TOW 13: What Drives Journalists/PR Practitioners Crazy?

17/11/2010 § Leave a comment

Journalists Drive PR Practitioners Crazy When:

1. Keep digging for dirt

  • Journalist instead should respect the PR practitioners job and use information provided by the practitioner

2. More informative instead of painting a story

  • Instead should do both; paint a story and be informative

3. Ignore press releases

  • They are made for a reason and should be used to gather information

4.  Can be aggressive

  • Instead, they should be respectful

5. Can have many mistakes grammatical and spelling and not be reprimanded for it.

  • Instead, should be more cautious of their writing and make sure it is perfect before printing

PR Practitioners Drive Journalists Crazy When:

6. Fill up inbox with unnecessary emails

  • instead should make sure that all emails are important

7. Never reachable

  • Make sure that people can always get in touch. News never sleeps

8. Use excessive words/language instead of getting to the facts

  • Instead, they should paint a story without going overboard

9.  Call excessively

  • Instead, should be respectful of others and their job.

10. Be on time

  • Always be respectful of others and their time.

TOW 11: Infographics

03/11/2010 § 3 Comments

Infographics are visual graphics that represent information or data. They help provide information quickly and creatively instead of having just a bunch of figures. Publications, such as newspapers, love to use infographics, especially when it comes to providing information about the weather.

Infographics are all around us and sometimes we don’t even realise that is what they are. Traffic signs are infographics, especially the ones that use stick figures to represent a cross walk something of that nature. Other infographics that are common are transit maps that are used for public transportation.

Pie charts, bar graphs, or other diagrams are also considered infographics but they aren’t as creative as others. The more creative the likelihood that the information provided will be received and if it is simple and doesn’t need a key, it is even better. People respond to quick, easy, and creative things and infographics uses all of those to get information across.

For my client, the Central Florida chapter of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, infographics can be really helpful. There are a lot of statistics and information that can be confusing so utilising infographics can get our information across productively and accurately.

In class the other day, we had to come up with an infographic for our company. My graphic was to show the representation of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients vs. volunteers to get the message across that in order to help find a cure more volunteers are needed. The patients would be represented by the CF logo and the volunteers would be stick figures with a BIG and BOLD V as their arms.

I wouldn’t know how to begin to make an infograph, except to send my idea and sketch to a graphics department. But I am not opposing to learn how to make this useful graphic.









Sources for infographics:

TOW 8 and 12: Podcasts

29/10/2010 § Leave a comment

For the topic of the week, we are to listen to several podcasts and discuss how podcasts could benefit PR students and practitioners. Personally, I’m not a podcast fan. I tend to become easily bored and distracted. I am a very visual person and really need to be engaged and entertained. Podcasts take all of that away and leaves you with audio to be the only sort of stimulation. Video podcasts would be more up my alley, but even then the videos would have to hold my attention in order for me to draw anything out of them.

However, with that said, podcasts still can be informative and really beneficial for the PR practitioner or student. They do provide you with a more personable way of communicating and can make it for easier access. For instance, you can upload a podcast onto your iPod, plug your device into your car and listen on your way to work/school. Podcasts are convenient and for those who are more of a listener, could be something one might want to invest in subscribing to.

The first podcast I chose to listen to was Marketing over Coffee. They did a podcast entitled Night of the Living Twitter Coach. At first listen it sounded like it could be really interesting. I am an obsessive social networker. Not so much on Twitter but I’m getting there and I was really excited to hear how marketing and Twitter could go hand in hand. The presenters started the podcast by discussing the new things going on in Google. The new analytics just came out and Tim Streets, one of the presenters, got an email from Google Adsense and basically discussed how by using the anaylitcs and Adsense you could make more money. Another topic they discussed was the new Mac Book Air. The hosts really believe that it is so great it is going to push the bottom of the Mac book line out. New software is out as well. iPhoto and iMovie are upgraded; iPhoto has taken features from Aperture and applied it to iPhoto which is great for those of us who don’t need the fancy photo software but still could benefit from its features.

The next podcast I listened to was Coming Up PR. This podcast is definitely different from Marketing over Coffee. Besides the obvious, discussing PR instead of Marketing, Coming Up PR is directed towards University students. This was a bit more followable for me and for a podcast, I did enjoy it. This episode was more of an interview. The hosts, Mary, Cheryl, and Mike, conducted an interview with one of their past classmates, Henry Dane. Henry works in the mining industry and reports to the head of internal communications. He writes for the internet and the company news letters. The questions were to provide the listeners with a little insight into the going ons in internal communication as well as some more information for job search purposes.

Both Podcasts held great information and told me things that I wouldn’t have known unless I listened. It was great hearing about PR and Marketing from others outside of my circle and who are actively engaged in the fields they were discussing.

TOW:10 and 12 Blog Stats

28/10/2010 § Leave a comment

This week we are to take a look at our blog stats and access the situation. Having done blogs before, I am quite accustom to the way blog stats work. Basically, on your dashboard page, on the right hand side, there is a section entitled blog stats. Normally there is a chart mapping out the views your blog has received over the course of a selection of dates. Now, you can modify this chart by viewing your daily or even monthly stats.

This feature gives you a chance to see how many people are reading your posts and can motivate you to expose your blog so you can reach more people. Also, it tells you what post was the most active and even where people are finding your blog; whether it be from google search or a blog comment. According to my stats, my peak days are Friday’s and Sunday’s. I’m guessing this is because our blogs for class are due at these times and my class mates are commenting on my posts. So far, I’ve had 129 views since I created this blog about 2 months ago. It isn’t a terrible stat but it isn’t great. Clearly, I’m not reaching anyone outside of my classes.

If I were a PR Practitioner and this blog was a means of me communicating and networking, I would need to step up my game and gain some more viewers. Using the Blog Stats page, I could assess my situation and try see where I need to improve. I can accomplish this by doing more blog comments on multiple and diverse blogs. By adding a ping back or a link to my blog, I can gain more viewers.

If it weren’t for the Blog Stat page, I would never know who my blog was reaching and whether or not it was successful. This added feature is highly important, especially in the PR field because it allows us to expand our connections and get the word out on our clients or any of the various things covered in our blog.



TOW Week 9: PR OpenMic

23/10/2010 § Leave a comment

I had never heard of PR Open Mic before but for our topic of the week  we were assigned to create a profile and to discuss what this social network offers PR students and practitioners. Once I create a profile, I have to say I fell in love. Now, I must admit I am a social network addict. I check Facebook more times that I blink, Twitter is becoming an obsession, and now, thanks to my PR class, I am going to be spending a good amount of time on this site as well. These social networks allow me to stay in touch with everyone; not just friends and family but celebrity gossip, world news, and even my professors. Without social networks I would be lost.

It is a shock to me that other fields in the workforce haven’t taken to make a specific social network like PR OpenMic has done. This is a great place to connect with like minded people allowing for networking and motivation to better ourselves in our line of work. Once I created a profile, which was super easy, and chose my theme I was well on my way! What I loved about this site was it acts as like a middle man between Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. You get to create a unique and creative profile with such things like a media player to make it a bit more personable. Plus, you get to have status updates that keep your friends informed on what you are doing in regards to PR. Like Twitter, it restricts your character count but it just helps you stay concise.

Another great thing that this site provides for PR students are helpful links on the home page, connecting students with articles and videos that can aid in bettering your self as a PR practitioner. On the home page are links to jobs as well, which I found to be particularly helpful considering graduation is 9 weeks away!

Lastly I really liked that the site had a spot for PR podcasts that are recommended for you to hear. This just helped incorporate media and technology use that is so vital in this line of work. This site really allows you to expand and broaded your horizons in the PR field and I think that everyone who thinks of themselves as a PR person should connect to this site and create a page.

TOW Week 8: The Lead Lab Comm 4333

23/10/2010 § Leave a comment

NewsU’s The Lead Lab was extremely interesting. Writing a news lead can be complicated and really can stretch your creativity, but once mastered can be something that really enhances your writing and can draw in the readers quite quickly. NewsU’s Lead Lab gave some helpful tips and quality information that can assist any budding PR practitioner or journalist who are trying to better their writing and expand their audience.

I learned from this lab the different leads that one can use when writing a story. There are basically two types of leads a direct lead and a delayed lead. The direct lead can get to the point of the story up front where as the delayed lead can take it’s time and really grab the readers interest. The NewsU Lead Lab describes these two really well by saying they are “tell me the news” or “tell me a story” leads. There are several other leads that stem from each of these two leads. From a direct lead there are summary leads and analysis leads. From delayed leads there are anecdotal, significant detail, round-up and emblem leads.

One thing that surprised me was how much easier writing a delayed lead rather than a direct lead is for me personally. Even though a direct lead is informative and concise, I enjoy writing more creative and intriguing leads and so the words flow out of me more through a delayed lead. I discovered this on the practise portion of the lab.

During this lab, I think I would have loved to see more examples of great leads. Seeing what a good lead looks like really helps better my own writing and allows me the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. I like to be shown what is asked of me instead of just going at it blindly. Having examples could really benefit other writers to help spawn some creative direction.


Topic of the week 4: Cleaning your Copy

06/10/2010 § Leave a comment

After doing the News U: Cleaning your Copy course, I really learned a lot that would not only be an asset to apply to my life in general but to my work life as well. This News U was all about how important Grammar, Style, and Punctuation are in the PR industry. They gave out helpful hints on what issues most people have with grammar, ways in which to recognize the mistakes, tricky words that stump the best of us and the correct way to abbreviate, use punctuation, and how to spell.

This course was basically a comprehensive and condensed version of the AP style guide. I really enjoyed this course because I find the AP style guide to be a bit tedious and confusing. I like to just have tabs or specific locations to look to find the information I am searching for, instead of having to check the index, be redirected to another part in the index, and finally turn to the page that actually tells you the information. This guide had tabs dedicated for each specific topic: Grammar, Style, Punctuation, and Spelling and then under those, there were tabs for specific areas such as Modifiers, Commas, and Abbreviations.

I never knew what a modifier was until I took this course. Modifiers are words or phrases that describe something in your sentence and if placed in the sentence incorrectly, the entire thing can sound unclear or inaccurate. I also never realised how much words confuse me, especially pronouns! When I did the practise at the end of the pronoun section, I definitely missed the errors a few times. I guess i’ll get better with practise!

I think the think I wish I knew more after taking this course is more about spelling. I have a really difficult time with it. Sometimes I catch my self thinking about a simple word and the way it sounds and then I can’t spell it. For instance, the other day I was going to type the word “could” and was stumped. Sad to admit it but the silent “l” got me for a second. This course did a great job going over a lot of things in detail but they could have focused on spelling for the illiterate ones like me.

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