Category Archives: News

Walkouts at the New York Times

By Josie Bobeck

Image result for the new york times


The New York Times is one of the most well known newspapers in the world, if not the number one. And if you know anything about how newspapers work, you know that it takes a village from start to finish to get a newspaper to the public.

Earlier this week the New York Times announces plans to cut back on the news paper’s copy editors. Copy editors are super important in the world of journalism – without them, publications would be filled with typos, grammar mistakes, and missed punctuation.

Image result for copy editing


Executive editors said in a statement that by laying off editors, the newspaper would be able to hire as many as 100 journalists with the money.

Copy editors aren’t the only people in fear of losing their job – the role of public editor, around since 2003, is also said to be eliminated.

So why is this relevant to public relations?

PR professionals work very closely with journalists, and it is crucial that publications are well-written and clean. A simple typo could be very bad for a company. Copyediting is more than just proofreading – it’s a valuable skill that could help give you an advantage in the world of media.

Eastern Michigan University offers a Copy Editing class (JRNL 307). In this class you will learn more about AP style, grammar, and how to improve stories overall.

Josie Bobeck is a senior majoring in written communication and minoring in communication. She is currently the VP of Public Relations, previously serving as VP of Member Relations. Josie hopes to one day work in a creative environment in a big city or for a record label doing publicity. Connect with Josie on Twitter at @Josephine3laine or by email at



Pass to share: Site only allows those who pass a quiz to comment or share their articles

By: Nicole Raymond

There has recently been a lot of talk about “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and the rants many people have taken to social media to discuss a variety of topics. One online news source is trying to curb the rants of those on social media by making sure they know their stuff before they share or comment on an article.

Much of journalism has moved to an online platform where ease of reading and sharing is prevalent for the millions of readers on the web. With the power for anyone to comment on or share an article, and more and more people joining the world of social media, it has become inevitable that people will share and comment on articles they haven’t fully read or don’t  understand.

According to Joseph Lichterman, one Norwegian news site, NRKbeta, is trying to prevent people from blindly sharing articles by having them pass a test about the article before they are able to share it. The test has readers answer three questions about the article correctly before they are able to share or comment on the piece. Executives from the website say this feature allows them to make sure readers understand what they are reading before they rant about it.

Fake news 1

Photo Credit: NRKbeta

Having people spend 15 seconds thinking about the article and taking the time to answer the questions and understand the article better may even allow the reader to cool off and see that the rant isn’t needed in the first place.

Fake news 2

Photo Credit: NRKbeta

While NRKbeta is still in the introductory phase of their quiz screenings and only a handful of articles have the quiz feature available, if all goes well, they may use the quiz for all of their published articles.

Some may see this as obstructing free speech or distasteful for the news organization, but a journalist from NRKbeta Ståle Grut said, “We thought we should do our part to try and make sure that people are on the same page before they comment. If everyone can agree that this is what the article says, then they have a much better basis for commenting on it.”

I think quizzes are a great idea because it ensures that readers have taken the time to read and understand the information before sharing and creating conversations about the material. However, I think it hinders some of the potential an article has for a large reach. If readers are required to take a quiz on the article before they publish it, some people may not want to take the time. This means less people see the article and less traffic is driven to a website. This hurts advertising costs and the number of views for the website.

What do you think of having to pass a quiz before a person is able to comment or share an article?

Nicole Raymond is senior majoring in public relations and double minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first year serving on EMU PRSSA’s E-Board as VP of External Relations. Nicole is a wife, aunt, daughter, sister and friend. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @nicoleraymond74.

Combating fake news: 4 tips for successful messaging

By: Abby Cousineau

How public relations professionals can ensure their message is heard accurately.



We’ve all heard about fake news, and I’m not just talking about President Donald Trump’s statements here. There seems to be fake news everywhere we look, and sometimes it is really hard to decipher what is real and what is not. According to a Gallup poll published last year, American’s confidence in the media hit an all time low at 32 percent. This certainly is not the best news for public relations professionals who use earned media to communicate their messages. So what is a PR pro to do in this era of fake news?

Well, I stumbled across an article posted on Airfoil’s blog, which answered this question precisely! Here are four tips marketing and PR professionals should use to ensure their message is being heard accurately.

  1. Develop a content marketing strategy.

People are getting most of their information online now, so it only makes sense for businesses to develop an online presence. According to the article, “not only does this give your business the ability to better control the message, but developing and publishing content on owned sites allows for greater authority.”

  1. Don’t forget your target audience.

If your business exists in a highly specialized space, try pitching to trade publications. Don’t miss the opportunity to tell your story in a relatively safe space.

  1. Speaking opportunities.

“Securing speaking opportunities at events where your target audience is already assembled is a great way to engage with a captive audience and present a strong message without relying too heavily on more traditional media outlets.”

  1. Social media is key.

Keep all channels updated, establish clear goals for each platform and engage with your audience. You can also reach out to influencers who can help validate your message.

Fake news won’t likely go away, so finding ways to combat it is key for public relations professionals. The field of public relations is always changing, and although this is an exciting aspect of our work, it is also important to be smart and stay updated on evolving trends.

Abby Cousineau is a junior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. Abby is currently serving her first year on EMU PRSSA E-Board as social media director. She was drawn to social media because it allows her to merge her passions of writing and design. You can usually find her outside any time the weather is nice, or exploring the Ann Arbor restaurant scene. Connect with Abby on Twitter @abcattt.




The Skimm makes reading the news…enjoyable?

By: Abby Cousineau



I’m not talking about celebrity or entertainment reporting, I’m talking about the hard, stone-cold facts in the daily news presented in a way that’s actually not boring.

As a public relations student, one thing that has been drilled in my head over and over again is the importance of reading the news. Public relations professionals have to be up to date with current events and trends in order to communicate relevant and newsworthy information to the public. If you are anything like me though, reading the news can be a real bummer, especially when you are pretty much required to skim through the headlines before your morning cup of coffee is even finished. I have found that staying current by reading the news is one of the hardest things for me to do, since I usually don’t have much interest in reading the often dull and depressing “breaking stories.” Checking Twitter and Facebook for my daily dose of news is also a no-go, since I will most definitely get caught up reading updates from my friends and scrolling through random memes and cute animal videos. I was at the point where I thought I would just have to suck it up and get over my hatred for the headlines, but then I discovered  the Skimm.

The Skimm is an email newsletter publisher, which delivers popular news to its subscribers’ email on the morning of each business day. The thing about the Skimm is that what ends up in your inbox isn’t just a copy-and-paste version of a news story, but instead a shortened version that is written in a conversational style so it’s actually fun to read. Yep, that’s right…news that is fun to read!





The company, created by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, is specifically targeted at women ages 22-34 and has over 4 million subscribers. Not only is the Skimm owning up to their catch phrase of “making it easier for you to be smarter,” but they are also doing some significant work. According to a  NY Mag article, the company is responsible for getting a staggering 95,000 women registered to vote, and their partnership with Rock the Vote actually got more than 110,000 subscribers to register in total. It’s no secret that millennials have a hard time making it to the polls, but the Skimm, which specifically targets this demographic, got thousands of them to sign up. How did they do it? Pretty much the same way they get their subscribers to read the daily news, by breaking down the election into a simple, easy-to-read format and conveying the information in an impartial and interesting way.

Obviously, this company has it down. They know their audience well and they know what they are doing. I never thought news could be so interesting, and I sure am happy that somebody found a way to do it. All I’m saying is that I no longer wake up dreading my time spent scrolling the headlines, I actually wake up and look forward to reading through the news. Staying current just got a little bit easier, and who doesn’t like making their life a little easier?

Abby Cousineau is a junior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. Abby is currently serving her first year on EMU PRSSA E-board as social media director. She was drawn to social media because it allows her to merge her passions of writing and design. You can usually find her outside any time the weather is nice, or exploring the Ann Arbor restaurant scene. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.

Five tips to noticing trends in PR

As budding PR professionals it is imperative that we notice key trends and capitalize on them before they vanish. I’m not just speaking of fashion, but worldly trends. As a student this can be hard. We have many different responsibilities and therefore may not have the time to keep up on trends. Thank goodness for the speed at which technology develops and the production of apps.

Tools that will help you keep up with current trends.

1) Listen to Podcasts
The best time to listen to podcast are while you are at the gym or walking to class. During this time I am in a state where I am able to concentrate on what is being said and evaluate it.

2) Read 50 blogs in 15 minutes
Apps like Pulse allows you to quickly read over blogs. You save articles and websites that are of interest to you via the app and categorize them based on genre.

Source: Customer Think

Source: Customer Think

3) Utilize  Twitter Lists
Twitter lists used to annoy me until I found out one of its important features. It minimizes Twitter. On a smaller scale I am able to read posts directed towards a specific topic. Considering the opportunities, Twitter lists can also be used to follow industry thought leaders and follow bloggers. You can even create private Twitter lists to follow competitors, industry influencers and other people you don’t want your competitors seeing.

4) Follow people on Twitter
This is old fashioned, but it helps! The best way to get info is from the horse’s mouth. Many people receive their news from tweets made by celebrities and other spotlight people. By following them you have the potential to see information first hand.

5) Watch the news
I am not saying you have to wake up at 5 a.m. to watch the early morning show, but it is good to know what is going on in the world. Every morning before classes I turn my television on either channel 2, 4, or 7. I see local and worldly news that is not covered in any application or blogs I view.

How do you keep up with trends?

Gabrielle Burgess-Smith
Vice President

University of BuzzFeed: how the news app can help PR Pros

“Reporters are not waiting for news and neither are consumers” – Luke Capizzo

Source: Wakefield Research

Source: Wakefield Research

After attending the PRSSA Student Development Conference I realized just how important new media was to public relations. Now, more than ever, consumers are filtering information to fit their needs, desires and wants. As PR professionals are not only faced with getting the reader’s attention but keeping it.

New media is changing the way consumers get their information. Today, consumers are able to easily filter the information they absorb and public relations professionals are now, more than ever, forced to rely on headlines to grab and keep the attention of consumers.

At the PRSSA Student Development Conference, Luke Capizzo, account manager for Identity PR, made a point that even with new media, news is still news. And just to reiterate, “Consumers are not waiting for news, they are searching it out. No website knows this better than BuzzFeed.

According to Forbes, BuzzFeed successfully reaches 150 million unique visitors a month and more importantly keeps those visitors coming back.

I have been following BuzzFeed for a while now and when Capizzo mentioned the app in his presentation I was more than interested in how the app could help PR pros keep in touch with their audience.

It is easy for a reader to keep scrolling when they see an article. A good headline is what grabs their attention and gets them to click on the article and read it. Not only is it important to convey the key points of the article but, also, connect with the reader in an emotional way. A great way to do this is to focus on keywords of the article then build the headline around what the reader would want.

What does this mean for a PR professional?

Well, from a marketing standpoint, BuzzFeed sells ad space and you can easily create your own article that will be presented to the BuzzFeed followers. Recently, I read one that was presented by Volvo that compared the car brand to being a dependable friend. These paid for articles are highlighted in yellow but are no different in content. They show your company can use humor and connect with a younger crowd. For the PR professionals it is important to note that the more important posts are fairly concise, in a list format. Keeping the content interesting not only keeps the reader on the page but also generates shares.

Shelby Lane
Guest Bloggeer
EMU PR Student

News apps on cell phones to help you stay connected

Keeping up with current events is an important task if you want to be a successful PR pro. News apps on your cell phone makes this easier to do. One of the best things about news apps is that they often contain several news outlets in one place. This is great because you no longer have to surf each news source’s website. iPhones, Androids, and Windows phone app stores contain multiple options for news apps available for download.


Source: Companion Arts

Source: Companion Arts

“News”- Windows Phone

“News” is powered by Bing. Features include picking your favorite news sources, reading the headlines, and get personalized coverage of your favorite topics.  You can download the app for free by clicking here.

“Newsify”- iPhone

“Newsify” allows you to select the news sources you enjoy reading in order for their daily stories to appear in your news feeds. This app is available for download in the iTunes store.

“Newsstand”- Android

“Newsstands” has news sources from newspaper publications to magazines. Users have the option to select their favorite new sources and topics to appear in their reader. Users can also subscribe to magazines that will appear in their reader as well. “Newsstand” is available for download in the Google Play store.

Daizchane Baker