Facebook: The PeRfect PaRty Planner?

12 May


Is it wise to use Facebook to invite people to your party…?

I have been thinking about this none stop, as soon I will be having my own 21st birthday party, and I have decided to create an invite on Facebook…but I’m going to be clever about it.

Im not going to make to it visible for everyone to see  and I’m not going to invite the whole of my friends list, crazy you might say…but without Facebook how am I going to reach the friends I rarely see…a good old fashioned invite just won’t do. I don’t want to risk people not turning up do I?

I remember a few years back, a news story that turned national, the girl who shared her house party with the World Wide Web! All I can say is amateur…this has scared people to their wits about sharing information on social networking sites…but as we advance, we’re not stupid…we can use Facebook to our advantage…look at all of the organisations using Facebook, it must be doing something right.

Check out this video…if this isn’t the perfect party then I don’t know what is…

 Let’s face it…with Facebook…ANYONE CAN PR THEIR OWN PERFECT PARTY!


A Degree’s…A Degree

12 May

It has came to my attention, that a lot of PR practitioners,…don’t actually have a degree in public relations?!

Know to me…that seems a bit unfair.

I have heard that many people study journalism at university and then go into the career of public relations, but how can they get away with this. Don’t get me wrong,  if there great at PR, then why shouldn’t they, but if don’t get taught even the basics of how to write a news release, how can they apply for a job in PR.

My thoughts are ‘a degree is a degree’ whatever it’s in; do we still have the same choice of jobs at the end of it?

But if that was the case, why do we have so many specialized degrees that we can study.

I can’t help wonder if people studying journalism, who then go into public relations have  an advantage over us PR students, as they have delved over ‘to the other side’. But as a spoke to my lecturer about it, she said… ‘We have should have an advantage on them’…so how is it that there are so many people in PR with a journalism degree rather than a PR degree. Even if we have an advantage over none PR students…if there all applying for PR jobs, there somewhat compromising jobs out there for us!

I would like to create a debate on this topic….what do you think, whether you’re a PR practitioner,  originally with a journalism degree or you’re a PR student…I want to hear from you.

What does your online reputation say about YOU?

10 May

It really gets my back up, that some people don’t care about their online reputation, and especially people that expect to get decent jobs after their degree. I don’t know if it’s because I’m more self aware of what I’m putting out there, what impression I’m giving and where it’s actually going, due to studying public relations and social media at university. Or are some people so naive they think future employers aren’t going to check up on Twitter accounts, blogs and Facebook accounts…and even typing their name in Google!

When I type ‘Lyndsey Sara Johnson’ into Google, the first result is my LinkedIn profile, a profile I use to share my study information and my work experience in the world of public relations, which is a great opportunity to ‘get noticed’ to a future employer. The second result is my first blog ‘Hidden Gems of the HighStreet’. The third search result is actually my Twitter account and then there are results of my conversations with people on Twitter, which could be very dangerous if you’re not careful on what you post on Twitter. Unfortunately this blog, is the 8th result, however it’s not hard to change this. Before Christmas this year, when I typed my name in the Google search bar, nothing came up that was to do with me. I believe because I have regularly updated my blog and Twitter account, and connected with more people on LinkedIn, I have created an online presence and created a good online reputation and associated myself with public relations and social media. I’m quite pleased that my Facebook account hasn’t came up as I use my Facebook to share with friends only, and never connect my Twitter and blog with my Facebook. Also it is all private…but really…is anything private on the internet? I also only use one profile picture on Twitter, LinkedIn and my blog so people can associate a face to the personality, and that is also the first result in Google images.

Another pet hate of mine, is when people make obvious spelling mistakes, proving they haven’t read back at what they have written, which is always essential. No one will employ a careless speller! Also swearing…if you know you have professional people on your Twitter, why would you portray yourself as a vulgar person?!

I think it’s also beneficial to ‘follow the right people’ …it’s useless following hundreds of celebrities…their not listening to you and you could be compromising the really important information that counts.

Food for thought: You may have an online reputation…but is it a good one and is it the right one?

I also want to encourage people to search their name in Google and see what the results come up…good, bad or none existence…can you change it?

Is an online presence really enough to land the dream job?

10 May

It’s now coming up to the end of my second year studying PR at Sunderland University and as we have been talking about the final projects, I can’t ignore the scary subject of getting a job and heading out into the real world. It feels so daunting, thinking of having interviews for ‘proper PR jobs’ and trying to sell myself. However I do believe the social media module I have studied for the past two years as given me a head start as I would like to think I have already created an online presence, using my blog, Twitter and LinkedIn.  But is an online presence really enough to land the dream job? Somehow I don’t think so!

Over the summer, I dare to say I’ll probably get a bit bored, so I have decided to set some guidelines and create a list of the things I could be doing over the summer to keep myself occupied and engaged:

I have decided that I MUST read more often, even if it’s a blog or a magazine. I must say, I really fancy investing in Nick Davies: Flat Earth News, after loaning it from the library.

I’m going to apply for more work experience throughout the summer as I think it’s a vital part of building confidence and knowledge and also really FUN!

Obviously, it goes without saying, I will be still using Twitter to interact and gain a greater knowledge or PR practice and the world of social media.

Updating this blog will also be on the agenda, I will try to keep it content rich, throughout my third year, expanding my online presence.

If anyone has any ideas to add to my list, please comment and let me know J

And talking about online presence, I have recently come across a great blog, which is really useful for PR students and practitioners. I found Anthony Devenish’s blog, http://anthonydevenish.com/ on Twitter, it’s a great read as it’s down to earth and simplifies some of the complex topics of social media and PR, but the best thing about Anthony’s blog is his humor….he makes reading about social media and PR less of a chore and more FUN!

The ‘Penazzle’

7 May

I have recently wrote an essay on ‘churnalism’ and whether its a threat or an opportunity to public relations in practice. While researching for the essay I came across the article, ‘Churnalism, journalism and the story of the penazzle’ by Dan Sabbagh on The Guardian website.

Independent film-maker, Chris Atkins  created to some extent, harmless ‘fictional’ press releases to determine how much ‘churnalism’ is taking place in the national newspapers. He created a press release telling the media, how the ‘penjazzle, the male answer to the crystal decorations offered by a ‘vajazzle’ will be the next big thing and stated, “if you want to make something true in the media, all you have to do is put it on the internet.” With this in mind, he created fake websites to back up his press release, taking only a couple of hours to create. He then modeled the ‘penazzle’ for photographic evidence and sent the press release to the news desks of every national newspaper and followed it up by pitching to them over the telephone. The next day, the story appeared in The Sun, the largest selling newspaper in Britain. He then used the website, churnalism.com and found that 45% of the text was cut and pasted from the original press release.

This really surprised me that anyone could make up any story, write a news release, send it to all of the national newspapers and get coverage the next day!

If this is ‘churnalism’ then surely it’s a threat to traditional PR practice and all of the morals we believe in? Or is it what we want? …journalist that will believe anything written on a press release, not bothering to check it and then writing an article on it, for a national newspaper, read by thousands… it’s got me thinking, what is the world coming to…or more to the point what is the world of media relations coming to!

‘Playstation Hacker’

28 Apr

Do any of us really know how to deal with a crisis?

It’s a PR professional’s  worst nightmare, something there geared up for, there whole working career, but when it happens… do we really know what to do?

I have been preparing throughout the Easter holidays for a ‘Q and A’ briefing assessment for when I return to uni next week, but as my mind reels with questions and answers, I can’t help but think, can we really be prepared for what we will be presented with. As I try to put myself in the mind of a journalist, I feel I’m probably being ‘too nice’ and figure, you can’t read anyone’s mind.

As I’m enjoying the Easter break with my boyfriend, probably one of the biggest PR crises is forming around me…the ‘Playstation Hacker’. And as I’m overjoyed with the situation, as It means my boyfriend isn’t ‘gaming’ all night, It totally flew over my head, that this could actually help me and it has made me release that everything around me that is happening is all linked with PR, I just never normally release it. So it’s time to get into gear and get my PR head on, as I don’t have to be in a lecture to be learning about PR, it’s just a shame everyone else over looks PR in these day to day situations.

Anyways…after an agonising wait for the news (my boyfriend, not me that is) there it was, a quote that really stuck in my mind was “Sony has done themselves a huge disservice by taking so long to advise people of the scale of the problem.” It has took Sony a week to admit that someone has hacked into the server as their previous message, was ‘the server is down due to maintenance’ this just makes me believe Sony’s PR team were not prepared for this crisis and it has took some time to create statements to be released. They may as well have been saying ‘No Comment’, however now they have been using social media to update further information on the situation which is a great advantage to them, but does it somewhat ‘let them off’ with giving media interviews and conferences. By using their blog they are able to control what they are saying and don’t have to answer any difficult face to face questions. They have release a ‘form of an apology’ via there blog but I can’t seem to find where they actually say sorry…I have been told give an apology straight away to consumers and empathises with them.


All I can say is that I think they are slacking In the situation and as another customer quotes ‘It makes it harder certainly to trust Sony’, they have really handled the situation badly…even my boyfriend is contemplating buying an X Box…and that’s saying something!

PR in Practice…

12 Apr

A couple of weeks ago, I entered into the world of ‘real PR’ …only for a week! Nevertheless I got a glimpse into what it would be like working in a public relations agency…and I loved it.
It was nothing from what I expected initially. It was laid-back, friendly and fun…words that some people may not associate with the profession of PR. I had the image of a hustling office filled with people too busy to even mutter a word to each other, people that didn’t have much of a social life as there heavy work load would erase that…but it was totally different. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of work involved and some of the PR professionals worked through their lunch most days, but these people weren’t work crazed, they were normal…normal men and women who enjoyed having a giggle and enjoyed there busy work schedules as well as their busy social lives.
That was when it hit me…I could really see myself doing this for a living.
I found it really hard at first to get used to sitting at a computer desk all day and thought that maybe there would be more physical things to take part in; however I was only there for a week, so I didn’t get a full experience. But the work I did get to do was really interesting and engaging and I loved the interaction via telephone with different media, it really boosted my confidence. It’s not just news releases and campaigns, in fact I only wrote one news release when I was there. And I can confirm I attended no VIP parties and events and certainly didn’t meet any Celebrities, it didn’t have a glimpse of glamour, but living the simple life in a laid back, fun-loving office, dressing smartly every day, meeting successful people and feeling a great sense of accomplishment after each day really appeals to me, and not forgetting to work hard and play harder.

A big thanks to Robson Brown PR for the work experience and I would love to hear about your work experiences….