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So this had not been my first experience with a blog, but it has been my first experience with helpful instruction. I have learned so much more than I knew during my first attempt at blogging. Here are 10 tips that I think ever new blogger should know.

  1. When you are first starting out, explore the blog site. Look at all the different options using a trial and error technique to figure out which widgets or backgrounds fit you best.
  2. There is a button on the new post page at the far right of the applications. The button is called “show/hide kitchen sink.” Make sure the button is on show. This button gives you many more options for posts.
  3. Use Word first. Then copy and paste using the Word application button on the extended buttons.
  4. Instead of citing sources formally, link internet sources. To do this highlight the word you want to link and click the button that looks like a chain link. Copy and paste the website in. Scroll down the target button and click “open link in a new window.” This way when people click links they will not lose your site.
  5. Embed as many videos, pictures, or slide shows as possible. All these things make posts more interesting and eye catching.
  6. Use for pictures. This site has pictures for sharing so there aren’t any copyright problems. The site also makes it easy to link picture directly back to it.
  7. Read posts over twice before publishing them. I find a mistake almost every time I read over my own posts.
  8. Link your twitter or facebook to your account. My friends have found many great results doing this.
  9. Check your blog daily. If you can, update it daily. Blogs are more interesting with constant updates.
  10. COMMENT ON OTHER PEOPLE’S BLOGS. I learn so much from other’s blogs. Blogging is a way of communication. If you want people to communicate with you through blogging, make the first move by commenting.

Businesses use many different methods to advertise products and ideas. The main point is to get the public interested. Businesses have to catch the public’s attention. One way to get the public’s attention is through a news release. With a news release the public learns about information and there is two-way communication. Press can ask questions to the company holding the news release. Here are ten tips to write an effective news release.

1. Use Newsworthy News: People need to be interested in the topic. Only discuss new people will care about.
2. Make Your Point Quickly: Just like a newspaper article keep the most important information – who, what, where, when and why — at the beginning. You want to catch people’s interest right away.
3. Use Correct Formatting:

  • Double space
  • Use black ink
  • Use white paper
  • Proofread grammar and spelling
  • Keep length under one page

4. Be Available: Include that the CEO of your company is available for interviews. It is also a good idea to include contact information for people associated with the company’s background.

5. Use Correct Distribution: Make sure the news release goes to the proper editors, reporters, and broadcasters. Remember to consider who the target audience is.
6. Use Examples: Use real life examples about how your company has succeeded in the past.
7. Pick an Angel: Use a hook to keep the news release up to date. Try to tie the release to something that is going on in current news.
8. Avoid Jargon and Hype: Speak plainly with ordinary language. Not everyone knows all slang. Avoid exclamation points.
9. Stick to the Facts: Avoid words that are added in for no reason. Say exactly what is needed to say. Tell the truth.
10. Get the Timing Right: Don’t make it too long or too short. Keep the news release suitable for the target audience.

While chapter 14 focused on print new releases, 15 focused on radio and TV. Just like the difference between an essay and a speech these releases are written to be heard.

Radio News Releases:

  • Include announcer as a narrator
  • Includes a sound bite from a spokesperson
  • Lasts around 60 seconds

PSA (Public Service Announcement)

  • Announcement for the public
  • Not an advertisement or political announcement (ex: Smokey the Bear)
  • Non-profit

Video News Releases

  • Produced for TV
  • Sometimes sponsored by celebrities who try to sell products using fame

Product Placement

  • When companies get TV shows to display their products
  • An example is in Transformers: Shia Lebouf drives that yellow new Chevy

Hands Across the Sand is a peaceful movement to stop off-shore drilling. The movement started in Florida in February 2010. The movement has now gone international. At 11 AM on the scheduled day people meet on the beach. Then at 12 PM everyone joins hands to symbolize not allowing drilling companies to enter the water.

With recent events from the BP oil spill, people are taking a stand more than ever to prevent off-shore drilling. We have seen some of the short term effects recently, and they have been devastating. I had a friend recently go to Destin, and I asked how the beaches are. She said that they were fine. She could see the oil but it was not a huge deal. The problem is it is a huge deal. Fishing companies, tourist companies, local communities everyone is being hurt. Just think about the Alaska Valdez oil spill. There is still oil found under rocks today. The fish and wildlife have still not returned to the same amount from before the spill.

The problem is that while it is making the news not enough is being done. There might be a problem with the press. People need more than sob stories. People need to see more of the cold hard facts. Changes need to be made. Hands Across the Sand is just a start to show the public that normal people can do something.

News Release (or press release)

  • This is a release given to the editor of a newspaper for consideration to be written and published in the newspaper. A news release may also be published in a magazine or aired on broadcast stations.
  • A news release should be written like a news story. The first sentence should resemble a lead for a story. There needs to be the most important information first: who, what where, when and why.


Media kits (or press kit)

  • Like a news release it is used to launch events or new products.
  • Often contains a press release. Usually more creative than a press release, a media kit is very decorative and may contain feature stories and background information.

 Pitch Letters

  • Another way to let an editor know about an event or product to get the editors attention in hopes of getting a story published about their information.
  • This is a short letter or maybe even a note given to the editor.


Five Different Ways to Distribute Media:

  1. First-class mail
  2. Fax
  3. E-mail
  4. Electronic wire services
  5. Web based newsrooms

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