Archive for PRCA 3330

TOW 16: Ten Tips for New Bloggers

Ten tips for New Bloggers

1. Make sure that you truely enjoy what you are blogging about

     If you don’t enjoy what you are writing about in your blog it will be obvious to the audience

2. Write in short paragraphs

     Nobody wants to read a book

3. Use pictures

     Pictures are worth 1000 words

4. Put links within your writing

     Putting a link inside of your story will give the reader more insight to what it is that you are talking about & quite frankly saves you a lot of explaining.

5. Bold face the words and statements that you think are important

     bold face print catches the attention of the reader

6. Be honest and genuine in your writing

     If your being fake and just making stuff up it will come through in your writing

7. Use a conversational tone

     Pretend like you are talking to a friend. (just make sure to spell correctly and not in slang)

8. State your opinion and support it with the facts

9. Site your sources

      don’t steal other people’s ideas…. BORROW them! 🙂

10. Be respectful of other bloggers!


Chapter 13 Notes

Notes taken from:Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Writing for other Media

Two strengths of print publications:

     1. they can feature in-depth stories

     2. can reflect the “face” of the organization

Editor must balance:

     1. management expectaions

     2. employee needs

     3. journalistic standards

The newsletter is the most comon organizational publication.

     Online newsletters set on a n organization’s internet often contains more color, graphics, and photos

Magazines are the most expensive publication and are often sen to both internal and external audiences


     Brochures vary in format and size from a single sheet of paper folded into panels to multiple page pamphlets and booklets

     in order to write or design a brochure you need to know its purpose, the target audience, ad the most cost-effective format

     requires simple sentence construction, informative healines, liberal use of subheads, and short paragraphs

Chapter 12 Notes

Notes taken from:Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Tapping the Web and New Media

The World Wide Web is the first medium that allows organizations to send conrolled messages to a mass audience without the message being filtered by journalists and editors

PR practitioners use the internet and web to disseminate information to a variety of audiences and also use the Internet for research

Web writing should be nonlinear: short and to the point

Written material shoudl be in short, digestible chunks.

     Two or three paragraphs

Characteristic of the Web:

     1. easy updating of material

    2. instant distribution of information

    3. an infinite amount of space for information

    4. the ability to interact with audience

3 kinds of blogs:

     1. corporate

     2. employee

     3. third-party

Chapter 11 Notes

Notes taken from:Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Getting Along with Journalists

A. The Importance of Media Relations

     1. Media relations is the core activity in many public relations jobs

     2. One survey of 539 large companies by the Public Affairs Group found that media relations was the number one job responsibility of their public relations staffs.

B. The most common complaints journalists have about public relations people, according to a PRWeek survey are:

     1. lack of familiarity with editorial requirements and format

     2. poorly written materials

      3. too many unsolicited e-mails and phone calls

       4. lack of knowledge about their product or service

        5. Repeated calls and follow ups

C. Tips for Public Relations Practitioners

     1. If you need to set the record straight, begin with the reporter who wrote the story

     2. Don’t irritate reporters by asking, “Did you get my news release?” Also, don’t ask to see an advance copy of hte story or when a story will be published

       3. Crisis comunications is a test of excellent media relations, You need to work closely with the media to assure tha the public is fully informed

Chapter 10 Notes

Reaching the Media

  1. Media Databases
    1. Provide essential information such as:

                                  i.      names of publications and broadcast stations

                                  ii.      mailing addresses

                                   iii.      telephone & fax numbers

                                  iv.      e-mail addresses

                                  v.      names of key editors and reporters

  1. 3 main databases

                                   i.      newspaper & magazines

                                                             ii.      radio/TV/cable

                                                            iii.      Internet media

  1. Editorial Calendars
    1. A listing of topics and special issues that a periodical will feature throughout the year
    2. Tip Sheets
      1. Weekly newsletters that report on recent changes in news personnel and their new assignments, how to contact them, and what kinds of material they are looking for.
      2. Distribution of Materials
        1. The vast majority of publicity materials are now distributed in digital and electronic formats
        2. Today’s primary distribution channels are:

                                                               i.      e-mail

  1. the oldest feature of the internet
  2. approximately 10 trillion e-mails were sent in 2006

                                                             ii.      online newsrooms

  1. has 5 key components
    1. Contact information
    2. Corporate background
    3. News releases and media kits
    4. Multimedia gallery
    5. Search capability

                                                            iii.      electronic newswires

  1. 3 major newswires:
    1. Nudinrdd Eitr
    2. PR Newswire
    3. Marketwire

                                                           iv.      mat distribution campanies

                                                             v.      photo placement firms


Chapter 9 Notes

Notes taken from:Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Writing for Radio & Television

  1. The Wide Reach of Broadcasting
    1.  Radio reaches about 94% of adults over the age of 18 on a daily basis
    2. Total audience of about 225 million
  2. Radio
    1. Radio lacks the glamour of television and the popularity of the Internet, so it is not always the first medium that public relations people think of when planning an information campaign.
    2. Approximately 13,500 radio stations are on the air in the US, ranging from low-powered outlets operated by volunteers to large metropolitan stations audible for hundreds of miles.
  3. Radio News Release
    1. Format

                                                              i.      The standard practice is to write a radio release using all uppercase letters in a double-spaced format.

                                                            ii.      Give the length of the radio release

  1. Timing is vital because broadcasters must fit their messages into a rigid time frame that is measured down to the second

                                                          iii.      More conversational style of writing

  1. Audio News Release
    1. Can take two forms:

                                                              i.      Someone with a good radio voice reads the entire announcement

                                                            ii.      using an announcer but also include a soundbite from a satisfied customer, a celebrity, or a company spokesperson.

  1. This approach is better than a straight announcement because the message comes from a “real person” rather than a nameless announcer.

                                                          iii.      Format

  1. 60 seconds long
    1. including a 20 seconds or less soundbite
    2. Accompany any sound tape with a complete script of the tape

                                                           iv.      Production

  1. carefully written and accurately timed script
  2. record the words

                                                             v.      Delivery

  1. once it is produced the PR professional must notify the news department that an ANR is available. Give the subjet of the reease and tell editors how to retrieve it.
  2. Satellite Media Tours
    1. The television equivalent to the radio media tour
    2. Started in the mid-1980’s
    3. staple of PR industry
    4. talking heads

                                                              i.      used for SMTs, today’s most successful SMTs are more interactive and dynamic


Last month at the 2010 Fall Leadership Conference hosted by Georgia Southern’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement I got the opportunity to learn many different aspects on how to become a good leader. As a public relations practitioner I believe that it is necessary to have leadership skills in order to help your client progress and make the right business decisions in the glaring eyes of the media.

The leadership conference was very beneficial and I learned a lot of new things about leadership but the most important part of the entire experience for me was getting to meet Fred Stokes. For some that may not know, Fred Stokes is a GSU alumni. He played football for GSU and then went on to win a superbowl championship with the Redskins. Fred Stokes was our keynote speaker at the FLC (Fall Leadership Conference) and his message was inspirting. We also got the opportunity to learn more about Mr. Stokes during one of the smaller sessions during the day.

Through this smaller session I learned that Mr. Stokes not only went around speaking at different high schools and colleges but he also has a childrens ranch in Vidalia Georgia. Fred Stokes and his staff mentor the young adolescents of Vidalia and help them reach their dreams and realize their goals. While listening to him speak I realized how interesting his work was and how I wanted to learn more.

After the program I walked up to Mr. Stokes and shook his hand, my organization and I took a few photos and I asked for his business card. As soon as I got home I sent a thank you message from our organization with the pictures that we took attached (I love technology) but furthermore, and most importantly, I sent him my own personal message. Basically, I sold myself through an email and told him how interested I was in working with his ranch and doing some interning as a PR practitioner. Mr. Stokes contacted me and says that he might have a position for me this summer!!

Through this experience I have learned that as a PR practitioner it is so important to take the initiative and put yourself out their. Public relations is all about selling the product and I believe that a good practitioner must first be good at selling themselves. So my advice to my fellow upcoming practitioners: Practice on selling yourself before you attempt to get a job selling somehting/someone else! 🙂

TOW 6: What Makes a Story Newsworthy?

In a day and age of Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the ever evolving social media in order for something to be dubbed newsworthy there are many different things that a story must include.

1. Creativity

In an age of technology beyond anyone’s wildest imagination I believe that it is necessary to make a story as creative as possible. There are so many resources today that help enhance a story, especially a story posted on the internet, and make readers want to continue reading. In a day and age of BOLD WORDS and hyperlinks it is easy for “scimmers” to get the entire message of the story.

2. Drama

People like drama! It is just nature for humans to be drawn to things that seem to be dramatic. Why do you think people watch movies, reality television, or other television shows? Because it is intriguing to be caught up in drama. It is important to be careful when adding drama to stories though because people do not like to be lied to or mislead. There is a difference between embellishing/dramatizing and lying. It may be a very thin line, but a line nevertheless.

3. Relativism

It is important for a reader to be able to relate to the topic at hand. Humans are selfish by nature in the fact that if they feel like something has nothing to do with them they usually ignore it. If you can make someone feel like they can relate to the characters or the situation in a story it can be considered newsworthy in the eyes of the reader.

4. Factual

Reporting the facts is never the wrong route. When you report the facts with sources to back it up people will read your stories and they will be seen as newsworthy.

All of these things help enhance how newsworthy a story is. By implementing these things into a story it helps turn the writing into news instead of just a regular story. I believe the audience have a huge influence on what is considered newsworthy and things that are considered just stories. In most cases the old saying “the customer is always right” is correct. If your story can keep your audience entertained and  informed it will almost undoubtedly be newsworthy

Event Planning

As a public relations major one thing that I am interested in that is not focused on much at Georgia Southern is event planning. I pride myself on being the most organized, unorganized person that I know. I find that I work well under pressure and time constraints. I am very good at delegating tasks and making sure that people are doing what they are supposed to be doing when they are supposed to be doing it. In my family I am the person that coordinates family outings, trips, and other things like that. (It may be an easy job when you are dealing with a family of 4-5 people, but when dealing with 30 plus individuals this can become a real task)

Two weeks ago my boyfriend turned 21. About three months ago his friend offered him an opportunity to throw  a joined birthday party with her at her fathers expense. Of course my boyfriend hopped on top of the opportunity to have a free birthday party and without much delay party plans were underway. The plan was for the party to start off at Retrievers Bar here in Statesboro, but because of date issues the venue was changed to ULounge club which is also here in Statesboro.

Everything seemed to be going as planned until about a week before the party. Firstly, there were no hand bills for us to pass out because the people responsible for making them did not give them to the girl on time. We did not receive the hand bills until the night before the event. Secondly, between my boyfriend and his friend they were only allowed to have 20 V.I.P guests and all of the other guests were required to pay a fee. Third, although the girls father had paid for the venue another entertainment group was given permission to promote for a different party on the same night as their party. and lastly, the guests of honor were charged for parking.

Needless to say this was a poor business deal and it should not have been done. Unfortunately, I did not have much hand in helping planning this event because I believe that certain things would have been handled differently. As a PR major I have learned many things about contracts and business deals from an even standpoint that definitely would have come in handy during this instance. The people of the ULounge were very unprofessional and had the business been handled correctly all these things could have been fixed and/or avoided.

It goes without saying that I don’t recommend the ULounge as a venue for anyone to throw an event. The “business” people running the facility are unprofessional and very rude. There was no accommodations for the paying guests of honor and there were no apologies received after the terrible experience.

Bishop Eddie L. Long

The pastor of New Birth Christian church in Atlanta Georgia, Bishop Eddie L. Long, has been accused of having sexual realtions with multiple young men. These alligations came out to the public in late September. Bishop Eddie Long has been preaching at New Birth Christian Church for over 10 years and has gained many faithful members and followers in his congregation. The young me alleged that Bishop Long took them on trips and put them up in fancy hotels under various aliases, bought them expensive gifts, and introduced them to infamous people (such as Tyler Perry) in exchange for sexual favors. Although the allegations never hinted towards sexual assault some of the boys were minors when they first started having these relations with the bishop.

Of course, living in the 21st century, I got wind of this issue through Twitter. People had turned Eddie Long into a trending topic and the news spread like wild fire. Some people were shocked and appalled that a “man of God” would even do such a thing and other people, such as comedian ‘Lil Duval’, made jokes about the situation. Regardless of  how the message was conveyed, it was definitelyspread throughout the Twitter nation.

When allegations were first released to the media Bishop Eddie Long would not comment on anything. He just simply continued to tell the press that his lawyers suggested that he not say anything at the time. Heading closer into Sunday morning throughout the week the question was if Bishop Long would speak out to his congregation on Sunday morning. There were many speculations that he would have a guest speaker and not even show up to address the people of New Birth, but to much surprise he announced to the public that he would in fact be speaking on Sunday morning.

From a public relations stand point I believe that Bishop Long’s speech to his congregation was horrible. First, instead of holding a separate press conference with the different news stations, he allowed the media to come into his church and film his message. So, although he blocked his normal Sunday morning UStream from his website everyone got to hear what Bishop Long said to his congregation on that Sunday. By allowing the media to invade someones place of worship is simply disrespectful and he came off inconsiderate. Secondly, because the media was there it was obvious that Bishop Long’s speech was very rehearsed and very impersonal. These are people that look to Eddie Long for guidance and counseling and peace of mind and he gave them a dry, rehearsed, cold speech.

I believe that the way the issue was addressed was unprofessional and rude. I believe that because Bishop Eddie Long does have such a strong dedicated group of church memebers that they deserved a proper, intimate explination of the issue at hand. I believe that it was necessary to separate the chrch from the media in the issue of this case.

One thing that will stick with me until this case is over is the fact that the entire time Bishop Long was addressing his congregation, not once did he deny the allegations. When he spoke, he spoke about fighting the allegations and prevailing over the issue, but he never said “I didn’t do it.”

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