Public Relations Reading

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It’s almost the end of the first year of grad school. It feels like it went by fast, but August actually feels like a long time ago. I want to compare it to being submerged under water. Finally I can come up for a breath of fresh air. As I much as I love school, this past semester’s worn me out. I’m looking forward to the summer, which will be here in less than three weeks.

As a nice break, here’s some PR reading I plan to do over the summer. Feel free to post your recommended reads in the comments!

  • Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry. This guide boasts do-it-yourself public relations tips. It includes ways to get the best media coverage and simple steps to being your own publicist.
  • This Is How You Pitch by Ed Zitron. This no-nonsense guide gives honest tips to secure media buzz. It’s meant to help young professionals succeed in creating professional relationships with reporters and editors.
  • Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time by Bill McGowan. Emmy-winning correspondent McGowan teaches readers how to communicate things accurately the first time. McGowan shows PR professionals how to pick the right language and create the right message.
  • Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR by Jennifer Gehrt. Gehrt’s book helps professionals be strategic in their public relations approach. It also discusses the changing landscape of PR and how to take advantage of the 24/7 news cycle.

Open PR and Communications Jobs


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Finding the right job is no easy task. Normally I find jobs through listservs or referrals, instead of first turning to Google. I’ve had a number of part time PR jobs or internships, but I’ll be looking for a full time job at the end of this year. Here are some of the websites I’ve found that provide PR professionals with a starting place for the job search.

  • PRSA has a job center for members to either post jobs or apply for them. It’s a useful site, but requires membership before going through the postings.
  • allows people to search jobs by type and location. When typing PR jobs into a search engine, Indeed was one of the first to pop up, with my location already entered.
  • Simply Hired is another job website that automatically filters for location and job type. It supplements what Indeed doesn’t pick up.
  • LinkedIn seems like one of the first places to go. However, LinkedIn is also one of the most popular and competitive sources of jobs. Users can see how many people, oftentimes in the hundreds, that applied to a single job. It’s wise to use LinkedIn in addition to other sites when job hunting.
  • Monster remains one of the leaders of job sites. Users can sift through postings from all over the country. After posting their resume, people can easily attach it to multiple postings.

Salaries and Gender in PR

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Public relations tends to be a woman’s world, with women making up over two thirds of the industry. Forbes reports that number falls between 73 and 85 percent of the professionals. Although women make up of the majority of practitioners, they are underpaid compared to their male counterparts.

Bloom, Gross & Associates released a study this week about salaries of PR professionals. One of the findings was an average pay gap of $47,500 between men and women. That’s right. Women make a salary’s worth less than men. This finding echoes the unfortunate trend of women generally making less than men in the workforce.

Supported by PR Week, the salary survey asked over 1,000 professionals in the United States about their careers. On the bright side, the PR industry seems to be on a roll. Most people had healthy salaries and left their jobs only for more opportunities or responsibilities at another organization. With the growth of the economy, PR has reaped the benefits.

Overall though, it’s alarming to see the pay discrepancy between genders. Pay should be based on experience and talent, not whether a professional is a man or a woman. PR is a blossoming industry to be in, though it needs improvement on how women are paid versus men.

To read the full study, click here.

French Girls App Review

Enjoy taking selfies? Or doodling in your free time? Then you may enjoy the French Girls app, a free app created in 2014.

Named after the famous line in the movie Titanic, French Girls promotes a community of artists of all levels. Users have two main options. They can take a selfie and wait for another person to draw it. They can also choose to draw someone by picking from a number of selfies.

The drawings range in quality, from the humorous interpretations (see below) to premium drawings, where top-rated artists draw users for $9.99.

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If users don’t want to spend the $10, they can also opt for the selfie boost, a 99 cent feature where people can put their selfie at the top of the line. However, users may find that the premium drawings are well worth the money. Premium drawings (see below) are typically the highest ranked on the app and show the time and effort that the artist put in.

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I spent the $9.99 and got back an excellent drawing of me incorporated into Back to the Future. Most professional artists would have charged well over $9.99. The premium drawings are really a great deal and a way to financially support the app.

While the app makes for a fun and creative pastime, beware of mean-spirited users on it. Some people will draw selfies of others giving them exaggerated, unattractive features or even write on them mocking text. The best thing is to ignore those users, since they are the minority. Like any online community, there are a few cruel users. To really enjoy French Girls, pay no attention to them.

Another tip for users would to be patient while waiting for a drawing. People post selfies every minute, meaning artists have a wide selection to pick from. In order to get a selfie drawn, give it time. Also consider posting multiple selfies for others to pick. The best part of the app is the surprise. Users never know when a sketch could become a masterpiece.

February 2015 Social Media Recap


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I’ve let this blog fall to the wayside and I admit full responsibility. It’s almost spring break though and I’m ready to make up the blog posts I’ve missed. To start with, here’s all the social media news from last month.

Social media’s biggest challenge challenge? Keeping brands in check via Forbes

How 3 Ordinary Americans are Getting Paid for their Social Media Posts via ABC News

How social media is shaking up recruiting; Punt, Pass & Pork via Sports Illustrated

Get More People to Share Your Posts on Social Media With These Top 6 Tips via Huffington Post

How social media can make your small business go gangbusters via The Week

8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand via Entrepreneur

Cable news and social media go all in on #LlamaWatch via CNNMoney

Twitter’s new tool should help curb those embarrassing social media hacks via The Washington Post

Beginner Rules of AP Style


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The Associated Press Stylebook is a manual that both journalists and public relations practitioners follow. AP Style includes rules and formatting suggestions for written documents. Journalists use it in articles, while PR practitioners use it in press releases. The stylebook changes a bit every year, sometimes to reflect cultural terms or new words. In general, there are few easy rules for journalists and PR practitioners to remember.

1. Numbers one through nine are spelled out, while numbers 10 and above are typically represented as numerals. Example: “I have three pets at home.”

2. Percentages are always represented as numerals, while the word “percent” is spelled out. Example: “I give 100 percent of my attention to this job.”

3. Ages are always represented as numerals. Example: “She is 25 years old.”

4. Dollar amounts use the “$” sign and express the amounts as numerals. Example: “You have $12,000 in the bank.”

5. Dates are represented as numerals. The months of August through February are abbreviated, and the months of March through July are never abbreviated. “Th” is also not used when mentioning the month. Example: “I have an appointment with the doctor on Dec. 6.”

6. Farther means physical distance, while further is an extension of time or degree. Example: “You walked farther than your friend” or “I will look further into the issue.”

7. Street addresses are expressed as numerals. If terms like “street”, “way” or “road” are paired with a number, they are abbreviated. If not, they are spelled out. Two exceptions are “route” and “road”, which are never abbreviated. Example: “You live at 546 Sycamore St. Her work office is on Holmes Road.”

8. United States and U.S. are used in different cases. United States is used as a noun, while U.S. is used as an adjective. Example: “I live in the United States. I live on U.S. territory.”

9. Job titles are capitalized before a person’s name, but lowercase after the name or independent of it. Example: “President Barack Obama is in the White House. The president is speaking.”

10. Media titles, like those of films, books and songs, are capitalized and put in quotation marks. Quotation marks should not be used for reference books, magazines or newspapers. Example: “I saw the movie ‘Frozen’ last week.”

Interested in knowing more about AP Style? The stylebook can be purchased online for multiple devices. To purchase the AP Stylebook, click here.

Five Apps for PR Professionals


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There are apps for everything, including the public relations field. Some PR apps can help with interviews and writing. Others can manage work files and social media. PR Daily has a list of 50 apps they recommend. However, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.

For practitioners new to apps, here are five of my favorites. I’ve summarized their names and features in this post. While laptops and desktops are preferable, these mobile apps can give practitioners a leg up while working outside the office.

  • Call Recorder. This app allows busy practitioners to tape interviews over the phone. Say you need to get a quote from an executive for a press release. You can easily call them and record their quote. It’s a great method for getting the precise wording from a phone interview.
  • Evernote. Evernote works on both mobile devices and on computers. It’s a workspace that you can use on either technology. It stores notes and to-do lists for the busy professional. It’s an especially helpful app for staying organized.
  • Adobe Photoshop Express. Free for both iPhone and Android users, this app offers on-the-go photo editing. Users can crop and adjust colors on the image before sharing it on various sites.
  • Facebook Pages Manager. Many PR practitioners specialize in social media. Since social media runs round the clock, it’s important to have access to it on a smartphone. The pages manager app gives practitioners flexibility to answer messages and make posts on their phone.
  • Pulse. Pulse keeps practitioners up-to-speed on news, blogs and social media. It gathers all new information into one place. It’s a popular way for PR people to keep up with trends and important news updates.

What apps do you use for public relations? Share your picks in the comments.