AN EFFECTIVE PRESS RELEASE

58499153_e0c220ec61_o
Photo Credit: Olivander via Compfight cc

In the world of PR, writing an effective press release is “an essential skill.” Coming into my Comm 368 class, not knowing how to write a good press release…I was scared. We created a mock press release for an assignment. Haven’t received the grade for it yet, but fingers crossed I did…somewhat decent on it . Below you will find five effective ways of writing a good press release.

1. Is this newsworthy?

Before writing a press release think about what you need to read before you write. What is trending in the media. Ask yourself a few questions, “Is there anything NEW in my story?” Will people find this interesting outside my business?” “Will anyone care about this?” As a professional you want to find what is interesting, what brings excitement through the readers. It is simple to find newsworthy material in the media once you read, watch or listen to coverage in the media.

2. Headlines that kill…

When creating headlines...DON”T TRY TO BE CLEVER. As a journalists you will waste more time coming up with a clever headline than actually creating a headline that makes sense. Whatever the topic is, be straight-forward with the headline. You don’t want your reader lost or not understand what the story is about. The headline is like a opening show, you want to impress and reel in your audience in the beginning so they stay.

3. What’s your first line?

“If your first sentence doesn’t grab your readers attention, they may not read any further.”  The most important information goes at the beginning of you release. The first line should be a summary of the story, containing only 15-20 words. It must read like the opening of a news story. Remember the “five W’s?” (Who, what , where, why and when), make sure you use them. Very Important to knock out the five W’s in the opening summary.

4. Short and sweet…

A normal length of a press release is about 300-400 words. Basically that is only three or four short paragraphs. “If your press release is longer than 300-400 words, then you have too many fish that needs to be thrown back to the sea.” At the end of the page, add in a section “notes to editors” that includes information about the company. When writing a press release maintain a short and detailed story, but keep it sweet for all readers to enjoy.

5. Quotes, quotes, and quotes…

Including quotes from people in your company is like getting a bonus at work, “you’ll take it because that is what you want.” These quotes in press releases should be used to provide insight and opinion. It should feel as if the person is speaking directly to the audience. Slang words should be professionalized before putting them into the story.

As a PR student I love adding in quotes on what the person’s response to something was. I feel the more quotes you have the better the story, just remember don’t feel the entire press release with quotes, quotes, quotes.

Advertisements

My Interview with a PR Professional

"You are your own brand." - Chelsey Korman, Assistant Account Executive for Formula PR, Inc.
“You are your own brand.” – Chelsey Korman, Assistant Account Executive for Formula PR, Inc

This week’s blog, I got the chance to interview Chelsey Korman of San Diego, California. For the past two years she has been the Assistant Account Executive for Formula PR, Inc. Chelsey graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations. She is passionate about international relations, politics, public speaking, writing, philanthropy, communication and fashion.


Question 1

What’s a typical week like for Chelsey?

Every day of the work week is similar. She follows a daily routine where she begins work at 8am. In her office Chelsey goes through emails from clients, only responding to the urgent ones first before she responds to the other emails.  At work her top priorities are her clients. The rest of Chelsey’s morning is pitching media, maybe a little of writing pitches depending on the work load that day and calling her clients. She finds that having a one on one phone call with her clients helps create that relationship a PR professional wants with their client. Throughout her afternoon Chelsey writes press releases, works on pitches and continues emailing her clients.

Question 2

What project are you proud of that you have worked on?


Question 3

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

Chelsey keeps up to date on “What is the latest trend.” She feels monitoring trends is probably the best way to keep current in the PR industry. Twitter is a major resource to find what is trending today.


Question 4

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

Chelsey, alumni from Chico State University in Chico, California wishes that during college she would have been educated on understanding a press release and how to do a press release. At the firm she works for, press releases are huge parts of her job. By being thrown into writing press releases, it has helped Chelsey understand what a press release is and how to write a press release.


Question 5

How important is writing in your career?

Chelsey said writing is very important in this business. As PR students, word of advice from her is to get the experience of communicating with people, take on as many internships as we can, get educated on how to write press releases and get clients out there in the media. Today emails are very common in the PR field or other fields. Sounding professional, knowing what you’re talking about and be personable.


Question 6

What are a few tips you would offer someone just starting out in PR?

  1. Have an opinion, do not be afraid to see it
  2. Be passionate about your work
  3. Give it your all
  4. Be hungry to ask questions and want to learn all the time
  5. Do not be afraid to mess up

Get Connected with Chelsey Korman on LinkedIn

The Unofficial Tradition at ISU, during Homecoming

Photo Credit: Darwin Bell via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Darwin Bell via Compfight cc

Every year at Indiana State, it is Sycamore tradition that the morning of the homecoming game, there be a Blue & White parade where organizations, fraternities and sororities will show their Sycamore pride. Directly after the parade the tailgate party begins called “Tent City.” This is where fraternities, sororities and organizations have giveaways, food, drinks and many more things. All of these events are ISU traditions, but one “ritual” some students call this is “The Walk.” “The Walk” has been an unofficial tradition at ISU for years. It is not university sponsored but this unofficial tradition is to promote safe drinking along Brown and Wabash Avenue. Students participating in this drinking game will hit every bar down the strip to Memorial Stadium and hit a drink or more at every bar or Beer Garden on the path to Tent City. For students safety, there are designated walkers who make sure intoxicated students aren’t risking their lives be irresponsible. Although this is an unofficial tradition, most students, family members, alumni’s, etc. think of it as a tradition during homecoming.

My experience during “The Walk” has been a safe and exciting one. Homecoming is a time to enjoy times with friends and family. Therefore I do encourage students. family and alumni to experience “The Walk” either as a drunk walker or a designated walker because no matter what it will be a fun, new experience. On the bright side, most of the alcoholic beverages are discounted during this time….

Years and Years of Unethical Behavior from A&F…

Photo Credit: Taymaz Valley via Compfight cc

Along time ago I would see the girls and guys in middle school wearing preppy clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch. As a young slim teen in middle school, that was the only clothing that fit me perfect. Yes, it is expensive clothing and yes, it was only to be worn by attractive and preppy people with an enthusiastic personality. As a kid, I never once thought about the message Abercrombie & Fitch was giving to their audience. All I thought about was what I found nice and good looking on the shelves and tables inside their store.

For years now, Abercrombie & Fitch has been faced with all sorts of discrimination and sexual harassment. In middle school, all I wanted was to fit in and feel comfortable in the clothing I wore. Abercrombie & Fitch began being accused of the company being racist because all models were Caucasian Americans with light hair, beautiful eyes, and a great body. All the models were attractive men and women with great bodies. The image they were presenting to their audience was provocative and parents felt it sent a wrong message to their young teens. Since that accusation, Abercrombie & Fitch strongly enforces diversity in their company, but still continue the provocative good-looking atmosphere in their store.

Another mishap with the company was when a photographer was charged with sexual harassment when a model claimed that the photographer asked him to masturbate during his photo-shoot to relax the model. Abercrombie & Fitch has been faced with many unethical behaviors and a popular one would be when the CEO of Abercromibie & Fitch had an interview about the company, claiming “we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that,” CEO Mike Jeffries said at the time. An apology was made, but the company continued to advertise attractive good-looking people.

With all these unethical behaviors, how is the company still in business. I believe it is because of their brothers and sisters in the company, Gilly Hick’s and Hollister keeping them alive. Even though Abercrombie & Fitch has been through unethical behaviors, the company has grown and changed their ethics. After reading these stories about Abercrombie & Fitch, what will happen to the company when the CEO retires?

Blogging 101: Creating a Successful Blog, Makes a Happy Blogger

Photo Credit: Scott Beale via Compfight cc

Welcome to Blogging 101…I hope all of you reading are experienced bloggers because I am currently new to the blogging scene and find it to be difficult at times. I have found myself struggling with creating a blog that grabs the audience’s attention. All bloggers create a blog that they find to be interesting and want other bloggers reading to find it interesting as well. Blogging is similar to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, everyone wants to get their statuses liked and shared or tweets to be retweeted. It is going to be a journey to get to where the professional bloggers are, but the journey will be the experience that helps me grow and one day I will be a professional blogger. There are many tips out there from people who are or have experienced the struggle in blogging. I found a few tips to be the most effective in creating a successful blog…

1. DETERMINE YOUR ANGLE

Use your skills to inform and inspire your audience. Use your creativity about what is interesting to you that will be interesting to your audience too. Decide how you will interact with your audience and how you will keep them wanting to read more of your work.

2. ESTABLISH YOUR VOICE

You have personality, so use it in your blog. Do not be generic, tell your story of experience to your audience. Make it known to your audience that your goals are professional and real. Inspire your audience in your blog.

3. GRAB ATTENTION

The title catches the readers attention. Make the title intriguing and the reader will want to make a cup of coffee, take out a croissant and read your blog. Keep the titles simple and short, but provide information to the audience. Do not fool the audience.

4. USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Successful bloggers use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google to create a community of new and returning readers.

5. KEEP IT NEW

Make sure you keep your readers up to date with news that is not old news.

 

So I know it will be difficult in the beginning but I am looking forward to the future of my blogging because everyone starts off rough but gets back up and carries on…

 

Have a great day everyone!

 

http://www.careerealism.com/creating-professional-blog/