Tag Archives: PR

Guest Blogger Megan Getter on Widgets & Badges

10 Apr
It’s Guest Blogger Week! Our guest is Megan Getter of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. She is studying Public Relations, Interpersonal Communication as well as minoring in English. Check out her blog, Waves and Ripples!

Widgets, and badges, and more: Oh my!

It’s not as much fun to say as lions, and tigers, and bears, but I’ll explain why they can be more helpful than carnivorous mammals.

lions and tigers and bears 

Image Credit: “Pick me! Pick me!” By captainxo

A few things you should know before we get started…


First, according to Wikipedia, a widget is “a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship (user can edit coding of page).”


I use widgets a lot on this blog. If you look on the right side, each of the different items is a widget enabled by the blog theme. There’s a widget at the bottom of the page too! (See word clouds.)


Second, also according to Wikipedia, a badge is “a small image used on websites to promote web standards, products used in the creation of a web page or product, to indicate a specific content license that is applied to the content or design of a website.”

Think of badges as bling or flair. You can show of all the cool stuff that means something to you.


HTML5 Powered with Connectivity / Realtime, CSS3 / Styling, and Graphics, 3D & Effects

I got this badge off the HTML5 logo creation site. You often have to click on the badge to find out what it means. Maybe you should do that for this one too! ;)


For a company or nonprofit, the use of badges and widgets can come in handy. A company can create a badge or widget for others to display on their website. For donating to a cause, someone could get a “giving badge” to share.

A widget can be created to provide a special service to either clients or potential customers. Think industry news! Or a countdown till the release of a book, movie, or event. People love to display widgets (gadgets for windows) on their desktop and blog, so make sure whatever you create is versatile.


Sharing News With the Media While Befriending Journalists

10 Apr

Ch. 10-11 Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

The primary ways of distributing news to media outlets are as follows:

  • e-mail
  • online newsrooms
  • electronic newswires
  • mat distribution companies
  • photo placement firms

When sending news via e-mail, be sure to:

  1. Write a descriptive subject line, not just FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  2. Do not attach files unless requested because of the risk of viruses
  3. Place useful information at the top of the news release
  4. Use bullet points for key points
  5. Don’t make your reader scroll because that means it is way too long
  6. Don’t let the person see who the e-mail was sent to because they wouldn’t want to see other reporters addressed.
  7. As with any other news release, spell check, grammar check, punctuation check. NO ERRORS ARE ACCEPTABLE!

Photo Placement Firms such as Newscom provide high-resolution photos for registered journalists and editor to choose from.

At times news releases that are e-mailed may be accompanied by a link to a photo on Newscom that illustrates the story.

Building Relationships with Journalists

It is important for Public Relations Professionals to build relationships with the journalists they work with because humans are not alway in work mode. Relationships require a human aspect. Talk about something other than your product or your company!

Friction between PR people and Jounalists

On the PR side:

  • Too much hype
  • Not doing homework on subject
  • Being nuisances

On the Journalistic side:

  • Sloppy/biased reporting
  • Name-calling
  • Tabloid sensationalism

Things to be aware of:

  1. It is inappropriate to invite a reporter to lunch unless you plan to discuss a potential story.
  2. Don’t ask a journalists when the story will be used because they probably don’t even know IF it will be used at all. It is also annoying to be asked that.
  3. Don’t make a reporter’s phone ring off the hook.
  4. Don’t give extravagant gifts. Stick to the value of a T-shirt or coffee mug, etc.

“If it’s worth over $20, I can’t accept it. If it’s worth under $20, it’s crap and I don’t want it.”

-AP editor in response to a question asked by  PR personnel