COMM 306 Blog Site

ISC Topic # 7

Since I am now an “expert” on COMM 306 and blogging for class, there are some imperative tips that I think anyone who chooses to take this class in the future should know before doing so.

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First of all, they should be well aware and prepared to work! — Not that the work is difficult, it just involves constant attention, which is something that is reflective of the course material itself.

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Here are some other tips that I suggest for future COMM 306 students to succeed in the class:

  • Don’t slack on your blog posts — do at least two a week in order to keep up.
  • Explore other people’s blogs and comment on them regularly.
  • Don’t miss class — You actually learn more than you think you will.
  • Take notes
  • Be open-minded — share thoughts, opinions, and ideas during class discussions.
  • Study for the tests
  • Keep up with your work — DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT do everything last minute.  Nothing good can come of that.


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Dr. John A. McArthur assigned ISC Topic #6 as a self-reflection blog post.  The instrucions for the blog post read:

“Reflect upon your learning in this course. Revisit your first ISC Connection in the course (and link to it). Note your original definition of strategic communication. How has it changed? What in this course was most beneficial to your learning.”

As a revisited the first ISC connection that I wrote, I was actually impressed with its content.  I think I did a good job of connecting something that I saw in the real world with the things we were beginning to learn about in ISC.  However, I don’t think I fully understood the importance of the blog or why/how it was helping me build an online portfolio for myself. 

I refered back to ISC Topic #1 , written on January 13th, 2011, to retrieve my original definition of integrated Strategic Communication.

“My definition of Strategic Communication as it stands today is taken from what I learned and observed at my internship and from the knowledge and concepts that I have become familiar with as a communications student thus far.  Strategic communication is a very powerful tool for companies and can become very lucrative if used well.  I guess it would be using different forms of mediated communication to get a company’s name out to the public and using that communication to gain respect and popularity from both consumers and the public and to also gain competitive advantage over other companies and organizations.

When I reflect back on what I gained from taking this course, I think learned a lot more than I originally thought I would.  First and foremost, Integrated Strategic Communication taught me the skill of blogging, which is something that I am VERY appreciative of.  I will be able to take this skill with me into the real world when I graduate, and hopefully use it to my advantage in any field that I choose to work in. 

I am also very appreciative that I got to become more familiar with my personal writing style.  It was nice to be able to take a break from the typical research paper writing and actually use my own voice to comment on things I was learning about in class and seeing in the real world.  I learned that I actually really love blogging!

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When I read the first two sentences of this chapter it was like Dr. McArthur was talking directly to us out loud in class..

“In the old days, you got a job in public relations by networking – In the new days, you get a job in public relations by networking in social media (Seitel, Ch.9)”

I feel like those two sentences can sum up our entire semester.  The strategic communications industry is the perfect job for anyone who finds this type of material to be interesting.  I know I do.

Here are some key elements to organizing your job search:

  • Consider what interests you — start early!
  • Get a name for yourself – this includes networking and creating a portfolio (*cough* blogging *cough cough*)
  • Write a direct letter to the contact, requesting an interview
  • Call
  • Prepare your elevator speech

Once you land the interview, there are things you can do in order to assure success:

  • Take charge — this is what they want to see
  • Know your strengths, skills, and knowledge
  • Indicate what YOU can bring to the table
  • Get more names — always continue networking no matter what
  • Follow-up

The chapter points out 4 levels in the career path of strategic communications:

  1. Entry-level professional
  2. Professional manager
  3. Senior professional director
  4. Senior professional vice president

This chapter was great in that it helped get a broad picture of what exactly the public relations field looks like and what it actually takes to get there.


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Seitel, Fraser P. “What Is Public Relations, Anyway?” The Practice of Public Relations. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2011. Print

This was probably my favorite chapter in the book — I found it to be very interesting.  It goes beyond explaining what tools it takes for organizations to be sucessful in strategic communication, and places a lot of responsibility on the PR professional as an individual.

The chapter makes a comparison between the CEO of a company and that same company’s PR Director, pointing out that the only difference between the two is that “the latter gets paid more” (Seitel, Ch. 5).  I find this funny, but also pretty eye-opening.  Doesn’t it seem like a lot of pressure is being put on the indiviual who is running the strategic communication for an organization?  Maybe so, but it just goes to show how lucrative and important their roles are to the success of the organization.

In order for any PR professional to be respected and listened to, they must learn what it takes to be an effective manager. The chapter states that “public relations people must master the knowledge of such management functions as planning, budgeting, objective setting, and how to top management thinks and operates” (Seitel, Ch. 5).

I appreciate that the chapter distinguished between the role a staff public relations employee inside the PR department of an organization whose job is to support the goals of that particular organization, and that of a professional who is working for a PR agency, contributing to the revenue of that agency alone.  I worked for a PR agency this past summer and now I work inside of an organization doing PR — I can definately see the difference between the two!

The chapter makes a brilliant analogy to help understand the two different perspectives; working for an external agency is like the outside looking in, and working for an internal department is like the inside looking out. “Sometimes the use of an agency is necessary to escape the tunnel-vision syndrome that afflicts some firms, in which a detached viewpoint is desperately needed” (Seitel, Ch. 5). — So true!!!  

As of now, I think I would rather continue working inside of the PR department in an organization.  But who knows if my opinion will change – I guess I’ll just have to wait and see 🙂


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Seitel, Fraser P. “What Is Public Relations, Anyway?” The Practice of Public Relations. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2011. Print

In today’s world, I feel like it is impossible to even have the slightest interest in entering the field of public relations without being totally familiar with the ins-and-outs of social media.

Just within the past two years of my life, my knowledge of social media and how it relates to this field has grown dramatically.  I now know that social media has a purpose, and if learned and used correctly, can act as the launching pad for an organization’s success.

Companies need to take into account many things in order to use social media as the vehicle to generate top-notch PR:

  • First, establish a website.  When creating the website, companies need to take into account what content will be included, how often it will be edited, the design and layout, how interactive it will be, how they will track usage, and who will be responsible for maintenance.
  • Secondly, companies need to utilize email to connect with customers and employees.


  • Instant Messaging and Texting can be importants means of generating fast, effective text diolouges and/or share pictures and other media.
  • BLOGS!!!!!  Come on, do I really need to explain the importance of blogging?
  • Social networking sites – Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Myspace, Tumbler, etc.

Other web-based communication tools:

  • Intranets
  • Extranets
  • Wikis
  • Podcasting
  • RSS
  • Second Life

These are all tools that are simple, easily learned, mostly cost-free, and are available to everyone.  Using social media as a means to leverage your PR is probably the SMARTEST thing that an organization can do for themselves right now, and that is something that isn’t changing any time soon.


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Seitel, Fraser P. “What Is Public Relations, Anyway?” The Practice of Public Relations. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2011. Print

FINALLY! Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising are all mentioned in the same chapter.  These are the three most important factors of integrated strategic communication, but so many people get still them confused with one another, debate about their purposes, and fail to note their individual strengths and weaknesses. 

What is the difference?  Is there a difference?

The chapter says  that integrated marketing “is the intersection of public relations and publicity, advertising, sales promotion, and marketing to promote organizations, products, and services” (Seitel, Ch. 17).

All of these elements are major players in the selling of a product and success of an organization — marketing and advertising are successful at building brand awareness, PR establishes creditability, and sales promotion influences people to buy.  It’s important that a company learns to successfully integrate all of these elements to have effective communication with customers, media outlets, other organizations, and all publics in order to sell their product and promote brand loyalty.

Here are some traditional elements that companies must always know how to do effectively in order to succeed:

  • Product publicity
  • PR — Third-party endoursements
  • Build a brand name
  • Advertising
  • Trade show participation
  • Spokespersons
  • Promotions

Here are some 21st century tools of integrated marketing that companies are now having to become accustomed to:

  • Online marketing
  • Television brand integration
  • Infomercials
  • Buzz marketing
  • Product placement

happy marketing 300x199 Entrepreneur Responsibilities and Definition


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Seitel, Fraser P. “What Is Public Relations, Anyway?” The Practice of Public Relations. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2011. Print

This chapter starts off by immediately saying that the internet has dramatically changed how the PR industry deals with media relations — this is a fact we all know to be true.

The chapter continues to explain that the media used to be just a small entity but boy has that changed. Today, the media is heavily driven by a 24 hour cycle of determined reporters who are

“aggressive, opinionated, sharp-elbowed, and more than willing to throw himself or herself personally into the story being covered” (Seitel, Ch. 9). 

I entered college wanting to become a journalist and work for a television news station, but ironically this is exactly why I chose not to do so.  I’m just not a competitive person by nature, so when I realized how cut throat of a playing field journalism was, I immediately opted out.

When I discovered Communications – PR specifically – I knew it was for me.  The chapter points out the difference between a PR professional and a news journalist:   Reporters want to get their hands on the story, whether it’s good, bad, or ugly.   PR professionals who work for organizations however, want everything to be portrayed from the most positive angle.  That’s just my style.

This doesn’t deny the fact that PR professionals will ALWAYS have to deal with the media in some form if they want to be successful in this industry. 

The chapter uses the term “Devil’s Advocate” to describe the reason why so many people (myself inculded) are so indimidated by the press.  The chapter points out that we often ask ourselves if the media’s intenions are to truely inform the people or to just scare the pants off of people only reporting the bad news.

People who decide to work in PR and Strategic Communications of all forms have a tough job ahead of them.  With that said, the chapter presents these important things that I think are great to keep in mind when dealing with the media:

  1. A reporter is never off duty
  2. PR professionals’ words are taken seriously by reporters
  3. Reporters are innocent until “proven guilty”
  4. Treat journalists professionally
  5. Don’t sweat the skepticism
  6. Don’t try to “buy” a journalist
  7. Become a TRUSTED source
  8. Never lie
  9. And last, but definitely not least, READ THE PAPER!!!!!


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Seitel, Fraser P. “What Is Public Relations, Anyway?” The Practice of Public Relations. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2011. Print

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