Archive for July, 2010

The Best For Last: Recap of the Past (Long Term PR Writing Class)

I must say that I learned a great deal about myself during this summer long term class. I am glad that I took this class to really sink my teeth into this “cake” called blogging. I now have a better taste for blogging as well as a better understanding for why blogging is so vital to not only social matters but “Public Relations Matters.” 

Now that I have fully dove into blogging I can now pass on some of the knowledge that I wish I had at the beginning of this class.

  1. Don’t procrastinate!!! Procrastination was truely my arch nemesis during this summer long term class.
  2. Be sure to use your creativity. Don’t hold yourself back.
  3. Be sure to read your comments and leave comments for others.
  •  I needed to stay on top of my blogs and make sure I was doing them correctly and on time but I wasn’t. Instead I just closed my mind to them in the beginning. It got so bad that I dreaded to blog each week.  Even though I finally realized blogging has a true purpose and is integral to PR just as releases are.
  • The more creative you are with your blog titles and subjects the more interest you can get from other bloggers. The more of yourself you put into your blog the more of a response you can get from your subscribers. By just taking a little more time to add a video or some type of multimedia, the more interesting  your blog will be.
  • The more comments you receive the better your blog will be. If you really use what people say and apply that to your blog, you can improve your blogging skills. The more comments you get the better you will be at choosing interesting subjects and links for your blog.
  • The more you comment on others blogs and take the time to check out other people’s blogs the more you can help your own blog. The more you look at blogs and realize what you think is interesting in the blogs you see the better off you will be with your own blog.

Your blog is your voice over the internet. You can say whatever you feel and even find others who feel the same way or even others who oppose what you say. The important thing is for you to take the time to communicate and to take the time to allow someone to communicate to you. Listen, learn, and speak your mind. Blog.

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Lib3byrd’s Comments

You gave some good insight with your list of do nots for PR professionals. I feel like most of the time the reason we don’t work well with journalists is because we only think of ourselves.

We get into the habit of just thinking about what we need when we need to keep the other person in mind. Though it’s not hard to think this way because we have to keep our clients happy.

We still need to take the time and think things through before we get carried away with our own PR agendas. If we can respect journalists’ wishes then we can help ourselves and the journalists.

Why Comment by Kwilliamspr
July 12, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I agree with your thoughts on comments. I feel like comments are useful to anyone’s blog. If you don’t receive comments on your blogs then you won’t be able to make your blog better.
It is important to get positive and negative comments. If you only receive positive comments you may never improve. Negative comments give you the necessary critism for change. Change is almost always a step in the right direction. Change lets you learn about your abilities. Change also helps you reach your full potential because you have the chance to improve your abilities.
You made an excellent point when you said that comments turn a blog into two-way communication. With only a blog, one person gets to speak their mind, but with comments a blog becomes a positive experience for not only the blogger but the reader, too.

Millenial’s Like Lifelong Online Sharing Habit by efloyd12

This article is quite interesting. I agree with what the article is saying about social networks not fading away. I think that the Millennial Generation will revolutionize technology use through social networks.
This generation can’t get away from technology. It surrounds and influences almost everything that we do. Even more than technology Generation Y can’t get away from the effects of social networks because of technology.
This article was well chosen and it has lots of feasible information as well as statistics. You made a good choice in sharing it.

Blogging for Beginners by Kwilliamspr
July 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

First off, I have to say that your blog is one of the most interesting, and well-designed blogs I’ve seen. It is unique and artistic. I love the photos lining the blog. The differentiation of the blog texts grab my attention. Just visiting your blog makes me want to read what you have to say. Presentation is an important aspect of blogging and you have mastered presentation.
Your blog post is very insightful. I think that you have learned alot from your experience of writing blogs. The tips you have left for a beggining blogger are well thought out and helpful. Anyone who needs a some advice in starting their blog should definitely read this blog post. Well done!

PR Connection: Mind Your Manners on the Train!  by LaurenO

July 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I am so glad that you posted this blog. This post was not only ridiculously funny but also informative. I think that it is hilarious that people need to know this information. It seems like it should be self-explanatory tips that people should already know while riding a train. The things people do never ceases to amaze me.
Most of if not all of these tips should be used by people for their everyday, not just on a train. While on campus I have been uncomfortable because of people showing way too much PDA. While in other places I have heard frantically screaming children in all types of public places. It is absolutely aggravating.
If people took time to think about their actions before doing them it would make the world so much better.

PR Connection: World Cup Final Game by LaurenO

July 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I loved watching the World Cup. It was absolutely awesome. I wish that it wasn’t over but I can’t wait until the next World Cup. I am excited that Spain won though I really wanted Ghana or another West African country to win. I feel like Spain deserved to win because they gave it their all.
I love the fact that the players in the Cup are so devoted to their game of “futbol.” I wish the United States were as into soccer as the rest of the world. I feel like the US is slowly catching up with the futbol fever the rest of the world has.
I hope you are having a wonderful time in Europe and that you get back to the states safely.

July 12, 2010 on 7:54 pm
 
I love your title. It really grabs my attention. It makes me want to read your blog and hear what you have to say. you did a very good job explaining what to do and alternatives to not do things.
The related posts are also helpful. It is always good to have something else for references. Your post is easy to follow and understand. I like how you set up the blog post. It was very smart to show the problem and then follow with a solution.
Your blog theme is very clean and not distracting. You have set up your blog in an easy to find manner.

I also picked the SMNR blog for the final assignment. I think you did the assignment well. You gave good insight explaining what a SMNR is and why it is useful. The links at the end of your blog posts are very helpful as well. It was a good idea to include the links.
SMNR’s are useful to PR. I feel like everyone should know how to make an SMNR. I feel like SMNR’s are one of the best things PR professionals can use for their job. It is beneficial to not only PR but to any and all publics PR are trying to reach.

Alternatives to News Releases by Rachel

July 12, 2010 at 4:49 am

I absolutely enjoyed your blog post. It was very well thought out. Your blog is not only well written but your entire blog site is really wonderful. Those are some really interesting alternatives for press releases. I read some of your other posts and they were also very interesting. You should be very proud of the job you have done with your blog site.

TOW #5 by aliciamd

I am glad that you enjoyed your Twitter assignment. I definitely didn’t. Though, I did understand the importance of the assignment. It helped me to realize how Twitter can be helpful with staying in tune with what’s going on in the world.
I love quotes, too. I follow a couple different people/groups that put up all kinds of quotes. They inspire me when I’m having a bad day or sometimes I like to get ideas for poems from quotes.
I follow some comedians and a couple of celebrities. It is really interesting to see what they have to say. Following celebrities makes them seem more human and real.

Defamation by kaibee89 

June 16, 2010 at 3:47 am

I remember when that whole incident happened. That is a really good question. But I think I am leaning on the side that Chris Brown shouldn’t be able to sue Jay-Z.
In this case, Chris Brown’s actions destroyed his own self-image and reputation. His actions destroyed his reputation to an almost unrepairable state. In my opinion, from what I remember about defamation cases, when your reputation is that bad there’s not much else to destroy it.
If Chris Brown lost money from concert sales because Jay-Z wouldn’t perform that meant that no one was coming to see Chris. The audience was coming for Jay. I am sure that most fans were probably shaken up and left in a disarray about Brown’s actions. So of course his “fans” would be reluctant to go to his concert because of all of the media scrutiny. So in my opinion Chris Brown has no reason to sue Jay-Z and should receive no payment for damage Brown caused on himself.

Chapter 5 Reading Notes by kaibee89

Your blog is so neat and organized. I could really take a lesson on how to put my blog together from you. You have a very relaxing but creative background to your blog page. Because everything on your page is well put together I really want to visit it and I feel as though I could actually look for something on your page and find it.
Your chapter outline for chapter 5 is well done. All the information you provide is direct and in an easy to follow outline form. I have never been good at outlines so I am jealous of you for that. (lol) Keep up with the good job on your blog.

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News or Not??? (chapter 4)

Chapter four is all about news. Chapter four talks about what news is, how to find news, and how to create news. Public Relations professionals have to know what makes news in order to surpass media gatekeepers.

  • Timeliness- news must be current
  • Prominence- news should have celebrity or a prominent place or person
  • Proximity- news should have a local angle
  • Significance- news should affect a substantial number of people
  • Unusualness- news should contain something out of the ordinary to attract attention
  • Human Interest- people enjoy news about other people whether the people are celebrities or people in need
  • Conflict- news should contain controversy between two different parties
  • Newness- news should contain new information about products or other items

If you make sure your stories hit on at least one or two points from the list above, you will be sure to have a good news story.

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Look at the Legalities and Learn the Law (chapter 3)

Chapter 3 describes essential laws that Public Relations professionals need to know. It is important to stay ahead of the law so we don’t get into trouble with the law.

  • Public Relations personnel shouldn’t give advice to their client or knowingly allow their client to engage in illegal activity. PR can be held liable for such acts.
  • PR should “watch their language” and clients’ language. With the wrong word or phrase about someone else, you can fall into trouble with a defamation suit.
  • PR have to be careful about what information they reveal about thier employees. Revealing too much information about an employee can become invasion of privacy.
  • PR should know copyright laws in order to keep track of when and where your client’s works are being utilized. And to be sure that a client’s works are being used legally.
  • Trademarks are important to companies and need to be protected.  Trademarks are protected by law and companies need to be sure trademarks aren’t being used unlawfully.

These aren’t the only laws that PR should know but this is a good start. PR should learn about these and other laws more in depth to help their clients stay away from the court systems.

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PR, Let’s Right What’s Been Wrong!!!

There are a number of bad decisions that public relations professionals make when dealing with journalists. These bad desicions make pr interactions with journalists very uneasy and difficult. But it is possible to combat those decisions and strenghthen pr relationships with journalists.

By knowing what pr practitioners do wrong, the wrongs can be corrected. Many of the wrongs are easily prevented and others aren’t but changes can be practiced. Below are ten problems and tips to reverse those problems.

PR Problems:

  1. The overuse of hype words in news releases.
  2. Writing with a disregard for format and content.
  3. Including unnecessary gimmicks in news releases.
  4. Disregard for journalist deadlines.
  5. Making far too many follow-up calls.
  6. Trying to contact journalists who do not currently work for a paper.
  7. Using embargoes.
  8. Sending PR spam or sending out releases to a multitude of journalists.
  9. Difficulties come with getting the attention of journalists.
  10. Trying to act too friendly with journalists to get them to help you.

PR Tips:

  1. Get to the point of your story without overembellishing your story with extra words or unnecessary information. 
  2.  Make sure your release has no grammatical or spelling errors and use an AP Stylebook for corrections. Always check and double check your release.
  3. Don’t use gimmicks. Be straightfoward when you write your release. Your release is enough without the extra nonsense.
  4. Be considerate and respectful of deadlines.Be sure to send your release in time for journalists to check it and have it ready for when they need to have the information published.
  5. Cut down on the number of follow up calls you make. Most of the time if a journalist is really interested they will get into contact with you.
  6. Try to use titles to find the person you are looking for rather than a name. That way you may not anger the new person in a position by using the wrong name.
  7. Though it is a part the “proper” format for writing releases, most journalists do not pay attention to them. It may be beneficial not to use them.
  8. Journalists do not enjoy getting PR spam, try not to send any. Try to cut down on the number of journalists you target. Try to get a more centralized based of writers to receive releases.
  9. Send pitches with visuals to get journalists attention. Visuals are more likely to grab attention.
  10. Don’t try and befriend journalists. Be a useful and informative resource.

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You’ve Got Mail… Memos and Proposals (Chapter 14)

Chapter 14 takes time to explain what you should and shouldn’t do when using written communication. This chapter talks about e-mail, memorandums, letters and proposals. There were different guidelines presented in chapter 14 for each form of written communication. I compiled lists of each group of guidelines.

The main guidelines for everything you write are:

  • Completeness- make sure what you write serves its intended purpose
  • Conciseness- be brief as possible, less is better
  • Correctness- make sure you write accurately
  • Courtesy- write personably but don’t go too far
  • Responsibility- think of how your reader will perceive your writing

Email Guidelines:

  • Use emails to keep up with events, make appointments, and review or edit documents.
  • Make your emails simple in appearance, always fill out the subject line, and avoid replying to all.
  • Use email language that’s formal yet conversational. Be sure to use standard English and abbreviations.
  • Always reread e-mails before sending them.

Memorandum guidlines:

  • Use memos to ask for information, supply information, confirm a verbal exchange, planning a meeting, remind and write almost any other message.
  • Distribute hard copies of memos even if they are sent in an email.
  • A memo should be a page or less in length.
  • Put the key message into the first sentence or first paragraph

Letters Guidelines:

  • The first paragraph should concisely atate the purpose of the letter or give the “bottom-line.”
  • Write letters on standard business stationery.
  • If you are unsure of the specific name you need, head your letter in the form of a memo.
  • The body should be four to five paragraphs.
  • Be sure to use spelling and grammer checks before sending your letter.

Proposal Guidelines:

  • Know the purpose of your proposal.
  • Know what your proposal will address.
  • A proposal may be a few or multiple pages depending on it’s scope.
  • Be sure to include sections in your proposal like: background information, goals and objectives, basic strategies, timeline of events, and a proposed budget. (There are other sections to use as well.)

 Now that you have some simple yet important guidelines to follow, you are ready to communicate through written language effectively.

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A News Release of a New Kind: Social Media News Release

What is a Social Media News Release?

A social media news release (SMNR) is a press release format designed for the online media world. A smnr is different from a regular press release because the smnr is created in a format relevant to not only the press but to journalists, bloggers, publishers, and the public at large.  A smnr includes contact information, bookmarks, web links, and the latest news.

 In 2006, Tom Foremski’s blog, Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!, first supported the move towards smnr. His blog as you can tell by the title suggested why smnr’s are the future for press releases. Foremski’s blog inspired Todd Defren to produce the first smnr using Shift Communications.

Years after that first smnr, there are now numerous websites for creating smnr’s. Some websites are free to join while some may cost money. The different sites provide for smnr creation include: PRweb.com, PR-squared.com, and Realwire.com. These sites give organizations and companies a place to create and distribute their own smnr’s.

Loads of companies and organizations are creating smnr’s to give information about themselves and events using multimedia. A company that has made use of smnr’s is Ford Motor Company. Ford’s smnr contains a photo gallery, links to products, links to cars, and other news links that correlate to Ford. Ford also added links to its social networks to stay connected with different visitors even while away from the smnr. The Ford smnr is very interactive and user-friendly in my opinion.

Advantages of SMNR

There are many reasons as to why Ford Motor Co. and various other companies utilize smnr’s:

  • SMNR’s are optimized for search, conversation, and sharing of information
  • SMNR’s use multimedia to tell the entire story (makes the story more understandable for viewers)
  • They provide context for complex stories (more easily explains a difficult story to viewers)
  • They are better visual impressions than a “wire release”

It is no wonder why smnr’s are taking over the scene once overcome by press releases.  Yet with every advantage there are always disadvantages.

Disadvantages of SMNR’s

After a long search for the dark side about social media news releases, I finally found one woman, Rebecca Corliss that could vouch for not only the pros of smnr’s but the cons as well.

  • Some portal sites don’t accept certain formatting such as italics, bold, or bullets.
  • Some portal sites can’t handle certain multimedia (instead you may try to link to a place on your website.)
  • Some portal sites aren’t compatible with anchor text and full url’s (you may want to use a simple written structure for your url’s.)

Though these are mainly disadvantages due to portal sites, they can cause many problems for your company’s or organization’s smnr. You should always plan accordingly for any such inconveniences or problems.

How to Tips to Create a Social Media Release

When creating your own smnr, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your release is web ready.

  1. Be sure your headline is eye-catching for everyone (bloggers, journalists, publishers, and the general public.)
  2. Keep your story straightforward and direct (your story will more than likely be dissected anyway, so keep it simple without unneccessary spins.)
  3. Provide a great deal of links inside the release (including: links to relevant web stories and pictures, links for the social networks your company is linked to, and links to sites that would benefit your business.)
  4. Provide pages of quotes from CEO’s, other upper level executives, analysts, and customers (provide pages for as many as possible if not all are applicable.)
  5. Provide financial information in as many forms as possible (just in case a specific form may not work for the audience.)

A PR practitioner should use a smnr when want to disseminate information in a more creative style then just an old-fashioned news release. If a practitioner wants to reach out to more than just the press with their information the smnr is the way to go.  A practitioner uses a smnr to get more participation from web users and to promote openness with his or her company. Using a smnr is a great choice if you want your publics to have an interactive learning experience using multimedia about your company.

        

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