Archive for Topic of the Week

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!


TOW 11: Infographics


What are infographics?

Infographics is computer-generated artwork that attractively displays simple tables and charts.

How could one be useful in a story for your client?

Using infographics in a story for a client would create some type of interest. An infographic will capture someones attention way before a regular story with normal black and white stats would. Following trends and staying on top of the newest way to present information is very important for PR Professionals.

How do you create an infographic?

It is somewhat easy to create an infographic. 

1. On an excell sheet you would enter the data from your findings

2. Highlight the data

3. At the top of the Excel processor their is an option for graphs. Click the graph and choose the one you like the most.

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

TOW 9: Tips for New PR Bloggers

Coming into this class I didn’t really know much about blogging nor did I want to know anything about it. I have never been any good at keeping up with things such as journals and things like that so I knew that I was going to be bad at this. Blogging was something that was foreign to me and I didn’t think I would ever get the hang of it.

If I had the opportunity to give new PR students that are new to blogging I would tell them NOT TO DO IT!! Just kidding. I would definitely tell them to give it a shot because it is actually something that could help out in the long run. Some of the advice that I would give would be

  1. Make a Twitter and follow as many PR practitioners as you possibly can.

Professor Nixon’s Twitter Starter Pack was an amazing gift! There were a list of hundreds of PR practitioners for us to follow just to get started with Twitter. During the One Week of Twitter experience I learned so much about the PR world, blogging, and Twitter. Yes, Twitter is a great way to connect with friends but it also an amazing way to start your future in Public Relations. One girl in our PRCA3330 class got offered a job from one of the PR practitioners on Twitter. When you know how to use your Twitter it can be a great networking

  1. Read other peoples blogs as much as possible

Reading other peoples blogs is how you learn how to develop your own blog. Professor Nixon’s blog Public Relations Matters is a great blog to learn from. It doesn’t matter what type of blog you read as long as you’re reading them! It is a good idea to read a variety in order to expand your horizons also.

  1. Blog in short paragraphs

People’s attention spans are short and for some reason shorter paragraphs online are easier and more interesting to read.

  1. Keep it conversational

Nine times out of ten the people that read your blog have something in common with you and are already somewhat interested in what you have to say. If you write as if you’re writing to get into Princeton (using huge words you don’t understand and things of that nature) people will be bored by your blog and might take your tone the wrong. It may seem as if you are talking down to people.

  1. Stay on topic

Although it blogs are conversational it is important to stay on your topic and complete your thoughts.

  1. Keep up with your blog

I made the mistake of slacking off on my blog lately and it’s a terrible thing to try and play catch up with. It is a good idea to try and get into good habits from the beginning and stick with them.

  1. Comment on other blogs

The only way that you will gain interest in your own blog is if you comment on others. Usually when you comment on other peoples blogs you have the option to insert a link to your own blog.

  1. Be careful what you say in your comments

Along with #7 it is important to use tact when commenting on other peoples blogs. People appreciate honesty but there is a thin line between honesty and being just plane rude. Learn the difference and adjust accordingly

  1. Blog about things that matter

Use your blog to write things of substance. People usually don’t care that you woke up and did 300 sit ups in the morning unless you add some substance to your post. If you woke up and did some exercise because you read in one of you magazines that increases blood flow in looks is more important. See the difference?

  1. Have fun with your blog

Don’t look at your blog as a drudging task that you have to do. Look at it as an opportunity to learn more about your field of work and how it all works. Enjoy your blog, embrace your blog!


While doing the Five Steps to Multimedia there were many things that I learned, but there was also a lot of things that I have already known because I am taking a multimedia class for B Term.

1. When choosing a story you must look at it from all angles. Most print journalists come into a breaking story with a pen and a piece of paper and sometimes a tape recorder.

When you are a multimedia journalists it is important to come with a camera, a vide camera, and a pen and paper. Multimedia journalists usually put their stories online and with the different elements that come with the camera/video camera make the stories more readable and interesting.

2. I found that editing for the web is very important because usally people don’t stop to read an entire site they scan it.

Readers will scan a web story in order to find the important facts and move on. Pictures and video always help make the story fast and easy to read. They also catch the attention of the reader and get them interested in reading more.

3. One thing that I would like to know more about is the storyboard. I have never had to put together a storyboard in the past three years here at Georgia Southern.

I have taken plenty of journalism classes and we always go over what a storyboard is and what they’re used for but we never actually create one. I think creating a storyboard would help a lot with my writing and creativity.

TOW 5: One Week of Twitter

During my One Week of Twitter experience I learned a lot of different uses for Twitter. By reading and listening to Professor Nixon’s blog Twitter: What’s in it for me? I learned some new ways that I could utilize my Twitter account.

I have had a Twitter account for a little over a year now and I’ve basically only used it to connect with my friends and family. Before my One Week of Twitter experience I saw Twitter as a public text messaging device for me to stay in touch with my friends and family. After adding the PR practitioners that were suggested on Professor Nixon’s blog I was opened up to an entire different side of Twitter! Most of the  blogs that I read now have been suggested by the PR practitioners that I now follow. Before this experience I was using just as another fun social network. Now when I log on to my Twitter account I expect to learn something new or read an exciting blog.

Twitter is an entirely different world to me now that I’ve added the PR practitioners suggested to me on the Twitter Starter Pack. Also, just like any other member of Twitter, I like getting new followers and having new people read what I talk about and the practitioners that I followed also followed me back! All of the practitioners that I follow are now following me which also has forced me to change the way that I use my Twitter. I try to more often talk about things that people want to read and keep my side conversations to the text messaging. This was a very exciting and enlightening experience and I will definitely continue to use my Twitter accordingly and read the blogs suggested by my new Tweople!

TOW 4: The Lead Lab Course

For the most part, The Lead Lab was more of a brush up of skills I have already learned in the past. The Lead Lab explains that a lead should be short and concise. A lead should answer the “5 W’s and H” (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How) in as much detail that is necessary to get the point across. Saying too much in the lead can bore the audience, but not having enough information will deter the audience from reading any further. Soft/feature and hard are the two different types of news leads. The purpose of a soft news lead is to grasp the readers imagination and get them excited to read more. The soft news lead is usually longer than a hard news lead and goes into more creative writing. The hard news lead answers the “5 W’s and H’ and continues with the body of the paper. In a soft news lead some of the important details might not come until the second or third paragraph of the story, whereas in a hard news lead the most important information comes first.

The one thing that never seizes to surprise me every time I take a course talking about news leads is how important the lead is in the story and the preparation that goes into writing a lead. Sometimes a writer will rewrite their lead five or six times before it is deemed perfect. Sometimes the lead is the last thing written in the news story. The lead is the one single thing that makes people want to read more into a news story. If you don’t have a strong lead, you won’t have many readers!

Ever since I started taking classes within my major I have had at least one week devoted to learning how to write leads in each class. Although the many countless weeks have shaped me into a better writer, I believe that my lead writing is still not up to par. My News Reporting and Writing Professor told me that it takes time and practice like anything else, but I feel as if I should be better than I am right now. Learning how to write an A+ lead is something that I’ve wanted to do since I started on my journey through my PR major. Through taking this course I have learned more about leads and I do believe that with a little more practice I’ll be good to go!

TOW 3: The Importance of Blog Comments

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

Blogging is a way to interact with other people from all different walks of life. When you blog you share your thoughts and feelings for others to read and reflect upon. People exchange ideals and give advice on others blogs through comments. Commenting on blogs is the way that people are connected and get to share ideas with one another. Without the comment section of blogging this would just be a journal or a diary. I would be talking to myself and sharing my ideas with no one. Because I am new to blogging I haven’t quite gotten the hang of figuring out the comments and therefore cannot offer much advice except this: Just like when commenting on peoples ideas and thoughts in any other situation I believe that it is important to be genuine and honest with the person without being rude. It is necessary to share your agreements and concerns with one’s blog without discouranging them from writing ever again. Blogging is supposed to be fun and it is supposed to enhance communication. It should not be used to tear peope down or hurt anyones feelings so be honest and not rude. Get your point across, but don’t tear anyone down in the process.

TOW 2: Cleaning Your Copy

This week I did the Cleaning Your Copy lesson on the Poynter News University web site and I was amazed at how terrible my grammar skills were! I learned that things that I normally put into my writing is considered incorrect grammar. I like to pride myself on being a decent writer but after taking those quizzes on the cite I feel like I could use some brushing up on my skills. I believe that with this website I will continue to learn how to become a better writer and improve my grammar so that I can be successful in the PR world.