The dreaded interview

February 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm (Comm 2322 Topics of the Week)

Interviewing can sometimes be very stressful. For graduates who are entering into their field for the first time, it is discouraging, however it doesn’t have to be. In the past week I have gained useful information on how to conduct yourself in a job interview.

Now, I’m looking at this from a woman’s perspective however men should be mindful to keep composure when asked the dreaded “What are some of your weaknesses?” question. Quite frankly, the best way to answer this is to answer honestly. If  you have an issue with time management then make sure to tell the interviewee, but spin it off into a good thing if possible. When you begin to feel nervous, focus on why you are there and how you are a fresh new employee with a lot of ambition and energy to handle not only the interview, but also the job.

Remember that you are going into an interview in an effort to provide a service to that company. Yes, you are there to get a paycheck, but try not to view the situation revolved around you. This is going to help you score in an interview. Look at it like “What can I do for my employer?” instead of “What is my employer going to do for me?”

I read an interesting article on some tips to interviewing. Some were surprising, such as the tip on mirroring the interviewee.  This might be beneficial to you if you are truly in a uncomfortable spot.

Also, be sure to check out a basic list of Do’s and Don’ts for a job interview. I particularly agree with the pointer on not chewing gum during a professional interview.

When creating a resume, be sure to use active verbs. I have attached a list here to help with that process. Include your high school if you would like, and any jobs that you kept during your college years. This will be a good sign that you are responsible with keeping up your grades while maintaining a steady job.

Keep your chin up and tuck in those shirts. Everything will come together nicely once you get the hang of it. Most of all, go with confidence.

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And the magic word is??

February 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm (Comm 2322 PR Connections, Comm 4333 PR connections)

Image Credit: Triling Studio LTd.

What makes a event newsworthy? Proximity, timeliness, human interest, etc. However, what do you do when your pitch needs a little something extra to really get those writers interested?

Just say the word green. Now everyone who wants to save the environment (or appear to do so) is interested in what you have to say.

In a recent article by Kevin Allen of Ragan’s PR daily, the importance of the word green has taken a serious hike since Al Gore’s 2006 documentary on global warming (or what now is known as global climate change). Anything laced with a positive spin on being eco-friendly has paid off in recent years. Allen uses the example of Mr. Peanut’s nut mobile. Nobody takes interest in the darn thing until all of a sudden the nut mobile gets a green makeover. Now several journalists cover this environmentally friendly story.

To Kevin Allen’s full story visit this web site.

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Why did you “like” it?

February 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm (Comm 2322 PR Connections, Comm 4333 PR connections)

Image Credit: Goldman

Social media has driven marketers and PR professionals to compete for the most “likes” of their product. As you all know, Facebook is full of businesses and companies that want you to “like” their stuff. Why? Well a recent article has proved that there are many benefits to “liking” a Facebook page. The number one reason why a consumer “liked” a company was because they wanted to receive discounts and promotions. The second reason was because they wanted to show support for the company. The third reason was because when you “like” a page, companies will often give freebies or promotional coupons to consumers just as a thank you. It’s a win win. Consumers get free stuff, and companies get free advertising and in addition to the free advertising, 17% of Facebook users are more likely to purchase a product after “liking” the company.

It’s no wonder why Oreo is the number one company that is “liked” on Facebook. Not only is it a delicious cookie, but the company basically gives you a free taste just by “liking” it.

Marketers are having a frenzy on Facebook! It’s possible that this will fade away with all social media marketing tools, however as of recently 46 million people log onto Facebook at least once a day, and millions more use Facebook even if they don’t log on every single day. This is the perfect environment for companies to take advantage of.

To view more statistics on Facebook usage check out this website.

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Great Marketing Tool

February 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm (Comm 2322 PR Connections, Comm 4333 PR connections)

Image Credit: Chris.Corwin

Apple has proven time and time again that they are the king of technology. Although this photo was not intentionally derived from the creative minds at Apple inc., this image has become an internet sensation. It portrays a large classroom in a university that is using mostly Macbook computers instead of any other brand. Has Apple done such a good job at marketing toward college students that they’ve taken over the whole population of twenty-somethings?

It sure seems like it. Considering these computers run much more expensive than the other lap top brands, the Macbook and Macbook pro seems to dominate in the normal classroom.

This seems true for Southeastern University as well. In many of our classrooms, Apple products are everywhere. We seem to fit this trend of purchasing the brand not just for technology, but for the sake of “fitting in”. Does the future of technology look like this? It appears so. Whatever Apple comes up with next is what the younger generations will eat up.

What will succeed Apple’s products? Functional displacement is a very real and serious threat to any new technology, let alone corporation. It will be interesting to see what the next 10 years looks like as far as technology is concerned.

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NewsU courses

February 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm (Comm 4333 Topics of the week)

I just recently took a NewsU course called “Writing for the Ear“.  I learned the basics of how reporters refine their speech when trying to pitch an idea to their company, or to the public. The course gives great tips on how to research a topic in order to have great leads. Also, the course teaches how to explore the topic even further to brainstorm possible outlines to the broadcast or printed story.

Interviews are important, and recording the interview may be very beneficial for you to do especially if you would like to leave the interview available for others to hear online. Writing for the ear gives some great advice on what kind of questions to ask and what kind of natural background noise is acceptable.

Although reporting is what takes up most of a reporter’s time, revising is crucial in order to tell a good story. There are many ways that a reporter can approach a piece in an effort to revise it. One technique that I took from the course was the art of mouth editing. This is to ensure the sentence or two sounds good to the ear.

I want to add that I am not particularly fond of the NewsU courses because I prefer to learn visually. Either shadowing someone who is performing the editing, or personally taking a stab at it myself is the best way for me to learn. Textbook learning is not effective for me, so unless you can truly learn best by reading about how to improve your writing skills instead of trial and error, I would say to get out there and do it yourself. Learn by making mistakes and figuring out your own style.

I would like to learn about interviewing more. We are taught that the only way someone is to improve their interviewing skills is to practice, and practice is what a reporter gets. This is truly how we can refine our work to write for the ear.

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Facebook is adding new options

February 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm (Comm 2322 PR Connections, Comm 4333 PR connections)

Two new relationship status options are being added to this social networking site. Due to the highly requested feature of having same sex relationship statuses, Facebook now has “In a civil union”, or “in a domestic partnership” as options. There are mixed feelings about this addition.

The gay population applauded Facebook’s decision to add the status to their options. It shows that Facebook is sending a clear message of support to the gay and lesbian community all over the world. Although most gay supporters are in favor of this new change, there is a small percentage who are unhappy with the special status given just for them. They claim that the word “marriage” is not good enough for them and that Facebook is agreeing with the world that same sex unions deserve a different label.

Then there is the anti-gay population. The conservative and/or religious community is not handling this so well. Many view the new status as being completely liberal, and setting a theme for the rest of society to be open to same sex marriage. Either way, most people are in agreement that Facebook is making a bold move on this issue.

For more information on Facebook’s new addition, check out this article.

Now if only they could add a “dislike” button.

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Texting while driving

February 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm (Comm 2322 PR Connections, Comm 4333 PR connections)

Image Credit: C. Todd Lopez

Everyone does it. A quick text sitting at a stoplight, or driving down the highway. Texting and driving is one of the most deadly things to do while behind the wheel, and the worst part is that the younger generation is addicted to it. We cannot put our phones down for a single minute, and it is devastating to see the consequences.

There is a youtube video that has become an internet sensation of a PSA commercial made by a police station in Whales. I have posted a link to this video but be cautious. Prepare yourself for a dramatic and gruesome awakening by watching.

I personally had a really hard time watching, and it just keeps going. My main point is just don’t do it. You can prevent yourself from texting and driving by tossing your phone in the back seat where you cannot reach it, or just let it ring! Most car trips are short, so just call them back when you arrive safely. If it’s an absolute emergency then pull off the road.

You may want to think about purchasing software where you can listen to text messages as you recieve them. New technology is even typing messages for you as you give it voice commands. Although this is still distracting, it is much better than handling your cell phone while driving.

Remember, you are also putting someone else’s life at risk by choosing to text while driving. Set a good example for your children and break yourself from the habit now.

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What happened to Branson reporting the Grammy’s?

February 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm (Comm 2322 PR Connections, Comm 4333 PR connections)

Serene Branson, a CBS reporter whom was covering the Grammy’s late Monday evening when she began to slur her words on air, and clearly stumbled over the topic she was covering. Shortly afterwards, Youtube was flooded with harsh statements about CBS hiring such an irresponsible employee to be drinking on the job. Then there were the few comments about how her slurred report could have been a neurological issue. Branson seemed to catch the mistake as she was delivering, however she continued with the rest of the report in the slurred manner, which left the viewers confused. What happened to Branson?

Nobody really knows because CBS is not speaking up. She didn’t go to the hospital afterwards, and was driven home by a friend just to play it safe if she began to experience anything more than fumbled words in her vehicle. Medical experts seem to think she has suffered a mini stroke, or a partial seizure in the language portion of her brain. This is raising questions about neurological issues in young women that has been on the rise since 1994. News reports of this incident are giving warning signs for women to learn so they may act accordingly when they begin to take notice in themselves, or someone else. If you would like more information on the warning signs then check out the American Stroke Association.

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Poynter

February 16, 2011 at 9:16 am (Comm 2322 Topics of the Week, Comm 4333 Topics of the week)

Want to learn how to get ahead in the fast paced world of social media and public relations? Then check out Poynter‘s website and learn all about what is going on today.

One of my personal areas of Poynter is the Latest news tab. I love current events and I like to keep myself updated on what is happening around the world. Most of the news topics are on journalism, marketing and PR subjects so that even when you are keeping up on current events, it will always relate to your profession somehow. Not only does this section cover current news events, but it also includes interesting and helpful features that are blogged or reported involving writing for any type of media.

Another area of interest is the training tab. This section of the website focuses on helping those who are interested in taking initiative in their careers and  learning how to broaden their horizon in their field by using new programs. Students can learn in person by attending workshops for a fee, or they can learn for free by taking the online classes for free. This section also helps current businesses achieve goals within the company to keep costs down and activity up. There are many ways that Poynter can inform the company, and the individual.

There is also a section on the website that lists jobs that are available. Prospective employees can view available  jobs and leave their resume for employers to view and pick through. This is great because all information needed is in one convenient spot for both the employee and the employer that are trying to meet their needs.

Poynter is a valuable tool in the communications business, and is a great home base to refer to whenever you are dealing with struggles with learning to use the Associated Press style , beginning to learn how to market toward a particular age group or even looking for a new job.

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The fast lane.

February 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm (Comm 2322 Topics of the Week)

Young people have a lot of energy. They have a lot of ambition, and they have a lot of drive because they are fresh out of college and ready to explore their field. They like to have their opinions heard and they enjoy working hard till they leave work, only to go home and sleep like a rock. This is why I think it is more beneficial for a new PR practitioner to begin their career in a PR firm.

There are many entry level opportunities, although pay is traditionally low. I think that everyone should start at the bottom of the chain of command to work their way up. Low pay comes with it. Usually new PR practitioners are young and do not have a family to support yet. Although low pay doesn’t cover student loans, that is how life works.

PR firms are fast paced and exciting. It’s not like corporate PR where work is slower paced. It’s a great opportunity to learn a lot, very quickly, and with a lot of variety. This is perfect for the younger people, who are energetic and not burnt out of the field. I would consider this the perfect beginner PR job because a lot of experience is gained in a short amount of time, and there is a lot of promotion opportunities.

Corporate PR is geared toward very talented and very seasoned PR practitioners. The pay is better, the benefits are better, and there is less turnover to fill up the day. I doubt  the average newbie has the patience to sit through a day at the office of a PR department. These jobs focus on a few specific areas, and in order to find a job, you must be good at that specific area. I just don’t see a new practitioner having the skills and experience to perform these tasks.

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