Simply Shelley

Ch. 11 key points

This week’s chapter from Dennis Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition was all about how public relation professionals can better get along and work with journalists. Media relations is extremely important when working in our area and it is considered the number one job responsibility of public relations staff in a majority of companies. The past has taught us that journalists and public relations professionals have had a love/hate relationship. And no, this is not always the case, but it is a lot of the time. This is because they need each other but the trust level is not always where it should be to make the other feel comfortable. So in sum, the media needs PR people and PR people need the media. The areas of friction that go on include hype and news release spam, name calling, sloppy/biased reporting, tabloid journalism and advertising influence.

As a PR professional, you should consider some things when working with journalists:

  • the importance of media interviews
  • news conferences
  • teleconferences and webcasts
  • media tours
  • previews and parties

This was interesting to me that you need to review this media relations checklist to make sure you are in line…

  • know your media
  • limit your mailings
  • localize send newsworthy information
  • practice good writing
  • avoid gimmicks
  • be environmentally correct
  • be available
  • get back to reporters
  • answer your own phone
  • be truthful
  • answer questions
  • avoid off the cut remarks
  • protect exclusives
  • be fair
  • help photographers
  • explain
  • remember deadlines
  • praise good work
  • correct errors politely

Sorry for the long list, I thought that it was important to review again.

Here is the textbook link…


Ch. 10 key points

Chapter 10 of Dennis Wilcox’s textbook Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition is all about how to distribute news to the media and eventually, the public. To be honest, this chapter was not the most exciting, but I still feel like I learned a lot from it. This chapter talks about media databases, editorial calendars, and tip sheets. It also talks about means of distribution such as e-mail, online newsrooms, and electronic wire services. Feature Placement Firms and Photo Placement Firms are both types of firms that specialize in distribution through two different means. And of course, you cannot forget about the original “snail mail” and the use of fax when distributing information. These things are all covered throughout the chapter and talked about thoroughly. Here are a few more specific things that I learned from the chapter:

  • For many weeklies in small towns across America with limited computer servers and Internet accessibility, daily mail delivery is just fine.
  • A fax is as quick as a phone call and has the advantage of providing written info and graphics. A fax also gets more attention than an email because an email can be easily deleted and a fax cannot.
  • A photo placement firm specializes in the distribution of publicity photos and captions.
  • A feature placement firm specializes in preparing columns and features that are distributed as entire layouts, complete with headlines, photos, and graphics.

That is all for now, I hope this is helpful!

Here is the link to the textbook…

Is there such a thing as “bad PR”?

So once again, we see another story of infidelity in celebrity relationships. But in this case, the person of the most interest is not the most famous of the two. As I’m sure everyone has heard that Jesse James, Sandra Bullock’s husband, has been rumored being with several mistresses over the last years, yes I said YEARS! I have heard some call it the “Tiger Woods Syndrome” but I think people have got to stop putting the blame on others and take the responsibility. But anyway, getting off of my soapbox now, I promise. My real question is that “even though Jesse James is getting all of this negative attention for being unfaithful to his wife, is there such thing as bad pr?” Jesse James has always been the least famous of the two and maybe he thought that it was his time to gain some of the spotlight. In my opinion, Sandra Bullock has always had a very funny, but classy reputation. But since Jesse’s name is out there so much right now, I wonder if he is really regretting it or not because now, for a change, he is in the spotlight, even after his wife has won an Oscar not too long ago for The Blind Side. As of now, Bullock is not making any comments to the public, which I think is a good idea because as far as we know, she has done nothing wrong so why should she have to say anything? In my opinion, I think that there is such a thing as Bad PR, but I know others have different opinions. I would love to hear other opinions about this topic!

Link to article…

Ch. 9 key points

This weeks reading from Dennis L. Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition, was so interesting to me! A few semesters ago, I took a mass communications course and learned a lot of the facts that were in this chapter. All of chapter nine talks about how to write for radio and television. The reason this is interesting to me is because I think that I could see myself writing radio or television commercials for whatever company I end up working or interning for. If you can’t tell, I get really excited when I talk about a future job!! From what I have learned in our PR Writing class, I can tell that I really like to write so this could be right up my alley. Here are a few things that I learned from chapter nine:

  • Even though radio lacks the glamour that television and the popularity of the Internet, it is a lot less expensive, so if a company is on a lower budget, radio is the way to go.
  • In a radio news release, the focus is on short, strong sentences — not long, drawn out sentences.
  • A public service announcement (PSA) is an unpaid announcement that promotes the programs of the government or nonprofit organizations that serve the public interest. I actually did not know that it was only for government or nonprofit agencies, I guess you learn something new everyday!
  • PSA’s are supposed to be made as simple and to the point as possible.

That is all for chapter 9!

TOW 12 — For Immediate Release

For our topic of the week (TOW) for week 12 of our semester, we were supposed to listen to at least an hour of a PR/marketing podcast. I decided to listen to For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. This podcast was downloaded on March 25, 2010 and the title of the blog that it falls under is The Hobson & Holtz Report — Podcast #537: March 25, 2010. This was a 68 minute podcast recorded live from West Hills, California. I had never personally listened to a podcast ever before, so this was interesting and a new way to hear news in PR.When I am chilling in my room, I usually play music, and I had never really thought that instead of listening to music I could put on a podcast and listen and actually lear something instead of hearing the same songs over and over and over.

This podcast was about several different types of social media and communication. The speaker spoke about a conference that he had just been to that was focused on social networking. In the world that we are living in now, isn’t social media so important? I think so. Even though I am not the best at it yet, I am learning through the different activities that we are doing in my PR Writing class. I already had Facebook and email, but I had to start a twitter account and a PR Open Mic account in the last few weeks and that has opened my eyes to what you really can do through the new technologies.

I think that podcasts are great for PR students and professionals as well because it gives news that you would not normally hear on a television news channel. I also think that this is great for discovering new, more creative ways of doing things in your company or organization.

Here is the link to the podcast that I listened to…

Infographics — TOW week 11

While I was reading Dennis L. Wilcox’s textbook Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition, I found out a few things about infographics. Infographics are computer – generated artwork that attractively displays simple tables and charts. The use of infographics was first used by USA Today and other newspapers around the nation followed their lead.

These could be helpful to a client because it is more than an everyday picture. It shows information from a graphic¬† instead of just a photo. The example given in our textbook was a chart that was featured in USA Today’s “US Snapshot” series. It was only a bar chart giving the main reasons why people get stressed about business travel. Number one on the list was “time away from family” with 75% and only 20% reported stress filling out expense reports. This information was needed for MCI’s “Meetings in America” survey. Good to know…

Infographics can be created by using Microsoft Office applications or more sophisticated software from Adobe, such as InDesign or Illustrator. Small dailies and thousands of weeklies lack such capabilities and often are interested in receiving simple, colorful charts in addition to high-resolution photos. Larger dailies usually have their own graphic departments and make their own infographics.

Here is the link to the textbook…

PR Connection #5

So this week, I was at a complete loss of what to blog about for a PR Connection. I started looking on PR Week’s website to see if anything particular stuck out to me. Then I came across the Young PR Professional of the Year 2010, Megan Parker from General Electric. How awesome of a title is that?! When I came across this article I was only thinking “WOW, good for her!”. I think that this is something we can all, as PR majors, dream to achieve one day.

Let me tell you a little bit about Megan Parker. She helped guide GE’s social media engagement with online financial communities and the public during one of the toughest years for communicators. She is a communication specialist and over the social media for General Electric. She began General Electric’s corporate blog and twitter. Here is the link to General Electric’s twitter …

I think that as a PR major it is good for me to keep up with the “big names” in Public Relations and the news that surrounds them, especially when it is positive, motivating news! There were many other awards presented like the PRWeek Campaign of the Year, PR Agency of the Year, the PR Professional of the Year and many more. But I thought that the Young PR Professional of the Year would be the most interesting to us, since we are young and in college!

This is the link to the website about Megan Parker …

Ch. 8 key points

In this week’s chapter from Wilcox’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition, I learned all about selecting publicity photos and graphics. I personally liked this chapter because I love taking pictures, so it is already something that I am interested in. I would love to be a good photographer eventually instead of simply taking pictures to post on Facebook! Publicity photos are so important because they can add variety and meaning to your news releases and feature stories as well. Here are a few interesting points that I learned from the chapter:

  • The components of a good photo are: technical quality, subject matter, composition, action, scale, camera angle, lighting & timing, and color.
  • Graphics do not only have to be photos; they can be charts, diagrams, renderings and scale models, and line drawings and clip art.
  • Surprising fact … digital cameras are now used for publicity photos! This is because the photos can be taken and distributed almost instantly.
  • Photo captions are short, use present tense to describe the actions, and provide context to the reader.
  • Photos that are informal and include action are more fun to look at than planned, posed shots.
  • Large group shots are out! A publicity photo should not have anymore than three or four people in it.
  • Publicity photos are not published if they are not high resolution and if they do not appeal to media gatekeepers.

Here is the link to the textbook Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox

PROpenMic — TOW 9 & 10

PROpenMic is a pretty cool website that our professor asked us to sign up and check out as PR students. This website has anything and everything imaginable for a PR student or professional. There are blogs, forums, videos, pictures, groups, events, opportunities for jobs and internships, and many more things to look at and learn from.

I particularly enjoyed reading a few of the blogs. My favorite blog with a very innovative idea was called ‘Panama City Beach Confused by Publics’ by Emily Hunter. Here is the link to this blog :¬†

Since I am a college student who will be doing the whole “job search thing” in less than a year, I thought it was really cool that people could post job and intern openings right on PROpenMic. Even though I am not looking for a job at the moment, it was cool to be able to look through this list. Here is the link to the Jobs/Internship page :

Even though this might sound like a bad excuse, I have a hard time trying to find a lot of news about PR issues and I normally resort to blogging about the latest television show that has some connection to PR. BUT, on PROpenMic there is a link under resources called PR News and it just has a huge list of news that has been going on in the PR world! This is awesome, I finally have more news to write about instead of solely television shows! Here is the link to the PR News site :

All in all, this site was really helpful and fun to check out. I think that I will really enjoy going back to PROpenMic to just see whats going on in the world of PR. I’m glad that we had to do this for class!

That’s all for now!!

PR Connection #4

So, I was trying to think of something that I had heard about going on in the PR world, and I thought about the television show “Kell on Earth” that comes on Bravo and premiered on February 1, 2010. “Kell on Earth” is all about public relations guru Kelly Cutrone and her PR company, People’s Revolution. A fact that I learned while doing some research was that Cutrone has written a book “If You Have To Cry, Go Outside” along with running her extremely successful business. I first heard about People’s Revolution while I was watching The Hills on MTV and Lauren Conrad was working there and Kelly Cutrone was seen as the “mean boss who didn’t put up with any crap”. To be honest, at first I did not like Kelly at all. She seemed inconsiderate towards her employees but now that the spotlight has been on the actual company, you can see that she was only caring about Lauren and the other employees and that she just has a very cut and dry personality.

Of course, the show has to add some drama to keep viewers watching it throughout the season. Every single possible thing that could cause problems, does. But I guess that is what keeps people watching, right? With Kelly’s crazy life of planning fashion shows in the United States and in London and other countries, you would think that she would have no time for any personal life. ACTUALLY, she is a single mom to a girl! I thought that was so neat and it adds a softer side to this all-business woman.