Week 3 – PR Writing

Social Media has changed the public relations profession as a whole. Blogging, the evolution of the press release, and online newsrooms are all essential in the world of a PR practitioners life.

This week choose two items from Chapter 11 and elaborate on your thoughts about them. Use the three pronged approach when responding. (See Week 1 for a review of the 3-pronged approach.)
Also, view this video and give me your reactions. How has SM changed us as consumers of news? What does this mean for news, for PR, for companies in general?

  One thought on “Week 3 – PR Writing

  1. September 17, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I have to comment first on this video, so funny! I love how they twist the whole story as the three little pigs plotted against the wolf to frame him so they wouldn’t have to pay their mortgage. Very clever! Social media was all over this, Twitter in particular, as it was a plug for The Guardian, a British newspaper. Tweets we’re helping the story be told by people’s reactions both for and against the three little pigs. This is an excellent example of how quickly breaking news suddenly isn’t so “breaking,” because people have the ability to get information and news instantaneously via smart phones/computers.

    For public relations this is a good thing. By putting out the message to the proper social media sites, the word is bound to travel.

    In chapter 11 they talk about Social Media Releases, which is similar to a press release except it’s upgraded about 10 times. Besides the basic information of a press release, a SMR gives, “everything necessary to share, discover, and retell a story in a way that is complementary to your original intent and context.” I learned that these types of releases aren’t distributed to journalists; rather they are posted onto social networking sites allowing clients and readers to share and broadcast it. Something I would like to know more about is, are certain people allowed to look at these and share/use them? What if you don’t want a certain publication to use your story? I guess that’s also the catch with the internet, it’s for all to see.

    I also read on to learn about what an Online Newsroom was, which is a complete package about a client or company that wants to get their image out there. I was surprised to find out that, “the online newsroom may be replacing the press kit, which has been the standard publicity interface between public relations and news media for nearly the past 100 years.” Realistically that makes sense because of the increase in technology; people use it every day.

    • September 18, 2012 at 1:52 am

      I also found the idea of the online newsroom to be interesting. The fact that today’s technology is allowing us to improve the way we used to present news for so many years in a BETTER way is fascinating. Online newsrooms allow distribution of a broad range of communication methods all in one place, like streaming videos, interviews, features and blogs while still using all the traditional forms of a press kit, like press releases, articles, reports and magazine articles. This simply allows for a wider variety of information to be included, along with more resources to help verify and clarify for readers.

      Without these movements in technology and the way people embrace them, we would still be living on one-dimensional paper, where interaction is limited and does not create as much of an impact on readers, or generate as much discussion as the Internet allows us to do today.

    • September 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      I think you answered your own question – they are there for all to see and share. As practitioners part of our job is to make the journalists job easy. Give them everything they could possibly need. That’s what an online media center does – puts photos, videos, releases, backgrounders, etc… all in one place.

    • September 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Kathryn, I would have to agree with you on the video it was super funny. I think it portrayed today’s society perfectly. The Guardian struck gold with this video. I like how you stated that the news is not “breaking” anymore its just instant, which is completely true with today’s technology. I do have to disagree with you on the fact that this is a good thing for public relations. I mean don’t get me wrong it can be a good thing. The Kony 2012 campaign is a perfect example of being good for public relations; their PR took advantage of the social media sites and became one of the most talked about issues in recent memory. Why I believe it to be bad is because you will be getting a lot of amateur PR from people who really do not know what they are doing. Some companies might assign some one who is just good with a computer to do their PR. I also like the idea of Online Newsroom.

    • amanda grant
      September 20, 2012 at 2:41 am

      I agree with you about the video! I thought it was very creative and funny. In today’s society, news people need to get the information out as quickly and accurately as possible because of the level of social media we have today. We are able to find out about news very quickly. I definitely think public relations benefits from all of the social media access but it also creates a much more competitive business world. The business world has always been competitive of course, however, it is more than ever today. It is hard to keep up with all of the new social websites just being me! I can only imagine the difficulty while trying to manage all of these sites for a business because there is so much information to constantly get out to the public.

      I also learned about SMR’s from chapter 11 and I definitely think it is a necessary thing to have and actually more important than a traditional press release today. Not nearly as many people focus on actual new papers or even watch the news on TV as much as they used to because of all the social media outlets we have in today’s society.

      I also learned about an Online Newsroom, I didn’t know what this really was before reading chapter 11. That is crazy how everything is changing today but it makes sense to focus more on what is put online rather than in print and even in person in some instances.

  2. September 18, 2012 at 1:56 am

    The video was a great modern adaptation on the classic story! The way social media is interacting and getting involved in the news today plays a huge part in popular public events. The fact that everyone is able to have a voice, get involved, and create group followings (through tweets and comments) means that they are more involved than they may have ever been before. Like the book says, social media has changed PR and news from being a “monologue to a dialogue,” which is important to consumers since they now feel they have a voice. We pay more attention to others opinions or responses and are able to contribute our own.

    This is seen more and more through forms of social media like blogging. In the book, it discusses how blogging is a “less formal way of keeping people informed than many other forms of media.” While we are still being informative through this form of social media, we are able to be more casual, and give a “human face” to whatever organization or company you may work for, making people more comfortable with personally interacting.

    While this is a relatively new aspect of social media, I would love to see more on which companies are incorporating blogging into their sales/promotional tactics and how their ratings have improved (since it seems that this is the case for the majority of users, rather than becoming a disadvantage or hindrance to them).

    I can understand how older companies are afraid of letting go of what they are used to and deciding to not reach out to social medias, but it is quite obvious through these readings and videos that it can make a large impact on the amount of consumer attention companies can attract.

    • September 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      I like the way you say that blogging gives a company a “human face.” This gives readers the courage to feel comfortable enough to to comment, give their voice and opinion. This is exactly how web blogs started out as we talked about in class yesterday. Blogs started because of normal everyday people using the internet as a journal based type of communication. Blogging for companies shows their consumers that the people who work for them are just normal everyday people just as the ones following the blog.

      A company that has a really good blogging site is PlayStation. They have a typical blogging page where multiple people who work for the company in marketing or communications talk about new products, games etc. BUT they also have a share option right under the blog tab where users can submit and vote on ideas for improving PlayStation’s products. Users can vote on people’s ideas and feedback is given back.

      http://share.blog.us.playstation.com/

      • jdotson8
        September 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        Interesting that you brought up Playstation. You might have heard about their “online blackout” from last year. A group of hackers managed to find their way into the Playstation online system and stole credit card information from over 5 million online players. The attack occurred in April. As a result, the online system was out for almost 2 months.

        When the online system was back on, Sony offered a handful of free games and a month’s worth of “premium” access to online gamers. Still, some lawsuits and a lot of criticism happened.

      • Ken Juntila
        September 20, 2012 at 6:56 am

        I was actually wondering what companies still blogged, so I’m glad that you had an example with Playstation. I don’t know why but I can’t get the idea of a blog being outdated out of my head. I looked at some other company blogs after reading your Playstation example, and I still don’t know if they’re still relevant. True that it can be used to break news about new products, new people to the company etc., but I don’t see the point of a whole blog dedicated to daily updates. Am I wrong? Are there blogs that are written by companies that are decent and are actually of value?

    • September 20, 2012 at 3:20 am

      I think the line that gets drawn between the “human face” and staying professional is fascinating. The book talks a lot about how important it is to stay professional and concise in your writing on blog posts but the purpose of the blog post is to make the reader more comfortable while they are reading. This is an interesting collision of purpose and practice. What I have observed in a few of the blog sites I have visited including Southwest Airlines and Blog EMU in class, is that a lot of the comfort level is in more than the writing. The look, view and navigation of the web site is one thing that I think makes me feel more comfortable with the site. While the sites may both offer good writing and information, the EMU Blog was simply a white background with writing. Southwest draws in its audience and makes them want to explore and involve themselves. However, the writing is still strong and positive. If there is a formula to find a balance, I think Southwest has done a pretty good job.

  3. chelseafenwick
    September 18, 2012 at 3:17 am

    I thought the video was great! Very creative! It does captures how media works in a way and also kind of reminded me of “animal farm” with the animals being the political/media party. It’s a very innovative spin on networking jargon and the social media. In Chapter 11, as mentioned, they talk about the how social media is released and the differences of how they used social media in the past. Social Media has changed so much in this last decade with new technology that had broaden so much and now reaches different markets. I think one big thing is how we go about things with press releases and blogging via the internet instead of mailing something. The paperless society that we live in now does everything via the web. I don’t think this is bad, it’s just more informal as we are changing with the times however we need to be aware of who our audience is and what we are trying to achieve. I think some companies are lost on this and that is why they are not succeeding on the social media realm. A lot of companies are confused on how to create a Facebook page or even how to go about that. I think companies need to focus more on what there agenda is and how to get there and pick up on new techniques. If they can figure out how to role with the changes then the results will be a success.

    • September 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Our generation was brought up just as computers and technology were really starting to evolve. We are the lucky ones, because we are learning right along with technology. As soon as something new comes out, we feel the need to replace the older version. As we all are in our twenties there still are and going to be for a while, people, companies and organizations that have been around before certain technology was used. Those companies have a way of doing things since those techniques have always worked for them in the past; they don’t see a “need” for change so therefore there isn’t a “want” to change. This is a problem that I hope companies are starting to realize. This is an opportunity for jobs to be created as they hire outside individuals or firms to handle the social media and marketing aspect.

      • Kristen
        September 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        I completely agree! It’s always sad to hear or read stories about companies that could have otherwise done very well had they implemented the correct use of technology into their work environment. I was just having a conversation yesterday when I posed the question “at what point will we stop evolving with technology?” I look at my grandparents, who don’t know how to use a cell phone, and sometimes wonder if that will ever happen to me. I wonder if companies feel the same way? Just as it’s important for individuals to keep up with technology trends and new ideas, it’s equally important for companies to keep their organization up to date. I like your idea of this being an opportunity for jobs. Companies can hire whole teams of technology experts to continually redefine the workplace and keep organizations afloat as more and more technological ideas are created. Great post!

      • September 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

        I totally agree, companies need to look to the future of technology and embrace it rather than to refute it, otherwise they will be left behind. On the other hand, I also think that there are some companies that do not know how to handle that position in the social media realm.
        Like we talked about in class, the fact that some companies outsource their work for social media kind of takes the fun out of it! People want to hear from the organizations themselves, and know what is going on first hand. If they are getting that information from outside the organizations it is not going to be as rich with what the company is all about. Points will be missed or misconstrued, and some things won’t make sense to the true fans- just like Eastern’s “Swoop” situation. Not only that, but there are plenty of people out there who would love to be able to hold that social media or PR position for companies.

      • September 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

        Here’s a tidbit of info – the graduating high school class of 2009 was the last generation of people who know or have seen a phone tethered to the wall. Isn’t that amazing!?

        OK back on topic- Katie to your point about understanding the technology – that is why all of you have such great opportunities when it comes to jobs. You understand are not afraid of technology. All of you bring so much to the workforce.

      • chelseafenwick
        September 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

        To Katie and all the others who mentioned growing up with technology, that’s a really good point. I feel like we are also the last generation to understand playing outside on a regular basis and tape cassette players. I think bringing it back onto the technology subject, this is why we are getting computer programming jobs right out of school or even before, because we understand it! (Well, me personally I am not the savviest computer tech, but most are)! Gina, that’s really interesting that 2009 is the last graduating class to see land line phones. My opinion; kinda scary and crazy! I love technology but in some ways I want some things to remain the same 😦

    • September 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      I really like your take on the video saying it is a spin on Animal Farm. The video defiantly takes an innovative look on the way we perceive the news and all the clutter. I like how the video shows some of the people for the wolf and others standing for the pigs. I really like how you said with today’s generation the way everything is becoming digital and becoming very informal. I also think that this could hurt some companies, it’s just not the same as sending a press release or having an actual announcement. I think that the technology is slow starting to take the human element out of public relations.

      • September 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        You make a really good point here Justin. That’s why it’s critical for companies to not only put out information, but to listen and respond as well. They need to be part of the conversation and not a passive player.

  4. September 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    The video also emphases that the reporters aren’t the only ones making news. We as consumers of news have become part of the story too.

  5. chelseafenwick
    September 19, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Yes, watching the video in class today I caught things I hadn’t seen the first time around!

  6. Kristen
    September 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Greetings!

    I’d like to look at the video Gina posted first, the modern adaptation of the three little pigs. First thought? Creepy! I like to keep the three little pigs tucked away in my mind as a cute cartoon from a storybook, this video made everything seem so real! (Minus the pig heads of course.) But I think that was the point-taking an age-old story and putting it into modern day life. I think a lot of times the public doesn’t realize the magnitude of social media and its effect on news/breaking stories. If something is broadcasted on the news, I gaurentee there’s a post out there somewhere where someone is giving their opinion on it. This is exciting for the world of technology, seeing how people become so interconnected, but I also can’t help but think about the people involved with the story. People formulate their own opinions based on what information they are given from the news. This is multiplied by the myriad of responses and posts given by others around the world on social media sites. At the end of the day, one has formed a stance on an issue that never directly involved them and whether they like it or not, have inadvertently formed a judgment toward those parties involved. This can be detrimental in cases of election stories or scandals. Once the media has gotten a hold of something, as soon as the public starts talking it’s like a wildfire that cannot be put out. Needless to say, I really hope that I’m never caught up in the fire of talking heads!

    Chapter 11 of our textbook focuses on social media and how public relation practitioners want to get involved in the conversation. Page 281 offers a concentrated list of the many ways in which PR practitioners can get involved with social media (blogs, social networking sites, wikis, reviews, etc.) But, I like what Freedman suggests about getting involved. “Freedman suggests that you start by listening to the conversation, and discover what your clients are talking pationately about” (281). I think this is a very important note for PR practitioners to make. Before any company goes and spits out a blog or comments on a website, it’s vital to first read what’s going through the mind of the public. This way, you aren’t making a hasty decision for your company that will surely bring forth consequences in the long run. This initial research/waiting period also ties into what to blog/write about. Our textbook talks about how to start blogging and the number one tip (in my book) is to begin by researching. “Try searching for your company, product, or even a competitor’s name in any of the myriad social networks, to see how they’re being discussed” (283). Moral of the story? Research first. As PR practitioners we have the responsibility of being informed about what we’re writing about as well as being a reliable and credible source. If we don’t research first, we aren’t seeing the whole picture and are subject to making social media mistakes. It surprised me that our textbook suggests that we post frequently but keep posts short. I often feel like I’m badgering my twitter followers if I post a lot in one day so I try to keep my posts to a minimum of 1-3 posts per day. However, if I keep it simple, short, and sweet, I’m more likely to get a positive response even if I’m posting frequently. I also learned that it’s better to post in the morning. What!? I always thought that people would get annoyed if their phones started pinging in the morning with unwanted posts, however, considering the morning is the time of day when people check through their social media feeds, I can see how AM posts are beneficial. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the ins and outs of social media and how companies can use social networking pages to increase client loyalty and overall relations with their publics.

    -Kristen

    • September 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Have to be honest Kristen you made me laugh “First thought? Creepy!” I thought the same thing. They looked so real and nothing like the cute pigs I read to my kids about!

      Anyhow, your quote ““Freedman suggests that you start by listening to the conversation, and discover what your clients are talking pationately about” (281). ” reminds me of Brian Solis and his attitude toward social media and interacting. It’s a must and it’s all about engagement. Taking part in the conversation. I have to agree – when I Tweet the majority of my Tweets are in the morning and I get the most responses at that time.

    • megandcary
      September 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      Kristen,
      I totally agree with what you took from the book about discovering what your audience is concerned about. I think the best way to distinguish yourself as a PR practitioner is to learn not only how to communicate well, but really how to LISTEN. With social media, of course, listening entails researching. In fact I think social media has made the listening aspect of PR easier. The trick is whether or not companies are utilizing this tool to only push information or pull in information. Social media has provided an outlet for customers to express themselves without repercussions. However if a person takes the effort to speak out and does not feel heard then their trust in the company decreases greatly. The best advice I can come up with in regards to social media is, with great power comes great responsibility.

  7. September 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Ok for starters, that video is awesome! The example of how a story can move and evolve all in the public’s hand is pretty great.

    On to the reading. Chapter 11 is LOADED with stuff to talk about. I liked getting the review of the format for a press release. It was interesting that the on page 290 we are encouraged to think of the press release as a “Teaser”. However, the most interesting thing that I read about was the Social Media Release. The Social Media Release is the standard Press Release evolved and adapted for the pervasive, online public. A public which is now massive.

    It only makes sense that Press Releases would be connected to social media, the more social the message can become the more effective it is. I love the idea that so many SM tools are available too in the Social Media Release. Not just the embedded links and video, but the options for sharing are what make this sort of release really great! If a reader is excited about the information being released, he or she only has to click the like/share/FB/Twitter/Blog/Favorite/etc. button to hold onto or share this information! Then that becomes almost a word of mouth referral from that person!

    One thing that I did not quite have a handle on at first was the newsroom. I read about it, and then checked out the links. For example, the crayola media center:

    http://www.crayola.com/about-us/press-releases-landing.aspx

    It is a large conglomerate of press releases and other media centered around kids/crayola. Is the purpose of this a hub where people can read about you and get involved in your brand?

    • jdotson8
      September 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      The video was indeed really well done. Using a classic story and adding a modern twist to it (social media) was really clever. Bravo to the Guardian for what they did.

      On your point, Paul… it’s very interesting how social media as we know it (Twitter, FB, etc) hasn’t been around for very long and there’s already a press release for that format. The public relations firms were very smart to pick up on that. In a way, our generation has an advantage, because PR has adapted to the social media and Internet age and given us tools to work with.

      • September 20, 2012 at 2:27 am

        Absolutely Joel, I agree that our generation has a serious edge with the amenities that the internet gives us.

        I do feel that there are some challenges that come along with all that opportunity though. I guess what I mean is there is SO much that we PR professionals are going to have to be able to expertly manipulate. Social Media, Writing, Current Events, Audio/Video Editing and Production, Crisis Management, Event Planning, Networking, and all things internet related-what can’t we do???

        However, the payoff of all these tools is the most efficient PR campaigns that have ever been. The internet does give us an edge that is not replaceable.

        But I know that good PR people did not choose this career path to do the least amount of work possible, so mastering all there is seems to be the norm.

    • Kristen
      September 20, 2012 at 1:07 am

      Paul, love your comment–you really touched on the heart of chapter 11. I too was unaware and a bit confused about the newsroom. Thanks for posting the link to crayola! I spent quite some time dabbling around the site and think I have a better understanding after browsing something tangible. To answer your question I think a newsroom can have a multitude of purposes depending on what the company is going for. As far as Crayola goes, I they were trying to accomplish overall highlights of company products for their newsroom. (At least, that’s the feel I was getting.) I really like Microsoft’s newsroom (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/). I think Crayola’s was a little foggy as far as what they were trying to accomplish. Microsoft’s seems to be a bit more user-friendly. It offers company highlights, a products tab, and a tab for blogs and PR tools. If I were to make a newsroom (which I think is just around the corner with our final project…partner!) I would want to do something more along the lines of the Microsoft newsroom. I think the goal is to be as transparent and user-friendly as possible while still getting vital information posted in an aesthetically pleasing way.

      -Kristen

      • September 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

        You’re right Kristen, the Microsoft newsroom does seem more intuitive. That does make it seem quite a bit more effective. Like if I was concerned about any new news Microsoft related I could confidently check there and pick it up. Well, it looks like you and I are going to be putting together some cool stuff for that final project!

    • September 20, 2012 at 3:29 am

      I must say that I agree with both of you. The video was absolutely wonderful. Particularly the way that they showed the story spread like a virus throughout the world. When I see this video I can’t help but wonder what it takes to take a brand viral like a news story. It’s incredible that the little pig story spread so quickly, but I assume making a brand explode would be quite a different task. What I think is so interesting about the advancements you are talking about now is that I think it is only a matter of time before there is a new medium for PR practitioners to learn. You look at sites like Facebook and Twitter but what will be the next new thing? I agree, these tools have done nothing but help PR practitioners get their word to the public quickly and with little to no time delay. I am just waiting to see how it works next. You commented on the book drawing up formats for these new technologies but my question is, how long will it be before those are already out of date. Our generation is the first to truly experience the power of the internet and its ability to grow, multiply and advance in a matter of years.

    • September 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      I agree with you on how different it is to wrote a press release and then have to turn around and write one for the internet which is obvious geared to a much larger audience. I find that we are always talking about our target audience in class but when things go online your target audience becomes so much bigger. This seems almost daunting because of mass amounts of people who are going to read and almost inevitably critique your work. However you do make a point in mentioning how many things you can do with a social media release, like including links, it makes it so much more multidimensional and interactive to be able to branch outside what is written to other things.

  8. September 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I also just received this great article from PR Daily about Twitter (a little off topic) but it is exactly what we have been going over in PR Writing and Fund. of Social Media.

    http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/12700.aspx

    • September 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      This is great Rachel!

    • megandcary
      September 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      I have to say, I’m LOVING PRdaily!!! Since I’m pretty new to PR still, I’m soaking up any information or tips I can. Everytime I get an email from them it always pertains to this class. It’s always nice when you feel like your class is actually useful and helpful in the real world. I thought that particular article on twitter was a little confusing however. Plus the author said they would provide a link to a site that would let you customize your hash tags but then forgot to include the link! It reminded me that even skilled PR professionals sometimes make mistakes. I have realized that I really want to get better at twitter this semester. But it sounds like Gina is the master so that should be no problem!

  9. September 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    When looking over chapter 11 the first thing that really jumped out at me was the blogs and the blogging. I have just recently gotten into the whole blogging scene, so most of this was new to me. It was nice to read through and see the helpful sections like what to blog about. There was one thing I found surprising was in the section writing blog posts, where it says the average visitor to a site spends as little as 96 seconds per blog, only a few read word-for-word, and only comprehend 50 percent. I kind of had a sense of this, but its just crazy to see the information in actual numbers.

    The second item from chapter 11 is the social media releases (SMRs). With our generation and especially the younger generation the SMRs are becoming the essential way to do a press release. It seems like everyone is on some type of social media site Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Just a couple of weeks ago when Amazon released their new tablets it was all over the social media websites. It was on my front page of Facebook, I received a tweet with a link to the information of the press release and when they where available. The thing I was surprised about the most with the SRMs was the importance of key words, and how often you should insert them into your release.

    The video was amazing! I believe this show exactly how society is now a days. I remember reading an article awhile back that said around 70 percent of people get their news via Facebook and twitter. This video defiantly shows this. I remember when I found out about the death of Heath Ledger it was through Facebook. I think that social media will change the way younger generations get their news, but I do not think it will change the older generations.

    • amanda grant
      September 20, 2012 at 2:31 am

      It is crazy how huge social media has become in today’s society. I definitely believe that 70 percent of people get their news via facebook and twitter because they are the two biggest social media websites out right now. I agree with you about social media not changing older generations to an extent, but a lot of older folk are turning to the dark side and learning to operate MACs and also text (my mom is not one of them! LOL….i once sent her a text that said “I love u mom” and she replied telling me I owed her 10 cents…and she still asks me how to log onto her yahoo mail…). Some people cannot grasp the concept of technology in today’s world but on the other had, a lot of people are adapting.

      I’m with you on the blogging topic. I am not super familiar with blogging but I have heard a ton about it and I know it is becoming a huge thing. I’ve thought about starting my own blog just to vent (LOL), I think some of the events of a typical day for me would make people laugh. I like the comedy side of things but I do understand that there are endless possibilities when it comes to blogging so there is a lot to think about.

      SMR’s are definitely “the new age” press release, that’s for sure. It would not be smart for a business to stick to the traditional press release and not also create a SMR because of how huge the Internet has become. Let’s face it, we are living in a world that is 100 percent revolved around technology. Our grandparent’s parents would be astonished.

    • September 20, 2012 at 2:35 am

      Hey Justin. I agree seeing the numbers is humbling. Blogging is new to me and at first I thought that I was doing it wrong because it was SO difficult for me. I am still not totally comfortable blogging, but I feel a little better after reading that section in Chapter 11. Also, I take FOREVER to write a post, but that’s just the way I write I guess…

      I love your account of the Amazon Social Media Release it’s such a great idea. That’s much of the beauty behind Social Media PR that the internet gives us. For the first time in history, I feel that we PRs have a way to invite the public to interact with us in a casual way, and I feel it’s that daily sort of interaction that will build the most trust. And that is what it’s all about, relationships that turn into consistent business.

      • September 20, 2012 at 4:42 am

        Blogging totally scares me too! Every one of my main professors, both journalism and PR (so I guess that’s a grand total of two of them, including Gina… haha) say that if you want to be a writer, you should be BLOGGING ALWAYS, EVERY DAY! But then I wonder, what the heck am I supposed to be writing about? I’m not a corporation or an organization trying to push out information or products! Plus, who wants to read my blog about nothing? NOBODY! Even when I do read and receive tips and advice on blogging, I still don’t want to do it… At least not representing myself. Everyone thinks blogging is so easy and that anyone can do it, but it’s tough out there! You really have to know what you’re doing if you want to be taken seriously.

    • Ken Juntila
      September 20, 2012 at 3:54 am

      I remember learning about Heath Ledger passing away on Facebook too. Most times with Twitter, there will be a trending topic indicating that someone had passed away. That’s how fast information about someone’s passing is now, and that’s absolutely crazy. Social media has made real time so efficient we know instantly when someone passes, or if someone is born. SM is also the quickest way that the information is spread; you see it on Facebook, you share it or mention it and the next person reads it. On Twitter, retweeting and hastaging keep the next set of readers informed. It’s a cycle of receiving and providing the same information.

  10. jdotson8
    September 20, 2012 at 12:18 am

    The Social Media Release is a smart tool for today’s world. It includes the features of a standard press release, but the things that are often used in today’s world: MP3 audio files, videos, and RSS feeds. It’s the best of both worlds – the standard features in a press release but adding a modern twist. It benefits the “techy” generation that we were born into and have been around our whole lives. It also benefits the future of social media, which has shown through Twitter, Facebook and the like, that it’s here to stay.

    When we researched the Southwest blog yesterday, I was very impressed by how well that was put together and could definitely see why Southwest got positive reviews around their blog. They do as a company should with blogging – avoid personal views (which blogging usually consists of) and talk positive about a company. Chapter 11 does a good job of discussing what PR blogs should be, and Southwest is a prime example.

  11. amanda grant
    September 20, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I thought the video was funny. I like the way they depicted social media and helped to get viewers to relate to the video by using a story that all of us remember from our child hood and adding a funny twist. This was a great way to keep the audience’s attention. Social media has changed us as consumers of news because the possibilities of how we can receive news are pretty much endless. With the age of laptops, iphones and ipads, people can access news and information at any time of the day nearly anywhere. I think this is a good thing for news, PR and companies in general because getting there information out to the public is simpler than ever and they don’t have to try as hard to reach a large audience as people did back in the day before internet was so accessible. With this being said, I think it also makes the business world much more competitive. Because it is so easy to divulge information to the public, every company is going to be that much better at doing so and in turn, will require people to act quickly and think of new and creative ways to do things that make them stand out from the other guy. If 5 similar companies all have the same resources and are trying to get out the same information, the one that is the most inventive and creative and get’s it out the fastest will be the most successful. In the PR business, grabbing the audience’s attention is just the first part, holding on to it is key.
    One item from chapter 11 I chose is blogging. Blogging has become so huge today and I think it is a great tool. I learned about different ideas to blog about and how blogging can really help a company in a positive way. It’s surprising to me the things some people will blog about, it often times follows the saying “he just likes to hear himself talk,” well it’s the same thing today with blogging, only it’s writing instead of speaking. I would like to learn more about how certain companies have increased their success by implementing blogging throughout their company and find some examples.
    Twitter is the second item I chose from chapter 11. I am still trying to get used to twitter, I don’t love it yet, but maybe that’s because I haven’t been very active on the site. I learned what the definition of micro-blogging is, communicating in messages of no more than 140 characters. It’s surprising to me just how many people use twitter and are obsessed with it. It became popular very quickly. I guess I would like to find out more about the benefits of using twitter and try to familiarize myself with it deeper.

  12. Ken Juntila
    September 20, 2012 at 3:22 am

    One thing from Chapter 11 that was mentioned was a section on how to write comments on blogs. On page 286 there is a whole page of helpful hints as to how to comment on someone’s blog. I know from personal experience that reading comments in a blog can be quite ‘dangerous’. People often get into heated debates that completely derail the entire comments section. The tip that I liked most was to comment on blogs in the morning because that’s when most people will see them.
    Another thing from Chapter 11 was how to compose a tweet for Twitter. It seems simple enough; you have 140 characters so be short and precise. Personally, I think Twitter is great because it forces writers to be efficient with their writing. They have no room to waste when composing a tweet. Plus Twitter has become this huge part of the communications world; and I’m glad to see it mentioned in the text.
    And much like everybody else, I too thought that the video was pretty great (comedy is something the English do very well). It was a clever modern take on a story we all know. The video showed people getting their information instantly, which is how our news is today. One thing the creators of the video did was show the articles and tweets being written in “real time”. All information can be released at any time, through various outlets. What this means is the news doesn’t have to wait until the morning edition to break a story, or wait for the 6 pm news; they can do it instantly. Public Relations and companies can use social media to interact with people directly, making connections with their publics.

    • September 20, 2012 at 4:33 am

      I think it’s kind of funny how something as simple and easy to over look as the time of day you post your blog comment vastly increases the visibility and response you end up getting. You wouldn’t think it would make that big of a difference but it does! It just reminds me of how much there is to keep in the back of your mind when interacting online. Sometimes it seems like a lot to remember! The same goes for composing a Tweet, especially when it comes to hashtags. Too many is obnoxious and unprofessional. but if you don’t use any you’re just tweeting to nobody! And then sometimes you want to use humor and wit but you still want to be taken seriously and the list goes on and on and on. There is a very fine line one must walk in order to become an adept online communicator.

    • September 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Ken,

      “Personally, I think Twitter is great because it forces writers to be efficient with their writing. They have no room to waste when composing a tweet. Plus Twitter has become this huge part of the communications world; and I’m glad to see it mentioned in the text.”

      I think my good friend Brian Solis would agree with you thought just as i do.

      “Twitter is a magnet for people seeking information.”- Brian Solis Engage! (p.92)

      Twitter forces you to literally make a long story short! Which also help to better develop our thoughts.

      Though sometimes i wish we had a little bit more writing space but it would look silly have these long paragraphs on our timeline. That was by far the worst thing Facebook did make the status longer.

      what i love about our generation we adapt easily to new ways of communications methods. I’m sure we all look at Twitter like umm what i am suppose to do next when first created an account.

      -Dee

  13. September 20, 2012 at 4:28 am

    I never really knew until now that one would write a different type of press release for social media but it totally makes sense! Since social media is inherently interactive, of course you would want the press release to be more interactive, otherwise it does not really fit. With social media we can choose the information we want to see and know more about and the incorporation of videos and links allows us to do just that. I thought the bit about keywords was interesting and how you can use them to maximize the traffic that your content gets. I wanted to know more about tips to writing a social media release so I did a quick search and, whadda ya know, our old pal Brian Solis has tons to say on the matter. http://www.briansolis.com/2008/02/definitive-guide-to-social-media/ You guys should check it out!

    I also thought it was interesting that there is a particular way to make your blog comments better and more visible. There is actually skill involved! If more people put thought into their comments, I think comment sections on blogs and news articles would be a lot more intelligent and educational… Has anyone ever read the comments section on AnnArbor.com?? Ugh! It’s horrible!

    As for the Guardian commercial, I absolutely love love LOVE it! I just shared it via Facebook because I think it’s GENIUS. Not only does it create a humorous and also INTENSE story, it captures perfectly the digitization of news and how news stories develop today. I just love everything about it. It’s awesome. Great find, Gina!

    • September 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Krystal,

      I too found Brian Solis to be very helpful in understanding social media content as talked about in chapter 11. Its good to have good friends in high places! 🙂 Anything by Ann Arbor.com is ugh!

      “I also thought it was interesting that there is a particular way to make your blog comments better and more visible. There is actually skill involved! ” I too thought a comment was just a comment. i thought i was just voicing my views not writing a research paper.lol but it is good to have something to say but it is even greater to have something that makes other people think. I think when we comment we forget it is a discussion so we should have something different to add to keep the discussion going. It shouldn’t be a rant and if it one it should be relevant!

      “With social media we can choose the information we want to see and know more about and the incorporation of videos and links allows us to do just that.” The power of choice is a beautiful thing because sometimes something’s are just forced upon us. Like those annoying Youtube commercials!!!! ugh!

      -Dee

      • September 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

        Oh Brian Solis!!! I agree however about finding it interesting about how their is a certain way to conduct yourself on the internet. To think in years to come people will be sitting in a classroom talking about comments and saying who did it right and who did it wrong, i guess that goes to say we should always be careful about what we write online! I loved the Guardian commercial to because it is so relevant to today’s culture! I can totally see and am sure i have seen something to the same extent go on in real life, which can be cool and scary all at the same time. We are all so connected and there is so much information at our finger tips…..

  14. September 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    “The online newsroom may be replacing the press kit, which has been the standard publicity interface between public relations and news media for nearly the past 100 years.” There’s no surprise there my question would be as to how soon to do we as PR Professionals make the leap.

    Though I do think there should always be a paper trail not just saved files because any that would go wrong will all of a sudden go wrong. Also, we have to be aware of the people we serve or work for not everyone is excited about the digital world. Keeping some things in paper form would be safe.

    I think Brian Solis said it best when talking about a digital identity.
    “This is your digital identity and your real reputation and it’s yours to define and nurture.” Brian Solis Engage! p. 166

    Having an online news room is a reflection of your digital identity it another way in which people can connection with the company of their choice. This is a company reputation it up to them how they chose to present their information in these online news rooms. How well they do this dictate how strong of a reputation they have online. Some companies are stronger offline than they are online.

    Southwest Airlines is a brand that is very strong online as they are offline which makes them a well rounded company.

    Brian Solis goes on to say:
    “In many social networks, that object takes the form of content, profiles, events, media, and other social semblances that establish conversational hubs. Content indeed serves as the foray into the conversations that ultimately define the presence, acceptance, and perception of any brand.” – Brian Solis Engage! (p. 107

    This is the long version as to what a online new room is:
    “An online news room is an online version of a media relations department. Online news room can distribute information to media and others through a broad range of communication methods, including streaming video and audio presentation, interviews, features, webcast (web broadcast), webinars ( web seminars) and blogs, along with more traditional printable materials such as press releases, white papers, backgrounders, articles, annual reports, and magazine articles.” Glossary 364 (Public Relations Writing)

    I think it simply a place where information is widely accessible for a variety of communication media methods.

    As for the Guardian commercial is concern like Gina said in class we the people create and control the stories. Though it was meant to be humorous it was try we tweet things we see and it gets re-tweeted. Then someone else see it and add the story then all of sudden your tweets end up apart of the 6pm news.

    -Dee

    • chelseafenwick
      September 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Dee, I liked what you said about Southwest “Southwest Airlines is a brand that is very strong online as they are offline which makes them a well rounded company,” I was looking at other websites such as Delta, Northwest, United and Alaskan airlines and they don’t have near as many followers on twitter as Southwest! It seems to me that this shows they have great PR people and business savvy skills. I also checked other websites such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and they also have shorter blogs. We as PR practitioners are the ones that illustrate the company and show what our company really is about.

  15. September 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    One thing I learned from the book was that 53% of professionals say that the increased amount of information and new technologies has in fact increased personal rapport and relationships. I thought this was interesting because I feel like people always talk about how the rise in social media and communicating with people solely though technology makes it somewhat impersonal . I also thought it was interesting to learn that writing for the internet was so different then writing for other platforms, i always think of internet as the new newspaper but it’s actually its own entity. Also to see that there where even sub categories of writing for the internet, such as how writing for a blog is different then writing for a website. It seems as though writing for the internet is geared at fast comprehension for those reading.
    It surprised me most that there where headings for writing a blog post and tweet, or even that Twitter was in our book for that matter. I guess I sometimes take for granted that Twitter is something that seemed to effortlessly fall into my social media life where as others it seems like a completely foreign language. I liked the explanation of using as hashtag as well, sometimes I forget that hashtags are not just for “added humor” but actually for categorizing tweets that one can later search.
    I want to learn more about how public relations is now integrating into the internet and social media. I think this is the future of our field as well as our world as a whole, it’s not hard to think that a few years from now everything will be done via iPhone, where currently there seems to be an app for everything. I want to see what other social media phenoms come along and if Twitter will overcome Facebook the way Myspace was stomped out. This is an exciting time for technology as a whole I’m I’m always excited to see whats next.

    • Brett Booth
      September 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      That is a very interesting point you bring up about the disconnect most people talk about with social media. It is my personal belief that the naysayers are correct to a certain point about the drawbacks to things not being physical and how the Internets anonymity can cause some people to act in a disconnected or unfavorable manor. However, I believe that companies can utilize these tools in a way that they can connect with consumers on a much deeper level than they can with a printed ad. Businesses seem to become more personal when they use social media properly and social media gives the consumer an opportunity for direct communication which is a characteristic that is unique to social media.

  16. megandcary
    September 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I LOVED this video! I will agree with some of my classmates that the pigs were a little creepy and very similar to animal farm, but the idea was spot on! To me the video displayed how journalism is no longer in the hands of just the media anymore. I know people still talk about how the media controls everything, but it’s really the people who are taking over the stories. I think this is a great thing, but also dangerous. We’ve been raised to believe that the three little pigs did the right thing, but then the public turned against them! LOL. Although social media was a huge part of this, I noticed more how the combination of channels (SM, Internet, blogs, tweets, video, and newspaper) led to the spreading of news. I think a good PR practitioner knows how to use each of these effectively and in the right combinations. Which leads me to chapter 11.
    I really appreciated the list of social media outlets on page 281. I tend to stay in my little box of outlets I prefer to use (Facebook and pinterest mostly) but looking over all the different options really got me thinking about building a social media strategy around the mission of the company. We have already talked in class about how too often companies just create a FB to have a FB. It’s become really obvious to me that not all SM is right for all companies. Like I stated above, a good PR person knows how to communicate effectively using the right channels. Overloading your company’s twitter is not communicating effectively.
    The chapter also covered a social media press release. I think it is so interesting the way writing evolves. The SM PR (social media press release) is simply an evolved press release so everyone can use it. I love this because it shows how important the PR profession is. Rather than just creating something a journalist can use, we can create something that could be picked up by anyone on Facebook and go viral. We’ve already seen this happen with so many stories. Now all we’re doing is learning the tools to make it happen.

    • Brett Booth
      September 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      You bring up some great points Megan! News travels so fast and through so many channels now and it drastically different than it was even ten years ago. A good PR practitioner should know the correct channels to communicate through and your right, it is completely unique to the situation.

      I too stick to my own little comfort zone of social media and almost exclusively because of this class and my major, I’m stepping out of it and look forward to learning a lot more.

  17. Brett Booth
    September 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    After reading chapter 11 I can say I learned a great deal about social media and new ways PR practitioners can reach their audience in a quickly evolving landscape. The commercial The Guardian put together did an awesome job of illustrating how news and communication is drastically different now than it has been in the past. This gives PR practitioners new ways to reach their audience and makes for a very exciting time to be involved with such a fast changing and highly evolving field.

    One thing that surprised me was the online newsroom. To be honest, I had never even heard of an online newsroom before reading chapter 11. It makes complete sense and is well suited to today’s online focus. Beyond the element of convenience or efficiency of the newsroom being located online, I believe online newsrooms do what most internet related outlets do—put the power into the consumers hands. Traditionally, newsrooms and press releases were presented to journalists and you, to a certain extent, got a retold version. With online newsrooms, companies can now connect directly with their costumers and in addition, receive direct feedback and open a direct channel of communication.

    Now, I know what I am about to say is border line blasphemes but I am a PR major who doesn’t have a Twitter. Through this chapter and through other activities we’ve engaged in this semester, I finally feel confident in starting a Twitter account and look very much forward to learning more about it and becoming a well-adjusted person living in 2012.

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