Wrapping up the year

It is one of the last weeks of the semester. Finals are upon everyone, and the only thing keeping myself going is now is knowing it will all be over soon. I’ve managed to get through my research project, personal website creation, and an IS course group project in the past few weeks. College is a time to learn how to manage tasks well, and all the assignments and lengthy projects I am ready for a summer break. A break that lasts two weeks!

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Though I am taking 16 credit hours over the summer to graduate on time, I will enjoy the change of pace and weather. Though my grades have so far all been A’s, the weather has made this semester feel like it has been dragging on. Things I have learned this semester is to not put things off til last-minute, make sure to revise many times and if you work with a partner or a group, probably best to do it yourself because many student’s work ethics are not up to par.

It has been a long semester but I have so many great things to show for it. I completely samples of writing for my speech 313 portfolio, used this blog, wrote a research article and deployed my very own website. I’ve got determination and have gained multitasking skills. These skills I plan to take with me for my final year of college. I will have my senior assignment project as well as many other classes. I look forward to what lies ahead in the future! Even sooner I look forward to my summer semester.

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Never be bored with Netflix

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Lately I have been asked one reoccurring question; What are my interests? I have been working on my personal website, improving my LinkedIn account, as well as being interviewed for internships and each of these instances prompt me to list my interests and hobbies. Besides the things that all of my friends and peers see me often do, reading, being with friends, exercising, organizing and planning things, I would have to also include being a movie buff, know it all as well as movie expert.

Being a college student, access to watching any movie  I want to is not a realistic nor affordable possibility. I suggest for people who have the space nor money to store endless DVD movies to subscribe to a Netflix account. Netflix allows subscribers to stream movies and television shows on their computers, Xbox, and also Blu-ray players. This is a great way to catch up on old shows you loved growing up with, or your favorite movies and they are all in one place.

I use Netflix for rainy days, avoiding homework, or for the days that I am sick. Over the past year my boyfriend and I have managed to watch all episodes of Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, Greek, Vampire Diaries and are currently working on Frasier episodes. Netflix is also a great idea for date night. Making popcorn and sugary treats opposed to going out to the movies and spending at least $30 on the weekends is a more fun and inexpensive idea.

Netflix is also great to find those old gems you would otherwise have to specially order online. It is so simply. Just make an account and log into it each time you use a new device. Up to two devices may be used at the same time. I recommend Netflix to my family and friends as well as you all.

Chapter 6: Legal Influences

As a public relations writer there are so many things to consider when one is typing up a piece of copy. On top of the ethical standards a writer must follow and the AP writing rules, there are also legal issues that need to be closely followed. This chapter discusses how it is important to tie both legal and public relations approaches to communication methods.

Everyone may think there is freedom of speech, but when an individual or organization is writing for the media, they can not just say whatever they want. Neither may use the work others have create or violate a contract or regulations. Writing for public relations copy one must be extra careful not to break any rules. Asking permission first and looking up laws is better than finding out later you lost your job because of a simple mistake.

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When writing feature stories, news releases, direct mail letters, as well as many other forms of copy, a public relations writer needs to keep in mind trademarked and copyright ideas and items. Websites of companies, their pictures, quotes, all need to be properly cited when writing. Over the past semester I have been creating websites, all types of copy, brochures in class, and it is easy to forget about legal implications. It is best to try to think about legal issues alongside ethical issues when doing writing. That way a writer will never run into any problems.

Though I am in college for another year, the real world is facing me. I will have to sign a contract with my employer upon employment, and if I have clients, may have to sign contracts when providing services to that organization. These legal influences are not hard to follow once a writer knows about them.

Spring is in the air!

Two weeks ago our area experienced a snow storm, resulting in snow days for many people. This Monday however has resulted in Spring weather finally! People often get Spring fever and feel the need to do something with themselves. I have comprised a list of activities you can do by yourself or with your friends and families to pass the time in this beautiful weather!

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My first idea is to have a local picnic! This past Friday my boyfriend and I (yes were dating again) went to the gardens on our campus and brought a not so healthy lunch. In the past we have gone to places like Forest Park in St. Louis and our park back in our home town. So pack up a basket or cooler and grab family and friends and enjoy sunshine.

Another idea in this warm weather is to go on a walk either in nature, scenic or touristic route. Nearby places I could spend all day at is the historic downtown of St. Charles, Mo., almost any back road leading to a lake and the area around the St. Louis Arch and Zoo. It is nice to say you’ve been to places and checked them out. Bringing friends along is fun, but sometimes if I need to think to myself I prefer the nature routes.

I also suggest to beautify your surroundings. If I have my say, my house’s landscaping will be altered by the end of summer. I am going to also use big planting pots to plant flowers and put them on the patio. When you spruce up your yard, you will feel more happy each time you see your home.

My final suggestion is to spend as much time outside enjoying food. Grill out, cook out, whatever you call it make sure to enjoy this weather with your favorite foods and beverages. This is a great way to relax, socialize and catch up with friends.

Hopefully you don’t spend all your time this spring, but go outdoors and enjoy this weather with a few of my ideas!

Chapter 13: Web writing

I have had little experience for writing for the World Wide Web. This is a very important medium for all writers and contributors in the public relations field because it lowers the cost of communication and allows information to spread instantly. This chapter gave helpful tips on how to write successfully for an Internet audience.

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One great aspect of communicating for your client or corporation through the Internet is that is a two-way form of communication. In other mediums such as newspapers, direct mail, and brochures, a public relations writer can only communicate to the audience. By using the Internet  as a medium, there is a chance for immediate feedback from the audience. As a public relations writer we must always remember to continue growing the relationship between the client and its audience.

Remember that your audience is not global. This isn’t going to just be available to a local community, but everyone that can access the internet may be able to view the website on which you communicate. Make sure that your content will be relevant for everyone. There will be no gatekeepers to edit or distribute your content so make sure it is proof read and find ways to get people to start viewing your website. The internet will not be effective for your client if no one will see your communication.

Other great tips this chapter included was make information readily available to clients, answer frequently asked questions, distribute news and information to the media electronically, develop mailing lists, and recruit personal.  Besides this blog and my social media accounts, I did not realize how many ways one can communicate through the web!

 

Chapter 12: Crisis

Companies should always prepare for the unexpected, but sometimes a crisis can happen suddenly.  This surprise and threat to a company can ruin the relationship between the public and the company, or end it entirely if not properly taken care of. This is where public relations writers and consultants come in handy. A crisis needs to be handled immediately because it may change the public and employees view the company in a negative light.

To plan for these surprises, a public relations specialist needs to form strategies to avoid any permanent damage. The chapter states five different crisis stages; Detection, preparation, containment, recovery, and leaning and evaluation. The crisis is managed by the public relations writers and specialists because they fully understand the environment the organization is found in. They also analyze every option and brings several approaches like Journalistic, Murphy’s Law, Public Relations Approach and Public Elations Approach.

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In a crisis there are writing strategies that should be taken into consideration. The organization needs to establish a clear position. This means stick to what you say throughout the whole process. Another strategy is to be honest and to be seen honest. If the media were to find out there was false statements and exaggerations, it would be harmful for the organization. Other strategies include being concise, look forward, do not blame others, and take advantage of your employer’s good reputation.

The most helpful media strategy discussed in the chapter besides cooperating with them is to work with the media that you know. If you make one person the spokesperson for the crisis, make sure they communicate through methods the company has a good relationship with.

Depending on where I end up in the public relations field, I hope to never deal with a major crisis. If that happens though, I will be prepared after learning these strategies.

Diminishing courtesy

As the days continue into this century, I have noticed how less often citizens are helpful and respectful of one another. Being that I love historical fiction books, movies, and any kind of history, maybe my ideals are outdated for a honest and caring community. Even though the times have changed, there is no need for our society to lack on being polite and courteous to one another. My strongly opinion comes from a recent incident of course, which i will explain to you all.

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It began as any glorious Monday; That’s right we had a snow day on Monday. Growing up this meant making snowmen and building forts. In college this means a break from homework and classes. In my case it meant going to work, shoveling, and making a fort in my front yard. Unfortunately when I stepped out into mother nature’s weather, I noticed my car parked on the street. I usually try to park in the driveway, however with the snow I thought it safer to park on the street. End of the suspense, my car was side swiped and the mirror was dangling by its wires. Tire tracks were evidence that someone had ran into my car and scraped the side, even though the majority of the road was perfectly cleared off. No one left me a note with their information either.

It is instances like that that make me shake my head at certain people. I know I don’t have all the extra cash, but if I caused  an accident, I would have my insurance cover their damages. On campus my student colleagues do not open the doors for most girls, but instead rush in before them. At restaurants in the waiting area young people don’t stand and make room for the old. These are just common sense things I have been brought up with and have seen our society in the past contain.

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It only takes a little effort to make someones day. Be polite, be respectful and courteous. And above all, treat strangers the way you would like to be treated.

 

Chapter 8: Business writing

Being that I am a very organized person and love to plan things, I feel that I really understood this chapter.   This chapter discusses the importance of planning out writing for public relations and putting it to practice.

When writing a copy of work, you must think about your audience and who is going to read the content. The audience public relation writers focus on is the organization’s public as well as the organization itself.  When putting the pen to the paper writers must also consider the content, format, media and scheduling. Depending on what type of copy is being written, there are also several influences one must consider. Things besides the public include ethics, resources, legality, industry standards and practices to name a few.

After calculating the influences, one must then plan for the outcomes of the writing. I had never before considered this a step in the writing process before. There may be “soft” outcomes, which are generalities, and “hard” outcomes are quantitative, specific, and measurable. This chapter has given me a lot of thought and I will plan ahead now whenever I write for public relations.

 

Four years flash by

I know it is cliché to say college is the best four years of your life, however it has proven time and time again that it is. I consider the past three years to be the busiest as well as most significant years so far. This morning at 8 a.m. I got up for the tradition of registering for classes online. This time was significantly different though. I signed up for my summer and fall semesters of my senior year of college!

It suddenly hit me like a brick wall. This time next year I will be either in my internship or applying for real life jobs. Such a scary thought! When people say the next four years fly by, never did I think I would agree with them. As much as I want to live out my responsible, successful career and life, I will always enjoy the memories from college.

Some of my fond memories will be from my sorority, time on campus, and social activities with friends. As weird as it sounds I actually love to be in Lovejoy Library. As a bookworm the environment of a library has always called to me. It is a sanctuary for me, where I can get work done in a peaceful environment. When I’m out in the real world, I will only be able to do my work at my home, and I can promise it won’t be as calm and quiet.

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I also love to people watch and be in the moment. I really enjoy sitting outside or inside the Goshen to talk to all my sisters. It is fun to have these gathering places to take a break from studying. After college I feel I will have to resort to maybe places like parks or fitness centers to relax or catch up with friends during the day.

It is going to be more than just the bookwork, professors, and campus food I will be losing after graduating next year. It will be a familiar environment and comfort zone which I will be ready to give up when the time comes.

Chapter 11: Let’s Hear It

This chapter discusses the importance to writing skills for broadcasts, scripts, and speeches. This reminds me of a lot of material I am currently learning about in my advanced public speaking classes. When writing, especially in public relations, you need to think about your audience. What do you want it to sound like, what visuals do you want to include, and time frame?

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When writing for the TV news, it is important to consider the content will be live, and it will be audible and visual. In this type of writing, the main points need to be made clear to the audience. When writing for the radio, the content is also live, but listeners like myself don’t stay on the same radio station. It is important as a writer to be innovative and unique. In short segments there needs to be more special content than who,what,where, when, and why. Public relations speakers can use the radio to relay important information in a quick, convenient way. For writing speeches, writers especially need to format and length of copy.

Though we are learning about several types of copies in class, I had not thought about what the content would be like in different news medium.