Archive | October, 2010


16 Oct

Chapter 7 Reading Notes

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

 The Goals of Communication

            The 3rd step in the public relations process, after research and planning, is communication.

            Implementing the plan- communication is the implementation of a decision, the process and the means by which objectives are achieved.

To be an effective communicator, a person must have basic knowledge of 1. What constitutes communication and how people receive messages, 2. How people process information and change their perceptions, and 3. What kinds of media and communication tools are most appropriate for a particular message.

            A Public Relations Perspective

                        Makes sure messages are 1. Appropriate, 2. Meaningful, 3. Memorable, 4. Understandable, and 5. Believable to the prospective recipient.

            5 possible objectives for a communicator:

  1. Message exposure 2. Accurate dissemination of the message 3. Acceptance of the message 4. Attitude change 5. Change in overt behavior.

Receiving the Message

            5 Communication Elements

                        Sender/source (encoder), a message, a channel, a receiver (decoder), and feedback from the receiver.

Understanding the Message

            Effective Use of Language

            Writing for Clarity

  1. Use symbols, acronyms, and slogans 2.Avoid jargon 3. Avoid clichés and hype words. 4. Avoid euphemisms 5. Avoid discriminatory language.

Believing the message, remembering the message, and acting on the message.

            The five-stage adoption process

  1. Awareness, 2. Interest, 3. Evaluation, 4. Trail, 5. Adoption.

Factors of adoption process

  1. Relative advantage 2. Compatibility 3. Complexity 4. Trialability 5. Observability

The Time Factor

            Innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

                        Laggards- the last group to adopt a new idea or product

How Decisions are influenced

            Awareness stage, interest stage, and evaluation, trail, and adoption stages.


Creating News Features and Op-Ed.

16 Oct

Chapter 7 Reading Nots

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

The Value of Features

       The feature story, in contrast to the basic news release, can provide additional background information, generate human interest, and create understanding in a more imaginative way.

        “Soft” news

1.  Provide more information to the consumer 2. Give background and context about organizations 3. Provide behind-the-scenes perspective 4. Give a human dimension 5. Generate publicity from standard products and services.


       Get the idea


              Includes: tentative title, subject and theme, significance, major points, and description of photos and graphics available.

Types of Features

       Case Study, Application Story, Research Study, Backgrounder, Personality Profile, and Historical Piece.

Parts of a Feature

       The Headline, the lead, the body, the summary, photos and graphics.

Placement Opportunities

       In newspapers, general magazines, specialty/trade magazine, and internal publications.

Writing an Op-Ed

       Op-Ed means “opposite the editorial page”. The purpose of op-ed articles is to present a variety of views on current news events, governmental policies, pending legislation, and social issues.

Gap Redesign Contest

12 Oct

I’m sure many of you  have heard by now that the new GAP logo is a total “bust”-excuse my jargon. If you have no idea what I’m talking about click here.

Anyways, in spite of the new logo it appears that  a “Gap Redesign Contest” has been launched on the ISO50 blog.

If I may I’m going to have to side with millions of others and say…I’m not a fan of the new GAP logo. Not sure what they were aiming for but they missed it, by a long shot.

Contest winners will be given publicity  by ISO50 and some free ISO50 merchandise but  GAP is not directly affiliated with the contest. On the contest page there is an Editor’s note that clearly states “This contest is not for Gap. We are not affiliated with Gap. Gap has nothing to do with this contest”. The contest is about designers getting together and showing that they can come up with a better logo than a billion dollar corporation. Ha, I love it. Businesses want their consumers to speak. Well Gap, they’re speaking…. Well….yelling actually.

Interested in the Gap redesign contest click here for more details. Contest ends tomorrow. I encourage everyone to have a say in the vote.

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