Reading Notes Ch.1-2

Ch. 1 Getting Organized for Writing

  • Public relations is composed of four core components: research, planning, communication, and evaluation.
  • Four basic skills needed for success in public relations: knowledge of public relations, knowledge of current events, knowledge of business, and knowledge of management.
  • Everyone in the PR field needs a computer as, “practitioners spend about 70% of their time on the computer”. First, you must decide laptop or desktop. Then, Apple or PC.
  • One of the resources available to PR professionals is the AP Stylebook, that will tell you things like how to write words. Ex: BlackBerry is a trademarked name and should always have the second B capitalized, and cell phone is two words.
  • Tips for successful writing: be clear, use action verbs, apply active voice, avoid jargon, focus on people, don’t neglect the first paragraph, include quotes, write with your ear, allow yourself to write crap, and take chances.

Ch. 2 Becoming a Persuasive Writer

  • There are four major elements to communication: sender, message, channel, and receiver. Sender is the organization from which the message comes, the message is self-explanatory, the channel is the media through which the message is carried (newspaper, email, text, etc.), and the receiver is the person you intend to reach.
  • There is a model to help tailor your message to your audience known as VALS, it has several lifestyles: Survivors and sustainers, belongers, and achievers. Which area your audience fits in shows you what they will find interesting.
  • There is a hierarchy of needs based on the work of Abraham H. Maslow, needs are listed on a scale from survival to complex: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, ego needs, and self-actualization needs.
  • Most common propaganda techniques:
  1. plain folks-humble beginnings and empathy with average citizen
  2. testimonial-achieves credibility
  3. bandwagon-everyone else is doing it/liking it
  4. card stacking-selection of facts to build an overwhelming case on one side of an issue
  5. transfer-associate person or product with something of high status or credibility
  6. glittering generalities-associate cause, product, or idea with something like freedom or justice.
  • Five basic moral principles for PR professionals: Truthfullness, Authenticity, Respect, Equity, and Social Responsibility

All information from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis Wilcox


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