Monday, September 30, 2013

Feature Story Examples

Case Study

1. case study- how an individual or organization has benefitted from a company’s service or product
This man now has a thriving company buying and selling used Lego products.
application study- focus is on how consumer can use product or service in innovative way. “5 new ways to use…”
2. Application story- focus on how consumers can use product in an innovative way
A company is re-designing swim suits to help breast cancer patients feel sexy again
3.surveys and research- hire a group to do research and put together a story about it.
Telebrands did a study on using vodka to clean mold and mildew
backgrounder-focus on a problem and how it was solved
problem- how to open a tough jar lid, fix- sandpaper!
personality profile- people like to read about people. compelling story
A football coach suspends his delinquent team and makes them re try out after improving their negative behavior
historical piece- history of company, product and its developments

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Avoiding Legal Hassles

The legal world of Public Relations

The law can often times be confusing to people who do not understand the legalese. This ignorance can cause problems if a person unknowingly makes a mistake. When people first began to post movies and music on YouTube, videos were often taken down because they did not ask permission or list the owner or trademark. Now, people know to protect themselves with disclosures that list the owners and creators of the content put on the site.
Here are the legal basics.

I. There are three organizations that protect the public interest from fraud

    1. the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)- if public relations staff releases a news release that is vague or unclear as to information they are releasing to the public, they are in trouble with the SEC.
         a. also does not allow untrue descriptions of products or
         b. leaving out true, but negative facts about news
     2. the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)- provides licenses to radio and television stations and protects the radio listeners
          a. if you send an audio release to a radio station, the station is required to let the listeners know where the information came from or the could be fined by the FCC.
      3. Food and Drug Administration- oversees the advertising and promotion of prescription and over the counter drugs, and cosmetics.
           a. if you want to advertise a drug or treatment you have to also list the risks and limitations along with the advertisement.

II. Libel and defamation

      1. libel- printed falsehood
      2. defamation- comments made in traditional media or social media that are not based on facts and cause harm

III. Employees' Rights

      1. Companies cannot use pictures or statements of their employees without their permission
      2. However, if an employee leaks information or posts things the company that employs them deems improper, they could be fired.

Finally, do not use photos, logos or trademarks without permission from their creator. The fines could be astronomical and companies work hard to protect the trademarks they create.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Future of the News Release

Remember when news releases were called press releases?

Times have changed and public relations, like the rest of the world, has to evolve and change. There are three areas I believe that will make the news releases different from those we currently see.

1. The news release will become fully online and more interactive
2. The news release will not only be about the product or event, but also about the company that is advertising it.
3. News releases will have to become more honest and transparent. 
Watch the video to find out why!

Quick quote:
One standardized modality of this external communication is the press releases that are sent to the media with the intent that they will reflect the work and activities of the organizations, offering the point of view that benefits those institutions. Press releases should try generating a relationship of mutual need, and to achieve so their production and frequency must have a certain cadence in the editorial departments. ~ José Antonio Alcoceba-Hernando,


 Articles used for research 

Alcoceba-Hernando, J. (2010). Analysis of institutional press releases and its visibility in the press. Revista Latina De ComunicaciĆ³n Social, (65), 354-366. Retrieved from
Huang, X. (2011). Text analysis of earnings press releases. (Order No. 3456985, University of California, Irvine). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 109. Retrieved from (873377680). 

 Reider, Bruce. "Publicity Bias." The American Journal of Sports Medicine, Feb. 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why Journalists and Public Relations Experts are "frenemies" and partners

Public Relations and Journalism: Corporate Partners

Obamacare and The War on Terror are two prime examples of Public Relation's partnership with journalism. Both phrases were consistently used as headlines and topics on news stories around America. PR created the phrases and helped create a perception of each issue, and journalists reinforced the image1 . The healthcare plan is actually an age old effort of senators like the late Ted Kennedy, who stated that he would devote his life to its passage (it was passed soon after his death in 2009)2.  Journalists picked up on the name, either in order to give credit for its passage to Obama or to attach a negative connotation to the bill. The War on Terror was called so in order to encourage public support of a war in the Middle East. When Jayson Blair caused a scandal at the New York Times, and when newspapers feel that people are not reading and enjoying what they read, they needed PR. This article demonstrated  that PR started working in conjunction with journalism, the importance of a partnership to PR and journalism, and that the future of newspapers rest on their partnership and yet independence from public relations.

In both instances it is important to see the thin line separating PR and journalism. It is the false pride of some practitioners in both areas that sometimes does not allow credit to be given to the other. PR can help journalism weather the tough economic climate. As an Advertising and Public Relations major and a journalism minor, I recognize how closely connected both areas are and how many of the skills are closely related. The story documented that PR began with former journalist Ivy Lee tipping reporters on a train wreck. With World War I "publicity agents" helped the government to educate American's on the war through press releases.

PR needs journalism, and journalism needs PR. People should not see them as competing industries, but as industries that both work to get information to large amounts of people at the same time. Due to PR's quick evolution online they have recently grown much faster than the newspaper industry has. However, that does not mean that journalism will not be able to recover. People are beginning to become interested in politics and world affairs and again, and that is due to the efforts of both industries.

Though I have stressed the partnership between the two, I also must stress that they still remain separate. Similar to how a married couple becomes one, yet still has separate ideas, dreams and identities. Journalism should not become a paid market simply to sell a framed story. They are to report the truth no matter what company or entity it may affect negatively. PR and newspapers should help each other survive without one overrunning the other. John Sullivan on Pro Publica noted that "the rise of the "publicity agent" created deep concern among the nation's leaders, who distrusted a middleman inserting itself and shaping messages between government and the public." People trust the newspaperman in some areas more and the pr agent is some areas more. The bottom line is that the truth should reign in the partnership between PR and journalism.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Morals and Ethics Building Projects

How would a PR professional attract and audience and generate coverage?

1. Many facets of Mexican culture have been welcomed with open arms into American society. I would throw a huge fiesta bash within the community (maybe at a local park or community center) celebrating the 10th anniversary. Guests who came in groups of at least would each get a free taco or dessert. There would be lots of Mexican food, vendors, games and dancing. A percentage of the food sold would go to a charity chosen by the restaurant.

2. A manufacturer of vacuum cleaners could use the health hook to generate publicity through keeping air clean of pollen and other particles for allergy and asthma sufferers. They could even make it out of recycled materials (or even recycled vacuums) to seem to be taking care of the environment also.
7. American’s love pizza! I would suggest that the company allow customers to create their own pizza recipe and/or toppings combination as a contest, and allow users to vote online or within their store for their favorite. The winning pizza and toppings combination would be added as a special edition pizza on the menu for a limited time!

There are always new creative PR strategies waiting to be discovered!