Public Relations Writing: Lessons
Lesson One: Press Release Basics
The basics of journalistic writing - the 5 W's, inverted pyramid ... the importance of story in PR writing... analyzing the elements of a news story... For next class, read Chapter 1 and 9.
Lesson Two: Writing for Editors
The news angle... the role of the editor... what do editors look for in a story? the press release and media alert format... the use of direct quotes... For next class, read Ch. 5, and "Qualities of Good Message Design," pp. 268-270.
Lesson Three: Pre-writing and Planning your Message
The importance of the writing process... outlining, clustering and other ways of organizing information... crafting the message... the importance of revisions and redrafts. For next class, read Ch. 11, and the beginning of "The Creative Process," pp. 256-258.
Lesson Four: Features
Discovering feature material, placement of ideas... Other uses of PR writing for feature stories. Also, press releases for arts events and similar activities... the relationship of the press release to the press kit, and the press conference... For next class, read Ch. 2.
Lesson Five: Pitching Stories and Interviews
Memos, pitch letters and confirmation letters... "scripting" the interview... how to meet the media. For next class, read Ch. 3.
Lesson Six: Press Release Enhancements
Different ways to diversify your style and make your copy more compelling.... different types of press release lead. For next class, read Chapter 6.
Lesson Seven: Midterm Exam
Multiple choice test and a writing exercise. Students will be given a total of two hours to complete the exam. Over the semester break, read Ch. 10.
Lesson Eight: Broadcast Release & PSA
Four principal vehicles for broadcast publicity... differences in writing for the ear vs. the eye... basic principles of writing for the ear, and formats for the broadcast release & PSA. For next class, read Ch. 11.
Lesson Nine: Video News Releases and Radio Actualities
VNRs, filmscripts, presentations, visual treatments... how do news outlets use your PR submissions.. new technologies in PR. For next class, read Ch. 14
Lesson Ten: PR Writing and the Web
How public relations professionals are using the Internet... Web-based challenges and opportunities. Writing for Web sites. For next class, read Ch. 4.
Lesson Eleven: Research and Fact-Finding
Fact-finding, newsgathering, organizing your information... essentials for interviews... research tools. For next class, read Ch. 8 and Ch. 17.
Lesson Twelve: Newsletters, Backgrounders and Position Papers
Public relations writing for internal audiences. Writing backgrounders, position papers and other longer pieces for different publics. Also, discussion of advertising for the PR professional... developing a concept and a visual... stages of creativity. For next class, read Ch. 16.
Lesson Thirteen: Speeches and Presentations
Types of speeches... the mechanics of organization... making brief remarks, presentations, formal speeches. For next class, read Chapter 15.
Lesson Fourteen: Public Relations Campaign Design
Developing the outline of a PR campaign and communicating your ideas to different publics... different types of media kit. For next class, re-read Chapter 6.
Lesson Fifteen: Final Exam
Multiple choice test and a writing exercise. Both in-class and online students will take the class in the classroom. Students will be given a total of two hours to complete the exam.