Archive | March, 2011

Help A Reporter Out and Help Yourself!

23 Mar

TOW #10

In 2008, Peter Shankman founded the social-media service ‘Help A Reporter Out’ (HARO), which has skyrocketed since into the largest free source repository in the world. HARO is all about connections as it brings together approximately 30,000 reporters and bloggers daily as well as over 100,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses. This allows businesses to pitch their story ideas and promote their products as well as helping reporters find interesting nuggets of information that would make a great news story.

For a Public Relations practitioner, HARO can be extremely beneficial. Three times a day, HARO delivers media queries from among about 70,000 bloggers, authors, TV reporters, and radio producers right to your email inbox.  Requests range from wanting small business owners to discuss creative financing in this economy to queries for gardening experts or jewelry makers. This helps the PR practitioner find multiple media sources to pitch a story about their client.  Time is money, and HARO is one database with hundreds of thousands of news sources that are not outdated. Also, if you need someone who is an expert in a specific field, you can send out your query for the expert and there is a good chance you can find someone to comment for your story.

If you are a journalist or public relations practitioner, there is no reason that you should not be utilizing such a wonderful source such as Help A Reporter Out. Sign up now!


Guest Post: Apple iPads used for more than Angry Birds

18 Mar

TOW #9

Post from Guest Blogger: Kyle

When the iPad first came out, many skeptics wondered what would differentiate it from the iPhone and from other tablets. To me, it was like an iPhone except for its screen, which was about five times larger. Skeptics’ comments have been quieted down since iPad owners have found wonderful uses for the Apple tablet.

With an easy user interface and wireless internet, companies have began to utilize the iPad to increase sales. Based off Michael Sebastian’s article 5 ways stores and restaurants are using the iPad, here are five good uses for the iPad in the business setting. You can…

1.     Create your look

A cosmetic company, Make Up For Ever, sets iPads in its boutiques to occupy clients while

they are being serviced. In the future, the Chicago Tribune says clients will be able to upload digital photos of themselves and target their desired makeover.

2.     Purchase items online while in the company’s store

Allsaints Spitafields, a British clothier, fastened iPads to its railings, allowing customers to purchase items online while they are in the Allsaints Spitafields store.

3.     Explore various customization options for a product

Thing Remembers, a customized gift store, implemented iPads into its selling strategy. Now, customers can search through thousands of possible designs and messages for engraving.

4.     Find your clothing color and style

Nordstrom saves the iPad for its pricier items. In the bridal shops and special-occasion dress departments, the clothing company lets iPad users browse through different dress colors and styles.

5.     Order food

A sushi restaurant in Chicago called Makisu replaced its paper menus with electronic menus. Customers can utilize an iPad to find their desired sushi selection, then they can order the items straight from the iPad. This means no more waiting ten minutes for a waiter to take your order!

Since many other Apple products have been adopted into the business world, I’m sure the iPad will follow the same trend.

A picture’s worth a thousand (newsworthy) words

14 Mar

TOW #8

Poynter’s News University is one of the most innovative online journalism and media training programs ever created. For my public relations class, I have been required to take some of these courses.

The most recent course I took offered by NewsU was The Language of the Image. Including an image in your news release makes the news release that much more powerful. This course was extremely helpful in learning to take news worthy photos, as well as deciphering which pictures are news worthy. Although I have taken a photography course at my university, this online course was helpful for photographs for specifically news releases.

I learned about the three different types of photographs: informational, passive, active.

  • Informational: basically just a visual record of a person, place, or event. It is simply for identification value.
  • Passive: photograph which is situations in which the main purpose is taking pictures for publication
  • Active: real people in real time are shown.

What surprised me was when I was reading about the variety of elements in photographs that make great photography. I always knew that some of these components included graphic elements, the quality of light, emotion, mood, moment… but some elements I hadn’t considered before include..

The opposing elements of the finely dressed women and ritzy department store is a strong juxtaposition to the poor man.




  • Juxtaposition. This means that opposing elements are together in one photo, therefore conveyingirony. Also…





  • This image shows a diver during the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. It shows a strong sense of place.

    Sense of place is an important element in a photograph.  This is when photographs are taken of the subject and a distinctive item is there which allows the reader to decipher where the photograph was taken by just seeing the picture.

From this course, I would love to learn more about the combination of different elements to make a great picture. Such as, if all the elements are utilized, if the picture would be too overpowering? For example, would it be better to just keep it simple and focus on one or two elements? I would love to see some famous photography or art and see the elements they use.