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Chapter 12

Tapping the Web and New Media

  • Public relations practitioners are heavy users of the Internet and the Web. They disseminate information to a variety of audiences and use the Internet for research.
  • Writing for the Web requires nonlinear organization. Topics should be in index-card format instead of a long, linear narrative. This allows viewers to click on the information most interesting to them.
  • Webcasting, the streaming of audio and video in real time over a website, is now used by the majority of organizations for everything from news conferences to employee training.
  • Usenet is a bulletin board where users post notes and make comments. Listservs are used by organizations to send information to subscribers on a regular basis.
  • You Tube is the premier social networking site for posting and viewing videos. Organizations are heavily involved in posting video clips. The clips, however, must be creative, interesting, and somewhat humorous to attract an audience.

Online Podcasts

The Creative Career Podcast

I listened to a podcast at thecreativecareer.com hosted by Allie Osmar. It was an interview with Stever Robbins, the voice behind the popular Get it Done Guy podcast and author of the new book Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More (Quick & Dirty Tips) . In this podcast, Stever Robbins discusses the way technology is taking over the world, tips for young business employees and steps we should take now versus later in getting your career started.

Robbins pointed out how hard technology has made simple communication in today’s society. Noting that everything is now much easier that used to take time and effort. He offered ways to have self control and limit yourself to the amount of technology you use in one sitting, like having the computer and television on while using your cell phone. 

There was discussion encouraging making to-do lists and prioritizing your e-mail. Robbins offered a very honest actualization of himself and the way he perceives things and the modern world and offered tips he’s used over the years to try and acclimate the newer generations, such as myself. I found his tips very reassuring, being that I am a little nervous about getting out into the workforce. 

I listened to a second interview at thecreativecareer.com with Catherine Hudson, the co-founder of Shorty Clothing. Catherine Hudson has worked in everything from music journalism to fashion. She co-founded Shorty Clothing, and she’s now working on a new line called Kaahn. Catherine’s story proves that it’s all about hard work and creating valuable relationships.

 

Hudson held many jobs in her early professional career and was even laid off from a couple and it was through her contacts and drive that she kept pushing on and eventually found her way. She had never expected when she started off as a music journalist that she would end up a clothing company founder. This interview reassured me that in life, you never know where you can go and most likely, you won’t end up where you thought you would be.

I have found listening to Podcasts to be much more engaging than simply reading an article. Since you cannot go back and re-read, listening and paying attention allows you to actually soak in the information at hand and makes it harder to pay attention to outside distractions. I think podcasts are a great tool for public relations students and practitioners.

Chapter 11

Getting Along with Journalists

  • Journalists depend on public relations sources for collecting most of their information; public relations people depend on the media for wide-spread distribution of information.
  • The major complaint about journalists is that they are careless in their accuracy and often don’t take the time to do their homework.
  • Media credibility is weakened when publications link advertising contracts with the amount of coverage that an organization receives.
  • News conferences should be held only if there is noteworthy news that lends itself to elaboration and questions from journalists. News conferences can also be held via teleconferences or webcasts.
  • Press tours, or junkets, should be used only if there is a legitimate news story or angle. Avoid junkets that “simply wine and dine” journalists.

Chapter 10

Distributing News to the Media

  • Media directories are crucial tools for compiling media lists and distributing information.
  • Publicists use editorial calendars to find out what special editions or sections various publications are scheduling for the year.
  • Mailing labels must be correct; they should be addressed to a specific editor by name and include such details as the floor or suite in an office building.
  • Online newsrooms, which are part of an organization’s website, have become the main source for journalists seeking late-breaking news and other information about an organization.
  • Keywords are important for search engine optimization (SEO). Publicists must use keywords that clients will likely use to search for information.

Why use Infographs?

The Importance of Infographs

Infographics, also known as “information graphics” are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, computer scientist, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information.

Since the days of the fire evolution, we’ve been using infographics, as visual shorthand to transmit information to the viewers or readers that might take paragraphs or pages to explain in words. It is not easy to represent the whole story in one single page or paragraph but it’s far more effective then reading an entire book. There are a number of infographics out there on every street. In fact, we interact with infographics on a daily basis, from the stick figure telling us when to cross the street, to icons in web navigation designs.

You can learn how to create your own infographic at http://www.instantshift.com.

We should use infographics because a picture is worth a thousand words. Information graphics can be done for several reasons. Along with them we can highlight the following important ones to enlighten the mystery.

-To transmit or communicate a message

-To present large amounts of information in a compact and easy to understand way

-To reveal the data. Discovering cause-effect relations, knowing what’s happening.

-To periodically monitor the evolution of certain parameters

Such graphics can be helpful in the writing of one’s blog. They can add detail and support to the issue being discussed. They also draw the reader into the story and make them more engaged into what they are reading.

The usage of infographics can also be helpful in writing for a client of yours. For my client, Kappa Delta Sorority, I would use the symbol KD or I could create maps for events they are hosting. Infographics are certainly a plus in the writing of a public relations professional.

Site Stats on WordPress

The Sites Stats page tells me a lot about my blog and the views I am receiving. There is a Referrers, Top Posts & Pages, Search Engine Terms, Clicks, General, and Incoming Links section. I can see how many views, comments and posts I have.

The statistics are just a good way to show me that other people are looking at my blog and what I have to say and sort of validate the time and effort I put into the work I conduct. What is the point of doing something if it is not going to be shown?

It is also neat to have your own stat page so that I can get feedback. It boosts confidence to know that people are interested in what you have to say. And through the feedback I receive, I can alter my own thoughts on something I have posted or gain a new perspective.

Public Relations practitioners would benefit from monitoring their own or their company’s blog so that they too could see the direct results. It is a great way to stay current with your blog. If they were to regularly check how often their blog is being viewed and what is being commented on, than they can take that input and use it for future reference.

If a company checks their stats and sees that views have decreased over the past week then they will be notified that they need to change something in order to increase viewing rates. And if they take the time to look at the comments, then they can see what their customers think about certain areas of their company.

Overall, having a statistics page can only help anyone who has a blog.

Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Writing for Radio and Television

  • The broadcast media are important channels of communication, but using them requires thinking in terms of sound and visual elements.
  • Audio news releases are more interesting because they include sound bites, music, and sound effects.
  • Radio media tours (RMTs) are a cost-effective way to reach many stations with an exclusive interview over a wide geographic area.
  • Television news releases must contain both sound and visual elements such as graphics, slides, or videotape.
  • Satellite media tours are widely used in the broadcast industry. A popular format is setting up interviews from a location that reinforces the story.
  • Talk shows offer numerous opportunities for reaching mass and specialized audiences.