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

21 04 2009

(Notes from Public Relations:  Strategies and Tactics 9th Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glenn T. Cameron)

•  A news release is one of the most important elements in public relations.

News releases are used for many reasons

  • “First, the reality of mass communications today is that reporters and editors spend most of their time processing information, not gathering it.”
  • “Second, no media enterprise has enough staff to cover every single event in the community.”

There are 8 important aspects of publicity photos:

  1. quality
  2. subject matter
  3. composition
  4. action
  5. scale
  6. camera angle
  7. lighting
  8. color

•  Mat releases are a “variation of the traditional news release”.

• Media alerts and fact sheets are memos to “reporters and editors about a news conference or upcoming event that they may wish to cover.”

•  Media kits (aka press kits) are “usually prepared for major events and new product launchers.”

There are 7 basic elements of a media kit:

  1. The main news 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

The five major ways of distributing media materials is first-class mail, fax, e-mail, electronic wire services, and web-based news rooms.




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