Category Archives: Topics of the Week

The Final Topic of the Week

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For my final TOW, I’ll ellaborate on the top 10 things I have learned about Public Relations this semester.

Get ready!

1. What Public Relations IS–before taking this class, I had no idea what PR was. I’m sure I had heard of it before, but what exactly is meant by it was completely foreign to me.

2. Public Relations Professionals Wear Many Hats–there are so many different things that are apart of being a PR pro, from keeping up with twitter to planning banquets!

3. Social Media is Important–Sure, Facebook is pretty nifty, but when it comes to the world of PR, Facebook isn’t everything..twitter, blogging and LinkedIn are just as important!

4. How to Write a Press Release–One of my friends who graduated with a degree in Public Relations taught me how to write a press release just over a month ago. I’d never written one before, but my first one turned out great and was sent out to several news organizations to promote an event with a non-profit I work with. The week after I wrote my first, we learned how to write them in class–I definitely paid attention much more to this one because I knew exactly what my professor was talking about!

5. Public Relations Involves Event Planning–My group presentation was on event planning, from planning group meetings to large events like banquets and conventions! Who knew that part of a PR pro’s job description includes putting together events like these!

6. Copyright is Important–Some of the most beneficial information I received came from the NewsU courses we had to take. The last one, dealing with Online Media Law was extremely helpful with learning what is appropriate to post on the internet, and what could land you in jail!

7. The Difference Between Journalism and Public Relations–I had always thought these were the same, since I have a Journalism minor, and really had no interest in Public Relations. However, I found out the major differences between the two and while I greatly enjoyed learning about the PR field, I realized that I’d rather stick with Journalism.

8. Relationships are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT— Comprendo? I learned this while interviewing PR pro, Carissa Caricato. She was able to meet many important people while working events in college, kept in contact with those she met and then used their influence to help the organization she worked with.

9. There Is Still So Much to Learn–Learning doesn’t end here..we’ll continue to learn as we get onto the PR field and finding jobs.

10. Ragan’s PR Daily Is the Best Site–This site provided so much additional information for me!

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TOW 14: Guest Post!

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This week, I have the privilege of handing my blog over to my good friend Naida Lindberg. She wrote this post for her blog a few weeks back and I found it extremely interesting, especially for new bloggers. She shares from her heart some vital tips to help new bloggers as they journey through this new “world” of online journaling. Enjoy!

Dear, New Bloggers

I can remember the first time I stumbled upon tumblr. The clouds never opened up, but I found this exhilarating feeling of being vulnerable with those I have never even seen. Blogging opens up a window of opportunity to actually say what you mean. You’re not worried about people’s perception because for all you know they are strangers. They slowly become the audience that hears your voice.

However, starting a blog can be a difficult process. I am hoping that through these helpful “tips” you will be on your way to thought sharing, and expression.

Step 1. : Find a blogging site that appeals to you. There are so many different blogging cites that you can plug in at. Tumblr is my personal favorite because of its accessibility. However, this may not be yours so find one that you can get connected with.

Step 2.:  Know the audience you are communicating to. I know I said before that you usually do not know those whom read your blog, but there is a way to get a rough idea of what crowd you are attracting.

Step 3.: Put some time into the look of your blog. I will be honest there are blogs I do not really pay too much attention to because there is nothing that “draws me in”. Find a layout or make one that shows your style but also is appealing to the audience you are communicating to.

Step 4.: Be consistent. It is important to update your blog often. The consistency comes from updating regularly and giving people new things to read. Your blog is not strictly for other people, but if you are looking at reaching a wider audience they would like to probably see new things regularly.

Step 5.: Watch what you post. Now, it is important to voice what you are feeling, but the internet can be a dangerous place. I am not strictly talking about not putting personal information on there. What I am referring to is public bashing. If you have just finished an argument with someone, stay away from a computer.

Step 6.: Interact with your followers. Most of the people that read your blog will want to message you or comment. Be friendly and comment back. If they ask you appropriate questions, answer them. This makes them feel valued and in turn helps them to identify with your blog even more.

Step 7.: Be authentic with your posts. Influence is one thing, but completely hijacking others thoughts is not advisable. Be you, realness is what society is asking for. Sure you may not be the most articulate, but you are the most you than anyone else. People want to hear your voice, so give it to them.

Step 8.: Share your blog on different social network cites. I think there is a way to over advertise your thoughts but most blogs will update your other status’ each time you post something new. Not everyone uses a blog and they possibly would like to read yours, doing this can get them connected with your blog.

Step 9.: Put in effort. Starting a blog is not the difficult part, continuing it however is a completely different story. Writers block and a lack of time can be the death of blogs. Don’t allow yourself to get to this point. Be consistent.

Step 10.: Have fun with it. This may not seem like a good tip, but blogging is not just work. It can open doors for careers yes, but at its core it is about sharing. Sharing is the doorway to vulnerability, if you take it too seriously you may forget why you even do it. Post something goofy and allow yourself to be real.

Now, I am not a blogging expert but I hope these tips help you on this journey into the world of expression. You have been given a voice, now use it.

Here is the address to my tumblr cite.

http://inhalelifeandexhalelove.tumblr.com/

TOW: Week 13

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This week, my group had to give a presentation on Chapter 13 in our book, Think Public Relations. Our presentation was about event management and planning big events like banquets, conventions, cocktail receptions, meetings and open houses.

Before reading and putting this presentation together, I had no idea how much work goes into planning an event such as a meeting or banquet. Granted, banquets are big deals and require months of preparation, but meetings require quite a bit of planning as well! One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was the fact that acquiring a speaker for a large event, such as Conan O’Brien or Sarah Palin can cost upwards of $100,000! This was especially surprising to me since most banquets are held in order to raise money for a charitable organization, yet booking the main speaker costs so much money! Surely, that money could be spent better…but to each his own I guess. This was a very informative chapter–be sure to check out the slideshow below to learn more about putting on events, big or small!

TOW 12: My First Podcast

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My first Podcast ever. Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!

For this podcast, I took a suggestion from a fellow classmate and checked out Marketing Over Coffee by John Wall and Christopher Penn. Why? Because I love coffee, and I figured if they put coffee in their name, then well, they must be pretty cool. While their podcasts are more geared towards the field of Marketing, it was still very helpful as Marketing is an important part of Public Relations.

Wall and Penn discussed several things in their podcast “My Little Pony.” Maybe I didn’t listen well enough, but I never really did understand why it was entitled that…maybe just a catchy post? Anyways, they mostly dealt with new features in the world of Apple, although much of it was a bit out of date since this podcast is about a month old. Of course, the recent passing of Steve Jobs and the legacy he left behind with Apple topped the first part of the conversation. Jobs will definitely be remembered during our lifetime–what would we do without iTunes, the iPhone and iMac?

Much of the first part of their discussion revolved around the new iPhone 4s and Siri, a voice operating system which allows you to use your voice to tell the phone what to do. Pretty nifty, yet it may be hard to put in certain websites.

iMessage was another hot topic, another way to talk with your friends instead of using text messages. iMessaging can be used via your iPhone, iPad or iMac.

Another issue they discussed included Lifecycle marketing concepts or progressive profiling, which consists of asking for bare minimum amount of information, keep asking for additional amounts of information to learn more about this person, and done in a way that the person is unaware of. Reinforce’s Chaldean’s concept of consistency, basically making more of a commitment to the website you are working with.

Question of the week–are you upgrading to the iPhone 4s? Most people say they won’t because it’s too similar to the one they have already. I probably won’t, but instead will get the iPhone 4 and maybe wait for the 5 coming sometime in the future!

The second podcast I listened to was entitled “Back to Flip the Funnel.” John Wall interviewed author Joseph Jaffy and his recent book, “Back to Flip the Funnel.” It’s been out for a little over a year, and the author calls it “the best book he has ever written.” He said it’s an important book dealing with the framework of marketing and customers. To see change being effected, people finding careers that they love is an important part of this book and the campaign. The author seemed very passionate about his book, marketing and working with customers.

I loved how while they were talking, you could hear the hum and whistle of coffee machines…it sure made me crave some Starbucks.

I think PR podcasts are especially insightful for students studying Public Relations to hear from the professionals.

Ethics in PR

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Chapter Nine of Think Public Relations discusses ethics and the law and how that pertains to media. In the book, the authors say, “The difficult in ascertaining whether an act is ethical lies in the fact that individuals have different standards and perceptions of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Most ethical conflicts are not black-or-white issues, but rather fall into a gray area (p 182).” I believe this has a large presence in the job of a PR professional. It’s their job to relate to the public what needs to be said, but be careful of the ways in which it is done.

The PRSA has established a code of ethics including advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness. These are all characteristics a PR professional should be sure to maintain in the work force.When it comes to dealing with the media and relating to the public, one cannot be too careful with their reputation and job title.

Another important factor for PR professionals is dealing with the news media. Public Relations professionals have to be careful with their relationship to the media and be careful not to give out un-substantiated information, personal favors or gifts. I believe this is especially critical for those in the PR field because anyone could take a bribe in order to get their name out in the public or to get a higher stake in the company they work for.

Due to their position in the media and job field, PR professionals also have to be careful with how they handle legal issues including defamation and libel. The book gives several examples of many different corporate giants who had to pay millions of dollars because of false advertising or improper use of images or work without the author’s consent. Also, PR professionals must be careful with expressing their opinion in the corporate environment, especially if working from company owned computers which have a right to monitoring all e-mails. Due to this, PR pro’s should be extremely up to date with current laws and have good relationships with the legal department of the company they work for should anything like this happen.

TOW: NewsU Course: Online Media Law

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I found the Online Media Law course by NewsU to be extremely helpful, providing solid information for those in the upcoming PR field. This course dealt with online media law, particularly in regards to defamation, invasion of privacy and copyright infringement.

As a PR student, it’s important to learn the laws of the media field and just what is acceptable to be written and what is not. It’s important to be fair and honest in all of your writing and use reliable sources. The internet is an extremely powerful tool, used to send breaking news and updates all over the world. Yet it is also a place for millions of people to see things and writers in the media have to be extremely careful with what they put on the internet.

Defamation falls into two categories: libel and slander. Libel is any kind of written defamation, and slander consists of spoken defamation. I feel like this should be common sense to any journalist: don’t say hurtful things about people in your writing. A journalist who uses good, reputable sources and is fair and accurate in what they say can protect themselves from a defamation suit. It’s also important to be careful with how you phrase your sentences of quotes. Sometimes, these can misconstrued, so anyone in the media field must be careful to be as accurate as possible.

Invasion of privacy is when you publish personal information about someone without their permission. I’ve learned that it’s important to always, always ask permission before you use someone’s words, pictures or music. I know I have done this before, without realizing, but this is something very important that we all need to be careful of. In this area, journalists and PR professionals should rely on using public information whenever possible.

Finally, copyright infringement deals with using someone else’s work without giving credit. This law makes sense to me because if I had made something, I would definitely want to receive credit for it. Being a photographer, this definitely applies to me because I want to show people my photos and would hate for them to be taken or abused on the internet. It’s important to always cite information and give credit where credit is due. That’s why I always try to cite wherever I find a picture of a news article.

I was quite interested by some of the different case studies that the course presented. I was especially struck by the one on the invasion of privacy, in which the woman tried to sue the journalist for showing video footage of her after an accident, without her consent. What struck me the most is that the court ruled this invalid because the accident was of public concern. Like the victim, I would not be happy to find video of myself in such a shocking condition on the television without my permission. Bottom line, the journalist should have asked for permission, instead of posting it without consent. There were a few of these laws that confused me a little, so I’d be interested to look into some of them further.

I really enjoyed this course and I think it is very important to anyone who uses the internet, not just those in the PR/Journalism industry. Anything that is put on the internet can be seen by the world, and so we have to be extremely careful with the things we say.

Measuring the Effects

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How does a PR practitioner measure the effectiveness of a campaign? There are a few different ways this effectiveness can be measured.

Bottom line, measurement is important because it shows how well you did on a particular job and if your time and resources spent were worth it or need some changes.This is especially critical for PR professionals who desire to do a better job in their field of work and keep up with the ever changing demands of the public relations field. When it comes to PR, the way a campaign is handled is especially important because their main goal is reaching the people of their target audience. An important element of a campaign is having a clearly established set of measurable objectives.

Let’s begin with the three levels of measurement for public relations, according to the book Think Public Relations…

1) BASIC–message distribution and media placement.

2) INTERMEDIATE–includes more sophisticated techniques, deals with the measurement of audience awareness, comprehension, and retention of the message.

3) ADVANCED–measurement of changes in attitudes, opinions, and behavior.

By using these different levels, PR professionals can more accurately find out the effectiveness of their campaign. For example, in the most basic form of measurement, this includes counting news releases, feature stories, photos, letters and other things. This gives the management an idea of the staff’s productivity level and output. Several other ways include message exposure, press clippings, radio/television mentions, media impressions, number of hits on a website and audience attendance st special events.

There are a variety of ways PR professionals can measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, but using these levels and objectives gives them a criteria for how to better evaluate. I found this chapter to be quite helpful, especially because this kind of measurement relays to many different areas of life, not just in PR.