Archive | October, 2010

Interview with Martin Waxman

28 Oct

Topic of the Week (10) – COMM 2322

 This week for my Topic of the Week assignment I had the satisfaction I watching Barbara Nixon’s interview with Martin Waxman, the president and co-founder of Palette Public Relations Inc.

  1. What did I learn from the Interview?

I learned a variety of new things while listening to the interview. One thing I found interesting was how Waxman discussed the roles of educators and technology. Waxman discussed that professors need to take advantage of social networking to allow their students to contact them more proficiently.  He pointed out that in the past students contacted the teacher through phone or e-mail. Now however, there are more and more instances of students being able to access their teachers quickly and at various times during the day. All thanks for social networking.

  1. What surprised me?

 I was kind of surprised by Waxman’s thoughts on social media skills in an intern or possible future employee. He stated that it is important for them to have a “great understanding of tradition media interaction.” Waxman stated that it was more important for a person to understand the methods of communication rather than use one/have one themselves. With all due respect I find that a little contradicting. How are you supposed to completely understand the uses and effects of media interaction if you are not participating in them yourself? How is a person supposed to completely understand Twitter if they don’t use/have one? I mean I guess it’s possible, just a little unpractical. I would rather have an intern/ employee that understands the traditional communication strategies but is also involved in social networking and technologies.

  1. I want to know more.

I liked learning about how they record their podcast. I think it is cool that they work together, and talk to one another all the time but that the participants in the podcast scarcely see each other in person. I think this is just an example of how technology has changed the working world. I think it is impressive that we have all these different channels to connect from our very own home or office.

 Once again thank you Martin Waxman for your insight for our class!

 If you want to watch the interview click HERE.


Site Stats: Good to Know!

26 Oct

              I think that knowing the Site Stats of your blog is important information for any blogger. Looking at my own personal stats I am able to see what kind of posts get the most attention. For instance, in my blog the most popular posts are One Week of Twitter and Gap Redesign post. They are interesting concepts and I have grabbed the attention of my peers.

             It is important to know what kind of topics get the most attention. If my blog about one subject doesn’t get any attention, I probably don’t want to keep writing posts about it. Or in the same instance if my stats for a certain subject are skyrocketing I will probably want to keep writing on that topic.

            Stats are also beneficial because they let me see how people come across a blog. This information is under “referrers”. Referrers are things such through Google searches, links from my Twitter, links from a friend’s blog, etc. Referrers are sites of links that have led a viewer to a blog. Stats help bloggers be reflective, they kind of serve as a critique for your blog.

            As a blogger I also like to know how many people have visited my site in one day. The stats page shows me this information. Some days I may get no views and other days I will 40-something views. It is interesting for me to know that people are looking at my blog. I don’t really see any significant correlation in the rise and fall of views. One trend I see, however, is that the views on my blog drop over the weekend. I know that most of the views I get are from my peers and people are “out and about” doing more things on the weekends.  

            It is good to know where people are looking, where they are coming from, and what they may want to hear more about in the future.

Pretty Good Student Blog

21 Oct

 In my Public Relations Applications class with Barbara Nixon we all have to maintain our own blog. I think a lot of the students have very interesting styles, thoughts, and posts.

One of the blog’s that I really enjoy reading is Sam Mooty’s “Sam Mooty Fall 2010 PR Blog”

I think is blog is catching to the eye and his format is stylistic yet simple. I really enjoy Moot’s PR Connection posts. The posts always include some of the latest media information that I find really interesting. He uses images and videos effectively to enhance the information on his posts. He is not afraid to express his opinion but is appropriate when doing so.

I really enjoyed Mooty’s post ‘Gaga “Born This Way”’. He focused on Lady Gaga in a new light, moving away from the popular topic of the disgust of her meat dress and focused more on the proposition of her being PR genius.

I also like the style of Mooty’s “Blog Comments” posts. I like that he uses his own picture to convey the required blog comment number. I think it is creative and something I haven’t seen yet in other student’s blogs.

Tips for Writing a Feature Story

21 Oct

10 Tips for Feature Story Writing

Feature stories, also known as soft news, often give details that paint a picture of lasting existence. Hard news, or breaking news, is about recent events that need to be told to the public as soon as possible. Hard news is the stories that a newspaper or news program wants to be the first to expose. There is a time-rush on the clock to get the information/story out there quickly. Some example of hard news events are tsunamis, terrorist attacks, and other events in which their significance is rooted from their relevance.

    But a feature is different. “Features are often about how we live, learn, and love.” Compared to hard news feature stories are timeless. They capture the happenings of our daily lives.

So here are 10 tips from different sources (see list below) that I think are crucial when it comes to writing a successful feature story.

          1.  Choose a topic that is interesting to your audience.

                    – For example if I am writing a feature for my campus’ newspaper I should write about something that the students/faculty and staff are interested in. A new coffee shop opening in New York isn’t an applicable topic for an audience in Lakeland, Fla.

        2. Inform, Entertain, and Persuade

                   – According to the WritingHood Blog it is the purpose of a feature story.         

       3.  Have a good headline.

                   -A good headline grabs a reader’s attention and makes them want to read the story.

      4.   Plan ahead

                 -Although features aren’t as restricted on time they are more likely to be read if the subject is of interest at the time.  For example, a feature on Christmas songs is not going to be appropriate for an issue in March.

     5.  Use Description to grab reader’s interest and attention.

     6.  Avoid Commercialism.

                  -According to NewsUSA “if a feature reads like an ad the editor won’t run it.”

     7.  Get the right quote.

                 – The quotes, like in any news story, help set the mood and tone of the peace. They affect what the reader will think and possibly feel.

     8.  Write in active voice.

     9.  Include a Picture.

    10. Use most beneficial format/story structure

 Other Sources:


Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics

19 Oct

COMM 4333 Chapter 8- Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics

            Text: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques -6th Edition- Wilcox, D.

The Importance of Publicity Photos

            They add interest and variety and they often explain things better than words alone.

Components of a Good Photo

  1. Technical Quality
  2. Subject Matter
  3. Composition
  4. Action
  5. Scale
  6. Camera Angle
  7. Lighting and Timing
  8. Color

Working with Photographers

            Finding Photographers

  1. Do you shoot digital?
  2. Can you show me examples of other similar photos you have taken?
  3. What contacts do you have with the media and how will you help me distribute the photo once it has been shot?


                        Written document helps you avoid misunderstandings about fees, costs of materials, and copyright ownership.

            Photo Session

                        Plan ahead in detail

            Cropping and Retouching

            Ethical Considerations

                        Increasing concern in the ethical and legal boundaries of altering photos.

Writing Photo Captions

            *not a description of the photo

            *write to provide context and additional information

Creating Other Graphics

            Charts, Diagrams, Rendering and Scale Models, Line Drawings and Clip Art.

Maintaining Photo and Art Files

            Include: 1).The date of the event 2). When the photo was taken. 3). Location 4). Releases from people portrayed 5). Complete names and titles of people shown. 6).The name and address of the photographer.

Distributing Photos and Artwork


  1. Thumbnail 2. Slightly bigger preview image 3. A low-resolution version 4. A high-resolution one

            Media Kits

            Electronic Distribution Service

                        I.e. Business Wire, PRNewswire

            Social Networking

Beyond the Inverted Pyramid: Creating Alternative Story Forms

18 Oct

            For a NewsU Course I my choice I decided take the Beyond the Inverted Pyramid: Creating Alternative Story Form self-guided course. I think this course would be beneficial for any journalist or blogger. The course took me through the concept of ASFs or Alternative Story Forms. ASFs are a part of a movement to make news more accessible and attention grabbing. ASFs are formats that are pulling away from the traditional journalistic inverted pyramid and are trying to save readers time but contain proper details and context. ASFs include things like, checklists, timelines, calendars, games, Q&As, and other creative presentations that allow readers to quickly scan and obtain the information they want. The course claims that research shows that “ASFs get more attention from readers and readers recall more information.” I know that I personally prefer the ASF formats. They are clear, crisp, creative, and different.

            I think ASFs are a valuable concept for writers and bloggers trying to reach today’s fast-pasted consumers. In a way I think the ASFs are playing a role in trying to save the newspaper in its competition with the quickly informative Internet. I think ASFs are fun and present stories in a clear and attention grabbing way. Unlike the inverted pyramid format ASFs can be chosen to compliment the story and the best way of conveying the information.

            I would recommend this course to my other peers interested in journalism, blogging, and writing for media. I learned a lot about different ASFs and how stories can become alive and better presented outside of the inverted pyramid. After this course I feel like the inverted pyramid format is important, but compared to the ASFs I learned about in this course, it’s kind of boring. I encourage others to try this course for themselves. It’s free and adds so much stylistic knowledge into the concepts of collaboration and finalization to a story.  

If you are interested in taking this course click here.

PR OpenMic

18 Oct

I think PR OpenMic has a lot to offer to PR students and recent PR grads. PR OpenMic is a social network that allows users to connect with others working and learning n the Public Relations world. Students can connect with teachers or peers and learn more about the inner actions of Public Relations.  Users can also make connections and build themselves an interactive profile that will be beneficial when the time comes for finding jobs.

            PR OpenMic lists open jobs and internships and allows users to post resumes. I think PR OpenMic is a great resource to get your resume out there for potential employers. Users can also join groups and be informed about different PR and marketing conferences being held. It is a great source for advertising different jobs and internships being offered all over the world. I personally spent hours looking at different internships that I would be interested in doing this summer. There is so much information available on one core site!

Just looking over the site I was already motivated and informed on getting my professional portfolio together. There was a PR Portfolio Reviews Overview that really informed me about a lot as far as developing a profession portfolio and presenting it.

            Other beneficial features on the site, to name a few, include a PR student chat, PR news updates, constant links and resources to keep a person informed. I really like that I see on the site. I think it really takes time and attention to build up a “presence” online and to interact proactively. Nonetheless, it is a great place to make connections, gain knowledge, be informed about news and jobs, and to be a hands-on and effective person in the world of Public Relations. Some people say it’s “All about connections” right? So let’s make some connections, and PR OpenMic really allows PR students and recent grads to make connections and find jobs.