Tracking the journey of PRCA 3330

I’m not quite sure what to make of this “rap”. I realize every radio network is reaching to gain new viewers but this is just awful. I commend the attempt, but this honestly just made me laugh. When I listen to NPR it isn’t in search of rap music or anything related. I listen to get updated NEWS. Has it really come to the point that radio stations have to compromise their image to try to stay relevant?

NewU’s Five Steps to telling a Multimedia Story was a less than exciting review of how to tell a multimedia story. Generally I look forward to taking NewU courses, but this one did not live up to the expectations past courses have set. The text that accompanied the course was long and dry which made it hard to read.

The course broke story telling into 5 basic steps:

  • Choosing a story- be sure to look for a story that is multidimensional and can be portrayed through video, graphics, audio, and photographs
  • Making a storyboard- make a storyboard to organize your ideas and define your resources; this will help to define the limits of your story and identify any thing you may be missing
  • Reporting with multimedia- be sure to go out in to the field fully prepared; a multimedia story needs to be well planned out and not thrown together
  • Editing for the web- once you have finished shooting, compare what you acquired with your intended storyboard; use only the best quality media you obtained; try to use the different varieties of media evenly
  • Producing the story- make use of a web designer as your editor

Overall the most helpful section of the course was “Reporting with Multimedia”. The interactive activity helped you plan what to pack when going out into the field. The two sections were broken up into technology and basic needs. I would not have thought to bring items like plastic bags to act as a rain jacket for the lens if it were not for this activity. Having a well prepared pack ensures that you can capture all of the media you need in the moment. Often times there will not be an opportunity to make-up for anything you’ve missed.

 

PR Professionals and Journalists work together on a regular basis. For both parties, it is important to have a good relationship with those of the other profession. As a PR professional it is crucial for your company’s well-being to have the press on your side. Here are a 10 things NOT to do to keep the lines of communication open and thriving (based on my opinion and with the help of opinions of Loose Wire Blog).

1. When PR professionals don’t do their research concerning a reporter’s credentials it comes across as rude and insulting. With the amount of technology at our disposal it is VERY important to know about a reporter’s background. Do your research before asking easily avoidable questions.

2. It is only natural to be curious about what a journalist thinks about your product or when your story is going to be released, right? Often times PR professionals give in to that urge and bother journalists with questions before they are finished. After you have given your product to the reviewer or submitted your news release to a journalist, the ball is in their court or you run the risk of annoying them and hurting your company.

3. It may seem like a good idea to mention to a journalist that a rival publication has covered your story, however it is not. If a journalist wants to cover your story it will be for their own reasons, not to cover something that has already been published.

4. While you may be concerned that a journalist may not portray your story in the exact manner, you MAY NOT ask to review their copy before it goes to press. Aside from being tacky, it makes the journalist feel like you don’t trust them… and that is no way to have a good relationship with the press.

5. Automatic or generic e-mail responses are a quick way to solve the problem of an overflowing in-box. However, they are also a quick way to hurt your relationship with a journalist(and your mother, for that matter).

6. It is easy to fall into the habit of contacting journalists when you need a story covered. Maintaining a good relationship with your journalist contacts year round is more beneficial.

7. While you may think your story is newsworthy, a journalist may not. If a journalist declines your story do not take offense or hold a grudge.

8. It is a PR professionals responsibility to get information out to the public. But it is important to remain tactful when doing so. Releasing the same information to multiple journalists WILL come back to bite you in the butt.

9. You may think you are doing a journalist a favor by keeping the amount of information you send them brief, but beware of giving them too little information. If a journalist does not have everything they need to write a story, they won’t.

10. PR professionals write in a specific manner that differs from the journalist’s style of writing. Do not credit yourself with being able to write a news story. Give the journalist the information they need to write the story and let them do it.

Chapter 12 of our text by Wilcox is especially important to PR professionals today and the up and coming PR professionals of tomorrow. Chapter 12 discusses writing for the web and other forms of new media that exist today.

I wish I had read this chapter before beginning my blog earlier this semester. The tips for online writing would have helped to ensure that my blog was as effective as possible from early on. It is important to know that writing online differs from traditional print writing. The format and rules are completely different. Online writing should be

  • Concise– an article written for the web should be no longer than one screen’s length; it is also interesting to note that an article written online takes 50% longer to read than a printed article
  • Nonlinear– articles written for the web should not have to be read in a certain order to be understood.
  • Conversational– by writing online articles the way that you talk it will make the article more interesting to your reader

Chapter 11 of our text by Wilcox is all about the importance of Media Relations. Media Relations is one of the most important responsibilities of PR professionals, so it is important to get it right.

PR Text
The textbook used by Nixon’s PRCA 3330 class for the fall 2010 semester.

My favorite section was about media etiquette. Most of the tips seem like they would be common sense, but because of their importance it is crucial to follow these guidelines:

  •  Don’t annoy the reporter about when/if your story will be published. You should assume that they received your news release unless you hear otherwise. You don’t want to irritate the reporter or come off as desperate.
  • Don’t take a reporter to lunch for any reason other than business. You don’t want to cross the line or break any company policies.
  • DO NOT give expensive gifts.  It makes others think you are trying to influence a reporter or editors thoughts about publishing or covering your story.  Keep gifts under $25.  Leave gifts at the door or with a secretary.  This way the reporter can decide to accept on decline a gift without pressure.

In chapter 10 of our text, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox, I learned several important things.

The chapter introduced the concept of “push” and “pull” strategies to me. The “push” strategy is when people put their news out there to media outlets.  An example is distributing email news releases on a regular basis.  The “pull” strategy is when you make your information easily available to attract journalists and media to the information.

The chapter also introduced the idea of tip sheets to me. I was unaware that publicists had a continuously updated sheet with contact information and what kind of material the client is looking for.

Even though I find it extremely creepy, the latest craze in social networking is all about location, location, location. Location focused social networks are popping up all over the place! Foursquare and Gowolla  have dominated the scene so far, but there is a new player in the game- Facebook’s Places. As the largest social networking site today, Facebook is doing anything in their power to stay current. Facebook is constantly changing and adding features to stay on top of the social media totem pole.

Location focused social network can be a great tool for PR professionals. By users “checking-in” to your company, you are able to track your public and reward their loyalty. Companies have started to offer incentives for checking into their location, and now with the upcoming holiday season I’m sure they will offer exclusive sales to those who “check-in”.

While I don’t want everyone knowing my exact location at all times, there are some pretty lucrative reasons to join a location-based networking site. In today’s economy you have to do all you can to save every penny, and the exclusive deals offered to the users of these sites may be enough to cause me to jump on the bandwagon!

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