Welcome to Public Relations Writing, Lesson 11

      This subject this week is planning memos, backgrounders, and other written communications. You will see that PR writers are often called upon to give shape to the entire marketing activity of a client, or a corporation.

      The planning memo is where you can exercise your influence over the entire PR campaign, by taking responsibility for the design of the operation.

      The backgrounder is a form of communication that helps you "steer" the research activities of reporters and editors. When you provide the research, often it will be the only research that is done on a story. That gives you ultimate control of the message in a way that goes beyond what you accomplish in the press release by itself.

      There will be no additional writing assignments for the rest of the course, as you know by now. Now that you know so much more about what is expected in a press release, you will be able to rewrite and perfect the work you have previously done for your assignments.

      Finally, you should now be thinking about your final portfolio. Fortunately, you have already been working on your final portfolio -- all semester long. It is simply a compilation of the work you've been doing, plus any extra credit work you may want to complete.

      Now, go on to Lesson Eleven.

      Keep up the good work,

      Alton Miller