Category Archives: Reading Notes

Chapter 15- Radio, Television, and the Web

Readings from: Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics

Public Service Announcements

  • Both radio and television stations accept public service announcements from nonprofit organizations that wish to inform and educate the public about health issues or upcoming civic events.
  • P.A’s are like advertisements, but stations do not charge to air them.

Broadcast Media Tours

  • Happen when an organization’s spokesperson is interviewed from a central location by journalists across the country.

Video News Releases

  • Produced in a format that television stations can easily use or edit based on their needs.

News Feeds

  • An organization arranges for coverage of a particular event, and television stations across the country can watch it in “real time” or receive and edited version of it for later use.

Web Sites and Streaming Media

  • Public relations personnel should not overlook Web news sites for placement of publicity. Podcasts have quickly become a public relations campaign staple.
  • The popularity of Weblogs, or blogs, means that public relations personnel should also harness them as a tactic for reaching an audience.

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Chapter 14- News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters

Readings from: Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics

The News Release

  • Sent to journalists and editors for possible use in the news columns, and they are the source for a large percentage of articles that are published.
  • Must be accurate, informative, and written in journalistic style.

Publicity Photos

  • Often accompany news releases to make a story more appealing.
  • Photos must be high resolution and well composed.
  • Can be made more interesting by manipulating the camera angle and lighting and by showing scale and action.

Mat Releases

  • A form of a news release but primarily with a feature angle instead of hard news. They provide consumer information and tips in an objective manner with only a brief reference to the nonprofit or corporation that has distributed the information via a distribution firm.

Media Advisories and Fact Sheets

  • Let Journalists know about an upcoming event such as a news conference or photo or interview opportunities.
  • Fact sheets give the 5 w’s and H of an event in outline form.

Pitch Letters

  • Public relations personnel “pitch” journalists and editors with story ideas about their employer or client.
  • Such pitches can be letters, e-mails, or even telephone calls.

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Chapter 13- New Technologies in Public Relations

Readings from: Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics

The Communications Explosion

  • In the 1990’s the internet grew from a means of exchanging scientific information in a relatively small community to become a global communications tool for the masses, blending telephone, television, and the computer into an information superhighway.

The Internet

  • Primary use- Communication (email and research).
  • Internet content is uncontrolled.
  • Used by public relations practitioners in: dictation, voice generation, expert system programming, processing of news releases, e-mail, desk-top publishing, mailing list generation, online conferencing, graphics production, and facsimile transmission.

Satellite Transmission

  • Major newspapers use satellites to transmit material to regional printing plants.
  • Many companies deliver news releases via satellite including audio and video releases.
  • Teleconferencing is a rapidly growing application of satellite transmission.

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Chapter 12- Public Relations and the Law

Readings from: Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics

Libel and Defamation

  • The concept of defamation involves a false and malicious communication with and identifiable subject who is injured either financially or by loss of reputation or mental suffering.
  • Libel suits can be avoided through the careful use of language.

Invasion of Privacy

  • Companies cannot assume when publishing newsletters that a person waives his or her right to privacy due to status as an employee.
  • It is important to get written permission to publish photos or use employees in advertising materials.

Regulations by Government Agencies

  • Commercial speech is regulated by the government in the interest of public health, safety, and consumer protection.

The Attorney/Public Relations Relationship

  • Because of all the issues discussed in this chapter, a cooperative relationship must exist between public relations personnel and legal counsel.
  • Both groups should report to the same executive and are represented on key committees.

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Chapter 11- Reaching a Multicultural and Diverse Audience

Readings from: Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics

Diverse and Multicultural Nature of the Public Relations Audience

  • Audiences are complex mingling of groups with diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, and economic attributes.
  • Through technology and research, it’s now possible to segment audiences a number of ways that help the public relations communicator understand the characteristics of the audience and how to best communicate with them.
  • Audiences are visually oriented, increasingly taking control of how they want to receive information.

Reaching Diverse Age Groups

  • Have different values, interests, and needs.
  • Must understand youth groups such as Generation X and Y as well as the coming wave of baby boomers who are reaching retirement.
  • Each group prefers to receive information through different media channels.

Other Emerging Audiences

  • Catholic and Evangelical groups, gay/lesbian community, disabled, and women.

Reaching Global Audiences

  • The global economy makes it necessary for public relations professionals to consider the cultures and values of many diverse nations.
  • Conducting a public relations program abroad takes a great deal of sensitivity.

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Chapter 10- Conflict Management: Dealing with Issues, Risks, and Crises

Readings from: Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics

A New Way of Thinking:

  • By defining public relations as strategic management of competition and conflict, a fresh and vigorous approach to public relations is envisioned.
  • Public relations is positioned to earn influence within organizations by focusing on achieving objectives.

Contingency Theory of Conflict Management

  • Argues for a dynamic and multifaceted approach to dealing with conflict in the field.

Risk Communication

  • Attempts to convey information regarding risk to public health and safety and the environment.
  • The communicator must begin early, identify and address the public’s concerns, recognize the public as a partner, anticipate hostility, respond to the needs of the news media, and always be honest.

Crisis Communication

  • Lack of crisis management plans.

Reputation Management

  • This asset is impacted by how the organization deals with conflict, particularly those in crises that generate significant media attention.
  • Using research to monitor reputation and making realistic responses after crises have passed can minimize damage to an organization’s reputation.

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Chapter 9- Public Opinion and Persuasion

Reading from: Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics

What is Public Opinion?

  • Public opinion can be hard to measure. Only a small number of people will have opinions on any given issue.
  • Engaging the interest of a public will involve affecting its self interest.

Opinion Leaders as Catalysts

  • Primary Catalyst in the formation of public opinion is public discussion.
  • People who are knowledgeable and articulate on specific issues can be either formal opinion leaders or informal opinion leaders.

Persuasion: Pervasive in Our Lives

  • The concept of persuasion has been around at least since the time of the ancient Greeks.
  • This dominant view of public relations is of persuasive communications on behalf of clients.
  • Persuasion can be used to change or neutralize hostile opinions.

Factors in Persuasive Communication

  • Audience analysis, source credibility, appeal to self-interest, message clarity, timing and context, audience participation, suggestions for action, content and structure of messages, and persuasive speaking.


  • Political or ideological persuasion, with emphasis on deceit and duplicity.
  • Propaganda techniques can be the same as those used in advertising and other public relations messages.

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