Friday, July 28, 2006

Del Oro Awards Banquet Less Than a Week Away

Our chapter’s Del Oro awards banquet is this Thursday. If your planning to register and haven’t yet, you’ll want to by Monday to save a little moolah. It’s also the last day to register for a whole table (as lots of folks are doing).

I’ve been talking with some of the planning committee members, and I can tell you this is going to be a really nice event. A good number of folks will be getting awards for their work on PR campaigns and tactics. Then, we’ll also be celebrating our three individual winners:

Tex Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award – Bob Howard, American Red Cross

Public Relations Professional of the Year – Lorraine Pulido-Ramírez, Edgewood ISD

Horizon Award – Carol Schliesinger, Southwest Mental Health Center

For details go to our chapter web site or go directly to the registration page.

Students Can Be Better Writers in PR

As an individual I have a passion for writing. As a student of PR I am lacking in my writing skills. I attribute this to a couple of important factors, the first being that I did not realize until now that there should be a specific order that PR classes should be taken. I just finished my junior year at University of Texas at San Antonio, it was not until my second semester as a junior that I took a technical writing class. By all means, this should have been a class taken in my freshman or sophomore year. Tough lesson learned. This next semester will be interesting because I will be enrolled in three intense PR classes, (Case Studies in PR, Editing, and Writing for PR). For some reason I am thinking I should have taken these classes a long time ago. I did not, so I will have my work cut out for me.

Because I am not well versed in writing for PR in any sense of the word, I will need a lot of help. Where will I get this help? Besides the normal route of instruction, I will be utilizing my renewed old best friend, reading. Part of this reading will entail reading as many blogs as possible, because I am learning that there is a wealth of information and instruction that is passed through the many blogs available for students of PR. I found another one to add to my bookmarks called Forward Blog. I recently read a posting entitled Write or Wrong? that was about whether writng matters in public relations.

Writing is an extremely important aspect in the PR profession, so in order to be successful in the profession a person must also be a successful writer. In order to be a better writer it is important to constantly follow four wisely given steps that are important to be successful at writing for public relations:

1. Read widely;
2. Think clearly;
3. Write simply;
4. Proof and edit last

As you can tell from my previous postings, I get wordy. So the step that will be hardest for me will be writing simply. What was great for me were the comments posted to this blog. I believe that there is never too much advice as long as it is good advice that continues to cement your efforts in learning the craft.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Using Social Media Strategies in Traditional PR Programs

Shift Communications announced in its blog today that it has released a 30-page “PR 2.0 Essentials” document today that covers the use of social media tools for public relations. They are sharing it with the PR community free of charge.

The document includes information about how to incorporate new media strategies in your public relations programs such as: RSS, blogging, memes, tagging, poscasting, wikis, social networking, social bookmarking, the social media release, instant messaging and SMS (messaging for cell phones).

While not complete, no such resource will ever be due to the rapidly evolving nature of the Internet, it has a lot of great resources and I recommend you download the document (direct link to the pdf) as a reference.

It is also a good read-ahead companion for our upcoming professional development seminar on August 30, 2006.

PRSA and IABC have teamed up with Frost Bank to bring Shel Holtz, a well-known blogger and podcaster in the area of public relations, to San Antonio. He was the top-rated breakout speaker for the recent IABC International conference.

If you will be anywhere near San Antonio on August 30, be sure to register for the seminar.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Del Oro Award Story in San Antonio Business Journal

Andi Rodríguez of the San Antonio Business Journal wrote a nice piece about our upcoming awards celebration in the July 14 issue. The article is titled, “Journalism organizations host annual awards celebrations,” in the “Talk of the Town” section. On the opposite page, the chapter placed an advertisement to highlight our three individual honorees:

Del Oro Tex Taylor Lifetime Achievement AwardBob Howard, American Red Cross

Del Oro Public Relations Professional of the Year – Lorraine Pulido-Ramírez, Edgewood ISD

Del Oro Horizon Award – Carol Schliesinger, Southwest Mental Health Center

For more information or to register online click here.

Thanks for the nice write-up Andi!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Resources for PR Folk About Blogs

Last month, I posted about a couple of really good resources about blogs and blogging. I provided some details and excerpts. I intended to do it again but haven’t had time to more write “reviews” so I’m going to stop withholding valuable information. Below are links to several top-notch resources.

1. From Edelman and Intelliseek
Trust “MEdia”: How Real People Are Finally Being Heard (in pdf)

2-4. Waggener Edstrom Worldwide has several useful resources, including:
Are You Listening: Understanding the Blogosphere from a Communications Perspective (Part I)

Engaging the Blogosphere: Creating Connections and Fueling Conversations (Part II) (in pdf)

Also on this site are tip sheets that provide the “general rules of engagement for communicating with bloggers or introducing and managing your corporate blog.”

5. Kaye Trammel, assistant professor of mass communication at Louisiana State University provides a comprehensive list of research about blogs.
List of blog research

6-8. Hyku Author Josh Hallett includes in his blog several tips for starting a business blog, etc.:

Starting a Business Blog? Here Are a Few Questions You Need to Answer

Starting a Blog: Do These Things

Pitching Bloggers: Send Something of Interest to Somebody You Know

9+ And don’t forget Kami Watson-Huyse’s “Corporate Blogging 101: What You Said,” a list of more than 35 useful links to posts about corporate blogging supplied by her readers.

Have you come across other good resources or posts? Please share them here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

PRSA Blog Team Grows in San Antonio

Our blogging team has grown this week! We are pleased to add Monica and Melissa to our team!

Team members will be bringing their unique perspective from the industry they work in. So far we have
  • a blogger who owns an independent PR agency,
  • one in public affairs for one of the fastest-growing school districts in the state,
  • a PR person from a large federal credit union,
  • two from the non-profit world (one involved in direct service and one from the advocacy and research side), and
  • a college student and leader of PRSSA.
For our team members and others who are just starting their role as bloggers, here is one good resource on thinking of things to post about: 10 Killer Post Ideas by Chris Garrett.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

PR Majors Need Experience Prior to Graduation

At our blogging training session for San Antonio: Bline Blog I was introduced to a great blog site for students, NewPR. As the student blogger on our team I have had a little trouble being inspired and motivated to post. Until now!

I read a great blog written by Brian Solis, Colleges send marketing/PR graduates to workforce ill-prepared that struck me as very relevant to the students at the University of Texas at San Antonio(UTSA), especially those in the UTSA-PRSSA chapter. The degree offered at UTSA in the area of public relations is theory based with some excellent courses, but the only real experience a student can participate in is the PRSSA National Bateman Competition. Even then it is only a select group of students that are chosen. Solis mentions the need of universities to monitor the field for any specialized program that the evolvement of dynamics happens quickly and often. This is especially true of the PR curriculums with the growing amount of social media that has recently evolved.

I found the annual intern program that Solis hosts at San Jose State University for PR students to be an awesome opportunity for those students to get the real world experience before graduation. Solis basically places students with the PR teams of San Jose State University and local San Jose businesses charging them with their PR and marketing initiatives. Solis compares this to the types of situations that are seen in such reality television series as the Apprentice, and the Real World. The great thing about this concept is the ability of peers to work together in real-time accomplishment by utilizing their education, teamwork, and experience while working for a group of clients. This is all done in a situation where the playing field is pretty even. I feel this would be something that the UTSA-PRSSA executive board should discuss at length with both our faculty advisor, professional advisors, and the UTSA Internship advisor in regards to the feasibilty of beginning a program like this at UTSA.

Since becoming the 2006/2007 president of the UTSA-PRSSA I have been contacted by several professionals interested in partnering with our chapter, including a restaurant that is considering partnering with us for a full PR/marketing campaign. I am extremely excited and grateful for the renewed interest in our chapter, which is the only PRSSA chapter in San Antonio. This would be a great opportunity to begin a program such as that mentioned above.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Guidelines for a Team Blog

During our organizing meeting in February, members of our blog team identified our purposes for this blog (see first bullet below). Last week, we met again to welcome new members of our team and we agreed on a set of guidelines for this group blog.

We extend a special thank you to Dan York! He posted a set of guidelines a few months ago (see April 24) and said we could adapt them. Thanks Dan for giving us a good place to start! Here the are…

PRSA San Antonio Byline Blog – Group Blogging Guidelines

All posts must support one or more of our goals for this blog – The goals for the PRSA San Antonio Byline Blog are to provide and experience professional development for public relations professionals, to advocate the profession of public relations and its ethical practice, to conduct outreach to professionals and students (particularly in the San Antonio area), and to foster an exchange of ideas regarding public relations and related topics, including use of social media.

Regular posting – Each blogger in the group is encouraged to post at least twice a month – though work and family can come first.

No product pitches – This blog is for general discussion of public relations issues, not promotion of individual products or services unless sponsored by PRSA or PRSSA.

This blog is not a press-release distribution vehicle – Links to press releases are okay, but with context and preferably by a third party.

Copyright on your text is yours, but… – By posting on this blog you give the chapter permission to redistribute your content as deemed appropriate.

All articles must be your text (or appropriately quoted)

No slamming of other professionals or competitors – Praise or criticism of a campaign or tactic is fine, but this blog is not to be used to defame or personally attack anyone. Also, profanity will not be tolerated.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Social Media: Measuring Where You Are

Are you wondering how, or if, social media tools can be successfully used in your organization?

Taking the pulse of the employees that are essential to move such programs forward can be one step toward integrating some these new tools into your communications programs.

Dan Greenfield of the blog Bernaisesource offers the following survey (pdf)
to be given to employees of an organization just to see where everyone is at concerning social media.

Sometimes knowing where you are starting can help to determine the level of education needed to successfully integrate social media tools such as, blogs, podcasts, video-blogs, and wikis (among others) into your over public relations strategy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jupiter Research Alerts the Media, But Still Wants to Keep their Big Secret

You can’t eat your cake and have it too.

There has been an interesting buzz in the blogosphere recently about a curious study released by JupiterResearch on the gargantuan explosion we’re about to see in the number of corporations that kick off blogs this year. The buzz started when Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog raised some questions about the results of the study. In short, the company’s PR firm refused to answer her questions.

Then another blogger, Fard Johnmar of, shelled out $750 to get a copy of the report. And – to say the least – he still has questions. One of the responses he got to his questions over the phone was, “JupiterResearch is not revealing any more information about the survey to any member of the media.”

There are a lot of weird things about this situation:

  • Why would a reputable research firm refuse to provide even basic info about a study’s methodology?
  • Why would a research firm that specializes in Internet and Web 2.0 research disregard bloggers?
  • Why would a research firm refuse to back up its results that it surely knows are counter to findings of similar studies?
But the question I can’t get out of my mind is:
  • Why would a company issue a news release to the media when it doesn’t want to talk to the media?
What’s the strategy here? I understand that the data is proprietary. I work with a non-profit that, among other things, conducts research and evaluation of school programs. When the data and findings are proprietary, we don’t issue a news release. If the client wants to, that’s fine, and we’ll answer reporter’s questions.

My organization is in no way a competitor of JupiterResearch. I am not a client. I’d never even heard of them until this brough-ha-ha. I did review their web site and find that they release research and data very frequently (from weekly to daily). I don’t know if all of their reports omit methodology information or other explanations for their findings. But doesn’t it seem just a bit arrogant to think people will believe what you say at face value without asking questions?

PR 101 says don’t court the media if you don’t want to dance. So it seems to follow that you really shouldn't court the media if you’re planning to stomp on their toes!