By Jess Carnprobst
PRSSA’s fist week of PR Bootcamp was a huge success. Eager PR students were packed from wall to wall in Ellis, ready to learn about media relations. Melaina Lewis, Ben Clos and Marissa McDaid started the Bootcamp with an explanation and demonstration of the use of Cision. They then moved to media lists and ended the Bootcamp with press releases. This first Bootcamp was both fun and informational and taught valuable information.
Cision is a large media information system that creates media lists and alters media stories. It is paid for by PR agencies, so if you are planning to intern or work at a larger agency, you can bet you’ll be using Cision. Cision cuts back on time when creating media lists; it will even export your list as an excel document. Cidnye Weimer generously demonstrated Cision and explained her experience using it over the summer at her internship.
The next portion of this Bootcamp discussed media lists, which goes hand-in-hand with Cision. When making a media list, it is important to first decide your target market, know who you’re emailing and then you can get ready to pitch! Journalists could be getting hundreds of pitches a day, so make sure yours stands out. Melaina, Ben and Marissa talked about different ways to go about this, like speaking truthfully and making sure you are well informed about the topic you are pitching. Most importantly, don’t forget to smile when you dial!
The first PR Bootcamp ended with an explanation of how to write a press release. When writing a press release, headlines are very important. Just like your pitch, they need to capture the reader. The headline should be creative, no longer than 10 words and the first letter of all words should be capitalized. Press releases should be written in inverted pyramid style with the most relevant and interesting information at the beginning. Never forget to add the boiler plate at the end of the press release, which is the company description. Lastly, the PR students got the chance to practice writing their own press release. Students shared ideas and received feedback for their work.
Overall, the first PR Bootcamp was informative, but also a lot of fun. There will be three more Bootcamps to follow, each one just as interesting and fun as the last.
If you are looking to gain experience while having fun, join PRSSA tonight at 7 p.m. in Ellis 111 to learn about AP Style and proper news writing technique!