The Public Relations Writer's Handbook: The Digital Age, 2nd Edition

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 3/30/2007
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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The second edition of the Public Relations Writer's Handbook offers a simple, step-by-step approach to creating a wide range of writing, from basic news releases, pitch letters, biographies, and media alerts, to more complex and sophisticated speeches, media campaign proposals, crisis responses, and in-house publications. In addition, the thoroughly expanded and updated second edition shows how to keep up with the best practices of the public relations profession, as well as with the speed made possible and required by the digital age.

Author Biography

Merry Aronson is the founder and director of MerryMedia, a Los Angeles-based entertainment marketing and PR firm. She has worked as a journalist, entertainment publicist, and network television promotion executive, and has taught PR writing at NYU and UCLA. 

Don Spetner is senior vice president for Global Meeting and Communications at Korn/Ferry International. He was named an “Industry All Star” by Inside PR magazine, and his essays on communications have been published in The Journal of Corporate Public Relations and   PRWeek.

Carol Ames teaches entertainment studies and public relations on the faculty of California State University, Fullerton. She is an experienced independent public relations professional and executive producer of movies for television.


Table of Contents

About the Authorsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Public Relations Goes Digitalp. 1
A Few Words About the Truth
A Few Words About Grammar
E-Mail Is Not Private; E-Mail Is Forever
A Few Words About Style
Chapter Recap
News Releases, Photo Captions, and Media Kits: Making Your Story Newsworthyp. 13
Inverted-Pyramid News Style
Trade Versus Consumer Press
Adjusting Your Style: Consumer Versus Trade
Before You Write
Conforming to a Standard Style
The Appointment Release
The Product Release
Lifestyle, Trend, and Survey Releases
Localizing a National Release
The Delayed or Feature-Style Lead
Photos, Samples, and Review Copies
Style and Form
The Q&A
Media Kits
Chapter Recap
The Pitch: Creating Media Interestp. 49
Analyze the Subject, and Identify the Target
Call the Editor
Write Your Pitch
Follow Up
Chapter Recap
The Biography and Backgrounder: Bringing Your Subject to Lifep. 65
Writing the Bio
Fact Sheets
Time Lines
Chapter Recap
Speech Writing: From Your Pen to Their Lipsp. 85
Eleven Steps
Technical Guidelines
Chapter Recap
Multimedia and PowerPoint Presentationsp. 107
Illuminating Difficult Subjects
The Script
Coordinating Text and Slides
Impact and Continuity
Putting It All Together: Rehearsal
Audiovisual Presentations
Chapter Recap
Writing for Broadcast: Communicating with Video and Soundp. 123
Pitch Letters and News Releases
Creating Scripts for Electronic Media Kits
Chapter Recap
Special Events: The Art of Getting Noticedp. 149
News Conference
Press Junket
Publicity Tour
Chapter Recap
Financial Writingp. 187
Learn the Basics of Business
Follow SEC Reporting Requirements
Confidentiality and Insider Trading
Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure)
Investor Relations Department
Plain English: The Official Style of the SEC
Business Release
Quarterly Earnings Release
Quarterly Conference Call
Annual Report
Annual Meeting
Chapter Recap
Publications: The Editorial Stagep. 211
Editorial Considerations
Corporate Brochures
Assigning Stories
Establishing Editorial Guidelines
Other Concerns: Format, Timeliness, Style, Approvals, and Copyright
Files and File Copies
Chapter Recap
Writing for the Internetp. 225
E-Mail, Instant Messaging, Paging, and Wireless Internet
Web Sites
Blogs and the Blogosphere
Chapter Recap
Responsive Writing: Setting the Record Straightp. 243
Letters to the Editor
Web Responses
Guest Editorials
Chapter Recap
Crisis Communications and Official Statements: Preparing for a Crisisp. 263
Official Statements
Talking Points
Crisis Media Plan
Anticipating Needs in a Crisis
Crisis Releases
Minimizing Negative Reports
Threatened or Ongoing Litigation
Chapter Recap
Program Writing: Selling Your Concept to the Clientp. 285
Structure of a Public Relations Program
Introduction or Situation Analysis
Target Audiences
Management, Staffing, Administration, Tracking, and Evaluation
Chapter Recap
Research and Interview Techniquesp. 305
Grammar Referencep. 311
Glossaryp. 321
Referencesp. 329
Indexp. 335
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