage

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Reading Notes Ch.5 Comm 2322


Effective public relations is a process, and the essential first step in the process is research.

Many questions should be asked before formulating a research design:

  • What is the problem?
  • What kind of information is needed?
  • How will the research be used?
  • How soon will the results be needed?
  • How much will the research cost?

Qualitative research includes five different sections:

  1. Content analysis
  2. Interviews
  3. Focus groups
  4. Copy testing
  5. Ethnographic techniques

The word omnibus means means something that serves several purposes. In survey research, it means that an organization “buys” one or two questions in a national survey conducted by a national polling firm such as Gallup or Harris.

As in all research methods, there are advantages and disadvantages of using Web and e-mail surveys. Three major advantages are (1) large samples are generated in a short amount of time, (2) they are more economical than even mail questionnaires or phone interviews, (3) and data can be analyzed continually. The three major disadvantages are (1) respondents are usually self-selected, (2) there is no control over the size of the sample or selection of respondents, and (3) probability sampling is not achievable.

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Reading Notes Ch.4 Comm 2322

Public Relations Department and Firms

Public relations department serve various roles and functions within companies and organizations.

Services that Public relation firms provide:

  • Marketing communications
  • Executive speech training
  • Research and evaluations
  • Crisis communication
  • Media analysis
  • Community relations
  • Events management
  • Public affairs
  • Branding and corporate reputation
  • Financial relations

Advantages of a PR firm:

  • Objectivity
  • A  variety of skills and expertise.
  • Extensive resources
  • International jobs
  • Offices through out the country
  • Special problem-solving skills
  • Credibility

Disadvantages of a PR firm:

  • Superficial group of a client’s unique problems
  • Lack of full-time commitment
  • Need for prolonged briefing period
  • Resentment by internal staff
  • Need for strong direction by top management
  • Cost

Fees and Charges

  1. Basic hourly fee, plus out-of-pocket expenses.
  2. Retainer fee.
  3. Fixed project fee.

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