Mark Rose, of PRBlogNews.com, recently posted about the use of video in the PR profession. He discusses the slow process of changing the tedious tasks PR practitioners do every day into “web-based digital assets.” According to Rose, the process of creating and implementing pitches and news releases is a thing of the past. Digitally enhancing these everyday tasks (for PR professionals, that is) makes them readily available to both clients and the public.
Even those not involved in PR are using video as a new outlet. Rose counts the Wall Street Journal as a video-friendly web site. Presidential debates, interviews and other news stories can be seen on web sites like the Wall Street Journal and other news sites. Videos greatly enhance a news story, as a video can often humanize words.
Rose also states that Business Wire, a global communications company, has partnered with Digital Citizen Media, a digital media production company. This partnership that will establish, manage, track and promote digital media in PR. This business venture will help Business Wire members utilize Digital Citizen Media to better meet the needs of the corporations.
Video can be extremely helpful in visualizing stories and presentations, what do you think about incorporating this method into regular PR tasks such as news releases and pitches? Does it help or inhibit the profession? Does it dehumanize practitioners?
As we enter the world of PR, it is very important to know what’s gong on not only in our immediate society, but the world around us. Whether you choose to practice PR locally or internationally, it’s important to be aware of as much that’s going on that we can. Although in Kristen Ashburn’s presentation she rarely talks, I think it’s a good point to bring up as we begin to work on our own presentations for this class and learn traits to use in this profession. This presentation contains many graphic pictures from her trip to Africa. The message here is to make us aware of the Aids epidemic in Africa. Kristen, from the beginning speaks softly; however, she gives a serious mood to the presentation. The reason I love this presentation is because there is about a minute of nothing but silence and pictures scrolling. The pictures themselves speak louder than any statistics or facts she could be saying. I thought this was a creative and influential way to do a presentation and have the message loud and clear. In a book by Garr Reynolds called Presentation Zen, he talks about how to have an effective presentation. One thing he mentioned that made me choose this presentation was when you use Power Point, you always want to incorporate stories. Can you think about your own client and come up with any stories for your presentation? Do you think having the right picture in a presentation can say more than anything you can say? Look at this presentation and think of what you can take from it.
PRSA has its own blog, ComPRehension. Right now it’s covering the PRSA convention in Detroit, so you can read about some of the latest goings on in the profession. They even have some podcasts of presentations you can listen to. (Class posts based on content from this blog will receive full credit, since I’m only mentioning its existence, not pointing to a specific post.)
Presenting information effectively is a very important skill, not just in public relations. “Infographics” refers to graphic designs that are meant to convey information in ways that are both clear and appealing. Smashing Magazine offers a few examples of infographics that might give you some ideas for your final proposals. And if you would rather work with a visual tool when figuring out what to write and how to organize it, either alone or in collaboration with your teammates, you can try setting up a free account at Spinscape.
Nervous about the job interview process? An interview with the HR director at Edelman, posted at PROpenMic, may help clarify things for you and give you some useful tips.
(The above are all resource suggestions, not potential blog topics.)
Now, for some potential topics if you’re scrambling, or interesting reading if you’re not (I may add to these throughout the week, so you may want to check back):
- Framingham State College sent out an… unusual fundraising letter that has been widely criticized. Was it a mistake, or are they being judged too harshly?
- Colin Farrington of CIPR says that public relations, and communication in general, plays a key role in advancing human rights. As is the case with many blog entries, the comments are at least as interesting as the post.
- US Department of State spokesman Sean McCormack is willing to answer questions from the public via YouTube. Good PR move or potential blunder?
- What are the critical issues in PR today? Once again, it seems to come down to the unknown quantities of social media.
Discovered via Twitter: Jack O’Dwyer is offering a free copy of his guide to PR firms (perfect for graduating seniors) to the first 50 college students who write to him. He’s also offering a subscription to his professional newsletter.
The book alone normally costs $175, so it’s definitely worth reading the linked post and taking a stab at it.
(Leave a comment if you write to Jack–I’m curious.)
In a post on PR Studies blogging site, Recession Proof PR, I was reading about the affect of the recession on the PR industry. It was interesting because it was one of the first posts I have seen that look at all aspects. They didn’t just discuss the industry for businesses but they also included Educators and Students in the analysis.
For students they basically stated to not get frustrated that the baby boomer population maybe didn’t have all the right answers, but instead we could change how PR works. I think that is very true. Students that are graduating now have tons of ideas and ways to expand the industry just because of the way we all grew up, internet being developed in our years of learning, it lets us know that there are no limits on what we can do.
In the section that the blogger wrote to teachers they basically instructed that teachers have to change their way of educating students. The way they should change it to is to not be formatic about what they teach. By this he means don’t explain the right and wrong ways to do things, but rather explain the ideas of things and have students develop their own opinion on things. The author said that this could get confusing to a student, which I agree. I already get frustrated in class when I don’t understand something and it takes days to finally get but I couldn’t imagine if the teacher was PURPOSEFULLY doing this to students. It almost seems like it should go against the code of a teacher, not sure if there is a code of teachers, but I hope you get what I mean.
Finally, the author talked about the businesses dealing with PR, which we have all heard about before. It seems like the recession won’t give PR a bad wrap at all, rather just not much business for a bit. In the end it will roll back around where businesses need PR agencies to re-establish businesses legitimacy in order to maintain respect.
It seems like things will be a little backwards for a bit, but in the end things will straighten out and maybe even improve with the new faces going into the industry with fresh ideas.
When we first started blogging for this class I wondered to myself if there were any type of rules or codes that I had to follow when blogging. Well this week one of my friends told me that the company he interns for asked him to write and comment on particular blogs. The interesting thing about this, is they told him to write the blog as if he was an authority on the issue that he was blogging about. He was so disturbed by this that he went to one of his professors and asked what he should do. Clearly this is an ethical dilemma, but when someone is cutting your checks do you challenge their assignment? Do you think blogging is a big enough deal to have an ehtics code? I did a little research and came across this article that not only gives specific examples of ethical/unethical blogging scenarios, but also rules for bloggers to adhere to. Rule number one is, “I will tell the truth.” I personally believe that PR professionals should take blogging rules just as seriously as they would the PRSA code of ethics, no matter what position they hold with a company. Usually if you don’t have a good feeling about something, you shouldn’t be doing it.
With many of us in this class graduating within the year, I’m guessing that a great many hours have been spent pondering what we will do with our lives after school. I think one of the first things we set out to decide is if we will work for an agency or in-house for an organization. It has proven a difficult task to get unbiased answers from public relations professionals on this topic, however, PRSA has an interesting blog up, which does not delve too deeply into the issue, but does give a nice overview of the two options.
Although my experience has been through relatively short internships, I have worked in both agency and in-house settings. The two are vastly different environments, and I think that most people immediately know which one they fit into better.
Setting personal preference aside then, is there a difference in the quality of product put out by public relations agencies and in-house public relations people? There are some great arguments on a PR-Squared blog for the benefits of agencies and among them are their large resources and media contacts. Those who work in-house make their case as well, one blog I found put it plainly, with the general point being that they are able to be on the pulse of activity in the organization.
Are these two sectors different but equal, or is there one that is superior? I feel that mainstream thought is that agencies are better, because they are more glamorous, but what real evidence is there? I feel that I have been continuously leaning toward the side of in-house work, based on it’s unmatched ability to know the organization’s needs, its people, and its structure. In my experience an agency must spend hours and hours to get a relatively shallow understanding of an organization every time they get a new client. Which side will you choose?