Archive | January, 2011

Key to Effective Blog Comments

28 Jan

TOW #3

Commenting is a very important part of blogging. Blog comments build relationships with other bloggers, which can be extremely beneficial for networking. Comments show the blogger that their posts aren’t going unnoticed, and it helps the comment writer to get noticed. A simple comment- when executed correctly- can even drive traffic to your own blog.

1. Make a Point

It’s encouraging receiving comments like “Great post!” or “Love it!”. But they don’t really leave a lasting impression. Make a contribution to the post. If you have more information, add it and link to your source. However, it’s important to know what you are talking about. If you give bad information, your credibility will drop. Blogging is about sharing information, which is a two-way street.

2. Keep it Short

People have short attention spans. Especially when reading online context, and when skimming comments. Make one or two points and keep it at that.

3. Comment Early

“The early bird catches the worm” is true in most cases, even blog comments. If you wait too long to comment, someone is already likely to have made the point you were going to make. Also, people rarely scroll down to read comment #37.

4. Don’t Over-Promote Yourself

Nothing is more annoying to a blogger than for someone to comment on their blog solely with the purpose to promote themselves. It is more appropriate to add a meaningful comment, and hyperlink to your blog if you have information on your blog that relates.

5. Proofread!

What is online is many times permanent and out there for the whole world to read. So read it a couple times before posting anything. Grammatical errors along with misspellings distract from the content of your comment. Below is a hilarious video embedded of some girls from YouTube doing a spoof off Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” song. In it, they express their frustrations of when they see a comment that is stock full of typos. It’s definitely worth your time.

Check out these blog posts for more tips!

How to Write a Great Blog Comment by Grammar Girl

How to write a good blog comment by Mack Collier

10 Reasons No One Notices Your Blog Comment by Judy Dunn


Even quicker tips from Grammar Girl

28 Jan

TOW #2

Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) has a plethora of “quick and dirty” tips for those of us who aren’t as blessed in the world of understanding or enjoying grammar. After scouring her blog, I brushed up on some technical grammatical things. !! 😉

Who vs. Whom

Who and whom are pronouns

  • Who is for the subject of a clause
  • Whom is for the object of a clause

Subject= Person doing something

Object= What is having something done to them

  • Example: If I step on Squiggly
  • Then… I=Subject; Squiggly=Object
  • Example: “I love you”
  • You are the object of my affection (I am the subject)

Just Whom

Whom is used for the object

  • Example: “Whom did you step on?”
    • Object: Squiggly
  • Example: “Whom do I love?”
    • Object: You

Just Who

Who is when referring to subject

  • Example: “Who stepped on Squiggly?
  • Example: “Who loves you?”

Lay vs. Lie

Present Tense

  • Lay requires a direct object
  • Lie does not
    • Example: You lie down on the sofa (No direct object)
    • Example: You lay the book on the table (the book is the direct object)
    • How to remember the difference: Lay it on me
      • You are laying something (it, the direct object) on me
      • Bad example: Eric Clapton’s song Lay Down Sally
        • To say “lay down Sally” implies that someone should grab Sally and lay her down
        • If he wanted Sally to rest in her arms, he would say “lie down Sally”

Big Picture

  • Present tense:
    • You lay something down
    • People lie down by themselves

Past Tense

Ending A Sentence with a Preposition

Myth: You can’t end a sentence with a preposition

Truth: You CAN, in some cases

What is a Preposition?

  • A word that creates a relationship between other words
  • Prepositions deal with space and time


When Can a Sentence End with a Preposition?

  • Example: “What did you step on?”
    • The sentence doesn’t work without the preposition
    • When Can’t a Sentence End with a Preposition?
      • When you can leave off the preposition and it wouldn’t change the meaning
      • Example: “That’s where it’s at” (BAD!)
      • Change to…. “That’s where it IS”

Unnecessary Prepositions

  • Not great: “Squiggly jumped off of the dock”
  • Better: “Squiggly jumped off the dock”
  • Not great: “He’s outside of the door”
  • Better: “He’s outside the door”

PR Pitch Guaranteed to Grab Attention

26 Jan

With everyone fighting over some attention from the media, it is vital to make your PR pitch stand high above the rest! New York Times tech columnist, David Pogue, constantly receives pitches from a variety of PR people, and the more creative, intriguing, attention-grabbing they are, the more likely he will be to review the product. In his article Perfect PR Pitches, Pogue brings to attention the two top PR pitches he received this past year.

Here’s a hilarious PR pitch for a company called CodeWeavers. They have a new program called CrossOver Impersonator that allows you to run certain Windows programs on a Mac. In running with their theme of impersonation, the CEO and founder are dressed as “crossover impersonators”- Cher and Dorothy (from the “Wizard of Oz”). In the background, employees are posing and interacting with life-size cut outs of famous people that have David Pogue’s face pasted on them. (Talk about personalizing a pitch for your audience).

The point is, your PR pitch doesn’t necessarily need to be serious. You can have fun, and still be professional and get your point across while grabbing the attention of the media to spotlight your company or product!

Blog Comments COMM 4333

25 Jan

Post: 7 Ways to Lose 10 Blog Readers in a Day by Kiesha Easley

Date: January 25, 2011


This post has a lot of helpful tips in it, especially for those who are newer to the blogging world. The first tip about not breaking up your paragraphs for information is so true! When I see a huge block of gray text, I want to vomit. It is easy to ramble, yet no one has time for your ramblings. So word budgeting is vital! If a blog isn’t exciting, colorful, and InTeReStIng, why would someone read it?

Post: The Critical Few by Adam Singer

Date: January 25, 2011


I agree that with less, you have time to truly refine what you do have. Yet at the same time, for a PR professional, shouldn’t they strive to reach as many people as they can? Usually this is accomplished by being involved in as many different social media outlets as you can.

Post: 10 reasons to wake up earlier, and 6 tips for doing so by Peter Shankman

Date: January 25, 2011


Wow, I needed to hear this! Punctuality is something that I used to constantly struggle with, but I’m definitely improving. I have a love/hate relationship with getting up early. When that alarm goes off, the hardest thing for me is just the act of getting up, but once I do, I feel so accomplished by the afternoon.

On the other hand, getting up at 3 am to work out?!? I would be beat by 2 in the afternoon!

Post: This Is What Really Hides In Taco Bell’s “Beef” by Jesus Diaz

Date: 1/26/11


This is disgusting! I have never been a giant Taco Bell fan, but I do find myself craving it sometimes. I read Taco Bells statement of response to the lawsuit and they say they are going to action. Either if it’s “passable” by USDA standards or not, this definitely puts a mark on Taco Bell.

Post: What’s Your State the Worst At? by Amber Sakis

Date: 1/28/11


I loved this post! It was just really entertaining to see. I’m from good ol’ Florida so we are worst at Identity Theft. Honestly, I’m surprised that Massachusetts is “Worst Drivers” rather than Florida. Since we have such huge retired population. The one that made me laugh was North Dakota: “Ugliest Residents”. I have never been there but I’m curious to go now. Anyways, thanks for the post! I’m definitely going to share this.

Post: Topic of the F1rst Week by Tiffany Hobby

Date: 1/28/11


Yay! Congrats on getting out of the “Stone Age”! The plethora of social media that is out there can seem overwhelming, especially to a new-comer, but it doesn’t mean that it is unmanageable. Blogging and posting tweets on Twitter has definitely improved my grammar and helped me search for interesting things to “tweet” about. Just a word of advice, keep a “social media mind” throughout your day and constantly be thinking of anything interesting the rest of the world would like to know. Well, good luck with all the new media outlets!

Post: Effectively Commenting on Blogs and Blogging Effectively by Cindy Cromeans

Date: 1/30/11


I liked the Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging by Sonia Simone that you posted. I have definitely found those to be true.  There are tons of blogs out there, so what will make yours stand out above the rest? Definitely creating your own voice. And just a tip for your blog- try inserting some pictures or graphics within your posts. You have nice content, yet it would be more attractive to others 🙂 Good luck blogging!

Post: Tips for a Productive Day in PR by Kate Ottavio

Date: 2/9/11


Great post, Kate! I am currently a public relations student and you gave some great tips about getting up early to check emails and Google Reader. In fact, you inspired me to create an account on Google Reader. As an aspiring PR professional, are there any websites that you recommend I follow?

Post: Social Media CAN land you a job! by Emily Meade

Date: 2/11/11


This is really encouraging to me to continue blogging! Although sometimes it may feel like we are talking to a wall– little by little, social media can build your repertoire. In many work fields, it’s not just what you know, but who. However, in public relations, it networking is vital! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

Post: Improving You Written Communication Skills by Todd Smith

Date: 2/15/11


Thank you so much for the post, Todd! I am currently in both an Advanced Expository Writing class as well as PR Writing class and so improving my written communication is extremely vital. I didn’t really consider though how often we portray ourselves in our writing everyday: i.e. text messages, email, etc. Thanks for the reminder of how often I need to be aware of what I am writing and how it may sound to others.

Post: What was Groupon Thinking? by Angela Myers

Date: 2/16/11


When I saw the Groupon ad, I was really confused about what the joke was. It was dry, and I could see their attempt at humor but it really was offensive. The latest news is that Groupon is pulling the ad. On Groupon’s blog, an apology is written for offending people and an explanation that they are pulling the ads.

Check out the apology here:

Post: Psychology’s Role in Public Relations by Nneka Nnolim

Date: 2/21/11


This post is extremely interesting! I am an adamant believer that psychology is a major part of public relations—all you need to do is look at what I am studying! My major is psychology, with a minor in communications. Everything we do is to evoke a specific emotion. Psychology researches the derivative of these emotions, while Public Relations strives to play on people’s emotions. However, I would love to further research how to integrate both psychology and public relations into a career.

Post: There’s no better time than now by Taylor Flumerfelt

Date: 2/21/11


Good post! It’s nice to know that I’m on the right track, but there are some areas I know I can improve. A side note that could be added is to keep copies of everything you do and begin building your resume NOW! The industry is so competitive, so if you already have examples of your work, it will put you a step ahead of the next college student coming out with nothing to show.

Post: One phrase to kill from your writing, immediately by Michael Sebastian

Date: 2/22/11


I’ll admit that I am guilty of using this phrase. I believe that using these sort of phrases are a result of laziness.  Writers now-a-days tend to throw already created phrases together to create sentences together. This causes writing to lose its originality and also increase vagueness. How about we just do away with pre-created phrases altogether?

Post: Social Media: A Woman Thing by Kelsey Leu

Date: 2/22/11


I think it makes perfect sense that women would use social media more than men! Women are natural communicators, and generally socialize and communicate more than men do. Social media is just providing women with more outlets to socialize and I guess we are taking advantage of them!]

Post: The key to all your relational problems: Scrabble by Kyle Ashcraft

Date: 3/18/11


This is hilarious! I personally don’t play Words with Friends, but pretty much everyone else I know does! I have to say, that it really does bring friendly competition and a connection between people. Words with Friends is not just an application on smart phones though, it is also available on Apple’s iPod touch. Perhaps next they’ll come up with a speed-dating app.

Post: From sorority girl to PR girl: 3 lessons learned along the way by Adrianna Lauricella

Date: 4/6/11


Great post! I didn’t really consider the advantages that joining a sorority might have in your PR career. The university I attend actually doesn’t have Greek life, but I am an RA in my dorm and it sounds really similar to being involved in a sorority. I network with a hall of 45 girls, present myself to them for hall meetings, and because I am so involved, I have truly learned to manage my time. Also as an RA, I am a constant example for others. When people come to visit the school, I am a student leader who is looked at as a representative of the student body. PR professionals always need to remember the company they are representing and to put that company in the best light possible.

Post: Marc Ecko gives 20 percent lifetime discount in exchange for tattoo ‘ad’ by Alan Pearcy

Date: 4/6/11


I think this idea is brilliant. Granted, I would absolutely never do this, but tattoos these days are all the rage. It seems that many people are getting tattoos for any trivial reason. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone who loved the Ecko brand line got a tattoo of this. However, I think 20% is kind of stingy. At least 40% is a bit more gracious. After all, they your logo on their body for life.

Post: 3 tips to help PR students succeed in the ‘real world’ by Becky Johns

Date: 4/6/11


I’m a PR student getting ready to enter my senior year, and then I’m out in the “real world”. I love your first point about having a point of view. I currently have my own blog that I created for public relations purposes, however I’m still working on taking stands. To truly stand out, maybe I should focus more on a specific issue. Thanks for the advice!

Post: Put the books down and listen! by Heather Davis

Date: 4/11/11


This is a really informative post! I love all the tips for attending a networking event. I notice that if I attend an event with a group of friends, I definitely stay in my little comfortable bubble of friends. But when I attend something by myself or maybe with just one other person, I make an effort to talk to a lot more people. Also, the nine personality types are really interesting. I think I would say I’m the “achiever”. Thanks for the link for the site about personality types also. I’m going to check it out J Keep up the good work!

Post: 20 things every PR pro should know how to do by Susan Young

Date: 4/12/11


Great resources all compiled in one blog post! I am definitely marking this as a “favorite”. I especially like the tip about asking quality questions. Many times, we believe that someone with a good news story will just tell us. But the fact of the matter is that many times we need to draw the information out of the them. This is where “being prepared” comes into play.

Post: Local Public Relations Internships by Taylor Flumerfelt

Date: 4/13/11


Thanks for all the posts (and emails) about PR internships. I had an interview also for one of the internships and I wouldn’t have known about it if it wasn’t for the FPRA emails sent out! Keep up the great work :)

Post: The Future of the Social Media Strategist by Jeremy Pepper

Date: 4/13/11


In the job market today, it is important to not only have one skill, but a multitude. I am currently a PR student and I actually just had a job interview for a company needing someone to help with their communication between departments. I’m not sure if this is a short-term job, but I agree that once someone comes in and helps show the company a great way to communicate between departments, then they are basically no longer needed.

Post: How to find a job (or how not to) by Peter Shankman

Date: 4/14/11


Great post, Peter! I am a PR student and I recently sent my resume (with a cover letter, thankyouverymuch!) to a few companies for internships. Before sending out my resume, I researched how to write great cover letters and then I had a few people read through my cover letter and resume. One tip I found when researching that was helpful was to show that you had some personality, yet try to eliminate too many words. You want it to sound conversational, and creative. I actually got interviews with all the companies I sent resumes to!

Post: It’s Friday? by Amber Sakis

Date: 4/14/11


I actually think Rebecca Black may be a PR genius! Although the song and video stink, her youtube video has gone viral! If she was actually good, I highly doubt she would have gotten this many hits. There are plenty of decently good singers out there with music videos. She got her wish. She is famous. And the public is fueling it. But I think her fame will be short lived, unless she can actually start producing quality stuff.

So much social media… so little time

22 Jan

TOW #1

Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to social media outlets. Facebook, Twitter, Podcasts, LinkedIn, etc. are no longer just for our generation of technologically savvy students, but our more respectable older generations seem to be finding the social networks beneficial. I remember when I got a friend request from my GRANDPA on Facebook, it was then that I realized how vast social networking was and it connects people of all ages, all over the world. Currently, I take advantage of a few social media outlets which include Facebook, Twitter, and blogging.

Ah, Facebook. What words come to mind when it’s mentioned? Time-consuming? Friends? Connections? Creepy? Facebook was created by a college student, for college students. Yet, the popularity was so great that basically everyone these day has one. As far as the use of Facebook, I believe there are many pros and cons. Yes, it does help you see what your old high school friends are up to, but it also deletes needing to actually connect with them. I’ve found myself creeping on my friend’s Facebook pages, and then not messaging them because I can see everything they are doing! Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear that Facebook will fade out any time soon.

I began my Twitter over this past summer because of the convenience of being able to text my tweets from my phone, since I do not have a smart phone. Compared to Facebook, I believe Twitter is better for professional purposes. You can “follow” someone, without them having to follow you back- unlike Facebook‘s mutual-agreement-friendship. I follow a decent amount of PR professionals, and many times they tweet helpful links. Also, Twitter has become somewhat of my news resource to keep up with current events. I follow @BreakingNews which updates new stories.

Blogging is yet another outlet for social media that I utilize. There are many blogging websites, but Word Press is the one that I use (obviously). The great thing about blogging is writing your thoughts more in-depth and being able to read professional blogs with great info on it!




Here are links to my PERSONAL social media sites:

Rachel’s Facebook

Rachel’s Twitter

Rachel’s Blog (you are here!)