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Hangin with Hillary

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.

 

Chapter 6 June 1, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Summaries — Hillary @ 6:17 pm

Chapter 6 discusses how to prepare fact sheets, advisories, media kits, and pitches.

  • Fact Sheets are a brief outline of an event, organization, or a new product. The reason these are written is to supply editors and journalists with information
  • Media Advisories tell editors about upcoming events. They include the 5 W’s and H in an outline form and can give photo, video, or interview opportunities
  • Media Kits are kits that can contain news releases, photos, stories, fact sheets, etc.
  • Electronic Press Kits are available online and prepared in a CD format.  They include more videos and photos.
  • A purpose of a pitch letter is to convince an editor or journalist to cover a news story or event.
 

TOW: Clean Your Copy

Filed under: PR Writing 3330,PR Writing 3330 TOW's — Hillary @ 5:55 pm

Clean Your Copy opened my eyes to how very little I know about basic grammar! The only part I excelled in was the spelling part. I’ve always been an excellent at spelling, and would USUALLY consider myself  good at grammar. So much for that assumption! Clean Your Copy is a great way to not only help better yourself in writing, but easily takes you step by step. It shows you the same words with different spellings, tells you when to use like or as, etc.  It takes about an hour or two to complete, so make sure you have enough spare time to finish it.

It focused on 4 main things:

  • Grammar
  • AP style
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling

Spelling, punctuation and grammar I did well in when tested on the site. However, my AP skills could use more sharpening. I never had to use AP much until I had to write papers in college. Using this website could help me improve my AP immensly, especially if I plan to write news releases and what not in the near future with my career.

When writing is the main focus in your career, it is vital to have a good knowledge and understanding of grammar. You can’t write a decent column, journal, paper or news release without proper usage of grammar. It is so important to get the basics down before anything more advanced, and that was my problem. I didn’t have my basics down yet. My mom and dad always told me, “You need to learn how to crawl before you can walk!” This is true in anything you do, even something simple as writing a paper. I suggest any person try this site. It can help you excel in writing and has great and simple tips.

LINK:http://www.newsu.org/courses/cleaning-your-copy-grammar-style-and-more

 

Chapter 3 Summary

Filed under: Chapter Summaries — Hillary @ 7:35 am

Chapter 3 basically discusses the laws that PR practitioners have to and should abide by. Here are some suggestions for staying within the law boundaries that I took from Chapter 3:

  • Copyright your ideas when they are put on paper, but also be wary and do not steal anyone else’s work
  • do not say anything that could cause hurt to a person’s reputation. That is called libel and defamation.
  • no misleading quotes, you don’t want anyone to make a mistake and say they heard something but didn’t
  • do not pass private information to someone and expect them to keep a secret
  • no false advertising, stick to the truth and what you see and report, stay away from the hype
  • trademarks are protected by law (like the NIKE check symbol) if used out of context you could be sued
  • FTC will ensure that advertisements are not false
  • make sure celebrities really do use the product you are trying to sell before you try to pass it off as that
  • watch the language and what you say at all times
  • Securities and exchange commission watches the financial affairs and protects interests of stockholders
  • If you have a blog, twitter, Facebook, etc…watch what you say, you might offend the wrong person and could end up in a law suit. Keep opinions to a minimum

As long as you abide by these rules and watch what you do, you won’t ever have any problem with the law. Always stick to the truth!

 

Chapter 2 Summary( Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis Wilcox)

Filed under: Chapter Summaries — Hillary @ 7:35 am

This chapter was  a bit of a review for me.  It discussed the basics of communication such as  a sender….channel….receiver.  Then the chapter goes into the different styles of writing :

  • Cognitive dissonance making the reader or audience question their beliefs
  • Framing – the selection of certain facts, stories, and themes to get interest in their story
  • Diffusion and Adoption giving the reader new ideas and encouraging them to “adopt” their idea
  • hierarchy of Needs – this is a graph that lists humans basic needs for survival all the way to their social/emotional needs

Chapter 2 also discussed that there are certain factors to Persuasive writing:

  1. Audience Analysis –  Knowing who your audience is and recognizing what appeals to them is crucial to what you are selling or promoting. Getting a better understanding of your audience will help you better recognize what they wish and want.
  2. Source Credibility – In order to get your audience to believe or trust you about what you are selling or advertising, you want someone who the audience can connect with and believe. For example, sometimes companies will get celebrities to advertise and market something for them because the people recognize them and will believe them. Or perhaps you would like to hire a professional surgeon to tell it is ok to get certain surgeries done to oneself.
  3. Appeal to Self-Interest – The audience/consumers want what’s best for themselves. What the audience is interested in and wants to know about is what PR people need to see and recognize. How can it benefit them?
  4. Clarity of the Message – Make sure the audience can understand what you are trying to tell them.
  5. Timing and Context – timing is everything…make sure it appeals to the audience when it is relevant to them
  6. Symbols, Slogans, and Acronyms – create symbols that the audience can recognize and relate to. Such as the Nike swoosh symbol. It is recognized globally around the world.
  7. Semantics – Be careful what you write. Different words mean different things to different people. Dog may mean a cute puppy to a little American girl, but may mean food to a little 5-year-old Asian girl. (This is true, one of my friends from asia considered dog a gourmet meal!)
  8. Content and Structure –  Overall people and audiences alike want to hear a good, interesting, and captivating story. They want drama, they want real stats, they want to know what others think with surveys and polls. Audiences want to hear examples of others like them, testimonials from different people. They want to be a part of the story and a part of the action. It is your job to include them.

To persuade your audience into something you are writing you need to reach their hearts and minds first. Reach their heart with a story and feed their minds with statistics. People are not stupid and can see phony a mile away. Be truthful and ethical in your writing and you will get the audiences trust and respect.