Archive for TOW

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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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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Take 5 Steps to the Right Story

The NewsU for this week gave steps to multimedia storytelling. The steps were very clear. And NewsU describes the proper use of multimedia while collecting information for a story and how to use what you have collected in the story. I did not know that  there was a specific makeup to using multimedia depending on what you are reporting on. I received a full representation on what you should and shouldn’t do for multimedia writing.

It was suprising to hear how backpack journalists should pack. When I first thought about packing I thought about appropriate clothing and a voice recorders. I didn’t think about media equipment.

I had very little clue as to how much equipment is necessary for an just an interview. I had no clue about the proper manner to get information from a recording device. I don’t think that I would have been able to get to the important points form the interview.

I would like to know more about storyboards. I have never built a storyboard before and I am still slightly confused about the process. Though NewsU did give a good explanation of storyboards and how to build them.

I want to know more about how to know what the best type of media to use for specific stories. If I could master this concept I am sure I could make the best story using multimedia equipment.

I also want to know more about the media equipment and how each piece of equipment works. I am not familiar with that equipment but I would love to see how to use each piece. I feel like that equipment could be useful in a PR environment. The equipment could help attain information about clients or for clients.

This NewsU course was very interesting. I gained lots of knowledge on how to build a story using multimedia. I feel as though I can utilize media in a productive manner now that I have been shown the different uses of media for story writing.  


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The Creative Career: How to Make Your Network Work!

I recently listened to a podcast about tips for networking at events from the Creative Career website. I did benefit from listening to the podcast. The podcast was an interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski. She spoke about the tips from her book, I’m at a Networking Event- Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Any Networking Event. 

During the interview Kaminski gave guidelines on how to get to know people at events. This includes asking the other person questions instead of just blurting out whatever you are trying to get out of the event. Sometimes you will come across people who don’t listen or pay close attention to you and your conversation and it is not necessarily your fault.

In the words of Kaminski, sometimes people are just rude and you should realize that people will do that but you must not involve yourself in such behaviors. She called this the “name tag scan,” where your conversation is pushed aside because a big name on a name tag walks by.

Kaminski said that she wrote the book to help correct the problem I stated above and other problems that she has seen in the industry. This book is aid for a new and up and coming networker, for example, a graduate or a college student. This book will help a networker to first establish a relationship with other people to build up positive networking possibilities.

After listening to this podcast, I can “hear” the importance and relevance of podcasts. Podcasts are convenient because you can listen to a podcast while driving or doing laundry. A podcast helps you to maximize the time you use.

I can turn on a podcast about public relations related issues and stay on top of all the ins and outs of PR. I can learn how to do new tasks or learn about new technology by listening to a podcast. Podcasts are a wonderful technological aspect that PR student or PR practioneer should take advantage of.

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Tweets Too Overwhelming

Last week we were assigned a Twitter assigment in class. I had just recently got into Twitter and began using it daily. I enjoyed seeing what my friends were tweeting about. Twitter helped me stay in contact with many of my friends who aren’t at Southern over the summer. Twitter was even a way for me to talk to my friends who are at Southern but I didn’t have to text or call them. But the week of Twitter changed my entire tweeting experience entirely.

I had the absolute hardest time with the Twitter assignment. I am positive that I didn’t complete the assignment. I try to be an over achiever at times so when @barbaranixon suggested to follow everyone on her Twitter list; I accepted the challenge. Little did I know how wrong I was for making the decision to follow the entire list of people.

My Twitter went from me following under a hundred people to having a feed of what seemed like a billion or so people. I was so overwhelmed with the number of tweets I was seeing each day, I hardly wanted to get on Twitter anymore. I even started just looking at my friends tweets and ignoring everything else I was seeing.

But I know where I went wrong. I am not as fully functional on Twitter as I assumed I was. I should have only taken on following 20 new people and I am positive I wouldn’t have failed at my task so horribly. I did find a couple of very useful tweets through my experience and I now know that I shouldn’t take on more than I can chew.

I did learn that lots of different people use Twitter that I would not expect. Different companies, executives, and PR professionals use Twitter to diseminate information, find interns, and even as a social outlet. I would have never known unless I had my Twitter semi disaster. But after this Twitter run in I can appreciate my low follower/following count and I see that quality can always overcome quantity.


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Comments, Comments, Comments

Every blog needs comments. Comments help a blogger get better at blogging. Without comments a blogger would never know what to change or what should stay the same. Comments are creative criticism that help improve the style someone blogs. Comments give insight on what is interesting and eye-catching about someone’s blog. Or a lack of comments can mean a blog needs to be tweaked because it is lackluster and needs more added to it.

In the same breath because comments hold a certain power, when giving comments you should be weary of the power you hold. You should write to give constructive criticism and should use an objective point of view. While reading a blog, subjectivity should not come into play. If subjectivity guides comments then your comments won’t be effective to the blogger. They may be offensive or downplay the bloggers thoughts and beliefs. Even if you don’t feel you are being offensive you have to think about the situation from the blogger’s point of view.

Take comments into consideration and grow from them as a blogger. When leaving comments be sure to think about what you say and stay objective so your comments can stay helpful.

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Cleaning Your Copy

The self-instructed cleaning your copy course was extremely helpful to understand AP Style. I learned some helpful tricks to understand and remember different rules for punctuation, grammer, spelling, and other useful categories of style.

I am very surprised that a self guided course would teach me that much.  I wasn’t expecting the course to keep my attention, but it did. I enjoyed the fact that I could go through the course at my own pace. Following each lesson, I finished short assessments that tested my newly acquired knowledge. The assessments helped reinforce what I learned. The assessments on WebCt reinforced what I learned, as well.

I would like to learn more about NewsU and find out what other lessons for writing and grammatics the website provides. Once you have made an account with NewsU is the site always open to your for use or do you have to renew your account? Is everything on NewsU free and open to use?

I give NewsU Cleaning Your Copy two thumbs up. I will continue to visit this site any time I have questions about writing.

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