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Four things I learnt this week from reading PR blogs April 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahdcollins @ 2:18 pm

There are many things to learn from reading other people’s blog; the layout, content and structure are all important and can make or break a blog. Here are some hints and tips to make the most out of a blog:

Keep the structure clear with a range of sentences and paragraphs making it simple and easy to read. This is important as readers tend to switch off after three or four paragraphs, so it can help both the writer and the reader of the blog.

Content is another important feature of blogs, the more relevant the blog the more comments the blog shall receive. This shows people are interested and can help on feedback to make your next blog even better.

Keeping in touch with your blog is also important, when people comment on your blog, especially with questions answer them. This is a good way to connect to people interested in what you write and create a following.

Foursquare has been a topic widely blogged about and I have learnt the positive and negatives of such social media. The obvious benefits are for companies. However, security risks are high.


NHS and social media April 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahdcollins @ 7:13 pm

Social Networking in the NHS is a fairly new way of communicating to the public. During my week working with NHS Dudley, I was interested in finding out how different organisations use social media.

NHS Dudley first tried social networking sites such as Twitter and FaceBook in June July 2009; however after two months of using such sites they found that they weren’t as effective as communicating with their audience as first thought. This was due to a number of reasons but mainly not having anything specific to talk about about and therefore not creating a following.

Despite their first try not being successful, once NHS Dudley had a specific campaign they gave it a second chance. The NHS ‘Think Pharmacy’ campaign although not having any overall PR campaign, and therefore seen as risky, has shown to be successful.

In only three weeks the campaign has grown massively, by using Twitter and FaceBook word has spread and targeted the target audience, being teenagers.  The rap video to go along with the campaign was posted on Twitter and soon after a natural PR strategy took place with a number of nationwide newspapers reported on the campaign. This emphasising that social media is a great tool for PR and one that should be taken advantage of.

With such success it shows that social networking really is the way forward. Despite being seen as a risky strategy at fist due to having no overall PR strategy a natural course of PR has happened, this being a common use of social networking sites.

Altogether I found my week working at NHS Dudley very interesting, in the communications office a number of mediums are used to communicate with their audience, from letters, telephone calls to social media. This just shows that although social media seems like the way forward other media outlets are sometimes more useful depending on the message and audience.




The Royal Wedding: A PR Tool April 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahdcollins @ 5:31 pm

With only two weeks until the Royal wedding it is hard to get through the day, let alone hour without hearing or seeing something to do with the event. Just this morning I was up for twenty minutes before hearing something about the Royal wedding.

From watching television, listening to the radio or just walking down the street businesses are cashing in on the Royal wedding. Advertising and Public Relations teams have gone crazy promoting their brand with the association of the event.

Morrison’s is just one example of a company endorsing the Royal Wedding, emphasising its British products with a famous British cricket player. The end shot of the advert being British flags and the tag line ‘Lets celebrate‘.

PR companies have also taken advantage of the Royal Wedding, ‘within minutes of the announcement that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged to be married, PR companies across the country leapt into action by using the engagement to publicise their travel clients’ (Telegraph).

The most obvious PR companies using the Royal wedding to promote is the travel industry. ‘Travel PRs have gone into overdrive. VisitBritain had an instant royal wedding itinerary ready, aimed principally at US visitors’ (Guardian).

PR is very much based around the idea of positive association and with the Royal Wedding being one of the biggest British events of the year, PR companies are cashing in on the benefits of such an event.





Comparisons of media use March 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahdcollins @ 2:10 pm

When debating how much people use media today, I decided to interview a student two years older than myself to see how our media use differs.

Questioned asked:

  • What is your most popular medium?
  • When did you first get a computer?
  • When did you first get the internet?
  • How did you learn to use computers and the internet?

Lucy’s most popular use of media is, like many students, the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail and Google mail as well as online shopping and news updates are her most common uses of the internet. This is similar to myself, when discussing how many hours a week we use the internet we were shocked to think about the pointless hours of trying to distract ourselves from more important stuff. The total hours a week was about 56, which is about eight hours a day. Although this not be direct use of the internet, like many people today the internet is accessible more ales everywhere we go.

Lucy’s second most popular form of media was radio followed by television. Although I use both of these mediums I tend to gain access to these mediums through the internet.

When looking at the back ground of our media use from childhood. Both of our main media use was television where we watched children’s television. However, by ten years old our homes had access to the internet. It is shocking to think the developments media has had in our lifetimes and is something that shall continue to change the way the world operates. Only 21.1% of the world’s population have the internet which is a shocking figure, especially when thinking I have been one of the lucky few that have had internet access and been taught how to use new technologies  since a young age.


Public Relations or Social Media? March 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahdcollins @ 4:44 pm

After reading a blog post by Stuart Bruce, Who am I? PR or Social media? It inspired me to look at my own social media from Face book to LinkedIn.

I have used social media as a form of socialising with old, current and new friends since I was about 15 years old. I mainly use Face book and found it a great tool just before coming to University as it allowed me to connect with people who were going to be living in the same student halls or doing the same course. This took away some of the worries I had about coming to University. When talking to older generations about this use of social media some were jealous of tools my generations have today. Since being a University I think it is true to say that students could not live without it today.

In recent months and since taking Public Relations as a module I have found myself exploring new forms of social media from using Twitter, LinkedIn and Word press to Facebook . However, I use these sites for different reasons. Whereas Facebook I see as just a social tool, Twitter I use to be regularly updated with news and people of interest and LinkedIn I use for an online CV making myself known in the right networks in hope for a boost up the job ladder when I finally graduate.

This has led me to question what social media is about, socialising or about giving yourself good PR? Although, when i first used social media it was for the former, recently it was changed. Depending on how you use social media I think many people without knowing it are branding themselves from the profile picture you pick to the interests you say you have; you can brand yourself in relation to networks and people you follow at the same time as getting your point across.

So I ask the question is social media PR?



Twitter turns five

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahdcollins @ 4:41 pm

As Twitter turns five this week Charlie Brooker on 10 O’clock Live looks into how influential this social networking site is commenting on how Twitter has changed the way “news is disseminated, the way stalkers track their pray”. Celebrities, rappers, politicians, astronauts, citizens across the world use Twitter every day.  The simple lay out and easy to use blogging site allows people to update status’ and so on in moments from computers, lap tops, or smart phones this making Twitter a phenomenon.

Social networking sites have changed the face of media in the past seven years, Twitter took 38 months to reach a billion tweets and since then the world has gone crazy for this micro blogging site.  Today 190 million users make a billion tweets a week from what they ate for breakfast to revolutionary comments that help over turn dictators.

The market value of Twitter is ten billion dollars which shows how much micro blogging has come since five years ago, but is Twitter all its made out to be?

Charlie Brooker says in a somewhat comical manor that Twitter can be a tool of hate, many hate campaigns being established on Twitter. The social networking site can be seen as a PR tool in many ways, however, due to people being able to follow who they like and comment sometimes Twitter has helped PR disasters.

Despite the outstanding figures of the amount of people that use Twitter and Tweet on a daily basis, ‘last year, a study from R.J.Metrics, which develops online metric analysis software, showed that only 17% of all Twitter accounts were active in December 2009. That’s down from more than 70% in early 2007, when Twitter was a fledgling company with far fewer users.’

So what is next for Twitter? Can it be developed even further? Or is it just a craze that will inevitably fade out?





Politics, Public relations and Media. March 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahdcollins @ 7:40 pm

In May this year the United Kingdom shall be given a referendum on the voting system, given the choice of the current system, First Past the Post (FPTP) or the Alternative Vote (AV). With this in mind PR is at the centre of the campaigns trying to communicate effective arguments for both sides and new media is a commonly used tool to allow people to understand and be persuaded on what they shall be voting for.

As new media has arisen the face of politics has under gone many changes. From election strategies to voting systems new media has allowed political communication to advance and public relations (PR) has a huge part to play in this new media.

There are two campaigns ‘Vote No to AV’ and ‘Yes to AV/Fairer Votes’ these two campaigns have used a number of mediums from billboards, social networking sites to YouTube to target their audiences and persuade them to vote for or against AV. This shows how much media has changed politics in the past 40 years, the electorate being targeted more by wider mediums and becoming arguably more informed.

As commented on ‘The drum’ website the campaigns have targeted every medium to increase voter turnout as well as ‘sell’ their argument. Politics, Public Relations and the Media are all so closely linked today it is debatable whether media helps enhance democracy.