Monday, October 27, 2014

AP Style Quick Guide

·      Any number below 10 is spelled out
o   8=>eight
·      Any number above 10 is written as a numeric
·      Exception: dates
o   Jan. 9, 2014
·      Ages: always use numerals
o   She is a 9-year-old girl
o   The girl was 9 years old
·      Measurements , distances, and money always use numerals
o   5 inches
o   20 miles
o   $5.60, 5 cents

      Do not treat states like postal abbreviations, many are different
      The following are the state abbreviations in AP Style:
New Hampshire-N.H.
New Jersey-N.J.
New Mexico-N.M.
New York-N.Y.
North Carolina-N.C.
North Dakota-N.D.
Rhode Island-R.I.
South Carolina-S.C.
South Dakota-S.D.
West Virginia-W.Va.

      Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, Utah, District of Columbia are not abbreviated
      Using states: I live in Savannah, Ga.
      In datelines: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


January- Jan.
February- Feb.
March- March
April- April
May- May
June- June
August- Aug.           
September- Sept.
October- Oct.
November- Nov.
December- Dec.
        The party is in January
        The party is Jan. 2

      AP Style does not use the Oxford comma
o   NO: I like books, food, and cats
o   YES: I like books, food and cats
      In quotations, commas, periods, and other punctuation go INSIDE the quotations
      Lay v. Lie
o   Lay, laid, laid  (to put/place an object)
o   Lie, lay, lain (to rest or recline-no object)
      Most organizations do not use acronyms on first mention, so they should be spelled out then abbreviated if they are commonly recognized
o   1st mention: National Institutes of Health
o   2nd mention: NIH
      Composition titles
o   Magazines and newspaper titles do not have quotation marks. Capitalize the articles a, an, the.
o   Books, TV shows, movies all have quotation marks. See style book for exceptions.
      When in doubt, look it up!
      If you are a journalism or public relations concentration you should invest in an AP Style Guide

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Post: How to Survive PRSSA National Conference

Image via PRSSA 

With the 2014 PRSSA National Conference behind us, our Regional Conference Coordinator Katelyn Pecorelli has a few tips to offer for anyone attending next year:

  • Go in with an open mind: I went by myself, so I had to make friends, but even if you go with others from your school talk to everyone. These were some of the nicest people I have ever met and talking PR with other people that were as passionate about PR was incredible. 
  • Prepare something for roll call: It may seem scary especially if you are on your own, but I wish I had more time to prepare and had actually done something, because some schools were very creative with it. 
  • Don’t be afraid: Talk to everyone, including the professionals. They are there for us to learn from and want to hear our opinions. 
  • Do as much as you can: There are so many experiences at National Conference and so much to learn, try to take it all in.
  • Talk to everyone: Especially on your own you may be shy, but talking PR with other people that are as passionate as you is incredible. 
  • Don’t sleep in: You will be tired and you will want to skip some speakers or opening. Don't. It is worth it to go and you or your school is paying for you to be there, make the most of it. 
  • Go out and have fun: Again, you will be tired, but going out with new friends helps to solidify the relationships you built. 
  • Keep in touch: It may seem as if you will only know the people you meet for the next few days, but it is completely possible and reasonable to keep in touch with them for extended periods of time. The more connections you have the more opportunities, especially if they are spread out across the country.
Special thanks to Katelyn Pecorelli for sharing her advice! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#X: AT&T “It Can Wait” Campaign is a Success

Image via It Can Wait

Everyone has done it. Sent a text message while driving.

AT&T has now launched a new “It Can Wait” campaign to stop drivers from texting while they are traveling.  Cellphone use can be attributed to nearly 26 percent of motor vehicle accidents.

A survey conducted by AT&T last year found that 49 percent of adults and 43 percent of teens admitted to texting and driving.

Four of the major cellular providers have joined together to create the “It Can Wait” campaign in 2013 to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. The companies include Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

The latest installment in AT&T’s campaign encourages people to send a “#X” to let people know that they are getting into a car and cannot talk, pausing the conversation. This specific part of the campaign is hoping to reach the younger, teen audience.

Image via AT&T

In an article from PRNews they stated that, “AT&T has won the support of more than 1,500 organizations and recruited celebrities … to spread the word via social media.” The campaign has also gathered over 5 million pledges to not text while driving.

The #X campaign is a great way for the company to refresh their techniques and reach a new audience.  

Follow @ItCanWait on Twitter and find more information on the campaign here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Buzzword: Personal Branding

Image via EMU PRSSA
Lately, “personal branding” has been touted as the most important thing that a person can do to secure a job and be well respected.

Branding has been used as a marketing tool for years, but now personal branding is coming to the forefront as a necessity to anyone on social media.

Everyone has a personal brand, whether they realize it or not. Every interaction and post on social media immediately contributes to your brand—or what people see as your digital footprint.

There are two options, you can define your own brand or you can let others define it for you. The former is more preferable because of the control you have over it. So, it is important to make sure that all your social media has a consistent message and displays your skills.

Forbes puts it simply, “What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name?”

Image via Jay Palter
They also speak to the importance of strategy in building your brand: “Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand. It is an amalgamation of multiple daily actions. Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.”

Strong personal brands are innovative, purposeful and strong, or as Forbes says, “a strong personal brand is dependent on a strong narrative.” Everything you say about yourself reflects on your brand, so you should be saying positive things that build up your narrative.

More than ever, public relations professionals need to build not only their clients’ brands, but also their own; to be more credible, hirable and resourceful, a personal brand can lend help, especially to new grads.

What are the best ways to start building your brand?

Well, start with transparency of both the good and the bad in your life. If you are not building your brand, others are doing for you whether you like it or not.

Your digital footprint is forever, so think before you post because one small mistake can haunt you for the rest of your life.

Tim Massie, current ‎Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations at HealthQuest, gave students four steps to self-promoting when he spoke at a workshop as part of Marist College’s Emerging Leader’s Program.

1. Define your objective:

      You want all your actions to demonstrate ability and passion
      Ask yourself, what defines you as a person? What sets you apart?

2. Discover your current brand:

      How do the people around you describe you?
      You need to promote and influence the perception of your brand.

3. Define your message:
  • What do you want to be?
  • You have your current brand and your target brand, what will cause a change to reach your objective?

4. Choose your tools:
  • Each social media tool has its own value.
  • Massie suggested that on Facebook you should determine the purpose of your page, and Twitter is a place to start conversations—not air your dirty laundry

But Massie cautioned that nothing can help your brand more than face-to-face communication and networking in person. The bottom line? Personal branding sets you apart from all the other candidates out there. If you can create a strong brand, you will have the ability to influence opinions and be a credible source to others.

Follow Massie on Twitter for insightful information @tcmassie