This morning, I spoke with George Mason University students in Serge Samoilenko’s class. The topic was blogging. Since many of them will be working communications, I compiled a list of blogs that I thought would help them learn more about PR, understand what it is like to work in PR, and maybe even make useful contacts.
One thing I emphasize for students (and professionals, as well) is to take full advantage of the comments feature to add to the discussion and cultivate relationships (and perhaps drive traffic to their own blogs).
I do follow many other excellent PR blogs but these were the ones that I thought might be most useful to undergrad students and soon-to-be PR professionals. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. PRSay is the blog of the Public Relations Society of America, which of course is the foremost professional organization for PR professionals in the states. It’s a high quality blog that delivers just what you would expect it to.
2. Beyond PR is PR Newswire’s blog and it is outstanding. You can tell the people who write for this blog love to write. But they are also on the cutting edge of any new PR development. The practical public relations tips are invaluable. One of my favorite blogs to read.
3. Fresh Ideas is the blog for BurrellesLuce. I especially like the blog posts by local Debbie Friez. This is another blog with practical public relations tips, as well as takeaways from area public relations professional development events . I advised the students to get to know Debbie’s work through her posts on this blog and to seek her out at networking events, as she is highly connected and influential in DC’s PR community.
4. The Publicity Hound delivers good quality, practical public relations advice you can use in a succinct and uncomplicated way. Joan Stewart‘s writing is fun to read, and I often find tips on public relations topics not covered widely elsewhere. In short, it’s interesting.
5. Levick Strategic Communications has expanded and rebranded their Insights blog from their former Bulletproof Blog, which was excellent. I am just getting used to the new format, but is there ever a lot of good content here. Levick Strategic Communications, as you may know, is one of the foremost crisis public relations firms. Their blog is an education in crisis communications, and never fails to impress me.
6. Social Media Club DC had some starts and stops but it seems like their blog and programming are really on a roll now. None of the students in this class had been to any SMC-DC events, so I strongly recommended that they subscribe and start connecting with this active group.
7. The Fletcher Prince Blog. Like I wasn’t going to recommend my own blog! 620 blog posts, people. I’m just saying….
8. The blog for PRofessional Solutions, LLC (client) disseminates the wisdom of Kate Perrin and Melanie Jordan, who manage the DC area’s only public relations staffing firm. They deal everyday with companies and job seekers, and they know their stuff. Both women are excellent writers, and yes, I would say that even if they were not my clients! These are also influential contacts to get to know and emulate. I know I often think: “What would Kate or Melanie do/say now?” That’s how savvy they are.
9. Ami Neiberger-Miller writes The PR Toolkit for Nonprofits. Ami started her professional career as a journalist and you can tell: she really is a wonderful and intelligent writer. She has such a broad wealth of public relations experience and knowledge to draw on, and she is a committed blogger. Of course, nonprofit PR is huge in DC. Ami is another DC PR pro people should really get to know.
10. Amanda Miller Littlejohn is another DC area independent who also got her start as a journalist. Amanda’s blog posts on Mopwater + Media Notes are thought-provoking and often inspiring, which is appropriate since she likes to help people build their personal brands. This is an especially useful blog for students and young professionals to start reading on a regular basis, because Amanda also interviews public relations professionals about their jobs, and shares job openings.
11. Another local independent, Denise Graveline, has two excellent PR blogs. I directed them to The Eloquent Woman for its unique focus on public speaking. What communicator would not benefit from public speaking tips and anecdotes?
12. And last but not least, I recommend the blog, Mr. Media Training. I have never met the author, Brad Phillips, but I think his PR expertise makes his blog subscription-worthy. One thing that impresses me about this prolific blogger is how he hops right on a news story or breaking development, so I enjoy those current events insights, as well. I think it would be an excellent addition to any student’s (0r professional’s) daily reading to do list.
Most public relations agencies and professionals I observe on Twitter are conscientious about disclosing client relationships when tweeting. It’s easy to do: all you have to really do is add the hashtag #client to the tweet. Like this:
However, one prominent D.C. agency’s employees have been really missing the boat on this. They keep tweeting about their clients, without disclosure, e.g.:
They do this a LOT.
So what’s the big deal? Read the rest of this entry →
Think nothing happens in DC in August? Think again! There are plenty of educational and networking events coming up this month for communicators, and people interested in learning more about PR, marketing, and social media!
Click each event for registration information.
Tuesday, August 2nd, 6 pm – 8 pm “Second Annual PR Community Mini-Golf Tournament”
Sponsored by: PR Community (and you know who)
Where: Jefferson Falls Miniature Golf Course, 7900 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA
Fees: Self-pay ($6/game). Call (571) 269-7559 if you want a $5 Red Hot & Blue BBQ platter (Pork BBQ sandwich, cole slaw, red-skinned potato salad, pickle and sweet or unsweet iced tea)
Wednesday, August 3, 12 Noon – 2 pm “Executive Communicators Summer Idea Swap – Discovering Solutions to Your Biggest Challenges”
Sponsored by: Washington Women in Public Relations
Where: Hager Sharp, 1030 15th St., Suite 600E, Washington, DC
Fees: Free for WWPR and PRSA members; $15 for non-members. Bring a bag lunch.
Tuesday, August 9, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. “Top Tech Trends PR Professionals Need to Consider”
Sponsored by: Public Relations Society of America, National Capital Chapter
Where: Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center, 901 K Street NW, 11th floor, Washington, DC
Fees: $35 for PRSA and WWPR members; $55 for non-members; $10 for students and retirees
Tuesday, August 9, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. “After Hours Mixer”
Sponsored by: DC Ad Club
Where: Jackie’s Restaurant, 8081 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD
Fees: Free. Buy your own drinks.
Wednesday, August 10th, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m “Monitoring and Analytics” (breakfast and presentation)
Sponsored by: The Association for Women in Communications-DC Chapter and Burson-Marsteller Digital
Where: 1110 Vermont Avenue N.W., 12th floor, Washington, DC
Fees: $25 for members of AWC, WWPR, BPR and CPC; $35 for
Thursday, August 25, 12 Noon – 2 p.m. Brown Bag Seminar: Presentation by Tammy Gordon, Social Media strategist for AARP
Sponsored by: Washington Women in Public Relations
Fees: Free for WWPR and PRSA members; $15 for non-members. Bring a lunch.
- Look for me at WWPR’s Emerging Leaders Awards, July 26 (fletcher-prince.com)
- Educational Happy Hour? (theprsanccblog.wordpress.com)
- Meet the WWPR #ELA2011 Finalists! (flackrabbit.com)
The Public Relations Society of America maintains a Speaker’s Bureau of experts on various topics related to the practice of public relations. What a great resource for identifying notable people to follow in this field on Twitter.
Here’s my selection of 10 experts to follow, by PR specialty, along with their Twitter handles and follower counts. Follow the complete Twitter list here.
1. Association/Nonprofit Management |Bill Murray (New York, NY) @Bill_PRSA (177+ followers)
2. Career Development | Gerard Corbett (San Bruno, CA) @PRJobCoach (495+ followers)
3. Employee/Internal Communications | Kathy Barbour (Jacksonville, FL) @kathybarbour (1,369+ followers)
4. Ethics | Tom Eppes (Charlotte, NC) @tomeppes (35+ followers)
5. Financial Communications/Investor Relations | Marcia DiStaso (University Park, PA) @mdistaso (356+ followers)
6. Global Communications | Rosanna Fiske (Miami, FL) @Fiskey (1,421+ followers)
7. Healthcare Communications | Paula Pedene (Phoenix, AZ) @PaulaPedene (465+ followers)
8. Public Affairs and Government Communications | Gary McCormick (Knoxville, TN) @GaryMac865 (450+ followers)
9. Social Media | Gini Dietrich (Chicago, IL) @ginidietrich (18,350+ followers)
10. Travel and Tourism | Peggy Bendel (Catalina, AZ) @Deercats (85+ followers)
- Does High Twitter Follower Count indicate Thought Leadership? Not SO much! (showfangspr.strategicobjectives.com)