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NOTE: To change the image on this slide, select the picture and delete it. Then click the Pictures icon in the placeholder to insert your own image. Great Writing for Public Relations Robert Wynne
Three Ways to Get PR 1.Relationships with Reporters Check Alumni Office
Reporter Complaints No GENERAL headline - could be any subject Don't make them guess what the story is about "What's the key takeaway?" #1 GET TO THE POINT
Reporter Complaints #2 - Wrong Reporter, Wrong Media #3 - Dense Language and Acronyms #4 - Too much bragging - Innovative, Groundbreaking, Leading, etc. #5 - Reporter's Name spelled wrong; Missing Contact Info #6 – Don’t attach a PDF or Word file or link to the press release
Most Overused Words 2013 NewCurrent FirstLeading MobileAnnual ProfessionalPublic MostPrivate MORE: Real, Best, Important, Outstanding, Significant Source: Shift Communications survey of 65K press releases
Reporters – What They Like Be Flexible: “The smart publicist will recognize that getting a client mentioned in a piece with a larger context may be just as good as getting a story about that client.” Flattery. Read previous stories and compliment them. Solve their Problems – offer a Solution Direct Contact Info – no forms to fill out – make it EASY
Great Writing Press Releases Pitches Editorials
Press Release Advice 1.Write Headline FIRST (imagine headline as a Tweet) “News Report Ranks Top U.S. Cities for Bedbug Infestations” “Cooking with Quinoa – Delicious and Healthy Recipes for All the Family to Enjoy Now on Amazon Kindle”
Press Release Advice Bedbugs are shutting down office buildings and clothing stores and invading homes, and while no one is safe from these pests, a new report compiled from Terminix data shows 15 cities stand above the rest as the most bedbug- infested cities in the United States. The list is topped by New York and includes other major cities such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago. Surprisingly, Ohio receives the dubious distinction as the most bedbug-infested state, with three cities in the top 10 and four in the top 15.
Press Release Advice 2. What’s the Takeaway/Main Point? 3. Tell a Story, Make it Compelling 4. Remove extra phrases 5. Tie to a Trend or Breaking News
Headlines Draft 1. – Local author speaks in front of Elementary School. Draft 2. – Local environmental author speaks at Elementary School. Draft 3. -Local environmental author speaks at Elementary School on Earth Day …. And teaches kids how to reduce plastic use by 30%.
Pitches 1.What’s the story? 2.Why is this important? 3.Why now?
Pitches SO WHAT? We have a new building, it’s better than the old one. (Tie it to a trend in academia.) Solve a Problem (outside of you). New study shows consumer confidence higher than government figures Think VISUALLY When in doubt, go LOCAL (not just local paper, but home town of your source)
FAIL: Cornell's Johnson School and DuPont teaming up to fight malnutrition in India's slums with a protein power supplement sold by women, and giving seeds for gardens. Corporate and Academic partnership solve an old problem. Why? Pitches
NOTE: To change the image on this slide, select the picture and delete it. Then click the Pictures icon in the placeholder to insert your own image. Pitches WIN: Gardens growing on rooftops of India's slums to improve nutrition for the poor thanks to a Cornell project. "In India, How Do Rooftop Gardens Grow?"
Pitches FAIL: Two thousand students in Nashville are pioneers in STEM education -- increasing math and science skills using a computer tool, “Betty’s Brain.” Developed by a professor at Vanderbilt, Betty’s Brain is a computer agent “taught” by the student to understand complex scientific principles like causes of the greenhouse effect, body temperature regulation or how to improve traffic congestion.
NOTE: To change the image on this slide, select the picture and delete it. Then click the Pictures icon in the placeholder to insert your own image. Pitches WIN: Is middle school too young to learn artificial intelligence? "Students Enhance Learning with Betty's Brain Software - Learning enhanced by interacting with inquisitive avatar"
Very difficult to write, very difficult to place... But... Very prestigious in the right publication. They are NOT advertisements, they are not "explainers." Editorials
1. Be Sharp 2. Be Opinionated 3. Be Controversial 4. Be Helpful. 5. Be Timely. Editorials
1. Introduction, body and conclusion 2. An objective explanation of the issue 3. A timely news angle 4. Opinions from the opposing viewpoint 5. Be Professional. No name-calling or other petty tactics 6. Solutions. Anyone can gripe - you improve the situation 7. Solid, concise conclusion that powerfully summarizes your opinion. Punch it Up Editorials
Higher Oil Prices Could Help U.S. Manufacturing The higher oil prices that have shocked American industry and consumers alike may contain more than a silver lining, they present a golden opportunity to propel the U.S. into a more productive and efficient future. The short-term pain of higher transportation costs will turn into long-term gains if national policy aims forward instead of backward. Editorials
Better Pay Now - Despite the lingering effects of the financial crisis, America is a much richer country than it was 40 years ago. But the inflation-adjusted wages of nonsupervisory workers in retail trade — who weren’t well paid to begin with — have fallen almost 30 percent since 1973. So can anything be done to help these workers, many of whom depend on food stamps — if they can get them — to feed their families, and who depend on Medicaid to provide essential health care? Yes. We can preserve and expand food stamps. We can make health reform work, despite right-wing efforts to undermine the program. And we can raise the minimum wage. Editorials
Conclusion Personal Pitches – not Dear Reporter. Compliment previous stories, know their Beat Get to the Point: Story Should be Very Clear – no ambiguity Solve a Problem, not my boss wants this story Tie your story to Timely News
Conclusion What you do is VALUABLE Original research and academic experts are Platinum Write WELL
Contact Rob Wynne firstname.lastname@example.org @robwynne 310.924.1710 wynnepr.com wynneevents.com