T.O.W–Week 16 Saturday, Apr 24 2010 

This week we’re supposed to give other PR students who are new to blogging some advice. Here’s my top 10 list…

#1. When blogging for a PR class it’s not fun so just know that going into it. I’ve never blogged before this class and I wasn’t totally sure what it was going to be like, but I have to be honest, it sucked. It’s A LOT to keep up with in addition to other classes, homework, extra curricular activities, and a job. I don’t think I would mind blogging so much if I could write about stuff that I’m interested in, but that’s not the case with this class.

#2. Stay on top of your required weekly blogs (i.e. reading notes, personal, topic of the week, etc.) I wish that I would have paid more attention to what I needed to do weekly because I feel like I’m kind of cramming a lot of stuff into my blog at the last minute. Don’t make my mistake of procrastinating!

#3. Comment! Comment! Comment! We’re required to comment 25 times on our classmates blogs and I’ve found this to be a real challenge. I barely have time to creat my own blog entries let alone read someone elses and leave some feed back. Try your best to make time to comment!

#4. Make your blog fun and interesting! Try to add some personal touches to your blog. I  really like Brigitte Gausche\’s blog because she has a lot of cool stuff on hers. She does a different photo of the week because she’s really into photography and has her own photography company. Check it out by clicking on the link I included earlier.

#5. Check the comments that are left on your blog and comment back. Do you agree or disagree with what someone said about one of your entries? It’s a good chance to let them know or to further explain your reason for the blog.

#6. Tell people about yourself on an “All About Me” page. This is the perfect place to let people know who you are, where you’re from, hobbies, education, etc. This is YOUR blog so give people information about YOU…but not too much. I think it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyways), don’t put information like your address, phone number, social security number, etc. on your blog. You never know what kind of creepers are out there.

#7. Get out there and NETWORK! You should be networking regardless, but put yourself out there to meet people that are in the PR industry. Not only will you meet new people, but you can also use that as a blog entry.

#8. You can never ramble too much…unless it’s about senseless crap. Like I said before, this is YOUR blog so everything is from your perspective. People are reading your blog to see what you have to say. So in my opinion rambling isn’t a bad thing in the world of blogging.

#9. remember that anyone and everyone can read your blog. I strongly recommend using appropriate language in your blog, especially when it’s one for a class. Don’t drop “f-bombs.” If you’re frustrated and having a bad day, don’t take it out on your blog that your instructor will be reading.

#10. Try to stay positive about your required blogging. Like I said in my number one rule, blogging isn’t always fun, so try to keep a positive attitude and maybe it won’t be so bad!

Well, those are my top ten little nuggets of advice for first time student bloggers! I hope they’re helpful! 🙂


T.O.W–Week 15 Wednesday, Apr 21 2010 

This week we’re supposed to explain what a “Social Media News Release” is. Our book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, calls them “multimedia” or “smart media” releases. The book goes on to say “Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Marketwire, now make it possible to embed a news release with high-resolution photos/graphics, video, and audio components.” A PR practitioner should use one of these SMNR/SMR as much as possible because search engines such as Google and Yahoo! can promote them using the included social media tags (i.e. words that are related to the topic of the news release.) Below are a couple of websites/blogs that further discuss SMNRs…

The Definitive Guide to Social Media News Releases

How to Write a Social Media News Release

What is a Social Media News Release?

I hope you find these sites helpful! Have a great day! 🙂

T.O.W.–Week 14 Thursday, Apr 15 2010 

This week we were instructed to sign up for the NewsU course, Five Steps to MultiMedia Storytelling. Click this link and you’ll be taken to the course. If you’ve ready my past blogs about the NewsU courses then you know how much I dislike these additional online courses we have to take. So here is my reaction to the course…

In this course we learned how to put together a story board, what to pack when you’re going to shoot an interview, etc. I felt like everything we learned in this course was pretty much common sense. One of the tasks we had to complete was matching items such as water, extra batteries, and lense cleaner up with their description. The description for lense cleaner was something like “there are smudges on your camera causing images to be blurry.” Well then obviously you would need some lense cleaner to wipe them off. I didn’t need an online course to tell me that. I was surprised by how elementary this course was. Matching every day items with their description? Really? We needed to take a class to learn to pack a bottle of water should we be outside all day when it’s 95 degree shooting an interview or commercial? Really? I guess I should be happy these courses are rather easy, but to me they’re a huge waste of time. I’m not interested in learning more about multimedia storytelling because it’s not a field that I find very interesting.

I’m soooo glad this is the last NewsU course we have to take because I didn’t enjoy or get much (if anything) out of them. Hope everyone is having a good semester! 🙂

T.O.W–Week 13 Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

This week we’ve been given the assignment of creating a list of 10 ways PR people can drive journalists crazy so here’s my list of what PR people should/could do instead of making journalists mad…

#1. Actually take in what is being said around you. By simply listening you might hear someone talk about a company that needs help communicating with their community, etc.

#2. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Yes, we’ve gone to school for PR and learned to do some cool stuff on computers, but try delegating that type of work to someone who’s in the IT department that probably enjoys that type of work way too much.

#3. Don’t bother them so much with emails. If a journalist covering your story, event, premiere, etc. has an issue or a question they’ll contact you.

#4. Study research and tips from other PR and marketing professionals. They might have insight into something that will work for you!

#5. You don’t HAVE to have a blog. Thanks to search engines like Google you can look up information about almost anyone and anything so blogging isn’t exactly imperative.

#6. Keep focused on what YOUR job is. Remember that you’re not a journalist so don’t try to write the article for them.

#7. Actually connect with the journalist. By doing this you and the journalist will both have a better understand of what the other wants for, during, and after the project. Having a connection with a journalist might also come in handy in future projects for you.

#8. Reverse your thinking on how to get your clients name and message out there. Yes, you want your clients name to be known, but you want people to remember it. Having an article written about the client and what they’re doing is great, but you need a way to make people identify a particle thing with your client. Think of ways that your campaign can be used for years to come.

#9. Don’t give a journalist lots of data and numbers on your client or product. OK, obviously they need to know some statistics about the client, but not every single detail. Just pick out the best and simple ones for them to use.

#10. Try not to sound like you’re selling your client. Of course you want to promote them, but you’re not making a commercial with the journalists so just give them the facts and some background on the client, product, etc.

So there it is. My list of 10 ways to not drive a journalist crazy. I hope they’re helpful! Do you have any tips on this topic? Let me know! 🙂

T.O.W–Week 11 Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

This week we were given the topic of INFOGRAPHICS.

Our book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox, does a great job of defining what it is. Wilcox defines infographics as “computer-generated artwork used to display statistics in the form of tables and charts.” I love this book because it’s very straight forward and to the point. Here’s a link to it in case you’d like to read it or learn more about it…PR Writing and Media Techniques.

Infographics can be very useful to almost anyone, but especially for my client, PRSSA. If my client used an infographic in an article published in the George-Anne Daily (that’s the on-campus newspaper here at G.S.U in case you didn’t know) about how much money the organization raise for its American Cancer Society Relay For Life team this year in comparison to years past it would be helpful and very easy to read because of the neatness of the infographic.

As part of this weeks assignment we were asked to try to create our own infographic. Well, I know won’t be able to do that because of my lack of technology skills. So instead I found one that I think it pretty cool as well as informative. It’s titled, The Best Beers In America, and it rates which beers are enjoyed the most in every part of the U.S.A as well as the best brewers. I found it on a blog by a visual thinking and visual data professional named Randy Krum. Click this link and you’ll go straight to the page about the . Click this link and you be taken to the embedded infographic.

I hope you enjoy Randy’s infographic and find it as interesting as I did! Have a great day! 🙂

T.O.W–Weeks 9 & 10 Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

For weeks 9 and 10 we were instructed to join and create a profile on the public relations website PR OpenMic. This web site is really cool! I haven’t had much time to play around on it, but from what I saw I was impressed. It’s basically a site for PR students, their teachers, and professionals. It’s similar to LinkedIn, but I like this site a lot better. On the home page it has breaking news stories, links to blogs on the site, pictures posted by users on PR OpenMic, and so much more! The part that I liked the most was toward the bottom of the main page and it was an open forum of tips and FAQ about stuff in the PR world such as: how to write a news release, ghost writing ethics, etc. I have a feeling I’ll be using those discussions a lot for help with assignments and probably even once I’m out of the ‘Boro and in the Real World (ahh! scary!) I also joined a few groups on the site. I joined the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) which is near and dear to my heart because I’m the co-liaison of the chapter here at Georgia Southern University and because students from across the country are members of this group and I’m hoping to go to the PRSSA National Conference in Washington, D.C. in the fall and it would be cool to meet them and network. I also joined the PR Entertainment group because I’ve thought about working in that industry so it would be nice to have a few connections or know someone to talk to about questions I might have.

Overall, I most definitely recommend this site! Even if you’re not a PR student or in that field I think it has a lot of stuff that could benefit you anyways. Think of it as Facebook for PR people. I just hope it’s not as addicting as Facebook because I’m not sure I have enough time in a day to Facebook-stalk and PR OpenMic-stalk. Anyways, I’m done rambling…just join the site and enjoy! Here’s a link to my page, MY PAGE. And don’t judge it because I haven’t had time to add cool stuff to it. Leave me a comment or give me a gift! 😉

T.O.W–Week 6 Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

So the topic this week it: What makes a story newsworthy?

Needless to say a lot of factors make a story newsworthy…does it affect the community? is it funny? is anyone hurt? who does it involve? etc., etc., etc. Out of all of these questions I think the most important one to ask (and answer) is WHAT HAPPENED?

Without explaining what actually happened to the readers of a story they will be clueless and confused on what you’re writing about. Was there a deadly school bus accident? Is there another child molestation case involving the Catholic Church? Did another governor, professional athlete, or tattoo covered man mooching off of his successful actress wife get caught cheating? As the reader, you don’t know! Thus, you need to explain what the story is about and start by using a good lead. **See my blog post for the topic on the week for week 7 and take the online course to learn what makes a good lead.**

Personally, I think that many topics can be seen as newsworthy. I belive it just depends on what type of news you like to hear about. I’m so tired of hearing about how crappy the economy is so I choose not to read about or watch news stories that are about that. I do however love watching E! News and getting caught up on my favorite TV shows if I missed them. I also like that they usually have a style segment about recent fashion trends. It might not be hard-hitting news to some, but at least it’s positive and entertaining!

Well, that’s all I have to say about what makes a story newsworthy! Have a great day! 🙂

T.O.W–Week 8 Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

This weeks topic is the NewsU The Lead Lab course that we took recently. I’ll include a link to the course at the bottom in case you’re curious about it and/or want to take it yourself.

So…I’m not sure what I learned from this course. I’m not a big fan of the NewsU courses we have to take because there’s always some kind of glitch with their system and I feel like they’re a waste of time honestly. I learn more for this PR writing course from reading the book and not these additional online courses.

This might sound a little stupid, but I was surprised by how complex the actual course was. Using your mouse you had to scroll over different things that are found in a laboratory (hence the name “The Lead Lab.”) Some of the things were easy to find and then others were a little harder. I thought the programmers could have set it up differently, but that’s just my opinion.

I’d like to know more about what make a good lead, but I don’t want to learn that from an online course that doesn’t explain things well or actually help you should you want to talk to a real person. Clearly from this blog post you can tell I did NOT enjoy this course, but maybe you will…

Here’s the link to the NewsU The Lead Lab course. Good luck!

Have a great day! 🙂

Week 7–Twitter Tuesday, Feb 23 2010 

So this week we were assigned the task of joining the Twitter world and learning all of its in’s and out’s. Let me just start off by saying that I am NOT a fan of Twitter. I think it’s weird. I think it’s weird to say that you’re “following” someone online. It reminds me of stalking. Not cool. I also don’t like that most people using Twitter are just letting everyone know what they’re doing minute-by-minute of every day. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care if you’ve just eaten a fantastic meal your boyfriend made you or saw a great movie. Do some people have nothing better to do during their day than to update their Twitter?!

As part of our assignment we had to ‘tweet’ at least 20 times. We also had to reply to at least 5 of our classmate’s tweets. We were also instructed to try to tweet about things that might be important or interesting to our fellow classmates or those who may be following us. I found a few interesting things and I also ‘re-tweeted’ some of the articles my classmates brought up. I found some of them to be intriguing (i.e. ‘lose wight by drinking beer’.)

I’ve included the link to my Twitter page at the bottom. I tried not to be too boring and to find some interesting articles, but I’m not sure how I did. Like I said before I’m not a fan of Twitter and I probably won’t use it unless we have to for this class. Anyways, I hope you’re enjoying my blog and I hope you don’t find my Twitter page too boring! Have a great week! 🙂

Click the link below to go directly to my Twitter page!

My Twitter Page

Week 4–NewsU Cleaning Your Copy Wednesday, Feb 10 2010 

This week we were assigned the task of enrolling in another online class, completing the class “Cleaning Your Copy”, and then taking the test at the end to test what we learned in the course.  I think the only positive thing about this course was that it’s free. I’ve included a link to the course at the bottom of this blog incase you want to give your AP, grammar, and punctuation skills a try.

1. I don’t think I learned that much to be honest. I found the course annoying and a waste of time. I also though that some of the questions, instructions, and answer were not very clear. In the practice there were 2 or 3 questions that I got wrong and the course never showed me the correct answers so I’m still kind of confused on that, but whatever. I did well on the test so I guess that’s all that matters.

2. I was surprised we had to actually sign up and enroll in ANOTHER online course at a different university (or whatever it is.) I think the idea behind taking the course and test is a good one, but I wish there was some way that it wasn’t so annoying and that it wouldn’t take up as much time. I had no idea that online class work would keep me up until the wee hours in the morning. I’m taking 2 online classes this semester and totally hating my life. Ughhhh.

3. I don’t want to know more about anything from Cleaning Your Copy. I think I “learned” enough and I’m happy to be done with it. I’m definitely not looking forward to the other online courses we have to take for this class. 😦 

NewsU Cleanings Your Copy

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