Category Archives: Blog

How to make amazing blog graphics (for free)

By: Abby Cousineau

Do you want to make your blog posts pop off the screen and grab people’s attention? This article will explain how to create amazing, FREE graphics for blogs, social media and so much more.

blog post

Source: Abby Cousineau

We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” and although I agree with this statement, I think we all know that living by this saying is actually super hard! We are visual creatures and whether we like it or not, having good graphics for blogs, social media posts, books, etc. can make a huge difference.

If you currently have a blog, just started one or even if you are strictly a connoisseur of other people’s blogs, you probably realize the importance of an eye-catching image. Having a unique graphic is a major factor in getting people to click on your posts.

Creating amazing images for your blog is actually a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t have to cost you any money either!

So, how do you make an amazing blog graphic with no money or graphic design experience?

Here are my three tips:

bp1.png

Source: Abby Cousineau

Tip 1. Utilize online tools

Canva and Picmonkey are both online sites that make creating graphics a breeze. You can play around with templates and designs like the image above and make it fit your needs by changing colors, text and pictures. You can also create unique designs by utilizing tools like text boxes, frames, shapes, illustrations, charts and more. The best part? Both of these tools are totally free and simple to use.

Tip 2. Design with Adobe Programs

Adobe programs like Illustrator and InDesign are made for graphic design purposes. There are a lot more functions and options on these programs, and there are millions of free YouTube videos that explain how to use them. Although these programs do cost money, if you are a student, most campus computers have Adobe creative suites installed on them, AKA they should be free to use! Additionally, Adobe offers student packages which make getting these programs affordable.

bp2

Source: Abby Cousineau

Tip 3. Get Stock Images for Free

One of the challenges of making graphics for blogs and social media is finding high-quality, relevant photos. Let’s face it, not everyone has the time or the equipment to take photos for their blog posts. Websites like Kaboompics, Pixabay and Pexels make getting stock photos easy and free. Just search for what you want, download and use.

So, there you have it! My tips for how to create professional, eye-catching designs for free.

Abby Cousineau is a senior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. She is currently serving as president of EMU PRSSA and is excited to be leading such a creative and dedicated group of individuals. You can usually find Abby outside anytime the weather is nice or otherwise spending her time behind a computer screen, working on one of her design projects. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.
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Why you should write for PRSSA

By: Josie Bobeck

why you should write for prssa

Image created by Josie Bobeck using Canva

The PRSSA blog features a wide array of topics, from recaps of events to current events to what’s new in the world of social media and PR. Did you know you can be featured on the PRSSA blog, too? It’s super easy, so why wouldn’t you? Here are the top three reasons why you should write for the PRSSA blog:

  1. It gives you practice writing. The more you write, the better you become at it. Figuring out a topic and writing about it, and potentially rewriting it until you’re happy with it, only improves your writing skills. Writing is a huge part of PR, so it’s best to start now.
  2. It gives you a taste of what a part of PR is. Not sure what you want to do? Maybe you’re thinking of media relations or social media strategy, but chances are you might have to write a blog post at some point in your career. The more blogs you write, the more comfortable you are with AP style, formatting and brainstorming, so why not?
  3. You’ll get to say you’re published. Yep, we’re official! Writing for our blog is an awesome resume builder, and it can help you build your writing portfolio for when you apply for jobs.

Are you interested in writing for the PRSSA blog? Send your post and graphic, plus a 75-word bio to our VP of Public Relations to be featured! Posts should be anything PR, social media, communications, journalism, business, and professional development related.

Josie Bobeck is a junior majoring in communications with a minor in marketing. This is her first year serving on PRSSA E-Board as VP of Member Relations. Josie likes music, writing, traveling and people.

Four reasons you should follow PR In Your Pajamas

By: Rachel Dwornick

Source: depaulmediarelations.com

Source: depaulmediarelations.com

We all know following career blogs are important, but finding blogs that are interesting and will be useful in your career can be difficult. Here are four reasons I believe you should follow the blog PR In Your Pajamas.

1.  Tips and Tricks
PR in Your Pajamas is a great resource for finding tips and tricks to use in your career, like how to write press releases or why your company needs a Pinterest account. This is important for anyone looking for new ideas to try out at work. One of the main reasons I love PR In Your Pajamas is because of the tips and tricks blogs they post. They are always informative and helpful.

2.  College, college, college
There couldn’t be a better time than in college to start following PR In Your Pajamas. They post advice on how to get internships and important lessons college classes don’t teach you. PR In Your Pajamas is a great learning tool for any PR major.

3. Updates
If you ever need to find new ways to use social media or learn how PR is changing, PR In Your Pajamas is a great tool. They give great advice on how to use social media in the 21st century and other ways PR is evolving. This is important for anyone wanting to continue to grow and expand his or her education even after graduation.

4. More Than PR
While PR In Your Pajamas is a great blog and tool for any PR major, it is also great for any college student or entrepreneur. They provide useful tips and tricks that anyone could use. PR In Your Pajamas is all around a great blog to follow.

Rachel Dwornick is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a minor in communications. She holds the position of Member Relations in PRSSA and is an active member of Alpha Xi Delta. Follow her on Twitter at @racheldwornick.

Beat the Winter blues by blogging

We have officially hit that point of year where on some days here in the Mitten State it’s colder outside than it is at the same time in Alaska. If you are anything like myself, you avoid going outside on days like that.

Winter gets tough because sometimes it seems as if there isn’t much to do. No beach, no casual bike rides or hikes, and overall just very few options for outdoor activities. Driving places gets dangerous, and sometimes it is simply the best option to stay inside. What better time to try blogging!?

Blogging is a super beneficial skill to have when pursuing a career in the public relations field. While ultimately as a practitioner it would be advantageous to blog about issues and current events in the public relations world, any sort of blog is beneficial simply because blogging can strengthen writing skills and give you experience navigating a blog platform.

Source: Rae Lewis-Thornton

Source: Rae Lewis-Thornton

If you find yourself thinking that starting a blog is an intimidating idea, don’t worry. Although blogging might seem intimidating (Will people even read my blog? What do I blog about?), I promise that it is not. The key to blogging is to find your voice and use it to blog something that you are passionate about. If you are well-engaged with your topic, your audience will be able to tell. If you aren’t interested and you are blogging about something random just for the sake of blogging, they will also be able to tell that. So that’s the trick, blog about something that you love.

When it comes to choosing a blog platform, that can be a tricky task, but it’s all about finding one that you find to be user friendly. I personally use WordPress for my blog. I find it to be easy to customize and post on and  I would highly suggest it to a first time blogger. However, there are a multitude of options available as far as blog platforms go. To get you started, here is a list of the top ten most popular blog platforms, as according to technochilly.com.

  1. WordPress
  2. Blogger
  3. Tumblr
  4. Medium
  5. BraveNet
  6. Live Journal
  7. Type Pad
  8. Joomla
  9. Quora
  10. Silvrback

Whether you start your blog on one of those platforms, or if you already have a blog, blogging is a great way to hone in on and strengthen many crucial tools needed for a career in public relations such as writing and the ability to craft a visually appealing blog. So, when you are stuck indoors this winter, beat the winter blues by starting and working on your blog. You will not only spend your time inside in a productive manner, but you will also continue to become a better PR pro by sharpening your blogging skills.

Andrea Mellendorf
Chief Financial Officer
EMU PRSSA

Is Advertising On Facebook Effective?

(courtesy of technorati.com)

This post has been pulled from our archives!

General Motors pulled its paid advertising from Facebook stating that ads have had little to no impact on consumers’ car purchasing.  This begs the question:  Are sponsored ads on Facebook effective?

[Click here for more information about GM’s Facebook move via the Wall Street Journal]

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on a Facebook ad.  (Other than an accidental slip of the mouse here or there)  Does anybody out there ever click these ads?  I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say that they’ve bought something in direct response to a Facebook ad.

The dialog created on Facebook’s free pages seems to be a more effective use of the medium than the paid advertisements.  That being said, why do companies spend millions of dollars on these ads?  GM reportedly spent $10 million last year on Facebook ads promoting their products.  That seems like a lot to spend when a well put together free page may create just as much buzz as paid advertisements.

What does this move by GM mean for Facebook?  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, GM is the third biggest advertiser in the country across all forms of media.  Will other companies follow GM’s lead and also pull their advertising dollars and focus on the development of the free content Facebook provides?  This could happen, which would mean a big reduction in revenue for the social media giant.

The timing of the move by GM may be a bit suspicious as Facebook is expected to begin to sell public shares of stock.  Was this move by GM in retaliation for something Facebook did to anger the automotive company?  I can only speculate.  Here’s a great article that adds to the speculation on GM’s motives.

Whatever happened between GM and Facebook may never be publicly known.  But it brings to light a debate between companies use of dollars on advertising or social PR.  I think that GM’s money would be better used growing their social media pages and creating a more comprehensive dialog between the company and it’s consumers.  To me, engaging consumers is a more effective strategy than only running basic ads on the site itself.

As social media continues to grow, it will be interesting to see if more corporations will take dollars originally allocated for advertising and instead invest in growing their brands through social media sites.

Sam Plymale
EMU PRSSA Alum

Favorite links from the week

It’s Friday! Aren’t you excited?

I don’t have the day off, but I know some of our EMU PRSSA members and students do, so I want to share this list of some of my favorite reads from PR blogs this week. (Check out my favorite blogs list, too!)

Source: We Heart It

Source: We Heart It

Blogging is one of the most important things a student can do, do you know why? Well, NYC PR GIRLS let’s one reader know when they ask, “should I start a blog?”

Happy Birthday Facebook! Everyone’s favorite social network turned 10 years old this week! Holy cow! I’ve been on for just over 9 years and celebrate my 10th year anniversary with Facebook in January 2015. How long have you been on? Well, anyway, Mark Zuckerberg envisioned Facebook a bit like this back in 2004…

If there’s one thing us PR students can’t learn very well in a classroom setting, it’s pitching reporters. It’s an artform and there are a lot of tips out there on how to do it. Here’s one former journalists advice for pitching reporters via PR Daily.

You know those crazy publicity stunts you see all over the place? Like on Washtenaw, when that crazy Statue of Liberty person is outside of the tax place in 0 degree weather trying to get people to come in to get their taxes done? Well, do you think they work? Shift Communications takes a look.

Ever worked in retail? I have. It’s stressful and can sometimes feel really…well, hard. But you’re learning some valuable lessons there, and here are some of them from That Working Girl.

Emily Vontom
President
EMU PRSSA

Blog must reads for every PR student

I used to love reading. And then I decided to be a history major in undergrad and, well, reading kinda became my least favorite thing. And then blogs became popular and now I love to read those.

So, here are some of my favorite PR blogs that I thought EMU PRSSA members and PR students could learn from.

Source: EReleases

Source: EReleases

PR Daily The countless number of blogs I see and/or read on a daily basis from PR Daily is just fabulous. The information and tips they offer help inspire me on a daily basis and I can’t get enough of their articles.

NYC PR Girls These girls are awesome. Not only do they let you into secrets about the PR world, they do a lot of lifestyle blogging and fashion posts, too! Which, let’s be real guys, a lot of PR girls (and some guys) just love! Definitely a must read.

Spin Sucks Another great blog that offers a lot of great tips and information. While I don’t read this blog as much as PR Daily, when I do read it, I find treasure after treasure.

prTini This blog is great because there’s a lot of technology and social media articles (not that the others don’t have it, but Heather has a lot more!). If you want information on new trends in social media, technology and PR this is the blog for you!

 What are your favorite PR blogs?

Emily Vontom
President
EMU PRSSA