Ecologne's Blog
words tend to linger



It’s the end of another school year and that means the end of classes only after we take our finals. The final for this Public Relations Writing class is to create a top ten list of everything we learned during our time together.

Over the semester we covered a lot of practical information concerning the field of Public Relations. We went from focusing on the actual writing of documents and AP style to photography composition and relationship building.

These are the top ten things I learned through the course…

10. Twitter and Social Media: They have some benefits to the professional market. They allow the ability to establish connections, find new clients, get in touch with other professionals in the field and offer outlets for relevant news to be shared among the masses.

9. Invisibility: Many of the things you write may not be published under your name. Your goal is to be published and get your name out among clientele networks, but the public may never know a piece you’ve written. Knowing this, you should write in a manner that keeps your identity hidden.

8. Broadcast Writing: Broadcast writing is completely different than text written to be read by the audience. Writing to be communicated audibly has to be structured differently. It has to be more conversational and simple in order to allow a broader audience to comprehend the message, follow along and still learn something from the script.

7. Photos and Captions: Sending out photo news releases provides a visual edge to your story. This can assist in engaging your audience in a manner that will help them feel as close to the action as possible. Captions and even down to the composition of the photo are useful in attracting the audience to read your story over one without that may have been skipped over because of no appeal.

6. Client Relationships: There is no job to be done without a client. Keeping a solid relationship with your client is crucial. Everything you do, everything you write, everything you send out is to promote your client, so it’s important to be sure you fully support what your client is about and what he or she does.

5. Social Media News Releases: This a newer form of communicating to a digital public. SMNRs are very convenient and are an effective tool in sending out a broad scope of resources to bring the public back to your message or product.

4. Blog Comments: Though it took some time to learn this, I see how important posting comments onto other people’s blogs is. This creates conversation within the blog and connects your blog with others of similar subjects. People who read your comments may then also click over to view your blog, creating a broader network of who your blog reaches.

3. AP Style: The Associated Press has created standards for how writing should be done in a wide range of mediums. Following AP style is crucial to getting published and sometimes respected as a writer. It is important to follow up on AP guides due to the constant additions and changes that are made every year.

2. Blogging: From creating one to understanding how difficult it is for me to keep up with one; what I need to improve on in order to bring people to my blog while keeping it fresh. Blogging opens the doors for others to follow up on what you think is important and is a great medium for quick, informative references.

And the number one lesson I learned from PR Writing is….

1. Personal Interaction: Making physical contact (shaking hands, meeting in person, etc.) is the most important thing a PR practitioner can do to establish and maintain healthy relationships. It is imperative to remember that we shouldn’t connect with others just for what we can get out of them.

  • Comment to Boulware: This is a great site to learn about making Social Media News Releases, and to find real world examples to model after. I’ve come to find that SMNRs are just a combination of the majority of the projects and assignments we’ve done in class, so it isn’t so intimidating to create one.
  • Comment to Zahn: I definitely agree with this. One of the main purposes of blogs, along with why they have become so widespread and accessible to the masses, is the interactive capabilities they come with. We want people to not only read what we’ve distributed, but to then also offer some feedback so that we can get a conversation going. I would say in order to write an effective blog comment, a few things might be suggestable: responding to questions within the post (as I’m doing now), provided another angle to the post, or even placing links within the comment that give the author and readers more information that may not have been included in the original post.
  • Comment to Kosiek: You’re right, this video does put a lot of public relations tactics in one quick folk song. It does help people get a feel for and understand concepts or technology better when used in these kinds of ways. It takes a person who understands the material thoroughly to break it all down and do something creative like this. It reminds me of those Plain English videos that Prof. Nixon shows us in class sometimes.
  • Comment to Duffy: This does propose a dilemma. I remember taking Media Ethics here at SEU and having to cover this issue. A reporter’s job is to give a full report on the subject at hand, but while I don’t believe truth to be a relative topic, I would say this is an area that is reliant on the reporter and the story’s convictions. As a reporter, you have the decision to show the story as it is or to edit suggestive material. If you choose not to show something like a man being shot, there are certainly ways to present the story either way. I do think the story has more effectiveness when shown uncut, but the question then is what stories do you qualify as highly necessary to give an uncensored account for? Personally, when it comes to the stories of Jesus, I would say it is of high importance to report on the extreme nature of the situation.
  • Comment to Hertha: I can relate with you on a few points here. I think it really depends on the podcast that you are subscribing to. If you’re playing a podcast that you’re not interested in (which is usually the case when you are obligated to listen to one), it will certainly be more difficult to pay attention. I have found that sometimes I have to keep myself occupied when listening to podcasts that I am interested in though. This is where video podcasts come in. These are a lot easier to follow, being that we live in such an attention deficit prone culture, but they do help. If you’re looking for a podcast, look for something you’re interested in, see if they have video editions and try to keep yourself occupied if possible while you listen.
  • Comment to Harris: Good tips for those unfamiliar with how to go about job searches. It can be very difficult, in a bad economy or a good one, to land a the job you’re looking for; sometimes you even have to take a job you’re not that interested in just to get by (just make sure you don’t get stuck there if it’s not what you want to end up doing). I’ve come to find that one-page resumes are best for college graduates as well, as some employers aren’t willing to take the time to read through an entire dissertation of a job seeker’s resume. It does also help to know what the job you are applying for entails in order to tailor your resume to that position, as you mentioned. Knowing what the position entails will allow you to answer questions using relevant terminology, which may catch the employer’s attention… Great advice.
  • Comment to Boulware: Social media news releases are actually a lot easier than I thought they would be. It was very interesting to see how people have learned to gather loads of information all in one place to give the best report possible on a particular subject. I think SMNRs are one of the greatest tools to access information these days just because of their convenience and ease-of-use. They are certainly one of the most effective ways to impact your audience with just about any interesting angle, from music or video to pictures or text. There is so much advantage to putting a packet together like that. The other option for this assignment seemed to be pretty simple for you too. Your resources are very helpful.
  • Comment to Boulware: Obviously there are many things PR professionals can do to annoy journalists, and I think this is a good topic to take into consideration for those looking to be in the field of public relations. Some of the quirks might seem like small matters, but PR professionals have to keep in mind they are working in service toward the journalist, not necessarily the other way around. Those small quirks can add up to become giant hindrances to building effective relationships with journalists, especially when that particular journalist experiences the same pet peeve multiple times a day from different contacts.
  • Comment to Boulware: Haha, nice title. It really is difficult these days to stand out in such a diverse and competitive market. There are so many bloggers out there just because it’s a free service to start one and a good percentage of people in the world have basic access to the Internet on a daily basis, so these tips are a great help to people who are really trying to get their messages out there to the public. Google Analytics is also a useful tool for many people, I remember going over that in Neuman’s class. It’s such a seemingly desperate attempt to have to do all these things just to catch some hits in the blogging world. I’m sure we’ll be seeing your wedding design site coming up pretty soon… haha
  • Comment to Suarez: Very true. Writing for a listening audience is a completely different exercise. Those differences are an acquired skill as well, sometimes people have an easier time with it though. It takes some practice to write for broadcast radio or TV if you’re used to writing for school assignments or some kind of print. Also, it seems that you have to dumb down your words in a sense in order to appeal to wider audiences because the majority of people might not know what you’re talking about, or might not be able to follow along at all. It is important to keep those audiences in mind when writing for any kind of assignment, but no one wants to break it down so far to where it sounds as if he or she is talking to kids, unless the message is geared to kids of course.
  • Comment to Caudhill: This is a growing problem. A friend of mine just bought this movie on Blu-Ray from Wal-Mart. To my surprise it also came with a regular widescreen DVD, which is something I suppose is becoming a new trend as regular DVDs seem to start becoming old technology. The problem though was that the regular DVD would not play on three different Playstation 2’s I have here in the dorm. We eventually got it to play on my laptop, which obviously does not offer as large of a screen as a TV does, but the laptop screen is HD so it worked out alright. I suppose the issue is that the technology for Avatar is too advanced for the PS2, and maybe that there is too much information on the disc itself, which wouldn’t surprise me considering the types of footage used to shoot the movie. Seems like we’ll all have to upgrade to Blu-ray players soon.
  • Comment to Cottom: I just posted a review about the iPad a few hours ago. The review is from, if you’re interested in checking out more information on iPads or other technology. I’d recommend checking reviews before you or anyone else you know buys anything these days, because usually with new technology there comes a lot of problems with newer models. The iPad is supposed to be the stage between iPods and laptops and seems to be more of an attempt to move technology in that kind of direction. It is pretty incredible how far we’ve come in terms of what devices are capable of these days. I can’t even imagine where things are going to end up in 20 years.
  • Comment to Duffy: I have yet to do my top ten list, but I did learn a few things about public relations throughout the semester. We got exposed to a lot of different areas that PR practitioners are involved in within this class. I didn’t realize how big a deal proper AP style is in the fields that require them until this class, and I think that is one of the most important lessons we can utilize beyond the course. I do think keeping blogs simple and with a legibly well-organized layout is highly important to keep readers interested. It is of course just as important to focus on the content of your blog as well, which is something I feel many people tend to forget. We do all the elaborate features and simple layout in order to get a particular message out there, so that is something we can’t forget in the future. The pictured numbers you have in your post are a creative use of a blog’s capabilities, by the way.
  • Comment to Gil: This post has a pretty unique layout to it and is still very simple to follow. That’s a very important trait in the public relations field, along with the content of course. This post has great information that I’m sure is relevant to many people who may not even have knowledge of the best cities to go right now. I think it’s very interesting to read these lists and see what cities are in the top rankings, some stay within the same ranks for a couple of years, I’m not sure what the listing is with Forbes every year though.
  • Comment to Gonzalez: Good post. I wasn’t even aware of this eruption when it happened– sometimes being at Southeastern and having so much work can cause various forms of seclusion where the only news you hear is campus news. Once I did hear about the volcano though I immediately started looking up pictures and information about it. Thank God it wasn’t as destructive as volcanoes have been in the past, but it did provide some great shots for photographers. I saw a slideshow on CNN that was pretty incredible, if you wanted to check it out, but Twitter has proved itself to be good for one thing, and that’s finding information. I’d have to agree with Erin on that subject.
  • Comment to Hughes: It has been an interesting semester for this class and trying to keep up with everything. I can relate to you in updating blogs on a consistent basis. It was difficult to adjust toward making the effort to blogging regularly, but it is a very interesting medium of communication that I believe is very useful for all kinds of businesses and communities. I will say, however, that the point about all journalists not wanting an embargo date isn’t true. When Jeff Houck spoke in our class he just pointed out that he doesn’t want to ever receive those, but that some journalists do.
  • Comment to Kosiek: I remember when Jeff came to speak in our class. He had some great information for people looking to move forward in the public relations field. It’s not something I believe I will pursue, but it was interesting to hear a few things he had to say. Shaking your hand was, in my opinion, the most important message that he brought that day and by physically acting out what he was talking about I believe he solidified his point even further. It seems to me that sometimes people can get so caught in advancing a career that they only approach people for what they can get out of them. Good post.
  • Comment to Liette: This is pretty helpful when thinking how to go about a story for a journalist. For a public relations professional, you can tailor your deliveries in a manner that will make the journalist’s job a lot easier. It’s comes to my attention that in all storytelling you are going to have a basic structure to allow it to flow. When you look up writing novels, film scripts, plays, etc. that structure exists, and that is having a clear beginning, middle and end. The same goes for multimedia storytelling, you have these extraneous materials (images, video, audio), but they are there to enhance the story and must have a purpose. The NewsU courses offered are great starting points to learn and consider the basics of the subjects given.
  • Comment to Ginger: One thing I’ve discovered by taking this class is how important news releases can be. I wasn’t too familiar with the whole scope of them before, but I think I have a much better grasp on them now. You are right in mentioning the importance of creativity when making news releases because so many go out these days that so little seem to stand out. Finding out if a story is newsworthy can be tricky though, but if you take Neuman’s Journalism class here (if you haven’t already), you can learn how to make that happen better. That is an important message to take out of there because while we shouldn’t cater to every want of people, it is important to know what will catch their attention.
  • Comment to McLaughlin: These are good tips for beginning bloggers. It’s been a bit difficult trying to maintain my own blog through the semester for various reasons, but I still try to consider a few of these tips when I am posting to my blog. Blogging consistently is probably one of the main factors that get people coming back to your blog because you eventually become their source for the news or information that they are looking for. A lot of the things we did in the PR Writing class were very practical for the field of public relations, for those aspiring to get involved.
  • Comment to Molitor: This is something that seems needed, especially after the oil spill in the ocean that recently happened. It was pretty ironic how a lot of the danger became possible on Earth Day. Coke definitely has the money and the means to accomplish something like this, and I think teaming up with Facebook is an even smarter method that would help the cause. It’s interesting when you see these big name corporations resort to how much of a vital role social media can play in these campaigns over the years. You really see a lot more of this going on as sites like Facebook become available to more and more people.
  • Comment to Rollings: I remember a few of this year’s Superbowl commercials, some of them were pretty good. My favorite was also a Doritos one. I don’t know if you saw it, but it was the one with the guy who was eating Doritos out of a friend’s bag and was then warned not to do so. The owner of the bag came out and threw a Dorito at the guy’s neck like a ninja star… I’m not sure if you know which one that is, but I recommend that you look it up if you haven’t. I know it’d be easier to post the link here on a comment, but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet. It did seem that the majority of commercials this year was between various beer brands and Doritos though.
  • Comment to Scott: I really like the layout that you’ve put on this post, it makes reading it very simple to follow and easy on the eyes. Sometimes I have trouble finding the right graphics for a particular post, either because I don’t spend enough time looking for the perfect one, it becomes hard to come up with the right words for a search engine or I just have difficulty thinking of a visual representation for whatever my topic is that day. I think your design for your whole blog works pretty well for you actually. Is this your first blog?
  • Comment to White: Social networking sites are really catching on for multiple purposes. It’s been incredible to see how things have gotten over the years, from before anything like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube (sometimes a social networking site in itself) to where we are now. I’m not so familiar with FourSquare still, I haven’t looked at it at all. I remember Jeff Houck talking about it, and of course Prof. Nixon is already signed up, but I’m sure I’ll be hearing more about it soon enough. It makes me think about where things might end up if Twitter can “Change the World”…
  • Comment to White: I can identify with a few things you said in this post. It can be encouraging when you see hits being made on your blog, but to get actual feedback on what you’ve written is a whole other deal. This shows people, as you said, appreciating your thoughts and fulfilling the purpose of the blogging idea. People create blogs in order to spark up conversation, so I’ve never really understood why people would disable comments on their blogs. If someone can contribute to the subject you’re interested in, why wouldn’t you want that contribution? Also, allowing people to disagree with you will help in developing the conversation to a greater understanding. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know about your “cyber-feelings” theory though, haha. Nice post.

Recently Vitamin Water launched a campaign, teaming up with Facebook users in creating a new flavor to their arsenal. The verdict is out and I’ve gotten my hands on a bottle, which is available in SEU’s cafe.


Interested in buying an iPad? You might want to check a few reviews before forking over your cash. CNET‘s reviews have provided detailed customer reviews for numerous products out on the market.


From Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques:

Five Elements Given Within Media Databases (Providing Contact Information):

  1. Names of Publications
  2. Mailing Addresses
  3. Fax and Telephone Numbers
  4. E-mail addresses
  5. Key Editors and Reporters

Tip Sheets- Weekly newsletters of updated information including:

  • Which reporters have changed information
  • What assignments have been modified
  • What the reporter is currently looking for
  • How to contact reporters who have changed contact information

From Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques:

Audio Releases and Public Service Announcements

Audio News Releases (ANR):

  • May be 60 seconds in length
  • May contain sound bites of 20 seconds or less
  • Contain pre-planned, scripted material

Public Service Announcements (PSA):

  • Also referred to as a Community Service Announcement (CSA)
  • Unpaid advertisements
  • Typically used to raise awareness about a public issue
  • May be 60, 30, 20, 15 or 10 seconds in length

From Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques:

Several factors contribute to a well developed photo:

  • Color
  • Lighting and Timing
  • Scale
  • Action
  • Composition Technical Quality
  • Subject Matter
  • Camera Angle

Covering ethical and legal ground:

  • Question if photo changes reality in any way
  • Evaluate if photo can possibly deceive
  • Ask if promotion moves away from photographer’s original subject in photo

News release captions vary from 2-4 sentences in length, but captions within Photo News Releases are longer due to the focus.


In the spirit of public relations, Baskin Robbins has been allowing citizens to sign up for reminders for the April 28th national day of 31 cent ice cream.

Anyone can go into Baskin Robbins between 5 and 10pm tonight and get up to three scoops of their favorite ice cream for 31 cents a scoop.


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