Creative Writing in Public Relations: What’s the Big Deal?

By: Brandon Hardy

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 9.00.46 AM

hotcoursesabroad.com

Writing intensive professions are among some of the most flexible and malleable disciplines in the job sphere. If logistical, organizational and communicative necessities are required in business, there will always be a requirement for having proficient writing skills. Many individuals who enter college tend to understate the value of literary proficiency, usually looking to focus on allocating their skills in the STEM fields to gain more sought after majors from accounting to engineering. It would make sense to seek out a major that immediately pays dividends in the working world, but it would be uncreative to assume that these are the only methods to obtain marketability in today’s job climate. Writing offers a lot of value into the business world, especially when looking at public relations. The element that makes writing such an important element of PR is the fact that you are taught to know your audience, perform adequate research and to synthesize and evaluate information from various sources. Writing teaches you how to formulate new ideas and how to effectively communicate them, which is well and good, but what about creative writing?

Creative writing, as an offshoot of the typical writing discipline, involves thinking outside of the normal conventions of regular straightforward prose. It involves experimentation, inspiration, and artistic expression; these disciplines rewire the actions involved with standard prose and add a stylistic flair that is used to communicate ideas in a unique way. These different forms of communication are typically present in narrative prose and poetry. They center around creating an idea and communicating it, like regular writing, but the focus of this discipline centers around the ‘how’. What is the best way to communicate these ideas? How can one make this essay more entertaining? What is the most compelling way to grab the audience’s attention? This is where we start entering the realm of the creative process. This process is centered around spending time analyzing what one wants out of their piece of work whether it is hapless self-indulgence or popular art.

Poetry tends to focus on using rhythm and tone to express a feeling or idea. With poetic writing, the mundane can be entertaining, the depressing can be inspiring and the upsetting can become enthralling. It is a practice of painting pictures with words. This type of skill appreciates word choice and structure, something that is immensely important in the business world. In the blog post: “5 Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations” the author and public relations professional, Robert Wynne, mentions how a simple spelling error could ruin credibility and harm the outward appearance of a company, imagine how effective poetic/stylistic writing could be when implemented in a similar format? Being able to effectively paint a company in a positive light is valuable, finding ways to tease out all sorts of valuable insights and descriptions from the history, mission statement, and business practices is something that can serve to completely turn around the perceptions of an association and help in building sympathy and relatability.   

Another element of creative writing is narrative prose. All sorts of different genres come out of this concept with the broadest ones being divided between fiction and nonfiction. Narrative prose integrates focusing on persistent variables associated with literature and storytelling: creating a thematic resonance with the audience. There is a genuine flow associated with creating and selling a story. There is a beginning, a rising action, a climax, a falling action and a conclusion. These narrative troupes can be sewed into any canvas. Most companies use these types of structural troupes, humanizing their business by detailing the rigorous challenges that they are undergoing, being transparent and creating a physical narrative that their audience can follow. One of the most important elements of narrative prose would involve making you care. Nonfiction will generally focus on describing an idea, persuading you of its value, and detailing how you can implement that idea into your life. Fiction focuses on a grand theme, a lesson or idea that can be found within the struggles and goals of its characters and uses that to create a connection with its audience.  The biggest strength of fiction is that its wide variety of settings and struggles can communicate a lesson of human condition; in worlds that are far removed from the naturalistic setting of our own, it is the characters who can bring people into these worlds and through them find connections and similarities to their own. Public relations professionals make it their business to make the audience care, and to sell an idea through a narrative stream and flow, whether that is the impetus of the company’s inception or the current plans, difficulties and details occurring with the company in the present time.

Poetry and narrative prose puts a great burden on knowing your audience and being able to find interesting ways to communicate an idea or message to them. When dealing with hazardous climates, a focus on word choice and seaming in a well thought out narrative can change the paradigm of a company’s public image, and can offer the resources to reverse and reshape that image as necessary. In this regard, I find the disciplines associated with creative writing to be an underrated and equally invaluable compass for navigating the stormy waters of public relations maintenance.

Brandon Hardy is a Biochemistry/Toxicology major entering his Senior year of college. His current interests center around extensive reading and creative writing, taking on various projects from novel writing to maintaining a functional blog site. Brandon hopes to be able to combine his love of writing with his love of chemistry in future job settings. May take up creative writing as a major for this year and is looking to join the PRSSA as well.  

Advertisements

Straight from the Recruiters Part 2: Nailing your Interview

By: NinaMaria Badalamenti

In my previous blog I explained a little bit about my experience at Global Team Blue’s “The Dirt” and some insight I got from their recruiters on what they like to see in a resume. In this blog I will continue but giving you tips on what they said they like to see in an interview. So here are 3 tips on how to nail your interview.

1394744655-5-interview-blunders-probably-kill-job-prospects.jpg

Source: bluesignal.com

 

  • Do your research.

 

This is a big one. Doing research on the company ahead of time is very important. Having knowledge on the company going in shows your dedication and passion for the position. The recruiters will be able to tell that you spent the time to research and want know about your prospective place of work. Just take a little bit of time to explore their website and study up on their work and achievements. This shows that you’re excited to represent the company.

 

  • Ask questions.

 

When preparing for an interview you usually brush up on clever answers to common interview questions that you expect they might ask you, but what you don’t think about is questions to ask them. By asking the interviewer questions you are showing them that you are interested in them and the position. The recruiters of GTB made a point to emphasize this step because it means a lot and they don’t see many people do it.

 

  • Follow up.

 

Following up after an interview is a very crucial step that many of us may skip. The best way to follow up is to send the interviewer a thank you email within the next 48 hours. Make sure you actually put some thought into this and not pre-write it. Make it personalized to show that you really care and appreciate the time they spent with you.

NinaMaria Badalamenti is a senior studying Communications. This is her first semester serving as VP of External Relations for EMU PRSSA.

My EMU PRSSA Goals For The New School Year

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 8.37.01 AM

Source: Nikki Mikolon

By Hope Salyer

It’s that time of year, and a new E-board has been elected for EMU PRSSA. As the new Vice President of Professional Development and Special Events and Programming, I decided that I wanted to set out my goals for the new year, and provide an opportunity to hear the opinions of our entire chapter.

My goal for the 2017-2018 school year are to provide new experiences to our members to help them with networking, and learning more about public relations in every aspect. PR is a large field, and there are so many different options you can choose from. Often times, we go on Agency tours that focus on the same thing. We don’t always get the chance to experience what the corporate, nonprofit, entertainment and sports aspects of PR are like. Even those options don’t cover the entire PR spectrum. My goal as VP of Professional Development is to provide as many experiences and networking opportunities for those types of PR as possible. I want to include every part of PR that our members are interested in.

In talking with past and present members, corporate, entertainment and sports PR seem to be  topics many people are interested in. My plan is to start there, and learn more about what our future members want to see as well.

As your e-board member, my responsibility is to provide you with the best opportunities I can. I promise I will try my best to provide an opportunity for every one of our members to build their networks for after graduation and learn more about something he/she is interested in.

Please comment below or tweet me @hsalyer01 with any ideas or suggestions you have for the kinds of experiences you would like me to try to facilitate. I’m excited to see everything the new school year is going to bring, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you!

Hope Salyer is a senior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Vice President of Professional Development and Special Events and Programming of EMU PRSSA. This is Hope’s second year serving for the PRSSA E-Board. A Michigan native, she hopes to start her career working for an agency or local nonprofit in Michigan. Her dream is to become the public relations coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Contact Hope on Twitter @hsalyer01 or by email hsalyer@emich.edu.

Why You Need A LinkedIn Account

By Abby Cousineau

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 12.16.59 PM

Having an updated LinkedIn account can help you find a job before you graduate college

You have probably heard your professors tell you million times to create a LinkedIn account. If you haven’t listened to them yet, now is the time to hop on the bandwagon and do it.

Creating a LinkedIn account can help you in a million ways, but here are the main reasons you need to create an account before you graduate.

 

  • Job Recruiters and Hiring Managers are on LinkedIn

 

According to the polling company, Jobvite, nearly 94% of recruiters say they use LinkedIn to find candidates. This means if you want a better chance of getting a job, do yourself a favor and create an account, it could help you get discovered by your dream company.

 

  • Networking

 

Having a LinkedIn account connects you with employers, current job opportunities and can help employers find relevant candidates (AKA you!). Getting a LinkedIn also helps you keep up with your peers’ professional accomplishments. Having a strong LinkedIn network could help alert you to job openings and could get you a foot-in-the-door if you know someone at a company.

 

  • Online Resume

 

We all know that your physical resume should only be 1-2 pages long, especially if you are a recent grad. If you are having trouble fitting all your credentials in the page limit, a LinkedIn account can help you greatly. Your LinkedIn profile essentially acts like your resume, and there is no limit to how much information or how many areas you can include. Try to put your most relevant skills and experiences on your hard copy resume and feel free to go more in depth on your LinkedIn profile.

 

  • Research

 

Having a hard time finding companies that are actually hiring? You can use LinkedIn to search for jobs in your area. Don’t waste a million hours searching Google, instead head over to the jobs tab of LinkedIn, select your city and the positions you’re looking for and rejoice in all the job opportunities before you. Oh, and the best part? Most of the time you can apply to the job with your LinkedIn profile. It’s the easiest job application ever!

 

  • Endorsements and Recommendations

 

Say farewell to the old-school recommendation letters and say hello to LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations. LinkedIn allows people to endorse your skills as well as have colleagues and bosses give you recommendations (testimonials which explain how awesome you are). These all can help confirm your abilities to recruiters and hiring managers who don’t know you personally.

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.

6 Things Incoming PR Majors Should Know

By Heather Pruitt

At the beginning of 2017, I was given the opportunity to become a Group Leader as a part of Eastern Michigan University’s Orientation program. As someone who loves interacting with people, and has a passion for Eastern, working this job has become one of my favorite things to do.

However, my favorite part about being an Orientation Group Leader is getting to know the incoming students. I am excited for them to find their place at Eastern, just as I have found mine, and to start writing their own story while they’re at college.

I enjoy talking with all students at FastTrack (the segment of orientation where students register for classes) but nothing gets me more excited than meeting a future PR major. Even though I have only encountered a handful, I am incredibly excited for everything that they are about to experience when they start PR at EMU.

While I am excited to see the students start their journey at Eastern, there is nothing that I want to do more than to tell them everything I wish I had known when I started. But with one short day, it can be a little intense for incoming students to register for classes, get their first taste of college, and be bombarded with advice about their program all in one day. So I decided to create a list of the six things I wish I knew about PR as an incoming freshman.

Learn to love writing.

When I started the program, I expected to exclusively be planning events, posting on social media, and standing up in front of my class giving presentations about the future of Facebook. While these aspects are apart of the Public Relations program, I was in the dark about how important writing is in the world of PR. Press releases, feature articles, crafting newsletters, and blog posts, are all incredibly important parts of PR. So learn to love writing, learn to love your writing, because it will become an important part of your life.

Start networking from the beginning

Within the first few weeks of starting my freshman year, I decided to join PRSSA. I’ll be honest- joining PRSSA freaked me out because I had to learn to network and get acclimated to college life. How was I, an 18-year-old, who was stressed about finding new friends, supposed to network with professionals for a career that was years away? I found that having someone in the program who I felt comfortable asking questions to, and getting help from, was reassuring. They can help ease any worries you have about entering the world of PR. Additionally, the earlier your start networking, the more people you come in contact with, which can benefit you in the long run.

Join PRSSA

Joining PRSSA is great way to start networking and to learn about PR. It allows you to learn how to network, as well as give you information about subjects that are relevant to the PR world. Joining PRSSA also gives you the chance for great leadership opportunities in and out of the organization.

Invest in a ‘professional outfit’

When I started college, I had no idea what clothes would identify as ‘business casual’. I didn’t even know when or why I would need them! I found that it is important to invest in clothing that is appropriate for the occasion. While it may not be frequent when you start college, there will be occasions that require you to dress in business casual and possibly business professional. Make sure that you are prepared and have outfits that fit criteria. Having the wrong outfit can leave the wrong impression! However, if you are unsure about what outfits are business casual or business professional, there are lots of ideas on Pinterest!

Make time to do a little PR everyday.

Make an investment to look at a PR blog a few times a week to stay updated with the ever changing world of PR. There are some professors who like to use current events as teaching points for their classes. When you are up to date, it gives you an advantage to speak up in class, and really helps fuel class discussions. Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of time I recommend subscribing to Help A Reporter Out (HARO). HARO is an online database that helps journalists with upcoming stories. They send you emails several times a day with topics that are relevant. This is a great way to stay updated on current trends.

Set out a timeline of how you want things to go.

It is one thing to know that there are goals you want to accomplish in college, however, it is another thing to achieve those goals. Create a timeline of what you want to do in your college career, and set dates to accomplish those goals by.

Heather Pruitt is a junior majoring in Public Relations. This is her first year serving as VP of Member Relations.

Walkouts at the New York Times

By Josie Bobeck

Image result for the new york times

Source: deadline.com

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

Source: lynettenoni.com

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 jbobeck@emich.edu.

 

The Power of Pinterest for Businesses

By: Nicole Raymond

Everyone knows social media is extremely important for organizations to engage with consumers and draw attention to their business. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the top performers when it comes to marketing through social media with millions of users, but many businesses overlook social media such as Pinterest.

Pinterest has seen exponential growth and marketing opportunities since its inception as a beta site in 2010, and it continues to grow and evolve as a strong social network. Let’s take a look at the features Pinterest has available for business and marketing uses.

pinterest business login.JPG

Source: Nicole Raymond

BUSINESS ACCOUNT

Pinterest has a business account to accommodate many types of businesses, large and small, for free. To sign up for a business account through Pinterest, users enter an email address, password, business name and an optional web address. Utilizing a business account instead of a personal account will allow the user to unlock more features that will help with marketing.

ANALYTICS

Overview:

When you sign up to Pinterest with a business account you have the ability to see your post analytics. You can track your Pinterest boards and pins to see how content is measuring up and which topics are the most popular with viewers. The analytics tab also allows you to see how many people your content has reached over average monthly viewers and monthly engagement rates. Pinterest analytics also allows you to connect your website through HTML code to see all of your pin analytics including click-through rates, saves and much more. At the bottom of the Pinterest Analytics page is your top impressions, saves, clicks and the pin type for the last 30 days.

Profile:

Analytics for your Pinterest profile will allow you to see your average daily impressions as well as average daily profile viewers through your own customizable timeframe. This will allow you to see how certain days and time frames work best for potential customers. The profile analytics page will also allow you to see the top impressions, clicks, saves and pin type of posts and boards within the last 30 days.

People You Reach:

This feature on Pinterest Analytics allows you to see your audiences and analyze the people that see and act on your pins through average monthly rates. The site further breaks down your audiences for you by country, metro, language and gender and even include this helpful hint for better analyzing data to better your business .

Helpful hint

Source: Nicole Raymond

ADS

Pinterest for Businesses has an advertisement feature that allows your business to pay for more users to view your pins. It also has, as you may have guesses, built in analytics for those ads. Ads create traffic and engagement to reach audiences, while allowing you to measure success, failures and compare the two. Pinterest Ads will also help you stay on top of all that needs to be done with reminders and other helpful notifications. The analytics will help you determine which pins are most popular so you can create content similar and drive more traffic to the right places.

Built-in analytics and ads to social media platforms continues to grow in popularity and Pinterest has all the tools needed for a successful promotion or advertising plan, in an easy to understand format. With the immense popularity of the site, I think the tools available will continue to help marketers of all sizes succeed in their Pinterest marketing efforts.

Nicole Raymond graduated from EMU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and served as PRSSA’s VP of External Relations from 2016 to 2017. Raymond will be starting graduate school at Eastern Michigan University to get a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications.