Audio in PR

24 Nov

How cool are podcasts?

Very cool! Podcast are basically audio files that are delivered via RSS feed. All you have to do is subscribe to them. Podcasts can be in the form of talk shows, educational training and tutorials, comedy clips, debates and even foreign language tutorials. They give the subscriber the choice of what they want to listen to or whatever interests them.

My number one reason I think that podcast are so cool is because you can listen to them wherever you want by downloading them to your mp3 player, on smartphones with programs such as Pocket Tunes and Real Player for Palms. How cool is it to listen to your favorite news program or educational program of your choice in your car on your way to work. What a great way to manage your time while sitting at a standstill during traffic.

Of course, you can also listen to them whenever you want on your computer at home by downloading them to programs such as Winamp, Windows Media Player and iTunes.

My favorite podcast that keeps me updated and reminded of the rules in grammar is Grammar Girl, she posts weekly on topics such as sentence fragments, verb tenses and pronoun usage. I recommend anyone who has to write frequently, which I do being a public relations student, to listen in.

Blogs are a great medium to reach a PR professionals public’s and using podcasts is just as beneficial if not more so. Podcast are on the rise and I think that in the future there will be more podcasts than blogs so it is my recommendation to learn how to listen to and create them.

Find out the many different interesting categories of podcasts in this podcast directory and information on all you need to know about podcasting in this podcasting resource.

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Social Networking for Public Relations

23 Nov

In my public relations classes this semester we are exploring the social networking platforms and discussing how powerful and beneficial it is to public relations, advertising and marketing.

I think that by now almost everyone is familiar with Facebook and MySpace, and if they do not have an account with them, they at least know about its presence and know how it functions and what it’s about. I joined the Facebook community in 2006 and at that time I never would have thought that I would connect with the people I have. I have managed to find old classmates that I have not spoken with in years and whom I never thought I would speak with again.

Being the huge fan of Facebook that I am, I recently decided last summer to check out some other social networking platforms that I am unfamiliar with, but recommended by my professor as worthy of joining. The first being Twitter.

After creating my Twitter account and connecting with a few of my classmates, who are also new to Twitter, I am still figuring out the major differences between Twitter and Facebook. At first, I thought of Twitter as just a way to update what you are doing at any given time, but now I see it as a tool to communicate professionally. At a professional level, Twitter allows me to follow influential people, people who are “tweeting” about topics that are of interest and relevant to my chosen profession, public relations. I am now following: The University of South Florida, USF_PRSSA, PRSSANC, along with other students I have found that are also majoring in public relations and organizations/companies I am interested in.

Twitter and Facebook are also great platforms for companies to use to reach their various publics to keep them updated about current happenings. For example, a favorite restaurant of mine, Outback, tweets and posts on Facebook their current specials and upcoming Outback sponsored events.

LinkedIn is also a great platform for networking, not just for professionals in public relations, but for professionals across the board. It allows you to stay connected with friends, old classmates, co-works and even individuals you may not know but work within the same profession. It’s great for exchanging ideas amongst other professionals and can help you score a job. There are so many other benefits of using LinkedIn which you can find here.

If you are not using these platforms yet, you need to! The more I learn about public relations, the more I realize that these platforms are essential for success. Find out what Twitter and Facebook can do for you and your company or business by checking out the Journalistics blog or the Kronik Media blog.

PR PITCHING

24 Sep

Bloggers have become much more influential today then before and have given PR people a new medium to get their message out other than using traditional media. I think many people are familiar with the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and that statement couldn’t be truer in regards to “pitching” a blogger to write about and communicate your message to your targeted publics.

How do you deliver a good pitch to the most influential bloggers and have your message communicated effectively and not be shun off or seen as a pesky PR person? Well, I have done some research and there are a few strategies and tips that remain constant.

First, you need to build a personal relationship with the blogger. This was probably the top tip provided by the dozens of “tip lists” I searched through. You don’t want to connect with them the first time by “pitching” your brand. You want to make a connection with them first. You can do this by leaving comments and making your presence known. Don’t; however, leave comments like “great post” or “not a day goes by that I don’t read your blog” as Guy Kawasak mentions is his blog post How to Suck up to a Blogger. You want to be insightful and have something meaningful to contribute to the conversation.

Another tip on building a personal relationship is to be personal with them. You should know your blogger and what they are writing about. If you personalize your message by using their name or discussing their blog with them, it tells them that you have a genuine interest in THEIR blog, and you’re not randomly sending your pitch out to 1,000 of other bloggers as Darren Rowse listed as number two out of 21 tips in How to Pitch to PR Bloggers.

Know the right bloggers. As I mentioned above it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and I came across a somewhat comical step by step process posted by Michael Martine and then discussed in Janet Fouts blog. It points out that you need to do your research and find out who are the most influential bloggers covering your topic. You don’t want to “pitch” to hundreds of bloggers, just the right ones. If you get the top bloggers to write for you than other bloggers are going to link to them and you’re going to save yourself a lot of time.

Remember, bloggers receive hundreds of pitches a week, so you want yours to stand out. By following some of the tips provided above, and there are many more, you’re going to increase the chances of that blogger listening to your pitch and writing about your brand.

E-Mail Tips

16 Sep

1. Check Your Spelling, Especially Names
My first name can be spelled many ways. The most common way is the ‘m’ before the ‘i’ as in Jamie. You can also spell it Jaimee or Jayme. Mine; however, is spelled with the ‘i’ before the ‘m’ it’s Jaime. One of the first rules we learn in writing for the mass media is the importance of spelling names correctly. In fact, the spelling of names should be checked and double checked again especially if you are spelling a name that can have many different spellings. It is so aggravating to me when people spell my name wrong in e-mails and don’t take the time to check it to make sure it’s correct. It looks unprofessional and really irritates me when fellow students, professors and advisors spell it wrong.

2. If Your Busy, Say So
If someone sends me an e-mail and I don’t have the time to fully respond to them, I will let them know that I got their e-mail and will be getting back to them as soon as I can. Professors and students are extremely busy; especially before exams when e-mail boxes are flooded with questions. I really appreciate it when I get an e-mail letting me know that they have received it and will be getting back to me if they don’t have the time to fully respond at that moment. That way I know that I am not being ignored or that there was not a technical problem and my e-mail was never received.

3. Be Polite
Use manners when communicating through e-mail as you would in face-to face conversation. Please and thank you go along way.

4. Be Organized
I am not the best at following my own advice because yesterday I deleted over 2,000 e-mails from my student account. That’s probably an entire semester’s amount of e-mail. Don’t be like me and save yourself the headache by keeping your e-mail organized. By being organized you can easily find what you’re looking for and you’re less likely to overlook an important message. If you have more than one or a couple of e-mail accounts, consolidating them is also helpful. However, I like to keep my school e-mail separate from my personal e-mail since I don’t want my USF e-mail flooded with spam. So be careful what e-mail address you are using when giving out information.

I researched some more tips on how keep my e-mail organized because I obviously need them considering the massive amount of messages I just deleted, and found some good ones at e.how.com. The site mentions setting up filters which will automatically put your incoming mail into folders that you have created and you can also simplify your messages and keep your conversations together by threading.

I also found an extensive list here, which covers tips on sending e-mail, formatting, attachments, subject lines, forwarding, privacy and copyright and tips on writing and responding to message boards, blogs and forums.

Should PR Students Read Blogs?

9 Sep

It was not until I began my PR sequence over the past summer that I realized how important blogging is in the PR profession. I was aware that blogs existed but until my Principles of Public Relations class, I never really had much interest in them and was unaware of the value they can have to me as a student and in my future professional career.

Keeping a blog and reading blogs is an excellent way of sharing information and ideas from one PR professional or PR student to another. Personally, as a student, blogs have benefited me by allowing me to hear what other PR students are saying about topics that are of interest to me.

See, before I began Principles of Public Relations, I did not know a single student on campus that was majoring in PR. I didn’t have anyone to connect with and talk to about the professional topics and questions I was interested in. For example, what is interning like at an agency and how is it different from a corporation? Or advice on attending networking events, the do’s and the don’ts. Sure, I could have obtained advice and information from other sources, such as the career center or from my professors; however, I wanted to talk about those issues with other PR students and see what they had to say from their perspectives. Well, I have found them and here are three of my favorite blogs from other students like myself.

1. For the Love of PR
Is a blog by Ashley Funderburk, a senior PR student at Western Carolina University. She blogs about her internship experiences and her involvement in her university’s PRSSA chapter. I do not personally know Ashley, but have had the opportunity to converse with her through Twitter conversations such as #prstudchat.
2. Sydney: Unfiltered
Sydney Owen is a graduate of the University of South Florida and blogs about her experiences as a new PR professional.
3. Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson is a current senior PR student at the University of South Florida and who I have had the pleasure to meet with. We were shown his blog in class and I went ahead and introduced myself to him through Twitter and we then decided to meet to discuss various PR issues in person. It was nice being able to talk with someone who was ahead in me in my PR sequence and he was able to give me some really good advice

Social Media in PR

2 Sep

Social media has exploded and transformed our everyday lives throughout this decade. The main goal in public relations is to create a positive relationship between an organization and their publics and social media has made this easier.

In the past, communication to publics was sent out one way, company or organization to consumer or journalist. Today; however, through the use of social media, PR is enhanced because it permits two-way communication. Through the various social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs, companies now have the ability to see what their publics are saying about them. With the ability of receiving feedback from their publics, they can modify the content and messages they are sending. Also, social media has enabled organizations and companies to make themselves more visible online and to find and reach their targeted publics.

An excellent example of two-way communication and how effective it can be is seen from the success of the Old Spice campaign. The campaign encouraged people to ask questions through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, and then selected questions were answered in a comical manner through YouTube by the aesthetic looking Old Spice spokesman, Isaiah Mustafa. The campaign generated 35 million video views in only seven days!

Social media has become so important in the PR profession that there are agencies that actually focus their PR efforts entirely through the social media medium. For example, Abraham Harrison, LLC, is a PR agency that focuses solely on PR through social media. They use digital PR and are on-line experts that work exclusively in the social media world. The official blog of the company is titled Marketing Conversations and you can find information about their views on marketing, PR, social media practices and advertising. Chris Abraham, partner of Abraham&Harrison , LLC, was actually included in the PRWeb blog as one of the 25 essential PR bloggers you should be reading

Time Management

7 Jul

A former friend on mine asked me why I don’t blog on myspace. I suppose the answer is that I like to keep my thoughts private. I have constructed this wall around me and am not willing to let anyone in on such a personal level. Now, However, I have decided to blog about my academics and my PR career.

But on a personal note, I don’t feel that I owe an explanation of this to anyone. I would hope that everyone has an understanding that everybody has a responsibility in their own life, to do what is best for oneself, and not take it personally!

I find, however, that people do not.

I am annoyed when I receive the third degree, and people constantly try to make me feel guilty and acting as if I am blowing them off or have better things to do if I am unavailable.

The most important priority in my life right now is finishing school. Focusing on school work takes up so much time. Especially since I strive for excellence, I really do get upset over a B’ when I know I have the potential of making an A’. Taking 12 hours plus working at the same time is difficult. Even trying to figure out how to manage my time takes up time

Living in Odessa now has not made things easier. It takes 45 min. or more to drive to Clearwater, depending on traffic. We all know that with gas prices and the time it takes up for a one way trip, it’s not time efficient or cheap to drop by to say hello for a short visit. Don’t think that I do not miss being so close to everyone and everything. I do, but understand that, distance has its advantages. I have always loved being around anyone who I got along with, not wanting to spend much time alone. Living such a distance from the majority of my friends forces me to spend more time alone, which is a good thing and I am embracing it. I read more, write more, save more and learn more. It’s a change and difficult to get used to, however, it’s a positive change, with benefits that will enrich my life and reach my goals.

I have met some interesting new friends and wish I had a chance to know them better. Time builds friendship. I am unfortunate because I love meeting people but barely have time to spend with the old.

I do miss hanging out with everyone, but I am constantly thinking about time. Time that I feel I have wasted in the past, the time that has been going on so fast and a “time” I thought I would be in, but have not reached. This is MY time and I hope that everyone can understand that.

I am no longer going to spend time with friends who bring me down and who are users. That kind of friendship is a true waste of time. I believe that you are what you eat; you are who you associate with. Anybody with a negative influence with my feelings or in my life is OUT.

I hope that I do not sound extremely defensive. I love my friends and miss them. I enjoy seeing what they are up to by reading status updates. I hope they understand that I am not blowing them off, but just keeping focused on my priorities. I hope they will not take it personally.

It is not that I do not WANT to have dinner, go to the beach, or a game. I do! I am simply limited for time and priorities come first.

I hope you understand me!