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Ten Takeaways for PR Writing and the Web

See the "Lesson Schedule" for suggested rewrite deadlines. (rewrites are optional and you may choose to simply include your final drafts in your Final Portfolio.)

  1. "PR Writing and the Web" involves four totally different areas of study
    Writing and creating for Internet sites
    Doing PR (using other media) for Internet sites
    Using the Internet for PR research
    Developing new ways to deliver PR messages digitally

  2. Writing for Internet sites is a variety of PR writing that is specifically tailored to the characteristics (strengths and weaknesses) of website communications. Using a Web site as a supplement to print and broadcast media publicity is a natural evolution of PR technology – also valuable for internal intranet communications within a company or community. Digital communication becomes yet another medium of information or persuasion.
  3. Doing PR for Internet sites has evolved into a sometimes complex strategic mix, but for immediate purposes this means that your client has a Web site that needs to be publicized; your PR writing in this case may target messages to print and broadcast media. The Web site is then the product you are publicizing.
  4. Using the Internet for PR research – That is, using the Internet as one of your tools for gathering information (we'll be talking about this more in the next module, when we discuss Research.)

  5. Finding new ways to deliver PR messages digitally – referring, of course, to the evolution of social media & other digital developments, putting new media to work in shaping the public's perceptions of issues and events.
  6. Over 87% of American adults use the Internet, according to the Pew Research Center's most recent survey, and the figure for your age group (18-29) is over 97%. Over 90% of American adults have a cell phone and 64% have a smartphone. You can imagine how significant this is for innovating new channels of connection and communication.
  7. Most users are connecting from work. As one political consultant puts it, you can reach them on radio during drive time, when they're angry ... or you can reach them on TV during prime time, when they're looking to be entertained ... or you can reach them at the office, when they're focused and ready for business. A big advantage of digital PR is that it helps you reach people in the workplace.
  8. It can help you provide targeted information quickly and completely without your having to produce reams of press kit materials when a reporter may need only one fact. It gives you 24-7 connections with reporters and other users who might otherwise be cut off at critical times – search engines may steer reporters to you as a source for breaking news at midnight.
  9. It can contribute to your client's image in a way that would be very expensive to duplicate in printed materials. You can achieve a professional look with just a little design -- without having to spend a fortune on heavy paper stock and four-color printing.
  10. It can provide feedback information from users. When they log on to get information, or when they complete forms or check radio buttons on your site, they can send you useful information automatically. It provides a means of linking to or from multiple other related sites. With automated email forms, users can pass your information or location easily to others who might be interested.

  11. Go on to Lesson 13