Category Archives: blogs

New look?

I get bored very easily with the way I look. I almost never wear my hair the same way twice in a row and I am often changing my image through jewelry, accessories, haircuts and colours. I honestly just got tired of the green (for new people my blog was once a green theme, my favourite colour) and wanted a new look. Having grown up a little since PR school I went with something simple and classic.

New, informative and interesting posts to follow soon.

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No one likes me anymore :(

Well, that’s not exactly true, but traffic to my blog has seriously declined. This may be in part due to the fact that I rarely post anymore (compared to my pervious attempt to post twice a week), but I also don’t comment on blogs anymore. Commenting on other blogs is like free advertising. If I comment on your post, you are likely going to check out my site to see what kind of person I am, especially if my comment provides insight (which it rarely does).

During school it was easy to post as my 30 or 40 school chums were also posting and writing about things that I directly related with. Since we have been out of school for eight weeks, I say a maximum of five people from my PR class still blog. I debated giving it up too as I figured there was no point to blog now that I had entered the workforce and am working at my ideal agency. The truth is, I like posting even if no one reads it. It is fun to get my random thoughts out and just write about whatever I want. In school we had a mandate to write and comment on six PR based posts by the end of the term. It was easy and fun as I hosted one of the most popular sites. The challenge now is to continue what we started.

I hope to start posting more frequently writing about anything and everything. Will that populate my site? Probably not. Like I said, it is rare for someone to come across your site by mistake. I once made a comment on the Inside PR podcast and instantly my blog was a happening place. Now I no longer do any blog promoting and my audience (aka classmates) no longer blog, making my site one lonely place.

I still read blogs and check my bloglines at least once a week, but just don’t invest the time in it to really make it work. To be a successful blogger required commitment and dedication and time I just don’t have.

So the point of this blog is:

If you want others to read and comment on your blog, you have to read and comment on other blogs.

My Dad and Grandparents still read my blog – I guess that counts for something. Thanks, Guys!

 

Blog shame

I’ve lately been struggling with the question “Why do I blog?”

If blogging was not trendy or a related part of my desired profession, would I still do it?

Let’s be honest. I am not really into my computer all that much. I would way rather watch a movie, go for a walk or hang out with friends then sit at home in front of my computer. I don’t really like meeting people over the internet, playing computer games or learning about new media tools.

Does that make me wannabe blogger?

The truth is, if I ended up in medical school as oppose to PR school, I probably wouldn’t really even know what blogging is. (Gasp!) Instead, I ended up at Centennial where I was introduced to the wonderful world of social media.

Some students were entirely opposed to the idea of blogging. I was excited and read, commented and even researched what I wanted to say. I would write twice a week and get butterflies as I hit ‘post’ worried that I had made some crucial error.

School is now over, and I’m lucky if I post once a week. I am seriously beginning to question my loyalty to my blog. In school I was learning new things every day, and could post about my discoveries and share ideas with students and professionals. Now, as an intern, I feel most of the things I am learning now I am not allowed to share. My day-to-day activities are new to me, but by no means worthy to discuss, not to mention confidential (well, not really, but you get the idea).

But anyways, my point is, blogging was my way in. My chance to get my name out there and build a reputation for myself as someone interested in social media and someone good at PR. Now that I’ve done that, is there really a need to continue?

This basically leads me back to the question, “Why do I blog?”

The simple answer, I want to be ahead of the PR game. I work at a big agency and I don’t have exact number but I beleive that there are 10 or less people who I work with that blog, and even less on Twitter. I’m not saying that these are things you need to be good at PR, but when the time comes to perhaps promote somebody, and I have the knowledge and experience with social media, it’s going to be me to excel.

So as shameful as it may seem, that is why I blog. I applaud people who do it for the satisfaction. I don’t dislike blogging, but to me its work.

A few questions to consider:

If no one read your blog would you still write it?

If you write about your profession, why?

What do you hope to achieve by blogging?

Why do you blog?

 

Twitter: What and Why

Twitter

Many people are extremely cautious of Twitter and I don’t really see why. It takes up very little time, it’s incredibly easy and is a great way to network. Twitter, as described by Wikipedia is a “free social networking service that allows users to send “updates” or “tweets”; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long to the Twitter website, short messages or a third-party application.”

In layman’s terms, you write short messages and post updates on the web about what ever you want. Twitter describes itself as a tool “for staying in touch and keeping up with friends no matter where you are or what you’re doing.”

Twitter has done a lot for me even though I am one of less active users. I rarely post but do follow what other people are talking about. I have been linked to great articles, blog posts and websites, and have really learned more about social media tools. Yes, many of the posts on Twitter are useless updates (e.g. “I just got out of the shower” or “I’m hungry”), but it really is a great learning tool, and is respected by social media professionals. I was asked in an interview if I was on Twitter and I was thankful enough to say yes.

I am not in the social media circle. I am bystander looking in just wishing I could get in on the action. Twitter lets me do that at, and is much faster than reading blogs and is much less formal.

Dave Fleet suggests, “What’s more (let’s be honest) we self-censor a lot less on Twitter than we do on our blogs. That’s not a negative – Twitter’s format lets us share links and thoughts much more easily than blogs do. Still, that means I post links and thoughts on Twitter that I wouldn’t write about (on my blog).”

Among PR professionals involved in social media, Twitter is a big deal. An entire session at PodCamp Toronto was dedicated to Twitter and has been a frequent topic on the podcast Inside Pr.

Needless to say, Twitter is a growing phenomenon with a new application designed every day (so it seems). I’m not the expert. In fact, I can barely keep up. But, for anyone interested in learning more about Twitter, here are some great sites that give a better description than I could ever give:

CBC News In Depth: Technology CBC (Twitter takes wing on mainstream social web)

BuzzMachine by Jeff Jarvis (Tribute to Twitter)

Webware by Rafe Needleman (Newbie’s guide to Twitter)

And since I hold no bias, here is an anti-Twitter post:

Webwalker by Douglas Walker (Twitter Rant)

Whether you love it or hate it Twitter is here. Is it really going to make that big of an impact in terms of PR and social media, I don’t know, but I’m going to be in the know-how and be familiar with the applications just in case.

Grammar is know good

Why is there so much emphasis placed on spelling, punctuation and grammar?

I get it. I know as communicators it is our job to communicate with accuracy, but is my career over if i send out a press release with a misplaced punctuation mark? I’m sure I feel so strongly on the matter because it is one of the areas I struggle in, but I also feel that people just care too much about it.

As a student my marks often suffer do to poor editing. I feel that content is far more important then anything else, but time and time again grammar proves to be my worst enemy.

We are currently writing targeted resumes and we are reminded to be sure to proofread, as if employers see one error they are likely to toss our resume in the trash. I mean, really? I know it is a part of PR, but if my comma is in the wrong place I immediately don’t get the job? I may be over exaggerating, but for someone who struggles when it comes to proofing, its terrifying. I’ve spent hours looking at my resume trying to perfect it, and I still don’t know if it’s good enough.

It’s not that I can’t edit. I have the books, I’m a pretty smart young lady, I can figure it out. I did get a b+ in copy editing. I just have a hard time correcting my own work. I print it out, sleep on it and edit the next day and still I seem to somehow not notice all the mistakes.

Maybe I’m just being dramatic. So consider this a disclaimer: This is my blog. It may not be perfect, but its mine. If you notice a mistake, please do not comment about it (unless it’s huge and embarrassing). If I have to obsess about grammar in every aspect of my life, my blog grants my immunity of all grammatical errors. So please, comment away, and if you feel like spelling something wrong, this is the place to do it.

What’s in a name?

Wow. My very own blog. I feel like I’m more credible as a communicator just by having one. With so much pressure to be “in” on the social media circuit I was starting to feel left behind. But now, I am a proud new member of the blogger community. Although blogging is growing trend in many industries discussing a variety of topics, I feel there is extra pressure placed on PR professionals seeing as communication is our forte.

I felt that pressure today when simply deciding on what to call my blog. I wanted to go with something smart and witty, but with my reputation on the line, is that really the way to go?

The thought of being googled and having potential employers discover my blog’s URL is prettyinpink or hotstuff (which I had considered) is terrifying, not to mention the fact that I might not be considered for the job. We are taught to be aware of what is said about us on the web as it can influence how we are perceived. It is frustrating to know that I could be judged because of a youtube video posted years ago.

And don’t even get me started on facebook. I have to screen what is said on my wall or what photos I get tagged in. Thankfully I don’t generally engage in activities that could be damaging to my morale…to my knowledge anyways…

As for the name, Ramsay Ramsay is the result of a type-o by one of our instructors. For some reason it stuck and it’s been a nickname ever since. I’m pretty pleased with it actually. But does it really matter what I think? What’s important is that I sustain my credibility as a professional. But really, how important is a name anyways?