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Chapter 11 Tactics and Techniques: Details That Make PR Strategy Work Objectives To appreciate the distinctions among advertising, publicity, publications, annual reports and special events and understand the unique tactical and technical requirements for preparing messages for each.

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Chapter 11 l.jpg

Chapter 11

Tactics and Techniques: Details That Make PR Strategy Work

9th Ed.

Objectives l.jpg

  • To appreciate the distinctions among advertising, publicity, publications, annual reports and special events and understand the unique tactical and technical requirements for preparing messages for each.

  • To recognize the best tactics and techniques for message presentation in the mass media that are available to public relations practitioners.

  • To understand how media workers perform their jobs and the best ways that public relations practitioners can help them to do so.

  • To develop sensitivity to how cultural differences among audiences can affect the way public relations messages are interpreted and perceived.

9th Ed.

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Primary PR Tactics

  • Advertising

  • Publicity

  • Hybrids that include a bit of both

9th Ed.

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  • Paid-for time or space

  • Except for PSAs, which are time and space donated to a nonprofit organization or cause

  • May look like publicity: Special section that includes what looks like editorial copy as well as ads

  • Controlled media

9th Ed.

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  • Handled by editorial staffs of news media

  • Editorial copy

  • Uncontrolled media

9th Ed.

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Line Between Advertising and PR

  • Blurring further as traditional media are used in more exotic ways and consumers of media lose their ability to distinguish between “fair and unbiased” news messages and information that has not been “vetted” by journalists in their traditional role

  • “Digital Natives”: Get their news from Web portals and from Web media such as blogs

9th Ed.

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Special Editorial Sections

  • Combination of advertising and publicity

  • Display advertising

  • Editorial copy devoted to a particular topic or event, written by or for those who have paid for the display ads

  • May look very much like “regular” print content

  • Broadcast version is an advertorial or infomercial

9th Ed.

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Public Service Announcements

  • Referred to as PSAs

  • Publicity-generated copy

  • Placed through advertising staff (print) or public service director (radio and TV)

  • Space or time donated by media to nonprofit organizations or nonprofit events sponsored by commercial organizations

9th Ed.

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Preparing Successful Ads

  • Be clear about purpose

  • Be clear about public you are targeting

  • Use an organization’s logo to create identify with the ad unless it might be misunderstood in cross-cultural communication

  • Be cautious with the use of humor, making comparisons or using negative comments

9th Ed.

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Publications as Publicity

  • Brochures

  • In-house magazines, newspapers, newsletters

  • Annual reports

  • All may be used to generate publicity

9th Ed.

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Producing Brochures

  • Determine purpose and audience

  • Determine distribution (check with U.S. Postal Service)

  • Visualize with a mockup what the brochure might look like

  • Determine what needs to be said and whether it can best be said with text or visuals

9th Ed.

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Producing Brochures (cont.)

  • Decide about design features: color, paper, typeface

  • Create text and gather visuals

  • Enlist layout article or handle design and layout directly using a computer

  • Obtain printer estimates

  • Proofread, edit, proofread again

  • Print

  • Distribute

9th Ed.

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Producing House Publications

  • Distributed to employees or members of internal audiences

  • Determine purpose

  • Determine budget

  • Determine format - newsletter, tabloid, magazine – after studying media habits of audience

  • Determine distribution

9th Ed.

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Producing House Publications (cont.)

  • Develop content: Both what audience wants to know and what it needs to know

    • Questionnaires or other research techniques can be used to survey audience

    • May use employee/member correspondents or PR staff only

  • Prepare a mockup of text, visuals, cover

  • Obtain printer estimates

  • Design, edit, proof

  • Print and distribute

9th Ed.

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Producing Annual Reports

  • Shared task of PR and financial officer

  • PR is communications expert responsible for design and language

  • Financial person is fiscal expert responsible for content

  • Key consideration is report’s impact on priority publics: Investors, financial community, SEC

9th Ed.

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Producing Annual Reports (cont.)

  • Planning begins almost a year in advance

  • Report is a process almost as much as it is a publication

  • May be disturbed in printed form but also in digital and video formats and posted to organization’s Web site

  • Separate version may be done for internal audiences

9th Ed.

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Contents of Annual Reports

  • Letter from the CEO

  • Auditor’s report

  • Financial statements

  • Narrative section commenting on year’s operations and accomplishments

  • Photos and charts

  • Best also include an “executive summary” that boils everything down to a clear, concise summary

9th Ed.

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Speeches as Publicity

  • Executive speech may receive one-time media coverage

  • Speech may be videotaped and distributed to target audiences or posted on Web

  • Text of speech may be reprinted in brochure format and distributed to target audiences

  • Copies of speech may be distributed internally

9th Ed.

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Speech Checklist

  • Set up a day ahead

  • Find out what events are going on next door and get them, or your event, moved if there are noise distractions

  • Check out the sound system

  • Check out the lighting

  • Check out access to electrical outlets for broadcast

  • Check out projection, computer system

  • Make sure proper chairs, tables, etc. are on hand and placed correctly

  • Arrange for water and glasses

  • Locate nearest restrooms, telephones

  • Prepare name tags

9th Ed.

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Speech Checklist (cont.)

  • Set up registration area and have list of invited guests

  • Provide place cards or seating charts

  • Prepare an agenda/program of all activities to take place during the event and distribute to participants

  • Have writing materials available for last-minute notes

  • Prepare information kits for attendees

  • Have easy-to-read clock

  • Be sure all computer components are compatible

9th Ed.

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Special Events as Publicity

  • Speeches

  • Open houses

  • Celebrations

  • Celebrity visits

  • Conventions or trade shows

9th Ed.

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Planning Special Events

  • Start planning early

    • For large events, a year in advance is not too soon

  • Create a blueprint plan and timetable

    • Assign every detail

    • Walk through the event to make sure you don’t overlook anything

  • Form committees or groups to implement the plan

9th Ed.

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Planning Special Events (cont.)

  • Use company artists, designers, copywriters, exhibit specialists, etc. when they exist and are available

  • Provide special attractions to ensure attendance: Celebrities, concerts, exhibits, tours, awards, prizes, etc.

  • Provide giveaways and souvenirs

  • Arrange to move people to and from the event

  • Publicize the event well in advance using advertising to supplement as necessary

  • Thank everyone when the event is over

9th Ed.

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Visual Presentations

  • Using easel pads

    • Remember to provide markers

    • Plan ahead for how to display multiple pages if you want people to see all ideas jotted down

  • Using overhead projectors

    • Transparencies must be readable from a distance

    • Few words, lots of charts, graphs, visuals

9th Ed.

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Visual Presentations (cont.)

  • Using PowerPoint slides

    • Type size should be large for legibility

    • Provide handout that is copy of slides used

    • May be transferred to CD or digital file for further distribution

9th Ed.

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Audio Presentations

  • Thoroughly test equipment

  • Rent high-quality equipment if the equipment provided by the meeting space is poor

  • Keep it simple and direct for easy understanding

9th Ed.

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Institutional Video and Film

  • Be specific about needs: Audience, purpose, etc.

  • May be done by in-house staff or outside specialists

  • May be video version of previously produced printed publication like annual report

9th Ed.

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Judging Video Quality

  • Attention span: Gripping? Interesting?

  • Subject: Adequately covered?

  • Audience suitability: Properly targeted?

  • Visuals: Quality? Clarity?

  • Timeliness: Visuals, text up to date?

  • Talent: Participants, actors believable?

  • Sound: Appropriate? Balanced?

  • Editing: Flow? Pace?

  • Script content: Right quantity of words vs. visuals?

  • Believability: Honest? Plausible?

9th Ed.

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Celebrity Appearances

  • Presence guarantees publicity

  • May make arrangements through agent or through organization with which celebrity is involved

  • Request bio info, photos for pre-appearance publicity

  • Provide all background information to celebrity or agent

  • Provide special amenities: From limo to special foods to special host or “handler”

  • Develop a schedule and stick to it

9th Ed.

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Successful Publicity

  • Is it important to the medium's audience?

  • Is it local if a local medium?

  • Is it timely?

  • Is it accurate, truthful and complete?

9th Ed.

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Judging Value of Publicity Information

  • Does it have news value?

  • Does it have human interest?

  • Does it have humor?

  • Does it meet the needs of the media?

  • Is it being delivered to the media at an appropriate time in their schedules?

9th Ed.

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PR Wire and Video Services

  • Carry PR news directly into newsrooms, often computer to computer

  • Distribute both text and video releases

  • Can result in national, even international coverage

  • Can also result in greater credibility for PR sources because material is carefully checked before transmission

  • Some include clipping, videotaping, monitoring services

  • May deliver digital photos as well as text

  • Disadvantage: Don’t always know who received

9th Ed.

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Public Relations and the Internet

  • A “network of networks” that no one manages

  • Distributes text but also sound and video content

  • Many organizations maintain Web sites that are used for communication, sales, etc.

9th Ed.

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Web Sites

  • Method of attractively presenting organization to millions around the world

  • Consulting, Web design firms available to develop sites if in-house capability lacking

  • Has 24/7 nature so is available on demand

  • Cheaper than most advertising and publicity

  • Web manager must constantly update, correct

  • Need to develop happy medium between breadth and depth

9th Ed.

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Working with the Media

  • Requires some basic training in journalistic techniques for gathering, reporting information

  • Requires being able to identify news

  • Requires keeping background, historical, factoid material ready at all times

  • Requires familiarity with intended media target: style, timing, content focus

9th Ed.

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Materials for Media

  • News releases

    • Must identify with target media definition of news

    • Must be prepared in appropriate style, form

    • Must be prepared with media schedules in mind

  • Photos, illustrations

    • Some media will accept, others prefer to take their own

    • Be careful of arrangement as to who owns photos or illustrations

    • Know media specifications

9th Ed.

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Materials for Media (cont.)

  • Video news releases

    • Often outsourced to enhance international distribution

  • Information based on promotions

    • Often referred to as “marketing PR”

  • Image marketing

  • Publicity spin-offs

  • Celebrity spin-offs

9th Ed.

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Publicizing Special Events

  • Establish a timetable to ensure all details are addressed

  • Prepare a mailing list for media and guests

  • Plan the promotional plan in detail: Which information will go to which media and in what formats

  • Consider all formats of information: advertising, publicity, letterhead, invitations, posters, etc.

9th Ed.

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Publicizing Special Events (cont.)

  • Develop media kit: Mailed in advance, handed out at event, mailed after the fact to no-shows

  • Set up newsroom if live coverage is anticipated

  • After the event send clipping, stories for special, trade publications and special audiences such as shareholders to extend coverage

9th Ed.

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Contents of Media Kit

  • Fact sheet for organization

  • Fact sheet on occasion

  • Background and photos of people involved

  • Background on organization and one on event or situation

  • Program or schedule of events

  • Complete list of participants

  • Straight new story

  • Feature story

  • Page of facts about event or organization

  • Visual materials such as logos

  • Information on cooperating organizations

9th Ed.

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Relationships with the Media

  • Good PR person knows a journalist’s job almost as well as the journalist

  • Good PR person knows which specific journalists cover his/her organization, industry, etc. and maintains contact even when there is no news

  • Good PR person develops a media list of relevant reporters, editors and keeps it current

9th Ed.

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Relationships with the Media (cont.)

  • Good PR person is available to a journalist whenever the journalist needs information or assistance

  • Good PR person immediately responds to media requests or needs

9th Ed.

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Relationships with Production Pros

  • Good PR person knows and understands the production process for print, broadcast, digital media

  • Good PR person is able to articulate clearly what he/she want

  • Good PR person understands that the higher the quality of the work desired, the higher the cost

9th Ed.

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Relationships with Other PR Pros

  • An in-house PR practitioner may have to work with an agency brought in for a special project or event,

  • Who is responsible for what must be spelled out immediately to avoid confusion and misunderstanding between the client and PR services provider

9th Ed.

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Relationships with Freelancer

  • PR person may be asked by freelancer to provide information and/or access

    • Check out their legitimacy first

    • Make sure you both agree on the scope and focus of the article

  • PR person may hire freelancers to write for the organization

9th Ed.

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Contracts and Deadlines

  • PR person arranges contracts with suppliers of services: Freelancers, printers, AV services

  • Everything needs to be spelled out, including deadlines

  • Meeting deadlines is essential for a smooth operation

9th Ed.

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Media Interviews

  • Role of PR practitioner

    • Preparer: Briefs executive to be interviewed, provides information to reporter

    • Facilitator: Arranges interview, provides follow-up information, materials

    • Clarifier: Interprets facts, technical language

  • PR person should not inject himself/herself into the interview

9th Ed.

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Interview Guidelines

  • Select appropriate place for interview that is comfortable for interviewee

  • Allow sufficient time for interviewer to complete assignment

  • Know the topic of discussion and have supporting material and information on hand

  • Coach the interviewee beforehand as to what questions to expect

9th Ed.

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Interview Guidelines (cont.)

  • Know the reporter’s habits and quirks and brief the interviewee

  • Brief the reporter on the subject of the interview

  • Set ground rules for the interview and make sure both parties understand them

    • Is anything off the record?

  • Make sure the reporter gets the story he/she came for

9th Ed.

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Interview Guidelines (cont.)

  • Stay in the background. Don’t answer questions or intrude unless the subject begins to divulge information against company policy

  • Offer to provide answers to future questions that might arise

  • Do not ask the reporter when the story will run or ask him/her to send a copy

9th Ed.

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Rules for the Interviewee

  • Know the topic you’re going to discuss

  • Anticipate tough questions

  • Be honest

  • Answer questions directly and if you cannot say so

  • If you don’t know an answer, say you don’t know and offer to get the information and then follow up later with it

9th Ed.

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Rules for the Interviewee (cont.)

  • Keep the interview as relaxed and cordial as possible

  • Avoid off-the-record remarks

  • Don’t try to avoid answering questions that are public record

  • Offer help and additional information later if the journalist needs it

9th Ed.

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News Conferences

  • Schedule them only when legitimate news is involved

  • Choose a site and time convenient to news media

  • Cover the news conference for your own organization with videotaping, audio recording, etc.

  • Assemble and have available all background information

9th Ed.

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News Conferences (cont.)

  • Offer a story and visuals or sound bites to those media unable to attend

  • Rehearse your spokespeople

  • Share the results of your news conference with management immediately after the conference

9th Ed.

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Media Tours

  • Become thoroughly familiar with the people you will meet

  • Be sure all arrangements are firm

  • Take plenty of money and credit cards

  • Be sure your person keeps on schedule and fulfills all commitments

  • Keep up with props, supplies of media kits, luggage, etc.Make notes of what follow-up is needed

  • Keep clippings if you are in town long enough to get them

  • Be responsive and sensitive to both sides

9th Ed.

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Talking back to the Media

  • What to do when the media make a mistake:

    • Suffer in silence

    • Respond with an information campaign of your own to correct

    • If serious enough, a lawsuit might be necessary

9th Ed.