Chapter 12 Reading Notes

July 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm (PRCA 3330 Reading Notes)

          Chapter twelve of the  Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques textbook is entitled Tapping the Web and News Media and it deals with writing for online media. The book explains that the media traditionally has had the following characteristics:

  • It is centralized, having a top-down heirarchy.
  • It costs a lot of money to to become a publisher.
  • It is staffed by professional gatekeepers known as editors and publishers.
  • It features mostly one-way communication with limited feedback channels.

          However the new media, known as the mediasphere and the blogosphere by Cooperkatz and Company, is characterized by:

  • Widespread broadband.
  • Cheap/free, easy-to-use online publishing tools.
  • New distribution channels.
  • Mobile devices, such as camera phones.
  • New advertising paradigms.

          When writing for the web a PR professional must use nonlinear organizaion; instead of a long, linear narrative format, topics should be in index-card format to allow viewers to click on the information that is most appealing to them. These written materials for the web should be in short, easy-to-understand chunks. The ideal length of a news item is two to three paragraphs, which is equivalent to about one screen. Viewers are turned off by long pieces of information because they require too much scrolling.

          The majority of organizations use webcasting, which is the streaming of audio and video in real time over a website, for anything from news conferences to employee training. Most internet content is consumer generated, giving rise to “social media” in the second generation of the internet called Web 2.0. This provides public relations professionals the opportunity to get feedback and build relationships through social networking at their fingertips.

          Blogs are growing in size and popularity with each day and there are three types of blogs from a public relations standpoint:

  1.  Corporate blogs
  2. Employee blogs
  3. Third-party blogs

          The most popular social networking sites are MySpace and Facebook and I think that these are excellent ways for not only PR writers and professionals, but everyday people to stay in touch with one another and remain current on what is happening in the world.

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