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10 Tips on News Releases

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

TOW #13 – COMM 2322

The news release is also called a press release and is a written document for the purpose of distributing the information to mass media outlets. The newspapers and broadcast stations receive their information from the document, and appropriate it according to several issues. This is the way Public Relations agents can publish their clients and events. Time to write an effective news release.

1. The event or client information has to be newsworthy. This is going to be published in the newspaper and in magazines and it needs to be of interest and currently happening.

2. Answer the questions who, what, where, why, and when. This will give the reader a better understanding and the earlier in the news release, the better.

3. Be creative with the presentation of your words. Capture and hold the attention of your readers throughout the entire release, since more outlets will be interested in printing it for the public.

4. Editing is very important.

5. Keep it one page.

6. Provide as much contact information as possible.

7. Double check information.

8. Relax with the adjectives and extra verbiage.

9. Be the most effective in the beginning 10 words.

10. Localize when and if you can.

Drea ! xoxo

Communication During Crisis

November 17, 2010 1 comment

TOW #12 – COMM 2322

Based on the class lecture on Public Relations During Times of Crisis, crisis management is an integral part of the public relation professional’s duties. They are responsible for handling alot of important parts of their client’s affairs, but one that takes most time and effort is during crisis. During my PR applications class on November 11th, we discussed the fact that crisis is inevitable; but, the way a PR agent and department handles the situation will determine the outcome also.

There are four types of crisis in the public relations industry that will be identified. A meteor is a crisis that comes out of nowhere and it is a situation that has no precedent or warning. Then there is the predator crisis which is when one person is attempting to create problems and hurt the image of a company of person. A breakdown is the crisis that involves the person not doing what they should have or could have in a situation. The last crisis is lingering, this can be self-explanatory. It lingers past the issue and reflects poorly on the company, organization or person.

MAKE A PLAN – BE PREPARED FOR A CRISIS

A crisis kit would include contact information on key spokesmen and officers, along with prepared statements. There should be a specific statement for each type of disaster, including natural disasters. This is an important part in the crisis management team because the quicker you release a company statement, the reduction in press attention is more extreme. The lesson is to always be prepared for anything to surprise your company or client, as a PR professional the crisis management needs to be thorough and extensive since this is the majority or responsibility.

Make sure to keep in mind that riding the storm will give the situation time to settle, it will pass over.

Drea ! xoxo

Spotlight: Martin Waxman

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Topic of the Week #10 – COMM 2322

Follow Martin Waxman on twitter!

Professor Nixon had the pleasure to join us in our public relations interview assignment. She conducted an informal, one-on-one, cyber conversation with the very well respected professional, Martin Waxman.

I had never heard of Mr. Waxman until this interview but I have actually been following him on twitter since the beginning of the semester, he even follows me back. Waxman has a PR agency in Toronto, ON who does work for everyone from Atkins’ Diet, to many health and beauty companies. He also produces a podcast every Wednesday called insidePR because he prefers the conversational speech rather than writing on a blog. I loved his theory that professors need to develop their social media knowledge to connect with their students more proficiently and use these tools we have been given.

I was shocked at how many different positions he holds. Not only is Mr. Waxman the president and co-founder of Palette Public Relations Inc. but he is also a professor at a nearby college in his free time. His words of caution shocked me because it was a strong warning not to allow small grammatical and stylistic errors to be present in your blogs because companies will not hire someone without having the basics covered throughly; they have no issue to turn away interns and new hires because of similar mistakes.

I would love to learn some of the steps I can be taking before graduation and what type of “portfolio” I should be assembling for when I enter the real world and begin searching for jobs. I also want to look up the exact statistics on the issue Professor Nixon mentioned during the interview; that people will tell more people when they receive bad customer service from a company then when they receive great service! I was surprised to learn that and would like to look deeper into that research

Drea! xoxo

Writing for the Ear

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Topic of the Week #9 – COMM 2322

NewsU courses have been pretty exciting for me. This is a new resource Professor Nixon introduced me to this semester and it has taught me on all different grammatical and legal issues we will face when hired to that first corporate job. The most current lab I took was Writing for the Ear. This was an assigned course to sharpen our storytelling skills that will be a great skill to keep on point. When writing feature stories journalists are in charge of writing their piece to evoke emotion and to tell a story. Whether a light or heavy issue, the goal is to draw listeners into the event and show them how they relate.

I learned how to tell stories with all the facts and emotions without having too many words or including unimportant tidbits. I was able to read the information on storytelling and then play games that had me determining whether or not the track was narrated, fake or a recorded audio feed. I also got to learn to split a story into short, and concise sentences; it was very informational.

I was shocked at the amount of information I questioned even after going hrough multiple communications classes and reading the material. I know this has a lot to do with my writing style and structure, both are elemens I have een trying to improve. Piching stories is an art for the persuasive. I was shocked by the amount of planning and time goes into the pitch and depending on how prepared and sharp you are, will depend on your stories sucess and demise. Even though a great story is important, having a solid pitch is imparative to that dream becoming a reality.

I would love to learn more about the tools of revision. They mentioned the tools that will help us proofread our stories  but I would love to research more about this part of the process. I know the more proofreading, the more respected my story will be since multiple errors are unacceptable.

Drea! xoxo

The Basics for Bloggers

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Topic of the Week #8 – COMM 2322

Invasion of privacy was one of the main topics in Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Publishers. Some of the other topics I learned about were copyright infringement, privacy and even defamation of character. This was a very interesting course because it confirmed information that I never saw in the legal light. I have watching court tv and seen the issues with defamation on an individual level; as a journalist or public relation agent, we have to know what legal obstacles there are. We have to be sure that our writing is original with no room for copyright infringement or plagiarism. the internet has opened a world of “copy and paste” that makes it hard to determine the difference between original work and a colleagues idea.

What surprised me the most about the information I read was just how simple and easy it is to be mixed up in a legal issue caused by negligence. I have always been aware of guidelines and stipulations to follow; but with the evolving internet and popularity of blogs, there is not a distinct line between the right and wrong. This causes confusion for many because they do not take the time to know their rights and responsibilities as a professional. Taking these legal precautions seriously can be the factor that protects a journalist from losing their career.

I learned most of the legal information in communications Law this past summer but I was glad that I got a different perspective from a different curriculum. I know my rights and responsibilities now more than ever, perfect preparation to a bright future in this industry; time to apply all these lessons in my career. #tunnelvision

Drea! xoxo

Be Yourself

October 14, 2010 1 comment

Topic of the Week #7 – COMM 2322

When writing a successful resume and going on an interview, there are a few important reminders I have to give.

RESUME

  • Remember to keep your resume to one page.
  • List all of your volunteer work, and skills that apply.
  • Stay away from listing college courses taken!
  • Write chronologically, with most recent experience first.
  • Know your reader.

Knowing the reader and company you are trying to impress because the stipulations will change accordingly. If I am going to submit a resume in the field of Journalism, things would look different than a resume for a Public Relations job offer. Yes, they would be similar because we are dealing with the same industry of Communications, but always try to tailor the information appropriately.

INTERVIEW

  • Always be on time.
  • Dress professional – it makes a great impression
  • Personal hygiene is also important because it shows dedication from the individual.
  • Bring a pen and something to write with so that the interviewer will see initiative in you.
  • Answer open ended question concisely, without getting off topic
  • Have proper identification present during interview. Not only will it be handy if the employer is interested, but it will also speed up the hiring process.

Some websites that are available to assist:

10 Things That Will Get You Hired

Public Relations Resume Tips

Acing the Interview

168 Hours of Twitter

October 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Topic of the Week #6 – COMM 2322

I was introduced to twitter by Professor Nixon because she showed the importance of networking through this website. I never got into the craze at first, but now see it as a useful tool for companies and even Public Relations agents. It is important that each person can keep up with their account in order to learn and teach others key tips they learn. The best part about twitter is that companies are able to see what the general public is “tweeting” about their customer services, products or image and they are able to benefit their company. They can respond when their name is used in a “tweet” and then address a large crowd at once, using the website twitter.com

I was surprised that I was able to connect and learn a lot from the posts others were commenting on. I was able to know a lot of current events that I usually would not have known about. Since I am a working college student, time for television and especially news. This is where I am able to pull up my twitter on the iphone and find out all the newest stories around the globe. For example, last week GAP re-designed their logo and within an hour of their release, the entire world was commenting on the change via twitter. They thought the change was not positive for the company because it was not a logo that stood out. They got the exact opposite reaction than they counted on. Now, because they knew immediately how their consumers were reacting to the change, they could take it into consideration and now re-design it once again. Twitter has many benefits, I plan on using it in my career in the future

Drea! xoxo