PR Connection: World Cup Final Game

July 12, 2010 at 10:31 am (PRCA 3330 PR Connections)

          Yesterday (8:30 P.M. for me in Paris, 2:30 P.M. for everyone in America) was the final game of the FIFA World Cup 2010 and both Spain and the Netherlands gave it their best effort. Here is a video I came across that gives the best highlights of Spain’s victory yesterday:

          This is the first time that Spain has become the victor in the finals of the FIFA World Cup and I think this title will do wonderful things for the country. I am currently in Europe and I have noticed that the Spain World Cup 2010 apparel (t-shirts, flags, etc.) has almost doubled in price already. This is excellent PR exposure for Spain and they will gain so much press coverage from this experience.

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PR Connection: Mind Your Manners on the Train!

July 12, 2010 at 9:55 am (PRCA 3330 PR Connections)


          I found this post on the homepage today and I felt a close connection to what the man who wrote it was going through. The post is entitled: Train Etiquette – A grumpy 22 year old’s code of locomotive conduct and it was posted by James Dunn who is a 22 year-old male that lives somewhere in Great Britain. As I described in a previos blog entry of my own, I am in Europe for the month of July and some of August and I have seen some odd things happening on the trains I have recently ridden on.

          He wrote the blog post while sitting on a train “wedged between a window and a man whose arse takes up one and a half seats, who seems to enjoy as his only form of sustenance cheese and onion crisps,” according to the first paragraph of his post.

          While on this miserable train ride, he made up a list of six things that should not happen on a train ride in order to have an enjoyable journey to one’s destination. Here is a brief summary of each point he makes on the list:

  1. No smelly foods!
  2. Try and keep your young children and babies on their best behavior while riding on a train. If they cannot do this, then find another form of transportation.
  3. Be courteous when talking on your cell phone; no one wants to listen to your awfully loud ringtone or hear you shouting and rambling on about various topics.
  4. Keep the public displays of affection to a minimum.
  5. Do not sleep on a train if you are unable to refrain from: snoring, drooling, snuggling against/resting your head upon a stranger’s shoulder, talking in your sleep, and most importantly sleeping through your stop.
  6. Keep your shoes on if your feet smell horrible; I love the words he chooses to describe this with in his post, “If your feet smell like damp stilton, keep your feet in your shoes, we all shouldn’t have to suffer because you have an inability to shower.”

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July 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm (PRCA 3330 Topic of the Week)

          Blogging is such a big part of this PR writing class and it is very important to know how to use and navigate through not only your own blog, but others’ as well. Here’s my top ten list for future PR students who are new to blogging:

  1. Make sure your blog stays current! Do something every week and check your account everyday to allow yourself time to make sure everything is correct and turned in on time.
  2. ALWAYS use the spelling and grammar check tool, it is there for a reason! Believe me, the small mistakes add up and they will come back to haunt you during your blog check points.
  3. Make your posts interesting; using audio, video, and graphics make it more appealing to everyone and your blog will not only look better, but it will seem more professional if you use them the right way.
  4. Make sure to comment on the blogs that belong to your classmates. This will help you out in the long run because you can learn from them and your feedback helps others see what you think of their posts.
  5. Make sure to add appropriate links to your posts! This allows other people to look further in to the topics you blog about if they choose to.
  6. Use bullets and numbers for ordered and unordered lists; this will make your posts more visually appealing and organized.
  7. Choose a theme for your blog that somewhat reflects you! This makes it more fun to look at and different from everyone else’s.
  8. Use the blog for personal posts as well. This gives your audience a chance to get to know you a little better; post pictures or even videos of things that are interesting to you or perhaps some interesting things you have done such as artwork or photography.
  9. Remain professional but have fun while doing so. You don’t want your blog to be uptight and boring but at the same time you don’t want to post anything inaproppriate.
  10. This is perhaps the most important: DON’T PROCRASTINATE!! I am the queen of procrastination, so learn from my mistakes and don’t leave everything until the last minute!

I hope this helps you out, future bloggers!! Have fun and enjoy the class 🙂

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July 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm (PRCA 3330 Topic of the Week)


          Journalists and public relations professionals often but heads in various areas of media relations. Whether it’s about the content of a news release, the ways in which we communicate with them, or even about the structure of stories, it is inevitable that sometimes these two professions just don’t see eye-to-eye about certain issues.

          Even though it is tough to avoid this contradiction of opinions, PR people must try to maintain a stable relationship with the journalists in order to remain professional. This week I have compiled a list of ten ways in which public relations professionals can sometimes drive journalists crazy:

1. Problem: Using too many hype words can irritate the journalist and make the publicist/PR professional seem incompetent.

Solution: State the facts without using fluff; just be straightforward and get your point across without adding unnecessary words that seem to be there only to take up space.

2. Problem: Sending gimmicks along with a news release or media kit can annoy a journalist. According to the textbook, “T=shirts, coasters, caps, paperweights, pens, and mugs have historically been the most popular items, but PR Week columnist Benedict Carver says these items are dull and overdone: ‘Everyone has 50 mugs and T-shirts.’”

Solution: Try and avoid sending promotional items along with your news release, but if you do decide to include some makes sure there is a clear connection between the promotional item and the news you are announcing.

3. Problem: PR professionals sometimes submit sloppy or biased writing in the news releases they send to journalists.

Solution: Don’t let your opinion show in your writing unless that is the basis of the piece; remain neutral and just state the facts.

4. Problem: Some PR writing can fall into the category of “tabloid journalism” and this may seem unprofessional to journalists looking for different types of stories.

Solution: Our textbook tells us not to “paint all media with the same brush” which basically means that service should be given to responsible journalists and proper information should be provided.

5. Problem: PR professionals can sometimes bombard journalists with too many follow ups.

Solution: It is important to follow-up on a media alert or news release once, but don’t over-do it! Call and briefly follow-up or leave a message if you get their voicemail; don’t leave to many messages just like you would for any other personal instance. If they see you made an effort, they will respond if they need to speak with you.

6. Problem: Do not submit late work!

Solution: Make sure to turn everything in on time and journalists will appreciate your professionalism.

7. Problem: Do not try to tell the journalists how they should do their job.

Solution: The journalists have training in what their job entails; let them stick to what they know best and do the same yourself.

8. Problem: PR people are sometimes unavailable to answer questions from the journalists.

Solution: Be ready to answer any questions they may have about your story; availability is the key if you want your story published the way in which you intended for it to come across.

9. Problem: PR professionals can sometimes get mad if their story is not chosen for publication.

Solution: You must understand that journalists have a lot to do and many stories to cover so if yours is not chosen this time, maybe next time around will be your shot. Try not to have any hard feelings or hold any grudges.

10. Problem: Sometimes journalists are annoyed with stories that are not newsworthy.

Solution: Always give the best news that you possibly can; do not submit stories that are boring and do not pick any topics that are not newsworthy.


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July 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm (PRCA 3330 Topic of the Week)

          This week I took Poynter News University’s Five Steps to MultiMedia Storytelling and for our seventh topic of the week I will explain what I learned from this class. I am very glad to have taken this class because now I feel more comfortable choosing a story, creating a storyboard, editing the story, reporting with multimedia and producing the story as well.

          I think it is very important for a PR writer to be able to effectively use tools such as video, audio, and graphics because our society is becoming more technologically advanced with each day and stories are always more interesting, to me, when they include one or more of these elements. This course went a lot more in-depth than I expected it to and I am very glad that it did because, before taking the class, I had no idea that so much went in to creating a good story.

          I now feel very comfortable using multimedia to create a story that will attract the attention of my target audience. The most valuable things that I took away from this course include:

  • Identifying the elements in a multimedia story such as audio, video, and graphics.
  • Being able to identify which stories are more appropriate for multimedia use.
  • Sketching a concept for a story, or creating a storyboard.
  • Identifying the tools needed to gather content in the field.

          Using audio, video, and graphics really gives the audience a sense that they are there as the story is happening. The story becomes a lot more interactive and is much more appealing to the eyes and ears of the viewers.

          I would still like to go further in-depth with the type of information I learned in this course and maybe this time have someone with me so we can learn from each other. I am a very hands-on learner and I think it would be easier for me to work with someone so we can answer each other’s questions and help each other with any bumps in the road that we may come across.

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July 10, 2010 at 8:00 pm (PRCA 3330 Topic of the Week)

          For this week’s TOW I went to the Creative Careers website and listened to a podcast designed to help out with networking at social events. The podcast that I chose to write about was an interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski who talked about her recent book I’m at a Networking Event- Now What??? A Guide to Getting the most out of Any Networking Event. She discussed a few tips from the book and described her background in marketing and business development and how networking allowed her to come across such success in her career.

          She started off by addressing the common problems that people make while trying to network and how things such as the wrong body language can do more harm than good. She also adds that her book is perfect for anyone who is new to networking and wants to learn more about how to be successful in meeting people and making a strong lasting impression. Recent college graduates, for example, may want to establish a positive impression with other people in order to build up their reputation in the networking world.

          One of the guidelines she mentioned was asking good questions; it is important to do this rather than just say the first thing that comes to mind because sometimes that can come off as unprofessional and unplanned. Ask questions that are appropriate and still provoke the response you are looking for without coming across as annoying.

          Kaminski also talks about what she refers to as a “name tag scan” which is when someone you are having a conversation with in a networking environment ignores you and focuses on a “big name” that happens to walk by. It is not necessarily your fault if something like this happens to you, but in the case that it does, you should not feel bad and simply disassociate yourself with this type of behavior.

          She also stresses the importance of finding the host(s) and/or sponsor(s) of the event, introducing yourself, thanking them for having you there, and asking if they know anyone who is looking for help with social media work. This is a great way to offer your skills in social media and also expand your network by meeting new people and giving a strong lasting impression.

          I really enjoyed listening to this podcast because it was so easy to do at home. I can clean my room, do my laundry, cook dinner, or many other things while still paying attention and taking in all of the information the podcast has to offer.

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Social Media News Releases

July 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm (PRCA 3330 Personal)

  • What is a Social Media News Release?
    • A Social Media News Release is a press release format ideal for use in the online world that is relevant to a variety of audiences. They are sometimes called Multimedia News Releases or Smart Media Release (or SMNRs). The ways in which news is released to the public is evolving with our ever-growing technological advances. Electronic distribution services now make it possible for news releases to contain photos and videos and have audio capabilities. According to our textbook, major services of this type have “teamed up with search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN to promote maximum exposure of the news release through search engine optimization” (Pg. 136Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques (6th Ed.).
    • describes an SMNR as: “A MultiVu Multimedia News Release is a tried and true resource that provides a multifaceted audience with all of the assets of your news story into one streamlined package.”
  • What are the advantages & disadvantages of an SMNR?
    • One advantage of a Social Media News Release is that it exciting enough to keep the interest of its readers. They visual and audio appeals that capture the attention of the audience and serves as a more interactive way to market to certain publics.
    • They are also targeted towards a broader audience than press releases of the past. Traditional media and the press are not the only ones being exposed to these messages.
    • Also, by teaming up with search engines the press release has the opportunity to be seen by more people. Many people use search engines on a regular basis and an SMNR along their search topic can help them better understand it. So it’s a win-win situation, the company gets its exposure and the consumer gets what they are seeking as well.
    • A disadvantage of a Social Media News Release is that even though the visual and audio appeals of a press release can have an effect on who will take the time to read it, the content is still the main concern of many readers.
    • Sometimes an extensive amount of technology featured in a social media news release can take away from its news value. Some want just the facts, nothing fancy like photos and audio or video clips.
    • Another disadvantage of an SMNR is that they are not filtered by gatekeepers, which monitor the content. I think that it is a good thing to have the content monitored to a certain extent to avoid inappropriate things being published.
  • When should a PR practitioner consider using an SMNR?
    • PR practitioners should start utilizing Social Media News Releases as soon as possible to keep up with the changing times.
    • They are appropriate for use whenever a company needs to reach a wide variety of people in a small amount of time.
  • Here are a few links to websites that assist in creating Social Media News Releases:
  • Here are a few links to Social Media News Releases created by various organizations:
  • Here are some tips for creating a Social Media News Release:
    • Don’t overload your audience with an abundance of links. Too many links will draw focus away from the message and confuse journalists.
    • Before creating an SMNR it is important to know how the press functions. Educate yourself on the way in which media relations works.
    • Make sure that headlines and paragraphs are placed in key positions so the reader can see what is important.
    • Make sure you include a few links to other websites that reinforce what you want your audience to take away from the message. This will reinforce the central idea of your point.
    • Be sure that the correct format is being used for the appropriate message you wish to send. Many press releases are disregarded because they are written in the wrong format; don’t let this happen to you!
    • Do not submit/publish any false information. Reporters won’t want to work with you if you give them incorrect information.
    • Make sure the length of your SMNR is appropriate. Don’t say too little, but at the same time you want your message to be concise enough to keep the attention of the reader.

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J’adore Paris!

July 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm (PRCA 3330 Personal)

The Eiffel Tower and I :)

Here I am a few days ago on our "American in Paris" scavenger hunt across the city on the 4th of July!

          I am currently doing the study abroad program through the University System of Georgia (USG) in Paris, France! I am having so much fun and learning so many things about the European culture. The class I’m taking here is Cross Cultural Communication and it couldn’t be more fitting for this trip because not only am I learning about different cultures in the classroom, I’m actually experiencing it everyday!

          The program put together an “American in Paris” 4th of July scavenger hunt for us and my group ended up taking first place! The prize is a hot air ballon ride above the city and we are going as soon as all of our schedules match up! I’ll be sure to take some fantastic pictures and share them with everyone 🙂

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Chapter 14 Reading Notes

July 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm (PRCA 3330 Reading Notes)

          In chapter fourteen of our  Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques textbook we learn all about writing e-mail, memos, and proposals. This deals with communicating on a more personal level rather than reaching a large, impersonal audience. There are a few guidelines to remember when writing personalized letters and reports that I remeber easily by referring to them as the 5 C’s and an R:

  • Clarity
  • Completeness
  • Conciseness
  • Correctness
  • Courtesy
  • Responsibility

          Information overload is spreading through our society and this clutter can be reduced by keeping messages short, simple, and to the point. No one wants to read all the “fluff” that goes along with the message you are trying to send, so make sure to clearly state your purpose up front. Text messaging, wikis, and applications such as Twitter (which we are all familiar with after week four) to reduce e-mail bulge to organizations and individuals.

          A common misconception made by many PR professionals is that e-mail is a substitute for personal one-on-one communication. Even though e-mail is rapid and cost efficient, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is so important to find a balance between coming off as professional and personal but a PR writer must create a happy medium in order to be successful.

          Memos should be one page or less and the key message should be stated immediately. The textbook gives us five components of a memo:

  1. Date
  2. To
  3. From
  4. Subject
  5. Message

          Proposals are prepared to convince management to make a decision about a contract or approve money and resources for a project and they must follow a logical, well-organized format. They are often written after a client gives a Request for Proposal (RFP) which is circulated to various public relations firms.

          A position paper, sometimes known as a “white paper,” states the organization’s perspective on a specific trend or industry and they should begin with an overview so the highlights can be read immediately without taking up much time.

          Becoming familiar with this chapter will help me build skills that I intend to take with me in my professional career; I now feel more comfortable preparing e-mails and written proposals for not only class, but at work and even communicating with professors and applying for internships.

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Chapter 12 Reading Notes

July 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm (PRCA 3330 Reading Notes)

          Chapter twelve of the  Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques textbook is entitled Tapping the Web and News Media and it deals with writing for online media. The book explains that the media traditionally has had the following characteristics:

  • It is centralized, having a top-down heirarchy.
  • It costs a lot of money to to become a publisher.
  • It is staffed by professional gatekeepers known as editors and publishers.
  • It features mostly one-way communication with limited feedback channels.

          However the new media, known as the mediasphere and the blogosphere by Cooperkatz and Company, is characterized by:

  • Widespread broadband.
  • Cheap/free, easy-to-use online publishing tools.
  • New distribution channels.
  • Mobile devices, such as camera phones.
  • New advertising paradigms.

          When writing for the web a PR professional must use nonlinear organizaion; instead of a long, linear narrative format, topics should be in index-card format to allow viewers to click on the information that is most appealing to them. These written materials for the web should be in short, easy-to-understand chunks. The ideal length of a news item is two to three paragraphs, which is equivalent to about one screen. Viewers are turned off by long pieces of information because they require too much scrolling.

          The majority of organizations use webcasting, which is the streaming of audio and video in real time over a website, for anything from news conferences to employee training. Most internet content is consumer generated, giving rise to “social media” in the second generation of the internet called Web 2.0. This provides public relations professionals the opportunity to get feedback and build relationships through social networking at their fingertips.

          Blogs are growing in size and popularity with each day and there are three types of blogs from a public relations standpoint:

  1.  Corporate blogs
  2. Employee blogs
  3. Third-party blogs

          The most popular social networking sites are MySpace and Facebook and I think that these are excellent ways for not only PR writers and professionals, but everyday people to stay in touch with one another and remain current on what is happening in the world.

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