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10 Tips for Writing News Releases

16 Nov

Week 13 TOW COMM 2322

Sources: Press Release Writing, Essortment, PressRelease365

Public relations practitioners often use news releases to get their clients into the news. Provide 10 tips for writing an effective news release. (Be sure to link to at least two sources for your information.)

  1. The information needs to be newsworthy. If it does not pertain to what id happening currently, then there is a good chance that it is not newsworthy.
  2. Provide as much contact information as possible. i.e. Name, address, phone, fax, e-mail, website address.
  3. EDIT!! Editing is so important. Ask another person to look over your work to spell check it.
  4. Keep it one page. Never submit duplicate documents.
  5. There is a fine line between honest hype and a serious overreach.
  6. The headline is so critical. It is what captures the editor and the audience’s attention. However, you want to avoid bolding and uppercase text.
  7. Ask the question, “How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?”
  8. Deal with the facts. Who wants a story that is so far fetched? Tell the truth and what happened.
  9. The first 10 words of releases are the most important and most effective.
  10. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy languages. Never sound like you are trying to sell something to the reader. You want to sound like you are informing the reader about something.

These are just some great tips to keep in mind. Writing a news release is something that you as the writer want to read about as well. If you do not even want to read or write about the topic, then there is a pretty good chance that your writing will reflect that as well. Then, you reader probably will not want to read it as well. It is like the domino effect. The writer is the first domino. If you do not like the subject of news at hand, then your reader probably will not like it either. These are just somethings to keep in mind.

Crisis Communication

13 Nov

Week 12 TOW COMM 2322

Based on what you learned in this week’s class discussions and lecture on Public Relations During Times of Crisis, write a blog post about some aspect of crisis communication.

If you have a company, then please do not be naive enough to think that crisis will not happen to your company. There are steps that need to be in place before crisis even happens. Below are some great tips and steps of what to do when crisis comes your way.

  1. Create a Crisis team before then crisis even happens. The persons that are usually on that team are the organization’s CEO, public relations professional, legal personnel, head managers of the departments, and financial professionals as well.
  2. Know who will be your spokesperson. Just have one person be that spokesperson.
  3. Make sure the spokesperson is well trained and knows how to respond to questions and scenarios.
  4. Know the flow of communication to your departments when the crisis happens and how to respond.
  5. Even prepare statements for all kinds of crises that may arise. i.e. natural disasters, sudden death of a CEO, etc.
  6. Pick what the key message your organization is trying to get across to the public during that time.
  7. Ride the storm out. It will pass over. Take it a day at a time and keep on the upward side of things as hard as it may be try to remain positive.
  8. Rebuild once again. Create something new for the public to think about instead of whatever happened.
  9. Promote a new image again. This is an opportunity to go back to the basics and promote a new image once again.
  10. Take responsibility and be honest with the public. Do not try to cover anything up. It will only make matters worse. Why have a crisis on your hands and then add even more on top.

In the Biz..

6 Nov

Week 11 TOW 2322

Listen to at least one hour of PR/marketing podcasts (such as For Immediate ReleaseInside PRThe Creative CareerComing Up PRTrafcom News or Marketing Over Coffee). Briefly summarize what you heard. Discuss how listening to PR podcasts can benefit PR students or new PR practitioners.

The two podcasts I chose to listen to was Marketing Over Coffee and The Creative Career. Both of these podcasts gave great insights into the public relations world. The Creative Career podcast was an interview of Catherine Hudson who is the Co-founder of Shorty Clothing. Marketing Over Coffee was more an answer question podcast from domain name advice to how to market in the game world. Out of the two, I really enjoyed listening to the interview more because she talks about her story from college to now being the co-founder of a company.

The number one thing for her was to know what you want and go after it. Plus, building a great network of people is very important. But, you have to weed it out from people that are sayers and people who are doers. There is no time to waste in the business world. Today, there are so many social networking tools out there that really there is not an excuse not to keep in touch with people after you meet them. Even now, people meet their future spouse online before meeting them in person.

The number one piece of advice form both of these podcasts was have a team around you. By yourself, the chances of you getting a vision or task done is much more minimal than if you have a great team around you in order for the vision to grow. A great way to find expand the vision is to network with other business owners in the same industry. Yes, they create competition which is good, but also partnering together can pull in a larger pool of customers.

Interview with Martin Waxman

30 Oct

Week 10 TOW 2322

Watch my interview with Martin Waxman. Use the three-pronged approach (described above) to react to the interview.

Learned: I learned that Martin Waxman found that there was a part of public relation’s agency life he didn’t like. So he built his public relation’s firm on these three principles: simplicity, energy and  integrity. They get to work with a lot of great companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Botanical Papers and many more. When they started the agency media relations was at the core, but because of social media being the  advocate it is, they are very involved with it.

Surprised: I was surprised that he found podcasting much more fun than writing. They actually record it on Sunday nights on Skype. I thought that was so interesting because it takes them only about 40 minutes in advance to talk about what they are going to talk about on the show. Plus, he also teaches college students a 14 week course about public relations. I do not know where he finds the time to do all of these tasks. I was very surprised by how the fortune 500 companies had so much chatter about them on social media channels. People really do talk about so many different aspects of the company. From the company side, they have to figure out if people are just griping about something or if there really is a problem that needs fixed.

Want to know more about: They were talking about that as an employer, they would be looking for all the traditional skills. The basics do not go away completely, but you still need to know them. Also, looking for people who have an understanding of social media. You should be following communications people. Do you know who they are? What they are about? Follow people and know what they are about. They are looking for a combination of traditional and social media. I want to learn more about each of these two types. The basics of public relations and the social media. I need to make sure I know the why.

 

NewsU Course – Religion, Culture and Society: Getting Beyond the Cliches

22 Oct
Week 9 TOW 2322
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Complete another NewsU course of your choice that you think would be beneficial for a public relations practitioner. What are your reactions to this course? Would you recommend it to other Journalism/PR students at Southeastern University? Why or why not?

Everyone has their own personal beliefs where they believe in something or nothing for that matter. Since religion, culture and society are all apart of life in some way, as a public relations practitioner you better understand how to go beyond the cliches. To go to the NewsU Course click here.
One of the best parts of this NewsU Course is in the introduction, “There’s hardly a story out there that doesn’t have a religion angle, and for that reason we’d argue that if you don’t have a basic understanding of how to report on religious movements, you’re not getting the full story.” If that is not straightforward enough for people to take the time and learn how to report, then maybe you should think somethings through first before writing.
In the beginning of the course, there is a randomize button you press that links you to the a story dealing with religion, culture and society. Click here to read the story and if you let your mouse scroll over the highlighted blue parts, then the correct way to have said the sentences comes up. I am definitely a visual learner when it comes to correcting sentences and to see the old next to the new helps me understand it better. Hopefully, that feature is beneficial to you as well.
Overall, I am a big fan to this course and would recommend it to other journalism and public relation students too. A final note I would like to make is this course also touches on the international element of being a journalist or pubic relations person. Click here to read the about what they have to say about international reporting. Do not forget the WWJD (what would journalist do?).

Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Publishers

15 Oct

Week 8 TOW 2322

Using the three-pronged approach (above), what are your reactions to the NewsU Course you took on Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Publishers earlier this semester?

This NewsU Course may have been the very first one I took this semester. I had to go back and really take it again to refresh my memory, but going around the second time really made it stick better. It is actually a great reflection point because now I have been able to get more comfortable with blogging and understanding not only how it works, but see the value in connecting and sharing thoughts or ideas with other people.

Learned: I learned the different red flags between defamation, copyright infringement, and invasion of privacy. For instance, defamation is the injury to someone’s reputation when someone else publishes false things about that person. If you are the person that caused defamation to someone else there are ways to make it right. As the writer, you can make sure to use reliable sources, be willing to retract any of your mistakes and be more cautious when printing information that falls more negatively to one side.

Surprised: I was surprised to find out that privacy laws are actually much more strict than I thought them to be. The reason being, I guess, is we see celebrities lives displayed all over tabloids or talked about on TV, but as a writer or reporter make sure not to cross any privacy laws or lines for that matter. One way to avoid running into privacy laws is to get consent from the person first before printing the information.

Want to Know More About: I would like to learn more about different cases study because I enjoy reading history and the stories that it tells. Plus, you can learn a lot from reading these case studies. I am a visual and example learner so being able to finally read a real story about these topics ties all the other text together for me.

Resumes and Job Interviews!!

4 Oct

Week 7 TOW COMM 2322


What advice would you offer to a student who is working on a resume or preparing for a job interview? Be sure to share links to three or more sites / blog posts that would be helpful for a PR student.

Hopefully, as a student you have been keeping track of the jobs you have worked or skill sets that you have successfully been able to use at a place or organization. If you have not been keeping track, try to sit down and brainstorm past jobs or work that you have done. The reason being once you have that information it basically needs organized into a format. It is the meat of your resume. This information is you on paper. The resume is a tool that organizes all your past and present jobs, markets you and used to communicate your abilities to a potential employer.

The advice that I would offer to a student who is working on writing a resume or getting ready for a job interview would be to make sure that what is on your resume is accurate. If you have not updated your resume in a while, then before you e-mail it to a potential boss make sure you have no spelling mistakes and that everything on there is accurate and up to date.

Sometimes people make their resume look better then they really are in person. They look like the best person on paper, but then after the interview the potential employer realizes that the resume was not entirely true. It is not worth putting false information on your resume to get a job and in the end you lose not only your character but possibly job as well.

A couple of great websites to glean information or techniques on how to write a resume would be Daily Writing Tips which has over 44 resume writing tips that you can read. Plus, another great source is Resume-Help which is a great website that gives examples and shows how to write and give an eye catching look to your resume. Lastly, I would refer a public relations student to How to Nail an Interview that also have informational videos that go along with the 20 tips for a job interview.