Archive for October, 2010

Word has spread quickly about the hidden code in Taylor Swift’s latest album lyrics.  Every capitalized word of a song represents code.  When you string together the words, you get things like, “YOU THOUGHT I WOULD FORGET,” and, “LIFE IS FULL OF LITTLE INTERRUPTIONS,” which is supposedly referring to when Kanye West made a scene during her award acceptance at the MTV Video Music Award show.  The code is gaining buzz, which will most likely also intrigue people into buying Swift’s album.

Information from Entertainment Weekly.


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Pitch A Tent For $4,000

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, IKEA)

Ikea is a home furnishing and organizing chain growing in popularity.  In an effort to attract publicity, Ikea offered a $4,000 shopping spree for the first person to enter the new store at its grand opening.  Roger Penguino won the contest, and earned the shopping spree by living in a tent outside of the store for seven days.  That’s brand loyalty!  Penguino worked as a Mac Specialist with Apple Computer Inc. at the time, and first purchased a Karlanda sofa and Malm bed with the shopping spree.

Information from Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ikea: How the Swedish Retailer became a global cult brand.

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Techy Date Night

From BookNAround

The iPhone is one of the most popular smart phones in the United States, and iTunes is the top selling music and application virtual store.  I have an iPhone and really enjoy using it.  I find its very handy when I have to try multiple ways to get in touch with someone.  Also, one of the most attractive things about the iPhone to me is the vast array of applications available.  An application in particular that I think is very fun is Date Ideas.  The “app,” gives ideas in categories such as Girls Choice, Group Dates, Dinner Dates, Sporting Events and Valentines Day.

Information from the app Date Ideas.  Date Ideas is available for purchase at the Apple website store.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened on June 18th, 2010 to the general public.  To enhance fan interest in the attractions, Universal used quotes from the actors in the Harry Potter movies.  Daniel Radcliffe, who portrays Harry Potter said, “I remember when I was shooting the films when I was younger and I absolutely wished this world could be real and that I could be a part of it.”  Well, Universal has made the books and movies into something real for fans to experience.  Lines to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter started at about eight hours, not including lines to get into stores or to ride the attractions.

Information from News Release “NOW OPEN!  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.”

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Are You Sure?

In Morgan McLintic’s blog, Morgan McLintic on communications and performance, I noticed good information guiding students to know what a career in PR involves compared to a career in marketing.  In the blog, it reads that if you can’t explain the differences between the two, then it’s crucial to do further research before you commit to a degree in either field.  If you do decide to go into PR, then be prepared to possibly work some long hours in the first few years.  Also be prepared for challenges and be able to work well with a team of people.

Information from blog Morgan McLintic on communications and performance.

[Thanks to Morgan McLintic for pointing out a small error in the post.  Morgan actually talked about advertising, not marketing, in their blog.  Thanks for the heads up, Morgan!]

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Picture This…

Reading notes for chapter seven:

  • To be a good feature writer, you need to ask a lot of questions
  • Four approaches to feature writing: 1) distribute a general feature to a variety of publications; 2) write an exclusive article for a publication; 3) interest a freelancer or reporter in writing a story; 4) post feature articles on the organization’s website
  • It’s important to integrate photos in a feature story package
  • Several types of features: 1) case study, 2) application story, 3) research story, 4) backgrounder, 5) personality profile, 6) historical feature

Information provided from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by author Dennis L. Wilcox.

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Good Tips For Kicks

When writing a feature story, it needs to captivate the reader and give useful information.  Personally, I know that I’m more likely to finish reading a story if the beginning captures my attention.  So, my first tip is to capture the attention of the reader in the beginning of a feature story.  Also, as stated in SSN Newsroom, include details that put the reader in the scene of the action.  If you can use details in an effective way to describe specific situations, the reader will be more invested and involved in developing their view of the story.  I found many great tips for writing feature stories on http://www.ehow.com on their How to Write a Feature Story post.  As written in the How to Write a Feature Story post, “Visualize the reaction of your reader, reflect if you can draw the attention of the reader by your presentation,” also, “Identify sources and collect all the relevant information.  If you can, take surveys.  You can request people to fill in questionnaires or take interviews, sift through them and retain whatever is necessary.  Five more tips for writing compelling feature stories from the How to Write a Feature Story post include, “Build the main body of the feature story comprehensively. Use the active voice as far as possible. It enlivens the plot or development of the story,” “Conclude with a powerful message.  Good wrap-up is a crucial aspect of any powerful feature story.  Otherwise, it will fail to make the desired impact,” “Give a human touch to the feature story as deemed fit to make it more interesting.  The plot should build up tension and not be boring,” “Follow a systematic path of presenting the feature story with an introduction, main body and the ending highlighting the purpose that you have already thought about.  Weave a proper and continual thread to keep the reader glued to your writing,” “Use striking illustrations and anecdotes relevant to the topic.”  A tip given from Tips for Writing Feature Articles says, “keep a brainstorming handbook handy.”  I think that’s a great idea, because in many different contexts, I find myself thinking up ideas with a lot of potential, but I forget them because I don’t write them down.   I hope the tips in this blog can help someone who is researching how to write a compelling feature story.

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