Tag Archives: Press release

2 Weeks left and I’m going for the Home Stretch

I can’t believe it’s been six weeks already since I arrived in Dublin. Where has the summer gone? This weather right now is amazing though. I love the warmth and sunshine! I was able to get off of work by 5 and now I am sitting in a coffee shop with a latte. I have two weeks left to make my mark on Irish parliament. It seems a bit daunting because that means I have two weeks to finish all of this work.

What’s left for me to do is write all of my PR recommendations from social media to press releases, newsletters, you name it. I also have to get the newsletter to the printers this week because parliament will soon be on their summer recess.

Looking back at my summer, I have done a lot of busy work but at the same time I’ve been able to fully observe my boss’s PR strategies. All of this work would not get done if I hadn’t been here. Which makes me worry because I hope his next intern isn’t just another political science major. I’ve put in six weeks of hard work and I want to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

I will be leaving the next (hopefully PR) intern a detailed letter explaining everything. It’ll also include his PR plan/recommendations. This next intern may hate me a little but at least half of the work is done, they just have to keep it up.  Now, this post is not just about me being excited to be done because I cannot wait to lay by the pool for a few days doing absolutely nothing! I haven’t stopped since I finished finals and I am in need of a nice vacation. This post is more so about finishing your internship strong. You’ve been at it for x-number of weeks and you want to make sure you don’t just slack off your last couple weeks like you do at the end of the semester (I know you chose to go out instead of writing that last paper, because I’ve done it too #procrastination).

You may feel stressed at this point. You may feel like you are on top of the world because you are almost done. Or you may feel like me where it’s do or die; the work needs to be done now or it’ll never be done. If you feel stressed, take a breather. If you feel like you are on top of the world and am doing a great job, continue with being an awesome intern. Go for the home stretch! And if you feel like me, take everything bit by bit. Get the immediate work done efficiently and correctly, then work on your large projects in the afternoons. I find my downtime is normally when it gets closer to when I’d be done for the day and even though I am ready to go, I just push myself to do it. I left 30 minutes early today but I’m finishing this post then working on my final recommendations.

It’s your last few weeks. I’m going for the home stretch are you?

x KMSH

P.S. Wore my lucky nude heels today and once I put them on at work they made everything better. Whoever said shoes are just things you put on your feet is incredibly wrong. If you have a stressful day at work like me, wearing your favorite shirt, or in this case shoes, can brighten up your day and make you feel much better.

Press Releases: A Work of Art

mona lisaWhen on LinkedIn you put press releases as a skill, when in reality it should be a work of art that is displayed. I have written many in my few years at OU and it truly is an artwork. Now I could make this into a press release “how to” but instead I’m going to just say a few things that are key when writing a press release.

The 5 W’s: All journalists should know what this means. Who, what, when, where, and why? In the first few words of your press release you should have most if not all of these covered.

Keep it concise: Do you know how many press releases reporters/editors get on a daily basis? I don’t know either but I have a feeling it’s almost unimaginable and reporters/editors don’t want to read a press release that is longer than it should be. Remember they are going to write the story, not you. Word to the wise: just give the basics and let them do the rest of the work (It has worked so far at my internship).

Fresh and new is better than conventional: I am a firm believer in this notion. Your language shouldn’t be boring, blah and conventional. The language in the press release should be fresh. If I was a reporter and had to read the, “I’m the same thing every time press release” every single day, I’d probably throw your press releases in the rubbish bin. The format should be conventional but as long as you get the information across in a concise manner and is received well; you did a good job.

Always edit at least 3 times: Editing is KEY. If there is a mistake… rubbish bin. If you are in journalism or public relations you should know how to edit and understand you have to do it over and over again. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes can be costly. If you hate grammar like I do, just use your AP Style Book… which you better have in your desk drawer.

These are just a few things I recommend. Is it everything that I could have said, no. I do believe press releases are a work of art because the first one I wrote was similar to a 5-year old’s stick figure drawing. Practice makes perfect, so if you want to write the Mona Lisa of press releases, remember these tips and practice.

P.S. Going to Northern Ireland this weekend, should I pack my heels? I just might…

P.P.S. I took the picture of the mona lisa when I was fourteen, needless to say it was difficult and I had to crawl under people.

x KMSH

The Media: can’t live with it, can’t live without it

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.” -Daniel J. Boorstin

Hey Readers, this past week I created a media database at my internship. Let me say this was not an easy task and took hours to do. My boss already had some media contacts for all of his press releases but I had the challenge of sorting them and expanding his list to create this database to help my overall project for the summer: help my boss increase his media presence.

At first I got frustrated trying to find all of the contact information for all radio and news outlets in Ireland, yes I mean all. It took hours of research to get the names of all media outlets then finding who to contact within that specific newspa

media

per or radio station itself. When working with the media, establishing some sort of relationship with reporters and editors is key. Your contact info should always be on the press release and your press release should make them want to give you a call to find out more information for their article. I’m not saying have a poorly done press release with no information on it, but the basic 5 W’s: who, what, when, where and why? It’s also helpful to tailor your press release to the different media outlets. My boss is a TD for one county, so why should any other county’s newspaper or radio station talk about what he’s doing? Because in some way, some how it’s relative. Like your resume and cover letter, tweak the press release to fit the news in other area’s like you would to different companies. You wouldn’t send the same version cover letter to a boutique fashion PR firm as you would to a fortune 500 company, you should make yourself fit to the company itself; not the other way around.

My advice when creating a media database: look at all sources and dissect which ones are credible and which ones aren’t. As a journalist you should know how to determine what a credible source is and isn’t. Then organize your findings using Word, Excel, InDesign, anything that helps you in creating this database. Lastly, once everything is organized (I created a table in word) break the outlets apart and group them into sectors. I chose local, national, and other counties. I also had a section that included all press contacts.

Now you are going to have some basic contact info, this is normal if you are using Google but don’t let that deter you. Call the newspaper or radio station saying you just sent in a press release and ask if they can have a quick look at it. Remember all press materials should be sent in a timely matter. In doing this you have the opportunity to network and create relationships within the media and if you have a friend at a newspaper, send it over to them directly with an email but don’t abuse this relationship either.

To clarify, there are a million ways to do things in journalism, especially PR. Certain things will always remain the same, like the inverted pyramid but it’s about tailoring that basic concept/idea/task to your or whoever you are working for’s goal. When it comes to figuring out how to put together a media databases, they are many ways to do it. When you get frustrated step away from the computer, have a cup of coffee and breathe. The media may induce headaches from time to time but you can’t live with or without it, that’s just the way things go.

I’ve got my favorite nude 4 inch heels on today to match my all black outfit and leopard print scarf. I’m thinking today will be a good day, but I always have high hopes, especially when I’m wearing my lucky heels.

x KMSH