Amber Laurin's Blog

PRactice makes perfect… my first blog!

Women in Blogging December 1, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — amberlaurin @ 1:37 pm recently posted a blog about 125 Fearless Female Bloggers.  As a new blogger myself and a female as well I find this list to be encouraging.  This collection of women have put there foot step in the growing virtual world of blogging.  I decided to follow these talented ladies on twitter as well as their blogs and think you should to.  Check out the post and find out about these fearless and fun women!

Since I am new to blogging I decided to additionally post a video describing exactly how to set up your own blog!  Blogging is perfect for both personal and professional information.  They can be used to update your family while out of town, or to promote your new businesss! Enjoy…



PeRez Hilton knows best?

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — amberlaurin @ 1:30 pm

I hate to admit this but one of my guity pleasures is to catch up on celebrity gossip.  I find myself purchasing gossip magazines and looking at several websites during the hours which I should be concentrating on school work.  One of my favorite gossip sites is  From his catchy tag line, “Celebrity Juice… Not from Concentrate.” to the hilarious photographs complete with his comments.  I am pretty positive that he is a celebrity publicists worst nightmare, but he does give credit to those celebrities making “smart” decisions.  Here are few stories I have enjoyed reading lately.  First, Opera recently hired CBS’s Terry Wood, to head her OWN TV network, set to launch in January.  Next, Alexis Niers, who was on an E! reality show and was arrested then released  for involvement in the Hollywood burglaries, was recently caught with heroin.  Keep it up Perez… if nothing else you are helping me stay sane during finals week!



What’s your Package size?

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — amberlaurin @ 1:12 pm

Even popular and seasoned journalists lose it sometimes.  Here is a recent clip of Matt Lauer, host of the Today Show, losing it over a skit about saving money during the holiday season.  The phrases “package size” and “shrink the size of the package” left Lauer in a rolling fit of laughter.  I decided to post the video because with the finals coming up next week I’m sure all of us could use a good laugh, and it is a good reminder that if you mess up… “just keep swimming”.


Are you a Twitter-oholic?

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — amberlaurin @ 1:05 pm

PR Junkie: For Communication Addicts Everywhere, recently posted 7 Signs of a Twitter Addict, with the growing popularity of social networking websites as well as the requirement to twitter for our PR class, I wanted to share it with readers.  Although these are obviously a bit exaggerated, maybe some of you should seek help!


1. You think the expression “size matters” refers to URL shorteners.

2. You’re @thegym while at the gym.

3. For breakfast, you order eggs and a coffee with a side of hashtags.

4. You believe Twitter-ese is its own foreign language or poetic prose based solely upon phrasings of 140 characters or less.

5. Due mostly to the Fail Whale, you have an abnormal hatred for Free Willy and Moby Dick.

6. By retweeting, you’re convinced you’ve done your part to reduce your carbon-footprint.

7. You say follower; the police say stalker.


TOW 14: Multimedia Story Telling

Filed under: PRCA 3330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 12:59 pm

This week I took the NewsU: Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling course.  I found this course to be extremely helpful and user friendly.  The lesson provided a look into the making of a Dancing Rock’s multimedia webpage.  Here are the five steps that I learned about:

  • Step 1: Choosing a Story- Stories should be multidimensional and nonlinear.  The course explained that while you are picking your story avoid thinking in chronological order i.e. first part, second part, end.  After deciding on a story it is important to do background research the course explained that this  means “conducting preliminary interviews with sources, getting a basic idea of what to expect in the field, and looking up anything the sources have published in print or on the Web. Collect visuals — photos, videos, maps and graphics — from your sources or from the Web to get an idea of potential story components. Track down any previous stories on the topic — print, video, radio or Web.”
  • Step 2: Making a Story Board- There are three parts of creating a story board.  These include defining the elements, identifying the media, story boarding the concept.  First divide the story into its nonlinear parts, then decide which parts of the story work best with each media, and finally on a sheet of paper draw your final story including the different medium used.
  • Step 3: Reporting with Multimedia- This section explained everything that you need to bring with you into the field to conduct your research.  Things included obvious things like camera, recording device, and laptop as well as unusual items like rubber bands, plastic bags, and a pocket knife.  This section had a game where you were able to “pack your bag”.  You matched different necessary items with descriptions of different things you could use them for.
  • Step 4: Editing for the Web- ” Once you’ve finished your fieldwork, refine your storyboard. Evaluate your information, figure out what has changed from your original version of the story, and map out which media you have and what should appear on each page.”  The course then included guidelines for several types of media.

  • Step 5: Producing the Story- During the final stage, your relationship with a web designer is crucial.  The course said think of them as your editor.  The course also recommended using templates, which allows users to use pre-made set ups so that you don’t have to start from scratch.

The course also gave several great examples of other multimedia examples:

Media Storm
Digital Artwork: Losing Louisiana- Landloss on the Coast


TOW 13: Why can’t we be Friends?

Filed under: PRCA 3330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 11:13 am

Public Relation Practitioner drive journalists crazy in a variety of ways but I have created a list of 10 ways that I think are most prevalent and important.  Above all it is important for journalists and PR people to get along because neither profession would excel without the other.

  1. Name Calling The excesses of hype and promotion have causes many journalists to openly disdain public relations as nothing but covert advertising, deception, and manipulation. Journalist often refer to PR people as “flacks”, while others refer to reporters as “hacks”. In order for both professions to work in harmony, school yard name calling must stop.
  2. Not Meeting a deadline on time. Journalists are all about deadlines, getting a story in, out and on to the next one. It is crucial that PR Professionals make sure to have all the information for the journalist or vice verse on time. Deadlines are everything in the world of journalism
  3. Telling the journalist what to do how to do it. PR professionals and journalists need each other to get a job done. PR professionals need to stick to what they know and let the journalist do their work. It will cut out bickering and fighting in the long run if both people just do their own jobs and then meet in the middle.
  4. Don’t pitch a story to a journalist, if you haven’t considered all its angles first. Before you pitch a story idea to a journalist, make sure it is newsworthy and is the right story for the information you are providing to the journalist. You need to make sure the information you provide is relevant to your client and issues at hand.
  5. No one likes to feel obligated to someone else, just because they are presented a uncalled-for/unexpected gift. Sending gimmicks like T-shirts, coasters, discounts/coupons, or any other kind of “freebies”, though a nice gesture, is not always appropriate.If you want to send “freebies” to a reporter or journalist AFTER they have worked with you, as a thank you, that can be appropriate sometimes, depending on the situation. However, sending gimmicky items with your PR Media Kit, is essentially a no-no. It can come off like you are trying to buy the reporter into covering your client.
  6. Miss-communication. When the PR professional thinks that they are supposed to do one thing and in reality they were asked to do something completely different. This could lead to problems because if the journalist expects something and then gets a completely different thing it could get them in trouble by someone higher up.
  7. Repeated calls and follow ups from PR professionals. PR people can overdo it with the follow up calls. They should call once to make sure that the information was received and then leave it alone. Too pushy could ruin chances in the future.
  8. PR professionals calling the journalist about something that was not published. When something that the PR person thought was going to be published and was not, the PR person should not call the journalist to figure out why. If it was not published there was a reason and just because you call does not mean it will be published.
  9. Sending invites. PR professionals going beyond there job and actually inviting specifics to press conferences and events that the journalists are in charge of arranging.
  10. PR use excessive hype in writings, journalists consider it to be poorly written. PR people could change their use of words to try to accommodate the journalist style.


TOW 12: Podcast November 30, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 4:09 pm

I chose to listen to The Creative Career’s, Generations in the Workplace, which was originally posted on May 26th, 2010.  The podcast was an interview with David Stillman coauthor of The M Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace.

The Millenial Generation includes the generation between 1982 and 2000.  Stillman explained the main factors that have shaped this generation and how the workplace is changing.  The main drivers he discussed were:

  1. The Role of Parents. Parents (the Boomer Generation) have become more involved with their children, from middle to high school, college, and now in the workplace.  Companies now have to work with parents as well as new employees. 
  2. Entitlement. General belief about this generation is that this generation has a sense of entitlement.  New workers go into jobs looking for a corner office and more responsibilities.  In a national survey, he found that sixty-one percent of Millennial’s said they were very optimistic that they could find a job if they needed to.  This generation is constantly looking and asking to get further ahead in the job, and working to getting their job done more efficiently. 
  3. The search for meaning. Generation who is showing up and want work that has meaning from the beginning.  They want to know that the work they are doing is making a difference.
  1. Great expectations. The workplace is no longer confined to a cubicle in an office, rather more people are working from home and on the go.  Millennial’s need to make sure they keep in constant contact with their managers and other generations so that they are aware of their mobile work.
  1. The need for speed.
  2. Social networking. Millennials are taking the lead in using social networking for research, reaching out to new resources and getting PR.  Millennial should keep in mind, blurring the lines between personal and professional.  More than 70% of bosses said that personal behavior on social networks effect hiring, and promoting. 
  3. Collaboration. In order for the workplace to be successful, Millennials and other generations must work together. 

I found this podcast extremely interesting and helpful.  I am a part of the millennial generation and will be graduating in a year.  I plan to take his advice when looking for a internships and jobs.  The best advice I got from Stillman was to study the workplace that you’re going into.  PR podcast are extremely beneficial to PR students and new practitioners because you get an inside look into the head of seasoned PR professionals.