PUBLIC RELATIONS COPY AND ITS NECESSITY

Introduction

            It should be recalled that public relations is a deliberate planned and sustained efforts to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and it publics. It means that an organisation, individual or institution has so many publics that it deals with at one time or the other and this publics can be reached through different platform depend on the issue, problem or condition necessitate the communication or interaction.

            For the fact that public relations has to communication to the organisation, individual or institution public it does this by writing or present it by spoken whichever way it is called public relations copy.  

            Therefore, public relation copy can be defined as any written or graphics material produced for a public relations purpose. The purpose may be to announce the launching of a new product, ceo, to misconceptions about an organisation’s policy, to educate the workers about management’s position or to invite members of the press to a news conference.

            Public relations copy or writing may be in form of news release (press release), feature article, script for documentary/film, speech, pictures with caption or cutline, invitation, memo, letter etc 

  1. Press release:
  2. Speech writing
  3. Press conference
  4. Rejoinder
  5. Media tour, Press Visit and Media parle
  6. Backgrounders or Information kit:
  7. Supplementary publications/House Journal:
  8. Letters:
  9. Video film and slide presentations:
  10. Features Article:

 

  1. Press release: Which is often called news or media release. According to Nwodu (2007:49) it is “corporate news issued out by an organisation via the instrument of the mass media for public consumption with the purpose of enhancing the corporate image of the organisation.” Press releases are therefore generated by corporate organisations who use the tool to tell stories about their activities with emphasis on the events happening or    about to happen in an organisation; refute negative publications; comment on issues affecting the interest of the organisation or government agencies concerned (Nwodu; 2007:49).
  2. Speech writing: This is a normal public relations function. Various public relations events like press conference, launching, seminar, workshop etc called for speech making and the success or failure of these events may largely depend on the quality and effectiveness of the speeches delivered. The writing and delivery if a good speech calls for a proper appreciation of the topic, audience to be addressed, objectives to be achieved, occasion or event where the speech will be delivered, environmental factors, facilities, speaker’s personality, duration etc 
  3. Press conference: Which is also called news or media conference. According to Johnston (2001:275), three major reasons account for the organisation of press conference and these reasons are to allow for a wide dissemination of a story; to give all media access to the news at once; and to allow journalists to ask follow-up questions especially during a crisis.
  4. Rejoinder: It is an article or release written to respond to issues raised in a previously published article. Rejoinders are often written to set the record straight correcting inaccuracies, errors of fact or reasoning or blatant lie  or misrepresentations contained in the previous article. It is an attempt to join issues with the writer of the previous article with an intention of winning public opinion in one’s favour. It may also be writing to support the position of the previous article’s written. In this cade, the rejoinder tends to provide additional information or reasons that further justify the previous written. For instance, on Wednesday, September. 9, 2015, Pg. 19 ( Leadership Newspaper) Skye bank writes a rejoinder titled “Retraction of statement”. Skye bank had earlier in August 3, 2015 published the list f loan defaulters of which it mentioned the name of Sir. Chika    Chiejina as a Director of the Savannah Suites and Restaurants Ltd.  The excuse given was that when the Afribank merged with other banks to formed Mainstreet Bank in 2008, the name of Savannah was not stated that it had settled the debt and when the Skye Bank acquired the Mainstreet Bank, the name was part of what the Skye Bank inherited until it was recently investigated. 
  5. Media tour, Press Visit and Media parley Which is usually arranged for the purpose of getting new chief executive of an organisation acquainted with media men while media parley primary purpose is meant to establish a rapport with people who will always write about you and your organisation (Popoola, 2005:56).
  6. Backgrounders or Information kit: Which showcases varied write-ups concerning the history of the organisation issuing the kit; the product range; the mission and vision; and colourful pictures of departments and personalities in the organisation. It may be concerned with an informational document often provided with a press release, press advisory or as part of a larger media kit. The backgrounder gives the press or other        interested parties a more detailed background of an issue, event, person of interest or            
  7. Supplementary publications/House Journal: This includes pamphlets, brochures, manuals and books. According to Cutlip et al. (2000:293) they serve three major purposes which are indoctrination, references and institutional promotion.
  8. Letters: Which Onabajo (2003:67) rightly says “support line communication by ensuring accuracy of information…”
  9. Video film and slide presentations: This aims at developing favourable ideas, innovations, attitudes or behaviours in viewing audiences. Also, closed-circuit television  (CCTV) allows for live telecast and beaming of messages for the consumption of many employees at the same time.
  10. Features Article: Feature is a piece of writing on a particular subject matter and published as part of editorial matter of a newspaper, magazine, radio or online platform. It is more detailed and stylistic piece than a news release. It may be deliberately written on the history of an organisation or it success or new achievement let rating or progress     

References

Cutlip, S.M., Center, A.H. & Broom, G.M. (2000). Effective Public Relations. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Habermas, J. (1989). The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Johnston, J. (2004). “Media Relations” In: J. Johnston & C. Zawawi (Eds.) Public Relations Theory and Practice. Crow’s Nest: Allen and Unwin

Levi, C. N., Josep, B. M and Jonathan E. A. (2014). Public Relations in Practice. Lagos:   National Open University of Nigeria.  Accessed www.nou.edu.ng

Marshall, I. & Kingsbury, D. (1996). Media Realities. Melbourne: Longman

Nkwocha, J. (1999). Effective Media Relations: Issues and Strategies. Lagos: Zoom Lens Publishers.

Nwodu, L. C. (2007). Corporate Public Relations Management. Enugu: Precision Publishers Limited.

Onabajo, O. (2005). Essentials of Media Relations. Lagos: Concept Publications Limited. 

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