Monthly Archives: March 2012

Chap 14: Writing Emails, Proposals, and Memos

Chapter 13 discussed the appropriate ways to write emails, proposals and memos.

There are many advantages to emailing as long as the purpose stays clear and concise and manners are attributed appropriately. The textbook outlines a number of advantages in this chapter:

  • Reduces the cost of employee communications
  • increases the distribution of messages to more employees
  • flattens corporate hierarchy
  • speeds up decision making

However, in my opinion, while email is great and very cost and time effective, what would the world do if email and other electronic forms of communication went down? To me, this is a scary thought. Would communication just be completely thrown for a loop? 

Email is in fact secondary to face-to-face communication. I am glad the book stated this because I totally agree. There is nothing like good eye contact, body language, and observable intent. Emails include a subject line, salutation, first sentence/paragraph, a body and a closing.

Memos are used in many ways. It is usually distributed to employees to ask a question, make an announcement, or convey information. Proposals are used to convey information.

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What Do You Want To Be?

As I draw closer to graduating college, I find myself looking into the past almost as much as I peer into my future. I think about the dreams, goals, hard work and other moments in my life that continue to mold me into who I am today.

There is a sad reality that I have come to realize and unfortunately accept. As a child, I, along with many others, was asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answers were usually pretty out there; there were zero restrictions on what I could become. However, as I grew older, I found that this question isn’t a good one to ask children anymore.

I believe this because, life is no longer about going out and pursuing what you want. It’s about what you can get that will allow you to survive. Jobs are scarce and I can recount numerous times in which my friends, family members or other random people I knew have been strayed away from their true passions because the “job market is scarce” for their desired profession. How sad is it that we can no longer go after our dreams without worrying about whether that dream will provide food, shelter, and the basic needs of any individual?

Image via ndambassador

Looking back, I wonder if I did enough; did I participate in enough extra-curricular activities? Did I work hard enough to be considered a good candidate for a job? These couple of questions are just a small portion of the things that run through my mind sometimes as I grow older.

Chap 13: Newsletters and Brochures

Chapter 13 discussed the creation and design of newsletters and brochures.

It outlined the main purposes of each publication and how to reach the target audience optimally with design and content features.

The content of the newsletter or brochure depends on the organization in which it is being written for and who that organization is trying to reach. Newsletters are informative of course, but in my opinion, brochures are more narrow and put together-not a lot of fluff. Since there isn’t room for a ton of information, brochures are usually really compact content wise.

Generally, the way to reach a target audience does in fact come from design. For example, if the target audience is young college students, a brochure or newsletter may use a unique font, brighter colors, and more “vibrant” imagery to gain attention. However, if the target audience is older men and women after retirement, the design may be more calming and relaxing.

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A Journey Through The Mind

“Everyone is a self-saboteur at some point. With that being the case, then the thing that people are sabotaging is simply an infatuation and their subconscious mind is keeping them from making a mistake.”

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Image via Tony Dicastri

This complex grouping of words was written down and thought of by one of the smartest people I know, Anthony DiCastri. I met him about a year ago and he discussed his fascination with the human mind and the way that our lives revolve around things that are hard to control. It makes me and others really think about the decisions that we make every day and what drives us to make them.

To explain this quote, I wanted to use the explanation that he gave me word for word using relationships as an example:

“Everyone sabotages a relationship in their lives. The relationship you unknowingly sabotage is nothing but a foolish attraction to that person. Your sub-conscious mind is keeping you from making a mistake by staying with that person. There will be someone better coming along later in life that fits you better than the person you just broke up with.”

Having someone in your life to keep you grounded and calm when things are falling apart is important. Surrounding yourself with people that are open minded and not afraid of their own thoughts is important. It will not only help you become a deeper and more open individual, but it will help you encourage others to do the same.

This blog is meant to distribute this complex idea into the masses. It’s important to delve deeper into the human mind like Tony does in order to remain connected to yourself. Don’t be afraid to formulate your own ideas and come up with your own intelligent ideas about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

I began using Twitter in 2009 right before I graduated high school. I didn’t

really use it to tweet my thoughts, but rather to interact with my friends and even some of my teachers.

Upon attending the first PRSSA meeting of the semester in January of this year, I was tempted to get back on twitter after deleting my old account. I made a new twitter name and thought I would give it another shot. I was excited as my followers grew to much more than I expected and tried to tweet a little bit each day.

The reason I decided to try Twitter again was because some of my professors, mentors, and other credible people in my life said that it was a nice addition to put on a resume. It would allow employers to view my writing style, see what type of people I follow and interact with…things like that. However, the more and more that I use Twitter, the more I want to stop.

I kept up with updating my tweets for about two weeks. The more friends I added from the Speech Communications department, I realized that they weren’t really using it for an opportunity to impress employers. They are using it as it should be used…as a social media site. I don’t agree with the use of Twitter as a way to showcase my written talent or other aspects of my life.

Twitter hasn’t received very many updates from me because I literally just can’t stand the site. I don’t like the format and I don’t see the same “addictive nature” that I can understand with Facebook. Some things should just be kept personal, and Twitter is one of those things. I never plan on mentioning my Twitter name on any professional form whatsoever.

Chap 12: Website Writing and New Media

Chapter 12 discussed how to properly write for a website and the concept of “new media.”

Writing for a website, in my opinion, honestly sounds like common sense. As always, as a public relations professional, you must write for the audience. There are many different focuses of a website. Some may choose to center around investor relations while others may want to target customers and encourage customer feedback.

Whatever the case, the textbook states that there are a few key points to focus on when writing for a website:

  • Use short sentences that are less than 20 words.
  • Use short paragraphs that contain no more than three sentences in each one.
  • Write the way you talk and limit each page to a single concept.
  • Use bullet-points in order to simplify reading for the audience.

There are many other tips, but these are the few that I decided to pick out as the “most important.”

It is also important to make the website as interactive, colorful, and interesting as possible, regardless of who the audience is.

A small tidbit on new media and what it is exactly can be summed up by saying that it is media, or content, that can be accessed at anytime. It is an on demand version of traditional media that is much broader than the media of the past.