Week 2 – PR Writing

Based on what you’ve read Chapter 1 and what we’ve discussed it in class tell me:

1.What your current process as a writer is and

2. What public relations is all about. Our text on pg. 2 gives ample examples along with links. View a few links and tell us which definition you think is most appropriate or write your own definition.

  One thought on “Week 2 – PR Writing

  1. jdotson8
    September 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    1. My current process as a writer is to write off the cuff and then revise. I usually have “a-ha” moments where something just pops in my head and I run with it. From there, I’ll edit it until I feel happy with the final product. I have a fairly high standard and set the bar to a certain point. Rarely do I feel like I reach that point, even if someone looks at what I wrote and said, “Wow, that’s really good.”

    2. Dictionary.com, for instance, defines public relations as “the actions of a corporation, store, individual, etc. in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, community, employees, etc.”

    Public relations is about promoting the good about something. For example, a journalist may take all sides about a new shoe coming out on the market, but PR will focus on the positives – what makes the shoe a good thing, why it will be good for the general public. Journalism and PR are both about the truth, but journalism generally takes the negative side while PR takes the positive. In PR, no one likes a Debbie Downer.

    • amanda grant
      September 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      I have basically the same writing style as you, I start writing right away listing all of my thoughts until I finish my paper and then I go back when I’m done and edit. It works for me just fine but it probably would be more helpful for us and other people who write the way we do, to initially create an outline. Having all of the information and facts listed in order right in front of you before you begin writing seems like it would make it easier.
      I agree with you that for the most part PR is about informing publics of all of the good things about and organization but it also has to be honest. The goal of PR is typically to promote for something in a positive way and inform publics of information, however if there are negatives, instead of completely omitting them, a good PR person would mention them and what the organization is currently doing to better those things. In the world we live in now, often times, bad publicity is better than no publicity and that is how a lot of people and businesses think. Look at most of what you hear about celebrities. So PR is not necessarily only positive information.

      • September 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

        There really is no wrong or way to write, the idea here and as supported in our text, is that revision is part of the writing process.

        As we’ve discussed in previous classes research is always part of the PR process. So like you mentioned having the appropriate information and facts when we write is very helpful. Research allows us to do that.

    • September 13, 2012 at 3:06 am

      I think I write in a very similar way to you. I think about where I want to go and then smash keys until I get there. If I try to write in a non-in order way I get all confused. I fix everything later.

      I agree with your views on PR and how it places high value on positivist aspects of an organization, but there are some serious negative circumstances that PR practitioners have to focus on. Like when millions of gallons of your company’s oil is spilling out into the ocean and doing genocide to the environment (insert Big Oil industry name here). It is not an option to focus on anything other than how your organization is sorry and fixing the problem in a real way. I think that it is really how your PR campaign performs in the time of disaster that is most telling of how strong it is.

    • September 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      I think we are the most critical of our own work, but knowing that readers understand what you are trying to get across to them and that they can follow your thought process as they read is really important. I feel like that is a major part of being a “good writer” and as Gina said, making sure our facts are correct and having the appropriate information included won’t hurt your writing either.

  2. Chelsea Fenwick
    September 12, 2012 at 3:11 am

    My current process as a writer is to learn to cut out the filler words and excess jargon and create a succinct and well-read paper whether that is a feature article, blogging, or press release. My goal is to create something useful for the reader and maybe even take a different approach than others have in the past. I tend to be creative with my writing and I enjoy looking at different angles. I also tend to take an idea and go with it, usually having a light bulb moment or outlining early so that later my thoughts come easier and the assignment seems less challenging.
    Public relations is used to enhance a company’s reputation or keep it going smoothly. In order to be a successful PR practioner, you must be able to face difficult decisions, handle deadlines and promoting a great image while still handling your position with poise and control.
    As some of the text has mentioned on page 2, I found the article/link http://www.nejaycees.org/about/jargon.asp to be the most interesting because it really conveys what a PR professional should know. Public Relations is defined as “any activities or events that help promote a favorable relationship between a company, its customers and prospects. The activities are used to influence the press to print stories that promote a favorable image of a company and its products. I think this pretty much sums it up. Public Relations is all about relationships. We are promoters; we are pioneers, and most importantly we are professionals.

    • September 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Chelsea, I am very much the same way. I strive to word my thoughts out so they don’t sound boring or heard before. Can be hard to do, but with lots of practice and maybe a quiet area to think, this can be done successfully. This is also what gets me stuck, so that’s when I save my paper and come back to it later. However this may not be the case one day.

      PR definitely involves some pressure, deadlines and quick thinking. So I know for the future I won’t always be able to save something and come back to it, but I will have to finish it now or never and it better be good! This is a skill that will come in time, preferably by the end of this semester!

      • September 13, 2012 at 1:33 am

        Kathryn,

        I agree pr is not a walk in the park for anyone. It is just as difficult as journalism writing. If anything it is very demanding of time and your full attention at that. Which is why Gina stresses that we spend at least 6 to 8hrs working on our homework. It is a huge commitment we have taken on. It is import to become quicker on our toes if we’re going to continue in this field. At the end of the day it is our passion and our love for the profession that keep us literally holding on. What I have come to learn it that sometimes I lose the passion for writing put not for the profession. This is why I keep taking classes with Gina to keep learning how to write. Each there is something new. I don’t want to lose the passion.

        -Dee

    • September 13, 2012 at 12:48 am

      I agree with the cutting out words and specialized phrases no one else will understand. However I am a big offender of writing like a talk, and in my experience sarcasm does not translate well to papers etc. I also think you picked a good quote from the book and I’m glad so many people have focused on the relationship between company, public, and PR professional. This relationship is key to having a successful product or individual. Now more then ever I notice that celebrities and companies who seem accessible to the public are the ones who are also the most lucrative and approved of by the public.

      • September 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm

        We call this “jargon.” It really interrupts the reading flow and only a few people who are aware of the specific acronym you are using will understand what you wrote. It’s best to avoid this.

    • Ken Juntila
      September 13, 2012 at 2:14 am

      I feel like I’m opposite of you in the sense that I like to write filler. Filler can be really helpful when trying to narrow in on a point; by seeing if the filler can be explored more and eventually become a good idea and a helpful addition. Or filler can be endless nonsense that is just padding to make the page look longer; known as bullshit. Everybody has read work that had that kind of filler. I like to write some filler for when I’m beginning to do revisions and cleaning up my piece, I can see what needs tightening. Good filler just becomes part of your piece, and ceases to be known as filler at all. But your idea of taking an idea and going with it is a good one. Knowing what the theme or tone of your work early is going to be is good way to start writing; so you don’t lose any time trying to think of something later or come up with ways to link to unrelated topics.

      • September 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm

        As PR professionals it’s our job to write clearly and concisely. That’s why on our quiz today you had to rewrite my sentences. Only include what is important. It’s tough to become an excellent writer, but you will see that when you can say something brilliant in one sentence vs a page you’ll love it.

    • September 13, 2012 at 2:29 am

      Chelsea Fenwick,

      I like that your goal is to create something useful for the reader and maybe even take a different approach than others have in the past. I honestly, think that should be every ones writing motto going forward in this profession. So excuse me I barrow your thoughts form time to time. Lol I try to be creative in my writing but I have a bad habit of over think things. So what I thought was creative is very corny and only I understand it. I like that you tend to look at things form a different point of view so that you can have a well round piece of work. That really a great idea anther thing I am barrowing. Lol When I write some times write with the idea if I was extremely bored would I read this. Often time my answer is no but that only because I don’t like reading my own stuff. Lol enjoyed reading your thoughts!
      -Dee

    • September 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Chelsea, your writing style is something I have been striving for in my own writing since high school. Cutting out the fillers and jargon makes reading papers more enjoyable and makes it look so much more professional. I also like how you put that you want to write something useful for the reader, and not just put out a paper as fast as you can.

      It seems that everyone in the class has been using the PRSA definition in their blogs, so it’s nice to see a different response. I like how you assed that public relations is a real stressful job. I don’t think many people take that into consideration when they are talking about public relations. Good response ti the question.

    • megandcary
      September 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Chelsea,
      I do like the definition you chose because it highlights the relationship aspect of PR like you said. However I feel that definition leaves out a very important component: ethics. I believe that the reputation of the company is important, but without the ethical and moral values to keep us in check, we can be easily tempted to make “slimy” PR decisions. I’m not saying that you don’t believe this or that you don’t know it. I’m simply saying that as advocates we need to constantly keep ethics in mind, and let the professional world around us know that we take this very seriously. I think this is the only way we will ever get the PR profession’s reputation back in good standing. I always think, how ironic, that PR as a profession has a bad reputation.

      • September 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

        Good point Megan. Some people believe that PR and ethics is an oxymoron. Here is a good article that disputes that: http://aboutpublicrelations.net/aa052701a.htm

      • megandcary
        September 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

        Great article. Overall it is a nice, clear article about why our ethical standards are so important as PR folks. Thanks for sharing!

    • jdotson8
      September 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Nicely done Chelsea. Running with an idea and going with it is a good writing strategy. It’s one I go to frequently. Running with the idea gets it out of your head, and you can go back and fix mistakes after you’ve at least written down something on paper. While it might not be your final idea, it’s a good start.

      PR folks definitely have to keep their emotions in check during a time of crisis. Take how BP and Penn State handled themselves. Both were highly criticized situations, and they acknowledged their wrongdoing and dealt with it as best they could. It took time for BP to regain the trust of their customers, and Penn State will face the same dilemma in the coming months and years.

  3. Amanda Grant
    September 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    My current process as a writer is to sit at the computer and just start writing by throwing my thoughts into paragraphs quickly according to how they are organized in my head. Then I go back through my work and edit so that everything is in the correct order, the paper makes sense and I fix grammar and spelling errors. I have made outlines in the past before writing a paper and I do think it helps because everything is organized and laid out right in front of you so you can more quickly write your paper correctly. I will work on writing that way more often.
    Public Relations is all about representing a business, corporation, person, yourself or whatever else you might be selling, ethically, morally and honestly to the best of your ability. I do not have my book yet, it should come in the mail today but I checked Google for a couple links of PR definitions. The definition of PR on http://prdefinition.prsa.org is: a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. I think this definition is very accurate but if I had to define PR in my own words, I would say that PR is an extremely important communication process that gives publics honest, positive and ethically correct information about an organization and keeps publics informed at all times. This of course is my definition for an ethically and morally sound person assuming they are doing their job accurately and honestly. Like we discussed in class, there are slime balls in any profession, but a good PR person will always do the right thing and will not go against their morals.

    • September 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Amanda, we must have been writing our responses at the same time! We both seem to use the same writing process, of just throwing it all out there. I believe that way really does help me get the best ideas out there, if I just start typing, without necessarily thinking. After the word vomiting is done, that’s when the editing, proofreading and perhaps a thesaurus come into play.

      We ALSO used the same PRSA definition. I think it really is the most straight forward answer without getting too specific, which is like I said what public relations is all about. One day have a project or problem where we need to focus on a specific person, group or target audience. PR gives us the opportunity to take what we learn and use it in a number of directions.

    • jdotson8
      September 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      I’m the exact same way in writing, minus the outline. Quite often, I could struggle coming up with something for a paper or blog, and in the middle of a class, eureka! I actually think that works to my advantage, and I’ve written that way for a long time. I’ve tried outlines before, but I feel like that forces me to put something on paper, and forcing myself to write does not translate – at least for me – to my best work.

    • September 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Amanda, I can relate with just sitting on the computer and writing. I think it’s the easiest way to start actually. Sometimes I used to sit at my desk and try and plan out everything I was going to write line for line. That didn’t last long. (Obviously haha.) But I think I have a similar “light bulb” moment. Suddenly, the whole paper just snaps into existence in my head–the problem is trying to get to that moment before the deadline!

      Kristen

    • September 13, 2012 at 12:40 am

      I believe we have the same methods to writing a paper. I have had friends who have said that this method seems messy or to much extra work, but I believe it makes writing papers so much easier and more efficient then other methods, at least for me. I have also tried other methods such as the outline method, which is supposed to be better, but I just think this way works so much better.

      I also like the definition you used by the PRSA. I believe it really does show what public relations is all about. I like how you mentioned that this definition is for a ethically and moral person, because I believe that’s what PR professionals need to hold true, and try to shake off the bad reputation of being liars.

    • September 13, 2012 at 12:52 am

      I love that its not just me throwing together papers out of what seems like thin air and then going back later to revise…. i thought i was doing something wrong! Unlike you however i need someone else to go back and fix my spelling errors because i am really awful when it comes to spelling.

      Its exciting to see all the different definitions of public relations and how everyone makes sense in some way. There is so much that PR professionals are expected to do in todays ever changing world. With social media on the constant change we have to know what is happening next and be on the cutting edge, yet we are expected to know how to do things “the old way” so to speak. This is such a multi-dimensional profession that I feel like i will never know everything and I can always look forward to something new a innovative lurking around the corner.

    • September 13, 2012 at 2:44 am

      I have a similar writing process to you except, I take my initial thoughts and put them down on the paper and then fill in the blanks as I go along. However, I am very much an “at-the-end” editor like you are. I agree that writing out an outline makes writing a paper quicker but I think you lose that aspect of good consistent flow within your text. Second, I love that you have so heavily included that you think the honesty is an important part of the definition of public relations. I think that often we think that because it brings in the question of ethics it does not belong in a definition. I could not disagree more. In a profession that is constantly questions for its honesty and morals, I think defining the profession by stating the standards of ethics in the definition is essential.

    • September 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Amanda, I use to be the same way. I would just sit down at the computer and start writing. However, later I found that my papers didn’t quite flow the next day. Therefore, I started using the web to jot down all of my ideas. After, I use an outline to organize the stucture of my paper. I found that this really helps with making sure my essays are easy to read. I think by using this method when writing this will help minimize your time at the computer. Hopefully, you’ll find the time to use this approach.

    • September 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      I change as a writer depending on what I need to write. If it’s for research I start out with a solid outline, if it’s for a creative piece I jot down ideas and if it’s for something like a news release I just begin to write. I go back always to edit and revise. Quite often my pieces come out VERY different from where I started.

  4. September 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I used to always try and start at the beginning, or an introduction. This was the way that made sense for myself to start writing was to start at the beginning. I often found that I got stuck at about the second paragraph. I had a professor once who recommended to not have any particular point of the paper to start writing, but just to write! I believe she used the expression, “word vomit.” Get all your ideas, thoughts and phrases out of your head, just put it all out there. Since most people write using a computer it’s easier to have all your great thoughts already on “paper” then reorganize, edit and add to it. I’ve found this works well as a new approach to the writing process instead of starting with A, going to B and then C.

    This is a question that people ask me all the time. Whenever I meet someone, especially a customer at work, one of the first few questions they ask me is, what are you going to school for? Public Relations, I say, and the next question is always, “Oh, what exactly is that?” My response seems to change from person to person, just as there are so many definitions out there, just like our book gives us 10!

    I like the definition that PRSA uses: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

    It’s not very specific, which I actually like about it because the world of public relations is SO broad! That’s what I’m most excited about one day, that I’m going to be have a degree that I can do so much with! I won’t be tied down to simply complete task X for Y, rather I can do ASDOIJR, if you get what I mean 🙂

    • amanda grant
      September 13, 2012 at 12:29 am

      I like the concept of not having to start at the beginning of a story. I never really thought of it that way and it seems like it would work well. Next time I am stuck on an intro paragraph, I will try that. Sometimes I also have difficulty thinking of a way to begin a paper or story. I think it’s a good idea to try new and inventive ways of doing things in your profession that will help simplify your job and help you become better at what you do, in our case, writing. I agree with you about PR being very broad and that is why I am really excited about the field as well. I have a few different ideas of career avenues I’d like to go into but I’m still not 100% sure. That is the beauty of PR, it opens a lot of different doors.

      • September 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        I have had teachers and professors who have told me to leave the introduction for last, once you have completed the rest of the paper. This allows for you to understand more of what your paper is about and how to narrow that down in the beginning paragraph or sentence. However, I find that to be somewhat challenging.

        I am the same way as most people in our class, and write what I am thinking in paragraph form from beginning to end, then go back and edit when time permits. More often than not, I am able to go back and make adjustments where need be and I think that is more obvious to the reader than the order you started writing in.

        And, Kathryn, I totally agree that the definition of PR is so broad, which is why the book (and internet) gives us so many definitions and different ways to look at it! PR encompasses a lot more than dealing with the media, mediating, or advocating (as it says in our book).

    • September 13, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Katie, I love the “word vomit” idea. It really is so much easier to just start writing rather than plan everything out in intricate detail. However, I’ve encountered the dreaded second paragraph mental block more times than I can count. I can see why so many authors, writers, professors, etc. always say to outline first. But sometimes we just want to just start going, ya know!?

      Your PR example is great–people almost always follow up with an “oh, what’s that?!” comment. Honestly, I’ve often responded with “it’s like journalism…but totally different.” (hahaha) I used PRSSA’s example in my blog post as well. I think it’s clear and succinct but vague enough to allow for personal interpretation. I suppose that’s what PR really is when you get down to it: your personal interpretation of how you want (or are told) to represent a client. (Though I can’t imagine a company ever wanting to make themselves look bad…) I’m happy to hear that as students, we are all pretty similar in where our thoughts go during the writing process. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles–but it’s equally encouraging to know that yes, at times we really can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

      -Kristen

    • September 13, 2012 at 2:57 am

      Ha ha ha “Word Vomit” I usually give some thought to where i want to go with my writing and then just start. I have tried to go in a non chronological order before and my mind cannot handle it!

      I have to agree with you on PR being an open field. That excites me too! I always knew that I could not have a boring job, and I think that there may be too much to do in PR. Based on the stories I have heard I’m afraid work may seem endless! But I think it has potential to be totally rewarding. That’s why I need to mentally prepare to not settle into a place until I am where I really want to be.

    • Ken Juntila
      September 13, 2012 at 3:39 am

      “Word vomit” is amazing, mostly because whose idea’s actually come to them in a convenient order? Most likely: just a handful. I’m sure people can picture everything clearly in their head, but others aren’t so lucky. I write similar to “Word Vomit.” If I think of something, but it’s out of order, I’ll still type it out and build off it when I wrap up my other idea. It’s a great way to get everything on the page without worrying about forgetting something.
      But of the responses posted so far, I like your section about PR the most. What I liked is that you acknowledged that what PR was extremely broad, and can have multiple definitions. You also referenced the PRSA, which was great to see. I like that you clearly have a passion in this field, and it reflects into your writing style. You write very personally and casual, which is actually kind of refreshing to read.
      And I hope “Word Vomit” comes up again somewhere.

    • September 13, 2012 at 3:42 am

      Katie, I liked what you said and I agree I think we do tend to pull out similar elements. I like to have a starting point and once that is started it seems much easier for me to not only start writing but also keep coming up with ideas. I guess it’s the opposite of writers block! Just throwing my thoughts on paper and then letting that do the talking. And I agree with you on most people being unaware of what this profession REALLY is or what we do. PR is so broad, I genuinely think this is why I love it so much, you can do so much. I also wanted to comment on what Amanda said about not sure on what realm of PR you actually want to do and I think that is the best part about the field, is that you can go in so many directions.

    • Krystal Elliott
      September 13, 2012 at 4:21 am

      I’m glad that you mention how broad PR is. When I was a PR major (it seems like forever ago!) and people would ask me what I wanted to do with it, I would say, “I don’t know, you can go anywhere with it.” Most people were just confused by that. I think it’s because a lot of people watch shows on TV and hear about celebrities and their publicists and think that’s what PR is all the time… covering up crazy celebrity scandals and trying to convince people that Lindsay Lohan ISN’T a complete trainwreck (yeah right!). But that’s only one teeny tiny area of public relations. I think people would be surprised to hear exactly what PR specialists do on a day to day basis and how it’s not all glitz and glamour and scandal.

      You can go into any field or company you want, someday. As long as there is a public, we will need public relations.

    • September 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Kathryn, I also used the definition from the PRSA website. I thought the definition they reconstructed fit the title of public relations. Public relations is definitely the way we communicate effectively with our reader to help build beneficial relationships. Relationship are key within the realm of pr. Therefore, I thought this was a great definition to use in your response.

  5. September 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    You may all find this blog to be helpful. Grammar Girl – check it out and see what you think. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/

    • September 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      I’ll have to bookmark that site! Also, the NewsU assignment really did help clarify a few things I always questioned myself about!

      • September 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm

        That makes me SO HAPPY! Glad to know the NewsU assignments are helpful. I have taken all the courses too because I wanted to see what they were like. To me they are akin to our book. The courses only help improve us as writers.

      • September 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

        I completely agree about NewsU! I was surprised how much I still was struggling with. NewsU really challenged me, and I always appreciate examples.
        In response to above, I agree that PR is “broad”, but more in the sense of opportunities which is why I like it. I think the foundation of what we do as PR professionals is specific, but we can take that foundation and apply it to many different avenues. I love the idea of being able to work with a corporation for a number of years, then switch to non-profit. It makes me feel that my skills really are valuable. I love learning and being thrown into new environments. I never thought I would be working for an energy company now, who knows where I will be in the future. I’m grateful for a career which utilizes my skills and my love of learning and new situations.
        -Megan

  6. September 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Do any of you remember learning how to write in primary school? You know those giant landscape style pieces of paper with the dotted line cutting through the middle? You were supposed to make your capital letters touch the top and bottom lines and keep your lowercase letters beneath the dotted one. I never liked those. I was always grabbing scrap construction paper and writing letters to the President or something. I can’t say much has changed since the 1st grade. I’m always up for creative writing or freestyle journaling that requires little to no formality. Assign me a research paper though? It’s like I suddenly go into think mode. All of my creativity evaporates and morphs into fancy words. Somewhere along the line writing no longer becomes a joy. It becomes work.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way but I bring it up for reason: I’m struggling sitting here writing this. My writing style is pretty sporadic. When the urge strikes, I better take it because I’m not positive as to when it will return. When I’m “forced” to write something, I suddenly get writer’s block and it’s almost as if I can’t think a single coherent thought. What’s up with that?! I usually like to sit down and just start writing. Once I’m finished, I’ll go back and revise and rearrange thoughts accordingly but that’s really the only method to my madness.

    As far as public relations go, I think the name itself tells it all. Public—as in, your audience, client, etc. Relations –the interactive dynamic between parties. Now this may be a little too simplified for the purpose of PR careers, but, no matter the depth of the definition, PR all boils down to one thing: communication. Our textbook makes the statement, “modern public relations is an eclectic package encompassing a great many job descriptions, titles, and functions” (3). Pretty vague, right? Check out some of these links for similar definitions:

    PRSSA: http://prdefinition.prsa.org/

    Entrepeneur.com: http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/term/82434.html

    Even the NY Times has something to say: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/business/media/public-relations-a-topic-that-is-tricky-to-define.html

    I think the NY Times definition, which came from a national poll of some 900 + finalists, is the closest match to my own. “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

    -Kristen

  7. September 13, 2012 at 12:11 am

    My current process as a writer is a weird kind of messy process. I like to sit down and just start writing in a style that resembles brainstorming. I illustrate my thoughts either one of two ways: on a computer, or the old fashioned way, on a pad of paper. I just write whatever thoughts are going through my mind about the given subject. I will then take a brake, like we talked about in class, and then go back and look at it to see what makes sense and what doesn’t, and then form the paper accordingly. I found this to be an awesome technique after a teacher once told me that the hardest part of writing a paper for some people is to start it.

    What Public Relations is all about is actually a tough question. I believe a lot people still confuse PR with advertising or marketing. There are a couple of definitions I believe sum up what public relations are all about. The first is one of the original definitions for PR by Ivy Lee and Edward Louis Bernays where they say “a management function, which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures, and interests of an organization… followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.” The second would be the PRSA definition that states, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” I think both of these definitions show what the foundations of PR are communications between an organization and its publics.

    • September 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      I don’t know that I ever use paper anymore, but I know many writers who need do.

      PR is most certainly a function of management. Without support from management PR departments would not thrive. PR is throughout an organization and touches almost every department.

  8. September 13, 2012 at 12:42 am

    I feel as if my current writing process is have some sort of outline in my head or possibly jotted down on paper, then write the actual piece, then make minor revisions. In my current writing process I have realized I don’t take enough time to revise and look into the small details of a piece before I turn it in or publish it online, this normally leads to me looking back later and finding that something is wrong, and it is usually something small.

    So far in this class I have learned that PR is about communicating to the public about whom you are representing. In a sense a PR professional is the “middleman” between companies and the people who use or are interested in the company. A PR professional also has to make sure that whom they are representing is gaining approval by the audience they are targeted at. Our book provides the site http://www.motto.com/glossary.html, which defines public relations as, “The business of generating goodwill toward an individual, cause, company, or product.” Which I think is true, however I think there is more to being a good PR practitioner then just making sure your company looks good. Our book also gives a link that states, “Professional services in promoting products by arranging oppurtunities for exposure to the media,” (http://freespace.virgin.net/brendan.richards/glossary/%20glossary.htm).

    I think this is something a lot of people forget when asked what someone who works in PR actually does. However it is a very important part, because without getting the products or people they represent time with the public they will not have any relationship with the public at all, which all fits in with the goal of having PR professionals become the “middleman” between company and public.

  9. Ken Juntila
    September 13, 2012 at 1:09 am

    My current process as a writer is to start at the end and work backwards. I’ve been writing like this since senior year of high school and most of the time it is effective for me. By knowing how the paragraph, page, sentence ends, you can simply backtrack to the natural origin of how your piece should start. Plus, I can always think of a transition sentence to use immediately so it helps to jot that down quickly. In addition to that, I also like to write the first sentences of each paragraph first; that way I can see how the page will “flow”, and I can make any needed adjustments from there. But before any writing even starts, I like to have everything I need to write already acquired. From taking technical writing classes it makes it easier for me to write if I have all the information I need before I start so I can simply put it into the correct format and “go”. I don’t like to have to look things up while writing; I find it distracting. So much like how a technical writer would have everything before the started writing; I’ve adopted that into my own writing process.
    Of the page of definitions listed in the text book, this one stood out to me; “The acts of communicating what you are the public. This is not to be confused with publicity, which is just one of the methods used in communicating the image (www.nejaycees.org/about/jargon.asp).” When I took Intro to PR I can’t remember the word publicity ever being said once. I feel that the when writing my own definition of what Public Relations is; I “borrowed” that idea for myself.
    Public Relations are not to promote products or invent publicity, but to create powerful connections between your organization and your ideal publics through personal communications and honest interactions.

  10. September 13, 2012 at 1:19 am

    I’m a wired writer. I do not like to type things out first. I like writing first then typing it. Hence the reason why I always sucked at in class assignment that was due at the end of class. I can never complete a full thought so I end of writing several short paragraphs.

    Then coming back to it a filling the gaps, nothing it ever in order or right. I just come back and take another look at what I have written thus far. Once I am happy with what I have I then add my research or quotes. Still I have not written a correct lead or anything just my rewrites is all I am working with.

    After I’ve everything I start to rearrange paragraph to where I think they should go. Then I leave it alone come back a read it out loud make the changes need from how it sound being read out loud. This isn’t how I always write but when it comes to my pr or journalism assignments this is what I do.

    “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” As defined by http://prdefinition.prsa.org/

    I really like that definition it is straight and to the point and sums up the profession very well.
    PR professional are honest people who often work for dishonest people. It is important for them to use their moral compass to guide them along their career path. So they can be trust worthy and have the career they want on their own terms. Often time they given of dream jobs just be at peace and fall back in love with their profession for the right reason. It all boils down to creating honest relationship with the community in which you as PR profession serve daily.

    -Dee

    • September 13, 2012 at 2:44 am

      I found your explanation of your writing style very interesting. Given the age of technology I never even consider writing out the ideas before putting them into a computer. However, I did understand your section of re-ordering the work you have done. I always type the assignment out completely then when I go back and read the rough draft, there are some thoughts that flow better in different places and I often have to take that opportunity to move them around and make them fit. I’ve always found that a difficult process that can give you a headache. I was actually talking a professor this week about how it is often our belief that we can make the “perfect” paper, so we keep moving things around and changing their order.

      • September 14, 2012 at 12:58 am

        Hey Alex that’s the thing we all have out own way of doing things. No tow writers are ever the same. I never looking for a perfect paper just one that flows very well and that child could understand.
        you might want to re read my comment because i think you may have misread somethings. I write in no particular order just what comes to my head. that is why i have a lot moving around to do in the end. but thanks for the feedback.

        -Dee

    • September 13, 2012 at 3:51 am

      Dee, you know I do this too! “Coming back to it a filling the gaps, nothing ever in order…” sometimes I just ramble or put down words randomly and as long as I have my outline I then fill in those gaps. I think all of us together make up such different writers and we can learn different viewpoints and angles from each other. I know for me, I really enjoyed bouncing ideas off of my fellow classmates and bloggers in JRN 312. It opened my eyes to more creativity. I also agree that PR is all about relationships, not only creating them but nurturing them so that network is strong. The successful people know this and then are set apart. I am excited to see what this semester brings and what you and others come up so I can learn more as a writer and as a student.

      • September 14, 2012 at 12:53 am

        A relationship has to be created and over time it is nurturing. Its just like a first time mother she and her child have bond but they do not have an instant relationship. that comes with time. When meet people for the first time you don’t have a relationship even if you are networking. When network with people i look at it as having a resource someone to help from time to time. Even then that type of relationship takes time to mold because they have to trust you. You can not have any type a relationship with out trust. so yeah glad you understood my thoughts.
        -Dee

    • Krystal Elliott
      September 13, 2012 at 4:58 am

      You make an interesting point about how PR professionals often work for dishonest people. But that’s not always the case. I think the majority of PR professionals, actually, often work for companies that do not really dabble in scandalous behavior. In our Intro to PR class, Gina would always reference the dry erase marker and what she would do if she were working as their PR specialist and a lot of it was about new product releases and informational stop… There wasn’t a whole lot of stuff that needed to be glossed over to the public. A lot of PR is just disseminating information and hearing what the public has to say. But the idea that PR professionals work for dishonest people is, I think, where that negative connotation of SPIN comes from. It seems like a lot of PR work is, in reality, kind of boring! But that’s not a bad thing!

      • September 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

        I think you you re read what i wrote because i was expression how difficult it can be to be pr professional. That to be in this professional you have to have good character. To follow your own heart and to do what write when some ask you to do something dishonest. have the willingness to walk away. so re read my comment and then let discuss further.

        -Dee

  11. September 13, 2012 at 2:44 am

    1. My current process as a writer is to first define the purpose for writing. Where do I want this story or paper to end up? After I have identified the purpose for the whole story I move on to outlining my thoughts. I do not create an in-depth outline. I work to simply put main ideas into an order that creates a working flow through the story. After I have a general idea of where ideas will go, I begin writing. I generally ignore the revision process until the end. In my outline, I have no sub-points written out; therefore, all of my information beyond the basic idea of each paragraph is created as I move through my story. I personally think that this helps the story flow because you are not locked in to certain thoughts or ideas. You can make the story flow all together as if it were written that way. After I finish writing my paper, I re-read and attempt to find all of my mistakes.
    2. I think the best definition provided in the group comes from the link, http://fourps.wharton.upenn.edu/advertising/dictionary/p.htm, which reads, “Communication with various sectors of the public to influence their attitudes and opinions in the interests of promoting a person, product or idea.”
    However, while I think this definition is a good start, it is missing a lot of information that I believe defines public relations as a field. This was a common theme through many of the definitions I encountered. I think that the ethical portion should find its way into the definition. I know, this is a bit naïve, but I think it is an important part of the practice, particularly given the stigma that surrounds practitioners. Second, I think aside from simply influencing the public, it is also the job of PR practitioners to inform, educate, advocate and build a relationship that can be sustained. One simple definition may not ever be enough to define the entire profession but here is an attempt. “Honest activity and communication with target publics with the purpose of informing, educating, advocating and influencing their attitudes and opinions by building positive relationships between a product, company or figure and the public.”

  12. September 13, 2012 at 2:50 am

    My writing process differs based on what type of writing I am doing. For instance, the post I am writing right now started with me re-writing the first sentence 2 or 3 times until I liked how it read. In my mind I knew what I wanted to say generally, and I would write my way there. If I am blogging, or writing in a less formal way, I usually sit and stare at the screen and think through the intro and the first paragraph or two, once I have a handle on where those are going, I launch. Doing this usually means I go back and read what I have written and revise it often, like every paragraph. When my planning is that weak, I have to be careful to keep it all comprehensible for the reader.
    If I am writing a large paper, or some type of formal writing, I usually create an outline. If I don’t, I WILL leave something important out. If the paper is large or detailed, make an outline, then you don’t even have to think about what comes next, it’s all been planned already!
    It seems I learn a new definition for PR with every new class I attend and every article I read! Thomas Bivins even says himself in our text that defining PR is, “not an easy question to answer.” After reading pg. 2, I was not encouraged! The 10 or so definitions provided there vary greatly in meaning! One provided that I did really like was, “A deliberate, planned, and sustained effort to institute and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.” The focus of PR can’t be molding opinions, or utilizing information in a positive manner, that has to come organically. The primary focus has to be relationships, and that can only be found in mutual understanding and honesty.

  13. Krystal Elliott
    September 13, 2012 at 4:07 am

    All of the writing that I do these days is journalism. That being said, my strategies vary based on my current assignment. My most recent piece was a how-to article, so (after a week of racking my brain trying to figure out how in the world I was going to do it) I sat down and made a very rough outline of how my piece would be structured and went from there. Other times I have no idea how my piece is going to turn out until after I’ve completed my interviews—sometimes I’m not even sure what angle I’m going for until I’ve compiled all my notes. But usually I gather everything I need and sit down the night before deadline (so bad, I know) and just crank it out. I usually show a few journalist friends to make sure the piece flows nicely (and is actually interesting to read), make sure my lede is okay and I review, review, review until it’s time to send it in. That’s my writing process. It’s stressful! Maybe in forcing myself to follow the procedure as it’s outlined in our book, I’ll finally learn to get a head start on things and not feel so pressured.

    After a quick search of the internet I found a definition for public relations that I actually think is perfect, thanks to… Wikipedia! The PR article on Wikipedia starts out saying, “PR is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public.” I like this definition because it lends itself to the idea that public relations is more than just promoting a good image, it is more about the open communication between the public and the client. And the best kind of communication goes two ways.

  14. September 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I like to write as I think, get everything on the paper and edit from there, which seems to be pretty common. I find this is a great way to get a head start on a paper, and can sometimes be similar to an outline. I get a great starting point on the ideas I am thinking of and how I want to group them, and then I am able to put more details, facts, points, etc. in as I go. Like I said in my response, when I find the time I use an outline, and I really do see the benefits of this when I do so. Taking the time to organize my thoughts beforehand and then delve into the ideas is a great way to get a start on a paper. But, like Joel stated as well, it can sometimes put a mental block on my writing. Free writing and cutting back can sometimes be easier than setting boundaries right away and trying to stay within them.

    As far as what PR is, I find that it is hard to pinpoint because there are so many angles to it. It can be anything from “planning entire communications campaigns to writing a letter to the editor,” as it says in our book. The common theme for PR practitioners is that there will always be some form of writing involved in what they do. Those writing styles may vary depending on who or what they are writing about, but making sure that it is done well is what being a good PR practitioner is about. Getting facts write, writing coherent sentences and paragraphs, and drawing in the audience through whatever form of media they are using is essential in this field.

  15. September 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    My writing process, you might say, is an inverted pyramid. I start with a very general outline and get more specific as I continue writing. When I’m responding to something I quickly jot down my initial reaction to the question, and then expand on those ideas. If I am creating something I write down ideas or key phrases in more of a web format. Next I order these things the way I see fit. I then go back to each one, not necessarily in order, and expand on the ideas. Once I have a good amount of content I begin my read-throughs. I read through my work a lot. I often read it out loud which helps me to slow down and really look at my writing. I am excited to utilize editing backwards, which I had never heard about until this class. I prefer to get all of my writing done at one time. It is difficult for me to focus on a concept or idea if I can only work on it for short, sporadic periods of time.
    I think when it comes down to it, public relations is about doing the right thing. In a lot of corporate and political settings PR practitioners serve as a guiding ethical light for management. I think PRSA’s definition of PR “a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics,” is the best. Part of doing the right thing involves being selfless and working toward the benefit of others, not just yourself. This is written directly into this definition with the “mutually beneficial relationships” statement. I also like that this definition incorporates the strategy component. PR takes a lot of planning and many organizations do not understand the “why”. It is important as practitioners that we always think back to the “why” instead of just jumping to the “how”.
    -Megan

  16. September 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    1. My current writing process as a writer is to first jot down my ideas using a web. We all have used the famous spider web before in grade school. I still use this approach. After, I’ve jotted down all of my ideas that are flowing through my head, I then organize them. I do this by creating an outline. By creating an outline this helps with bringing my ideas together so my essay can flow and be easy for the reader. When creating my outline, I’ll use my thesis statement to help with my think of my key points that I would like to write about. After, I’ve done my outline, I’m ready to write my paper.

    2. According to the Public Relations Society of America, public relations can be defined as the strategic communication process that builds mutually benefical relationships between organizations and their publics. Although, public relations is a very broad category, I believe public relations is the way we communicate effectively to the our readers through text. For example, the upcoming presidential election is using lots of pr. Both candidates, Obama & Romney, are using their public relations practitioners to send messages to the voters.

  17. September 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    General question here – who is your best editor? Every time I write I always have someone read over my work. I usually go to the same person all the time too.

  18. chelseafenwick
    September 18, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Gina, I usually have my roommate or a fellow classmate look at my revisions. Sometimes one of my friends in the field.

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