Archive | February, 2011

Tweet, Tweet!

28 Feb

TOW #7

I had never heard of a “Twitter chat” until I was assigned to partake in one for my Public Relations class. A Twitter chat is a question/answer session that anyone on Twitter can participate in by putting a hash tag before their information. The wonderful thing about a Twitter chat is that everyone is required to write whatever they have to say in 140 characters or less. This results in little nuggets of wonderful information!

The Twitter Chat I got involved in was by #PRStudChat and the topic of the chat was the “PR influencer and how to build trust online”. Everyone responded so quickly to the questions that the mediator asked, that it was difficult sometimes to keep up. I had to continuously refresh my page and at one point, all of Twitter was down, with the infamous whale picture being shown. When I got back on to the chat page, everyone was tweeting “We broke Twitter!!”

However, some great points were made! Question 8 was “What is your advice to students and professionals with respect to becoming an influencer?” A few answers that stood out to me said to be confident and educated on what you are trying to influence on a person/group of people, have a strong grasp on yourself and your ideologies, start building a presence online by talking on twitter, blogging and commenting, and by under promising, then over delivering!

It actually surprised me how much I enjoyed the chat! Some PR pros were on there and posted some great insight! I got very excited when someone replied to my tweet and agreed with me.

I would love to look up some of the future #PRStudChat Tweet chats and hone in on some topics I am interested in, or which I believe would help me get great insight into PR.

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5 Steps to Creating Blog Voice

22 Feb

All the blogging tips out there say to create voice in your blog. But what does that even mean? And how can you begin to create voice? ‘Voice’ is the tone and pace of your writing that allows your audience to connect with you on a personal level and brings consistency. So how do you create voice?

1. Picture Your Audience

It might sound silly, but if you want your blog to sound friendly, then picture a good friend and imagine you are writing to them. This will help your overall tone throughout your writing.

2. Opinions

My English professor said to me once, “All writing is an argument”

If you are a human being, you have the ability to think what you want. Include your opinion in your blog! You might be afraid at first in case your readers disagree, but guess what? It is OKAY to disagree! This will just give them more incentive to comment if they disagree!

3. Humor

People do what they do for a feeling. You want them to feel good while reading your blog, right? Laughter and humor is a great way to ensure they continue returning. So find your niche. Whether it is sarcasm, bluntness, subtleness, puns, etc.

3. Watch Your Mood

Make sure you are in a positive mood when you are writing. Because if you aren’t, no matter how hard you try, it will come out. If you are forced to write while you aren’t in the best mood, don’t publish your work right away. Save it and go back to review.

4. Create A Style Guide

Creating a set of rules for yourself for grammar, spelling, and expression can help you become consistent with your blog’s voice.

5. Have fun!

If you are enjoying your writing and passionate about what you are writing about, it will come through and others will become passionate about what you have to say also.

Be quirky, be passionate, be intelligent. But mainly, be yourself.


Starbucks modifies logo

21 Feb

This Spring, Starbucks will be celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. With this occasion, Starbucks has decided to do some renovations of it’s own. What has forever been consistent with the Starbucks logo is the Siren. Now for the new logo, the words will be removed, thus taking the Siren out of the ring which she has forever been encircled by.

Starbucks bloggers have been adamantly blogging about the new logo. However, most of the comments from the public about the new logo are negative. Is this just resistance to change? Or will it be a take two to the Gap fiasco?

Personally, I think Starbucks should keep their old logo. I like the mix of green and dark brown with the brand name around it. I think the green encircling it adds so much just visually.

Below shows the evolution of the Starbucks logo:

So what do you think about the new logo?

Poynter in the right direction

20 Feb

TOW #6

Want to improve your writing? Desire to increase the professionalism of your work? Yearn to learn the ins and outs of public relations and journalism? NewsU courses are a great place to start! I am quite familiar with the News University courses that Poynter offers, and I have benefitted greatly by them.  However, NewsU isn’t the only thing Poynter has to present.

While exploring the Poynter website, I was sort of taken aback by all the information that I wasn’t really sure where to start. But here are three things that I found beneficial.

Latest News. The section with the latest news displays all the headlines from Romenesko, Mobile Media, Social Media and other news blogs. I love that it collaborates all the headlines in one place to make it easy to sift through what you want.

Chats. This section is divided into two sections: Career Chats and Writing Chats. The Career Chat section includes links to previous live chats between Joe Grimm and other experts about managing your career.  The Writing Chats section is a bi-weekly chat with Roy Peter Clark about writing. Writing is obviously extremely important to both public relations practitioners and journalists, so constantly improving your writing will improve your work and credibility in your profession. As for me, the Career Chat section is great to get an inside look on various career opportunities in the fields of public relations and journalism.

Seminars. The profession of public relations practitioners and journalists requires that you are constantly listening, learning, and soaking in information. Poynter offers ways you can do just that through their in-person training and online training on various topics.

Now that I’ve broken down and explored the plethora of opportunities Poynter offers, now it’s your turn to get on the website and explore. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to improve!

Someone stole your blog content… Now what?

12 Feb

TOW #5

Bloggers take pride in the originality and uniqueness of their blogs. So when they find out that someone has stolen content from their blog—especially if the motive is to make money—it’s disturbing. So what do you do when you discover that someone has ripped off your thoughts and writing? Since I’m new to this whole blogging deal, I am completely lost on what to do if my blog content was stolen. But thanks to DailyBlogTips and ProBlogger, I was able to come up with a few tips on the kind of action to take if I or a company I’m working for were to become a victim of blog plagiarism.

1.  Contact the scraper: The first step should be to contact the site or person who has plagiarized from you. Don’t be flattered by their imitation, instead be upset that they are selling your original work as their own. Ask them to remove the content immediately. If they don’t respond positively, then you should respond with a more aggressive approach.

2. Run a Whois Lookup: Whois.net is a search that you can plug in the site’s address and receive additional contact information for the site.

3. Contact site’s hosts and advertisers: Inform the site’s hosts of the situation and that the site is in breech of copyright laws. For example, if their site uses Adsense, you can report them to google for violating the terms and conditions of Adsense.

4. Legal Action: Filing a lawsuit for copyright should be your very last resort. If the scraper’s actions have been extremely detrimental, then maybe you should file a lawsuit. But usually, this is rare.

AP Style… why?!

11 Feb

TOW #4

In order to become a print journalist, it’s essential to brush up on your AP Style skills. Associated Press Style provides guidelines for news writing and is used by a number of newspapers, magazines, and public relations offices across the United States.

One of the first things learned in a journalism class is AP style. This is because it is a gold standard for journalists. AP Style is important for public relations writers because it gives them a reputation of professionalism. Also, since PR writers are creating press releases that will ideally be put in the newspaper, it helps reporters for the format to already be correct for efficient release in the media.

The trickier parts of AP Style that seem to get me every time is punctuation! Especially semi-colons, dashes, and colons. Punctuation is important for a writer to develop their tone of voice and flow, yet I am always confused on which punctuation to insert and where.

Another tricky aspect of AP Style is the state names. For example, in a date line you abbreviate all but eight of the states. These states are Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. How does AP style expect us to remember these things?

Something else that is somewhat confusing is ages and numbers. Every number over ten is expressed in digit format. But under ten is spelled out. However, with ages, you always use figures. And you use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes before a noun. For example: “A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The woman, 26, has a daughter 3 months old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s (no apostrophe).”

I just mentioned a few examples of how AP Style can be a bit complicated sometimes, so it would be beneficial for those hoping to enter a career in print journalism or public relations to get their hands on some sort of AP style resource!

Christina Aguilera flubs the National Anthem at Superbowl 2011

7 Feb

It is one thing to make a mistake. But to make a mistake while singing our nation’s anthem for the biggest TV audience of the year, is a completely different story. This past Sunday night, Christina Aguilera messed up a few lines of the national anthem before the kick off of the Superbowl game.

Instead of singing “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” she improvised and said “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.” When the cameras panned to the players, it was clear that some looked confused as they looked at each other. However, I have to say- Aguilera was quite professional and didn’t skip a beat while finishing the song without hesitation or mistake. On her end, anyone could have made the same mistake. I’m sure her nerves overtook her.

Watch her performance for Superbowl 2011 below