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THE FINAL: 10 Most Important Things I Learned in Public Relations COMM 4333

May. 4. 2010.

Ten Most Important Things:

I learned that in order to create traffic on your blog, you must understand the power of writing consistently. Blogging inconsistency shows laziness and a lack of passion. The same goes for blogs that contain posts like spam mail. Some blogs are inconsistent in the area of substance. There are posts that “wow” you from time to time. However, in-between those gems are pointless, mindless posts that I really thought should have been left out of their blog. Consistency means more that writing a lot.

I learned that the average day for a PR person is very busy and hectic. Everyone deserves to have their time respected, but I after taking this class, I feel like they do even more so. I also learned that you should never hassle them about using your stories, not use first-class mail, or take them out to lunch and other events without being prepared to discuss a possible news release or an upcoming event. It is also really important to be short and to the point in e-mails to them. When we had a guest speaker, he brought up an interesting point: write a detailed subject line.

number 3

I learned the commercials on the radio actually have some thought put into them. They are written to be timed to the second. Surprisingly, they also have their own personal writing style.

number 4

Being accustomed to MLA format in high school, AP style was also something introduced to me. I learned how to properly abbreviate, use correct grammar, and how to be concise in my writing. AP style is really helpful in the world of public relations. I also learned that it is helpful for everyone to be writing the same format (at least, in the formal world of PR). An editor knows that there is only one way to spell or use a certain word, so they can easily proofread it. The rules really help readers. Because most newspapers follow AP style, many readers are familiar with writing that follows it.  It makes sure writers are consistent in their use of abbreviations, capitalization, numbers, punctuation, and words. With an expanded explanation of how to use, it helps writers choose the right ones to write clear sentences and paragraphs that make sense to their readers.

number 5

When that same guest speaker (mentioned in #2) came into class, I also learned that relationships matter in Public Relations. The most successful PR professionals know that the main focus should be on creating relationships. They understand to be engaging with others and creating real connections through conversation can be helpful. It is not always about getting your story out there. Having the right relationship has the potential to do that for you.

number 6

I have developed a new sense of awareness in overused words. In an article I wrote about in one of my PR connections, I learned that the three words “excited,” “thrilled,” and “honored” are three words that should be banned from the world of Public Relations. It really is true. People can be lazy in their vocabulary and settle with one of those. I know I want my writing to be more engaging for my readers, so I have made an effort to be more conscious when using words like good, fun, or nice. It has been my PR Resolution.

My favorite avenue in Public Relations is the World Wide Web. I love blogging and reading on-line articles. In the article “Visual Appeal Helps Retain Traffic,” the author writes, “you don’t get a second chance to make a good impression.” They also further give some statistics. “According to Consumer Web Watch, the factors shoppers use to judge website credibility are; 46.1% judge credibility by “Website Design Look” (ie; the way your site looks) and 28.5% judge credibility by “Information Design” (ie; the way your content looks).” The visual appeal of a Web site is very important. A blog is a silent presentation. It is there presenting itself, but no can speak for it. I take great lengths to make sure that the quality of my blog’s visual appeal gives readers an introduction to the quality of my writing.

number 8

I learned the difference between libel and slander. The AP Stylebook calls libel an injury to reputation.” Slander is when a statement is made to a third person, but it was not broadcasted or printed.

number 9

I learned the format of a News Release.

number 10

I also learned that every business, no matter, how big or how small, should have a Contact List. In my band, we actually use the contact list that I created for class. It is so helpful for when we have to call someone at a moment’s notice.

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