Monday, October 27, 2008

Violent Desires for Press Releases

After reading Tom Foremski's blog (Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die), I feel I should hate traditional press releases. However, I know that in certain instances they are a neccessary. That being said, I found myself agreeing with his views even though I felt a little out of the loop (His blog was published in 2006). His inflammatory post called for a standardized format for media news releases (or social news releases).

Foremski proposed altering the format of the traditional press release into the following sections: a brief description (minus spin), page of qoutes from executives, customers, and analysts, financial information in a variety of formats, and links (inside copy as well as additional sources).

Public relations practioners who utlize social news releases have the oppurtunity to provide interactive information regarding their topic. If practioners use the format proposed by Foremski, journalists may view that organization more favorably because of lack of spin and useful links. Therefore, I think public relations practioners who utlize social news releases are more likely to get stories published due to the more informative nature of the release.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Confessions of a Facebook Creeper

I am not ashamed to admit that my facebook obsession began exactly 4 years ago. I am ashamed that I remember exactly when and where I found out about facebook. After returning from L.A., my roommates (60 lovely ladies) were going wild updating their facebook profile and creeping to find new friends. I was completly out of the loop, so I remedied the situation immediatly by becoming an official facebook creeper myself.

Facebook, along with Myspace, Bebo, Ning, PeopleAggregator and vibEngine have unlocked a world of possiblities for Public Relations practioners. Although, like all forms of online public relations tools social networks also provide risks for organizations.

Ning, as the most popular DIY social networking site (80,000 new networks are created every month) provides public relations practioners a unique oppurtunity. Individuals join Ning networks which suite their interests; which provides practioners a segmented market. Individuals also do this on Facebook, however I do not remember the last time I looked at any of my groups. Further, according to an article dispersed in class, the frequency which college students use social networking sites has increased. 59% of college students use social networking sites everyday, compared to 33% who used it everyday in 2006. Further everyday usage far exceeds every other frequency: 17% several times a week, 15% weekly, and 7% monthly.

Therefore, if public relations practioners are ignoring Facebook they are doing their organization a great diservice. The variety of social networking sites allows pr practitoners the ability to mold their efforts according to the expectations within each site. For example, within Facebook practitoners could do everything from creating a facebook profile for their client to sponsoring a advertisement included in member's updates. However, practitoners should not become lost in their facisnation of social networking and neglect other forms of communications.

(My current facebook profile picture)

Monday, October 13, 2008


As someone who once prided herself as being a technology junkie, I'm embarrassed of who I have become. It seems as though once I started college, I stopped updating myself on the latest and greatest technologies (facebook aside). Therefore, although I have seen the RSS symbol on a majority of the websites I read daily (don't be too impressed, they include PerezHilton and People) I had absoultly no idea how useful RSS was until last week, when Dr. Waters forced me to learn in COM 639. So, don't be too critical as you read the following post as it may contain a few errors.
First, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS saves valuable time by directly feeding updated information to users via their reader. Users can subscribe to their favorite websites via their reader and login in to one website for all their media content, instead of having to visit each site individually.
If I was currently in the field of public relations, I would be overjoyed by the discovery of RSS. It allows practioners to save valuable time doing environmental scanning for their clients. Instead of spending hours checking websites for relevant information, they can simply subscribe to all relevant websites and news sources and check-in throughout the day to make sure all is well. For example, if I was the poor unfortunate soul representing Britney Spears during her meltdown last year an RSS subscription to People or PerezHilton would have streamed continous updates from which I could craft strategies from. Thus keeping me ahead of the pace, which might have prevented the infamous ambulance shot.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Until reading blogs suggested in this class, I assumed blogs were a channel for those who wanted to broadcast their opinions about nothing. However, after reading a few suggested blogs I have discovered that like books, the quality of content depends largely on the author and all you have to do is find a blog author you like and voila.

Similar Youtube, blogs have the ability to create free publicity for organizations. However, it may not always be good publicity. If a blog is sponsored by an organization, then it can become a source of positive publicity by drawing in more viewers. For example, KY3 has been advertising a political blog by David Catanese through television advertisments. Many individuals in my age group no longer recieve their news through traditional media outlets, so by branching out into blogs KY3 may widen their audience. Another example is Cosmopolitan magazine's fictional blog which is posted online, as well as published in every issue. As a subscriber, I found myself so addicted to the monthly snippets I recieved every month that I was soon going online every week and catching up. I thought I was the only one, until one day I was shocked when a ghost posting (a title appeared but no blog) garnered about 50 angry postings from fellow followers. In that instance, Cosmopolitan recieved negative publicity due to negligence towards its blog. Since that time, apologies are posted if no new blogs are added during the week. If, however the blog is not sponsored by the organization negative publicity may result. In a related instance, the CEO of Whole Foods was found to be posting negative comments about Wild Oats (a company they have since acquired) under an alias. The postings resulted in an investigation by SEC after a lawsuit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission. This, of course created negative publicity for Whole Foods, an organization which prides itself on its organization's values.

Public relations practioners can utlize blogs to promote events, campaigns, and programs in a multide of ways. First, practioners can scan current blogs related to the event, campaign, or program they are interested in promoting and identify key blogs. Practioners should then find a way to get their event, campaign, or program listed on those key blogs. For example, a practioner could contact the author of the blog and send them information, or a link to their blog. Second, practioners can also set up their own blog about their specific event, campaign, or program and advertise it through other channels (organizational website, sponsor's website, sponsor's blog, televison, etc.).