The Rainbow Guy

July 14, 2010

If you haven’t seen it- just watch patiently…

what was he thinking?

BP’s Fault

July 12, 2010

I know the video isn’t the best, but for those who haven’t heard this yet- take a look at the video and listen to the words he says.  But I know… it’s all… whose fault?

TOW 9: Advice

July 12, 2010

What advice do I have to offer students who are setting out on the journey of blogging? Stay tuned!

  1. Keep it simple. Don’t overload yourself or your readers with words. Just like a Powerpoint.
  2. Say it and mean it. Your words have a certain authority so use them appropriately with honesty, strength and humility.
  3. Think about it. Before you write something, make sure you think about it. Don’t just take up space with words that’s someones time your taking up.
  4. Rethink it, spell check it, grammar check it, revise it. If you have the sense to write it, have the sense to make sure it all streams well together and is proper. One of the greatest inventions ever for a computer has been spell checker, so don’t be afraid to use it.
  5. Comment. When you make the effort to read what others have to say, make the effort to tell them what you think. Be it good or bad, let them know their words aren’t going into the great abyss without having touched another soul.
  6. Do your research. Don’t throw out a bunch of jargon and statistics you found online. Make the time to research whatever you’re going to talk about. This gives you credibility and opens your mind to truly understanding whatever it is you wish to talk about.
  7. Branch out. Don’t stick to the same blogs/podcasts/websites all the time. When you vary it, your brain is actually stimulated and besides it opens doors to communication with someone new that could possibly change your life.
  8. Make it interesting and relatable. Just because Jane was kissing Tommy under the apple tree doesn’t make it interesting. When I know Jane, and that John is her boyfriend and Tommy is John’s brother it’s interesting. When it’s professional and current facts it’s relatable.  Also inserting pictures and videos keep the interest high.
  9. Have fun with it. Don’t take yourself or those that read your blog too seriously. If there is no humor, people get bored and won’t come back. If you are too serious about a comment, you turn people off from wanting to hear your views any further.
  10. Believe in yourself. If you don’t no-one else will!

I am sure I could come up with more, but these are the things I struggled with as a blogger and a reader. Follow these ten commandments and you’ll be okay. 🙂

TOW 7: Podcasts

July 12, 2010

In listening to different podcasts, it was hard to find one that I could concentrate on. Because I have attention deficit disorder, it is difficult for me to physically sit down and do nothing but listen to someone talk. Especially when you can’t see the people talk. However, I found a few that I actually liked.

The first of these was on For Immediate Release. The podcast was an interview with Jennifer Cohen on the Uni-Ball Facebook campaign on July 7, 2010. The banter went back and forth about how Jennifer is the president of a small marketing boutique called Something Creative. As the interview progressed into questions about the uni-ball campaign to give away half a million free pens, it became clear how important using social networks can be to marketing. At one point, Holtz (the interviewer) asked Cohen how she advertised for this campaign. She said they had ads running on the television during the olympics, and there was  always a spot for the Facebook address at the bottom of the advertisement. When asked if she did any advertising actually through Facebook, Cohen told him how they were waiting to see how the campaign did after only a few days, due to a budget. Because the campaign did so well in the beginning, there was no need to advertise on the website. She also expressed how well the campaign worked because with having half a million pens, the team thought it would take around three months to get rid of all of them, in turn they were pen-less after only a month. The campaign was seeing success with 10,000 pens being given away each day. 

In a second podcast, I turned to Marketing over coffee which had a podcast entitled: Offensive Americans. After driving 7 hours to visit my grandmother over the weekend, 3 of those hours in rush hour traffic in the middle of Atlanta this podcast seemed to be right up my alley!  I found this podcast unique in that the delivery was basically two guys (John and Chris) carrying on a conversation over coffee. To me, it was very reminiscent of the tv show “Friends” when they would all sit in the coffee-house and talk about nothing in particular, but some important stuff all the while.  One of the things these two guys zeroed in on was the differences in high culture and low cultures ad viewing. I completely agree with and understand why there would be trepidation in paying for online advertisements. One knows what they’re paying for but not precisely who will be viewing that advertisement. Unlike advertising on television channels (the golf channel, the food network, lifetime, fox news, etc) or in magazines (playboy, vogue, teen beat, better homes and gardens) or even in the newspaper, when advertising online it is hard to narrow down exactly what your audiences demographic will be. If someone were to advertise on Facebook a new mp3 player, once upon a time they could have been certain that the viewers of that add were going to be young adults between 18 and 25ish. Now, that add can be seen by anyone from the age of 7-65ish. It is hard to narrow down your audience. Also where you may want to advertise a new platinum diamond ring, the only people who may see the ad are those that can’t afford it.
However, there must be some good in it. At least there are people seeing your ads, right?

Personally, I feel that a podcast can benefit PR students/practitioners in that they can hear what others are saying, what is the topic of conversation, what is the latest trends, and how others are handling certain issues. It is a great way for someone in the field of Public Relations to become connected with a world that isn’t on their back door step.

 

Chapter 14:

News releases, also called press releases, have been around since 1906 when Ivy Lee produced a press release for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The primary goal of a news release is to release information about events or issues to newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines. The news release is the most commonly used public relations tactic.  These are not paid advertisements and are often judged on their news worthiness, timeliness, and interest to readers. These should be written as news stories, by using the inverted pyramid style; the first paragraph should have the more important pieces of information.

Mat Releases are a variation of the news release where primarily a feature angle is used rather than hard news.

A media kit is meant to give editors and reporters a variety of information and resources to make it easier for the reporter to write about the topic, usually a major event or product launching.

Distribution of this media can be done in five different ways: 

  1. First-class mail
  2. Fax
  3. Email
  4. Electronic Wire Services
  5. Web-based newsrooms

Chapter 15: 

Radio news releases are called ANR’s (audio news release) and the major difference between radio and news is the ANR is written to be heard. This means that sentences must be short (average about 10 words), strong, and to the point for clear understanding by listeners.

When it comes to television, there are four approaches to getting viewpoints and an organizations’ news on the air:

  1. Send the same news release that the local print media receive.
  2. A media alert or advisory informing the assignment editor about a particular event or occasion that would lend itself to video coverage.
  3. To phone or e-mail the assignment editor and make a pitch to have the station do a particular story.
  4. To approach a video news release package that, like an ANR, is formatted for immediate use with a minimum of effort by station personnel.

 Radio and Television stations accept PSAs (public service announcements) from nonprofit organizations. This promotes the programs of government or voluntary agencies that serve the public interest. Public service announcements differ from standard radio news releases in that radio stations have similar announcements at different lengths.

Podcasts: a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program. These are made available through the internet.

Information on these two chapters can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics .
Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

In an article by Patricia Reaney, AARP did a study of the baby boomer generation (adults 50-64) and more than twenty-five percent of Americans are staying connected by using social networks such as twitter, myspace, and facebook. The study also shows that “nearly a quarter of older Americans are on Facebook and 73 percent said they use it to stay in touch with relatives, but not just their children and grandchildren.”

I can personally see this because my own parents, who are in this same demographic, are constantly talking about who they found on facebook. It seems that it is becoming their new telephone. I can see the reasoning behind it; why call long distance (even though we have free long distance on the cell phone) when you can talk to them all you want on facebook. My mother, who is the primary user of facebook in our house, makes me laugh because when she runs into someone she hasn’t seen in a long time, she says “I never see anyone except on facebook!” The other day I was talking to both of my parents about Twitter and the intensity on their faces as they listen to my description of the site was almost shocking. At one point in my life, I never thought I would be able to talk about the internet with my parents, and them be on the same page as I. However, I can see the gap is slowing being bridged by these sites and the ease in which a person can use them.

While Facebook and Twitter, Myspace and others are great forms of communication, and great mediums for public communications, I still can’t help but think back to the days when things were much more simple and all I had to worry about was caller id. For you see, though they may be great tools to contact someone, there is also a sense of invasion of privacy. No longer can you simply say you’re going to the store for cleaning supplies and to get some gas without the federal government flagging your name. No longer can you talk about how much fun you and your boyfriend had this weekend without opening yourself for the worlds’ opinion of WHAT you did.

Though it is meant only as a networking site, social it may be, but shouldn’t we be precautious of “big brother” and the watchful eye?

I digress and congratulate the baby boomer generation for hopping onto the social networking bandwagon. Just remember, as I tell my own parents, you never know who’s watching, so be careful what you say! 🙂

Click here to see the story.

In researching tips for writing an effective press release I came across two helpful websites. I learned through this research that an effective press release can be one of the best techniques for publicizing an event or issue. According to one of these websites, ” A well-written, well-distributed and well-timed press release is not difficult or expensive to produce, yet can be effective and useful for waging peace.”

Some tips are:

  • Have a clear and engaging text
  • Prepare a careful selection of recipients
  • Have good timing.
  • Pay close attention to the content of the release
  • Start strong
  • Write for the media
  • Stick to the facts
  • Pick an angle and stick to it
  • Use active voice, not passive
  • Beware of jargon
  • Get permission

Basically, it is important to state all the facts, don’t beat around the bush. Make your presence known through the words without being pushy or overbearing. If it is to the point, while saying what you need to say it should be okay.

A good press release follows these guidelines:

  1. Format – necessary information is given in a readable, accessible, and professional manner
  2. Style – easy to read and engaging
  3. Distribution – given to just the right reporters, editors, and broadcasters
  4. Timing – for release at the most optimal time for both reporters and the target audience

For more information on how to write effective press releases, please visit PRWebDirect or NAPF: How to write effective press releases .

TOW 6: A time of crisis

July 12, 2010

According to a slide show presented by professor Barbara Nixon, a crisis is “a non-routine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threatens significant reputational damage.”

A crisis can put a great deal of strain on anyone, and sometimes even more so on a PR representative. However, there are seven things that can be done to relieve some of the stress and help the recovery process:

  1. A list of the members of the crisis management team
  2. Contact information for key officers, spokespeople, and crisis management members
  3. Fact sheets on the company, each division, each physical location, and each product offered.
  4. Profiles and biographies for each key manager in your company
  5. Copies of your company, division and product logos, your press release format and the scanned in signature of your CEO on disk
  6. Pre-written scripts answering key questions that you have generated through your crisis scenario analysis
  7. Contact information for each of you key media contacts both locally, nationally, and if appropriate, key financial press and analysts.

There are 3 R’s of Crisis Communication: Research, Response, and Recovery.

Take for example the latest Mel Gibson saga. Mel has been accused of being abusive to his ex-girlfriend and recently there have been tapes (phone) leaked to the press that sound like Mel Gibson talking to his ex, all expressing his anger at her for the way she dresses to not loving her.

“Any situation can be dealt with and some are easier than others,” says Glenn Selig in an interview about Crisis Management PR for Hollywood Celebrities, “The most critical thing is to create a plan and deal with the situation and not avoid it.”

No matter how the crisis is overcome, one thing is important to remember: stay calm and keep the communication flowing!

Diversity is the most important aspect of the public when relating to PR.

Three Major Demographics:

  1. Youth and Young Adults- 15 to 24 year olds; convince parents to buy; spend at least 1/3 of their lives online.
  2. Baby Boomers- generation of American’s born after WWII; concerned with saving for retirement; don’t typically splurge on consumer goods.
  3. Seniors- 65+ years old; demand great value for consumer goods; extremely health conscious; travel a lot; watch a lot of tv due to free time from retirement.

TV is an important form of media because it reaches several different demographics, as well as being informative on world affairs.

PR practitioners can be held legally liable if they provide advice or support an illegal activity of a client or employer.

  • Libel is a printed falsehood
  • Slander was an oral statement that was false

Public relations staff must be particularly sensitive to the issue of privacy in at least four areas:

  1. Employee Newsletters
  2. Photo Releases
  3. Product publicity and advertising
  4. Media inquires about employees

Also, a professional must be aware of copyright laws, as well as trademark laws.

Trademark is a word, symbol, or slogan, used singly or in combination, that identifies a product’s origin

Information in the post can be found at Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Authored by Dennis Wilcox and Glen Cameron

Here is a link to Keiths’ blog.

As I was looking through PR Daily News today, I saw a link to Keith Trivitt’s blog: PRBreakfast Club and was really pleased with his latest blog. It basically names 5 tips for PR Professionals during the summer months- so one can stay on top of their field. I found this very useful, and though I may not be a “professional” yet, it is nice that I can already have ideas for things to do in my summer. Also- these five tips can help out so many people, in many different fields. So, here are the 5 tips:

1) Take a reporter out to lunch. As Keith said- “summer is slow for most people in media-land” and it can give you a good connection to that reporter.  Everyone needs to eat. It is a great way to put a face to a name and personalize your relationship: something more than a voice or a name.

2) Exert some editorial influence.  This is another great way to get ahead of the game and try to have some influence on what will be.

3) Look beyond your normal industry reads. In other words- branch out; become well rounded; become knowledgable because, as in the words of the GI Joe- “Knowing is half the battle.”

4) Think Trends.  Become a trendsetter yourself by making yourself aware of the latest trends. This sets you apart and can be viewed as someone who is not only trendy, but is also ahead of the game.

5) Enjoy every piece of media that’s in front of you. I couldn’t agree with Keith more on this tid bit of information. There is so much media that can be used to enhance ones’ ability to be the best. Learning the different forms of media and utilization of those mediums is key to presenting a successful, knowledgable, well rounded figure.

A few things to remember on the road to each success story! Thanks Keith!