Tag Archives: communications

The Blogging Basics

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“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

The online world is filled with blogs, each one distinctively unique to its author. The trouble is, you want to start one, but you’re not sure where to begin. You’ve already taken the first step by considering it. Now, what’s your next move? Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to help you get started.

Choose your topic.

This is your first step to creating a blog, and arguably the hardest. When choosing to start a blog, you have to pick a topic you are passionate about. Passion will drive the content. If you don’t pick a topic you can write about often, you’ll run out of ideas fast. Take some time to think this step through – don’t settle.

Pick a platform.

There are dozens of options for blogging platforms out there right now: WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, and the list goes on. It is a decision that will really come down to
preference, and which platform enables you to make the most out of your blog.

Strategize a brand identity.

This will be something you incorporate into your domain name and social media platforms. You want to create a blog name that is representative of you and what the blog stands for. Again, settle for something you love.

Selecting a design template.

This is where the fun begins! Start to play around with designs and formatting. It is great to have a week or two to familiarize yourself with the platform. This also allows you some time to create a header. Remember, patience is key!

Prepare some posts and a planning calendar.

It is great to get into the habit of having posts ready to be made public when the date comes. Brainstorming ideas beforehand will help keep posts consistent. This also helps you to maintain new content that doesn’t sound repetitive.

Keep it consistent.

Remember to keep up with the blog. Pick a day of the week where a post must go up. Stick with this day (or more than one!). The more time you leave between posts creates a loss in
readership. Readers want continuity and creativity.

Once you’ve jump-started your blog, be proud of it. Recognize how much work and effort you’ve put into it!

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Staying Motivated: Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

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It’s that time of year again! Students everywhere are nestled in the books for midterm season, and the holiday hustle and bustle is just around the corner. Of course, in order to make it to the holidays we all have a lot of work to do, and some of us just might be working throughout them too! If your job is anything like PR, you never know when you’ll be called in for duty! Especially in crisis management, communication specialists have to be on the clock 24/7, ready to respond into action whenever needed.

For some of us the workload is piling high, while others might be getting into crunch time for year-end deadlines. It’s always important to keep in mind that life carries on past work and school. I thought it would be helpful to share with everyone motivating messages to help us stay on track as the season gets busier. I’ve also included some of the gorgeous scenery I’ve captured in the big city over the last few weeks.

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  • One of my favorite quotes of all-time. I’ve always said from the get-go that I want to make sure I end up in a career that makes me happy. I’ve seen too many people fall in and out of love with their careers, ultimately compromising their happiness. Make sure you’re doing something that makes you happy.

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  • Remember that you can separate career and home life. It is important to have balance between the two. Maintaining the first point, find a job that can complement your life instead of compromising your life.

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  • If you aren’t satisfied in your career choice, be daring enough to change it. Too often we get caught up in what feels natural and safe. Sometimes it’s good to step outside the box and take a risk. You never know when you might be rewarded for the chances you take.

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  • Search for something that makes you happy, and when you stumble across it, pursue it. So much can be learned from finding joy in the little things. If you happen to find something that makes you happy, take the leap to explore it further!

What words do you live by?

- S.

Judging a Pitch by Its Title

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Remember when you used to write essays in high school? Do you remember how frustrating it was to get to the end of the paper and realize now you have to think of an amazing title? Yeah, me too. Picking a strategic title that truly encapsulates the essence of your work can be challenging. Whether you’re a blogger, or looking to pitch to media personnel, sometimes you can spend hours searching for that catchy phrase to attract your reader.

One of the reasons choosing a title is so important is because it can be the one thing that ultimately sells your article. When readers subscribe to your blog they get an email with your content. The enticing way to draw them to open the email and read the content will be your headline. In public relations, the same thing holds true. Journalists and the rest of the media get hundreds of emails a day. We can all assume that unless the subject line peeks their interest, the email remains unread, or heads straight to another inbox labeled “junk” or “read later.” Either way, to achieve – at the very least – an opening of your email, think strategically about the catch phrase. Here are a few tips to help you with that cherry on top of your amazing pitch letter:

  • Be Creative. I can’t stress this enough. The last thing you want to do is title your subject line: Pitch Letter. I’m sure someone has tried, and who knows, maybe its generic nature won it a read. Regardless, try to think outside the box.
  • Make it relatable. If you are able to tie your article in with an idea that makes sense to the journalist, even better. Again, you want them to at least OPEN your email. This isn’t to say that it will get a full read.
  • Keep it current. If you can make your title relevant to something current, this will give it an interesting pull. The ultimate goal is to land your article a position in a newspaper, or magazine. Readers want something that’s fresh and new.
  • Don’t make it irrelevant. Writing a title that does not pertain to your article seems counterintuitive. Unless you’re trying to pitch to a particular person, try to avoid the tendency to skew off topic.
  • Make it memorable. I always remember the emails I get that have witty, short, and memorable titles. It makes me want to open the email and see what the article is about!

What are some of your suggestions for creating a great title? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson

- S.