PR Bootcamp week 2, RECAPPED!

By Ali Cupelli

We hope you didn’t miss last week’s PR bootcamp session, but in case you did, here is recap of session two:

Session two was about news writing. Now, as an aspiring PR pro, you might think, “wait, do I actually need news writing for public relations?” But in reality, it’s actually extremely important information for the public relations industry.

The night kicked off with Dan Mulvey, Briagenn Adams and Kerry Tuttle discussing common writing errors and AP style mistakes. Some key errors mentioned were the usage of “they” and “their.” Some common errors with “they” and “their” are when you are using a gender-neutral, singular pronoun. For example, the sentence, “This person has updated their profile,” is incorrect. The correct usage would be, “This person’s profiled has been updated.” Now, saying it might sound a little funny, but editors of press releases and pitches will thank you later.

The next topic was AP Style mistakes. Some of the big things to highlight were the use of numerals and time elements. Some rules to be kept in mind for numerals are to spell out zero through nine and then use figures for 10 through 999,999. After you go past 999,999, you can use a combination of numerals and figures. For example, you would use “1 million” instead of spelling out the entire numeral or writing down the figure itself. In terms of time elements, the time stamp on a press release or news story changes depending on when the information is to be published. With that, use only the day of the week when the story happened or will happen within seven days of publication. For example, you would write, “The first class met Monday. The first assignment is due Friday.” Another rule with time elements is that if the event took place, or is expected to take place more than a week beyond publication, then you would write the month and date. An example of this would be, “Fall break is scheduled to start Nov. 23. The last day of final exams will be Dec. 14.”

To complete that portion of PR Bootcamp, the attendees worked on a tangible worksheet that required students to correct writing errors and AP Style errors.

To close off the evening, guest speaker, Haylee Pearl, copy chief of The Post, talked about the inverted pyramid and headline do’s and don’ts. The idea behind the inverted pyramid is that the most important information in a story goes first and then other information trickles down. Some headline do’s that she mentioned were to contain a subject and verb, make them accurate, make them concise, make them interesting and include as much information as possible. Some don’ts were to not make a headline boring, obvious or vague, don’t steal from the lead, don’t be passive, and don’t include unnecessary words such as “the” or “and.” One student asked what a journalist would like to see in a pitch from a PR professional. Haylee shed some light on the matter and said, “We want to see information that is exclusive, something that has never been seen before and we want pitches to be well-written and professional.”

Coming from a journalist’s perspective, you can well imagine how important it is for PR professionals to grasp the concept of proper writing etiquette and avoiding AP Style mistakes.

The next PR Bootcamp session is this evening in Ellis 111 at 7:00. The session will be about social media. If you’re looking to gain more experience with social media in a professional setting, then PR Bootcamp is where you should be tonight!

In case you missed it: the first PR Bootcamp of the semester, RECAPPED!

By Jess Carnprobst

PRSSA’s fist week of PR Bootcamp was a huge success. Eager PR students were packed from wall to wall in Ellis, ready to learn about media relations. Melaina Lewis, Ben Clos and Marissa McDaid started the Bootcamp with an explanation and demonstration of the use of Cision. They then moved to media lists and ended the Bootcamp with press releases. This first Bootcamp was both fun and informational and taught valuable information.

Cision is a large media information system that creates media lists and alters media stories. It is paid for by PR agencies, so if you are planning to intern or work at a larger agency, you can bet you’ll be using Cision. Cision cuts back on time when creating media lists; it will even export your list as an excel document. Cidnye Weimer generously demonstrated Cision and explained her experience using it over the summer at her internship.

The next portion of this Bootcamp discussed media lists, which goes hand-in-hand with Cision. When making a media list, it is important to first decide your target market, know who you’re emailing and then you can get ready to pitch! Journalists could be getting hundreds of pitches a day, so make sure yours stands out. Melaina, Ben and Marissa talked about different ways to go about this, like speaking truthfully and making sure you are well informed about the topic you are pitching. Most importantly, don’t forget to smile when you dial!

The first PR Bootcamp ended with an explanation of how to write a press release. When writing a press release, headlines are very important. Just like your pitch, they need to capture the reader. The headline should be creative, no longer than 10 words and the first letter of all words should be capitalized. Press releases should be written in inverted pyramid style with the most relevant and interesting information at the beginning. Never forget to add the boiler plate at the end of the press release, which is the company description. Lastly, the PR students got the chance to practice writing their own press release. Students shared ideas and received feedback for their work.

Overall, the first PR Bootcamp was informative, but also a lot of fun. There will be three more Bootcamps to follow, each one just as interesting and fun as the last.

If you are looking to gain experience while having fun, join PRSSA tonight at 7 p.m. in Ellis 111 to learn about AP Style and proper news writing technique! 

#ScrippsSummerChallenge Week 5

By Briagenn Adams

We’ve heard it before – in our Scripps PRSSA bootcamp, in our weekly meetings and while networking with professionals; the best way to leave a lasting impression is to send a handwritten thank you card.

Whether it is sent to a past employer or simply a friend, a handwritten thank you card is a nice gesture that will ensure that you are remembered. This week our #ScrippsSummerChallenge was to write a thank you card to a past mentor and vow to keep in touch.

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Check out these tweets from our members who participated in #ScrippsSummerChallenge Week 5!

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Pretty cool, huh? Manners are always appreciated, especially in the workforce. (And you might even receive donuts in return… Can you say yum?!)

For those of you who haven’t yet participated in #ScrippsSummerChallenge, it’s never too late! For Week 6, make a connection with a PR professional in your favorite city and share your reaction on Twitter. Don’t forget to hashtag #ScrippsSummerChallenge!

Happy Monday!

PRSSA Meeting 10.22.12

It’s almost our favorite day of the week! Tomorrow, in Scripps 111 at 6 p.m., we will be hearing from Rachel Miller, former PRSSA member and Ohio University alumna. Rachel will be discussing her experiences at PR 20/20 and the progression of marketing and PR in today’s industry. Get your questions ready!

Rachel Miller graduated from the Scripps School of Journalism with a major in public relations at the end of winter quarter 2012.

From high school through college, she was able to complete 11 internships, gaining insight into a variety of industries and types of PR, gaining experience in corporate, agency, non-profit, entertainment, political PR and more prior to her start in April as an Associate Consultant at PR 20/20.

During her time at OU she was an active member of Ohio University’s PRSSA, as well as an Out-of-State Ambassador for Ohio University Admissions Office and is a former president of Ohio University’s student-run record label Brick City Records.

She is a current Certified Inbound Marketing Professional through Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing University as well as a certified Google Analytics user through Google’s Conversion University and member of Cleveland PRSA.

See you there!

Reminder: PR Bootcamp will be holding its fourth lesson in Ellis 106 at 7:30 p.m.

Mentor/Mentee Reveal

It’s almost time for the big reveal. Are you as excited as we are?

Get ready, because this Monday, we are having a different kind of meeting! Tomorrow, October 1st, is the Mentor/Mentee reveal! This is your chance to meet your mentors and mentees, so get excited! Please join us for food, friends, and fun! The social will be taking place at 123 Mill in the upstairs apartment. If you are not sure where that is, no worries! We will be walking from Scripps at 5:45 for anyone who may need help finding his or her way!

Don’t forget: Tuesday is our FIRST day of PR Bootcamp. If you did NOT sign up, but are still interested, email us back by tomorrow so we can put you on the list!