April 27, 2010

So the year is ending. Stress is on the rise. Major changes are happening in my life in this month, hopefully for the better. To officially begin those changes though, unforunately, there is some catching up that is needed to be done in all my classes, including this one. For some reason this year, everything has not been going according to plan, but the show must go on.

Reading notes:

Chapter 8

  • Components of a good photo include: technical quality, subject matter, composition, action, scale,  camera angle, lighting and timing, and color.
  • Captions are required for all phtos sent. Usually, captions, when accompanying a news release, are two to four lines long.
  • Photo News Releases (PNRs) do not accompany a news release. They are just a photograph along with a longer caption that tells and explains the story behind the picture. It is usually written in active and present tense.
  • Other graphics that are used for publicity purposes are charts (pie charts, bar graphs, and graph), diagrams, renderings and scale models, and line drawings and clip art.

Chapter 9

  • There are around 13,500 radio stations that are on air across the U.S.
  • Radio News Releases are written in all uppercase letters in a double-spaced format, use standard English grammar and puncuation, are in conversational style, and use short independent clauses for sentences. Timing in very important for them.
  • Audio News Releases (ANR) can be an announcement were someone reads it entirely (called an actuality) or an announcer reads it with a soundbite from a spokesperson, celebrity, or a customer. They are usually 60 seconds long. They are the most common and effective way for a news release to be sent to a radio station.
  • A public service announcement (PSA) is an announcement that is not paid for that promotes nonprofit or government agencies. The FCC or Federal Communications Commission approves of them. They are in uppercase letters and usually around 60, 30, 20, 15, or 10 seconds long. You can add soundbites to them to add effect. The topics chosen are usually geared toward what the public in interested in.
  • Radio media tours (RMT) happens where a spokesperson done one-on-one interviews all over the country from one place. Satellite media tours are similar, but are done through satellite sent to television shows.
  • Video news lreases includes a 90-second report containing a voiceover that has soundbites and natural sounds, clar identification of the video source, extra soundbites and B-roll, script, voiceover information, media contacts, and a story background.
  • Personal appearances and product placements can happen on talk shows, magazine shows, televisions shows, in movies, during radio promotions,or by sending out community calendars.

Chapter 10

  • Media databases provide names of publicatios and broadcast stations, mailing addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, names of key editors and reporters, and a profile of the media outlet.
  • Tip sheets and editorial calendars are other forms of media databases.
  • Material is often distributed through e-mail, online newsrooms, electronic wire services, electonic newswires, mat distribution companies, photo placement firms, snail mail, or by fax.

Chapter 11

  • The primary contact for the media to get in touch with an organization is the public relationist.
  • 2/3 of journalists do not trust PR people. 81% of those journalists say they need PR people anyway.
  • Some areas of friction between journalists and public relations people are hype and news release spam, name calling, sloppy and biased reporting, tabloid journalism, and advertising influence.
  • Ways where PR people and journalist can work well together are media interviews, news conferences, teleconferences, webcasts, media tours, previews, parties, press junkets, and editorial board meetings.
  • Public relations people should know your media, limit the things you mail out, localize, send newsworthy information, practice good writing, aviod any gimmicks, be environmentally correct, be available if anyone needs to get in contact with you, get back to reporters, answer the phone, be truthful, and answer any questions there are.
  • Follow media etiquette when it comes to irritating phone calls, inappropriate requests, lunch dates, and gift giving.
  • When a crisis happens, remember to know the journalists in your area in advance so when a crisis happens, they know you and you know them, saying “no comment” fuels the hostility, try to be helpful with reporters so you can get the organizations’s or executives’s case out, get to know when deadlines for broadcast and print are.

Chapter 12

  • With the world wide web, you can have information quickly updated, have interactivity with others, can research more about what subject you are working on, post a vast amount of material, can reach pubics that might not have been reached before, others can see details on your organization whenver the want to. The web is very cost-effective.
  • When you write on the web, one should remember to write conversationally or the way you talk, each page has one topic or concept on it, bullet points help the eyes scan and read information better, each page should have everything a reader might want, such as other links, italics and boldface are limited so if there are boldface or italics then you can see whatever is important the quickest, do not overuse hyperlinks and make sure if they are used, they are relevent to the content on the page, provide feedback and interactivity.
  • Return on investment or ROI si when the cost of the website is compared to how functions could be done other ways.
  • Interactivity between websites and the users can happen with social media, Usenet, listservs, and RSS.
  • Blogs are a cost-effective way for PR people and businesses to reach people and other organizations. Other popular social media are Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, Flickr, Twitter, Wikis, and podcasts. Texting has become a huge part of social media as well.

Chapter 14

  • For all communications, you should follow certain guidelines that will prevent communication overload. Whatever you are writing should be complete and have  purpose. The less you write is better. Whenever you write something you should be alert to write everything accurately. Be courtesy to others and make what you arw writing personal, such as putting the other person’s name you are writing to. Be responsible and follow your organization’s policies and procedures.
  • E-mail should not replace conversaions that are to be person-to-person. E-mails make decision making speedy, the corporate hierarchy is flattened, you can send out messages to more empoyees, the cost of employee communications decreases when using e-mail.
  • Memos can be used for anything. They are short in length either a page or less.
  • Letters are either personal or less personal. They are used for several purposes such as giving and asking for information, trying to motivate, soothe, or arouse someone or a group of people to do something, answering any complaints that people might have, warning people, admitting to something that one has done or an organization, or denying something. The most important information will be in the first paragraph.
  • Proposals include the background of the firm, any capabilities they have, the client’s situation, the proposed program’s goals and objectives that it has, important and key messages with basic strategies and tatics to accomplish something, timelines of when everyting should be accomplished by, the proposed budget, how the success of the program will be measured, a description of the team doing this project, and a summary of why the firm should select them to represent and go through with the program. Proposals should include a need that is outlined and satisfied, benefits, and the decision of action.

Topics of the Week:

Week 11

Infographics are tables and charts generated by the computer that show statistics. They are used by newspapers quite a lot. The newspapers try to incorporate their subject into the table or chart, such as the example shown below. To see other examples and the one here, visit the website http://sixrevisions.com/graphics-design/40-useful-and-creative-infographics/. They are usually created with Miscrosoft Office applications or software from Adobe, such as InDesign or Illustrator. Some places have their own graphic departments that can create their own. I think that inforgraphics make the subject of whatever the newspaper or medium is talking about more interesting for the reader to look at and read. They always catch my attention when I see them. For a client, I feel that it would work the same. They will see what information is being portrayed a in a visual aspect instead of just plain words. Their eyes have some value to look at and it will catch their attention.

Week 13

Journalists and public relations people do not always work well together. Here is a list of some ways PR people drive journalists CRAZY.

  • PR people not always being available if someone has any questions or comments about something.
  • Too many follow-up messages or phone calls that made to get in contact with someone on a story, event, interview, and so on.
  • PR people take too long on getting a news release in and do not know when publication dates are for magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • PR people do not know how to write well. The material that is being sent sometimes is not newsworthy and has many errors or just plain does not make sense.
  • Not getting back to reporters and knowing who they are.
  • PR people do not know their product or service they are tyring to publicize.
  • Not having the right contact information on your media advisory or news release.
  • PR people putting too much unnecessary information in their writing and not getting the facts out.
  • PR people sending out long news releases that drag on and do not get to the point of the subject of the release.

Week 15

Social Media News Releases are news releases with a spin. They include more things, such as photos, graphics, videos, hyperlinks and audio components. These releases make it easier to expand audiences and media outlets. Through RSS feeds and media tags, search engines that will havve the social media news release with help with this audience exposure. These releases are made through major elextronic distribution services. This type of news release are general used for new products being launched or for a mjor event that is happening. A website that gives a glimpse into social media news releases is http://www.slideshare.net/3wpr/social-media-news-release-smnr-presentation.

Week 16

Future PR students, blogging is not as hard as you might think it is. Here is some advice about blogging that might help you create your very own blog :):

  1.  To start out, think of a creative name for your blog that makes it different from everyone else’s. This a fun think that blogging allows you to show off your funky and creative side. 
  2. Try to have linkability in your entries so your readers can have a chance to see other websites that are about the subject you are writing about in your entry, if they are interested and want to know more about it. 
  3. Try and make your writings in a way so that it is easier for the reader to view and read your entries. Bullet points help when you are trying to achieve this.
  4. Do not wait until the last minute to write in your blog when trying to meet blog requirements. Blogging should allow you to express yourself in a way to where you release everything you know about a subject onto the entry you are writing. If you wait to the last minute (for me… point taken), you can get everything you want to say out clearly.
  5. When writing comments, be thoughtful and insightful about what you are writing about someone’s entry. If you do not like something they wrote, be respectful when and if you must write that comment.
  6. Make sure the appearance of your blog is not too bright or busy. Make sure it is in a color that makes your writing stand out and if there are graphics in your background, make sure they do not overpower your writing. 
  7. Make sure that when you are writing, you use words that is universally understandable and not so confusing that no one knows what you are trying to say. 
  8. Include yourself in your blog. Add your own personal flair to your entries and your blog in general.
  9. Adding pictures and videos helps the reader know what your entry is about ad gives more visual interest. 
  10. Enjoy the fun of blogging. Do not try and make it a hard project that is required. Blogging is very flexible when it comes to writing in them. This is your time to express yourself.
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March 18, 2010

Alright so this post might be my longest one yet. Sorry! but so many things have been happening in my life these past few weeks. Life changing things. So it’s time to update. There have been so many ups and downs in my life, things that have been opening my eyes to life. Some even manking me mature even faster. Heres my first question for you: What kinds of events in your life have made you grow up faster, more than you wanted to in that time period? What about since 2010 started?

Well this week is Spring Break for some of us college students. Many people are off traveling, while I am stuck in my apartment. With no car, since it is broken. Hopefully when summer starts I get to travel? or do something exciting and new!? Suggestions? I did get to go camping last weekend, which was so much fun, but did not last as long as I wished.

I do have some catching up to do with some assignments, so I firgured I would tackle those now since I have some time to relax and actually think. Well I  left off with key points or I guess I should call them reading notes since they are from my reading from Chapter 6, so here are 7s.

Chapter 7:

-Feature stories shoudl try to provide information to the customer by giving a background and context on an organization, perspective on the behind-the-scenes work, information on situations and events that could and will happen, and generating publicity.

-There are different kinds of features. They include: case studies, application stories, research studies, backgrounders, personality profiles, and historical pieces. The different parts of a feature include: headline, lead, body, summary, photos, and graphics.

– An “opposite the editorial page” or Op-Ed give information and views on different current news events, governmental policies that are being made, pending legislations and social issues.

-A published letter usually focuses on rebutting editorials, clearing up or clarifying information on anything that would appear in a news story, and any additions that would be added to any news story.

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Here are some blog posts as well that pertain to blog topics for my class:

Week 4: The NewsU Cleaning Your Copy Lab was very particular in the different AP Style Writings that are required in many different PR writings. The final test in the lab was very challenging and you needed to pay close attention to what you changed in the sentences or added. It gave you the opportunity to really apply what the lab and the practice problems in the lab were trying to teach.

Week 6: I believe that if a story is audience appealing and contains information on something “bizarre” or out of the ordinary, beyond what is “regular” to the eyes and ears of the reader, then a story is considered news worthy. For example, the stories about the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Those events were way beyond what anyone would ever imagine. Those situations are so heart wrenching, people wanted to know what happened and how they could help out. People are going to report on those events as soon as they happen so people know that someone needs help. Another example are the budget cuts for schools in Georgia. Schools are loosing many staff and teachers, a huge sum of their money they use to keep up schools, maybe even some majors, people can loose HOPE and so much more. Tuition for colleges are going to go up as well. People want to know about this, especially COLLEGE students, their parents, upcoming students, locals, and so on. These things are going to affect their future. Very news worthy! Both example that I have provided are definately news worthy. They are both of public concern, they evoke opinions out of people, and a solution needs to happen to both of the stories. A story that is news worthy takes the reader into the situation and appeals to their interest. News worhty stories do not have to be a bad or horrible situation either, they can be a happy and uplifting story, such as stories on people helping out charities or a story on someone who came from nothing and now has everything.

Week 7: Twitter for me was a new experience. I never used it before because I just did not understand the purpose of it. Making an account for it ended up being alright. I learned many things from other PR personnel and from my classmates. I felt it was still a little like updating a status on facebook though, but I guess it reaches a different crowd, the Twitter crowd. In the future, when I have an job in the real world, I feel like Twitter would be more beneficial to me, to promote whatever, get information out to people, and so on.

Week 8: The lead lab in NewsU helped out by explaining types of leads, some of which I have not even heard about. Some of the applications did not work on my laptop and the website kept freezing on me =/… do not know if that happened to anyone else or just to my laptop… but overall, I felt that the lab focused on the types, explaining what each type was and gave examples. I plan on applying this lab to other assignments in current and future classes and future assignments in the field.

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Well, I feel like that is enough bloggin for now ha… but I will leave some words of wisdom. I was watching Oprah today and a fellow filippino, who is now the lead singer of Journey, was on. So with that said… Don’t Stop Believing =)

February 25, 2010

Being always busy, busy, busy me… I need to catch my breath and have a little break. What I need is a vacation 🙂

ANYWAYS… Back to business. I have some key points to share on chapters 4, 5, and 6

Chapter 4:

  • A publicist is a public relations writer who places stories all through the media. For example, Tiger Woods’s publicist made sure everyone knew about the press conference he had.
  • There are 4 obstacles publicists might face when they create news in the media. They are a shrinking news hole, media gatekeepers, media being fragmented, and information overload.
  • Timeliness, prominence, proximity, significance, unusualness, human interest, conflict, and newness are all characteristics that make up the news.
  • You can find news in internal news sources and external news sources. Internal news sources are periodicals, clipping files, etc. External news sources are surveys, updates on competitors, and so on.
  • News can be created through different ways, such as through brainstorming, special events, contests, surveys, polls, top 10 lists (or 100 or 1000…), product demonstrations, stunts, rallies, protests, awards, and personal apperances.

Chapter 5:

  • News releases bring attention to information on new ideas, various situations, upcoming events, different services, and new products.
  • The 5 types of news releases are announcements, spot announcements, reaction stories, bad news, and local news.
  • The traditional parts of a news release are letterhead, contacts, headline, dateline, lead paragraph, and body of text.
  • Things to remember: Information that is put into a news release should be factual. Answer 1 or 2 of the 5 Ws and H (choose the most important ones!) in the lead paragraph. News releases should always follow AP Style.

Chapter 6:

  • Fact sheets, media kits (also known as press kits), and media advisories (also known as media alerts) help out in the production of media coverage.
  • There are 3 different kinds of fact sheets that include ones for upcoming events, corporate profiles, and summaries on a news product’s characteristics.
  • Media Advisories are bulleted and short. There are not like news releases, which are long and consist of paragraphs.
  • Attachments and samples are not always included in media kits, instead news release, feature, facts sheets, background information, photos or drawings, information on a spokesperson or senior executive, and basic brochures.
  • EPKs or e-kits are electric media kits. These are prefered more over printed media kits by journalists because they cost less.
  • Reasearch on publication or broadcast shows, writing e-mails or making calls, and following-up are the components that make up a good pitch.

February 8, 2010

Hey there! I hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl, including the commercials. I unfornately had to work last night, so I was not able to see all of it. I rarely watch all of the Super Bowl anyway :/. There were some commercials that I liked though that I did see. Some include the Monster.com one with the beaver, the Doritos House Rules commercial, Alice in Wonderland (because I want to see it!) and also the Shutter Island one, the TRuTv with the football player that has the hair (don’t know his name… maybe someone can help me out on that one) and he is the “ground hog.” My least favorite was the Sketchers one, which was not very appealing or eye catching to me.

Today, I have some key points that I would like to share that are for my PR Writing class 🙂

Chapter 1:

  • Four components make up the core of Public Relations. They are research, planning, communication, and evaluation.
  • The goal of Public Relations according to my textbook, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, is to persuade your audience and motivate true and accurate information. Public Relation specialists should know their audience (their needs, concerns, and interests). Also, usually using more than one, they should use the most effective channel to relay their message out.
  • PR writers use stylebooks to prepare their materials in a writing style more familiar to journalists. These stylebooks contain information on things such as titles and abbreviations.
  • Errors to avoid when writing are misspelled words, jargon, wrong words, poor sentence structure, hype, bias, stereotypes, “sound-alike” words, redundancies, too many numbers, and politically incorrect words.

Chapter 2:

  • Components of communication are sendor, message, channel, and reciever.
  • The way messages move from senders to mediums to reciever can be explained through some theories. Some of these theories include use and gratification theory, cognitive dissonance framing, diffusion, and adoption and hierarchy of needs.
  • Various concepts should be followed when writing an effective persuasive piece of writing. You should analyze your audience, have credible sources, appeal to self-interest, create a clear message so anyone can understand it, make sure you have good timing and appropriate context when writing persuasively, make sure you use symbols, slogans, and acronyms properly, understand semantics correctly, suggest information that can be easily be obtained and followed through with action, and you should provide sufficient content in anorganized way.

Chapter 3:

  • Defamation describes both libel (false printed information) and slander (false spoken information). Both can ruin a person’s reputation.
  • Public relation writers and other staff are responsible for actions regarding the invasion of fellow employees. If things such as employee newsletters, photo releases, employee logs and virtual communities, product publicity and advertising and media inquiries about employees, get out of hand, PR writers and other staff can be subject to litigation.
  • To copyright something, such as literary/muscial/dramatic/choreographic/pictorial, graphics/sculpture works, sounds recordings, and movies, means they have protection of someone copying them, using them under someone else’s name, etc.
  • Trademarks identify a product’s origin. They can be word(s), symbol(s), and/or slogan(s). Trademarks are proper adjectives with a noun or phrase to follow it, without being possesive or plural and without using verbs.
  • Government agencies, which include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Bureau of Alochol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), help regulate speech that concerns the public’s health, safety, and the protection of consumers.

Hello world!

January 31, 2010

Sorry this is so late! I was still trying to figure out this whole blogging thing. This is my first blog and I am a little slow at figuring things out, but it is finally up and ready for you all to read!

There are some blog posts that I need to catch up on.

First I will talk about the types of social media I belong to. Well now I belong to the blogging world, since this is my first blog. I have been participating in the world of “Facebooking.” I have had one since high school. When Myspace first came out, I had one, but I do not use that one anymore. I have stayed with Facebook because it has been the easiest form of social networking that I have belonged to and it is easy to understand. All my friends and family belong to it, so it is an accesible way to get in touch with them. Two years ago, I started up a Skype account when my sister was studying abroad and interning in Europe. I will admit I have not used it since then, but am considering to start it up again. I thought it was also an easy way to get in touch with people I have not seen in a long time and actually see their face and talk to them.

Week Two. I feel that a public is the audience that one is trying to get their attention. When it comes to selling a product or advertising it, I feel that the public are the people that want that product, the ones who are more likely to buy it, otherwise known as the target audience. I used to be a member of the sorority Kappa Delta, but unfortunately money stood in my way. I choose to part of this public because I felt that it was a group who did a lot for the community around the area and here at school. Kappa Delta has the most philanthropies than any other sorority. Their main focus is kids and helping them out. They also help Girl Scouts of America, which is also a public I used to participated in when I was younger. Those girls (Girl Scouts) are striving to be the best they can, being well-rounded to a variety of different activities. Another public I belong to is the student body of Georgia Southern University. We are all trying to get to one thing, which is a job. We are here to attend classes and hopefully to graduate.

Week Three. I feel that comments for a blog are very important. Comments either help you revise the things you said, give one another point of view on the things someone said, give more ideas on a topic at hand, a person might agree with you and they’re just adding on to what you said, and so on. There are many possiblities to blog commenting. I feel that blog comments help the person who is writing the blog write a more effective blog by making the one who wrote the blog sometimes re-read the things he/she has said and making corrections, changes, or letting them re-word the things that were said. To make an effective blog comment, I feel that you should write something about the thing you are commenting about (whether it is about the entire blog or a little snippet of the blog, it should be mentioned in the commen) in order for the blogger to know what you are commenting on. The comment should be insightful and not out of context. I feel that the comment should attack the blogger, but it should be an ethical comment whether you disagree or agree with what you are commenting on. I know that it is a “free” country and people are going to write what they want on comments, but those are the things that I feel should be criteria when commenting on blogs.