PR News Analysis Brief #4


Story #1: Back-to-School: Parents Will Spend More Than Ever Online and on Mobile—And They’re Already in Full Swing



As we approach August, one thing is certain, back to school season is ramping up. “Rubicon Project’s second annual Back-to-School Consumer Pulse Survey” projects shoppers to spend more than $40 billion this season. In the article found on Bulldog Reporter, tech items are costing parents the most and many are turning to places like Amazon to buy these, instead of actual stores. According to the article, “nearly 30 percent of parents surveyed will do at least 25 percent of their back-to-school shopping on a mobile device” and this number is even higher for parents of incoming college freshmen. Another interesting finding in this study was that dads are beginning to be more involved in back-to-school shopping for technology-related items.


This study is very important to PR professionals working for any company selling back-to-school related items. It has always been a busy time of the year for these companies, but now more than ever; it is largely beneficial to play into the event that has become back-to-school shopping. Based off of this study, it would be important for PR professionals to push for an increased mobile presence for their companies.


Story #2: PR Segments: Millennial Fathers and LGBT Parents Are Misrepresented by Brands, New Report Asserts



A report from Cassandra, an Engine Group company found that “81% of Millennial parents believe fathers are not portrayed accurately in ads.” Many brands still portray dads as people that do not know how to care for their child, and Millennial dads feel that stereotype does not represent them. The study found that Millennial dads are just as active on social media as the moms. Millennial dads are “embracing the opportunity and putting their own twists on parenting,” says Melanie Shreffler, senior insight’s director at Cassandra. Other interesting findings included Millennial parents taking on more of a mentor role rather than a friend and being more relaxed about their child trying alcohol and marijuana. Millennial parents are also embracing technology and finding ways that it can be used to bring their family together.


This article is extremely important for PR professionals because Millennials make up a large portion of any company’s target audience. It is necessary to portray dads in ways that they can relate, and with Millennial dads, that begins with portraying them as active, knowledgeable and adequate caretakers. This is definitely something I would want to keep in mind when trying to come up with new campaign ideas.



Module 2 Assignment 5


Target Public: Families with children


“Bug Invasion!

The Minnesota Zoo is thrilled to announce the addition of a brand new Bugs Exhibit that will be open starting May 1! The exhibit will include everything from a working colony of leaf-cutter ants to land crabs and tarantulas. We are also excited about the butterfly garden that guests will be able to walk through where up to 600 free-flying butterflies reside.

Be sure to add the Minnesota Zoo to your list of summer destination for a fun filled day of animals and learning!

For more information regarding hours and admission visit us at:

Photo: I would insert a photo of a promotional flyer for the event with the name of the exhibit, date, time, place and social media handles.


Target Public: A target public for the Zoo’s tweets would be young parents that may follow the Zoo that are looking for activities to do in the area

Post: Bug Invasion! Brand new exhibit opening at the Minnesota Zoo beginning May 1. For more information visit us at


Photo: I would insert a photo of a promotional flyer for the event with the name of the exhibit, date, time, place and social media handles.

Module 2 Assignment 4

A digital media kit is a great way for Tetra Corporation to inform the media on their new concept in fish feeding. Important components to include for Tetra Corporation’s purposes would be a fact sheet, news release, a backgrounder on the company, other articles about the subject, graphics, pictures and videos, and a contact sheet.

Fact Sheet: A fact sheet would be very beneficial for Tetra Corporation because a lot of people do not have general knowledge about fish feeding.

News Release: A news release is still a necessity in a digital media kit in order to help give the concept media coverage.

Backgrounder: A backgrounder is an important component to include because Tetra Corporation may not be well known and it will give the media all the information they need to inform the public.

Relevant Articles: A new fish-feeding concept is not something the general public has common knowledge on so providing articles that will save the media time researching would be appreciated.

Graphics, Pictures and Videos: One of the large upsides of a digital media kit, as compared to a traditional media kit, is the ability to show many more photos and videos. Providing quality graphics, pictures and videos will help the media be more inclined to look into your story.

Contact Sheet: As with the traditional media it is always critical to have the contact information in a clear spot so if the media would like any additional information or comments they will be able to get ahold of you.

Module 2 Assignment 3

Media Alert: Bug invasion at the Minnesota Zoo

Minnesota Zoo hopes new bug and insect exhibit will bring in visitors.

July 12, 2016

Who: Minnesota Zoo

What: The Minnesota Zoo is bringing in a new exhibit that will feature bugs and insects. The exhibit will include butterflies and moths; a working colony of leaf-cutter ants, giant millipedes; centipedes; land crabs; arachnids, such as the world’s largest spider, tarantulas, and scorpions; and zebra cockroaches. There will also be a butterfly garden where up to 600 free-flying butterflies and moths will live.

When: The grand opening will take place on May 1.


Minnesota Zoo

1234 Zoo St.

Minnesota, USA, 12345

Why: The director of the Minnesota Zoo feels this will not only be great entertainment for community members but also a valuable educational opportunity.


Amy Weinfurter

Director of Public Relations

Phone: (123) 456-7890




Module 2 Assignment 2

News Release  (formatting is slightly different from my Word document)

Greenscape Inc.


Amy Weinfurter, Director of Public Relations

Greenscape, Inc.

(123) 456-7890


New job opportunities coming to downtown Detroit

Greenscape Inc. to build headquarters in downtown Detroit

DETROIT, MI (Thursday, July 7, 2016) – Greenscape Inc., a manufacturer of energy efficient products, has announced that they will be locating their company headquarters in downtown Detroit. This new addition to the Detroit community will be a welcomed boost to the local economy and will provide new job opportunities for the people of Detroit.

The 25-story building is estimated to cost $150 million and will take approximately 18 months to build. The architect is Weber and Associates, and the contractor is Rudolph and Sletten. The building is the largest of its kind in the U.S. to be LEED-certified.

The Minneapolis Redevelopment Agency is guaranteeing the financing of the building and contributing up to $5 million to landscape the public areas around the building and improve the surrounding streets. Company executives and city officials say the building is the cornerstone of the downtown revival. Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan, is excited about the addition saying, “Greenscape is sure to become a great fixture to the Detroit community.”

To learn more about Greenscape Inc., visit or follow the company on social media.

Facebook: Greenscape Inc.

Twitter: @GreenscapeInc


Greenscape Inc.

Fact Sheet

  • Greenscape Inc. was founded in 1990 by Robert Smith in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • In just 5 years Greenscape grew from 50 employees to over 100 and has continued growing ever since
  • Greenscape is a publicly traded business, its stock symbol being GRSCP
  • Greenscape Inc. is the largest manufacturer of energy efficient products in the Midwest
  • In every city Greenscape Inc. has opened an office it has made a commitment back to the community
    • In the case of Detroit, they are planning to contribute $5 million towards the landscaping of public areas around the building and surrounding streets
  • Amy Weinfurter is the Public Relations Director for Greenscape Inc., her contact information is listed below:
    • Phone: (123) 456-7890
    • Email:









Module 2 Assignment 1


The following email with the accompanying news release was sent to the media. What is wrong and/or right about the email and the news release? Explain your answers.


The first thing I noticed with the email is that the subject line did not do a good job at catching the reader’s attention. The first issue with the news release is that it says “For Immediate Release” which, according to the text, is not necessary when we live in a digital world. The news release was also missing a subheading and a dateline. A large issue I found with the news release is that it seemed like a news release, backgrounder and fact sheet all in one. The news release had a lot of information that someone short on time may not want to look at and read. I think it would have been beneficial for the PR professional to write this in an inverted pyramid format, with the most important information at the top. Instead this news release was written with the most important information at the bottom of the second page. This news release also did not include the contact information at the end, which would be important for someone in the media wanting to learn more about the event.

I do feel it was good for the PR professional to try to get the media to cover the story, given it was rather timely and newsworthy. I thought for the most part the lead paragraph was effective at trying to grab the reader’s attention. Overall I feel that the document the news release was sent in has a lot of good information, however it should have been broken up into different components of a media kit.

PR News Analysis Brief #3

Story #1: Noodles & Co. data breach compromises years of transactions



On May 17th 2016, there was a data breach at the popular restaurant Noodles & Co. On June 2nd, Noodles & Co. confirmed the breach and began an ongoing investigation into the situation. It is important to note that if a customer’s card was compromised in the breach, and unauthorized charges appear; the customer does not need to worry about paying for those and Visa’s Zero Liability protection will handle it.


Data breaches are critical stories a PR professional needs to be aware of. A large data breach concerning credit and debit cards is very frightening and may scare customers away. This situation is not something a PR professional wants to deal with, but it is something he or she should be prepared to deal with. When in this type of situation, it is important to remain transparent and reassure your customers that your company is doing everything it can to figure out what happened and correct it. I think Noodles & Co. did a great job also reassuring their customers that if unauthorized charges do happen to appear, they will not need to pay them.

Story #2: Report: Older users are flocking to Snapchat



The popular app Snapchat seems to be growing its range of users to an older audience. The article on Ragan’s PR Daily found that although the app is well-liked among teens and young adults, “14 percent of smartphone user’s ages 35 and older are also on Snapchat.” This number is significant because just three years ago, it was only at 2 percent. Although parents and older users may cause some teens to jump ship on Snapchat for a newer, fewer populated social media platforms, some say that because Snapchat is more “closed off” there should not be as many teens leaving the app.


This story is significant to a PR professional for many reasons. This is important to a PR professional in a company that targets those older than 35, because this is a brand-new platform, they can explore as a way to connect. This is also important for PR professionals targeting the younger audiences because if it is not expected that they will leave the app anytime soon, Snapchat could be a great PR investment to reach a large amount of your target audience.

Allen, K. (2016, July 7). Noodles & co. data breach compromises years of transactions. Retrieved July 10, 2016, from Ragan’s PR Daily website:
Allen, K. (2016, July 8). Report: Older users are flocking to snapchat. Retrieved July 10, 2016, from Ragan’s PR Daily website:


PR News Analysis Brief #2

Story #1: Millennials Weigh in on What Makes Food Brands Authentic—New Research Reveals the Influencing Factors




There were recently two studies done examining “the media habits of Millennial food and beverage consumers.” According to this article on the Bulldog Reporter, the study found ”84 percent of Millennials feel they can easily describe, in one sentence, a food or beverage brand or product they discovered.” It is so important in today’s world that businesses are very aware and secure with the brand image they want to portray because opinions are formed very quickly. In the second study, it was found that “!00 percent of Millennials survey said they frequently purchase food and beverage brands they list as authentic.”


This article would be extremely important to any company because they would want to know how much Millennials care about brand image. After reading about research done in these two studies, it is very clear, brand image is essential. According to an article on Politico, by Brianna Ehley, according to research by Pew Research, Millennials are now the largest generational cohort, passing the baby boomers. Understanding Millennials is key to any PR professional wanting to connect with their consumers.


Story #2: Media Trust Crisis: Election-Coverage Survey Reveals Few Americans Truly Believe News Media Reporting





This article found on Bulldog Reporter discusses the way Americans currently feel about how the media is covering the 2016 Presidential Election. Overall, the results found that most Americans are not as happy with the coverage as media outlets would hope. Research conducted at Saint Leo University found that “86.4% of those polled say news media have their own political and policy positions and attempt to influence public opinion.” This article also discussed how social media has impacted how this election is perceived. Due to Facebook’s algorithm, it is easier than ever for people to block out a wide range of views. Facebook’s algorithm picks up on what you click on and what you seem to agree with and fills your news feed with similar stories.


This article is very important to a PR professional working for a news media outlet because they must be able to keep maintain credibility. It is critical that viewers feel like they can trust the media and they are getting unbiased information. I think this is also important for PR professionals involved in political campaigns because of the social media aspect. We always hear about how beneficial social media is, but there are still some negatives and one of those was identified in this article. Social media sites with algorithms are great, but when trying to sway voters one way or the other, this algorithm makes it much more difficult if they are not seeing your content.


Carufel, R. (Ed.). (2016, June 28). Media trust crisis: Election-Coverage survey reveals few americans truly believe news media reporting. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from Bulldog Reporter website:
Carufel, R. (Ed.). (2016, June 30). Millennials weigh in on what makes food brands authentic—New research reveals the influencing factors. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from Bulldog Reporter website:
Ehley, B. (2016, April 26). Millennials dethrone baby boomers as largest generation. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from Politico website:

Module 1 Assignments

Assignment 1

A new library is opening in your city. The eight-story building has 2.1 million square feet of floor space, and it will house 1.5 million books. Although the numbers are impressive, the public can’t really identify with “millions.” If you were writing a news release for the new library, what comparisons or analogies would you use to give these figures meaning for the average person?

If I were writing the news release, in order to give the figures more meaning I would compare the building size to another notable building or landmark in the Green Bay or North East Wisconsin area. For example, most people can visualize how large a football field is, 2.1 million square feet of floor space is equivalent to just over 36 football fields. As far as giving the number of books meaning I would say approximately how many miles 1.5 million books would stretch if laid out.

Assignment 2

The concept of channeling is discussed in terms of tailoring messages to audience self-interests. The NEW ZOO (real Green Bay Zoo) wants to increase memberships and donations. Develop the message theme for the following audiences:

 Business and industry – The message theme for this audience would be team building. When people initially think of the NEW Zoo, many times they think of it as simply a zoo, however, with the Adventure Park, it is so much more than that. The Adventure Park includes zip lining; an Aerial Adventure Course and a Climbing Tower, all of these are great activities for their next company outing and would be the focus of the NEW Zoo’s messaging.

 Teachers – The message theme for teachers would be around education. The NEW Zoo is a great place for their students to learn about animals and their habitats. When developing a message for this group a point of emphasis would be explaining why the NEW Zoo should be one of the teacher’s field trips in the upcoming year.

 Parents – The message theme for this audience would be centered on low cost, local, family fun. Parents are always looking for local and low cost ways to keep their children busy in the summer months and I would want to portray the NEW Zoo as an activity that should be at the top of their list. According to their website, the NEW Zoo is free for children 2 and under, $5 for children 3-15, $7 for adults, which is considered 16 and older, there is also a discount for senior citizens where admission is only $5. This pricing is noticeably cheaper than other popular zoo’s around the state and is something that should be emphasized in the messaging.

 Environmental and conservation groups – The message theme for environmental and conservation groups would be focused on show casing what the NEW Zoo is doing to protect the environment and other animals in the wild. According to their website, the NEW Zoo is an accredited zoo and as a part of that, they are committed to AZA SAFE, which stands for Saving Animals From Extinction. This accreditation and program would be a point of emphasis when messaging to this group because gaining their support would greatly increase attendance and in turn help fundraise for SAFE.

Assignment 3

1) It is important to localize news if you want coverage in community newspapers. Suggest a way to localize each of the following items:

A national airline has just compiled the number of flights, mileage, and total passengers carried last year.

In order to localize this news, I would want to interview management and flyers at either Austin Straubel International Airport or Appleton International Airport. This would be a good way to localize the story because you could discuss how these numbers impact jobs in the area, prices of flights in the upcoming months and potential problems that may arise in the area.

A computer company has introduced a new tablet computer.

One-way to localize this would be talking to a local technology expert and reviewing the features and drawbacks. Another way to localize this story would be to find out if a school or company in the area is going to use the tablets in their work. If this organization is, find out how they are using them and what benefits they will bring.

A national manufacturing company with plant sites in 100 different cities has just announced its annual earnings and stock dividend.

A great way to localize a company opening new plant is to first find out if one of their plants is located in a city near you. If there is a plant near, then discuss the state of the company because that will impact the local economy and may indicate where jobs are headed. If there is not a plant in the area, it could be useful to find out if a local expert has ties to the company or knowledge of them and get their expert opinion on the numbers.

A company has just developed a new GPS system integrated into their entire line of cars.

If a company has just developed a new GPS system integrated into their line of cars, find a local car dealer that sells these cars and find out if they will allow you to film a test drive for a segment. This will bring publicity to the car dealership and still inform the public about the new GPS system.

A charitable agency has just released national figures on the number of Americans afflicted with AIDS.

To localize this story, find out if there is a chapter of this charity located in the area and interview someone of significance that is affiliated with the charity. It may also be beneficial to talk to a local health care expert on what they see in their line of work in regards to AIDS.

2) Leinenkugels is interested in doing some sort of poll or survey that would generate media coverage. What would you recommend and why?

There are different ways to generate media coverage by using a survey, one way is by making it about contemporary lifestyles, a common situation and having a seasonal theme. Leinenkugels is a beer company so I think a lifestyle or seasonal survey or would be best. A seasonal survey could be something along the lines of which holiday is the best for drinking or finding out what most people look forward to about the summer months, a popular season for beer.

Assignment 4

1) You are new at a job in public relations. You have been taught to keep news releases factual and skip the hype. However, management wants you to “jazz up” the news release and say the new product is, among other things, “revolutionary.” What would you do? Explain your answer. 

2) You are the public relations director of a repertory theater. The city editor of the local daily calls you and asks if you could send him 10 complimentary tickets. He explains that his wife’s family is in town for the weekend. What would you do? Explain your answer.

  1. In this situation I would make sure that the news release is 100% factual however I would make a point to use positive adjectives to describe the product. I would remind management that it is great to “jazz up” the news release; we need to make sure we are being honest and transparent with our customers. I few are not honest; it could cause more problems, and money, down the road.
  2. I would definitely send the director all 10 complimentary tickets. I would do this to send a positive message about the theater and get people in the seats for the show. I would also do this because he is an editor and a good review or comments from him in the paper could bring a lot more people to the theater for this show and future shows.



News Analysis Brief #1

Story #1: Gun-control groups focus on changing the conversation at the state level and with new allies





Following the recent shooting in Orlando, Florida that took the lives of 49 people, advocates for gun-control have been increasingly active about spreading word about the need for stricter gun control laws. Opponents to gun control have more money and power making it difficult for those for gun control to get their message out. According to the author, Alison Kanski, Matt Canter, a SVP at Global Strategy group “contends many NRA members support common-sense gun laws, like not allowing people on terrorist watch lists to by firearms.”



Gun control is at the forefront of American politics and as a PR professional on either side of the argument it is critical to keep up with how your opponent or those that share similar views are portraying the situation. This is necessary because groups on both sides of the argument have a strong ability to sway members of the public to either side.


Story #2: David Cameron resigns, world leaders respond after ‘Brexit’





On Thursday, June 23, 2016 Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU) becoming the first country to do so. This greatly impacts the economies and businesses around the world, not just in Britain or the EU. Leaders in both Germany and France do not see Britain leaving the EU as a step in the right direction. According to the author, Beki Winchel, “other world leaders echoed the sentiment that the decision was detrimental.”



This event is important because, as the article stated, it will impact businesses all over the world. In the coming months PR professionals in companies impacted by this will need to reassure their employees and customers that the business is going to remain financially stable. If a company is not in a good place financially it is important for the messaging to be transparent, honest and straightforward. However, it would also be critical to assure those involved that your company is taking the steps to fix it.


Kanski, A. (2016, June 17). Gun-control groups focus on changing the conversation at the state level and with new allies. Retrieved June 19, 2016, from PR Week website:
Winchel, B. (2016, June 24). David Cameron resigns, world leaders respond after ‘Brexit’. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from Reagan’s PR Daily website: