Tashe's Blog

SMNRs -Week 15 TOW
April 28, 2010, 3:56 am
Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

A Social Media News Release or a SMNR is an online multimedia news release. This news release is online therefore it can contain pictures, graphs, videos, sound, or links to other websites. Graphics are helpful in social media news releases because they can show, explain, or demonstrate what a product or service does as opposed to a print news release. Also, links can be included to link readers to another website to further explain a product or service. A PR practitioner should use SMNR if they are releasing a new product or service and want to use pictures, graphics, and or video to convey more detailed information to the client or reader. Some people cannot fully understand how a product or service works unless they can see visual images to help explain. Sometimes a print news release alone will not suffice.

SMNRs are helpful because journalists do not have to talk to the PR professional about the product that they are writing about. All of the information is available on the website. SMNRs are also extremely helpful because they allow for readers and clients to leave comments and offer feedback about the product or service. Two-way communication is essential for improvement and evaluation.

A SMNR is available for all of the public to see rather than just the reporters that print releases are sent to. A good SMNR with links will be easier to find in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, or MSN. A PR practitioner should want his or her SMNR to be available to everyone because they never know who may want to write a story about them and their new product or service.

Here are 3 websites that explain social media news releases and how to create them:

Here is a video about Social Media News Releases:


How to lose a journalist in 10 ways- Week 13 TOW
April 28, 2010, 3:39 am
Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

PR practitioners and journalists do not always see eye-to-eye. I think this is mainly because they work so close together in delivering information to the public. Just like any relationship, a few tips, respect, and understanding can keep situations from blowing out of proportion.

Here are ten things that I think PR professionals do to annoy journalists and simple solutions to solve the problem.

  1. Tons of e-mails. Journalists get frustrated with PR people when they flood their inboxes with emails and news releases. This problem can be fixed if the PR professional would only send the most important e-mails rather than a lot of unnecessary information and follow-ups.
  2. Wrong writing style. PR professionals are not always familiar with the journalist’s editorial requirements and format according to Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques. This can easily be solved if the PR professional familiarized himself of herself with AP Style writing which is the writing style that journalists use.
  3. Boring gimmicks. PR writers send the same gifts with their media kits and news releases and journalists get bored and annoyed with them. PR practitioners should think of more creative attention-grabbing gifts to deliver with their media kits.
  4. Gifts altogether. Some journalists think that the gifts are a waste of time. PR practitioners should just omit the cheesy gifts completely.
  5. Name Calling. Journalists get annoyed when publicists use flamboyant words to describe a new product or service. PR publicists could tone down the hype and exaggeration when sending a news release to a journalist.
  6. Alotted Time. PR Professionals do not always let the journalist know where a press release will be in a considerate amount of time or they schedule conferences at inconvenient times for journalists. This can be fixed by communication between the PR people and the reporters to come to a time that works for everyone.
  7. Location. PR professionals may sometimes forget to consider the necessities of reporters for a press conference such as, outlets, lighting, first floor entry, and phone jacks. PR professionals should keep in mind all of the accommodations reporters need.
  8. Phone Calls. PR professionals annoy reporters by calling and checking on the status of their news release. This can be fixed by calling for a different topic and casually working the question into conversation if you must ask.
  9. Lack of knowledge about product or service. Public Relations publicists should be fully informed on the product that they are sending the news release or media kit on incase the reporter has a question.
  10. Poor penmanship. Reporters are annoyed when a news release is sent to them and is written poorly. PR practitioners should be able to write clear and informative news releases and always have someone double-check to make sure it is properly written.

5 Steps to Story Telling TOW 14
April 21, 2010, 1:06 am
Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

I recently took the NewsU course, Five Steps to Multimedia Story Telling and I learned a tremendous amount of information about multimedia story telling. I was not even aware of where to start. I imagined that it was just like writing a news story but I was wrong, there are several differences.

I learned how to:

  • Identify the elements in a multimedia story
  • Understand which stories are more suitable for multimedia
  • Sketch a concept for a story
  • Identify tools needed to gather content in the field
  • First, you have to choose a story, A good story is one that is interesting and has several visual elements such as graphs, video, strong quotes, and audio. Once a story has been decided you must create a story board and organize the information and brainstorm how you want the story to look to the readers. Once you have made your “rough draft” you have to work to making it come to life.

    I was most surprised by all of the basic and technology needs that a reporter must have on hand. I would have not thought to bring the instruction manuals to the equipment that I use in case of a question arises. Another thing that I would not have thought to bring would be duct tape for quick emergency fixes or rubber bands to keep your cords and cables in order when filming.

    I want to learn more about the actual technology of how to put the actual multimedia story online. I am not technologically savvy and I would like to learn more. In the NewsU course the reporter had help with loading her material on to the web. The reporter recommended using website making templates and simply inserting your graphics, audio, still photos, etc into the desired spots. She said that she used a lot of Photoshop as well. I would like to become more familiar with the software, Photoshop.

    I enjoyed this course because it showed me a whole different side to reporting.

    Infographics TOW 11
    March 30, 2010, 9:11 pm
    Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

    According to the book Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques an infographis are “computer-generated artwork that attractively displays simple tables and charts.” Infographics could be useful in a story for my client by making graphs that compare the amount of time spent raising money for charities, the amount of time spend volunteering for them and future predictions. This could be useful because it would give the viewer a visual image of what my client has done and what they plan to do.

    I would think that you could create infographics just like any other graph. Use a graphing template and insert your calculations and VIOLA!

    Infographics can be in the form of bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, or tables. They are usually vibrant in color and sometimes have some sort of clip-art on them.

    Open Mic? Yes Please. TOW 9/10
    March 30, 2010, 8:28 pm
    Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

    The social network created by Robert French from Auburn University, PR OpenMic is a website available for PR practitioners, students, and grad students to network with other people interested in Public Relations.

    This website has a lot of helpful links and tips to offer. First, you are able to make a profile to tell a little about yourself and your interests within the PR field. Then you can connect with people and discuss you interests or talk about the latest PR news. It is exactly what it says: an open mic. You can blog right on the website which may entice readers to start following your blog. You can read other people’s blogs and there are links available to help you get started on your own blog if you have not done so. There are videos and photos that are updated daily and you can even upload your own videos for others to view. There are forums where you can post a question and have hundreds of people respond and spark up conversation or debate. One of the things that I found most interesting is there is a place where you can search for jobs or internships. This stood out most to me because it is so hard to find a job these days, not to mention a job in the PR field, and there is a section specifically for PR jobs and internships. If that isn’t enough this website also has a place to post your resume’. I think that this is amazing because college Public Relations students and grads should always be open to post their resumes because you never know what opportunities could arise. PR Openmic has all this and more to offer to the PR student, grad, or practitioner. It’s like our own little private social network just for us. I recommend this to all people interested in PR.

    TOW 8: A Chemist in the Lead Lab
    March 4, 2010, 4:23 am
    Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

    I took the NewsU course The Lead Lab and I can’t tell you how much it helped me. The Lead Lab was an interactive course to teach and help your practice writing leads. The lead is the most important part of a news release or a news article because it answers the five W’s and H (who, what, when, where, why and how). This is what readers read first and this can decide whether they continue to read the rest of the article.

    I learned that you should make your lead exciting and enticing yet not too gaudy or untrue. I learned about the different myths that people believe about leads. For example, leads should not be started with a quote is a myth. I was shocked to find this out because I have always learned that the lead is supposed to answer the five W’s and H so I did not think that a quote followed those rules. Another myth is that leads should never be more than three or four lines long. If you follow this myth then you may one day cheat your readers of a very interesting detailed lead. Sometimes you have to write a longer lead to make your point.

    I also learned the different types of leads: direct leads and delayed leads. Direct leads tell you information about the news and delayed news tells you a story.  I enjoyed the part of the lead lab that taught you how to write a better lead. There were very helpful tips.

     A good tip that the Lead Lab gave was to find the tension in your lead. Tension is when two forces compete with each other (not against).  Another tip from the Lead Lab is that a good lead provokes a question.

    I recommend this course to anyone who is having difficulty writing leads.

    TOW 7: One week of Twitter
    February 22, 2010, 5:55 am
    Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

    This week we were assigned to create a Twitter account and update it throughout the week and then blog about our  experiences.

    I have heard all the benefits of Twitter such as: businesses use it to tell their customers about special events or sales, college students can follow their professors, friends can use it for enjoyment and follow each other, fans can follow their favorite celebrities, PR practitioners can follow PR firms or other PR practitioners on the latest PR news, events, or problems. All of the people who I know that use Twitter are students in college who use the website as a social networking place to update people on their day-to-day activities instead of using it for productive beneficiary reasons.

    We were assigned to send at least 20 tweets this week. I was not able to send 20 tweets because it was hard for me to think of something interesting to tweet. I didn’t find any helpful PR news that I wanted to share to my followers or any questions that I needed answered. Most of my tweets consisted of little known facts to just provide food for thought. I tweeted about Tiger Woods also because he was the biggest influence of PR this week. Tiger was everywhere this week after his press conference. He was all over tv, on the radio, on magazines, in the newspaper, on tons of blogs and headlines, and the conversation of most people in America.

    I followed all of the Tweeps that were recommended by Professor Nixon and they in return followed me too. This was somewhat intimidating because I knew that I couldn’t tweet “silly thoughts” or what I did during my daily activities like most of my peers do. I felt like I had to tweet important serious Public Relations-type of information (and when put on the spot I couldn’t find any).

    All in all, I was not thrilled with my week of Twitter. However, I am not giving up and I will continue to follow and tweet often. Hopefully, the more I use Twitter the better I will become and then I can truly benefit from it the way that it was meant to be. I plan to follow some of my friends and celebrities for a little enjoyment. I also plan to continue to follow the PR practitioners that I currently follow (and new additions) and hopefully learn something from them.

    My Twitter