Archive for May 2011

Chapter 16   Leave a comment

Chapter 16 begins just as many of Seitel’s start, with an interesting and well thought out introduction to the content of the chapter.  This chapter was all about the differences of writing for the ear and the eye.  By beginning his chapter with a careful historical analysis of how specifically tailored writing can help to promote a healthy career or company, Seitel clearly informs his reader of his vast knowledge on the subject.  I found a special interest on the section that discussed writing for the eye.  I think that the Media Kit was a very interesting subject.  Rarely do people think about all of the research and the effort that is put into the publications that companies, political candidates, or local businesses produce.  I believe that one of the most underrated forms of Media Kits by far is the biography pages.  Seitel points out the ignorance of most by listing the many forms of biographies and how an informal biography can attract a more casual audience than how a formal address can conduct a more professional response.  Personally, I can relate to this thought process, just think to anybody that has created a Facebook or Myspace profile- any kind of online personality page actually.  When using an online profile as a representation of self, much thought and care needs to be involved in the construction of the biography.  While many people don’t put much thought into creating an online identity, it comes naturally.  Just think of what Facebook uses for their profile page- they encourage you to put as much (or as little) information into your profile that you want to use.  There are sections for religion, political views, personal views, hobbies, favorite books and musicians, and everything else under the sun.  With such an intricate online identity, the millions of people that use Facebook on a daily basis gain a more in depth knowledge of the importance of writing for the eye without even realizing it.

Have you constructed your own biography yet?


Posted May 31, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 15   Leave a comment

“There is no substitute for clear and precise language in informing, motivating, and persuading”, Fraser Seitel. I can not think of anything that I agree with more.  Upon reading Mr. Seitel’s book, I have found myself forming my own opinion that does not always agree with his.  However, this is something that we both agree upon.  I think that it is imperative of anybody who wants to lead a successful life to know how to write well.  I am pursuing a degree in Literature as well as Media Communications to help ensure that I can write as well as possible.  Writing well is one of the founding principles that make up effective communication.  As the chapter continued, I was shocked by the continued stress of simplicity,  Seitel argues again and again the importance of avoiding long flowing sentences that could cause confusion.  In particular, I thought that the section on the Inverted Pyramid was very interesting.  The notion that the main point of the article should be in the beginning is crucial to making a good piece of writing.  The section of news releases was very interesting.  I did not realize that news releases were so common.  In my fraternity, I have actually written a few news releases to promote some of our philanthropy events.  Given that these events are held in Myers Park, there is a strong sense of local importance.  When writing my release, I was careful to make sure that I was direct, formal, and above all brief.  I realize that as a student writing to a professional, that their time is more valuable than mine and they don’t have to help you.  By acknowledging this fact, and ensuring that I included all of the neccesary details like location and date, as well as what the event was and where the money raised would be donated to, I was able to successfully attract the attention of the local news.  It was great, because they sent out a local news crew to cover our Scaffold Sit.

Here is a link to a video that was shot by one of the fraternity adminsitrators that was submitted to the news.

Posted May 27, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 3   Leave a comment

It is always a good idea to fully discuss all components of a particular topic before engaging on the specifics.  Just as in telling a story, the listener should know the background information so that they understand what was significant or important about the story.  Seitel does just that in the 3rd chapter of his book.  Fittingly titled, “Communication”, it sparks a somewhat vague feeling in the reader.  However, he immediately combines public relations with the important field of communication.  Having never taken  the Communication Theory class, I am not familiar with many of the specific points of different communication theories.  I especially enjoyed Seitel’s section on the traditional and contemporary comm theories.  By adding a specific section of different communication theories, Seitel is promoting effective communication himself.  Many of the theories agree that one of the founding facets of effective communication is to build awareness.  Personally, I believe that the communication theory coined by Pat Jackson is one of the most effective and useful.  Jackson stresses a 5 step plan that is thorough, as well as simple.  It encourages promoting an awareness about the desired affect, taking information about the public view, devising and launching an event that would spark the desired affect among the public, more information to see if the event worked as planned, and then the final results.  This method promotes both communication with the public, but more importantly communication within the company.  In order to take information and research in the field, the people in charge of the study present their findings to their coworkers.  Then for planning the actual event, there is tons of communication that would exchange.  Those responsible for establishing the event would communicate with the people who conducted the research, as well as the supervisor to ensure that the desired effect is accomplished.  This open flow of communication would help the group come together, and help to ensure a successful event.  Just like in sports, communication is everything.  Legendary basketball coach John Wooden constantly stressed that communication combined with hard work is critical to a winning basketball team.

One of the greatest coaches in basketball history, John Wooden sits among the many awards he won

Posted May 27, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 2   1 comment

I pride myself as somebody who truly does love to learn new things.  I think that it is our job to take advantage of the incredible opportunities that we have been provided with by being able to attend a four year university that really cares about our growth and development.  It is my belief that whole point to going to college is to better equip yourself for your career after you earn your degree.  What better way to learn than from the past?  I particularly enjoyed chapter 2 because of the in depth exploration of the birth of the field of public relations.  I can only imagine how difficult it would be to start a new field of business, especially for something as vague as public relations.  Even now, when it is supposed to be a legitimate career field, people still have a hard time defining exactly what it is that they do.  Success is even harder to measure, which would be difficult for any business in the time of the Captains of Industry.  With Capitalist titans like Rockefeller, Morgan, and Vanderbilt it would be difficult to try to sell the idea of including the public opinion as a part of business strategy.  However, I cannot help but cringe at the general memory of Rockefeller.

Devilish Capitalist or Beloved Philanthropist?

Even today, many are willing to cast him into a population of men that are to be hated.  People remember Rockefeller as a greedy and selfish man.  I simply hate that very notion.  How can you say that a man who has started the very idea of philanthropy, and whose millions of dollars have founded colleges, combated and eradicated sickness, and provided for World War I relief for countless citizens be remembered as evil?? While Rockefeller may not have been very skilled at dealing with the public during his life, and I am not saying that he was very nice, but doesn’t his legacy live on past his own life?  His contributions shine through the unfair description of selfishness and callousness even today through the schools that he founded and the family members of those who descended from men and women that were cured of hookworm and yellowfever by his contributions.  Had Rockefeller had access to a skilled public relations team, then his legacy would not have such a bitter after taste to it.

A fitting lasting legacy

Posted May 23, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Lab 2   2 comments

1. The main Publics of Queens: Student body, Parents of the students, Alumni, Donors/Trustees, Faculty, and the Staff

2. Internal Audiences: Student body, Faculty, Staff

External Audiences: Parents, Alumni, Donors/Trustees

3. Student Body– The multiple Facebook profiles and Twitter pages that are all devoted to spreading information about Queens.  Queens has a great website as well.  These are the ways that Queens communicates to students.  the students communicate to the university through the multiple surveys that students take, like residence life surveys as well as at the end of a class.

Faculty/ Staff- The Faculty and Staff make great use of the medium email.  Email is used actively by both parties to express concerns or questions.  The second most utilized method would be the telephone.  Whether it is office phones or cell phones, members of the Queens administration can be quickly reached by telephone for a more direct way to talk than emails.  Due to the working relationship, and the speed of passing information, there is no set preference for communication.

Parents/ Alumni- The best way to communicate with the parents of students is through the website.  With the new layout of the website, there is a large availability of information that parents can peruse through at their own pace.  Should the parents have any concerns, there are any number of people that Queens encourages them to talk to.  I know that Dean Downey himself offers his own time on a regular basis to talk to parents.

Donors/Trustees- Queens places a much higher emphasis on their Donors and Board of Trustee members because it is a private University so it depends on this demographic group that provides the financial support for the University.  Queens sends out newsletters to their donors, and the university often holds fundraising dinners in which members of the University administration will address in person what changes have been happening in and around the campus.

4.  I am currently part of the student population at Queens

Posted May 21, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Lab Descriptions

Chapter 1   Leave a comment

After reading the first chapter of our textbooks, things started to make much more sense to me.  I was surprised by the difference between marketing and Public Relations.  I realize now that public relations is much more oriented with the entire community that is associated with the company rather than just the product and the environment.  However, I am getting a little ahead of myself at this point.  The beginning of the chapter brought up an incredibly powerful point by mentioning Osama bin Laden.  The message is even more importnat and significant now that bin Laden is actually dead.  However, for more than half of my life on this planet, bin Laden was depicted as the most evil villain on the face of the planet.  Of the six billion people on the Earth, he was the most harmful to any kind of civilized and organized society.  Naturally there is a certain amount of respect that comes with that kind of a reputation, and reading about him changing his fear tactics to adopt a more ‘civilized’ approach via the Internet is very shocking.  Obviously he understands that he is a very influential man, and his time is valuable.  The fact that he believes that he would reach a larger audience to receive his message online really shows the significance of online communication.  I believe that Seitel does a very good job throughout the first chapter of establishing his credibility.  While he gives a traditional about the author section, his true relevance lies in his ability to connect to his readers.  He makes many cultural references that include music artists, to political events all in a successful attempt to explain his well deserved authority.  Seitel provides an interesting outlook on the field of Public Relations.  He remains seemingly unbiased in his description of the many different definitions of the purpose of Public Relations.  I think that this is going to be a very interesting book, and I think that Seitel has a lot of very useful information to share about the importance of Public Relations.

Posted May 21, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Getting Started   2 comments

Well, my first blog.  I always entertained the idea of starting one, but I couldn’t get past the idea of “who would want to read what I had to say”, but I suppose that if it is required for a grade than I will just have to suck it up.  This should be an interesting process, and I can tell that it will definitely be memorable.  Right now I am struggling a little with the technology, my dashboard says that I have the required categories in place, but they don’t display on the blog.  Perhaps they appear as the posts are categorized?  However, this should be a great class, and I am really thankful for an opportunity for a more hands-on-learning class.

Posted May 16, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Comm 306