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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Image via paulstallard.me

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.
  • Indeed.com 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.

February 2015 Social Media Recap

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Image via theweek.com

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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Image via apstylebook.com

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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Image via socialmediatravelers.com

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.

Buckle Down for Learning

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A new semester has begun. I’m already into a week’s worth of spring schoolwork. Based off initial impressions, this semester will be more difficult than last. For one, I’m taking an additional class. I’m also taking a graduate statistics course that counts as a cognate. But with everything on my plate, I think I should manage. Last August, my classwork was overwhelming at first but eventually I settled.

I’m still in the settling phase, but I’m starting my assignments for each class. I’ve already started a project and completed a paper and a lab. I’ve also read chapters for most of the classes. I’m not complaining though. If anything, I’m thankful that I have classes and work to keep me busy. I prefer being productive over idle. It’s a bonus that I’ll learn at the same time.

This semester I’ll be taking:

  • Graphic Communications. In this course we’ll be learning the basics of design software. We’ll also have a few design projects of our own, which I’ll most likely share on this blog.
  • Applied Statistics. This is an important class in terms of graduate education and research. I usually struggle with math, so I hope I’ll make a few breakthroughs this spring.
  • Public Opinion. This is a course taught through the journalism school at UGA each year. A number of journalism, advertising and public relations students take it since the topic has to do with their future careers.
  • PR Topics. This topics class specifically focuses on health communication. We’ll be looking at real world examples and creating health PR campaigns of our own.

Happy New Year!

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Image via messagesquotes.com

It’s a brand new year, folks. December 2014 did a number on me. I wrapped up my first semester of grad school, made gifts on a shoestring budget and caught a severe case of the flu. This only gave me more reason to put down blogging for a bit. I’ve come back with some gusto though. I’m ready to post on a (somewhat) regular basis with writing stories, thrifting ideas and PR tips.

I’m not a huge resolutions person. I make goals for each year, but I try to be realistic about them. Instead of losing weight, I try to lead a healthier lifestyle. Instead of simply saving money, I try to budget better and spend less on things like coffee trips or restaurant outings.

So for this year, my main goal is to try and slow down. I often work hard and burn out fast. I need to be better about pacing myself, especially since I’ve got plenty of years of work ahead. For 2015, I want to take things as they come. I want to naturally enjoy what happens in this new year. Details of this adventure to come.