Monday, March 26, 2007
The Week's Best, 26 March 2007
7 Ways to Improve a Blog's SEO, Stephen Davies
Subject to Change, Dan Santow
Pet Food Recall Issue Will Be Lack of Quality Control, B.L. Ochman
Search Through Lists with WhatALi.st, Kyle Pott (on Lifehack)
Less-Is-More Manifesto, Richard Bailey (on Forward blog)
Social Media Butterflies, Chris Thilk
Survey: PR Professionals Realise Importance of Blogs But Do Not Know How to Integrate Them In Their Planning, Philippe Borremans
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Business etiquette pointers for PR students
Some key points from her discussion:
- Business lunches and dinners are not about the meal but about the conversation. Order simple foods and don’t feel you have to finish them; don’t order a drink, but if pressed to do so, accept graciously and sip one drink all evening. Shelby has seen too many people do too many stupid things after drinking. She spent a lot of time going over specific issues (problem foods, which fork to use, the dreaded gristle) and for fun we watched this.
- Always err on the side of being too formal, whether in attire or in calling someone by their title (Dr. or Ms. for example) rather than their first name.
- Keep your personal life and professional life as separate as possible. Of course you’re going to make friends at the workplace, but don’t send that mass e-mail selling stuff for your club, requesting money for somebody’s birthday gift, or telling everyone about your weekend.
- In professional settings, Shelby says the traditional forbidden conversation topics are politics, religion and children. But she adds personal life (such as who you’re dating or not dating) and money to that list.
- Be direct with people who interrupt work with chit-chat, and let them know that you will talk with them when you’ve finished the project you’re working on. And don’t be that person who interrupts someone else.
In general, she suggests observing the culture of the workplace and adapting to it--whether it’s choosing clothes, bringing food to meetings, or celebrating holidays.
Update: here's a student's take on it.
Monday, March 19, 2007
The Week's Best for PR Students, 19 March 2007
101 Great Posting Ideas, Philip Liu
Arab Blogging, Kaye Sweetser
When Working, Don't Blog Unless Instructed to Do So!, J.L.C.
Is (Red) "Brand" Marketing Really Doing Any Good?, Heather Yaxley
What the PR Students are Saying about Crisis Communication, Eric Eggerston
4 Ways to Successfully Re-Post Others' Content, Mehdi Bagherian /Simin Babazadegan
"Soon Be 7" (Harry Potter), Peter Himler
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I've been schooled
I was right--and wrong.
Before I share the numbers, let me point out that 6 of the 28 who responded are second semester graduate students, most of whom were not PR majors as undergrads and therefore are not as well prepared as the 22 undergrads who are graduating in May. But that doesn't explain everything that I found.
First, the good news.
- Our students have lots of experience in writing news releases. Most have written 5-10 or more for classes (17 students), plus 1-4 (11 students) or 5-10 (10 students) outside of class. (Let's leave the "are news releases dead?" question aside for now).
- Eighteen report having at least one publication result from a news release--and two say they've had at least 10.
- Eighteen also report getting coverage for special event publicity.
- Ten have worked for the media (mostly the independent student newspaper, but also some radio, television, and magazine jobs/internships).
- Every student has written at least one news release and at least one survey questionnaire.
The unexpectedly (to me) bad news:
- Seven students have never pitched a reporter, for class or outside of class. 18 have pitched reporters for class projects, and 12 outside of class, but I was nonetheless very disappointed to find those seven--even if some of these are the grad students, a few of our undergrads are going to sneak out without pitching experience. Sorry, Todd Defren.
- In addition, 11 report never having moderated a focus group. Most have done one (8) or 2-3 (9 students). This one's complicated by the fact that one of my teams is doing theirs for their client later in the semester. But there are only seven students on that team, so once again a few are slipping through the cracks. When we reviewed our curriculum last spring we decided to split PR from the formerly joint ad/PR research class; hopefully this will give the PR faculty more ability to make sure everyone has done at least one.
- When I asked them to list "other" skills that they would highlight on their resumes, only four listed blogging. :-( So much for my blogging assignment!
Monday, March 12, 2007
The Week's Best, 12 March 2007
We are gaining market share, Richard Edelman
The future is video--now, Jeremy Pepper
Zany: PR portfolio, Lauren Vargas
"The Girl in the Shower," Slate
2007 PRWeek Awards highlights, Constantin Basturea
Social networking--PR style, come on in, Tom Murphy
Skeptics and cynics agree that the corporate social responsibility movement isn't, Steven Silvers
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Men, sports and public relations
I’m not complaining, though. If I subtract from 30 students the five who are primarily interested in sports information, my class would consist of 25 students: 24 women... and one guy. And he, by the way, is going to law school next fall.
Think about that for a minute: none of the male students in my class are PR generalists.
A quick search of a Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2005) report showed there are over 190,000 PR specialists and over 43,000 PR managers. Secondary sources indicate that 65% of PR practitioners were female in 1997 and 67% in 2002, so by now we must be up around 70%.
Obviously I'm not the only blogger to have commented on this. Last year Marcel Goldstein speculated on some reasons men don't go into PR, and PR educator Bill Sledzik has gone so far as to advocate scholarships dedicated to men to encourage them to consider PR as a major. From what Bill says, my 1:5 male-to-female student ratio is actually not bad, compared to 1:9 at Kent and in the PRSSA.
But I haven't heard anyone else talking about male students being almost uniformly interested in sports. If my students are any indication, it won’t be long until the only men left in PR are in sports information.
Monday, March 05, 2007
The inaugural Week's Best for PR students
So, in the spirit of never asking someone else to do something I wouldn't do myself, here's my inaugural "Week's Best" for PR students:
We're All Taught to Lie, Aren't We?, Leo Bottary
Personal Finance 101: Credit Scores, The Simple Dollar
It's All About Me, Young People Say, John Wagner
Case Study: Sea World Uses Video, Kami Huyse
Can Starbucks Tell One Story 13,000 Times?, Kevin Dugan
Blog Post Length Anomoly, Josh Hallett
Thursday, March 01, 2007
PR student blog roll
I couldn't help but notice how clever the names of some of them are. My personal favorite is "Not Another PR Blog...," but "My Own PR" and "Future PR Star" also caught my eye.