Notes and Thoughts from:
“Public Relations: Writing and Media Techniques” by Dennis Wilcox
(I use the 5th edition, in case you see references to page numbers😉 )
Chapter 12- Newsletters, E-Zines, and Brochures
What I learned:
- The content of periodicals = news and information. This is why many of these types of publications get referred to as newsletters, because “they essentially are messages from the organization to various publics who want news and information.” (p.347)
- Some multiaudience publications, like the Department of Conservation and Land Management, described on page 347, use a standard pattern for their quarterly issues. This pattern includes: a cover story, 6-7 features, an “In Perspective” column (or letters to the editor section), A bush telegraph (short articles on natural history topics of interest), endangered article (one-pager on an endangered plant/animal) and “Urban Antics” (which is a one-pager on a natural history topic aimed primarily at schoolchildren). Some of these types of publications I was less familiar with because of their specificity to the type paper they are being written for, but gave me more insight to types of stories I could write that I have not taken a swing at before!
What surprised me:
- (Page 345 in 5th edition)- “Boundary Spanners are PR personal and periodical editors “who must continually make sure that the views of various publics are heard in the management suite.”
- Second Day Perspective is the value added to interpretation, graphic appeal, and creative packaging to encourage readership and sharing with others on news that is not exposed immediately after it happens like web/faxed news. Newspaper and magazines use this because they have to find ways to make news that has already come out, seem new or more interesting.
What I want to know more about:
- On page 346, in the 5th edition text, there is a text-box about Story Ideas for Newsletters. There are different ideas about how you can write a feature on an employees, current issues, interviews, “how-to-do” and customer profiling. I want to know more about which types of stories audiences like most, or are most responsive to. Also, it would be neat to find a website that helps you brainstorm and generate interesting news articles or even a site that has a list of keywords or topics that can help jog your brain and stop the writer’s block!