Caroline's Connections to Public Realtions

Care, Create, Conserve

Ten Tips for New Bloggers April 28, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 2:39 pm

Blogging can get mind-boggling for many people but as new bloggers are emerging daily I would like to provide some tips to help the new bloggers.

1* Plan ahead. Most blogs can be about more personal and casual topics but there can always glitches in your plans and computers. So, plan ahead if you have deadlines to make.

2* Use graphics. Use graphics to accompany your blog. It is much more appealing to the reader and gives a visual to relate to.

3* Check grammar. Even though you are using the internet and being more relaxed in your speech you still need to look professional and educated in your thoughts and words.

4* Comment. Comments allow you to connect with other bloggers and help people find and connect to you. You can gain great exposure from comments and connect with students and even PR professionals.

5* Be creative. Being creative with your layout and in the graphics you use on your homepage and even in your blog. Even be creative when thinking of titles and headlines for your blogs. This makes it much more interesting.

6* Make sure to give credit where it is due. When you pull an idea from a source, whether it is a book, website, or another blog be sure to cite it. If you do not you are technology plagiarizing.

7*  Blog often. Keep up with your blogging. If someone gets interested in your blog you don’t want to leave them hanging. Be sure to blog often and about relevant topics. Keeping up-to-date is important to keep your audience.

8* Cut the clutter. Be sure to organize your blogs by topics and even dates. This allows the reader to navigate your site well and that is important when wanting to get attention in the blogging world.

9*  Do not be too harsh. Blogging is definitely a place to express opinions but be sure you are tasteful in doing so. Never curse or use improper language this makes you look very unprofessional and careless.

10* Be yourself. Put your personality into your blogs. Use the graphics, colors, fonts, and words to show who you are as a person. This makes you stand out from the others and very relatable to the people reading.

Hope you found some helpful tips while reading! Good luck and happy blogging.


Social Media News Releases

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 2:33 am

When preparing for my big blog about this topic I found a lot of useful and helpful tips, techniques, and uses for the Smart Media News Releases. These can also be called Multimedia News Release or Smart News Releases, but no matter what they are called they are the new way to create a news release. A Social Media News Release is a news release that is able to incorporate “high-resolution photos/graphics, video, and audio components” (pg.136).

Using a SMR is a good idea for a PR practitioner to use when needing to convey a multi-layered message and appeal to a technologically advanced audience. They can be used for just about any message that you would create a traditional news release for. With SMRs you can also reach a broader audience through sites like PitchEngine andPRX Builder. These sites allow you to create a Smart Media Release and be able to distribute it to journalists in a preset data base. Building a SMR may take more time to construct but it is worth the work, you need to be sure to also have a IT person available to you in case you run into technology problems.

You can also look to these websites/blogs for more information:  Copyblogger , Online Marketing Blog, and Real Wire. These are some good places to check out for expert information and some helpful tips about creating a SMR or just to learn more about how they work with their benefits and disadvantages.

Here are some examples of Social Media New Releases:

Shift Communications: Shift Communications is using this SMR to promote their addition of four new clients in San Francisco.

Belkin:Belkin is using this SMR to promote their new cases that can be purchased to protect you new 3G iPhone.


Here Comes the Bride

Filed under: Personal,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 1:50 am

Last  week my brother, Michael, got married. He is only a year older than me but has already graduated from Augusta State University. It was at Sacred Heart Cultural Center in downtown Augusta, Georgia. Her colors were purple and green ( which I am not a big fan of) but I went along with it because it was HER day. She planned it all herself, which after seeing everything that goes into it, I do not think I could do. My dad was a groomsman and I was a bridesmaid so it was very special being able to be a part of it. Being a part of the wedding really made me realize how much I miss home and my family.

I hope to be able to spend some time with them this summer when I move back to Augusta to work and spend the summer there.


Multimedia Storytelling Techniques

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 1:18 am

This week I took a NewsU Course about the Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling.

What I learned: I learned about the specific techniques required to create a multimedia story . You can use many outlets of tell the story such as videos, texts, animated graphics, maps and even still photos. Each of these techniques have a different approach and way of drawing the audiences’ attention.  Videos and animation can show motion and action while text can tell the background and should be used when other forms of media cannot be used. When using all of these different elements together it can be a great way to tell a story the best way.

What surprised me: I was surprised to learn that out of all the elements of multimedia storytelling that photos trumped videos. I would think that the multimedia of videos with their visual and audio aspects would be more effective and highly used than photos. I would have never thought about this. I guess for the next story I do I will try to use pictures to capture the moments and emotions I am trying to convey. I was also surprised about all of the details and equipment that is required to make a multimedia story. Some of the things like cameras, backup power, storage for the things you have.

Want to know more: There were a lot of things that I learned but there are a few things that I would like to know more about. I would like to know more about the pitching the story with the tips and hurdles that you might face when trying to get your story to the media.


Top Ten Ways to Drive a Journalist Crazy and How to STOP April 27, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 10:15 pm

There are many ways that PR practitioners and journalists cross paths, but sometimes enough is enough and PR practitioners can have a tendency to drive journalists CRAZY. Here are some problems that can occur and how to fix them.

1. Presenting personality and not facts

solution: Most PR people are very personable and talkative. Sometimes this quality can be time-consuming and take away from the facts that you are there to present. So, be personable without it being over indulgent, be there to make your point and make it in a timely manner because most journalists are on strict time constraints and deadlines.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

2.Using PR jargon

solution: After making PR a career it becomes second nature to use phrases like “ground-breaking” and “industry-leading”. These may mean something to you but a journalist might not understand what you are trying to express. So, be sure to use language that translates in both the fields of PR and journalism.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

3. Not knowing or following deadlines

solution: Almost all journalists have deadlines set by their company, their boss, and themselves. Be aware of these deadlines and so that you do not bother them with something they had to have in a week ago or interrupt them during “crunch time”.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

4.Sending out mass information on your stories, products, or services.

solution: Being able to target your audience is just as important as being able to target your journalistic outlet. Consider your topic’s relevancy when contacting journalists and avoid sending out spam that will just be ignored. It wastes everyone’s time.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

5. Not using the correct format

solution: A journalist is usually under a lot of time pressures and stresses. Being able to use the correct formating will help your story get read and considered by the journalist. It will also give them one less thing to worry about or fix and with formating out-of-the-way your pitch or story will probably be considered and published more promptly.

Public Relations Writing Media Techniques 6th Edition

6. Constantly contacting the journalist

solution: Do not constantly contact the journalist about your story whether to see how it is going or even why it was not published. This only burns bridges and causes you to be associated with ill-favored qualities. Call once to check up then if you do not see it published then let it go and focus on your next work.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

7. Sending irrelevant press releases

solution: Be sure to send news worthy material only. Something about the newest gardening tool would probably not make it if you sent it to a teen magazine. Though you may just have a large mass database that you send everything out under, try to sift through it and narrow the receivers down to a target market.

Ten things that prs do that annoy journalists part five

8. Ignoring the journalist

solution: If you send a release to a journalist and not all the information is included the journalist might have to contact you. If this happens be sure to be prompt in your response. The quicker you can respond the quicker your release can be considered and hopefully published.

Pr versus journalists the war of the press

9. Being to friendly

solution: No matter if  you are using the internet, e-mail, or snail mail to get your information to the journalist be sure to be proper and formal. The medium should not matter. Acting as if you are personal friends or have already met can turn the journalist off to you and not even look at your work. Be sure to always address them as Mr. or Mrs. and speak as if you were giving a speech in an unfamiliar audience.

Inside Story: What annoys journalists about PRs?

10. Asking for the journalist’s feature list

solution: Understand that a  journalist has a certain sense of secretive and that they can not disclose that sort of information to you. Doing this will only annoy them and make them think you are scheming. So, be confidant in what you are doing and have no need to be underhanded.

Inside Story: What annoys journalists about PRs?


Ch. 15 Key Ideas

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — Caroline Rawlins @ 8:48 pm

Chapter 15 is about giving speeches and presentations. I am currently in public speaking so this chapter was very relevant to me.

*Researching ( pg. 403-04)– This is the first step when preparing a speech and you need to be sure to be very thorough when doing research. Research on your topic can provide you a lot of information to serve as examples and statistics to back you up when speaking and if you do it right you will never go into a speech unprepared. Researching your audience is also important because with the right information and demographics of your audience you can tailor your speech to relate and reach them effectively.

*Word selection (pg. 407-08)- Once you have all of your information and research it is important to use the appropriate words to get your point across. Page 407-407 provides you with several tips to consider when choosing the right words to use. Some of these tips include things like: avoid jargon, use simple words, use bold verbs, and avoid modifiers (pg. 407).

*Gestures and Eye Contact (pg. 413-14)- Some of the strongest language that you use is not spoken, it is your body language. These are the gestures and eye contact that you use when speaking to your audience.  They ” play a major role in establishing credibility” (pg. 413). Being able to use appropriate body language will speak volumes about you without you even opening your mouth.

( information taken from: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by: Dennis L. Wilcox sixth edition)


Social Media Addiction…Really?

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 8:23 pm

With everyone pushing Public Relation practitioners to use social media in EVERYTHING they do, some studies are finding that social media is becoming harmful to people, specifically college students. According to an article on the Life Science website researchers are finding that students describe their feelings when they have to abstain from using media in literally the same terms associated with drug and alcohol addictions: in withdrawal, frantically craving, very anxious, extremely antsy, miserable, jittery, and crazy.

This creates an ethical decision on my part because I can obviously see the effectiveness of social media in getting the attention of people and targeting them where they are already at but if it can cause them harm is it still okay? I in no way think that social media is on the chopping block but should we step back, as potential PR practitioners, and  put the peoples’ wellbeing before our want for money?

In a way everyone has the free will to stop the surfing the internet, Facebook stalking, Tweeting, and blogging and to an extent each person is responsible for their own actions, but should there be regulation on what and where the audience can be targeted? This would probably fall under some constitutional law about freedom of speech and free will, but it is something to think about next time you are trying to reach a specific audience.

What I have been talking about is worst case situations, so I doubt that anything can or will be done about this problem of social media addiction but it is something to consider and think about.