Category Archives: PR Connections

NewsU: Writing for the Ear


Audio Story – a radio and TV piece. Also a podcast, a recorded interview, a narrated slide show or anything that includes sound and narration shaped into a story.


 How Audio Stories are Different:

  • Have fewer words than print pieces
  • Tend to be more narrow in focus than print stories
  • Tend to target a specific angle

Picking and Pitching:

  • Pitching an audio story means proposing a story to a radio show, podcast, Web site or other venue and, hopefully, convincing them to run your work.
  • Pitches need to prod, pique and provoke.

Story Selection:

  • Tell a story
  • Identify a conflict
  • Know who the main characters are
  • Establish a sense of time and pace
  • Be timely
  • Make sure you can tell your story in a limited time frame
  • Make you r story audio-genic

Elements of a Good Pitch:

  • The idea – every pitch should express the basic premise of the story. Describe the conflict and tension you will explore or the newsworthiness of the piece. This of this as a specific statement about the story you wish to tell.
  • A reporting plan – show you have done some homework on the reporting needed to tell the story. Describe interview possibilities and sound possibilities.
  • A time peg  – provide a reason to care and a sense of timeliness

I learned that instead of pitching what is important, to pitch what I know. Most likely there will be someone covering the important aspects already.  Pitch stories more about personal things rather than something this is making headlines. Be concise. Pitches are supposed to be catchy and straight to th point.

Elements to Every Script:

  • Host Intro – are sometimes used as a dumping ground for the tidbits of figures they couldn’t fit in the body of the story.
  • Traxx – voice tracks, lines that are read aloud by reporters.
  • Axx – aka actualities, radio jargon for soundbites

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Is There an Age Limit to Facebook?

Like most, I like to cut up with people and post sometimes PG-13 pictures on Facebook. I was always quick to post anything… until… my mom got an account. I love having her on there but I hate monitoring what I post, in fear I will get a text .89 seconds after I post something saying something negative about it. I don’t post anything that I wouldn’t want anyone to see but there are certain “partying pictures” or what-not that only a mother would have something to say about.  

Here are 6 categories your parents may fall under:  

1. The Facebook Stalker – the one who makes an account just to see what you are up to and comments on every single post you make.  

facebook stalking mother

2. Little Ms. “No Comment” – the one that only comments or likes other people’s posts. They never make their own statuses or posts pictures. They literally pay no attention to their own page. (… this is my mom)  

no content 

3. The Empty Fielder – the one that has no clue what the difference between a message, wall post and comment is. They will respond to everything in pretty much any open field. For example, they will respond to a wall post they received, as their status.  

status update not a wall post

4. The Off-Topic Poster – the one who will just start a convo about shopping as a comment about what you did last night.  

off-topic poster


5. The Inadvertent Oversharer – the parent who doesn’t realize that without tampering with security and privacy settings, all activity will be broadcast for all users to see.  

inadvertent oversharer

6. The Sincere Commenter – the one who doesn’t get the joke. Some users enjoy making jokes and posting things of sarcasm just to get attention and comments; parents just don’t understand this. They will post something very kind on a status about something that is intended to be extremely sarcastic.  

sincere commenter

Some parents may fall into every one of these categories and some may be “normal” Facebookers. Whatever you do, make your parents aware of how to avoid these titles.

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Are You Tweeting in Sin?

1. Follow Everyone

            You should follow people who you have a sincere interest in, not because you want them to follow you in return. Recruiting followers is not made possible through following 500 people. Some people will actually check to see the “following to followers” ratio before accepting your request. Be sure that you want to see their updates before you flood your page with hundreds of random people.

2. Tweet Too Often

            Tweeting too often can happen. If you see links that you want to retweet or tweets that you want to respond to, that is fine in moderation. Flooding your tweet deck not only makes it hard for you to keep track of your own tweets but also floods other peoples tweet decks. Posting a continuous stream of tweets can result in people “unfollowing” you. Tweet in moderation and people will pay more attention to what you have to say.

3. No Profile Picture

            It is crucial that you upload a picture to accompany your profile. Without a picture some people may see you as a spammer and not accept you or request to follow you. Pictures make you seem more virtually real.

4. Being Selfish

            Twitter after all is a social networking site, so network. Only posting your personal tweets and never interacting with other accounts will make you seem of less interest to other people. Connecting with others will allow you to expand your social network which will ultimately benefit you.

5. Be Patient

            Like other networking sites, it will take some time to develop a large network. You will not receive hundreds of followers simply after a few tweets. Depending on what you have to say in your tweets, followers will naturally come. Be creative and unique.

6. Don’t be a Whiner

            People too often use social networking sites to complain. Avoid this at all costs. No one wants to read about how bad of a day you had or that you burnt dinner. Focus more on what’s going on in the news or the exciting things that are happening to you. Find creative ways to tell everyone what you want to say and stay positive.

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NewsU: Language of the Image

Types of Photos:

  • Informational – a little more than a visual record of a person, place, or event. Offers nothing more than identification value and has no redeeming story-telling qualities.
  • Passive – show people whose essential purpose is to have their photo taken for publication. It is all that is possible when the event that makes up the action of the story is no longer taking place. It is a legitimate and useful role for passive photography.
  • Active – show real people involved in real events in real time. It allows photographers to produce images that tell readers about their community and the world in a way that informs, inspires and makes them happy, sad or concerned.


  1. Graphic
  2. Quality of light
  3. Emotion
  4. Juxtaposition
  5. Mood
  6. Sense of place
  7. Point of entry
  8. Impact
  9. Rule of thirds
  10. Perspective
  11. Surprise
  12. Layering
  13. Moment
  14. Personality portrait

–          Some photos can contain multiple elements as well

I learned that there are more elements present in most photographs than I ever realized. When considering all 14 elements, it proves to be difficult to determine which are present and which are not. It was somewhat confusing when “testing my vocabulary” to match which elements were present in each photograph; some I got instantly and some I had no clue.

I was surprised to see that most of the example pictures were of sports (the Olympics) and war. Those are two very powerful elements of many people’s lives and in turn have a high impact in photography and journalism.

I would have liked to see more basic examples of each of these elements to educate myself on a more elementary level before jumping right in to pictures containing five and six elements. I would like to have a chance to test myself a little more on a wider range of photos.

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AP Bootcamp

This set of quizzes really helped me get more familiar with the AP Stylebook. I was able to find key elements to writing which will help me reference my stylebook more often in the furture. I really enjoyed these quizzes.


Confusing Words:

  • This taught me that using certain adverbs make sentences seem repetitive.
  • I was always confused with lay and lie and their tenses, but this quiz really made me realize the difference and the proper way to use them.
  • This quiz also pointed out words that I use on a fairly regular basis that all along I have been using incorrectly.

Dates and Numbers:

  • I was never sure how to use dates, especially when one of the parts such as the year was missing.
  • This helped me with dollars, decades and month abbreviations.


  • I learned when and when to not use commas in series.
  • I also learned when to properly use hyphens. For example part-time student and works part time.


  • I now know how to properly abbreviate and capitalize titles; including military, religious, legislative and composition titles.
  • I also learned when to use quotation marks around compositions and when to specify first and last names.

I was surprised to see how many small things I have always used incorrectly. I use dates and titles often in my writing and saw many uses that I have been using wrong all along. I was also surprised to find out all the rules and styles many punctuations and words follow.


Filed under PR Connections, PRCA 3330

Meth Ads…Crossing the Line!?

I was appalled when I saw one of these Meth ads for the first time. They not only scared me but made me think how others felt about them. I think they are terrible, but that they are certainly leaving a lasting impression…

Let me know what you think. Comment!!

Here are a couple of the ads.

not even once…


Filed under PR Connections, PRCA 3330

Is the New Barbie too Busty?

Some parents have become outraged with the design of the new Mattel Barbie. Parents say with the new fashion, these dolls are baring too much skin and have much more accentuated features. Parents are worried that their little girls will feel pressured into resembling these dolls. It is obvious that style, fashion and lifestyles have changed since the introduction of the original Barbie doll in 1959.

1959 Barbie     2010 Barbie


 Style has been a parental concern for the past several years. The more years that pass, the smaller clothes get. And with smaller clothes come the desire to look better. Appearance has evolved dramatically. Every little girl wonders what they will look like when they develop and are curious as to what it is like to have fully formed parts. Children are exposed more to TV and being in the public than they are to a doll. A small girl can walk down the street and see a woman with fake breasts and wonder more so about them than if she saw them on a plastic doll.

Though Mattel has frequently developed dolls that have larger waists sizes and small bust sizes, there is still much more appeal to be had for the “unrealistic” dolls. The dolls that are 11.5 inches, which, at a 1/6 scale, would make her 5 feet 9 inches tall with a 36-in. bust, 18-in. waist, and 33-in. hips (according to The New York Times). A university study showed that with Barbie’s completely unrealistic body size, she would lack the necessary body fat to even menstruate.

I feel that it is a legit concern for parents to harbour but who says every child plays with Barbie. If you, as a parent, do not want your child exposed to this “busty” doll then simply do not buy it for them. Developing self-worth and respect come from the way you are raised and what lifestyle you are brought up in, not what doll you play with.

Is this what parents are concerned about? Then turn off the TV because this is what they are exposed to…

Heidi Montag from MTV’s hit shows, Laguna Beach, The Hills and The City, and a recent Playboy model.


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