What’s the Deal With Infographics?

The book “Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques” by Dennis L. Wilcock defines an infographic as, “computer-generated artwork that attractively displays simple tables and charts.” When I think of infographics, I think of a graph or chart that uses interesting images or bright colors to present data to readers. They essentially make something that is normally comprised of black and white numbers and lines interesting by adding something that is pleasing to the eye.

Normally, when I think of graphs I think of math class in high school or the stock market, both things that are not exactly passions of mine. However, I’ve learned that graphics can be made fun by using your subject matter and interpreting it as art for the graph or chart. For example, when using a pie graph to display what kind of pizza different people like in a pizza parlor, you could make the pieces of the graph look like an actual pizza with the different kinds of toppings (i.e.: one piece with just cheese, one with pepperoni, one with mushrooms, and so on).

However, infographics can be used in more than just the obvious ways. You might want to have your chart of graph popping out of an object that represents something about your statistics, or gives an overall theme to the graphic. The bottom line is that no matter what you do to your information, a little color always helps. Presenting a plain graph made with little to no creativity does not reflect well on you or whoever you’re representing. Get inspiration from different sources, including your co-workers, and you can make an infographic that gets printed in a publication!

This graphic does not show real data, but it is something that hopefully will be true one day of my current “client” for my PR class, the Pre-Health Service Organization at Southeastern University:

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March Madness

It’s currently my favorite time of year! A time when college basketball is on Thursday-Sunday and 68 teams try to survive and advance to make it to the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship game on April 4th . Who do you have winning it all? I’m hoping Duke brings the trophy home because they’re my favorite team!

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It’s Friday?

If you don’t have a Twitter account or check out the latest YouTube videos very often, then you may be fortunate enough to have never heard of Rebecca Black or her new song “Friday.” Unfortunately for you, I’m about to make that happen. Currently, I can’t even remember the last day “Rebecca Black” wasn’t on the top trending topics on Twitter or my Facebook newsfeed wasn’t riddled with her lyrics. Check out the video and let me know what you think!

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Get Your Chat On, With Twitter Chats!

Last night I participated in a public relations Twitter chat, #PRStudchat, led by Lauren Gray. At first, I was a little confused as to how the process of a Twitter chat worked. However, I was quickly able to catch on and join in on the conversation. What I enjoyed so much about the chat was that it was so easy to keep up with. I used my iPhone and the Twitter application to participate and was able to just keep refreshing the search for “#PRStudchat” when new questions and answers had been given.

I have heard, written, and talked a lot about networking in PR and honestly thought I had the hang of it until doing this Twitter chat. I realized that Twitter chats were a part of social networking that I had never tried before, and it seems to be the best way to connect with and meet PR professionals and other PR students.

From Abigail Silvester's Flickr photostream

 

The most exciting part about the #PRStudchat for me was that I got retweeted by the leader of the conversation! When asked for what I would look for in an employer, I tweeted, “I look for employers with good values and track records with past employees.” It was pretty amazing to have someone acknowledge something that I said among such a large group of students and professionals.

One of the most valuable things about Twitter chats is the fact that you get a wide range of opinions and ideas, sometimes things that you would have never thought of on your own. I personally can’t wait to participate in another chat and look forward to meeting more “PR peers” in the future!

If you’d like to take part in the #PRStudchat, they are every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., just search all tweets for “#PRStudchat” and look for the questions as they come up on the time line. When you want to answer, make sure you respond with the hashtag #PRStudchat and Q# (#=which number question you’re answering).

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Everything You Need To Know About HARO

“Help A Reporter”, otherwise known as HARO, is a North American social media service founded in 2008 by Peter Shankman. On a daily basis, HARO ” brings nearly 30,000 reporters and bloggers, over 100,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses together to tell their stories, promote their brands and sell their products and services.” HARO is independently owned and free to all users.

For me, the most interesting thing that HARO offers to users is the place on the website made for journalists to submit queries. Essentially, if you need reliable sources and you’re on limited time, the website will send you the matches for the sources you need in order to write your story. Also, HARO offers another place for journalists and reporters to give each other feedback (constructive criticism) on news pitches.

HARO could be useful to PR practitioners in an incredibly beneficial way. When you are on a deadline and writing a news release, the website could help you find exactly what you’re looking for as far as sources go. Also, it can act as a proof-reader in a sense when trying to come up with story ideas and news-worthy content. Most importantly, HARO can use your company as one of its sources and you may find yourself being quoted in a major newspaper or magazine. You can’t beat the fact that there are thousands of professionals online every single day at HARO waiting to help you in your reporting endeavors.

All in all, HARO is a reliable, independent and up-and-coming social media site for journalists and PR professionals that I can’t wait to be a part of one day.

 

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The Oscars…Who Will Win?

The 83rd Academy Awards Ceremony is being held on Sunday, Feb. 27th, and will be airing on ABC. You can check out a list of the nominees here.  I’m predicting big wins for Colin Firth, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Melissa Leo. What are your picks?

Check out this commercial for the Academy Awards featuring the hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco:

 

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My Latest From NewsU

Since the start of 2011, I have completed a few new courses from Poynter’s News University. One of these courses that I found particularly helpful was “Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style, & More.” One of the most helpful sections of this course for me was the “Style” section. I am relatively new to AP Style and this section gave me a good overview of all of the important rules that apply to addresses, ages, abbreviations, capitalization, dates, distances, interstates, money, and numbers. Of course, I have an AP Stylebook that I can reference for all of these subjects, but it was helpful to have a quick introduction to all of these subjects in once place, without having to flip through the pages of a book.

I loved the organization of this course and the way that it gave you examples of each subject to work on at the end of each section. I am both a visual and a hands-on person. So in order for an online course to be effective for me it has to be both aesthetically pleasing and give me exercises to work on to allow me to put into action what I have just learned. I especially enjoyed how this course tells you how many mistakes are in a sentence so that you know how much you have to correct.

After completing this course, I realized that something I would like to learn more about is Punctuation. So in the future I might take a course that is more focused on that subject as opposed to this one which focused on many other subjects on top of punctuation.

As always, NewsU was incredibly helpful to me and allowed me to learn a lot outside of the classroom and on my laptop.

 

 

 

 

 

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