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Social Media News Release: Final Project July 8, 2010

Filed under: PR Writing 3330,PR Writing 3330 TOW's — Hillary @ 8:17 pm

A Social Media News Release is an advanced press release that is characterized by using different types of media. The news release can contain videos clips, blogs, links, and resources. The media spices up the release and has more potential to capture the reader’s eye and keep their attention and focus. SMNRs are vital to companies due to rapid technological advancements through the Web 2.0. Companies don’t have a choice but to adapt and take part in the social media trends. 

SMNRs make it easier for journalists and other people who are interested in your company to find information in one place on the Internet.  Social media users share free information, advice, and tips through different ways such as blogging, videos, and on social media sites. As a result, information about a company can reach more people than traditional news releases because of social media and Web 2.0. ”Social media press releases provide links to more resources that are helpful for story research and they also package information into formats that are easy to use for quotes and citing references/statistics. Images, audio and video also add impact to the release,” said Lee Odden . However, Social media news releases are only successful if they have creative and simple key terms and tags. 

Social media is more than engaging and participating; it’s about understanding what social media tools to use along with knowing what social media sites best fit a company.  For example, it is easy to upload an image to a site and into a social media news release. With each image however should be a description, key terms, and tags that are used in the description of the image as discussed on Lauren Hopkins’s blog.  This one example of  how SMNRs are optimized for the web 2.0 and for search engines.  Having a social media news release means that companies need to understand what social media tools to use within a SMNR and how these tools benefit the company.  Companies, organizations and agencies have to decide what their image or purpose throughout social media is. From there, they can create a social media news release using various tools throughout social media. 

Some advantages of an SMNR are:

1. It can reach journalists, bloggers, and the public at large.

2. It appeals to everyone, not only businesses and journalists

3. SMNR’s are sent out through a variety of social media links and tools

SMNR’s  disadvantages:

1.   It would have a harder time reaching tech savvy people. Since it is sent through online media tools, one would have to be very familiar with the web and online media.

SMNR Tips:

  • use key terms within the social media news release
  • use tags
  • create blogs so that you’re able to receive customer feedback
  • have creative key terms that are simple
  • upload all sites or links you have throughout the Internet
  • if images and videos are used, have a description, categories, key terms, and tags under each
  • use links, but don’t go too link crazy; it could become confusing to the reader

Additional Tips on creating a SMNR & examples of SMNRs:

Definitive Guide to Social Media By Brian Solis

The Basics of a Social Media News Release

Social Media News Releases: Do Them or Not

Free Website for creating SMNR

Pitchengine: Social Media Press Release Builder

Ford-An example of a social media news release


TOW: 10 points on blogging June 27, 2010

Filed under: PR Writing 3330 TOW's — Hillary @ 9:07 pm


Here are 10 suggestions to do when blogging. These are things I have discovered over the course of this semester. Keep up the good work!

1. Leave Comments – By leaving other people comments you are connecting with them and sharing your ideas. What is the point of a blog when you don’t share ideas with each other?

2. Update!!!!!!!!!!!! Updating your blog is like changing your underwear in blog world. You should do it every day when you can. It will help you keep in contact with people and will help you keep your own online journal of your own thoughts and ideas. It also can help relieve stress to write what you’re thinking online! Within reason of course!

3. Create an About Me page. Having an About Me page really makes you personal to other users and audiences. It makes you seem more human and not just another blog website online. It also helps the users to get to know you and help them understand a little better about your blog posts. Make sure you keep your About me professional though. There are certain things that the internet users don’t need to know about!

4. Keep it entertaining/interesting. No one wants to read about boring things. Always do some research and keep up to date on what’s going on around the world/community. People will want to know more about what you’re writing if you keep it current!

5. Include Infographics. Including charts and visual aids will help the reader follow along in a more organized fashion. It will also hook their interest if the first thing they see is a picture instead of nothing but paragraphs. Including photos can skyrocket the popularity of your blog.

6. Find other blogs that interest you. Keeping yourself interested in other’s blogs will urge you to comment and post blogs yourself.

7. Have fun! Having fun with blogging is half of the battle. Don’t look at it like a 20 page paper you have to write. If you blog about something you want then you will enjoy it so much more. Trust me! This was  something I had to learn this semester!

8. Cite sources. Plagiarism is still possible on blogs. Make sure you give the credit to whom deserves it!

9. Be careful what you say. Yes it is your own blog and you can say anything you’d like according to free speech but I recommend to stay within boundaries. Offending a lot of people could cost you a lot of readers. You want to stay somewhat positive when keeping a blog!

10. Grammar. Beware of your spelling and grammar mistakes. A lot of readers might not understand jargon and may not understand what you are trying to get across.


TOW: 10 Ways PR Professionals drive Journalists Crazy! June 20, 2010

Filed under: PR Writing 3330 TOW's — Hillary @ 4:49 am

I’m sure there are a million ways in which PR professionals can drive journalists crazy. I can already see me having to explain myself to a fellow journalist friend in the future. Knowing what drives them crazy will help me in the future to not burn any bridges and keep some close connections! My aunt works as a journalist in North Dakota and she gave me most of these reasons why she cannot stand the PR people sometimes.

  1. Telling the journalist what to do how to do it. PR professionals and journalists need each other to get a job done. PR professionals need to stick to what they know and let the journalist do their work. It will cut out bickering and fighting in the long run if both people just do their own jobs and then meet in the middle.
  2. Not Meeting a deadline on time. Journalists are all about deadlines, getting a story in, out and on to the next one. It is crucial that PR Professionals make sure to have all the information for the journalist or vice versa on time. Deadlines are everything in the world of journalism.
  3. Not telling the truth. If PR professionals lie to the journalists they will not be considered credible and they might never work together effectively again. It is important to be honest and up front with the journalists at all times.
  4. Press Release not getting to the point. Journalists could care less about the client and the company. They want the story to give to the public. PR professionals need not go on and on about that to try and impress the journalist. Give them the facts and news period.
  5. Know what you are talking about. PR professionals should always make sure to do their research on everything before spitting out what they “think they know.”
  6. Do not Tweet the journalist asking if they got your press release. Journalists are very busy and will see your press release when they see it. My aunt told me that she will get to it when she gets to it. Patience is a virtue.
  7. Not making your theme/title of a press release interesting. Journalists get tired of seeing the same thing over and over. Come up with a catchy title and theme so it will keep the journalists attention, otherwise it will be thrown away!
  8. Calling the journalist’s editor first before the journalist when not happy with a story. Discuss it with the journalist first if you are not happy with a story and if nothing can be worked out then go above their head. No need to “tattle.”
  9. News Conferences. Schedule the conference when it is most convenient for the journalist.
  10. Becoming close. You will be working along the side of journalists for all of your PR career. It’s important to connect with them and get to know them.

There are some of the reasons why PR professionals drive journalists crazy. If you have more to add to my list leave me a comment and tell me some of your reasons!


TOW: 5 Steps to Media Storytelling June 15, 2010

Filed under: PR Writing 3330 TOW's — Hillary @ 5:33 am

I didn’t spend a lot of time on the site 5 Steps to Media Storytelling http://www.newsu.org/node/338 but the time I did; I learned a lot. This was an easy step-by-step way to show people how to write a web-based story properly. It also tells of all the different media to use when telling a story and how to use each one to your benefit.

What I learned was that multimedia journalists really need to be ready for the unexpected. They need a laptop, a camera, lens cleaners, extra batteries, cables, tapes, video recorder, duct tape, microphone, and a tripod. It’s essential to carry all this if something goes wrong.

What I also learned was the 5 step process to writing a web-based story:

1. Choose a story – talk to experts and gather info to get ideas and facts

2. Story board – Define elements, name which medium you will be using, and sketch a guide

3. Reporting with multimedia  – equipment is the same no matter where you go, always expect the unexpected

4. Editing for the web – use high quality audio, keep videos short 1 to 2 mins, include photos, use flash to animate graphics, use text for headlines and photo captions

5. Producing the story –  web designer serves as your editor

The thing that shocked me the most was how many things to bring when reporting. I figured a camera and laptop would be good enough! Apparently it requires many more things to write a good story.

I would like to learn more about the reporting part. I would love to see someone use all those things live one day.


TOW: Getting more involved with Twitter! June 9, 2010

Filed under: PR Writing 3330 TOW's — Hillary @ 3:54 am


In the last week, I’ve gotten into the Twitter thing a lot more. I wasn’t aware of how many companies and firms were Twitter users. It’s crazy to me while you’re online you can see a person update what they’re thinking at that moment. Major Public Relations companies upload their thoughts and projects all the time. Rob Tencer is one of the PR people who I followed first. This certain PR person is all over the place. He is on Facebook and all over Google. He is updating his twitter constantly. People who crave the spotlight and want to get famous: Rob Tencer is the PR Rep for you!

Ria Ramano is another PR person that I have followed closely on Twitter. She works for the RPR firm which is known globally around the world. This firm deals with thousands of people per day who are trying to get their products or ideas out there.

Twitter is such a great way to promote a company or yourself. I really think twitter is a useful and helpful tool. It can help one find a job possibly, or even if there’s a question you don’t know, you can ask and someone will probably come back with an answer almost right away. It’s one of  the quickest way I’ve gotten ahold of someone besides Facebook and my cell phone. Mrs. Nixon mentioned a story one time that a boy was in the process of getting arrested and he was able to reach in his pocket to his cell phone and tweet to his friends to meet him  at the jail for bail! How handy is that?

Communication plays such a huge part in PR, so having a Twitter account is a great way to relate and talk with other people. Although Twitter is useful and very helpful; people need to be careful how you use it and what you say. After hearing all these horror stories of people getting fired just because they tweet something, scares me a little. Twitter definitely puts a whole new spin on the difference between a personal life or business. All these celebrities have accounts and you would expect them to act more professional somewhat, but Twitter certainly allows them to be normal people and to update their life as it happens. I never thought so much could go into just a simple Twitter account!


TOW: Why Blogging is Important! June 8, 2010

Filed under: PR Writing 3330,PR Writing 3330 TOW's — Hillary @ 4:20 pm

When I first had to get a blog I constantly wondered to myself what the point was and thought that no one else on earth blogs I’m sure.  I was so wrong. I was the one that jumped on the bandwagon. Everyone blogs. Celebrities and organizations are hiring people every day to blog FOR them….YES THEY GET PAID TO BLOG! I was always told that blogging was a diary. It can be, but blogging is taken more seriously every day. Blogging is personal, but not a monologue. There is room for comments and feedback from other bloggers. Opinions are encouraged but when stating them, remain unselfish knowing that there is someone out there with the total opposite opinion as well.

Blogging is a great way to connect with customers if you are using it for business. It can help improve the company’s reputation and always keeps the communication line open. In order to keep an open communication with someone, one should blog often. Not only should you just blog, but check out others pages and ideas and give them feedback too. Blogging is meant as a way to communicate ideas to others, not to write your feelings and sign off. Blogging has become very important in the business and social world. It is important to learn how to blog because who knows, you might get hired to blog for a living.


Chapter 7 Summary June 7, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Summaries,PR Writing 3330 — Hillary @ 10:48 am

Chapter 7 discussed news features and Op-eds.

Right-brain thinking is critical when one is writing a feature story. It requires creativity and intuition. A feature story basically creates publicity for a product or service. It gives background, and context to events and products. Although writing a feature story demands right-brained thinking, be cautious not to hype up the story too much. There are 4 different approaches to feature writing:

1. distribute a general feature to a variety of publications

2. write an exclusive article for a publication

3. interest a freelancer or reporter in writing a story

4. post feature articles on the organization’s website

There are also many amounts of features:

1. case study

2. application story

3. research study

4. backgrounder

5. personality profile

6. historical feature

One would want to use photos and graphics to make the feature more interesting and eye-catching. In using photos the feature becomes more entertaining for the reader.

Last, Op-ed’s are pages that contain the views and opinions of people who are not a part of the staff of the newspaper. They must feature strong writing, use facts, and are generally 400 to 700 words in length.