Amber Laurin's Blog

PRactice makes perfect… my first blog!

Monet’s house and gardens, Giverny July 16, 2010

Filed under: Personal,PRCA 2330 — amberlaurin @ 5:00 am

This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to go to Claude Monet’s house and gardens.  Many of Monet’s paintings were based off of different views from his garden.  I tapped into my inner artist and captured some pictures around the gardens. I hope you enjoy!


Traveling around Europe… July 11, 2010

Filed under: Personal,PRCA 2330 — amberlaurin @ 4:28 pm

Bon Jour from Paris!

I am currently studying abroad in Paris France for the month of July.  I have been here for a little over a  week now, and have fallen in love.  There is nothing more refreshing than waking up every morning and seeing new things and meeting new people.


This weekend a group of students and I traveled to Brussels, Belgium for the day.  Right when we arrived we searched for the infamous Belgian Waffle.  The legends are all true… it was the most amazing waffle I have ever tried.  I got one with whipped cream and strawberries on top.  After our waffle we continued to “eat” our way through Brussels by sampling beer and their french fries. 


We returned from Brussels on Friday night and were able to sleep for a couple of hours before we left for the  Champagne region in France Saturday morning.  We toured two champagne houses and were able to view the cellars, and have a tasting at the end.

After this busy yet eventful week/weekend I have a feeling that the next four weeks will fly by.  I will do my best to keep everyone updated on my travels and post pictures when I have time!  Au Revoir for now!


Sarah Palin supports Mama Grizzlies

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 2330 — amberlaurin @ 4:06 pm

I think all of us remember the hockey loving and moose hunting mother and former VP candidate Sarah Palin.  It has been a while since Palin or her family  has been in the media but  the former governor of Alaska recently released a commercial for SarahPac, her political action committee.  Although the commercial isn’t a campaign spot, it looks alot like one.  Sarah Palin representing women and mothers, and mama grizzlies.


T.O.W 9

Filed under: PRCA 2330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 3:53 pm


MY TOP 10 LIST for students new to blogging.

1.    Post weekly and stay on top of assignments.  College is a time where many of us procrastinate; don’t allow yourself to get behind on your blog.  People will begin following your blog and many readers look forward to seeing weekly post.

2.    Try to find videos and pictures that compliment your post. Blog post that are full of text can look bulky.  Use pictures to break up long paragraphs or add a YouTube video that relates to your topic to add variety. 

3.    Title each blog post. Title your blog post with interesting and eye-catching titles.  Some readers may not know what a T.O.W (Topic of the Week) is, so give a brief title explaining what your post is about. 

4.    Categorize each post. It is also very important to put your post into different categories.  This allows readers to easily search through your blog and find what their interested in.

5.    Make your blog unique.  Use a theme that somehow relates to you, not just the automatic one that WordPress gives you at the beginning.  Also make your title and subtitle compelling to the audience.     

6.    Reply to comments and comment on other classmates or PR professional blogs.  When you reply to others blogs they will more than likely link back to yours and read your post.  Networking is an important part of blogging.  

 7.    Make sure to always use spell check before posting.  Spell check can help you find even the smallest mistakes.  Another tip is to write your blog post in Microsoft Word first and use the spell check there too.

8.    Add personal post to allow readers to get to know you. 

9.    Keep paragraphs in your blog short.

10. HAVE FUN! If you are having fun with your blog you will most likely keep up with it! 



T.O.W 8 July 10, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 2330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 2:36 pm

News releases and press releases are an integral part of a PR practitioner’s job.  They are defined as written or recorded communication directed at members of news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value.  I found several sites that listed tips for writing effective news releases and compiled the ones I found  most helpful., said,

1.      A Good News Release Should Begin With an Attention-Grabbing Title

The title is a journalist’s first impression of what is to follow in a media release and should therefore communicate something about the media release’s key messages in an interesting and thought-provoking way, without being misleading.

2.      Increase Newsworthiness with Solid Statistics and Compelling Research

            It is important journalists recognize that a media release is not just benefiting the company it comes from, but that the company is endeavoring to make a positive contribution to the community. Compelling research and statistics will give a media release importance and help it to be seen among all the other hopefuls on a journalist’s desk.

3.      Give Some Local Flavor to a Media Release

Journalists should find a media release appeals to the people living in their area, even if the release is intended for national distribution. Local appeal may be gained by ensuring a wide demographic spread of spokespeople and localized statistics.

4.      Time Media Release Distribution Strategically

Avoid running against bigger stories in the race for headlines by having a good understanding of other stories that are likely to break on the day. In some cases this may be easy, such as avoiding big holidays or grand final day, though in the event of a natural disaster or something completely unexpected, this may be possible. The beginning of the week is generally slower than Thursdays or Fridays.

5.      Follow-up a Media Release with a Phone Call

Make sure journalists are aware of a media release by following up with a quick, to-the-point phone call. Prepare a short pitch that captures the key points and point out how the story is appropriate for each media outlet’s target audience.

I found more tips on,

6.       Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release

7.      Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.

8.      Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.

9.      Provide as much Contact information as possible: Individual to Contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.

10.  And finally, make sure the information is newsworthy. 


T.O.W 7

Filed under: PRCA 2330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 2:11 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.


Chapter 14 July 7, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 2330,Reading Notes — amberlaurin @ 3:39 am

Chapter 14 News Releases

News releases can be found on newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines. Press releases are generally written in inverted pyramid style which helps the editor find interesting facts within the first three lines. It also helps editors cut stories from the bottom and helps the readers out so they don’t have to spend a lot of time reading the newspaper.

News releases:

  • news releases are not paid advertising.
  • they are judged solely on their news worthiness, timeliness, and interest to readers.
  • write them as if someone is actually talking.
  • focus on the news, not on your company.
  • tie your current announcement with current news or trends.
  • follow the AP Stylebook format.

Before you write ask yourself…

  • What is the key message?
  • Who is the primary audience?
  • What benefit or reward does the audience gain?
  • What objective does the release serve? (increased sales, enhance reputation, increased attendance at an event?)

The basic elements of a media kit are

  1. The main news release
  2. A news feature about the development or the product or something similar
  3. Facts 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. Some basic brochures

All information in this post can be found in Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics 9th Edition