Category Archives: Topics of the Week – PR Apps

Top 10 Things I Learned in PR


1.) Who you follow on Twitter is more important than who follows you.

2.) Writing is key! If you are posting a blog or writing a press release, spell check can be your best friend. Your writing will reflect who you are and what you represent.

3.) Keep your network alive.

4.) Your relationships are your most important asset. 3 and 4 kind of go together. Staying in contact with your professional peers can prove to be your biggest source of learning and success. Get tips from them! Remember them!…and you’ll see your career soar because of their insight.

5.) Blogging can be difficult! Truth be told, I do not like keeping myself accountable for posting every week! But I’m trying to get better and post more when COMM2322 is over!

6.) PR = Marketing….NOT!

7.) Stay fresh. Follow the news, check the latest tweet from your partners, and become savvy! With the way everyone is becoming so socially aware of what’s going on, you want to stay current to be a part of any conversation.

8.) You can be successful in a crucial conversation. Consider who you’re talking to and decide what tactics will help you reach your goal.

9.) Keep blogging!

10.) This is just the beginning. You are never over with research, staying updated with news, finding contacts…so keep going!



My Ultimate 10


Awesome post by Simply PR! It’s amazing how much you can learn by jumping into social media galore, the blogging world, and applying real life applications. Staying up to date with your information is key and your mindset is just as important; if you want to be heard and make a difference, give people a reason why to follow you and the rest is “Simply PR”!

PR Pro Interview


Recently, I had the opportunity to phone interview Nikki Smith, President of ASAP, Advertising Services and Printing. She graduated from Polk State College with a degree in Business Administration – Marketing and loves to help others communicate what they want to the public arena. I personally know her from church, and knowing her schedule is absolutely crazy, I’m so happy I had a few minutes to speak with her about what she does on a regular basis.

Although mainly a marketing services company, Nikki faces the challenges of any PR practitioner, as their products must conform to the guidelines set by each company they represent.

With multiple projects throughout the year, ASAP promotes the campaigns of several companies throughout the central Florida area. One of the biggest challenges they face in promoting campaigns is adhering to legal verbiage and legal stipulations placed by the company.

Asking if writing was a key component to her job, she responded with a big “YES!”

Companies give them the scope of their projects and goals as well as a “creative brief” to brainstorm ways to work around different rules and regulations. Throughout the process, ASAP works closely with the company’s marketing department to ensure the right message is being broadcasted to the public.

One thing that stuck out in our conversation was her enthusiasm to stay connected and relevant with the outside world. She mentioned that reading, attending events, and networking with others are so important to becoming successful and helping sustain your edge in the market. Sometimes we can get lazy, but the passion for your job is what can really keep you going.

PR Ethics and the Law


Ethics is basically concerned with how we should live our lives and your moral obligation to stand up for what you believe. Oftentimes we find worlds colliding, questioning personal and professional ethics, and in the corporate world, it’s up to the PR practitioner to make the call. The main concern with media today is the question of the degree of honesty a person presents when reporting.

Dishonesty can definitely destroy your credibility.

I think today, bribery is a big issue to overcome, because people are always willing to pay someone off for saying or doing something specific. That’s why organizations like PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) promote responsibility in public relations. Core values set the standard for anything that happens and create guidelines to safeguard the industry. Dishonesty is easy to occur when trying to put “spin” on something, but it needs to be done in a way that upholds the truth and is not deceptive.

Different elements of the law keep PR practitioners accountable for they’re actions as well. Corporations are considered “public figures” because the actions of the company, as a whole, present a specific image to the public.

 Engaging in specific activities reflects the company and its values and can either help or harm those who come in contact with them.

 Laws against defamation, libel and slander, issues of copyright, and infringement all affect the day-to-day activity of a company’s decisions.

I think some of the biggest issues to overcome are trademark law and other regulations.

People want to create ideas based on ones that are already successful in hopes that they will be successful as well.

Even more, they create campaigns that are deceptive and misleading, all for the sake of making an extra buck. The Federal Trade Commission actually has jurisdiction over such campaigns and upholds companies to their duty to be honest. PR practitioners should be aware of their decisions and how it can affect the outcome of their business as well as the ones they’re supporting. In the process, ethical questions should be raised to determine if their actions support their own important values and standards.

Measuring the Campaign


Soooo, how exactly do you measure Public Relations? Ragan PR had a great article called 7 Ways to Make Measurement Fun.

Sure, analyzing data, making graphs, etc. can prove to be efficient while evaluating a PR campaign, but what is it that makes it effective? Being creative is number one, especially with as many social media connections you can make and with the way everything is intertwined.

Some of the tips include little things you can do along the way to make sure you’re being effective:

1.)    Celebrate small successes.

2.)    Humanize the reporting.

3.)    Visual humor.

4.)    Report the impact.

5.)    Cut the salami in smaller pieces.

6.)    Create a musical piece.

7.)    Make the report tactile.

Reporting on outcomes, rather than inputs and outputs are what really will give you the results you’re looking for.

An input is everything you put into a project or campaign (think resources). An output is what you do to make sure you’re on track (think pre/post test).

 An outcome is what you want the outsiders to gain from coming in contact with your campaign. What was the purpose? Were people supposed to feel empowered, then take action to do something specific?

 I think it helps too, to start reporting on progress during the campaign and let people know how it’s progressing. Seeing results can encourage others to take part and you can have fun building something bigger than what you expected.

News U: Online Media Law


Hey guys,

Here are some tips about blogging the right way! Make sure you’re giving credit where credit is due and review these quick definitions/guidelines to prevent any sort of scandal.

Defamation – basically writing/saying something about someone that isn’t true. Even if it seems innocent, an underlying message could potentially ruin someone’s reputation and you might be on the line for making the statement. There are soooo many elements of defamation law…no wonder why everyone tries to be so politically correct and not step on anyone’s toes.

 Privacy – Even if it’s accurate, you could be liable for what you post about someone. You obviously can’t use someone else’s name for your benefit and you can’t use/ post information that is generally unavailable to the public. A good idea is to gather all your information from public places and publicly available sources, and if you’re not sure, just ask for consent of the person you are quoting.  

 Copyright  – Any original works can be copyrighted, like art, drama, sculptures, music, and even architecture. Ideas are one thing that cannot be copyrighted; the means of expression of an idea can be, but the idea itself cannot. Again, it’s a good idea to stick to the facts or ask for permission to use something.

Where Should You Go?


Public relations department or public relations firm? That is the question.

A public relations department is one that serves companies and supports their highest level of management with facing pressures of everyday work and issues. Communicating with the public is crucial and building relationships help reduce costs of regulations, boycotts, or bad blunders.

For the most part, however, PR departments help organizations develop policies and communicate with those outside their four walls. This is great! But depending on the size of the organization, a lot can affect what a PR practitioner might do.

Sometimes, the PR rep might help to write speeches and counsel management, but in my opinion, those types of jobs would go the employees with some sort of seniority. You’d definitely have to work your way up to no longer claim your role as copyboy.

It would be exciting though if you got to sit back and hear the applause of an audience after a rep delivered one of your speeches.

Okay, so what about a public relations firm? (This is where I think it would be the most beneficial for a new PR practitioner to be.) PR firms offer a more broad scope to the things they do on a daily basis and it would give a more valuable experience to someone fresh out of school.

I mean, think about it:

Firms have so many clients with different needs all relating to public relations. It would be a chance to develop different skills and experience firsthand the typical issues any organization would go through.

And not only would someone get that great experience, but they would also have the chance that any PR department could give, which is to write a news release or to organize special events.

So really PR departments and PR firms do the same things, but the outlook is totally different.
They both maintain the company culture, but the scope between them is what changes. A department just deals with one organization, which is great if you want to focus on one organization, but it limits the opportunities to challenge yourself and find ways to deal with different issues. A firm deals with tons of organizations, which is great if you want more experience, but not so great if it gets overwhelming trying to stay consistent with so many missions and visions.

Anyway, it’s up to the PR practitioner, but I’d say stick with a firm and get your hands dirty!