Posted by: emilywil | April 29, 2009

St. Jude’s Children’s Hosiptal and PR


St. Jude's Children's Hospital is located in Memphis, TN

St. Jude's Children's Hospital is located in Memphis, TN

Today, as I was watching my favorite T.V. show, Jon and Kate Plus 8 on TLC, I had a sudden change of heart.  On this episode, the mother and father of 8 accompanied their children to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  After watching the episode my heart was drawn towards helping others, and I’m lucky enough to have picked a major such as PR that makes it possible for me to do so. 

  I did a little research around the St. Jude’s website to see what kind of PR material they had.  I looked at numerous press releases about an “Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Team was recognized with a prestigious science award” and another one on St. Jude finds more than 100 gene variations linked with response to leukemia treatment.”   These press releases included a bolier plate at the end, which is something we learned about in class last week. 

  Not only were there press releases on the website, but also a media toolbox with directions to the hospital, media guidelines for the campus, and patient privacy and rights.  There was also a media kit for the campagin Chili’s was doing to help out the hospitalChili’sis my favorite restaurant, and I remember going in and the waitress always asking me if I wanted to color a picture of a chili for a dollar, this money was going towards St. Jude’s.  Here is a Public Service Announcement about the Chili’s Campaign:

  After reading these press releases and witnessing an actually media kit I realized that while I am still interested in the sports world of PR, I am going to begin to look into other organizations.  Organizations such as the Red Cross are beginning to spark my interest so that I can help those who are not as blessed as I have been. 

   St. Jude’s has recruited celebrities, athletes, and normal citizens to help get the message to the world about the importance of St. Jude’s mission.  This is just another way of public relations working for the benefit of these young children.  Here is an example of the celebrities speaking out on behalf of St. Jude’s:

Posted by: emilywil | April 29, 2009

Time Magazine’s Most Influential People: 2009

#37 on Time's List

#37 on Time's List

  It’s that time of year again, the time when Time Magazine releases it’s “World’s Most Influential Person” issue.  As a kid, I used to skim the pages of Time and be bored to tears, except for this issue.  This issue was special, it had pictures of N’Sync, Micheal Jordan, the Simpson’s, and then a lot of old bald guys.  Little did I know, that this issue was much more than my favorite celebrities, it was an issue dedicated to those people in the world who influence it in a positive and negative way. 

  When the list of 2009 popped up, I naturally assumed Barack Obama was a shoe in for the number one person of the year award, however, I was wrong.  Obama, our first African-American president would surely take the cake right? Wrong!  It was someone I had never heard of before, a twenty-one year old student named Christopher Poole.  All I could think was who in the world is Christopher Poole? And what has he done better than Oprah and the Pope?  Well, come to find out, Poole was the founder of, a website that to me seemed like a bunch of categorized chat rooms that anyone could write on.  The website describes it as:

“4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images. 4chan’s collaborative-community format is copied from one of the most popular forums in Japan, Futaba Channel. Different boards are dedicated to different topics, from Japanese anime, manga, and culture to videogames, music, and photography. Users do not need to register a username before participating in the community. Feel free to click on a board that interests you, and jump right in—anyone can contribute!”


#31 on Time's List.  Britney Spears? Seriously?

#31 on Time's List. Britney Spears? Seriously?

While I am left puzzled on how this website beat out our first African-American president (Obama), a cancer survivor (Lance Armstrong), or the U.S. Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi), I began to think that maybe this list is suppose to make you think.  When I look at number thirty-one on the list, it is Britney Spears and at number thirty-seven is Barack Obama, I am slightly embarrassed.  The results of this list are determined by people voting online, which leaves this list open to disagreement. 

  As I have stated, I strongly disagree with this list, I see it as an embarrassment.  Not only am I embarrassed that Britney Spears is above our president, but also, there were many names that I did not recognize. Therefore, from this little evaluation of Time’s List, I have realized that I should make myself more aware of the people within our world whom are REAL influences, such as The Pope and spend a little less time at looking at pretty pictures of N’Sync.

Posted by: emilywil | April 29, 2009

UGA Professor Kills Three then Flees

    On April 25, GeorgeZinkhan, a marketing professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, shot and killed three people outside of a local theatre, including his wife.   When the police arrived at his house, they discovered he had left his children with a neighbor and Zinkhan had fled. 

  Early this month I was accepted into the University of Georgia.  It has been a life long dream of mine to attend the university, however with the past weekends events, I began to rethink my decision.   With the national spotlight on the UGA campus, President Michael Adams came forward and handled the situation very well by sending out e-mails to students and updating the  UGA website with current information about what was going on.  However, for some reason UGA appears differently to me in the aftermath of this tragedy. 

  I am not naive, I know this could happen on any campus across the US  and that for some unknown reason, this professor just snapped.  After attending Georgia Southern University and living in a small college town, I have realized UGA might not be the place for me.  Athens seems like a big city after living in the quaint little town of Statesboro, Georgia for two years.  I know my decision should not be affected by this tragedy, however I can’t help but think that a little piece of me feels safer in a small community like Georgia Southern.

Posted by: emilywil | April 27, 2009

How to Write the Perfect Press Release

  On April 22 and April 27, our Introduction to Public Relations discussed how to write the perfect press release and the importance of AP style when writing a press release.  These two classes were very helpful, especially since I was required to write a press release for my introduction to journalism class at the same time!

  The first step to a press release is the letterhead.  There should be a logo of the company or organization you are writing the release for at the center top of the page. 

  The second step is to write “News Release” underneath the letterhead logo.  Beneath that, the media contact should be named.  The media contact is there so if the journalist or publisher needs to talk to someone from the company, they can get in contact with them.  There should usually be a phone number or e-mail, because they might need to get in contact very quickly. 

  Across from the  contract information should be the words, “For Immediate Release,” or “Embargo.”  Embargo means to hold the press release from being published until the date listed next to the word embargo.  If it will kill your company if the news is released before the embargo date, it is best to just not send it to the journalist.    

  Underneath the media contact and immediate release or embargo, there should be the headline which explains what the press release is about.  It should be in bold, centered, and all caps. 

  Then body begins with the dateline, which is the the name of the city and state, or possibly just the city along with the date.  Make sure you reference the AP style book, some states are listed different than you would think! The rest of the body is made up of the lead (which contains the who? what? where? when? why? and how?), quotations, and the rest of the body information. 

  The additional contact information should be added into the end of the story along with a “boiler plate” which is general information that is not specific to the particular press release. 

  Usually press releases should be kept to one page, however if it does run to two pages, at the end of the first page there should be -MORE- and a slug on page two of the topic of the press release, in case the two papers get separated.  At the end of the press release there should be ### or END to signify the end of the press release.

Posted by: emilywil | April 27, 2009

Comment on Beth Agee’s Blog

I commented on Beth Agee’s blog  post “You Want my Answer? I’ll Give You My Answer.” on Monday, April 27th, 2009.

Posted by: emilywil | April 27, 2009

Getting into the News

In Dr. Nixon’s Intro to PR class on April 20, 2009, we discussed getting your client into the news and how to write a basic press release.  I included her slides she used from class above.

  We first discussed the way to write a proper press or news release (it can be referred to as either).  Ivy Lee was the father of the press release, because he was the first man to write one.  I learned that a press release needs to be written with the intentions of it being published on a mass media network (i.e. radio, newspaper, magazine, etc.).  I also learned as the author of the press release, you shouldn’t expect to get your name as the author when published.  Usually an editor will change a couple of things around within the release to make it not seem biased, then put their name on it.    Also, a press release should be written in a inverted pyramid style and answer the questions:

  1. Who?
  2. What?
  3. Where?
  4. When?
  5. Why?
  6. How?

  The next thing we learned about was fact sheets; which are made to be given to journalist for background information on the company.  A couple of things that you should include in your fact sheet is:

  • organization or companies full name
  • products or services offered
  • annual revenue (if a public company, sometimes this WILL be left out)
  • number of employers
  • names and biographies of top executives

  The last piece of PR writing we learned about was media kits.  These are prepared for major events that organizations host.  For example a 25th anniversary celebration or the launch of a new product.  Media Kits should include:

  • one story announcing the event
  • background about the event
  • fact sheet about company
  • photos (should be good resolution and ready to publish)
  • biographies on speakers, organizers, etc.
  • brochures

  These are all types of writing styles that as I progress towards a PR degree, will have to learn to perfect.  Press releases, media kits, and fact sheets will all benefit me within my career as a PR professional one day soon!

Posted by: emilywil | April 24, 2009

Top Ten Things I Learned from Intro To PR

For my Introduction to Public Relations class, we had to do a final list of the top 10 things we learned in our class.  I love baseball, therefore I tried to add pictures that portray what my top 10’s are but also relate to baseball! Hope you enjoy:

Posted by: emilywil | April 23, 2009

Comment on Katie Crawford’s Blog

I commented on Katie Crawford’s blog post, “Katie’s Top Ten List” on April 23, 2009.

  On Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Keep Bulloch Beautiful will host the nation-wide campaign, the 9thAnnual Great American Cleanup in Statesboro, Georgia.  If you are interested, volunteers will be picking up trash and planting trees at different locations and will meet on the lawn of the courthouse in downtown Statesboro for breakfast and will then be distributed to various locations around Bulloch County.

“We have had teams registering, probably a total of 300 individuals who are going to help picking up litter,” Matt Schacht whom is the Program Coordinator of Keep Bulloch Beautiful.  gaclogo

             Breakfast, lunch, and t-shirts will be provided for all the volunteers.  Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, Subway of Statesboro, Northland Cable Advertising, and Georgia Eagle Broadcasting, Inc. are all sponsoring this year’s Great American Clean-up.  Last year, 28,260 pounds of litter was picked up, 650 trees were planted at 26 various locations around Bulloch County. 

      I participated last year and enjoyed it very much.  It is a great opportunity to get involved with the community and help keep it clean during the week long activities of Earth Day.  With our Earth being trashed now, more than ever, it is crucial as citizens to make sure we get out and do something about it! 

            Hope to see alot of you out there for a great cause!

  (This is a portion of my first press release I have ever written for my Introduction into Journalism class, so if the format looks a little different that’s why!)

Chapter 14 from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics: 9th Ed. was all about PR writing and how to write good press releases, make good media kits, and how to make a good pitch.

Press Releases:

  Press releases are written like news stories in an inverted pyramid style which means you put your most important information at the top and just fill in the rest.  Press releases are very important with PR pros because it is just another way of making your client look good.  Also, you should always use the traditional AP style of how to write a press release.

Publicity Photos: Should be ready to publish when sent to the editor:

  • Quality
  • Subject Matter
  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Color
  • Camera Angle

Media Kits or Press Kits: usually are prepared for major events and new product launches. The basic elements are:

  1. the main news release
  2. a news feature about the development of the product or something similar
  3. fact sheets on the product, organization, or event
  4. background information
  5. photos and drawings with captions
  6. biographical material on the spokesperson or chief executives
  7. basic brochures

Pitch Letters: public relations pros and publicists will write a short letter or note to the publisher to grab their attention. 

Their are different methods of distributing media material, such as mail, fax, e-mail, electronic wire service, or web-based newsrooms.

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