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Where to Start?

At the conclusion of my integrated strategic communication course, I’m thankful to have taken away so much useful information. Now that I have all of this information about public relations and how things work in the industry, I have to be able to apply it to something useful:  my anticipated career!

The question is, where do I get started?

The following tips, found in the concluding chapter, “Launching a Career,” seem quite helpful.  I will certainly keep these skills in mind when entering the job market in the near future.

  • Take charge!

Seitel refers to taking charge when talking about organizing a job interview.  Don’t wait to be interviewed.  Take the initiative to interview someone within the chosen organization.  Companies like to see genuine interest in their company.

Take charge also refers to preparing for a career in general.  Knowing that I want to pursue a job in public relations, I must take charge.  I must keep my blog updated, especially to include it in my interactive resume.  I can tweet effectively, @mentioning organizations to get their attention.  I can’t sit back and wait for my job to choose me.  I must take charge and find as many promising opportunities as possible.

  • Consider your interests

Luckily, the public relations industry provides a wealth of job opportunities in many different areas.  People work most efficiently and effectively when they’re doing what they like to do.  Public relations seems even more attractive, especially since I can choose what I want to do.

  • Get a name for yourself

In public relations, professionals communicate messages to different publics.  What better way of showcasing your skills than through illustrating how well you communicate. Therefore, I will continue to contribute to, and perfect my blog.  I will familiarize myself with as many social media sources as possible.  I want to assure my future employer(s) that I can communicate well.

Source:

Seitel, Fraser P. “Launching a Career.” The Practice of Public Relations. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2011. Print.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Comm 306, Reading Notes

 

Giving Victims a Voice Through Public Relations

Thanks to the availability of new technologies, social media, and improved public relations techniques, people who have fallen victim to any forms of sexual/domestic abuse now have a voice.

Sexual abuse is certainly a current event.  Different accounts of violence are taking place all over the world at this very instant.  Fear usually keeps victims from escaping these unfortunate situations and from seeking help.

However, anyone who has escaped such a traumatizing experience understands the importance of helping others.  Whether it is through mentoring in the community, sharing their stories, or raising awareness of sexual abuse, survivors want to offer help in some way.  The field of public relations has allowed so many victims the opportunity to help current victims.  Hotlines, websites, videos, counseling, etc., are all available to both victims and survivors who need someone to talk to.  Resources provide an opportunity to:

  • Have someone just to talk to
  • Share your story with others
  • Receive tips on how to escape your situation
  • Get help now

These are just a few benefits that these resources provide.

Public relations professionals are promoting ways to stop sexual abuse through a variety of mediums in order to reach as many people as possible.

Because sexual abuse is such a hushed issue, people feel afraid to address it.  However, I’m glad that people now understand the dangers of keeping this issue silent.  Without the help of public relations, I don’t think there would be near as many survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and rape.

Public relations professionals continue to generate more “noise” about this hushed issue in hopes of transforming more victims into survivors.

I apologize for the unusual somber tone of this post.  This is an incredibly important issue to me, and I wanted to take the opportunity to address it.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Comm 306, ISC Connections

 

Looking Back…

Looking back at my initial definition of “strategic communication,” I’m surprised at how close my definition is to an answer I’d give at the end of the year.  I still agree that communication is all about accurate portrayal of a message.  It’s important to achieve similarity between the intended message and the received message. After all, isn’t this the number one goal of communication?

Throughout the semester, I’ve learned about different elements that go into a message.  I still stand beside my belief that the medium is the message.  Good strategic communicators must know which medium of delivery is best for a given message.  They have to decide whether to relay a message through a press conference, radio interview, news article, blog post etc.  How a message is delivered shapes the message.

Imagine that a dangerous event breaks out in our country.  Is the newspaper the most effective medium for delivering breaking news? Of course not!  We have mediums such as television, the Internet, and text alerts, available to us. Depending on the message needing to be delivered, there are multiple mediums through which strategic communicators can communicate messages.

One of the most important things that I did not include in my initial entry is that strategic communicators and public relations professionals must honor honesty.  Lying is not acceptable in the world of PR.  Your communicated messages won’t appear too “strategic” if you lie.  Then you can expect the truth to come through and tarnish your reputation as a strategic communicator.  Never, ever lie.

I’m happy to add more information to my initial definition.  I now have a more solid understanding of Public Relations. I’m even more excited to continue to pursue my future career in this industry.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Comm 306, ISC Topics

 

New to Blogging?

After completing a course in integrated strategic communication, I feel much more comfortable with the practice of blogging.  I’m glad I learned “how” to blog in an educational setting.  I have learned important factors to step up my “blog-game” that I’m not sure I would have learned as easily, had I began blogging simply as a personal hobby.

  • Blogging is a great way to express your opinion.

Rejoice that we have the wonderful right of freedom of speech!  Blogging provides a place to share your opinion with the world. Linking to other sites and commenting on other blogs helps to make your blog “searchable” on different search engines (i.e. google, bing).

  • You’re not in world by yourself.  Join the blogging community.

One of the cool things about blogging is that anyone can do it, if they so choose.  Therefore, interact with other bloggers.  Comment on their posts.  Link to posts that you find particularly interesting.  This way, you can increase the chances of other people commenting on or liking your blog posts.

  • Edit, Edit, and Edit

Bloggers share their opinions in their blog posts with hopes of people reading their blog.  As a blogger, make sure to edit your posts and aim for perfect grammar and punctuation (unless errors are intentional).  You want your blog to look good.  You never know what opportunities may arise from someone reading your blog.

  • Be aware of current issues

Many people define “blog” as an online journal.  Therefore, you can technically write about anything, regardless of the date of the event’s occurrence. However, current events are most appealing.  People want to read about what’s going on now.  Which issues are currently most prevalent?  Addressing recent events can make your posts more interesting.

  • Keep your eyes open

You’d be surprised at how many things are going on in the world.  Thinking, “I don’t know what in the world I can blog about,” is utterly ridiculous.  If you’re looking for things that connect things learned in class, simply open your eyes.  There are so many ways to connect classroom material to current news, entertainment, sports, etc.  Connections are out there, waiting for us to stumble upon them.

I hope these tips offer a bit more insight about blogging.  Have fun 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Comm 306, ISC Topics

 

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Hospitalized

Former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, was hospitalized less than a month ago as a result of his poor state of health.  I’ve watched/read three different news sources.  I wasn’t surprised to hear three stories with three different perspectives.

In the first source, Voice of America News, the reporter doesn’t even mention the exact health condition(s) that landed Mubarak in the hospital.  Just learning about the issue, one of my first concerns was why the former president was in the hospital.  The news source discreetly attributes Mubarak’s hospitalization to “poor health conditions.”

The second source, Israel News Nation, provides only a brief account of Mubarak’s hospitalization.  All in three sentences, the story covers key information, and even provides a more specifics about his hospitalization.  The News Briefs in Israel News Nation are characterized by one factor: brevity.  Therefore, you’d expect outside sources to cover an issue mentioned in the News Briefs in much more details.  Strangely, this source cites heart problems and chest pains as a factor in Mubarak’s hospitalization, while the first source leaves out details about Mubarak’s state of health.

The third source, Sky News, provides a more thorough investigation of the story.  The reporter addresses the cause of Mubarak’s hospitalization at the very beginning of the video.  Sky news claims that a heart attack sent the former president to the hospital.  They even go into depth about different treatments that he has received.  They discuss how he was treated for pancreatic cancer at one point.  The majority of their news broadcast is centered around the former president’s current health conditions.  A youtube clip of the news story is provided below.

Although the third source is a video clip and the others are text sources, the video clip from Sky News pertains more to its publics’ interests.  When people hear anything involving the word, “hospital,” it’s a natural reaction to wonder what happened.  Is the person okay? Are they feeling better?  Are their health conditions declining?  These questions can be answered in video sources as well as in text sources.  Sky News catered more to what people want to hear.  Therefore, I feel that their news story is most effective of the three.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Comm 306, ISC Topics

 

The Damaging Effects of Withholding Information

Shirley Sherrod: Former Georgia State Director of Rural Government

Withholding information from others is not a good idea.  Especially when handling an issue that could receive an astonishing amount of public attention.

Former Georgia State Director of Rural Government, Shirley Sherrod, is all too familiar with this act. In fact, it cost her her job.  The controversy arose when a blogger posted broken video excerpts of Sherrod’s speech given during an NAACP event.

With selected passages of her speech, the blogger constructed the image of a racist African American woman.  Reviews of the blog stirred up so much controversy that Sherrod was asked to resign.

After review of the entire, full length speech, government officials realized that Sherrod, in fact, had no racist intentions.  Nor did she put anyone in a negative light.

Since recognizing this, White House officials have, both, apologized to Sherrod and offered her a new position.

Strategic communicators should recognize this dangerous issue of withholding information and using selected information to twist original meanings.

When conducting secondary research, it’s important to gain information from a wealth of sources. Looking at one blog entry or article only shares one view.  Strategic communicators should try to seek information from an objective source.  Biased sources typically use the information that is helpful to construct and compliment their point of view.

If you go onto youtube.com and type in -Shirley Sherrod- several different videos appear.  Some are videos that students have put together to explain the case.  Some videos aim to showcase the more negative perspective of the case.  Unless you have seen the full length video of Sherrod’s speech, it’s likely that you’ve received biased information from a source.

Wise strategic communicators should know how to sort through multiple sources and seek out the key message. They must develop their own opinion based on the facts, and not based on anyone else’s opinions.

For the full length video of Shirley Sherrod’s speech, click here.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Comm 306, ISC Topics

 

Less is (Still) More!

When communicating with the public, simplicity is key.  The goal of communication is to have the the public receive and interpret a message the way that the communicator intended for the message to be received.  Whenever there is a difference in the received message and the intended message, the message likely contains the issue of complexity.

Complexity automatically complicates things.  As a college student, I can attest to being in class and listening to a professor lecture.  Sometimes the information goes right over my head.  Usually, the teacher can tell when this happens because he/she looks around the class and receives blank stares in return.  Any student will tell you that theories and concepts taught in class make much more sense when the teacher breaks the information down into understandable terms.

Simplicity is also important in entertainment, especially when so many diverse publics are involved.

Check out one artist, Bruno Mars’s, latest music video for his song, “Lazy Song.”

It’s so effective due to it’s simple nature.  Posted less than two weeks ago, the video has already received nearly 9 million views! Pretty impressive.  In an era where elaborate music video set ups and elaborate make up and costuming set the tone for song artists, Bruno Mars’s video stands out like a sore thumb.  People like it though.  It’s simple and easy to figure out.

In the video, the artist sings about wanting to be lazy all day.  Here are some the lyrics in the chorus:

“Cause Today I Swear I’m Not Doin’ Anythin’
Nothin’ At All”

The simple message is translated through the style of his music video.  He remains in the same room the entire time.  He’s simply dressed.  The entire video appears to be shot all in one take.  Can it get any simpler?  It’s so interesting how well the public received this video.  It has over 100,000 likes on youtube.  The public’s fascination with preference for simplicity can be illustrated through the approval of this fun and catchy tune, accompanied by a great music video.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Comm 306, ISC Connections