Katie's Blog

Thoughts of a PR student

Social Media News Releases November 30, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330 — rebekahkatherine @ 11:36 pm

If there’s one thing every person working in public relations today can agree on it is this: that the internet and technology is vastly changing the way PR professionals let the public know about their product/organization/company etc. Instead of the traditional paper news releases or even email, many public relations professionals are now turning to social media news releases as the new way to inform the public about what is going on.

But just what exactly is a social news media release? Well according realwire.com, a social media news release is made not just for the press but for the internet and its audience in mind. It can contain audio, video, and anything else the web provides to enhance the news release and make it more interesting and appealing to its audience. Social media news releases are quickly taking the place of traditional news releases since websites like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter are becoming more and more popular among the younger generations. A public relations professional can easily reach a younger audience by posting these appealing social media news releases on these websites and garner a response.

The advantages of a social media news release seem obvious. They are more creative, fun, and appealing than the average news release. Pictures, videos, sound bytes, music, and more audience interaction seem like great things for any public relations professional. However, the best advantage of a social media news release is that they really do work well. According to realwire.com , social media news releases, particularly those seen on blogs, are likely to be seen four times more than the traditional news release!!!! Four times more!!! That’s huge!!!!

I have to admit I’m hard-pressed to find a reason why social media news releases would have a disadvantage. However, if the news release is on a serious or somber subject, something fun and appealing is not really the way to go. A traditional news release might work better in some situations. Also, a public relations professional can abandon a certain audience by using social media: the technologically challenged. Someone who isn’t tech-savvy isn’t going to be looking at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or blogs and would miss seeing the news release. Sometimes it’s easier to deliver a news release the old-fashioned way depending on the audience you trying to cater to.

As fun and flashy as a social media news release is, according to Brian Solis’s Definitive Guide to Social Media News Releases, it still matters what you say and how you say it. However, the best way to approach making a social media news release is to find a template to use online and gather all your materials, including sound bytes, pictures, videos, and anything else and then use the template to make the social media news release. All the fun, appealing pictures and videos in the world won’t matter though if you don’t have a clear, definitive idea of what you are trying to say in the release. Make sure what you want to come across is actually what is represented.

Two excellent websites to use to make a social media news release are pitchengine.com and prxbuilder.com.

I found a great example of a social media news release at socialmediab2b.com. The example they provide is from Cisco which created a social media news release to talk about new products they were offering and how they were working with different businesses.

I’m leaving you with a great Youtube video I found about social media news releases. The video is from realwire.com and gives an overview into what exactly a social media news release is and what it can offer a company.


Chapter Fifteen Reading Notes

Filed under: PRCA 3330 — rebekahkatherine @ 10:41 pm

In Chapter Fifteen of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, we discussed Giving Speeches and Presentations.

1. It is important to research the the topic or person you are delivering a speech on extensively before so that you are as knowledgeable as can be on the subject.

2. Every speech needs an objective, what the speaker hopes to accomplish when they deliver the speech.

3. Always create an outline for a speech.

4. Word selection is key. Use simple words, bold phrases, direct quotes, a variety of sentence length and structure, and a conversational tone.

5. Write several drafts of the speech and edit extensively.

6. Write your speech for the ear. Practice it aloud. It may sound different on paper than it does when it is actually delivered.

7. Use eye contact and keep the speech short and to the point.

8. Power point presentations and other visuals enhance a speech so it doesn’t seem like just a person standing there talking.


Blog Comments

Filed under: PRCA 3330 — rebekahkatherine @ 10:28 pm

October 20th, 2010 at 03:30

My favorite part was the jobs/internships tab too!!!! What a neat way for PR students to network and make connections!

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October 20th, 2010 at 03:29

I loved this article. I never realized how annoying these phrases are and I say some of them all the time. Bad habits can sometimes be hard to break but these phrases are definite no-nos.

rebekahkatherineOctober 7, 2010 at 2:56 am #

I definitely agree that alienating men from the breast cancer awareness conversation is a bad thing. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, it affects everyone around her, including sons, brothers, and husbands. While the purse thing on Facebook is a great way to raise awareness, I agree that men should be in on the fun too.

rebekahkatherineOctober 20, 2010 at 3:27 am #

I definitely think the reason your blog gets so much traffic is that you put each post on both your Facebook and Twitter so that everyone can read them. It’s a wonderful idea. Also, your blog is much more interesting than other blogs I read. I looked at my site stats the other day and they pale in comparison to yours. Looking at your blog has made me see how I can improve mine and get as much traffic as you do.

rebekahkatherineSeptember 1, 2010 at 2:11 am #

You are by far one of the best bloggers I know, and I’m not just saying that because I know you personally. I really loved looking at your blog while you were abroad. Not only did I learn alot, but I got to keep up with your travels.
I was hesitant to check out Twitter too because I thought it was just a ripoff of Facebook but now I’m obsessed.
Also, Xanga was awesome back in the day!

I love that the Dashboard section of WordPress let’s us see our site stats!!!!! On websites like Facebook and Twitter, I am always curious to know who actually looks at my profile and sees what I write but on WordPress I’m never curious because they tell me exactly when people look at my page.
Having the luxury of being able to see site stats is wonderful for PR blogs because it allows them to see what posts people respond to and helps PR professionals see what the public likes. If there’s a lot of traffic for one post, then the public is obviously opinionated one way or another about it. If in one blog post, the author suggests a new campaign for the company and it doesn’t have a lot of views or response, then its a good indicator that maybe they should scrap that campaign and do something else that would illicit more response.
I definitely think site stats are useful for blogs, not only for this class but for PR professionals as well.

I agree that journalists sometimes are annoyed by PR professionals and they see them as annoying. The best way for PR professionals to work well with journalists is to be familiar with AP style and the parameters in which they work and be familiar with what they are trying to promote. I love the quote at the end. Excellent post!

rebekahkatherineDecember 1, 2010 at 3:27 am #

A wonderful post for anyone who wants to blog. I love that the title has the word tot in it haha. I agree with all these suggestions as ways to make us better bloggers. If a blog is easy and fun to read its going to generate a better viewership than a blog that’s boring and monotonous.


Multi Media Storytelling

Filed under: PRCA 3330 — rebekahkatherine @ 4:58 pm

For the last Topic of the Week, I took a course at Poynter University’s website all about muti-media storytelling. Here’s what I learned:

Step One: Choosing a Story

The best stories are multi-dimensional.

Multi-media stories are non-linear.

Before you write a multi-media story, gather all your information first.

Step Two: Making a Storyboard

A storyboard will help define the parameters of your story so that you can best use your resources.

A storyboard will help organize and focus a story.

A storyboard will help identify any holes in your story.

Three concepts:

Define the elements.

Identify the media.

Storyboard the concepts.

Step Three: Reporting with Multimedia

When reporting or writing a story that’s “on-the-scene”, it’s imperative to have all the necessary equipment and to make sure it’s handy and available and easy to transport.

Some essentials:

Extra batteries


Video camera

Lenses and filters





DV tapes

Rubber bands

Pocket knife



Duct tape

Step Four: Editing for the Web

After you’ve finished shooting your story, it’s time to edit it for the web. It’s important to evaluate your footage to determine what should go into the story.

Videos should be only approximately 3 minutes long and “talking heads” should be no more than a few seconds.

Use only high quality video and no background music unless it contributes to the story.

Include lots of photos.

Use text only for what you can’t put in video or photos. Use all multi-media before resorting to text.

Step Five: Producing the Story

Templates will help organize your story and produce it quicker. A web designer will serve as your editor since they are knowledgeable about what looks good on the web.


Chapter Fourteen Reading Notes

Filed under: PRCA 3330 — rebekahkatherine @ 1:02 pm

In Chapter Fourteen of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, we discussed Writing Emails, Memos, and Proposals.

1. When writing, one should follow the basic guidelines of clarity, completeness, conciseness, correctness, courtesy, and responsibility.

2. Email is useful because it saves money on employee communications, flattens hierarchy, and speeds up company decision making.

3. Emails should use language that is halfway between formal and informal. Keeping messages short is also important as well as using few attachments as possible and proper but standard English so that there are never any misconceptions about something you put.

4. A memo should be concise and to the point and doesn’t have to be formal.

5. A business letter can be written by hand or via email and always has a header and is formal.

6. Proposals are written to companies offering your companies’ services to their organizations.


Chapter Thirteen Reading Notes

Filed under: PRCA 3330 — rebekahkatherine @ 1:05 am

In Chapter Thirteen of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, we discussed Producing Newsletters and Brochures.

1. Editors must balance the needs of managing a publication, the interests of their readers, and their own journalistic standards and desires.

2. Having a mission statement gives your company or your service a purpose and lets everyone who works for the company and the publication a sense of purpose, belonging, and pride to be working there.

3. Newsletters are messages from a company to the various publics and other people the company benefits or provides for.


Ten Ways PR Professionals Drive Journalists Crazy

Filed under: PRCA 3330 — rebekahkatherine @ 12:55 am

As noted in Chapter 11 of Public Relations Writing and Techniques, there is often a lot of friction and tension between PR professionals and the journalists they try to court in order to advertise their product or business. It’s certainly a love/hate relationship since both rely on each other for stories and for media attention. However, in order for PR professionals to work as well as possible with the journalists, they need to know what drives them crazy in order to prevent those incidents from happening and to have better working relationships.

1. Public relations people are unfamiliar with editorial requirements and format. Always be familiar with the framework and the requirements that the journalist must work within and make sure that your story can cater to what they can write.

2. Journalists hate when PR professionals bug them with too many phone calls/faxes/emails about a story. They have a deadline. The story will be done by then and if you provide adequate information, the story should be good.

3. Journalists don’t like when the PR professional doesn’t understand the product or service. Before you “sell” it to the media, become an expert on what you’re “selling” in the first place. The less knowledgeable you are, the worse you look.

4. When someone isn’t available to answer questions. In order for the story to be as accurate and informative as possible, you need to be available to answer any questions the journalist might have. When someone isn’t available to answer a question, they assume you don’t really care and they can feel free to toss the story and run another one.

5. Not meeting publication deadlines: journalists’ lives are dictated by deadlines and if PR professionals can’t be kind enough to work with these deadlines, then the journalist won’t be kind enough to run the story.

6. Using excessive hype: every PR professional overhypes their product or service and sometimes journalists aren’t impressed that something is “new and improved” or “sophisticated” because everyone says the same thing. Try to find a new angle to sell your product or use words that the journalist doesn’t always see.

7. Use proper grammar and AP style. As a PR professional and someone who does a writing for a living, you should be familiar with AP style and the basics of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. If these aren’t used correctly, the journalist won’t take you seriously.

8. Lack of sources or contacts: In order for the journalist to write the story correctly, they need to have sources or contacts other than you so that the story is well-rounded and accurate. Not providing this won’t get the story published.

9. Be straight forward with your press release: Journalists want to get to the point of the story and “beating around the bush” won’t make any journalist happy.

10. Use the technology that suits the journalist. If they’d rather meet face-to-face, then do that. If they prefer email or even Twitter or Facebook, do that. Cater to them and they’ll write a story. It’s as simple as that.