Chapter Fourteen is titled “Preparing Materials for Mass Media.” This chapter focuses on exactly what the title reads: preparing press release materials for the media. Specifically, this chapter focuses on materials as “news releases.” The chapter defines news releases as useful for many reasons, including the fact that in modern times most reporters and editors spend time processing information rather than gathering it. Also, barely any PR or communications business rarely has enough staff to cover a single event in its entirety. The chapter firstly describes some old-style forms of press communication that are still used today.
Among some of the “old style” press communications are: basic news releases, press releases, media kits, and pitch letters. The chapter then describes a basic “news release.” News Releases must be: accurate, informative, and written in a journalistic style – as in it must be concise. News Releases include many different forms – such as press release. This is a statement issued to specific newspapers in order to give information to said enterprise. Press releases can sometimes include photos. The chapter also describes a “media kit.” This kit usually contains a traditional story, a fact sheet, a feature story, and possibly photos. Pitch letters are essentially how a pitch is delivered to a client. These depend on creativity and research.
Most, if not all of these “old style” press communications are still used today but are heavily impacted by the presence of social media. Further, the audience changing from local or regional to global and “mass media,” has affected the way we communicate in a press format.
Though “Radio and Television” seem to be outdated forms of communication, these media outlets still crawl along even with the undying presence of the internet and social media. Hence why there is a whole chapter dedicated to Radio and Television.
Both forms of television and radio can have different elements that affect their message. For example: product placement and special guests. Product placement is used in television, film, and radio in order to boost awareness for a companies product or item. Special guests can be used to persuade audience’s ethos, and potentially increase the effectiveness of their message.
This chapter also covers different forms that radio and television can be used to provide press releases. For radio, these include RMTs, PSAs, and ANRs. RMT’s stand for Radio Media Tours, and it involves a radio spokesperson conducting interviews with other radio productions countrywide. PSA’s stand for public service announcements; quite simply they are unpaid service announcement that serve government programs. ANRs are audio news releases. These are different than public service announcements because they are written and targeted to specific audiences.
Television press releases include: SMTs, PSAs, and VNRs. SMTs are similar to RMTs, in that a spokesperson can conduct one on one interviews broadcast to the public. PSAs differ here in that public service announcements in television include images, which may affect the overall message of the announcement. VNRs stand for video news releases. This process happens by production companies receiving “B-roll” footage so that they can produce a story from the footage.