Category Archives: PR and Marketing Topics



1. Tips for event planners

2. How to find and make publicity stories


1. Mock Certificate Design for LEAP

2. New Pawn Campaign Flyer…

 3. Loan Coupon Design…


1. FAQ on Feature Writing (Useful tips and information for writing good stories)

2. What Happened to The Good Girls? (Top number of views)

3. Tips for Conducting Focus Groups (From personal experience)


Jasmine Stewart – Online Resume


Jasmine Stewart, CSR/PR student



Whether you’re my professor, a potential employer, you follow me on Twitter, we are friends on Facebook, or we know each other from school or work, here is a BIG thanks from me to you for visiting my blog and for viewing my Social Media Resume! I hope you found it impressive. Please comment if you have any critiques, tips, or suggestions! They would be greatly appreciated. Also, use the stars below to rate my social media resume.


Social Media News Releases

What is a Social Media News Release?
A social media news release (or “SMNR”) is a press release that can consist of not only your simple text and graphics, but can also contain promotional videos, music clips, blog posts, slide shows, high resolution photos, charts, hyperlinks, infographics, and more.

What are the advantages & disadvantages of a Social Media News Release?
The main advantage of using a SMNR is of course the fact that technology today is so advanced and the use of the Internet and mobile Web is greatly used. The speed at which a SMNR can be sent to a client is within seconds. Many organizations and businesses today are utilizing social media, blogs, and online networking profiles. For profit organizations using SMNRs, they are reaching out more to people who are technology- and Internet-savvy, those of which who tend to be the innovators and leaders on the purchasing scale.

Also, using a SMNR rather than a traditional press release that is nearly totally text, the creator is allowed to be much more creative and give the viewer of the SMNR a much better visual than a few paragraphs can. And with the use of video and audio, a SMNR can go long ways. It is more attractive and perhaps entertaining for the viewer. On the other hands, some disadvantages of SMNRs are that they are more time-consuming and in some ways more costly. In some cases, a videographer, photographer, graphic designer, and much more might need to be hired. And there is no guarantee that your SMNR will be viewed by every person you send it to unfortunately.

When should a PR practitioner consider using a SMNR?
A PR practitioner should think about using a SMNR when they are trying to target an audience that is savvy with technology and also when they are trying to have competitive advantage over their opposers.

Links to websites that will help you create a SMNR:
1. PRWeb News Release Template and Creation Tool: And here is the article I read about it! (PRWeb Launches Tool to Help Pros with Multimedia News Release)

2. PRX Builder: Here is a wizard that shows you step-by-step how to create a social media news release.

Link to a SMNR that an organization has created:
1. Porsche – It has its logo, contact information, headline and sub-headline, text, photos, a video, and links – all the things that make up a social media new release!

2. Listerine – The same goes with this SMNR from Johnson & Johnson.

3. Pepsi – And doesn’t this make you thirsty for a Pepsi?

 Tips for SMNR creation:
1. Use good quality photographs with high resolution.

2. Use bullet-points, shorter paragraphs, and quotations. These are easier to read than bulky text.

3. Embed the SMNR in the e-mail message instead of sending it as an attachment. Some people might think it is risky to open attached files because of spam and harmful viruses.

4. Use the inverted pyramid technique when writing.

5. Test all of your links, spell check, and generally review your SMNR before submission. A release with errors loses much credibility.

6. Utilize a boilerplate at the very end to give the reader of the SMNR a little more background information on your company.

7. When typing the Subject Line if sending the SMNR via e-mail, be creative and make sure it is relevant to the client and sounds interesting.

No matter how much technology you employ to help make your message stand out from the crowd, if the message doesn’t resonate, the photos, links, and videos won’t help it.” –Michael Pranikoff, PR Newswire

My HOW-TO Guide for Beginner Event Planners

50 Blog Topics Marketers Could Write For Their Companies

50 Blog Topics Marketers Could Write For Their Companies

Posted using ShareThis

Tips for FOCUS GROUPS: From Personal Experience!

This semester I am taking Public Relations Research with Urkovia Andrews. It has been our responsibility to aid the Office of Environmental Sustainability in conducting research toward Georgia Southern University implementing a tobacco-free initiative on campus. We have been dissecting scholarly articles, distributing surveys to students/faculty/staff, and hosting in-depth focus groups….

Focus groups — hmm, about that.

Here are some HELPFUL tips that I can give to future researchers! They will help you a GREAT deal! Trust me 🙂 If I ever have to conduct a focus group again, I will also be using these things-to-remember:

  1. Make sure you SECURE definite focus group participants ahead of time! We were required to have at least four participants attend our focus group, but unfortunately only one showed up. After an hour of frantically searching the student union and stalking potentials for last-minute volunteers, we managed to find four definite participants (thank God)! And since this focus group was not on their agenda until last minute, they had other plans immediately after so we had to cut our focus group questions short for the convenience of our participants. So PLEASE make sure you have definite people. Have them RSVP ahead of time and even send them a reminder the night before.
  2. If you are required to record audio/video of the focus group discussion, make sure you test your devices beforehand and maybe even use more than one recording device as we all know that technology can not be depended on! We used a flip-cam, a tape recorder, and a laptop to record our audio. ALSO, make sure you ask the participants to speak up loud enough that the audio can be transcribed easily. We had trouble afterward trying to figure out what people were saying — sometimes they were talking too low, sometimes they were all talking at the same time, and sometimes a cough or movement muffled the voice as well.
  3. If you have a supervisor, professor, or a director asking you to conduct this research, be sure to get the focus group questions approved by them beforehand. They might want to make changes or give suggestions.
  4. Be sure to give a really good pause after each participant’s response. The pause will let them know that they can continue to elaborate on their answer. The more info they give, the better it is for your client. The pause will also give other participants the opportunity to respond with their own opinions. Unfortunately, since the people we had at our focus group had to rush to meetings or go home, we had to make sure we did not run over our time. So good pauses were not given.
  5. Make the participants feel COMFORTABLE! Dress professional enough..but not so fancy and formal that the participants feel intimidated (depending of course upon on what type of participant pool you have for your research). Be conversational, but remember not to lose your professionalism. You are representing your client. Before beginning the focus group questions, use an ice-breaker to loosen up your participants. The more comfortable they are, the more they are willing to speak up on their opinions and to speak truthfully. This leads to more quality information for your client.
  6. If you are not given a budget to compensate the participants, get together with your research committee beforehand, as you may want to provide refreshments for the particpants during the discussion. We brought waters, sodas, a vegetable tray with ranch dip, and chocolate chip cookies for ours, and they sure enjoyed it! This is also a good way to lure potential participants when you are scouting for them. Who doesn’t like free food? And you better believe that we used this to hook our last-minute biters!
  7. To decrease your chances for a biased group of people, look for participants in a WIDE variety of places. For instance, if you are researching a topic dealing with music genres, don’t look primarily at country bars or mainly scout at jazz clubs. Also go to different instrument shops, music majors, a variety of radio stations, student organizations for music-lovers, churches, marching bands, etc.!
  8. SHOW YOUR PARTICIPANTS APPRECIATION! Thank them for their time and efforts!

Have you conducted your own focus group? Please feel free to comment and leave any other tips you can think of from your own personal experiences!

TIGER WOODS: Crisis Management

What do YOU think Tiger should do to earn his stripes back?


Here are some of my opinions on the management of his affairs crisis. Feel free to express yours!

  1. A delayed response to the first release of the car-crash incident/affair accusations was unacceptable! If you don’t get in front of the story, the story will get in front of you! A delayed response? That’s equivalent to a wife asking her husband if he had been having an affair. “Uh, honey, I’ll get back with you on that tomorrow!” Also, keep a consistent flow of updates to build credibility. In other words, don’t suddenly go into hiding. That’s cowardly. (What’s wrong, Tiger? Cat got your tongue?) Own up to your mistakes as soon as possible – especially when you are a public figure. Deal with the public then handle your issues in private. Besides, a late response just gives the public too much opportunity to make negative assumptions and for curiosity and concern to grow!
  2. Be STRONG! Don’t get caught crying over spilled milk in front of the cameras looking like a deer in headlights. That is all.

If You Have to Cry, GO OUTSIDE!! [Kell on Earth]

Reaction to KELL ON EARTH [Season 1, Episode 1: Walk in the Park]

My Pic of Kell!

I used the Paint program, lol!

“If You Have To Cry, Go Outside.” I had already told myself this was going to be the title of my blog post in reaction to the new reality series Kell on Earth (Bravo TV)….

 I was so intrigued by the first episode that we watched in class that I decided to visit to watch it again. And then while watching it in, I was intrigued even more that I stopped it not even a quarter of the way through and began browsing Bravo’s website for more information. There I discovered cast member biographies, blogs, and even photos. As I read, I then learned that “If You Have To Cry, Go Outside” will actually be the name of Kelly Cutrone’s first book!

Who is Kelly Cutrone? She is the ferocious founder of powerhouse public relations firm People’s Revolution located in New York, and her power and super strong persona are made clear within the first minute of the episode. This aggressive go-getter is responsible for a team of zealous fashion lovers, mile-long lists of world famous designers, and a 7-year-old daughter named Ava. Kell on Earth is a reality show based on the Kell, her company, and the challenges they face.

The basis of the first episode was the planning and implementation of David Delfin’s fashion show and of Chado Ralph Rucci’s fashion show. This episode has not really influenced my perception of events. I know that planning and managing an event can be crazy and hectic just depending on the client, the number of guests and the amount of time available for preparation.

 I learned lots from this episode about organization and timing. One miniscule mistake during the planning period of an event can lead to horrible consequences later on.  A couple of instances on the episode show this: seating people next to each other at an event who are enemies or competitors, accidently having a duplicate person on the RSVP list, waiting until the last minute to print important documents and unexpectedly running into a technical difficulty, and more! Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to be unprepared. Double-check all of your work. Be a good communicator with your colleagues. Listen to your client’s wants and needs.

There are several stereotypes – both positive and negative – of the public relations industry, and some will be either slammed or confirmed on this show. One, PR is for chicks. Of all the cast members, there are only two males, and both of them are homosexual. Stereotype one, though not true, is supported.  

Stereotype two, PR jobs are a party! Not only is it quite clear in this episode that tasks, expectations and roles are highly stressful, but the name of the show is a play on words to rhyme with Hell on earth. Their work environment is intense, demanding and on fire. They have several duties and face many tight deadlines at once. Stereotype two is not supported. “Stressful job,” Kelly stated, “That’s an understatement.”

A third stereotype could be that if you love fashion, you are made for this industry! Kelly explained, “…These kids have this whole idea of what the fashion world is…but what the fashion world looks like and what the business is are two completely different things. They all come in thinking that they’re fashion people. And 90% of them are gonna find out that they’re not.” In other words, just because you love to shop or you love playing dress-up and love attending fashion shows, don’t fool yourself into thinking you are prepared to work in the fashion industry. As you can see in the episode, simple tasks like making a seating chart or sending invitations can be a tremendous burden. “This is not Barbie,” Kelly said.

Of the cast members, I am most like Stefanie Skinner, the account executive. This is because I can interpret that she is living her dreams as a little girl to now be working in the fashion industry. No matter how stressed she may seem on the job, I think I can still sense that this is what she has always wanted – to be engulfed in fashion, passion, and deadlines. Also, I noticed that she sort of took Kelly’s new assistant, Andrew, under her wing. In her relationship with him, I see how helpful, caring and genuine she is. Skinner’s a dreamer but is highly determined. She really reminds me of myself.

In my opinion, this show will not be bad for the PR industry at all. Sure, there was a lot of drama and no room for error (“I have a rule about crying in the office: if you have to cry, go outside,” Kelly stated hardheartedly). Sure, there was plenty of chaos (“We have a take-no-prisoners attitude”). Sure, there are times when there is a lot on the line (“This isn’t college! This is millions of dollars of people’s money!” Kelly yelled to the interns). But public relations students are eager. We are hungry wolves and we love challenges. I think some of us live for that intense race to the finish line and can feed off of the fiery energy that arises behind the scenes. If this episode scared you away from PR, change your major!

Would I work for the People’s Revolution? Of course I would! I’m a PR soldier and I am ready for a challenge. I think that I would have weak moments just like one could see on episode one; I am human. But I think an intense job like that where I’d have to “swim with sharks” — as Kelly told her daughter Ava — would only make me a better swimmer.

My Professor Was Featured on “Diva Marketing Blog”

First of all, if you are asking yourself, “What the heck is Diva Marketing?” I will tell you.

Diva Marketing is a state of mind. It’s an approach to marketing that’s fun, bold and savvy … but always strategically aligned with your brand’s objective. (Toby Bloomberg)

Bloomberg started this blog in May of 2004 in hopes to create a fun atmosphere online to share news, hot trends, new tips, cool ideas, and effective strategies in marketing.

Urkovia Andrews is my professor for two classes — PR Event Management and PR Research. One afternoon when walking through Veazy Hall (every communication arts student’s second home), I noticed a newsletter on the bulletin board announcing Mrs. Andrews’ feature on this popular blog.

The title of the post is “Atlanta Women In Social Media Marketing” and is the sixth post of Bloomberg’s continuous series. This series puts the spotlight on remarkable women who work in social media marketing in the metro Atlanta area.

Mrs. Andrews is one of three women selected for this post. They were interviewed about their views on social media marketing, their favorite tactics, and about their integration of it into their courses as professors.

I read that Mrs. Andrews enjoys the rush and immediacy of social media and networks. She really likes to be able to share information with others who also share the same hobbies, activities,  and interests. In 2006 was when she first integrated the web by maintaining a website for her classes, but Fall 2009 was her first semester going beyond that one website. She now uses Skype and PROpenMic. Along with other PR students, I follow her on Twitter and read her blog, so these are two avenues I know of personally that she has taken as far as online social media and networking: