Amber Laurin's Blog

PRactice makes perfect… my first blog!

The Google Beat… August 31, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — amberlaurin @ 7:06 pm

Google has taken on a new social media role.  They have launched their newest giant known has The Google Beat which is a weekly web video listing the top google searches.  I think this provides viewers with easy access to the top stories in news each week.    Here is the video for the week of August 27th.


TOW 2: Grammar Girl

Filed under: PRCA 3330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 6:51 pm

This week we were asked to read or listen to a post/podcast on the website Grammar Girl. I was very impressed with the information I found. I am semi-familiar with this website because I have some prior experience with it from another class so it wasn’t too difficult to navigate . I came across the ‘Top Ten Grammar Myths’ and there were a few things on the list that surprised me. To give a better insight to what I learned from this article, here’s what made the list:

  1. You shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition
  2. You shouldn’t split infinitives
  3. It’s incorrect to answer the Q: “How are you?” with the A: “I’m good.”
  4. You use a before words that start with consonants and you use an before words that start with vowels
  5. I.e. and e.g. mean the same thing
  6. Passive voice is always wrong
  7. There is only one way to write the possesive form of words that end in s
  8. Irregardless is not a word
  9. You shouldn’t start a sentence with the word however
  10. A run on sentence is a really long sentence

The first one on the list that jumped out at me was #8: irregardless is not a word. Grammar Girl says that this is technically not a word but it has gained wide enough use to qaulify as one. I’ll be sure not to use the word irregardless in a situation where I am trying to be taken seriously..

I would really like to know more about #3 on the list: It’s incorrect to answer the Q: “How are you?” with the A: “I’m good.” According to Grammar Girl, the response “I’m well” should be used when talking about your health, not your general disposition. I have always heard that “I’m well” is a more acceptable response than “I’m good” but I guess I was wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I was corrected for saying “good” instead of “well” when I was younger, but who’s laughing now.


TOW 1: Social Media

Filed under: PRCA 3330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 6:41 pm

I am currently participating in several forms of social media.  These include twitter, facebook, podcasting, and blogging.  Although I am not actively participating in all of these, I do try to update them as often as possible.

Twitter: My twitter account name is amberlaurin (PLEASE FOLLOW ME!!!).  I try to update it as much as possible but being in Europe this summer as well as starting school I have slacked.  I use twitter to connect with other Georgia Southern students, as well as Public Relation professionals.  I think twitter is an important social media because it allows people to network without actually  meeting face to face with them.

Facebook: Facebook is one of the social media forms I am most actively involved in.  I use Facebook to connect with friends from high school who go to other colleges, my family, and other friends.  Facebook is important not only to individuals but also to businesses looking to advertise.  I have connected with not only old friends but also people who interested in the same things I am.  I tend to update my status and page several times a week.

Podcast: Although I personally do not have my own podcast.  I usually listen to several PR podcast a week to stay updated on new topics and concepts.

Blogging: This is my first blog but I have used it not only for class but also for updating my family.  This past summer I spent 5 weeks in Europe.  I used my wordpress blog to share pictures as well as memories with my family.  I think that blogging is one of the things that future employers look for in new employees.  With technology changing constantly, it is important for students to keep up to date with new technological advances.


Chapter 2: Becoming a Persuasive Writer August 30, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — amberlaurin @ 1:01 pm

Chapter 2: Becoming a Persuasive Writer

Theories of Communication:

Media Uses and Gratification- The communication process is interactive.  People make highly intelligent choices about what messages require their attention and meet their needs.  VALS model:

Survivors and sustainers: are at the bottom of the hierarchy.  Generally, members of thsi group have low incomes, are poorly educated, and are often elderly.  these people eat at erratic hours, consume inexpensive food, and seldom patronize restaurants.

Belongers: are family oriented and traditional  and tend to be lower- or middle income people.

Achievers: the uppermost level of the VALS scale, are often college-educated professionals with high incomes.  They are also experiential and open to new ideas.

Cognitive Dissonance: People will not believe a message, or act on it, if it is contrary to their predispositions.  Dissonance can be created in at least three ways.  First, the writer needs to make the public aware that circumstances have changed.  Second, the writer needs to provide information about new developments.  Third, the writer should use a quote from a respected person that the public trusts.

Framing: Historically, the term was used to describe how journalists and editors select certain facts, themes, treatments, and even words to “frame” a story in order to generate maximum interest and understanding among readers and viewers. It also applies to public relations writing because about half of the content found in mass media today is supplied by public relations sources.

Persuasion and Propaganda:

  • Plain folks. An approach used by individuals to show humble beginnings and empathy with the average citizen.
  • Testimonial. A frequently used device to achieve credibility.  A well-known expert, popular celebrity, or average citizen gives testimony about the value of a product or the wisdom of a decision.
  • Bandwagon. The implication or direct statement that everyone wants the product or that the idea has overwhelming support.
  • Card Stacking. The selection of facts and data to build an overwhelming case on one side of the issue while concealing the other side.
  • Transfer. The technique of associating the person, product, or organization with something that has high status, visibility, or credibility.
  • Glittering generalities. The technique of associating a cause, product, or idea with favorable abstractions such as freedom, justice, democracy, and the American way.

All information in this post can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition


Chapter 1: Getting Organized for Writing

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — amberlaurin @ 12:39 pm

Chapter 1: Getting Organized for Writing

The Public Relation’s writer and the journalist share several characteristics but the public relations writer differs in objectives, audiences, and channels.

Objectives: While a journalist is hired to gather, process, and synthesize information for the primary purpose of providing news to the organization’s subscribers, viewers and listeners.  Public relations writers, in contrast, are employed by an organization that wants to communicate witha  variety of audiences, either through  news media or through other channels of communication.  The writers purpose is advocacy, not objectivity.  While also informing, they need to inform and motivate.

Audience: The traditional journalist writes for one audience while public relations writers write for numerous and radically different audiences including employees, community leaders, customers, teenagers, seniors, women, various ethnic and racial groups, travelers, governmental regulatory agencies, investors, farmers, and many more.

Channels: Journalists reach their audiences through one channel, the medium that publishes, broadcasts, or posts their work on websites.  The public relations writer, with many specific audiences to reach, will probably use many channels.

Writing Guidelines:

Before beginning any writing assignment, take the time to ask these questions:

1. What is the desired communication outcome?

2. Who is our target audience?

3. What are our target audience’s needs concerns, and interests?

4. What is our message?

5. What communication channel is most effective?

6. Who is our  most believable spokesperson?


  • Sentences should be clear and concise.  Average sentence being 15 to 17 words.
  • Short paragraphs are better than long ones. Averaging six to eight typeset lines.
  • A short word -one with fewer syllables- is more easily understood than a longer one.
  • Verbs vitalize your writing.
  • Strong visual descriptions are better than generalized statements

All information in this post can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition