Archive for the ‘Public Relations’ Category

PR Daily gave the advice that to improve your writing, you should annihilate the phrase “the fact that” from your writing immediately. Everyone uses it and knows they use it. It’s overused and usually doesn’t look good in a sentence. “The phrase generally signals a sentence that could profitably be recast”, says Bill Bryson. If you catch yourself writing this phrase, it would mean that you can rephrase the sentence and take that phrase out completely.

If it improves your writing, then by all means please do remove it. I know myself that I never thought of it that way and I use it all of the time. If removing the phrase from a sentence doesn’t stray from the meaning at all, then omit it. Usually removing it will have no effect on the sentence, it just adds wordiness to the sentence. Dr. Cotton, professor of my Creative Writing and Advanced Expository Writing courses, has taught so much to eliminate wordiness and make the sentences more concise. It is so vital in writing, and if omitting just a tiny phrase like this helps, then I know what I will be doing from now on. How about you?

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One word. Just one simple word appeared in press releases the most, that number being 776 different times, in just a 24-hour period. That word, the word that topped the list, was “leading”. It doesn’t surprise me that “leading” was the word that beat all others, as many press releases are about leading organizations, leading products, and other leaders in the industry. “Solution” falls behind at second place, with 622 times in the same 24-hour period.

Adam Sherk took 25 of the most used “Buzzwords” in marketing and PR and ran them through PRFilter, a website that aggregated press releases.

To see the full list, check this out.

Top Ten!

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Public Relations, Topics of the Week

No, this post is not about basketball, or baseball, or any sport for that matter. In this post I will go through the top ten things I learned this semester while in Barbara Nixon’s Public Relations course at Southeastern.

We learned a lot of things this semester, from making resume’s to the difference between PR firms and departments. All of it is substantially important information, and I did learn a lot this semester during this course. Some of what we went over, like Twitter and social networking, wasn’t new to me, but was still a great way to learn about them from a professionals point of view. I never considered all the work those in the public relations field have to go, and I now have a lot more understanding and respect for them.

I would say the number one thing I learned was how vital networking is to the job. Networking keeps those in contact with their customers and supporters, and is so important that many companies, if not all, wouldn’t be operating without it.

Number two would have to be the resume. I never really knew how to make a resume before taking this class, and I was always worried about that. I always thought it was going to be such a hard and complex process to go through, but it really isn’t. There’s practically nothing to it but listing and describing, which is so easy to do. Good resume’s can make or break your employment and hire status, and making one that is professional and well made is vital.

Number three, which ties into number two, is keeping up with the day to day business of the companies you are interviewing for.

Number four, is that the classroom is not the only place that you can learn about PR. from NewsU courses to LinkedIn and other sources, there are many resources out there to stay educated.

Number five, blogging is very important.

Number six, twitter accounts, facebook pages, and more, are all vital resources and important to keeping customers up to date about the going-ons of the business.

Number seven, along with number six: be careful about those accounts, make sure they aren’t hacked or mistakenly used when someone forgets to log off.

Number eight, stay up to date, with everything going on in the world. Many websites, especially prdaily.com are very helpful for that.

Number nine, writing skills are very important. Being a good writer is most of the battle, and something that is vital to being a good PR practitioner.

Number ten, public relations can be a lot of fun if handled the right way.

This semester was a great introduction to the world of PR, and I look forward to taking more classes and learning more.

Five year old Savannah saved her father’s life after he had a heart-attack and was unable to speak. She remained very calm throughout the entire phone call with the police and was very cooperative and reassuring to her father. The phone call is below to listen to.

I found this story amazing. The fact that this young child was so patient and calm during the whole process with the dispatcher on the line is amazing. I loved listening to the phone call and hearing how nice and cooperative not only Savannah was, but also the police officer. One of her biggest worries was picking what to wear for when the ambulance got there as she had to change out of her pajamas. She was very reassuring to her father through the whole process and made sure her father stayed awake and okay until the ambulance got there.

This is a great story to hear and I still am fascinated by it.

As I searched PR Daily, I came across this post and was immediately interested. It’s always fascinating to me to see what products we know by their brand names, and I thought this article was awesome at bringing them forward.

From garbage dumpsters, to frisbees, we all know certain products and items by their brand names. Often times we don’t realize that Kleenexes are actually called “facial tissue”, and that Kleenex is the most known brand name that produces the product. When someone is about to sneeze, they often ask for a Kleenex, instead of a tissue. Bandaids are another prime example.

The “adhesive bandage” was invented by Johnson and Johnson, and now the “Band-Aid” brand name is seen all over the household, so why not just use the shorter, more convenient name when one is needed?

When ones lips are really dry, we often ask for chapstick. Lip balm just sounds weird to me, and chapstick is an easier way of saying you need it. Even when we are using Burt’s Bees brand, we still refer to it as chapstick, even though that is technically not what it is.

Other examples given were the hula hoop, styrofoam, and post-its. I think it was very interesting to see the origin of some of these items as well as what their true name is that we don’t establish them with.

See the list of 32 that BuzzFeed gave here.

For my presentation in class I am doing the section in Chapter 20 that deals with Social Organizations and Fund Raising. This was a fun section to do, even though I already knew the basics behind a lot of what was talked about in it, it was still a good section to read and create my presentation for so I can educate myself more, and my classmates more.

In doing this presentation I learned more about social organizations and what they do, and the different kinds. I learned that there are seven different categories of social agencies, and what exactly the term “social” in “social organizations” means. “Social” includes service, health, cultural, religious, and philanthropic organizations. Communication is essential for the organizations success, therefore they require active, creative public relations programs. I learned that about the seven categories: social service agencies, health agencies, religious organizations, welfare agencies, cultural organizations, and foundations. The book had a lot of good information on each category of organization, which was very helpful.

The public relations goals that were listed were also very helpful. The goals it listed were: develop public awareness of the organization’s purpose and activities, induce individuals to use the services the organization provides, create educational materials, recruit and train volunteer workers, obtain funds to operate the organization. The amount of detail the book went into with each of these was amazing to read and learn from. It really went into grave detail especially with volunteers and how to recruit them, which was very helpful in learning how to do so.

The fund raising section built upon a lot of knowledge that I already knew, but was still good to read. A lot of the risks and ways of fund raising I already knew about, but it was good to get the professionals point of view on the subject matter. I see a lot of the risks and methods of fund raising in my every day life, from telemarketers to direct mail sent to my house, I have been around it for quite some time.

Reading up on all of this new information was a great way to broaden my knowledge on the subject matter, and I look forward to giving my presentation to the class next week.

Attached is the powerpoint I made for the presentation.

PR presentation

The family restaurant Applebee’s is facing one of their biggest PR disasters in the companies history after it’s Madison Heights, Michigan, store served alcohol to a minor. The biggest catch however, is that the minor is only 15 months old.

Many restaurants have been caught doing this, and Applebee’s is the newest one to fall victim. Server’s at this Applebees gave the 15-month-old boy a tequila-induced sippy cup that was meant to be filled with Apple Juice. The child took a few sips of the drink, put his head on the table, and fell asleep for a short period of time. Upon awakening, he was very happy, saying hello and goodbye to everyone, and when his food came, he didn’t touch it. Parents took him to see the doctors and they found his blood-alcohol level to be .10, which is .02 above the legal level of a legal adult. Doctors said that if he drank the whole cup, he would have died.

Also, on March 31st, an Olive Garden in our own college town of Lakeland, Florida, was found guilty of serving an alcoholic sangria to a two year old, who was supposed to receive orange juice.

The media jumped on both cases, because as Public Relations consultant Katherine Paine told USA Today, “It’s too good a story. It’s got babies, alcohol and food.”

“In an industry that serves more than 150 million meals every day, these are two extremely rare occurrences,” the National Restaurant Association statement read. “However, we believe that even one incident like this is too many.” Both restaurants declined interviews and left it to their PR professionals to handle.

Restaurant and PR consultants say that both restaurants must retrain staff, rethink policies, limit bar use, be forthcoming, and involve folks. Personally, I think this is ridiculous. Yes this may be a very rare occurrence, but once is too many times to let this happen. These children could have died because of the mistakes that servers and bartenders made in both instances, and they would have been not only on the restaurant’s hands, but those servers as well. It would have been a PR nightmare even bigger than what it is now.

I can only hope and pray that this never happens again.

Watch the news video for Applebee’s here