TOW 14 PR Writing Course

This course taught me a lot about the important steps one should take when writing for multimedia. There are many different approaches that one can take to get news and information out online, text, video, audio, animated graphics, maps, and still photos. All these can capture a reader’s attention and interests.

Text can be used to describe the history of the story or describe the process or provide accounts of an event. Text should only be used when another form of media cannot be used to convey the event properly.

Video is the best for depicting action. You can used this media form to take the audience to a place central to the story or to hear and see someone central to the story.

Audio makes photos seem more realistic. Using audio alone can be hard to understand sometimes. Avoid using it alone, but instead use audio with pictures to create intensity.

Animated Graphics show how something works. They can go where cameras cannot to provide the reader with information. This can be used as a primary medium.

Maps give a location to allow the reader to better understand where the story is happening or what is going on. Viewing different areas of a map is a great way to let the reader engage interactively on the website.

Photos emphasize strong emotion and create a mood for the story. They can be used to draw the reader to the focus of the story. The reason photos are so dramatic is because they do not pass quickly like a video. They stay still the entire time for you to observe them and make inferences.

What I would like to learn more about:

I enjoyed the course but I would like to learn more about photos and captions. I have always enjoyed photos, looking at them, or taking them. When I had to make a caption it was really hard for me so I am really interested in learning more.

“5 Steps to Multimedia Storytelling”


April 21, 2010. Assignments. Leave a comment.

10 Reasons How PR Professionals Drive Journalists Crazy TOW 13

10 reasons why PR professionals drive journalists crazy:

  1. Not doing necessary homework
  2. Taking work away
  3. Scheduling a news conference
  4. Using excessive hype about a topic
  5. Choosing a location  
  6. Sending Invites
  7.  Manipulation of the media  
  8. Accessibility after a conference
  9. Making Journalists sound boring
  10. Handling a conference

April 21, 2010. Assignments. 1 comment.

Blog Comment

I commented on Matt Cook’s post TOW 13

April 20, 2010. Blog Comments. Leave a comment.

TOW 11 Infographics

This week in my PR writing class we were given the topic of infographics. According to the book Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques an infographis are “computer-generated artwork that attractively displays simple tables and charts.” Infographics could be useful in a story for my client, American Kidney Fund, they will show about how much money the organization brings in for their clients every year. This could be useful because it would give the viewer a visual image of what my client has done and what they plan to do for kidney patients. In my class we were also asked to produce a infographic ourselves but I am not very good a charts and graphs of I found a few I thought would be perfect.

April 20, 2010. Assignments. Leave a comment.

TOW 9 & 10 Open Mic

The social network created by Robert French from Auburn University, PR OpenMic is a website available for PR practitioners, students, and grad students to network with other people interested in Public Relations.

This website has a lot of helpful links and tips to offer. First, you are able to make a profile to tell a little about yourself and your interests within the PR field. Then you can connect with people and discuss you interests or talk about the latest PR news. It is exactly what it sounds like, an open mic. You can blog right on the website which may entice readers to start following your blog. You can read other people’s blogs and there are links available to help you get started on your own blog if you have not done so. There are videos and photos that are updated daily and you can even upload your own videos for others to view. There are forums where you can post a question and have hundreds of people respond and spark up conversation or debate. I really enjoyed that you could search for jobs and internships on the site. This is my favorite part because as a college student about to be looking for a job it’s nice to know that there is some help out there. This is a great way not only to keep up with people in the PR world but also a great way to put yourself out there to join the PR world. I would recommend this site to anyone.

April 20, 2010. Assignments. Leave a comment.

Topic of the Week 8 Lead Lab

When we got to use The Lead Lab this week I was happy because writing leads is hard. It was nice that you got a refresh on who, what, when, why, how and so what because after so long your forget little things. The lead lab showed me two types of leads, direct or delayed. One is “tell me the news” and the other is “tell me the story”. With direct leads they are either summary or analysis. With delayed leads there are anecdotal, significant detail, round-up and emblem leads. I was really interested in the distinction between tension and conflict. I did not realize before that you should report on tension, not conflict. I want to learn more about the myths of writing leads. I think this is a big problem for me, and I think I have a set way that I believe is the right way to write leads. It was interesting to me to have some of these things pointed out to me. Overall I enjoyed the course and I really think I took in some valuable information.

April 20, 2010. Assignments. Leave a comment.

Chapter 14 Writing E-mail, Memos, and Proposals

  • Keep your messages short, sweet and to the point.
  • Emails can be overwhelming using wikis, text messages, RSS, and applications such as Twitter to reduce the flow.
  • Email is low cost but it is not substitutable for a replacement for personal one on one communication.
  • Email is less formal than a letter but more formal than a telephone call.
  • Business letters are personalized communication that should be well organized, concise, and to the point. They prevent misunderstanding and provide a record of an agreement or a transaction.
  • Proposals must follow a logical, well organized format. Prepared to convince management to make a decision about a contract or approve money and resources for a project.
  • A position paper or “white paper” gives the organization’s perspective on a particular trend or industry. Should begin with an executive summary or an overview so people can read the highlights in a few seconds.
  • Memos should be one page or less and state the key message immediately
    • Date
    • To
    • From
    • Subject
    • Message

April 20, 2010. Reading Notes. Leave a comment.

Chapter 12 Tapping the Web and New Media

Chapter 12 was about how the web and the new media work together. Writing for the web is different than writing on pen and paper. Writing for a home page is also different. When you are writing for your home page it is important to define the objective of the site and be sure that you are designing it with the correct audience in mind.

It is also important to make your websites interactive. The pull concept it a part of this. It is when people are actively searching for your site for answers. The opposite of this is the push concept. This is when information is delivered to you without you searching.

A good way to attract people to your sites is to use hyperlinks. If you site has many links, it will be more appealing to viewers and they will come to your site more often because it looks professional. Another important thing to have on your websites is a search engine. Search engines make it easier for viewers to find what they are looking for.

April 19, 2010. Reading Notes. Leave a comment.

Chapter 11 Getting Along with Journalists

A list of common sense guidelines:

  1. Know your media
  2. Limit your mailings
  3. Localize
  4. Send newsworthy information
  5. Practice good writing
  6. Avoid gimmicks
  7. Be environmentally correct
  8. Be available
  9. Get back to reporters
  10. Answer your own phone
  11. Be truthful
  12. Answer questions
  13. Avoid “off-the-cuff” remarks
  14. Protect exclusives
  15. Be fair
  16. Help photographers
  17. Explain
  18. Remember deadlines
  19. Praise good work
  20. Correct errors politely

Also, Gimmicks, such as T-shirts and coffee mugs, are not well received by reporters and editors.

For more information read  Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques (6th Ed.)

April 19, 2010. Reading Notes. Leave a comment.

Chapter 10 Distributing News to the Media

The five key components of an online newsroom are:

  1. Contact information
  2. Corporate background
  3. News releases and media kits
  4. Multimedia gallery
  5. Search capability


Media lists and e-mail addresses must be up-dated and revised on a regular basis

The vast majority of news releases and other press materials are now distributed via e-mail and through electronic news wires

Camera-ready features are widely used by news-papers and other media outlets because they reduce staff costs and fill space.

April 19, 2010. Reading Notes. Leave a comment.

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