Category Archives: CAT

My thoughts on each chapter that I read from the textbook “Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques” by Dennis L. Wilcox, Sixth Ed.

Chap 19: Measuring Success

The last chapter of the book discusses ways to and reasons for measuring success of campaign objectives and goals.

Measuring success is important because it allows public relations professionals to understand what did work and what did not work based on the tactics that they used. At the end of a campaign or program, an evaluation must take place. The evaluation directly relates back to the objectives of the main project in order to make sure that all of the goals were met.

There are many ways to measure the impact of a campaign or program. For example, when measuring an audiences change in attitude toward a particular issue or topic, doing a survey before and after the program or campaign is completed, will allow any changes in opinion or attitude to be observed.

Measuring success is also a way to take a look at what has been done to help the organization accomplish what they were desiring. It displays professionalism and may in fact help with future ventures.


Chap 18: Programs and Campaigns

Chapter 18 discusses the importance and orgnization of a campaign and program.

Doing research is the most important aspect of this process. Researching the company, target audience, dimensions, objectives and other important aspects of whatever you are proposing as a public relations professional. It is important to know the company or person inside and out. Outlining objectives keeps a clear goal in place allowing a group to step back sometimes and regroup themselves to rerecognize their goals.

There are numerous different aspects that go intor creating a campaign. Different tactics, methods of delivery and presentation style is important. The design of a campaign or proposal varies on what audience you are trying to reach or impact.

Building relationships with the retailers, CEOs, or other important people within th company is important because it makes everything seem more personal. There is a trust that is formed throughout the process when you create professional relationships with them.

Chap 17: Meetings, Events and Organization

Chapter 17 discussed how meeting and events should be organized in order to be successful and effective.

When organizing professional meetings, it is important to make sure that not one person dominates the conversation. Handing out an agenda or topic sheet is a good idea because it gives everyone an idea of what will be metioned and things that they could be thinking about. It also keeps everyone on task and it’s important to keep up with everything on time. Allowing everyone to sit at a rounded table is important because everyone will be able to see each other. There should always be a time limit as well as it keeps everyone on task and on schedule.

Banquets, events and other bigger meetings could include anything and everything from caterers to hall coordination. It is important to make sure that everything is taken care of with food, seating and entertainment. Bigger events sometimes have a more laid back atmosphere…however, they involve quite a bit more planning.

Chap 16: Direct Mail Pros and Cons

Chapter 16 discusses using direct mail and advertising within public relations and the advantages and disadvantages that comes along with it.

Direct mail is mainly used to sell goods and services. I liked that this chapter gave examples of how direct mail is used. For example, politicians use direct mail to request votes. Direct mail is also used to inform people about events, announcements or it is used as a way to make a bold statement like an apology or opinion.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using direct mail. Some of the advantages include being cost effective, allowing a target audience to be reached and for a personalization aspect that can’t be met with other advertising techniques. Disadvantages include information overload…like spitting too much information to people at once. One disadvantage the book didn’t mention much is that people don’t look at direct mail often because they disreguard it as junk, or “junk mail.”

Chap 15: Presentations and Speeches

Chapter 15 discusses the proper way to research, write and deliver a speech of a presentation.

I like this chapter because it really goes into detail about how to outline a speech. One of the very first and most important things when writing a speech includes researching any and all possible questions about the audience. This is important because age, culture, goals and other individualistic aspects within the audience all need to be catered too appropriately. For example, there would be an obvious difference in vocabulary when writing for a younger audience than an older one. It’s also important to know the speaker and watch how they talk to other people, groups and even you.

Before actually beginning to write a speech, three key points must be clear: the objective, the message, and the strategy/approach.

I personally love speaking in front of an audience. Giving speeches in class is what made me realize that public relations was a field that I might really enjoy. Researching, using sources, and creating a personalized way to convey information or persuade an audience is truly a science and it’s important to be prepared within areas of content, nonverbals, time, and actually speaking.

Chap 14: Writing Emails, Proposals, and Memos

Chapter 13 discussed the appropriate ways to write emails, proposals and memos.

There are many advantages to emailing as long as the purpose stays clear and concise and manners are attributed appropriately. The textbook outlines a number of advantages in this chapter:

  • Reduces the cost of employee communications
  • increases the distribution of messages to more employees
  • flattens corporate hierarchy
  • speeds up decision making

However, in my opinion, while email is great and very cost and time effective, what would the world do if email and other electronic forms of communication went down? To me, this is a scary thought. Would communication just be completely thrown for a loop? 

Email is in fact secondary to face-to-face communication. I am glad the book stated this because I totally agree. There is nothing like good eye contact, body language, and observable intent. Emails include a subject line, salutation, first sentence/paragraph, a body and a closing.

Memos are used in many ways. It is usually distributed to employees to ask a question, make an announcement, or convey information. Proposals are used to convey information.

Chap 13: Newsletters and Brochures

Chapter 13 discussed the creation and design of newsletters and brochures.

It outlined the main purposes of each publication and how to reach the target audience optimally with design and content features.

The content of the newsletter or brochure depends on the organization in which it is being written for and who that organization is trying to reach. Newsletters are informative of course, but in my opinion, brochures are more narrow and put together-not a lot of fluff. Since there isn’t room for a ton of information, brochures are usually really compact content wise.

Generally, the way to reach a target audience does in fact come from design. For example, if the target audience is young college students, a brochure or newsletter may use a unique font, brighter colors, and more “vibrant” imagery to gain attention. However, if the target audience is older men and women after retirement, the design may be more calming and relaxing.