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.


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?


Podcasts + PR= Perfect Combination April 3, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 10:42 pm

Podcasts are nothing new, especially to my generation. We are such a technological generation that we are automatically attracted to anything digital or technological.

Listening to the podcasts were a new thing for me to do, but not a new concept to me. I chose to listen to the Marketing Over Coffee segments. I listened to News Besides the iPad, Marketing Round Up, and Now with More Bad Irish Accent! podcasts. I chose to listen to this particular podcasts network because it had an organized website and gave a play-by-play with what you were going to hear in each segment by listing the topics with times below the link.

Marketing Over Coffee is done in a relaxed environment by being recorded at a coffee-house. The natural noises in the background make it very easy to relate to the surrounding and they make you feel as though you were sitting at the table with John Wall and Christopher Penn.

Each podcast started out talking about the weather, hot topics, or just general issues that seemed to draw the listener in. They then moved on to particular topics about marketing. They talked about social media and how to get the top executive members of businesses to buy into it. They even took e-mail questions from listeners and answered them on-air. The men always talked in a conversational and light manner that made it more enjoyable than reading a textbook, newspaper, or magazine that might contain the same information.

I learned so much about marketing, networking, and overall knowledge about technology and ways to use it all to my advantage. Listening to podcasts are very beneficial to someone working in or planing to work in the PR field. They keep you up to date on current issues and educate you about ideas and techniques that are very easy and important to apply to your practices.



Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 4:51 pm

Infographics are something that I was very unfamiliar with when first hearing the word. It sounded complicated and difficult. Right away I thought about charts and numbers and complexity.  I soon learned that infographics are actually something that we see quite often. You may seem them in printed newspapers, magazines, or even online websites or blogs. They are basically everywhere!

Infographics are a visual way to represent information, data, or knowledge that are put into graphs or charts that aid in the understanding of text-based content. Here is an example of an infographic. The developmental process of infographics can help make something complicated to be very simple. The infographic I demonstrated above is one that was used by a marketing agency to help them to develop and carry out a plan for their particular client.

Infographics do not always have to be in a flowchart structure, here are some other examples that really appeal to the visualization of the individual. Using colors,shapes, and information in this particular format makes your client/audience understand the information better and be more apt to pay attention.

To create and infographic there are many sites and resources just like this one written by Joshua Allen, or this one in the form of a handout used at Indiana Institute of Technology. All of these are good resources and examples of infographics. Infographics can be used in any situation especially in the field of Public Relations since our main duties are in working with the client or media convey a certain message or information. They can be used to explaining a business plan to a client or explaining a client to the media.

I am not very well versed in the formation of infographics but hope to become better at it through practice and be able to use them in future pieces that I do.


PrOpenMic March 24, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 2:20 pm

PROpenMic is a website for networking that I was very unfamiliar with until the past couple of weeks. My PR Writing teacher, Barbara Nixon, turned me on to it and I have found it to be very similar to Facebook and Twitter, but has its unique features and settings to make it stand apart from the other social networking sites.

Like Facebook, you are given a profile page in which you can personalize with colors, updates, music players, and pictures. This may seem just like Facebook but there are things at PROpenMic that are not found on Facebook. The homepage set up of the site is defiantly more sophisticated and provides more than status updates and pictures posted. It gives insightful and information about relevant subjects of events in the field.

The social networking site has a statement of “Your Worldwide Network for Connecting & Learning” and by taking a familiar set up that many people know from Facebook and Twitter they apply it and make it work for the betterment of students, teachers, and practitioners.

There is a Jobs/Internships Main page that can connect the students to practitioners and jobs for their futures. This is a great tool when considering how many of the students that are connected on the site are upperclassmen and are in the stage of life where you start looking towards the future in hopes of a job in the field.. PROpenMic has a link for blog posts that you might write or find it also has a tab for forums in which everyone can participate and with the smaller social feeling of the site it is easier to keep up and connect with people with similar goals and interests. There is also a Resources tab in which you can look for helpful videos, tips, and information about the site or PR field such as “acceptable rules of conduct” video.

I over all really enjoy this site even though I was a little hesitance that it would just be another networking site. It seems to be more than that and really catering to the PR world. I will continue to keep up my page and hopefully make a positive plug-in.