We began class with a discussion about the differences between journalism and public relations. We looked at the differences in being a reporter and working in PR. After that, we read a handout on PR as a class and discussed its key points.
Things to remember:
What is PR?
- Public relations is all about information and image
- PR is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support, and influencing opinion and behavior. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain good will and mutual understanding between a business and its public.
- Make sure the headline in a press release contains an active verb!
- "If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying Circus Coming Saturday, that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations."
Key points for Journalism v. PR:
- Because journalists serve the general public, they structure their news stories to be as fair and complete as possible
- PR specialists serve organizations so their messages are structured to be as beneficial to their clients as possible
- The ultimate goal for a journalist is to inform the public
- The ultimate goal in PR is to generate good will toward the client
- journalists control all the information that goes into their stories
- PR practitioners provide info to journalists but can't control how they use it
After this discussion, we practiced writing a press release where we had to announce the decision of the cosmetic company, Glamour, Inc. to build a lipstick plant in Clarksville, Tenn. that would provide jobs in the community.
After our break, we met Dan Kolko, our guest speaker. Dan Kolko is a sports reporter for the Washington Nationals. He shared with us his experiences with the players both on and off the field and re-emphasized the importance of being able to write and communicate well.
- Always keep in mind the 5 W's (Who, What, When, Where, Why)
- Ask probing questions
- Stay away from asking more than one question at the same time because it gives whoever is answering an opportunity to dodge the question
- Building relationships is key
- Do your research and stay informed. This will allow you to ask probing questions and to feel prepared during an interview
- Think before you tweet!
HW for 3/1:
- Watch 3 stories by NBC4's David Culver and have two questions prepared
- Write an opinion piece assessing whether Sean Spicer is doing a good job as president Trump's press secretary (350 words maximum, bring a hard copy to class, and be ready to read them aloud). You will be graded on clarity of message, conciseness, and grammar. Don't waste space with a lot of background material.
- Do the worksheet on wordiness
Posted by: Natalie Ravis