Archive for the ‘PRCA 3330: TOWs’ Category


TOW 16: Top 10 List for Learning to Blog

April 26, 2010

  1. Be consistent: The more you blog the more beneficial it will be to you and to others. If there is not a constant stream of information coming from your blog than others will not want to read it (unless your blogging for a class and students are required to write on others blogs haha).
  2. Interact with others: Blogs are a great source of useful information! There are a lot of PR professionals that blog daily and that can give you tips for your blog.
  3. Tell the truth: your credibility is on the line. Always be truthful and make sure you credit and site people, books, websites, and others’ blogs that you take information from. Being honest with your readers allows them to trust your site and allows them to be honest in return.
  4. Use an APA style book: The Associated Press Stylebook is a great resource for any question you might have about “capitalization, abbreviation, spelling, numerals, and usage.” The book also has many other features that make it a Public Relations Students best friend.
  5. Check for spelling and grammar: Your writing should be casual but if there are errors your readers might consider your blog uncredible.
  6. Use hyperlinks and add picture and video: make your blog interactive. No one wants to look at a plain page with a bunch of words. Hyperlinking allows readers to see exactly what you are talking about and get connected to the rest of the public relations world.
  7. Think about who you are writing too: keep your audience in mind and be relatable.
  8. Allow for discussion: talk about current topics and ask your readers questions.
  9. Keep it simple: Don’t confuse your readers with jargon and vocabulary that they will not understand.
  10. Respect your audience: don’t use inappropriate language or obscenities— be professional with your word choices.

TOW: Week 15

April 25, 2010

In his book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, Wilcox  describes that a social media news release is an electronic news release “pioneered by the major distribution services, such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Marketwire, now make it possible to embed high-resolution photos/graphics, video, and audio components.”  Social Media News Releases are also termed Multimedia News Releases or Smart Media Releases.

So what makes a Social Media News Release superior to a plain news release? The appeal is much greater to journalists who focus on the online news sector. With cell phones, computers and PDAs on the rise, people have shifted to the internet to retrieve the latest news. Giving a journalist more information makes their job easier. If the SMNR is created in a proper format and the information is news worthy, than sending your information in a SMNR form versus a news release could make the difference between your “news” getting published or not. Bloggers also use SMNR as a source to publish current information. SMNRs are extremely useful only when created in the proper way. If links or tags are overused than the SMNR could harm the image of your company or client. With all the multi-media features on this news release it is also easy for the reader to get distracted, so be precise with your message because it is the most important part!

Here are three blogs that discuss the importance of SMNRs:

  1. Presitt: Open question to journalists: Standard press releases vs. SMNRs
  2.  PR-Squared: A Radical Suggestion for the Social Media Release
  3.  Mark Evans Tech: What Ever Happen to the Social Media Press Release

(picture taken from Presitt)


TOW: Week 14

April 23, 2010

Assignment: Take the Five Steps to MultiMedia Storytelling course at News University.  Using the three-pronged approach and describe your reactions to this course. Remember to include a hyperlink to the course, too.

  1.  What did you learn?

When taking the Five Steps to MultiMedia Storytelling course at News University I learned that there is a lot more to storytelling than I thought. You have to be well prepared and carry a lot of equipment with you at all times in order to make sure you are equipped for whatever situation that could arise.

  1. What surprised you?

Editing for the web is a lot different than editing for a television publication. The section on web editing for the web combines a lot of information that we learned in our Public Relations Writing and Media Technique book for class.

  1. What do you want to know more about?

Everything that I could want to learn more about is covered in the “Examples and Resources” section of the course. Here are some links that they gave that I thought was helpful:

UC Berkeley Relevant Tutorials


TOW 13: Ten Ways for PR Professionals to Stop Annoying Journalist!

April 10, 2010

1.      What’ all the HYPE about?

Problem: Journalist can get annoyed when a news release contains hype or in other terms excess words. A journalist receives thousands of news releases a year and is looking for leads on stories they think their public will deem interesting. When a PR professional adds a bunch of hype to their news release it can make it seem commercial-like and therefore not worth the journalist time.

Solution: Know what HYPE is! Look up the definition and read through tips that are posted all over the internet to find what HYPE words are overused. Here are some examples: Twenty most over-used words/terms in PR or The hype word of all hype words (example on HYPE for the medical field).

It might also be a good idea to have another person read over your press release checking for these excess words before sending the release out!

2.       Stop sending too many news releases!!!

Problem: Some PR professional send news releases out for every little event or idea. By over-informing these journalist YOU ARE JUST GETTING ON THEIR NERVES. A journalist job is to publish a good story not to become an advertising agent for your company.

Solution: Send press releases to the journalist that would be interested in your article. If a journalist writes on food and entertainment they are not going to even be interested in your press release about the 5k for the local animal shelter. Keep in mind who the journalist’s audience and make sure your press release is worthy of becoming a story. If you want a large amount of journalist to see your story than put it on an electronic wire service like the following: Business Wire, Marketwire, PR Newswire

3.       Correct formatting is important!

Problem: If your formatting isn’t correct than why should the journalist want to read it? Proper format is out there so that journalist can easily pick up on what the news release is about without having to search for it. Proper formatting also shows the journalist your level of professionalism and if sent improperly a pr professional could damage their future relationship.

Solution: There are LOTS of resources online, in books and in other publications that solely discuss proper formatting of a news release. Take the time to read over them and KNOW them by heart. Also check to see if certain journalist require other editorial requirements before sending out your mass news release. You may have to individualize it for certain journalist.

4.       Writing a good news release is worth the attention to details!

Problem: One of the most common annoyances from journalists is the written content of a news release. Anyone can put words on a paper but having a press release read properly is a skill that takes knowledge and research!

Solution: Just like the solution for “Correct formatting is important!” use the resources that are available, here is an online resource that I found helpful!

62 ways to improve your press releases by Matthew Stibbe

5.       “Trash and Trinkets”

Problem: Many journalist think that “gimmicks” ( promotional items) that often come with media kits and releases are stupid and silly.

Solution: If you still desire to send out promotional item then do it with taste!

“PRWEEK recommends the following guidelines:

  • Make sure there is a “news hook” and a clear connection between the promotional item and the news you are announcing.
  • Try to send items that reporters can use. Otherwise, they may be viewed only as an annoyance that takes up space.
  • Consider creative packaging instead of a promotional item. A brightly colored envelope is likely to be opened before a white one.
  • Think simply. Rather than sending a basketful of items, consider sending one item that represents the message you are trying to convey.”

Taken from Public Relations Writing And Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox

6.       Not meeting deadlines

Problem: PR professionals don’t always follow the deadlines or dates set by the journalist.

Solution: If the journalist or firm says they want to news release two weeks before the event than make sure you make their time requirements important!

7.       Change your image!

We are at a moment of great opportunity for the PR business. In a world of consumer generated content, infinite media choices, lack of trust in traditional institutions, and desire for peer-to-peer learning, we are well suited to be the communications discipline of choice. But there is a huge elephant in the room. The PR business at present lacks the credibility to take that leadership position in communications. Because we are defined by our more controversial professionals, who tend to come from the political or entertainment worlds, we are characterized as spinmeisters and flacks. How can we get out of this stereotyped second-class citizen role?” — Richard Edelman, CEO Edelman PR

Problem: Some journalists think of pr professionals negatively meaning whatever you do is going to annoy them if they dislike you!

Solution: Work on changing their image of PR professionals by working with their guidelines but still getting your point across! Read Amanda Chapel’s article PR\’s Bad PR: The Elephant in the Room to see how professionals can work on changing the PR image.


TOW 12: PR Podcast- Coming Up PR

April 3, 2010

The podcast I chose to listen to was Coming Up PR. More specifically I listened to Episode 4 that was posted for students and up and comers in public relations field by Cheryl, Mary and Mike. The podcast opened with an intro and then a feedback session from past blogs. This is a great way to get people to stay connected with your podcast through having a blog that correlates with it. The podcasters then introduced their social media seminar, “Rock the Talk,” that they hosted for their corporate communication class along with their classmates Carmela Antolino and Michelle Gradini. The students centered the event around social media due to previously taking a course on that topic and decided to use that information for real life experience. The guest speakers for the seminar were from Justin Kozuch from Refresh Events and Corey Reid of FreshBooks. (Social media was used to help build the Refresh brand.)

Some interesting points that the broadcasting trio talked about was Wiffiti, Twitter, HoHoTO and how to use social media to further your real life pr relationships.  Wiffiti is a flash based application that the user puts their chosen Twitter hashtag into and the application will then displays tweets with that hashtag in a real time/ live stream way.  Wiffiti was more specially used at the “Rock the Talk” event to display tweets live and allow people to ask questions via Twitter.  

HoHoTO was a charity event that was mentioned on this podcast. This is event is one of the largest donors to food bank and is done twice a year. It related to social media because a lot of money raised and tickets sold was done by using Twitter.

Cheryl, Mary and Mike emphasized the importance of being active online and through twitter; Twitter is a “whole world missing that you don’t understand until you’re in it.” Talking about “Rock the Talk” made me wish I would have been at the event because the speakers talked about how to take online PR relationship to real life interaction through go to industry events and setting up informational interviews.  They mentioned the importance of letting your real personality show through online interactions and that social media should be approached organically.


TOW: Week 11- Infographics

March 27, 2010

An infographic according to Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox is a “computer-generated artwork that attractively displays simple tables and charts.” Simple infographics can be created in Microsoft Office or for more compile designs you can use InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator (Adobe).

The client I have chosen for our class is Kappa Delta. More specifically I have chosen to focus on one of Kappa Delta’s national and local philanthropies, Prevent Child Abuse America. If I created an infographic for Kappa Delta I would more specifically choose to show an aspect of child abuse. According to the Prevent Child Abuse website there are three types of abuse: emotional abuse, neglect, and physical abuse. With all three types of abuse combined looking into the cost within the United States can be mind opening.  According to Ching-Tung Wang, Ph.D. and John Holton, Ph.D. in their publication Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States  the total direct cost of child abuse in 2007 was $33,101,302,133. That large sum can be broken down further into the following: Hospitalization $6,625,959,263; Mental Health Care System$1,080,706,049; Child Welfare Services System $25,361,329,051; Law Enforcement $33,307,770. Further information on the definition and specifics of these cost are further explained in their publication if you would like more information.

If more people understood the impact and cost of child abuse than I think that more people would assist in the prevention and detection of it. Unfortunately it is easy for people to be so caught up in their own worlds that it can be hard for them to even imagine that such violence could exist. The large sum of $33 billion dollars is hard to ignore when shown the facts and with an infographic I think more people would be compelled to look at the graphic versus having to read an article to see the information.


TOW: Week 9 & 10

March 20, 2010

PR OpenMIC is an online is a “social network for PR students, faculty and practitioners worldwide.” Since this week was the first time I had ever looked at the PR OpenMIC website I found that there was a lot to learn about what this online networking site had to offer!

The first thing that I thought was neat about the PR OpenMIC is that there is the “Jobs/Interns Together” link. This part of the website connects you to the TwitJob Search which to be honest I didn’t even know Twitter had. Every week I feel like I am learning something new about Twitter and how much you can use it for the PR field! But the tab button for “Job/Intern” is a great source for recent grads because the job market is very tough right now and any lead to a job is helpful.

Another aspect of PR OpenMIC is the resources tab. Underneath the tab you will find a “PR News” link. As we are writing about PR connections for our PR writing class this is a great resource to see how the Public Relations field is constantly being used every day. I know that if I get a job in the PR field I will constantly have to be reading and updating myself on what is going on in the world and all the new technologies that are being created for PR use!

I also found the “Discussion Forums” to be of great help! Throughout these forums you will find that people have posted questions to be discussed along with interesting facts, advice, and recent news.

There are lots of other aspects and opportunities that the site offers so I would recommend that if you are in or pursuing the PR field to join this networking site! I could see this site becoming a lot bigger than it is in the upcoming years!