Monthly Archives: February 2012

Another School Shooting

On Monday, there was yet another school tragedy in Chardon High School, located in a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. A boy by the name of Thomas “T.J.” Lane, entered the school at 7:30 a.m. and opened fire on several students. As the days have passed, the public has learned that the death toll is now at two, with two remaining in the hospital and one being released.

In an article from the New York Times, Lane sat an listened to the prosecutors read all of the accusations against him. He admitted to everything in the courtroom and actually looked genuinely upset about what he did. He even whispered, “I am so sorry,” to his aunt and uncle in the courtroom. The judge has until Thursday to sentence him.

This is such an extremely sad story to me. I have read a few articles where Lane was described as being quiet, and nice, but troubled. He was even attending an alternative school for at-risk youth in his area. Of course, there are reports that he had been bullied and had a rough home life. His father and mother apparently had numerous arrests for domestic battery and a violent history themselves. This is definitely a flag in the anti-bullying community and a case for a nature vs. nurture debate.

This makes me think…what can we (society) do to prevent this? Can it even be prevented in the first place? Unfortunately, I don’t think it can be prevented. People will not always see or hear what goes on behind closed doors. Kids will always slip through the cracks. I think anti-bullying and other organizations that work to stop this DO make a difference and should be commended. They reduce the risk of school shootings….but, they will never be able to eradicate them.

Chap 11: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Chapter 11 discusses the the how to’s and importance of getting along with journalists.

I never really knew that there was such a love-hate relationship between PR professionals and journalists. The textbook states that while journalists don’t always trust PR professionals, they understand and admit that they need them to do their job.

PR people do a lot of the “legwork” for journalists. They research things stories and do a lot of the work for the journalists to…clean up in a sense and put it into a better format for society. Journalists depend on PR people because they save time and usually provide consistent information.

In return, PR people very much rely on journalists and media. The goal of any PR professional, is to motivate and mold the public’s opinion on a product, service, or business. Without the constant reporting through journalism and reporting, there is no way that this would be possible.

Speak Your Mind Or Play It Safe?

Image via monacome.com

The increasing popularity with Facebook cannot be denied. However. there is an abundance of opinions about content posted to the social media site and how it can impacts users in the future.

As a member of Facebook myself, I am extremely cautious about pictures, opinions, and other comments that I write on my page. I feel like this pictures and statuses can be found by simply Googling my name. I would never want a potential employer or anyone else of major importance to view my profile and get the wrong impression of me.

Not everyone agrees on this though. Some people believe that Facebook is a personal tool used to maintain and create new friendships. Therefore, they believe that censoring what we say and images we post is unnecessary. Some people use Facebook as a way to vent and speak what is on their mind since often times, they can’t in real life.

A perfect example of how Facebook can hinder an individual comes from one of my friends. She was having issues with her manager at work and posted quite a few harsh statements about her on Facebook. Some of her coworkers caught sight of the statements and reported it back to her manager. My friend was forces to quit a job of almost five years because she used Facebook as a way to vent her frustrations.

My opinion of Facebook is very simple. Be yourself, but keep it classy. Staying true to who you are and stating what is on your mind when it is necessary is fine as long as you monitor the vocabulary and think before you post.

Chap 10: Distributing News

Chapter 10 is one of the most important chapters in this book so far, in my

Image via professionaloutdoormedia.org

opinion. It discusses how to distribute news effectively by using media databases, editorial calendars, tip sheets, email, fax, newsrooms, electronic placement wire, and a variety of placement firms.

Media databases provide really important information about publication names, broadcast stations, addresses, fax and telephone numbers, emails and names of important people like, reporters. To me, it seems like a very detailed and important address book…ten times the size of a personal one.

Editorial calendars provide public relations specialists an opportunity to view the editorial focus of many magazines and other written publications. This allows a better placement opportunity for certain stories that have a particular lens for that month, or specific time frame.

Tip sheets allow reporters and other directors of media to be listed that may specifically be interested in a piece of news. Instead of sending the piece out all over and to multiple people, it provides the opportunity to target a particular person at once.

In my opinion, the two most important processes for news distribution are through email and online newsrooms. Email is probably the most popular as it is the oldest and fastest way to get news from one person to another. However, an online newsroom is usually the first place reporters go to find basic information.

Chap 9: Writing For Television and Radio

Image via icumedia.net

Chapter 9 discusses a ton of stuff! However, I will focus on audio news releases, public service announcements, radio media tours, video news releases, and satellite media tours when used in television and radio. I loved the layout in this section of the book because with each different topic that was talked about, there was an explanation of format, production, delivery, use, placement, and other helpful tips in order to have a fantastic production.

Audio News Releases are meant to be very short and to the point. When sending them to a news director, the length of the ANR should be listed within the title. The book recommends sending a couple of different time lengths in order for the radio station to fill a variety of time slots with it. I found it interesting that a CD could be made with the varying lengths already on it.

I liked learning about public service announcements because I learned more about how different payments for ad time are from paid companies. They get time on television based on whether they are a government agency or nonprofit organization.

Video news releases were interesting to learn about as well because I can look back and recognize times when I have seen them before. They are usually prerecorded segments that news stations use in order to save and fill time slots during their programming.

I don’t feel as though I understand the concept of radio and satellite media tours honestly. I plan on looking up more about them to develop a better understanding on my own.

Fact Sheets often accompany each type of form covered in this chapter in order to provide additional information.

What I Have Learned From Working In Retail

Image via greenbayconsumer.com

I have worked at Dollar General for almost three years. I have a fantastic boss, amazing coworkers, and a dedicated client base. Sometimes, working with the public can be really difficult. People complain, argue, and tell the same jokes over and over again. However, it is my job to make sure they leave the store happy and satisfied.

Being a cashier requires more than just standing behind the counter and ringing people out. I have other duties as well. I have to clean, straighten, help customers find what they need, fix things if they break and try and make shopping at the store a pleasant experience for everyone young and old.

I have formed friendships with many of our regular customers as well. I have watched children grow, people pass away, and know the life story of quite a few people. It’s nice when I see a familiar face walk through the door because it’s nice to know that my job allows me to meet so many different people and form connections with them through a very basic job.

I truly believe and wish that everyone should work in retail at least once in their life because it provides so many different scenarios and situations that need to be confronted before you start a career. It helps with problem solving, teamwork, money handling, and many other things as well.

Although I may complain about my job sometimes, I do love working there and all of the things that retail and the people that I have met have taught me. I am very thankful.

Chap 8: Behind The Lens

Chapter 8 discusses pictures and graphics to be used in publications by public relations professionals.

Image via floridapoliticalpress.com

 

This chapter was really helpful in figuring out the do’s and don’ts of images within publications. Just the other day, I caught myself thinking about what goes into getting all of the visual aspects that I see all the time. I was happy to find out that many of the pictures, graphs, and other images that are seen are often created or taken by the public relations professional themselves.

I enjoy photography and creating easier ways to understand complex information in graphs and charts. This is an exciting aspect of this career that I didn’t consider until now. I appreciate all of the basic aspects that were discussed in creating a good image like, lighting, timing, scale, color, subject matter, etc.

Photographers can also be hired to work with public relations professionals. It is important to have a list of things that need to be included in the image so that the photographers have an idea of what they are supposed to be shooting. When working with a photographer, it’s appropriate to have a letter of agreement in writing, showing proof of agreement with fees, materials, and copyright ownership. Pictures can be enhanced with cropping and retouching as well.