Archive for ‘Topics of the week’


Tips for PR Students!

Being in a writing for Public relations class, I have learned many things to be a successful journalist. Here are some tips I have come up with to be successful:

1. When it comes to writing blogs, make sure to “spice” it up by adding graphics and pictures to accommodate your writings.  When reading blogs, most people look for picture first before reading.  Appearance is important.

2. Be very familiar with every social networking website and be familiar with social media that is new.  As a PR professional, it would be embarrassing to be not be familiar with new media streams of communication.

3. Be efficient in grammar and writing styles.

4. Listen to PR podcasts to become familiar with PR news.

5. Make sure you network with other PR professionals to become familiar in the PR world.  Blogging can help do this.  It is good to comment on PR professional blogs.

6. Read PR daily and other PR websites.  It is good to read the newspaper or any news on the web to become familiar with what is going on in the world.

7. Be tough.  Editors will reject you so it is good to not become discouraged, but continue to take rejection to improve your writing.

8. Be very truthful and when taking information from someone else, make sure to not plagiarize.   It is good to be ethical, especially when it comes to professional writing.

9. Take risks.  It is good to pitch a story that is unique and risky.  The ones who do the risky stories usually are successful!

10. Know your audience.  Be specific about the type of audience you want to be involved with.  Knowing the audience well can help bring efficiency.

Here are some tips that I hope you can take and use if you are planning on becoming a PR professional!! Hope they helped 🙂


PR podcasts

For immediate release:

Harry, small micro-hotel coordinator, MS in marketing. 20 years online. Flicker, it is very easy for one cloud to connect with another cloud. Giving them a complete ownership of their data. Competing with Facebook.  When engaging consumers with social media, you have to fortify your key segments. We cannot only be focused on the sales in a business.  Marketing strategies. Social media will be known for building community.  When the consumer wants to talk about something, we must be there with them in that moment.

You can’t stop focusing on future sales, you must look at current and future sales. Being there for the customer and being aware of what is being discussed online is crucial for marketing.

Craig, just introduced to creepy, he was able to see where people are tweeting and exactly what they are doing and where they are in visual terms. You can see exactly what someone is doing in downloading this app.  Only good for stalkers and weirdos.  When tweeting, be aware that there is a possibility of someone knowing and seeing where you are tweeting from. It is not that much different from surveillance cameras that can tell where you have been all day.

PR podcasts like this one can benefit PR students because this enables students to become connected with what is going on in the media all over the world.  What are the main issues?  When listening to the podcasts, PR students will become aware of recent findings in the media and they will be exposed to the media/social media updates before the majority of people are. It is good to be aware of what is going on in the world when it comes to new technology. I also never heard of “creepy” or have been familiar with those who are behind the scenes of social media.  It was interesting to hear older men who are behind the technology talk about the relation between marketing and social media.


Infographic wonders.

Without the infographics, the world of advertising and marketing would be a different place.  According to a blog post on Six Revision, an infographic is a creative graphic depicting of data and information presenting knowledge about something while engaging the viewer.  The graphic of the different coffee’s is an example.  Say I was writing a story on global warming and the recent updates of the effects around the world, my client would become more engaged if I presented him/her with a graphic displaying the statistics of weather changes across the world.  The client would be able to visualize the information I was trying to get across to my readers.  Most infographics are made on Adobe Illustrator or photoshop so one would need to purchase a subscription to one of these programs to make the graphic.  There are many sites on the web that offer great useful tips for making an infographic.  Some I found on Designing Quality Infographics: Tips, Rescources and Inspiration. Tips include: succinctness, creativity, visualization, organization, transparency,  accuracy, relevance, and simplicity.  Infographics are found on almost all websites demonstrating any type of information. Charts and tables are popular to demonstrate data. According to wikipedia, infographics display complex information in the forms of signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education.  Some infographics are funny and others are serious.  You do not need have a career in graphic design to create an infographic.  Once starting to create these graphics, it is a very simplistic art that becomes enjoyable to make.  Some free online websites to create these graphics are Stat Planet, Hohli,Creately, New York Times, Many Eyes, and Google Public Date.  The triangle below is the development process of making an infographic which in itself is also an infographic. I hope these tips helped and I hope you start to explore the wonders on infographic making in all your writings!



On BlogHer, Melanie Nelson describes how PR practitioners benefit from using HARO.  HARO is short for “Help a Reporter Out” and helps reporters find sources for news articles when they do not know where to look within an industry.  When getting a request from HARO, one must make sure that they do not waste the other person’s time and they must convince the request that they are the best person to ask for answers to their questions.

There have been many incidents of reporters never getting back to their clients which is a big NO NO! Do not waste other’s time on HARO; be respectful. In the responses make sure you are responding with respect and honor explaining to them why you would be a good client for them.

You can subscribe to HARO here: HAROsite

Some tips for writing a successful response:

-Keep it short

-introduce yourself

-Address the information and explain why you’d be a good source

-Answer the questions in the original query

-Pay attention to the deadline

So what are the benefits of using HARO for your client and for you?

HARO is great networking for PR partitioners.  When you are wondering who needs your help, you can directly write to someone with questions that you are knowledgeable about instead of writing to all of the public.  The client and the reporter will be connected easily and will be able to exchange writings faster than trying to find one another on their own.  Also on HARO, you can easily connect with other PR partitioners who have similar writing interests. Everyone wins in HARO according to Melanie Nelson.

I see HARO as a very useful source and will hopefully be using it a lot in the future.  Any type of PR/Journalism career would find benefits using HARO.  Make sure you read up on the tips on writing a response before you request anything from a client or reporter! 🙂


mutual sharing of a cat

Jonathan Santana is a friend of mine who has a fun blog. He posted a video of a commercial that is banned in the US that he thought was very funny.  Sometimes a good laugh is all we need in a blog comment. I will re-post it here:

I remember watching this commercial in my intro to business class and I almost died laughing. Maybe you are a cat lover but it is still a horribly funny commercial. I wonder why this can’t be shown in the u.s…..

If you are in the mood for a laugh then definitely check out this commercial. Also i thought this was a bad decision by the PR of for because of the cruelty of this commercial. It may be funny to me and some others but this can be very offensive to many people.

-Jon Santana

The link to the video is found on his blog


photography lovers

The Language of the Image on NEWSU was my favorite NEWSU so far. I really enjoy photography so it was very interesting to see what type of photos captured reader’s attention.  Also, it was very interesting to  learn about what type of photos can be used in photo-journalism because I am very interested in that field.  In this NEWSU, there were 3 different catagories  the photos were placed in to tell a news story.  The first was “informational.”  In these photos, the photo does not tell a story, but just offers the idenification of a person, place, or thing.  An example of this can be a picture of two people eating dinner.  The look of the photo is obvious that they are eating dinner, but the significance of them eating dinner is not noticed from the photo.  Also, in these photos there is not much creativity such as lighting, proximity, place, etc..

The second catagory was “single elements” such as the graphics making the photo look appealing.  The photographer is looking for the relationship between the lines, shapes, and forms that go well together.  These are when pictures are very creative and tell a story.  The story does not need to be impacting or intense, but a small story is told.  An example of one of these photographs is a close up of a tiger walking.  The photographer focuses on the stripes of the tiger in relation to the background behind him.  The color of the tiger and background go very well together.  The tiger’s fur is what is emphasized and the person viewing the photograph goes right to the tiger at first glance.

The third catagory is when there are multiple elements in a photograph.  Here are the list of the different elements that can be used (not all are usually together):

graphic, quality of life, emotion, juxtaposition, mood, sense of place, point of entry, impact, rule of thirds, perspective, surprise, layering, moment, and personality portrait.

A professional photographer uses many elements to capture the graphic, the story, etc.. to create a great story/visual. An example of one of these photos could be a war photo with the emphasis on a person being shot where all that the person viewing the shot sees is the intensity of the person in pain.  The colors, placing, everything looks just right and causes the person viewing the photo to feel emotion.

I love photography and this course is a very good source in helping with photojournalism!


NEWSU- Grammar

In NEWSU, Cleaning your Copy, I learned much about grammar.  Grammar seems like such an easy thing to know when it comes to writing, but there are so many rules and so many different approaches to writing that a little class like this one helps a lot! When I took the quiz, I realized that punctuation and the basics of grammar did not come easily to me.

Colons are used instead of a period between two sentences that present contrasting ideas. This causes the sentence to flow. Something that surprised me was the fact that commas do not be used as much as I use them.  It is better to figure out a way to use a sentence with less commas. I never really knew when to put dashes and hyphens.  Cleaning your copy taught me how. Dashes denote an abrupt change and hyphens  join words.

Modifiers and Pronouns are something I learned more about doing this course.  You must place modifiers in the correct location.  When using a pronoun, it is best to keep in mind that the reader should know exactly who or what you are talking about.

In this NEWSU course, there were a list of words misspelled commonly. Some of those words were Accommodate, Anointed, Diphtheria, and Occurred.  I seem to always get those wrong! Thanks NEWSU!

Semicolons indicate a greater separation of thought when used and help to link independent clauses.

My dad used to be an English teacher, so I would always have him look over my papers before turning them in.  All my mistakes were in grammar.  I could always write beautiful stories, but when it came to grammar, yikes!  This course has really helped me in the little areas that I had questions.  Being a Journalist, we must know what to do when it comes to grammar.  Journalists out of most careers should probably take a grammar class and be familiar with the many forms of writing.


Poynter helps us Journalists.

There are many topics that are discussed on Poynter to help aid in the start of my career. On —5 Things The Daily should learn from Flipboard, Angry Birds, Huffington Post and other iPad apps, talk about the different apps that become useful to a Journalist/PR person.  There are CNN and many other news apps you can get on an iPad, there are weather apps, ESPN apps, social news apps, and even game apps such as crosswords.  I would have never known that the iPad includes apps that are related to different news topics if it weren’t for Poynter!

Not only does Poynter contain many helpful articles, it also contains many live chats.  The next live chat is for tomorrow and it is on the role that image apps like Hipstamatic have in photojournalism. These chats can connect people like me to other journalists with the same interest.  The chats are very good networking tools and also help you keep in touch with other Journalists.

There are also many work shops and training classes that you can apply for. There are in-person training and even online training. These training sessions are designed to produce successful Journalists.



Blog thieves.

Plagiarism is not something to take lightly. If someone has copied my organization’s blog that I have been writing, I would take action!  I will describe the actions to take if any of you bloggers run into this tragedy.  According to, What to do When Someone Steals Your Blog’s Content, about blog plagiarism, the blogger gives advice on what to do.

  1. Contact the site concerned: Say someone copied my work, I would immediately contact the person who plagiarized and warn them to take my information off, and if not I would sue for copyright.
  2. Whois: Run a Whois.  A Whois a method to discover details of the owner of the blog.  There are many websites/services to do this.
  3. Contact the Site’s Hosts: If the blogger who plagiarized does not respond, contact the site wordpress for an example.  If they do not get a hold of the person, tell them that if they do not take it off, they will be sued for breech of copyright.
  4. File them to be banned from the internet
  5. Legal Action

There are more actions that were mentioned in Darren Rowse’s blog, but I mentioned the most useful. Darren Rowse had this happen to him, so he is experienced with someone taking his work and publishing it without consent.  Good thing I am mentioning him in my blog and giving him credit or I would be in BIG trouble.



AP Style!

According to Purdue Online Writing Lab, Associated Press Style (AP Style) is a guideline to help Journalists, Publishers, Editors, etc… in the Communication or English department.  Having a basic knowledge of the AP Style book is essential to any form of Communication and is essential to good writing.

Writing can get so confusing with the many forms of word usage, punctuation, grammar, and clarity.  This book is a good reference when unsure about a word, a phrase, a sentence structure, anything really.

Here are a few guidelines found in the book:

-abbreviations & acronyms



-books, periodicals, reference works, and other types of compositions

-dates, months, years, days of the week




There are many more, but that is just naming a few categories found in the AP Style guide.  The book is always coming out with new editions, so it is good to have the newest!

I love and NEED to use AP Style guide.  Every time I think I know how to use an abbreviation or write a number out in words, I always forget the rules.  There is not a consistent rule for each word or structure, so the book becomes very handy.

AP Style guide may be the 2nd greatest book to own! Bible being number one.