TOW #16: Blog Comments

Blogging is a very important element of not only this class, but of a public relations practitioner’s tool kit. The following list is my top ten blogging tips for PR students.

1) Because most online classes don’t require you to be in a certain place at a certain time, it’s very easy to neglect your blogs. Set aside a specific time during the week to work on your blog and commit to it!

2) Keeping up with your blogs is a necessary component of this class. Be consistent!

3) Don’t make excuses. I have been working 50 hours a week this summer and it has been very easy for me to neglect my blog. Ultimately, though, I could have been working on my blogs in my spare time, rather than trying to catch up on sleep. Excuses equal poor grades.

4) Comment on at least one blog a week. It truly makes the blogging experience more interactive and enjoyable.

5) Take time to create a personal section in your blog. Blogging about subjects you’re interested in makes it seem less like work.

6) Add pictures! I came across a blog full of attention-grabbing pictures and it made the blog so much more interesting.

7) Include links to other helpful sites/blogs. When you do, it illustrates your interest in and knowledge of a topic.

8 ) Add classmates to your blogroll. It makes it easy to check out what your peers are saying without having to search for them.

9) Proofread! It is extremely important to check for errors. When you post a blog that has errors, it sends a message that you don’t care.

10) Comment on comments. Respond to those who comment on your blogs to let them know that you appreciate their input/feedback. That’s what makes blogging interactive.

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Social Media News Release

According to a YouTube Video compiled by Webitpr and Big Button Media, a social media news release (SMNR) is a new kind of press release that takes advantage of the online and social media tools in order to communicate the message more effectively to a broader online community.  A SMNR often includes traditional video, social networking videos, like YouTube, hyperlinks, images and audio. It offers an exciting and creative way to share news. An important feature of the SMNR is its appearance in search engine results, promoting maximum exposure.

The SMNR has its advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately, the advantages are greater in number. A SMNR presents news in a more factual manner and includes more rich content for journalists. It also creates a platform for open discussion for bloggers. SMNRs offer the ability to share content in various ways using social media, a feature not available in a traditional press release.

SMNRs have their disadvantages too. Poor construction and social media overload can serve as a major turn-off to not only journalists, but all audiences alike. Including too many hyperlinks, videos, or images creates chaos and can be a major disadvantage. Using poor quality images and videos that load slowly also causes release quality to suffer. The greatest issue arises when social media is used in a release to hide the fact that little actual content exists.

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques offers several tips in creating a SMNR.

  • Place terms in key positions like headlines and first paragraphs.
  • Distribute a release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites such as Yahoo!Finance, AOL News, and Netscape.
  • Use high-resolution multimedia  that can be easily used.
  • Don’t use all tools, all the time. Focus first on the message. Use the bells and whistles to complement the campaign.
  • Don’t go link crazy. Too many links will confuse journalists and draw attention away from key messages.

The following sites are helpful resources in constructing SMNRs:

Click here to view a SMNR from Marketwire.

Facebook Causes Asthma Attacks

An article posted by the Los Angeles Times tells of a group of Italian doctors who warn of the dangers of Facebook. In a study published in Lancet, a British medical journal, they describe a case of an 18-year-old male who suffered Asthma attacks after logging onto his Facebook account. His symptoms were in check until he discovered his ex-girlfriend’s activity on the networking site. Apparently, she had added other potential suitors and removed him as a friend, blocking him from her page. The patient took the break-up rather hard, putting him in a “depressive state.” The cure, of course, is abstaining from visiting the site. The doctors noted that “psychological stress is a recognized cause of asthma attacks,” and that Facebook could create “a new source of psychological stress” for many.

I got quite a laugh out of this article. It’s obvious that stress triggers asthma attacks, doctors have know this for years. Apparently, they felt the need to conduct a study linking it to Facebook.  If something that upsetting is on any website, an asthma patient is going to have an adverse reaction. If it’s a medium that people use to communicate, there is always going to be potential for “psychological stress.” You don’t need a PhD to figure that out.

PR Daily Recognizes PR Prof’s Blog!

While musing through Ragan’s PR Daily News Feed e-mail from November 22, I came across a small article on tweeting in class. The title seemed familiar, and as I continued to read, I realized it was referring to a blog post created by my public relations writing professor, Barbara Nixon! I was quite excited to find that she had received recognition from Ragan’s PR Daily! Her blog, called Public Relations Matters, shares her thoughts on texting in class versus tweeting in class and related etiquette during presentations. Her recognition says a great deal about her as a PR professional and educator. It illustrates that she posses accurate and up-to-date knowledge in the field, that I’m learning the necessary skills needed to succeed in public relations. She’s at the fore-front of social media and the assignments in her class reflect that. I am proud to be one of her students.

Public Relations Matters

Yet Another Social Media Blunder

An employee in charge of Cheapflights UK’s twitter account recently tweeted “Oh for f*cks sake, stop crying you silly bint.” Rather than tweeting on her account, however, she accidentally posted it on the Cheapflights account. Her tweet was in reference to watching Katie Waissell on “The X Factor”. Cheapflights quickly deleted the tweet and issued an apology (view here). Luckily, a blogger captured a screen shot of the tweet before it was too late ;). (below)

Cheapflights.co.uk: swears, uses rude term form women

My first reaction to this tweet was, “Oh no, she dropped the F bomb!” Then it occurred to me that “silly bint” was some sort of derogatory term of which I was not familiar. Upon further review, I discovered that it’s a negative term for a female, similar to a whore. This term significantly increases the damage done by the tweet. Both terms are highly inappropriate in any context, but even more so on a corporate Twitter account. We often forget that social media, if used improperly, can negatively impact an image. This serves as yet another reminder to be careful with both personal and business social media accounts.

TOW #10- WordPress Site Stats

The Site Stats page on my WordPress blog is quite interesting. It tells me how many all-time visits my blog has received (819), how many people visited on a certain day and what day was the busiest (July 12). It uses bar graphs to illustrate how many visited and when in days, weeks and months. Other features include search engine referrals, your top posts and pages and total link clicks from your blog. There is also a general section, which lists my total number of posts, categories and comments received. The stats tool is a great way for public relations practitioners to monitor the number of visits to their blogs. High numbers would likely indicate that the blog is attracting readers and reaching target audiences. Low numbers likely indicate that something needs to change, such as adjusting the site’s format/content or finding more ways to attract visitors to your blog.

TOW #9- PROpenMic

PROpenMic is a great way to connect to with public relations students, faculty and practicioners (site). Members can explore jobs and internships in the field, as wells as network with potential employers. It also serves as a place to share pictures, music, create discussions, or forums, and blogs. A member’s homepage includes the latest PR news and popular blog posts. Members can also join groups, such as entertainment PR or private groups, like UGA PR. In addition, you can post your resume, list jobs and internships, and view news releases and portfolios. A neat feature is the ability to create status updates and link it to your Twitter feed. Overall, PROpenMic is a helpful resource that allows current and upcoming practitioners to stay in touch and up-to-date in the field.