Newsletters and Magazines
  • Most organizations publish newsletters for their members, employees, retirees and vendors or even for community opinion leaders.
  • Subscription newsletters offer expert advice and inside information to individuals and organizations with specific interests.
  • The typical newsletter is four to eight pages printed on 8.5 by 11 paper.
  • Newsletters are economical, easy to design and can be used to convey information in a straightforward manner.
  • Newsletters for employees typically report personnel promotions, forthcoming events, policy announcements, news from field offices, the introduction of new products, productivity achievements by employee teams, opportunities to attend workshops and seminars, and the typical announcements from Human Resources.
  • The objective is to make employees feel informed about company affairs.
  • An organizational newsletter aimed at an outside audience, members of the organization or both may contain items about political trends that could affect the organization, announcements of new programs, brief human interest stories, and features on community involvement.
  • Many nonprofits have newsletters for their contributors to let them know how their money is being used and what programs are being funded.
  • A newsletter is a brisk compilation of highlights and tidbits, not a place for contemplative essays or discussion.
  • The next step up from a newsletter is a newspaper.
  • Newspapers are usually in tabloid format, have a masthead, a number of photos and the type of headlines that one would see in a regular weekly or daily newspaper.
  • Jean Hurt, the editor of AT&T Now, describes the publication in the following way:
  • “In order to be an inviting employee-focused publication, we feature many names and faces. We bring AT&T’s strategy to life by showing how AT&T people contribute to it. The look is contemporary and clean. Vibrant color and photography, particularly large frontpage photos, add interest and helps us compete against overflowing in boxes and commercial media. Liberal use of call-outs, headline decks and sidebars serves the reader who prefers to scan. To better link our stories to the company’s strategy, we accompany many stories with a small box containing a strategic summary.”
  • A magazine is the apex of organizational publications. It is the most elaborate in terms of color, graphics, paper stock and design and always is the most expensive to produce.
  • In general, magazines are written for specific audiences which can include:
    o Employees and retirees
    o Stockholders and investors
    o Wholesalers of company products
    o Consumers
  • The writing and designing of organizations periodicals is a multifaceted process.

Electronic Newsletters
  • Many organizations supplement their printed publications with electronic newsletters in magazines.
  • In many instances, organizations are completely eliminating print publications.
  • Electronic publications are known as E-zines and their primary advantage is the instant dissemination of information to employees or members via a listserv.
  • Another major advantage of electronic newsletters is cost.
  • An average print newsletter might cost up to 50 cents per individual copy; an e-zine typically costs less than 5 cents per copy.
  • Most rely on a simple format – text only, limited use of color and graphics, no photos and no fancy design effects. This is because e-zines are sent via e-mail and received on a variety of e-mail systems, many with limited graphics capabilities.
  • Electronic newsletters should be kept to three to five window panes and maximum.
  • Individual news items should be short, about 10 to 12 lines each.
  • The writing style should be punchy and somewhat more informal than regular print publications.
  • Most people don’t like to scroll through a long newsletter; most will only scan the newsletter for items of interest.
  • E-Zines on Intranets
    • Many organizations, particularly large corporations, have established intranets for their employees.
    • Essentially, an intranet works on the same principle as the Internet but is a private network within an organization for the exclusive use of employees and management.
    • Intranets, because they are closed systems and the technical standards are set by the organization, are able to produce much more sophisticated electronic newsletters

[On The Job Insights] How to Create Newsletters and Brochures
  • Newsletters and brochures should be designed to convey information in an attractive, uncluttered way. Here are some guidelines:
  • Copy:
    • Less is better. Use short, punchy sentences and short paragraphs.
    • Use informative subheads to break up copy blocks.
    • Use bullets to list key points.
    • Summarize and repeat the two or three main points.
    • Tell the complete story in headlines or pull-out quotes.
    • Keep the reader in mind: what does he or she need to get out of the story?
    • Use quotes from credible, outside sources.
  • Layout:
    • Don’t try to fill every space; allow for plenty of white space.
    • Organize layout from left to right and top to bottom. Most people read in this sequence.
    • Avoid large blocks of reverse type (white on black background). It’s hard to read.
    • Avoid photos and artwork as background screens for copy; it’s also difficult to read.
    • Facing pages should be composed as two-page spreads; that’s how readers see them.
    • Use graphics and photos to balance blocks of copy.
    • Make photos and illustrations as large as possible. Whenever possible, use action-oriented photos.
  • Type:
    • The best type size is 10 or 11 point with 2 points of leading. If the audience is older people, increase the size to 12 or 14 point.
    • Use serif type for text. It is easier to read. Headlines can be set in sans serif type.
    • Use a minimum number of fonts and type families. A lot of typestyles is poor design and can be confusing.
    • Use boldface sparingly. Use for subheads and for a few key words. Don’t use it for an entire paragraph.
    • Use italic type for emphasis – sparingly, if at all.
    • Avoid all caps in headlines. Capital and lowercase letters are more readable.
  • Color:
    • Use black if for text. If you use a second color, apply it as a highlight to frame a story, a pull quote (set in larger type) or an entire page.
    • Headlines can use color, but the ink should be on the dark side rather than pastel.
    • Avoid using extensive color on low-quality paper. IF you have color, use coated stock (glossy) to get maximum color reproduction.
Media Advisories and Fact Sheets

Media Advisories also are referred to as media alerts. They are intended to let the media know about upcoming events
The most common format for media advisors to use is short, bulleted items rather than long paragraphs.
Key element of a typical one-page advisories are: a one-line headline, a brief paragraph outlining the story idea, some of journalism’s five W’s and H, and a short paragraph telling the reporter who to contact for more information or to make arrangements.

Example of a Media Alert, click here
Fact sheets are usually one to two pages in length and serve as a “crib sheet” for journalist when they write a story: A fact sheet about an organization may use heading that provide
  1. The organization’s full name
  2. Products or services offered
  3. Its annual revenues
  4. The number of employees
  5. The names and one-paragraph biographies of top executives
  6. The markets served
  7. Position in the industry
  8. Any other pertinent details
A Variation on the fact sheet is the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Example of a Fact Sheet, Click here

Media Kits

Media Kits, which is sometimes referred to as a press kit, is usually prepared for major event and new product launches. Its purpose is to give Editors and reporters a variety of information and resources that make it easier for the reporter to write about the topic.
The basic elements of a media kit are
  • The main news release
  • A news feature about the development of the product or something similar
  • Fact sheets on the product, organization, or event
  • Background information
  • Photos and drawings with captions
  • Biographical material on the spokesperson or chief executives
  • Some basic brochures

Pitch Letters
Public relations practitioner and publicist will write a short letter or note to the editor that tries to grab their attention called a pitch.

It lets the editor know, in brief form about the contents of the media kit. most important it ask editors to assign a reporter to a particular event, to pursue a angle on an issue or trend, or even to book a spokesperson on a forthcoming show.

Learn How to make Your Pitch, Click Here

Distributing Media Materials
News releases, photos, and media advisories are distributed in five major methods.
1. Mail: referred to as snail mail is regular first- class mail or express shippers such as Fed Ex. Even though we live in a modern media world, this method still works because we do not live in a paperless society.

2. Fax: A fax is an advantage because it is as quick as a telephone call and it provides the information both in written and graphic form.

3. E-mail: Although e-mail has its problems, most surveys show that editors and reporters prefer to receive PR materials via e-mail. The key to a successful e-mail is to have a good subject line.

4. Electronic News Services: Many organizations now use an electronic wire service to distribute news releases, photos, and advisories. The perks: there is no paper involved, the data is entered into appropriate databases, the release may be edited and send the revised document wherever.

5. Web Newsrooms: Most organizations have a press room or a newsroom as a part of their website. The information must be constantly updated if people are going to keep interest.
Newsletters and Magazines
Most organizations publish newsletters for their members, employees, retirees, and vendors and even for community opinion leaders. News letters are typically four to eight pages long, they report personal promotions, forthcoming events, policy announcements, news from field offices, intro of new products, productivity achievements of employees. Newsletters are aimed at an outside audience, and or members of the organization.
Electronic newsletters
Electronic Newsletters completely eliminates print publications, there is an advantage of cost in this. A print newsletter may cost 50 cents per individual copy, while an e-zine typically costs less than 5 cents per copy.
Brochures are often called booklets, pamphlets, or leaflets, depending on their size. Brochures usually focus on giving information about an organization, a product or a service.
When writing a Brochure, be sure it answers the following…..
· Who is the audience? What are its characteristics?
· What is the brochure suppose to accomplish?
· What is the best format for getting the message across?

Annual Reports
  • The most expensive and time consuming brochure prepared by an organization is the annual report.
  • All of the legal and financial material, of course, is a dry accounting of what the company did in the previous year.

  • One major reason is that the annual report, given its cost, also doubles as a marketing tool that can help build stock holder loyalty, attract new investors, and even increase the company's customer base.

Public Relations Advertising
  • Traditionally, advertising is defined as purchased space or time that is used to sell goods or services.

  • Corprate advertising institutional advertising is also known as paid space.

  • Such advertisements supplement regular piblic relations tactics such as news releases, op-ed articles, and even letters to the editor.

Image building advertising is intended primarily to strengthen a company's identity in the eyes of the public.

On the job insight
Effective Ad Elements
  1. Visual's Draw Readers.
  2. Reverse Type and White space.
  3. Size Does Matter.
  4. Color Attracts Reader Attention
  5. Location Is Important
Financial Relations
The Second form of public relations advertising is aimed at stockholders and the financial community.

The third, sometimes controversial, form of public relations advertising is advocacy.

In such advertisements,corporations or associations try to influence public opinion or even Congress- on a political or social issue.

Public Service
Many nonprofit groups purchase advertising to inform and educate the public about a particular topic.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) engaged in an extensive education campaign after 9/11 to counter American stereotypes and prejudice about Islam.