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A Beginner Blogger

Top Ten Things I Learned In Intro to PR May 2, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 2:22 am

Here is a Powerpoint Presentation on the Top Ten Things I Learned in Barbara Nixon’s Introduction to PR class.


Twitter…Still Learning April 22, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 9:53 am

For my Intro to PR class, I was required to do “Another 48 hours of Twitter.” Earlier in the semester, I was required to do Twitter for a short period of time and was more than confused about the point of Twitter.

After seeing the popularity escalate, even between celebrities, I realized it was time for me to get more acquainted with Twitter. In order to do this, I found a video online and dove right in.

I also visited The Twitter Power System Blog and a good many tips on what to post to impact your followers. One tip I found especially beneficial was about “Retweeting.” The website says,

“Retweets represent the real communal spirit of Twitter.

It spreads valuable information based on your own editorial criteria and allows important news to spread through the Twitter community with incredible speed.

So if you find a Tweet that provides you with good information, share it with your followers.

Just remember to include the person’s username with the message when you retweet. For example, if the original tweet is from @peterfrancis make sure that you add

RT @peterfrancis

to the front of the original message. This will provide your followers with quality content and make sure that the person who created the tweet gets recognition for it.”

I didn’t know anything about this type of tweeting, but am now going to put it to use.

My first week of  Twitter, I really had no idea what I was doing. I think I sent a million during the Super Bowl game, just trying to catch up with all the other updates I saw. I didn’t understand why I had to put the @ or # symbols in my “tweets,” and to be honest, I didn’t even understand what was meant by a “tweet.”

This time around using Twitter, I was able to use it to my advantage. I followed people I was really interested in, and who could also provide some self-benefit. I followed several PR professionals so that I can have contacts in case I have a question about something.  One thing I noticed this time around that I hadn’t noticed before was the Twitter vocabulary definitions on the right side of the Twitter website.  It’s difficult to start using Twitter, and the unique vernacular makes it even harder. The definitions are extremely beneficial. 48 hours was still not enough time for me to become 100% comfortable with Twitter. When I log on my computer, I still automatically check my email and Facebook, but not Twitter. It  doesn’t occur to me until much later. I’m hoping this will change with experience, because as I stated earlier, I do feel it is a very useful tool.

I am very suprised at the number of people using Twitter and how celebrity use has escalated. What a smart way to get some publicity.

I want to know how to become better versed in using the website. As I said earlier, I think I could use it to my advantage if I were more comfortable with it.

In my search for interesting people involved in PR on Twitter,  stumbled across, which has a list 40 PR -Related People to Follow on Twitter. Three people I would recommend on this list are:

  1. @KarenRussell-She is a Public Relations professor at UGA. What better idea for a PR student to be in contact with another PR professor. She has interesting tweets about happenings in the PR World.
  2.  @dough– Doug Haslam is a PR Professional with SHIFT. His tweets are quirky.
  3. @jangles-Neville Hobson is a PR profession and co-hosts  the FIR podcast with Shel Holtz. He is based in the United Kingdom. For me it is good to have a contact who is overseas. Travel is a passion of mine, and I would love to be able to travel with my career in PR. He also provides many links to interesting websites in his updates.

One disappointment I had on Twitter was I had to request to follow @rdfrench, Robert French, a professor at Auburn University, and the creator of PR Open Mic. I understand the need for privacy, but I was still disappointed that I didn’t get to immediately see his updates.


You can follow me on @sbsullivan. I guarantee you’ll see me around!


Tribes March 31, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 12:31 am

For my PRCA 2330 class, I watched a video of Seth Godin speaking on his book called Tribes. Even if I hadn’t learned anything about the book, I feel like I would’ve read it simply because Godin is such a character. He has many interesting points of view. The book Tribes is about the different tribes, or groups, we as society, function in. The three original tribes he speaks of are church, work, and community. I had never thought about my “tribes” but since he brought it to my attention, I agree. Godin’s definition of a tribe is a group of people who have similar interest and share fundamental ideas. People of the same tribes have easier access to find like members because of the Internet. The invention of the internet has broken down many barriers, including georgraphic and monetary barriers. Godin brings up a cartoon by Godin’s friend, Hugh Mcleod.

Godin says though the economy is low, the items people have been buying are things that make people feel good. After people buy food and shelter, and other necessities, they search for items with meaning.

It suprised me to see him show pictures of adults dressed up as Star Wars characters and Wizard of Oz characters. He states these are people who enjoy the movies, and want to show their appreciation by dressing up as the characters. This action also shows their dedication to their tribes.

He made me laugh when speaking about women who work all day and then relieve stress and “hurt themselves” by playing roller derby.

Godin describes the difference between a crowd and a tribe. A crowd is just a group of people gathered. A tribe is a people who are grouped for a similar reason. He gives the example of pirates. Pirates have one goal: treasure. They usually have similar dress.

I enjoyed watching Godin speak about Tribes.  I will probably read the book at some point to learn more about his ideas.


Ten Job Interview Tips March 2, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 6:56 pm
Tags: ,

In my Intro to Public Relations class this past week, we discussed positive and negative things to do relating to an interview.  These are my top ten:

  1. Come to the interview prepared. Bring pens, paper, business cards, and knowledge about the company.
  2. Be early!! Put to use what your mother always told you, “Early is on time, and on time is late.”
  3. Make sure you turn off your cell phone and any other electronic device that could cause a distraction. If it does happen to ring, don’t make excuses, just apologize, turn the phone off, and continue like nothing happened.
  4. Think of all of the possible things that could go wrong, and ways to handle each situation. For example, what would you do if you spilled coffee on your shirt?
  5. Make sure you dress appropriately. Suits are best! For tattoos and piercings, always lean to the conservative side.
  6. Be ready for any questions they ask you, and also prepare some questions of your own. Some examples are, why are you looking to fill this position, or how did you start in the company?
  7. Make sure to clearly state your strengths, and focus more on these than  your weaknesses.
  8. Be confident. And know that it is okay to take time to answer questions. It is better to take a few minutes and think of a clear, collected answer, than to just blurt one out.
  9. If you or anyone you live with is a smoker, be sure to do all you can to not smell of smoke. Get your suit dry cleaned, and keep it somewhere smoke-free. Many employers will make assumptions if they think you smoke… Higher insurance,  more frequent breaks to smoke, etc.
  10. Last but not least, make sure to send out thank you notes to everyone you talk to. Send them electronically as well as on paper. One way to ensure delivery is to get business cards.

I will actually add number 11 because I think it is very important. Make sure you have a firm handshake. This speaks volumes about your character and how confident you are.


Wag The Dog February 16, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 6:35 pm
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Of the three basic value orientations (discussed in Chapter 3 of your textbook), what basic value orientation does the PR practitioner embody? Provide at least one example.

  • The PR practitioner in the movie Wag the Dog embodies the situational orientation. One characteristic of this orientation is that the end will justify whatever means taken, as long as the end is beneficial. This movie is filled with examples of this. One is when they fake the war in Albania. This is by no means ethical in my book, but they jusitfy it in the end, because it put the president in a better light.

According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, how is the PR practitioner unethical?

  • Advocacy- The PR practitioner is unethical because in no means is he acting in a responsible way for his client. Had someone found out about the scheme, not only would the practioner receive backlash, so would his client.
  • Honesty- I’m trying to remember one part in the movie when the practioner was honest. I can’t think of any… One huge dishonest moment is when he decides to portray a convict as a war hero.
  • Expertise-The practitioner does have expertise in what he is doing. He just abuses his knowledge and power by doing unethical things.
  • Independent- Though he is independent, the practitioner is not responsible for his actions. This is shown when the CIA accuses the practitioner. He is deceitful once again and pretends that he has done nothing wrong.
  • Loyalty- He is loyal to his client (the president) but not loyal to his collegues or the public. For example, when he feels the Hollywood producer is about to share his secrets, he gets him shot.
  • Fairness- Lying, portraying false images, killing, etc etc etc, the practitioner does not conduct his business in a fair way.

What is the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog, and how is it relevant to the situation involved?

  • Wag the Dog is a play on words. It is describing how the PR professionals can control the minds of the public. The tail (a very small portion of the dog’s body) is in charge of the dog (the majority of the dog), similarily, in this movie, a small number of people (practitioner and producer) are in charge of the majority of people (the public).

In your opinion, what positive or negative stereotypes has the PR practitioner confirmed in his role in this movie?

  • The practitioner confirmed the stereotype that PR professionals can turn any bad situation around into something completely different. Obviously, in this movie, the president had the heat taken off of him for his sex scandal, by the “war” in Albania.
  • A positive stereotype he confirmed was the loyalty of PR professionals. He shows how loyal they are to his clients.

How I Feel About Twitter February 3, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 4:39 am

At first, Twitter was really confusing to me. I didn’t understand the point of it, and how everyone was connected. I didn’t understand what the difference between a “Tweet” and a “Direct Message.” I wasn’t sure how I would find all of my classmates just by using the tag PRCA2330. I also was iffy about people using it as a network tool.  Now I understand I was wrong. Twitter is a very important tool for networking and learning about things that are interesting. For example, I love to cook. On a whim, I searched for Paula Deen. I was delighted when I found her. I started “following” her and now whenever she updates her page, I am notified. This makes her more like a real person to me, rather than just a celebrity. I started following someone with the tag PR in their username. I did this because I am going into Public Relations and wanted to see if Twitteris as good of a networking site as I had been told. Not a day after “following” this user, she sent me a message saying she was delighted I am using Twitter because it is an important tool in the career world, especially in Public Relations. She also went on to say if I have any questions or need a contact for someone in PR in my location, not to hesitate to ask. This showed me just how powerful a tool like Twitter can be. I enjoy using Twitter and look forward to using it in the future for networking, as well as for fun.


PRCA 2330 January 25, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 7:54 pm

I am currently taking the Intro to Public Relations class at Georgia Southern University. I am excited to learn more about this field. So far it has been an interesting and fun class. Mrs. Nixon is a great teacher and makes class time fly by. I am new to blogging and it is hard to get used to. I am glad to get the experience because I know it is an important part of today’s culture.