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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use Word first. Then copy and paste using the Word application button on the extended buttons.
- 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.
- Embed as many videos, pictures, or slide shows as possible. All these things make posts more interesting and eye catching.
- Use comfight.com 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.
- Read posts over twice before publishing them. I find a mistake almost every time I read over my own posts.
- Link your twitter or facebook to your account. My friends have found many great results doing this.
- Check your blog daily. If you can, update it daily. Blogs are more interesting with constant updates.
- 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)
Video News Releases
- Produced for TV
- Sometimes sponsored by celebrities who try to sell products using fame
- 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.
- 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:
- First-class mail
- Electronic wire services
- Web based newsrooms
Ok, so sorry to all the people reading this rolling their eyes, but I had to. Last night at midnight I went to see Twilight Eclipse. In case anyone has no clue what I am talking about Twilight is a book series that is still in the process of being made into all the movies. Twilight is a drama love triangle with teenage vampires, werewolves, and humans. The movies have caused the whole nation to be asked by advertisers to pick sides between the two boys in the love triangle Edward and Jacob.
The movie came out June 30th. The movie was directed by David Slade. Theatres all over the nation had people standing in lines for hours to watch the movie. Three of my friends showed up at 9 PM, and stood in line until 11 PM. I personally think that standing in line for three or even two hours is a little too hard core. I showed up at 11 PM. We were lucky to get our six seats relatively close together. I am hooked on the movies, so I liked the movie. However I thought that Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner, was awful. Turns out I’m not alone in my critique. One user from a website reviewing the movie said, “Jacob is pedophile and a creep.”
On the other hand, my 14 year-old little sister thought that Jacob was the best character in the whole movie. I think that you will just have to see the movie and decide for yourself.
During this week we were instructed to watch the podcast “Marketing over Coffee,” which aired on June 24th. The podcast was about 25 minutes long. Christopher Penn and John Wall led the podcast. They went over different media topics.
They discussed WordPress 3.0. WordPress 3.0 is the newest version of WordPress. WordPress is the site I used to write this blog. There are various changes in the new version:
- Custom post creation – that eliminates problems with confusion of posts and pages.
- There is now a different back end.
- There is no longer a multi user.
The next topics they discussed were Google analytics and Feedburner. Google analytics helps track advertising through social networks. Now you can customize Google analytics with Feedburner. Feedburner allows advertisers to know more about who is visiting the social media sites. They discussed how they were able to use this application to find out that the podcast was getting .5 million downloads and 700,000 downloads for eBooks. Google also made another change by opening Google Voice to the public.
Even with the Droid and all the other iPhone look a likes, Wall and Penn still discussed their amazement with everyone’s obsession with the latest iPhone. They discussed how Apple stores and Wal-Marts had huge crowds that even got a little out of control.
The last topic discussed was the currency in China. The US dollar usually affects currencies around the world. As the US dollar fluctuates many other currencies do to. China has finally detached from the US dollar. China’s Yuan is much more stable. This all means that China is much cheaper. China is a great market right now, but Wall and Penn recommended having a translator especially if conducting marketing business in China.
I think that podcasts are a different way to stay up to date in the world of communications. I don’t mind staying up to date by reading PRdaily or looking at other blogs, but I prefer to be able to listen instead of read. I paid more attention listening to the podcast then I usually do reading because I tend to skim. When information comes in many different ways it stays entertaining.
Diverse Age Groups:
- Youth and Young Adults (15-24) – Children and teenagers influence parent’s buying decisions. Use importance nagging to appeal to parents’ desire to provide the best for their children. This age group are the electronic media consumers.
- Baby Boomers (42-60) – They grew up in an age of prosperity and represent a large number of consumers. “This is a generation most likely to get involved in a cause.” They are concerned with retirement, personal investing, health care and insurance.
- Seniors (>64) – They make up 12% of the population. When appealing to seniors ignore “old folk” stereotypes. With more experience they are less easily convinced. They are extremely health conscious.
Public relations professionals need to understand multicultural values. For example, three minorities, Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans similarly have strong family and friend bonds and also take pride in music, food and religion.
A new demographic that is growing is the Gay/Lesbian community. Certain medias are aimed directly to this demographic such as magazines Out and Advocate.
“Public opinion is a collection of views held by persons interested in the subject.” Meaning a person who is uninterested or maybe even unaware of a topic is not a part of public opinion.
Opinion leaders: People who are knowledgeable and communicate about certain issues. Described by sociologists as:
- highly interested in a subject or issue
- better informed on an issue that the average person
- avid consumers of mass media
- early adopters of new ideas
- good organizers who can get other people to take action
Persuasion is used for three things:
- change or neutralize hostile opinions
- crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
- conserve favorable opinions
There are certain persuasion techniques taken with public speaking:
- Yes-yes – Start out with points the listener will most likely say yes to; this will encourage the listener to say yes at the conclusion.
- Offer structured choice – Give the audience two options — A or B.
- Seek partial commitment – Earn commitment of a small task from the listener that will encourage the listener to commit to the main conclusion.
- Ask for more, settle for less – When submitting a part of a program to a public relations manager, be prepared to drop parts of the program.
Our teacher had us look at her slide show about Public Relations During Times of Crisis. She defined crisis as “a nonroutine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threaten significant reputational damage.” I understood this as anytime the corporation is faced with an event that may that may disrupt operations or credibility. Some examples could be a flood in the building or even an employee being accused of being a sex offender. There are two main aspects I got out of the slide show: preparation and communication.
Planning puts everyone at ease. When people know what they need to do in a time of crisis, it makes the event a little less stressful. Planning also keeps things organized. To plan accordingly a crisis communication kit should contain 7 must have elements.
- A list of members of the crisis management team
- Contact information for key officers, spokespeople and crisis management team members
- Fact sheets on the company, each division, each physical location and product offered
- Profiles and biographies for each key manager in the company
- Copies of the company, division and product logos, the press release format and the scanned in signature of the CEO on disk
- Pre-written scripts answering key questions that have been generated through the crisis scenario analysis
- Contact information for each of your key media contacts both locally, nationally and if appropriate, key financial press and analysts
If none of that made sense, I simplify it. A crisis plan can be as simple as an evacuation plan. For example, my family had a plan to meet by the mail box if there was a fire in our house. When it comes to communication the plans allow people in charge of the resolving the crisis to have enough information to answer many questions.
Communicating is very important. The corporation should not keep things secret it looks specious.
- Tell it all
- Tell it fast
- Tell them what you’re doing about it
- Tell them when it’s over
- Get back to work
The bottom line be prepared, and if something goes wrong, don’t try to hide the problem; fix it.