Posts from the ‘PRCA 3330…..Topic of the Week’ Category

My Advice for PR students who are new to blogging

TOWS Week Nine

These are in no particular order. I just typed them as they came to me.

1)    Be patient, it can get a little over whelming at times.

2)    Be creative with your blogs. Add photos, videos, numbers….any graphic appropriate to add spice to your blog. Graphics draw people in.

3)    Don’t write in long paragraphs. Break it up with bullets and numbers if possible. People will not want to read it if it looks as if it will never end.

4)    Comment on other people’s blogs. Don’t be harsh but give feedback or positive criticism that will help them. If you get feedback FOLLOW it!

5)    Provide value. This is a must if you want people to keep coming back to your blog.

6)    Learn from more experienced bloggers. I have got so much help from Mrs. Groover (Intro. to PR teacher from last semester and Mrs. Nixon (PR 3330 this semester) as well as classmates. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We all had to learn the basics and to be honest I am still learning every time I blog.

7)    Be creative with your headline. Your blog may be very good and interesting, however if the headline is boring then the viewer may not read past the headline.

8)    Don’t clutter your blog. Make it easy to get around.

9)    Be consistent.  Don’t go weeks without blogging. Everyday blogging can get annoying but at least once a week is a good rule of thumb.

10) Have FUN with it! Don’t look at it as a class assignment. Look at is a way of expressing yourself and informing others. I have got a lot of comments about things I have posted that has helped someone else.


10 Ways A PR Person May Drive A Journalist CrAzY

TOWS Week Eight

This video is hilarious.

Jouranalist and PR professionals are always warned about the other and have a strange relationship. I believe that Journalist and PR professionals should learn to work together and respect each other. They need each other to get the job done effectively.

Information from the text, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques and a blog by Nancy K. Webman

10) Spokespersons not available. Always have a spokesperson available for questions.

9) Sending “freebies” to a journalist makes them feel as though you are trying to persuade them and they owe you. Never send freebies, just be professional and say, “Thank You”

8) Don’t know the product or service. There is no excuse. Do your research.

7) Journalist get annoyed when PR professionals try to use hype words such as, “unique,” “revolutionary,” state-of-the-art,” and “sophisticated.” Instead sound educated and but keep it simple.

6) Receiving an email that starts off with, “I think you may be interested in blah, blah, blah. Be creative and never put I think you may be interested in……

5) Being inaccessible or otherwise unhelpful with news releases. This includes not returning the journalist phone calls and not responding to their e-mails. You want the journalist to return your calls or e-mail messages so have the same respect for them.

4) Unfamiliar with editorial requirements and format. Before sending a journalist a release always double-check to see what their requirements, format, and guidelines are. This will save both you and them a lot of time.

3) Repeated calls, follow-ups, faxes, and e-mails. Remember that you are not the only one working with the journalist he/she has hundreds of people sending e-mails, faxes, and calling. Please be considerate of the journalist’s time. They do not have time to answer your call just to see if they received your email or fax. If you are having problems then call but otherwise don’t unless you have not heard anything.

2) Sending news releases to, or leaving voice-mail messages for, multiple reporters and editors without revealing that other people on staff have been contacted for the same reason. This is a huge time waster for journalist. Stick to one journalist. By sticking to one journalist it may also help the both of you build a working relationship/bond.

1) Don’t meet publication deadlines. You MUST meet publication deadlines. There is no excuse. If the deadline is not met it messes up the whole layout.

TOWS Week Seven

News U: Five Steps to Multimedia Storyelling

News U: Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling had some great information. Below are just a few of the tips that I wrote down as notes.  To me this is the most important information. The general guidelines are very helpful and we all need to know and understand them.

  • Before you venture into the field, gather as much information as possible to put together a rough storyboard
  • Collect visuals — photos, videos, maps and graphics — from your sources or from the Web to get an idea of potential story components.
  • Once you’ve finished your fieldwork, refine your storyboard. Evaluate your information, figure out what has changed from your original version of the story, and map out which media you have and what should appear on each page.

General guidelines when using different media:

  • Video:
    • Keep videos short, preferably 1 or 2 minutes, no more than 3 or 4 minutes
    • Keep talking heads to a few seconds, then switch to “B-roll”
    • Because the Web uses a low frame rate, avoid action shots with a lot of movement or shots that capture nuances of emotion.
  • Audio:
    • Only use high-quality audio. One exception: really old recordings. But, by definition, they have to be scratchy and tinny.
    • Use subtitles with the audio if you have no other options or to reinforce an important point.
    • Avoid using background music unless it’s pertinent to the story.
  • Still Photos:
    • The Web is a visual medium, so be sure to include photos.
    • Text and photos should complement each other visually, as well as in their content.
    • Don’t be afraid to use Photoshop to put text directly on your photos.
    • Photos can be used two ways:
      • Individually, to set a mood or introduce a story or section of a story
      • Sequentially, to tell a story with a “slide show”
  • Graphics:
    • You can make graphics interactive by using GIS (geographic information systems.) This lets readers select a geographic area (such as their neighborhood) and get information about the region.
    • Graphics can be the centerpiece of a story.
  • Text:
    • Save text for what is left after you’ve put as much information as possible into other media.
    • Use for display type: headlines, photo captions
    • Text works best for first-person stories, political stories, analysis, op-ed pieces and short updates.

TOWS Week Six

For this weeks Topic of the Week of listened to Elizabeth Wagele, she discussed the nine personality types based on different personal motivations. She mentioned that her book, The Career Within You: How to find the perfect job for your personality helps people figure out or manage their careers.

The one thing Wagele said that stuck with me is find out “who I am”. In school the teacher may tell a student, “you are good at math you should do that as a career.” Last year I found myself in the same boat. I was following a career set by my family not me. Once I sat down and thought about what made me truly happy I realized I was in the wrong major and now I couldn’t be happier.

The personality types are very helpful. I would have to say that I am “The Helper”. I am always finding ways to help others, volunteering, listening to friends or family, or just lending a hand to someone throughout the day. I love being able to help people and the best part is being able to bring a smile or joy to their day.

The Creative Career

The Nine Personality Types-Differing Personalities at Work

The nine personality types include:

  • The Perfectionist: motivated to make improvements
  • The Helper: motivated to meet other people’s needs
  • The Achiever: motivated to attain a successful image
  • The Romantic: motivated to express individuality (I’ve decided that I fall into this camp)
  • The Observer: motivated to acquire knowledge
  • The Questioner: motivated to reduce risk
  • The Adventurer: motivated to explore possibilities
  • The Asserter: motivated to set clear boundaries
  • The Peace Seeker: motivated to maintain inner calm

For more information visit Elizabeth Wagele website: Career Within You

TOWS Week Five

One week of Twitter

When new things come out I am apprehensive to join them so when twitter first came out I was determined not to get involved. I heard several people saying that it was just statuses on facebook. Last semester we had an extra credit project and it was to join twitter.  I enjoyed it for the most part; however I still have not got fully into it.

These are a few of the benefits that I have experienced so far with twitter and why I find value in continuing my account.
1) I have found two internships on twitter. This is a great way to find out about internships and other job opportunities.

2) Making contacts and connections with people in your profession. Most of the people that I follow are somehow related to public relations, from former and current classmates, professors, and professionals.

3) Instant news coverage, I have noticed how quickly something gets posted on twitter. You just have to keep n mid what is real and what is not

4) Great for companies. This is a great way to keep viewers updated with things that may be going on with the company. Whether it is updates, deals, company information and other items that may apply to the company.

Having this assignment this week I have learned about staying more in tune and posting things worth reading, besides “I just got done…..” instead posting something that I have found that may help other people or that they may find interesting. It is very important that I stay connected and utilize my contacts. I will definitely continue utilizing twitter as one of my social networking tools.

How to write leads


News U: Lead Lab activity was very beneficial when it comes to learning how to make great leads.  I found the section on “lead writing” helpful with the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, and Why) and a H (How). I did not know there was a “so what” section. The guidelines of the W’s and H make it easier  to go back and check off to make sure all the information is in the lead.

Follow the “read aloud rule”:

  • Can you say it in a single breath?
  • Do you stumble over words?
  • Does it sound like something you would tell a friend over the phone?
  • Does it pt you to sleep or confuse you?

Revise: Count and see how many word you can eliminate from the lead. Good Leads are ACCURATE and CLEAR.

I would like to learn more about the lead types. The activity went over them briefly, however I would like a more detailed description of them. I took the matching quiz and missed a few, so I know that I need more practice with them.

Lead Types:

  • Direct leads
    • Summary
    • Analysis
  • Delayed Leads
    • Anecdotal
    • Significant Detail
    • Emblem
    • Round-Up

Comments are Essential to Blogs


Why are comments such an integral part of blogs? What advice would you offer on writing effective blog comments?

The Ethics of Blog Commenting has great material to answer TOWS question of the week. I previously came across this article and was going to use it in PR Connections, until I saw the TOWS for this week.

Blogging is a communication tool that can be used for work or just for fun. A blogger my want to blog about life experiences, what they love and enjoy, work, or anything else they feel knowledgeable on. No one wants to talk to themselves and it is the same way when blogging. Comments are essential to our development and improvement. There is definitely someone else who knows more than we do about a certain topic.

Advice that I would give:

  • Let them know what caught your attention
  • If you agree/disagree tell why in a polite manner
  • Give positive feed back to help enhance their blog; what they may could have mentioned more of, or left some items out, ect.
  • Suggest sites and other resources where they can gather more information on that topic