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The Lead Lab

9 Oct

Topic of the Week (8) COMM 4333

Reaction: NewsU the Lead Lab

What did you learn?

            The lead lab took me back to the basics and also taught me more about leads to make me a better journalist. I enjoyed the section on the lead myths. It was beneficial to clarify the lead myths and practice writing leads of my own. I always thought that a lead could only be a few lines in the beginning. The lead lab showed me that leads have more creative freedom than I thought before. I learned a lot of new lead types. I find the anecdotal and round-up leads interesting. I think they are attention grabbing but I don’t have much experience in writing them. There are so many more different types of leads than previously thought. There are so many options in starting a story. It is important to pick the right lead that is most effective for the overall story.  I also think that the set up of the lab/course itself is very organized and creative. I enjoyed “exploring the lead lab” and using the first aid kit to fix leads.

What surprised you?

            All the different type of leads mentioned kind of surprised me. There were 9 leads featured. I have never even heard of the “emblem lead” or the “significant detail lead” before.

What do you want to know more about?

            I want to practice writing different types of lead. After taking this course I am determined to pull away from the common direct lead and summary lead that I often use. I want to become more creative with the types of leads I use. I want to use leads that make the start my effective and interesting from the beginning to the end. I like creative writing so I really want to practice leads like the anecdotal that are less formal and structured than the direct lead types.


Online Media Law

9 Oct

Topic of the Week (8) COMM 2322

Reaction to NewsU Course: Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Publishers

What did you learn?

            During this course I learned a lot about defamation, copyright infringement, and invasion of privacy. Before this course I couldn’t have told you much about the latter 3 online media laws. In online journalism and blogging it is important to know what is classified as legal and illegal to avoid lawsuits in your writing. It was a good reminder that freedom of expression is not absolute. I learned a lot about the laws that are related to gathering and publishing information online. It was beneficial to “play the judge” and see specific cases. The course allowed me to practice my knowledge with deciding which real life situations I thought were legal or not.

What surprised you?

            After taking this course I think that the line between legal and illegal can be pretty “blurry” in some situations. After taking this course I think it is better to be “safe than sorry”. If you are not sure about publishing something you should probably hold off on publication and get an outside opinion from a pro. It’s important to give credit for material and not “cross the lines” when it comes to other people’s privacy and rights.

What do you want to know more about?

            Legal specifics have never been my strong point. I’ve never taken a law class of anytime so outside of the general legal knowledge I don’t have much. I feel that I don’t know enough yet about online publication such as blogging. I really enjoy blogging but I need to educate myself on the legal issues that bloggers often face. I am taking Communication Law next semester and I know I hope to learn a lot more about the legal situation that come with journalism and public relations.

Student Resume and Interview Advice

9 Oct

Topic of the Week (7)- COMM 2322

Here is some advice for a student who is working on a resume:

  1. Keep your resume to one page.-Important to grab attention on first page.  
  2. Choose the most effective format- chronological, functional, combination.
  3. Target a position you are qualified for.
  4. Highlight important information on the resume-bolditalics, size. But don’t overdo it.
  5. Be specific
  6. Be correct in your grammar and spelling.

 Going into the interview process:

  1. Know the company: history, goals.
  2. Listen carefully to the interview questions
  3. Dress appropriately. Professionally is important, try to dress like the staff does during work.
  4. Answer all the questions
  5. Prepare yourself ahead of time for the questions you think might come up
  6. If they give you the opportunity to ask questions ask some-esp about the company
  7. Show interest and be interesting

Check out these other sites to help your resume/interview experience:  

          Common Errors in Resumes and Cover Letters-Barbara Nixon

           Interview Tips–

            Advice for the PR Grad- Interview Tips-prchannel

Preparing Fact Sheets, Advisories, Media Kits, and Pitches.

9 Oct

Preparing Fact Sheets, Advisories, Media Kits, and Pitches

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

Expanding the Publicity Tool Kit

          Fact sheets, media kits, and media advisories.

                   Fact Sheet- 1 page background sheets about an event, a product, or even the organization.

Fact Sheets

          Example p. 142

Media Advisories

          Also known as media alerts

Media Kits

          Also called a press kit, usual prepared for major events and new product launches.

          Include: 1. A main news release 2. A news feature 3. Fact sheets on the product, organization, or event 4. Background information 5. Photos and drawings with captions. 6. Biographical material on the spokesperson 7. Basic brochures.

                   The information materials are traditionally placed in a folder with the organization’s name on it.

                    Typical kit is 9 by 12 inches and has four sides- a cover, two inside pages, address, and website address.

Electronic Media Kits

          EPKS or e-kits

Pitching a Story

          Publicists spend a lot of time and energy preparing materials.

                   Research, Preparing, E-mail subject lines, the telephone pitch,

Follow up on your pitch

Program Planning

9 Oct


Chapter 6- Program Planning

Public Relations Strategies and Tactics-9th Edition- Wilcox, D & Cameron, G.

 The Value of Planning

          Program planning is the second step of the public relations process, following research.

Approaches to Planning

          Planning is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

          Two main approaches to planning: Management by Objective & Strategic Planning Model.

          Management by Objective (MBO)

  1. Client/employer objectives, 2. Audience/publics 3. Audience objectives 4. Media channels 5. Media channel objectives 6. Sources and questions. 7. Communication strategies 8. Nonverbal support

          Strategic Planning Model

                   Organizational model makes sense to professionals and clients alike, moving both parties toward a clear situation analysis needed to make planning relevant to the client’s overall objectives.

                             Facts, Goals, and Audience

Elements of Program Plan

          Identifies what is to be done, why and how.

          8 elements: 1. Situation 2. Objectives 3. Audience 4. Strategy 5. Tactics 6. Calendar/timetable 7.Budget 8.Evaluation