January 2008


CNW Group Tour & Tips

Through the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), I had the opportunity of visiting the CNW Group (formerly known as Canada NewsWire) last Friday.  It was a great experience as we not only got to tour the office, but were given a very informative presentation on what the CNW Group does, as well as general tips and comments on developing a successful news release. 


Here are some key tips courtesy of the CNW Group:

Path of a News Release

When writing a news release, there are two important questions you must ask yourself
1.  Why are you sending out the release?
2.  What do you want your exposure to do?

Once you have answered these two questions, you need to start thinking of getting your message out to who, how, where and when.  You must remember that each medium wants it sent out differently (TV is visual, send out some b-roll with audio – make their jobs easier and there will be a better chance of getting picked up). 

You will also have better chance of getting picked up if you can add a photo for not only TV but for print as well. 


Here are the CNW Group’s

TOP 10 TIPS TO GET YOUR PHOTO NOTICED

  1. be creative!
  2. tight and bright – big images in tight shots
  3. use lighting and colour
  4. people, yes – crowds, no
  5. interact with work environment
  6. a shot of “The Shop Floor” is more interesting than the “Grip and Grin”
  7. product shots are good but computer screen shots are not
  8. action and reaction is better than stagnant and still
  9. cutlines – who (from left to right), what, when, where & why
  10. let a professional photographer take your photos

A few last tips:

  • always try and include more than one photo with your release for better pick-up
  • the business section is always hungry for photos
  • international news releases – make sure to have the contact person available for comment (keep the time difference in mind – make sure that person will be awake)
  • media monitoring – it is not enough to count how many times your story gets picked up (who picked it up, how was it used, was it an exclusive mention, etc.)

A big thank you goes out to Michelle, Jeff and Laura of the CNW Group for their time and hospitality as well as CPRS Toronto and Kristen Marano of CPRS’s Student Steering Committee. We all had a blast and learned a great deal!And a personal tip to give out:  Sign up and attend everything!  These sessions are always informative and fun – and are GREAT places to network!  Check out the CPRS Toronto website for upcoming events.

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While searching the net this afternoon and looking at various blogs of PR professionals and friends of mine, I came across the term glog.  I am new to the blogosphere, and have just recently begun to really utilize my blog and come to an understanding of what they are for and what they can do.

Also during my search, the term flog caught my eye as well.  Flogs, for those newbies like me, are, in essence,  fake blogs: a marketing tool used to promote a product by pretending to write a blog out of genuine interest and pure enjoyment for the product or company, when in reality, the whole thing is created and written by the company itself rather than a real blogger.  It is meant to inspire viral marketing and create traffic and interest online.  The ethics behind flogging have created quite a contentious debate in the online world.  A great case to look at is the Wal-Mart flog and all the controversy surrounding it.  OPEN (minds, finds, conversations) does a great job of giving you a sense of the whole ordeal. 

Although flogs are fascinating in themselves and I could probably talk at lengths about them and their ethical consequences, I wish to focus this post on this new (or at least new to me) phenomenon, THE GLOG! <insert dramatic music here> 

So, what the heck is a glog, you ask? Well, from my oh-so in-depth research <insert sarcasm here>, I will attempt to clearly and concisely present my findings.

What started out as CYBORG LOGS, a GLOG stems from the theory of Humanistic Intelligence (HI), wherein a cyborg, by way of synergy between human and machine, function as both human and machine simultaneously.  A glog is simply a walking, talking blog. 

In comparison to blogs, which are usually created on a desktop, glogs can be created anywhere, while doing anything.  Glogs often use portable cameras and as a result, are easier and easier to develop and manipulate.  An interesting cyborg log, aka GLOG, to check out is Steve Mann’s wearcam.org as roving reporter where you can get a better sense of just exactly what a glog is, or can be.

Steve Mann, in the early nineties wore what looked like a large bike helmet, ten pounds of cables and a visor with blinking boxes over his eyes.  This device functioned as a camera.  Mann would then take the images and put them on the internet.  This, as you could imagine, sparked debate and some felt that his undertaking was compromising people’s privacy.  Anders Hove, the executive editor of The Tech, MIT’s newspaper, wrote the article, Wearable Web Camera Goes Too Far, and in it, comments on Mann’s project.

Mann, however, goes too far. I respect Mann’s right to experiment with the Web camera in his office, or at home, or in the rooms of consenting colleagues and friends. But must he continue to subject us to the ongoing culture of seeing him in his ugly apparatus roaming the street freely?

I would place the Web camera phenomenon somewhere in between garish clothing and rollerblades. Garish clothing may be ugly and annoying, but it’s not so annoying to warrant collective action. Fashion violations are given out at Charm School, maybe, but otherwise we should be content to let the fashionally-challenged pass among us with minimal social sanction.

Rollerblading, on the other hand, poses a danger to fellow humans. That’s why it’s not allowed in MIT buildings. In addition, however, the vast majority of people find rollerblading so annoying that it warrants additional social sanction. It would be impolite, for example, for someone to rollerblade in my room.

The Web camera, then, falls between the two. It poses no danger to us, but it is so extraordinarily annoying and disconcerting to look at that every social pressure ought to be applied to get its (currently only one) wearer to come to his senses.

Interestingly though, this doesn’t seem to be the only usage of the word. Upon further digging, I came across

  • Mark’s Glog, a blog on game design and game development – apparently, a glog is a games logabout designing and creating computer games
  • GLOG: A Genevan Log, the narrative of an Englishman, living and working in Geneva
  • Glog, the life in Blog of Gregory Alan Jeffery Clarke

From the looks of it, these three examples of glogs which are really blogs.  The creators have reappropriated the term glog to fit in with a word that starts with G, which is clever and enjoyable, but does not meet the criteria of a traditional glog (if there is such a thing). 

This whole idea of the glog has developed quite dramatically since its creation as it seems that Steve Mann’s research has now entered the mainstream.  You can read more about Mann’s latest project in the online article, Cyborg research hits mainstream.

public relations n.pl. 1 the work of presenting a good image of an organization, person, etc., to the public

    So, I am a post-graduate student at Centennial College studying Corporate Communications and Public Relations.  Seeing as it is a post-grad program, my peers and I have all graduated from college or university.  We are all mature individuals who are soon to be entering the “real world,” or are we?

     I’ve included the definition to public relations from the Oxford Canadian Dictionary because it is the field we are all vying to enter.  Soon enough when we have graduated from Centennial, our job will be , as Alan Chumley of Hill & Knowlton stated, “to project and protect your client’s reputation.”  But what about our own reputations now?  

     Alan was a guest speaker this afternoon in one of our classes and was great.  Charismatic, informative, funny.  I think I can speak for the class when I say that we all walked away with a great impression of Alan Chumley.  But I wonder what Alan’s opinions of us were.  For the most part, I believe we came across as being mature, interested and well-mannered. 

     However, with that being said,  there seem to be a handful of people who fail to realize that when a guest presenter is speaking, you listen.  Do people really think that whispers can’t be heard or that the clicking of the laptop keyboard is silent???  It is not only a bad reflection on the individual but on our class, our teachers and our school. 

     I don’t mean to attack, but it is something that is quite bothersome.  I think a reality check is in order.  Think about your personal image and the type of PR you are putting out for yourself.  Your day-to-day attitude and etiquette is of the utmost importance, ESPECIALLY in our field.

 

          One small step for me, one giant leap for my kind!!!  I have made it.  Successfully launched my very first blog and although an undertaking I have fretted about, I can say that it hasn’t been that bad!  I know I can speak for many when I say that I NEVER thought in a million years I would have my own blog, yet alas, here I am.   It seems that social media, especially in the PR world, is THE thing right now and it doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon.  So if you can’t beat ’em, JOIN ‘EM! 

         I’m nervous, anxious, and most of all really excited to open an exchange of information and opinions on a variety of subjects – PR and other related and not-so-related topics.  With that, I invite you to provide me feedback and perhaps some commentary on your opinions and experiences with blogs.