Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How LinkedIn can benefit YOU!

*LinkedIn is an online service mainly used for professional networking.

The purpose of the website is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.

How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

1. First create a profile. Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment (current and past), education, industry, and web sites.

2. Add a picture. You can add a photo (a headshot is recommended or upload a larger photo and edit it) to your LinkedIn profile. Note that it must be a small photo - no larger than 80x80 pixels.

3. Keywords and Skills. Include all your resume keywords and skills in your profile, so your profile will be found.

4. Build Your Network. Connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have, with one caveat from Kay Luo, "Connect to people you know and trust or have a business relationship with, no need to go crazy and connect with everyone." (More information below)

5. Get Recommendations.

6. Search Jobs. Use the job search section to find job listings.

7. Use Answers. The Answers section of LinkedIn is a good way to increase your visibility. Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information or assistance.

8. Stay Connected. Use LinkedIn Mobile ( to view profiles, invite new connections, and access to LinkedIn Answers from your phone.

~By Alison Doyle
This list of connections can then be used in a number of ways:

  • A contact network is built up consisting of their direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone a person wishes to know through a mutual, trusted contact.

  • It can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one's contact network.

  • Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.

  • Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them

Author Lewis Howes gives consise detail about bettering yourself through his book "Linkedin Master Strategies"

Designing a Newsletter

When creating a newsletter remember to keep the audience in mind. If you are designing a newsletter for the Army, dark bold colors and strong lines should be considered, but if you audience is a Daycare, soft pastels and more pictures would be added.

*You may not think colors and design are as important as the information, but when someone picks up your newsletter the design is what keeps them reading or not. Make sure your newsletter is easy to read and navigate, with a goal of a clean, user-friendly format.

Most newsletters will have at least a nameplate, body text, and headlines, however there are many more parts to a newsletter design. Below are the elements contained in newsletters:

1. Nameplate - Name, Date, Logo

2. Body - Everything you want your audience to know

3. Table of Contents- If your newsletter exceeds four pages this should be considered

4. Masthead - Information about who the publisher is

5. Heads, Titles - Introduces different topics, usually bold and larger font
   a. Running Head - On the top corners of every page
   b. Kicker - Above the subhead
   c. Subhead - Breaks up the articles for an easier read

6. Page numbers - Use if you have 3 or more pages

7. Bylines - Title of a person which gives credit to who wrote which article

8. Continuation lines - helps the reader find the rest of the article
   a. Jumplines - Added at the bottom of article
   b. Continuation Heads - Added to the next part of the article at the top

9. End signs - Symbol stating the end of the story

10. Pull Quotes - Taking a quote out of the article and using it in design

11. Photos - Used to balance words and add appeal

12. Mailing panel - If you would like audience to send something back

For more information about Newsletter Design Elements!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Georgia Southern's Eagle Print Shop

After visiting my University's Print Shop I realized the first and most important step you can take before getting materials printed is establishing a relationship with your fellow print shop employees.

List of the tips shared by Eagle Print Shop Manager Brenda Aytes: How to Prepare Printed Materials
  • Meet and greet your local Print Shop: If you are working in PR, you will most likely be printing many materials on a regular basis
  • Know how to speak "Print Language" (80-lb. glossy paper, 8.5×11, printed duplex in color): Working with your printer you should learn how to convey what you want in their terms 
  • Work with the printers to provide a file in the correct format (PDF, JPEG, etc)
  • Have an idea of what you want your finished publication to look like
  • Give time for your publication to be printed & allow time to fix errors
  • DO NOT copy and paste Logos off the Internet and use for a publication. These symbols are COPYRIGHTED and the consequences are greater than one could imagine
  • Images appear clearer when they are a minimum of 300 dpi dots per inch( most photos off the internet are not quality)
  • High resolution is the best quality for an Image

Something interesting that Brenda Aytes shared with my Strategic Publication class was the reason why copy and pasting pictures off the Internet do not come out so well. The orginal creators do not want these to be used. And to make sure of this, when you copy and paste a picture off the Internet and enlarge it, the pixels are spaced out. If you can enlarge it enough, there will be small messages between the pixels of the image. They most likely say " Do Not Reproduce", but you should find the secret messages on your own.


Remember the printed part is what your audience will take home and remember!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Informational Interview Recap

Below is an interview with a Public Relations professional that I conducted over the phone. Her name is Kirsten Howard. She is the Director of Communications and Marketing for a non-profit organization in Detroit Michigan known as Business Leaders for Michigan. The company name was recently changed from Detroit Renaissance. Kirsten earned her Masters from Wayne State University in 2003 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2000.

Q & A

What’s a typical week like?

It varies, but some of the main things that I do is I have to read news that affects my organization such as RSS feeds. My organization is non-profit, but the board is made of CEOs of major companies. Our focus is statewide, and the main goal is to affect public policy like getting laws passed. We are in the process to get the state budget passed so I have to read all news to follow that issue. I also bring articles to my bosses attention to see if he wants to make a statement – and I have to write a draft and get his approval for the statement. I get requests for interviews from reporters – I am not a primary spokesperson but I coordinate press conferences. Sometimes I respond directly if the subject is not too controversial. We also released the Michigan Turnaround Plan. For this I look at taxes and budget reforms. The main question here is how do I increase awareness of this plan? I do interviews on the radio and write op-eds then send this to boss for reviewing.  I then contact publications to get it placed.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of?

The announcement of our new organization and Turnaround Plan- I had to organize the press conference. The message leaked and I was scared I was not going to get anyone at the press conference. I had to figure out what I was going to say and acknowledge what had been said. I had a good turn out and many reporters.

Also, a few years ago I was working for Yavaki North America (automotive supplier) they announced they were closing the plants in GA and Texas. I was involved with engineers and executives with figuring out hwo to relay the message. This was a different audience, including the community, because since the plant was closing the jobs would be gone. This took a month to organize – I was the spokesperson and sent out the press release and responded to the media.

How important is writing in your career?

It is very important; I have to write press releases, op-eds, blogs for our websites, and articles for our newsletter. Sometimes I have to write things I have no idea about(like Yavaki automotives) You have to be able to articulate around the subject you don’t know about and I always do a little research before I write so I really known enough to be able to talk about it. The writing has to be at a certain level or else the executive will chew u apart.

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1. You have to understand what everyone needs. For example, what does the journalist need? They are going out of business and you need to be able to help them do their job the best. What do your clients need? Be aware to balance client’s needs and executives needs.

2. You cannot go into it thinking you know it all. Be prepared to learn and be humble and have a positive attitude. You are going to have to multi-task and not everyone is going to like what you write.

3. Perfect a skill that makes you stand out from others. (Such as social media)

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

Social media, I am a member of PRSA (I read their publications), search online to see what’s new in my area, recently read some books on twitter.

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

I wish I would have known the politics between reporters and executives and between different publications. If u give exclusive story to one newspaper, you might get nasty messages from others. There was also a time when a reporter called to find out about our budget and where we collected the money from. I have to check with my boss before I release information like this. He said he did not want to be on record saying where the money came from so do not tell them. Because our budget is public information the reported was angry that I would not just share the information.

What has surprised you the most about working in PR?

It really is about relationship building with reporters, clients, and executives. You have to be able to connect with people, not just be a good writer or a good speaker.

Have you worked with people and found out that PR is not for them?

A woman I once worked with was English major. She did not deal well with the clients or journalists when they would get testy. I recently found out she has a completely different job at another company.

When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?

What they are looking for is a variety of experience and ability to multi-task and work well with others. Writing is very important. I am the only PR person in the company but I do remember that in addition to giving writing samples at the interview sometimes they will ask to write a press release or a short communication plan giving you three hours.

After interviewing this person I am less likely to want a career in PR because of the politics aspect. I do not like to displease people and that is the nature of the job at some points, especially when dealing with  reporters. But I am more likely to want a career in PR because I connect well with people and would love to build lasting relationships in this line of work.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Language of the Image" Poynter NewsU

Below is a summary of a course that I took from the News University: Training for Journalists website......

PhototypesWhen a photographer thinks in a visual language, photos become more informational
  •    Informational- Offers nothing more than identification value and has no redeeming story telling     qualities
                  -Nothing more than a visual record of a person, place or thing

  •    Passive - People who's essential purpose is to have their photo taken for publication
                  - Can be effective story telling tools
  •   Active - Show real people involved in real events in real time
                 -Brings insight of documentary photojournalism

Single Elements The relationship between the lines, shapes, and forms produces an aesthetically pleasing
visual presentation

Multiple Elements  Utilizing more than one element to enhance the story-telling capabilities such as using light for impact

"This shutter effect creates a toy-like effect of this city"


  • Quality of light

  • Layering

  • Mood

  • Sense of Place

  • Emotion

 Different Approach

There are different emotions that you can capture to create two separate images of the same thing. The birth of a baby can capture the mood of the father and his expression of becoming a father OR you could capture the baby as the main element dipicting new life.

I learned that photographers and journalists must take the time to work together to produce the best picture for a story. A picture is not something to be considered an unimportant when it comes to writing an article. Its expression can relay more than just colors, or objects, or people. Photos are also able to communicate more than one message. Photographs relay feelings, emotions, and have the ability to freeze the mood in time.

I was surprised at the number of single elements there are. Graphics, quality of light, emotion, juxtaposition, point of entry and rule of thirds are not even half of them. Before reading Language of the Image I did not know how much effect photography has. The strength of a photo is really worth more than a thousand words. I have more respect for photographers, and will be looking more closely at the pictures I see in newspapers and magazines.

I would like to know more about which types of cameras that are used to produce different quality of pictures.The layering and shutter techniques intriged me the most.

For Basic Photography Techniques click YourOwnPhotography