Chapter 9 Reading Notes

July 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm (PRCA 3330 Reading Notes)

          Our  Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques book explores writing for radio and television in the ninth chapter of the text. Radio and television present great opportunities for the public relations writer to effectively reach both a mass audience along with more specialized publics. According to the textbook:

“Radio reaches about 94 percent of adults over the age of 18 on a daily basis, with a total estimated audience of about 225 million. A 2008 study by Edison Media Research found that college graduates aged 25 to 54 listen to the radio almost 16 hours a week. Noncollege graduates listen more than 21 hours a week… The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says that local television news still attracts about 150 million viewers on a daily basis, and the average American family still spends about 7 hours daily watching television.”

          Radio and television news releases begin with the same basic identifying information such as the letterhead, contact, and the subject, however there are specifics for preparing a news release for radio rather than print. One of them being that radio releases are written in all capital letters in a double spaced format. Instead of having a specific number of words as a standard in a radio news release, the general practice is to use an approximate word count.

          The visual element in television is what sets it apart from other traditional media and gives it such persuasive impact. Our textbook tells us that there are almost as many television stations in the United States as there are daily newspapers so this presents numerous opportunities for the placement of public relations materials at the local level.

          The textbook also states that there are more than 5,000 video news releases (VNR’s) produced annually in the United States. A typical VNR costs a minimum of $20,000 to $50,000 for production and distribution; however these costs may vary depending upon a number of factors.

          The broadcast media are extremely important channels of communication, but using them requires a PR writer to think in terms of sound and visual elements. A persuasive pitch letter can be used to obtain placement on news programs and talk shows.

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