TOW #9

For this weeks topic of the week we had to create an account on PR Open Mic, which is a social network developed by professor Robert French at Auburn University.

PR open Mic has a lot to offer to PR students and recent grads.  It allows you to create an account and connect through blogs and forums with other PR professionals or those that are interested in PR.  The site also provides you with the latest PR news and updates from around the world.  Also on the site you do not have to be a PR professional to post news and information on the site.  I thought it was really cool to see information about PR posted by other students just like me who are also PR majors.

While explore the site I came across a few news updates that I thought were very interesting.  Since I am just  getting started on my blog the news article “6 secrets for writing a great blog post”  definitely caught my eye.  In this article the writer gives some insight on easy ways to write better blogs posts that will interest your followers.

Another news article that I found to be very interesting was “happy meals account for less than 10 percent of McDonald’s US sales.”  When I first started to read this article I felt that 10 percent was very low for happy meals.  When I first think of McDonald’s I always think of Ronald McDonald and Happy meals.  In reality though one of McDonald’s spokespersons actually explained that 10 percent is actually a lot of revenue for their company and that they pleased with the fact that McDonald’s is still keeping the “happy” appeal going strong.

One feature that the site also offered was an areas with listings of possible internship and job openings in the PR field.  I felt that this was a really good feature to have for college students and recent grads because it allows them to easily find news job openings that they my not have otherwise found from just search on Google.



TOW #8

For this weeks topic of the Week we had to take a course on NewsU called The Lead Lab.  During this course we learned a lot of important information about writing leads and how to write leads.

The first thing that I learned about leads was to use the 5 W’s and an H when writing leads which are:

  • What happened?
  • Who did it happen to?
  • Where did it happen?
  • When did it happen?
  • How did it happen?

The 5 W’s and H have been around for over 100 years and has been used by editors, journalist, and teachers as a classic journalism device.  It allows journalist to gather information to analyze, organize and present the beginning, or lead, of a news story.

When choosing what to write about you also need to consider 3 things:

  1. Your news organization
  2. The news
  3. The timing of publication

There were a lot of things that surprised me about leads because I did not really know much about them before I got started with this course.  At first I did  not know there was a specific outline that people go by to write leads.  It was new to me that a lead is simply just a shorter outline of the rest of the story starting the main points in a short paragraph.  Another thing that surprised me was how the chose to present the information.  I felt that it was kind of confusing to figure out which little icons I needed to click on to find more information.  I feel that there could have been a much easier way to present the important information about leads.

After completing the course I was able to write me own lead and post it on a NewsU forum.  By doing this it allowed me to realize I need to work a lot more on my leads.  I would like to learn a little more about organization of leads and what order is best to present information.  Overall I felt that the course was extremely helpful and I definitely feel a lot more comfortable writing leads for news articles.


I have always considered myself to be a pretty good writer, especially if I am interested in what I am writing about.  Recently I took courses on writing, grammar, spelling etc. through a website called NewsU. After completing these courses I realized I need to increase my skills in a lot of areas in order to become a better writer.

I recently came across an article on PR Daily that discussed new ways to better your writing called “7 Ways to Improve Your Writing..Right Now.

The 7 quick ways in which the article suggests to become a better writer are:

Be concise and Clear

The longer you write, the less you hold a reader’s interest. If you can’t say it simply in just a few words, then you’ve lost readers. Write short, write lean, and write clearly so you don’t have to waste words explaining what you’ve just written.

Keep it short

You do not have to keep your writing short just the line length. Set your page layout so that it’s not full width,keep the sentences short and use plenty of paragraph breaks. 100 characters per line is optimal for speed — but about 45 characters is best for reader comfort.

Stick to three magic words

So have 3 bullet points. 3 steps, 3 strategies. Use the number 3 as often as you can.

Not only will you capture better reader interest by doing so, but you’ll improve your readers’ ability to remember what you’ve written. We tend to chunk information into groups of three, and recall those triads more easily.

Watch Your Tone

It’s easy for writers to assume readers can pick up on our mood and tone from our writing.  As a reader, you have no idea what tone the writer is trying to convey unless the words around that phrase cue you into my written tone.

Talk Food, Sex, and Danger

If you want people to pay more attention to your writing, bring up those big three. Use stories and examples that touch on aspects of food, sex, or danger. Add descriptors or associative words. Pair it with a nice picture, if you’d like. It’ll glue them to the page.

Break It Up

Make it easy for people to read your work. The easier it is, the more they’ll get your point and enjoy reading — and that’s what you want.

Stay On Topic

Building and outline helps. Decide on the main point of your piece and create three (!) sub-points that support it. Make sure each one ties back to the message you want to get across to readers, and make sure each sub-point is supportive and relevant.

Born and raised in Ohio I have always been a huge Lebron James fan.  He is a great role model for young kids and has put a lot of hard work and determination to get where he is now.  A lot of people gave him heck for leaving the Cavaliers to the Heat, but i give him credit.  He was never going to win a championship any time soon staying with the Cavaliers so I believe he made a great move.

A few months after his switch Nike came out with a commercial where Lebron explains, without specifically saying that he cannot make everyone happy and has to put himself first before making decisions.  Nike ended the commercial with him saying should i be who you want me to be?  Just do It!

This Nike commercial has caused a lot of controversy because  many people feel that Lebron was slapping it in their faces that he made decisions to be who he wanted to be rather than what everyone else wanted him to be.  Even South Park made fun of his commercial in there episode “Coon and Friends.”  I do not believe he was being a traitor for leaving and I think the commercial gives great examples that Lebron is his own person and he made the decision based on what he felt would benefit him most.  I mean come on can you really blame the guy?

Below is the commercial that Nike advertised.  Let  me know how you feel about this issue.

So since it is the holiday season and everyone is trying to find a way to save and get more money to buy gifts for friends and loved ones this year, I thought this article I found would help out greatly.

The article is called “Social Networking you way to more money,” and gives great insight to how to save and earn more money.  Here are five different ways the article recommend to earn a little extra cash:


When using Twitter do a search for coupons. During the search You will find loads of feeds that offer savings on products that you use every day. Most larger retailers and manufacturers have Twitter feeds where you can find great deals.  Also, Facebook is home to many company sites who offering savings.  When searching for coupons on facebook use the search bar and type in the company where you want to find coupons and they will usually have them on their Facebook accounts in which you can use in stores and online.  The advantage you using online coupons is that they sometimes can only solely be used online.

Job Hunting

Jobster.com is a web search portal that not only maintains job listings through its website but also has a Facebook application. Facebook users can use this application to post their resume, network with other people in their field, and connect with the Jobster network. Large corporations like GE, Merill Lynch, and Nike pay $100 per month to access resumes from the Jobster Facebook application (according to Businessweek) so you can be sure that this Facebook application is truly connecting seekers with recruiters.

Borrow Money

Social networking sites allow people to feel more connected with one another.  If people feel more connected with one another and build better relationships through social networking sites then they are more likely to share money at competitive rates.

Save Money

Through social networking sites such as facebook and twitter you can find new ways to save money on meals and electricity etc.  There is a budgeting app where you simply enter the amount of money you would like to save each day and then drag icons representing everyday activities until the savings add up to your goal.  This app gives you excellent examples on how to save money each and everyday.

The Bottom Line

Social Networking sites are not only for teens anymore, anyone can find ways to save money and should get involved asap.


I do not know about you guys but I am a huge shopper and one of my favorite days of the year has always been Black Friday.  Every year my mom, aunt, and cousins wake up at 3:00 a.m and head to the mall.  We wear Santa hats and a few of the years have even made family T-shirts for the special occasion.  Even though some people believe that the deals are not really worth all the craziness of waking up early and fighting the crowds, but I think it is worth it!  This morning my mom even called to wake me up to check out a few of the online deals that were offered on this so called “Cyber Monday.”

Some people may think what me and my family do sounds a little crazy but we are not the only ones who spend their Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving spending a little extra cash on some bargains.

According to an article that I read on PR daily’s news feed called “Online holiday shopping climbs 13 percent,” this past  Black Friday many US online merchants saw $648 million in sales this year, which is up 9 percent from last year.  Some other statistics that the study found were that since the beginning of November, people have spent $11.6 billion on Web shopping, a 13 percent increase.  Also more people were shopping this weekend (212 million compared to 195 million last year) and each of them spent an average of 6 percent more money.  The top increase in sales for companies was Amazon who was up 25 percent more visitors than last year.

I think it is a good thing that more people are getting out to try and enjoy the holidays.  It also is a good sign that maybe our economy is getting a little better and more people have enough money to go out and spend some extra cash on Thanksgiving weekend.

I have heard a lot of comments already for and against the idea of this whole Black Friday and Cyber Monday craziness, but I want to hear from you.  Do you think it is a stupid idea to go out and waist your whole day on shopping?  Or do you think the ritual should keep a-float?

So I was recently scrolling through articles on PR daily and found a You tube video advertisement for Reebok. I had not yet seen it on television so I decided to read up on it to see why.  The video is about a young guy who is holding a deer hostage so Santa will give him his Reebok sneakers for Christmas.  It is a simple video but some people have felt it has been a little offensive and weird after watching it.

So far Reebok has gotten mixed reviews on You Tube with people saying it is funny and a good advertisement, but a few people have been offended by the commercial and feel it is not suitable for little kids.

In my opinion I think it needs to be aired, there are way more offensive things being played on television and this one does not even come close to touching the offensiveness of many other commercials that are being played on television.  I give Reebok props for testing their commercial out on You Tube before it hit globally.  After watching the video tell me what you think and your opinion of whether or not you feel it is too offensive for certain demographics or not?