Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting Savvy with Media Relations: Outside the Office

As is often stressed in the classroom, media relations is a lifeline for any company, client or PR associate to have a successful career and relationship with the public. Many students do not have access to learning the ins and outs of media relations until they take a class or land their first internship, but here are some tips to get an idea of what media relations is all about that you can do on your own:

Immerse yourself in the news
If you have your goals set on working in any aspect of communications and you’re not an active follower of the news that should change right about now. While it may seem overwhelming at first, being aware of what is happening beyond one’s bubble is important for being the best in any communications field, even beyond PR! You can start simple by following major news outlets on Twitter or by signing up for newsletters delivered to your inbox every day.
Consider yourself a seasoned consumer of news? Make sure to mix up the sources that you check-in with. Every news outlet, whether local or international, takes on different tones and perspectives when presenting stories or updates. Consider taking the same story from different outlets and comparing the differences you see in writing and overall presentation of the information. Understanding these differences from a PR perspective can help you get the ball rolling on understanding how you may pitch stories differently to each media outlet.

Research reporters
It is also helpful to get a better understanding of the voice each reporter takes on. You can develop your media relations skills by studying each news outlet, as a well as the specific topics reporters in each news category can take on. Focusing on topics or stories reporters have covered in the past or continue to cover currently could benefit you in future intern or career work related to news relations.

Explore Media Technologies
What is becoming a higher and higher demand today is for PR students to be as dynamic as possible when it comes to understanding computer programming, from social media to media listing technologies. While many top media list services charge for their services, we as students can still begin to familiarize ourselves with the major programs with doing our own research online. You can find quick tutorials online, such as this one for the service Meltwater, to start building an understanding of what building a professional media list looks like.
A major FREE tool that those in communications are often recommended is Help A Reporter Out. The website aims to connect reporters from a range of different news outlets to different contacts to help build their stories or leads on a specific topic. It is free to sign up and can benefit you now or later in building your understanding of the ongoing news cycle and networks

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Mina Lezenby

Monday, May 25, 2015

Communicating Abroad

The summer is officially in swing, vacations have been planned, study abroad semesters have started, and you might soon find yourself in international waters. Though time abroad should be spent enjoying and embedding oneself in a new culture, it is also a great opportunity to network with people who work in different cultural environments who can give you tips and tokens of information you won't learn anywhere else. The only obstacle, not everyone you meet will know English well or even at all, so here are some useful tips on how to overcome language barriers when networking and communicating:

Slow and Clear Wins the Race
Make sure that you are speaking slowly and clearly so that the other person can better understand you. By enunciating your words and slowing down to ensure that the other person understands, you can avoid miscommunication and lack of understanding.

Patience is a Virtue
Communicating between languages can take time. Part of being patient can mean checking that the other person understands what you are saying, and making sure to clarify if they are not. Though it might get frustrating at times, recognize that it may be frustrating for both parties involved. The outcome of being patient and finally being able to accurately communicate can be gratifying! 

Avoid Jargon and Idioms
Stick with the basics when communicating through language barriers. The more complicated the vocabulary you use, the more difficult it might be for someone else to understand you. Remember that jargon can also get easily misinterpreted and can cause unfortunate, though sometimes humorous misinterpretations.
And lastly, as always, be enthusiastic. Being able to spend time abroad is an indispensable experience. If you make the most of it and show that you are excited to be interacting with others, it can make communicating easier and will make others more inclined to communicate back. Buena suerte!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Did Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" fulfill its hype?

Whether you’re a “Swiftie” or not, there is no denying that Taylor Swift dominated the Billboard Music Awards last Sunday, where she received eight awards.  However, most of the buzz on social media did not pertain to her wins.  Instead, people were raving about the premiere of Swift’s music video for her song “Bad Blood.”

Before the music video made its debut during the award show, Swift was able to create suspense with her brilliant social media marketing plan.  Promotions began on her Twitter and Instagram accounts 10 days prior to the release date on May 7.  Swift first posted an edgy, cinematic picture of herself that revealed her role as “Catastrophe” in her music video.

Leading up to the release, the pop-singer also reveled several other celebrities who would appear in the “Bad Blood” video including: Kendrick Lamar, Lily Aldridge, Zendaya, Hayley Williams, Gigi Hadid, Ellie Goulding, Haliee Steinfeld, Lena Dunham, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne, Serayah Love, Jessica Alba, Martha Hunt, Ellen Pompeo, Mariska Hargitay, Selena Gomez, and Cindy Crawford. Each day, Swift posted pictures of the various actresses, singers, and supermodels as their heroic alter egos.  Over 100 million people viewed the promotional media on Twitter, but the edgy theme and large amount of celebrity cameos made the video highly anticipated.

Luckily, “Bad Blood” was able to exceed its expectations after the premiere.  According to Billboard, Swift was mentioned 149,000 times during the Billboard Music Awards, and the hashtag, #BadBloodMusicVideo, was used over 112,176 times on Twitter.  The social media platform even gave Swift a customized “Bad Blood” emoji to go along with the hashtag.

Source: USA Today
Overall, more than 7 million tweets were posted about Swift and “Bad Blood” since the announcement on May 7.  Swift proved to be a savvy social media user, as well as a fearless and powerful young woman.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Kimberly Leung.