"Les Nessman" with my infant son James and me (1990)

As we start wrapping up our summer semester in Introduction to Public Relations class, it’s time to end the semester in my traditional way: by watching a classic episode of the classic 1970s TV show “WKRP in Cincinnati” :: “Turkeys Away.”

According to the Internet Movie Database: “[Station manager] Mr. Carlson is beginning to feel useless at the new formatted rock station so he decides to create a big Thanksgiving Day promotion. His idea? Get a helicopter, with a banner attached to it saying “Happy Thanksgiving From WKRP…” Then, based on a botched promotion from a radio station in Arkansas, live turkeys are dropped from a helicopter. Chaos ensues.

Take 20 or so minutes to watch the episode below, keeping in mind what you’ve learned in PRCA 2330 during the semester.

So what can public relations students learn about how NOT to do a promotion from Mr. Carlson’s fiasco? I’ll get the list started:

  1. Communicate with your entire team before launching a promotional campaign (or a turkey).
  2. Do your research! It’s best to learn ahead of time that turkeys don’t fly.
  3. Get permission before doing a stunt.

What would you add to this list? Add your thoughts in the comments below.

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Distributing News to the Media

On April 8, 2010, in COMM 4333, PRCA 3330, public relations, by Barbara Nixon

Play by Niecieden.Writing a news release is all well and good . .  . but if it is not sent to the media for (potential) distribution, it’s a futile effort. I created this small crossword puzzle to help students understand some of the wide variety of options when it comes to news distribution channels. Try it out!

NOTE: Most clues in the puzzle come from:

Wilcox, D. (2009). Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques (6th Edition). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

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Regardless what company you are working with or which newspaper outlets you are sending a news release to, there are a baker’s dozen items that should appear in most news releases.


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In Monday’s Introduction to Public Relations course, we will discuss getting into the news via news releases, media kits and more. Here are the slides I’ll use:

Getting into the News 

There are some notes to go along with several of the slides. To see these notes, please download the presentation from SlideShare.

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