Julie Smith’s Blog

PR class related blog

Tips on How to get Published November 7, 2008

Filed under: Publications,Tips — Julie Smith @ 8:23 pm
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In an article How to Get Your First Publication, author Sarah Turner gives tips to beginning writers trying to break into publishing.

-First editors want to know two things: 1.) whether you have good ideas

                                                                2.) whether you can write

Hand holding light bulb on the beige background by shadphotos.http://tinyurl.com/5shfll


  • Start small– “approach a community newspaper with a small article idea,” said Turner. Offer a 500 word piece and make sure it fits with the paper. Don’t worry about pay, just get your name out there.
  • Build your writing portfolio– If you are starting from scratch, “try volunteering to do a newsletter or writing an article online. Also try entering a writing contest. Awards look great on a writer’s resume, and they boost your writing confidence” (Turner, 2008).
  • Know your markets-” The most important rule and tip. Research and read the publications that interest you, and take note of tone, subject matter,sections, and advertisers. The closer you are to your targer, the more success you will have” (Turner, 2008).
  • Hone your skills– Take any writing classes or workshops that you can afford to. Join a group or ask a friend to critique your writing, the more your work is read the better.
  • Be honest– Don’t fake having experience, be up front when you approach an editor. It is ok to tell them you don’t have any experience. Be professional and motivated.

The information from this post came from:

Turner, S. (2008, Apr. 01). Retrieved Nov. 07, 2008, from http://resourcesforwriters.suite101.com/article.cfm/getting_your_first_publication



7 Things You Should Know About Blogs November 6, 2008

Filed under: Publications,Tips — Julie Smith @ 5:53 pm

1.)  What is it?

The word Blog means “Web log,” meaning an online chronological collection of personal commentary and links.

– Blogging has come a long way from online diaries to well respected reviews on specific topics.

2.) Who is doing it?

Anyone can create a blog.

– There are group blogs, family blogs, community blogs, corporate blogs. A few examples given by educause.com  are: WarBlogs (blogs about the Iraq war), LibLogs (Library blogs), and EduBlogs (targeting education).

– “In educational settings instructors are using blogs as a teaching tool, and students are increasingly using them for personal use and class requirements.”

3.) How does it work?

It is as simple as using any online program.

– The author writes posts,consisting of anything they wish, and it is uploaded to their blog. Once the post is up, subscribers to the blog will be notified.

– Post entries can include anything from text, photos, power point slide shows, hyperlinks, tags, music, video, and much more.

– Readers can submit feedback through comments on the post, or they can comment on their own blog linking back to the blog they are commenting on. This feature is known as trackback. Bloggers are notified if their work is referenced to in another blog.

4.) Why is it significant?

– Informative

– Expression

–  Connection

– Media outlet

– Blogs allow for immediate readership and reactions which lead to feedback.

– Blogs stimulate the growth of online communities.

5.) What are the downsides?

–  Bias

– Inaccurate

– Unmediated

– Highly volatile

6.) Where is it going?

– Blogs are growing exponentially

– An estimated 50 million people are blogging

– Blogs are public and long-lived

– Educators are learning how to maximize the benefits of blogs in and out of the classroom

7.) What are the implications for teaching and learning?

– As said by educause.com, “Blogs can be used as reflection about classes, careers, or current events;they can also capture and disseminate student and faculty-generated content.”


For more information about blogs visit:

Thomas, (2005, Aug.). Retrieved Nov. 04, 2008, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7006.pdf



Choosing the Best Font and Color for PowerPoint October 23, 2008

Filed under: Tips — Julie Smith @ 5:21 pm

    A faculty member at Sam Houston State University, Solomon Schneider, in Huntsville Texas created some guidelines for choosing colors for your PowerPoint that have the best text legibility.


  • Medium colored text + Medium colored background= Low Legibility (Bad)
  • Very Light Font + A dark background= High Legibility (Good)
  • When you click ‘more colors’ on the color wheel the inner most 2 rings are considered light
  • The outermost 2 rows are considered the dark colors
  • Everything in between is considered medium colors

   -“When the audience can’t read text instantly- they quit trying


  • Verdana is better than Arial because the space between the letters
  • At least 28 point text is necessary for large conference rooms where people are up to 50 feet away
  • Don’t use Shadowed text
  • The most readable text is either in Color or Bold

For more information on Colors and Fonts- visit: http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/powerpoint_tip_text_legibility.html


10 Tips to Create a Portfolio March 24, 2008

Filed under: Tips — Julie Smith @ 2:25 pm

After researching a little bit to find out helpful ideas for creating a portfolio, I came upon the  tips of Apryl Duncan in Your Guide to Advertising, she mentions her ten tips to create a portfolio:

1.  Buy a portfolio case ( be sure it is professional, and not too ‘loud’)

2. Purchase extra portfolio pages ( your portfolio will come with starter pages, but it’s a good idea to have extras on hand, because you never know when you may need them)

3. Add your resume ( your resume should be the first page of your portfolio, although you will be sending it to many employers, you still want a copy as your first page)

4. Decide on your best writing samples ( even though you may not have many pieces, pick out your best work, even if it is just text on paper. That is how some professionals best work starts out.)

5. Create divider sections ( a helpful creative hint is to make your divider pages like collages for example take cut outs from magazines and make a collage for your ‘Print’ page divider.)

6. Dress up those text ads ( text ads are not as visually appealing as other ads but, you should still include them)

7. Arrange ads for easy access( dont glue or paste any of your work to the portfolio page, instead make it accessible to anyone who many want to take it out and look at it.)

8. Change your portfolio ( never be afraid to update or change your portfolio, especially if you want to show off things that will appeal to a certain employer, you can always change it back)

9. Take extra resumes ( this is just common sense, you should always have extras on hand)

10. Never leave your portfolio ( don’t ever leave your portfolio at an employers office for them to look at later, instead offer to come back at another time. Once your portfolio is out of your hands there is no telling what may happen)

For more helpful hints and ideas visit http://advertising.about.com/od/careersource/ss/perfectptf_10.htm

or http://www.startribune.com/jobs/career/11436366.html


Random PR Tips!

Filed under: Public Relations,Tips — Julie Smith @ 1:01 pm

How Not to be the annoying PR “Flack” that other professionals despise:

 Here are just a few simple tips on how to avoid doing tedious things that annoy others in the workplace. After surfing around PR websites I found some funny, yet helpful tips.

   1.) Don’t follow up e-mail pitches, if you do then journalists will then mark your e-mail address as spam for the next time.

  2.) Do not make “contact” with everyone.

  3.) Don’t send irrelevant press releases, make sure they have a concrete purpose!

For more tips on things to avoid in PR visit: http://valleywag.com/tech/flacks/dont-be-a-flack-tips-for-pr-workers-from-the-journalists-who-hate-them-200494.php  or visit this PR blog http://prosintraining.blogspot.com/2007/11/linky-love-by-any-other-name-would.html