So, my idea of keeping an updated blog every day has become kaput. Mainly because there just isn’t much time to write everyday, and because there’s nothing very interesting that goes on every given day for me to write about. However, last week I completed my first client/dog visiting and it was fabulous! The dogs are so adorable and the clients are so grateful for your help, it really makes you feel good. Many of these people are not able to easily move around let alone walk a dog, so our dog-walking services are critical in keeping these animals healthy and sane with their owners. I must say the client/dog visitations have been my best experience at PAWS so far, but I’m sure there is more to come!

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It has been my second day at PAWS and the city is getting less ominous to me. I finally have the bart system down and I’m astonished at how many hills I can actually climb up in my target flip-flops. I’m usually hot, sweaty, out of breath, but always ready to work. My first day was full of pleasantries and meeting some of the most devoted, animal loving people I’ve ever met. My second day has been a littler slower but I’ve already made two appointments to go visit some PAWS clients and walk their dog. I love this place because staff can bring their pets here so the room is usually filled with some fuzzy creature for me to “coo” and “aw” at during my down time. Anyway, not too much for now, but definitely more to come!

This year has been a great learning experience. I learned that I need a lot of work on my writing! But I also learned that becoming a great writer is an on-going process. It doesn’t happen over night and it takes a lot of work! At some points I felt that I would never fully understand all the mechanics that go into writing, and although I still need to do a lot of work, it doesn’t look so foreboding anymore. I also learned so much about the technological advances going on in the PR industry. It’s definitely important for me to become familiar with software like PRX builder. With everything becoming electronic I’ve learned that being familiar with all the new programs out there will really give me a heads up in this industry.

I also found out that writing is a craft as well as a skill. I learned that people can have great ideas and write great content, but if the mechanics are wrong then it really becomes an eye sore. I need to expand upon both at this point, but through this class I’ve learned the framework for good writing, and now I just need to really immerse myself in it. This was a great class, and one that will definitely help in my future classes as well as in my future career!

Fortune 500 Blog Review

I decided to do a Fortune 500 blog review on Microsoft blogs, following the blog-grading criteria that was used to review Kodak’s blog. I rated the blogs from a scale of 1-10. Microsoft has a community of blogs and a number of different blogs within it. There are employee blogs, which I found interesting and insightful. The community blogs consisted of a lot of technical jargon. They had a lot of information on software programs, which is probably useful to people who are tech-savvy, but it was a bit fuzzy for me.

However, I found a Microsoft community blog that had to do with higher education. This is the blog that I decided to focus on for this review. This blog had to do with Microsoft programs being implemented in universities. The most recent higher education blog had to do with two live meetings to learn about how a software program called Business Intelligence can bring benefits to universities through Microsoft Performance Point.

Ease of Finding: 9 – Once I type in Microsoft into my Google window, I got several blog links associated with Microsoft. Also, on the Microsoft Web site, I can search and find blogs pretty easily too.

Frequency: 8 – The blog was updated about once a week. There was also an archive of past blogs that people could easily assess.

Engaging Writing: 6 – The writing is short and concise. It is brief, and the point of the blog is stated upfront, but the writing lacks personality and dialogue.

Relevant: 7 – The blogs are relevant to students and the universities that are benefiting from the Microsoft software; however, it wouldn’t be of significance to universities that do not use Microsoft.

Focused: 8 – The blogs are focused on the software programs that are being implemented at universities, such as Microsoft performance point. However, some of the blogs contain so much information it’s hard to shift through all of it to get to the main point. Also, some of the technical word use is hard to make sense of if you are not tech-savvy.

Honest: 9 – I think the blogs are honest and informative about how Microsoft is supporting higher education.

Interactive: 7 – The blogs have links that help you understand what the higher education plan is from Microsoft. Also, there are links on the side of the blog page that have to do with Microsoft tutorials and places where people can gain more information on Microsoft programs.

Responsive: 3 -There is a link for you to contact Microsoft or publish comments but so far I did not see any direct response to questions.

Credibility was the name of the game in chapter 4 of Made to Stick! I really enjoyed this chapter because it showed how many different ways that an organization can make themselves and their message more credidible. I really enjoyed the examples that were in the chapter. I think that credibility relies on how relatable the message is to the audience. The Pam Laffin anti-smoking ad is a really good example of how this is a real person suffering from ailements brought on directly by smoking. Other smokers can relate to Pam, they can see themselves in her, and that gives it credibility and makes the message stick.

An example of poor credibilty is the Above the Influence PSAs. Their PSAs not only lack credibility but it doesn’t stick. When I watched their PSAs on marijauna I felt it was tacky, something that I had seen in middle school, and not relatable. If I could improve upon their PSAs and make it more credibile and “sticky” I would show some statistics. Similar to the Truth commericals. I think the Truth ads do a great job of using human statistics to make their message more credible and “sticky.” I would go the similar route with the Above the Influence ads and use some tangible statistics on how many people suffer from the use of marijauna and have the spokesperson for the ad be a real person who suffered a loss due to the use of marijuana. That way the ad will seem more credible, relatable, and help it “stick” with the audience.

The third chapter of Made to Stick is all about how to use concrete to get your ideas across. Concrete language helps make a message “stick.” However, concrete language is harder to achieve than I thought. For example the chapter introduces the story about the fox and the grape, and the message about “sour grapes.” Concrete word usage painted a clear picture in my head about what this story was about and it stuck with me. Same with the example from Elliot, the third grade teacher, she did an experiment with her students about prejudice by separating blue-eyed children and brown-eyed  children and took turns treating one group more superior than the other. Needless to say the experiment stuck. Concrete language is using key fact words such as bicycle, avocado, and chair, to express a message. Abstract language is words that can be inferred in multiple ways such as, love, justice, and lust.

Here is an example of abstract language:

"We continue to find for our insurance portfolios small 
portions of really outstanding businesses that are available, 
through the auction pricing mechanism of security markets, at 
prices dramatically cheaper than the valuations inferior."

This long sentence has way too many words that could be more concrete and slimmed down to be easier to
understand and more concrete and "stickable." Basically this sentence is saying that they are 
finding small businesses that are making great profit for them. The sentence can be easily cut down and made
 concrete and it would stick to the reader more effectively.

So! In class we are reading this new book called “Made to Stick.” It’s really a great book that captures your attention from the first sentence. The book starts out taking about a kidney Heist and than goes into why certain stories and ideas stick to people and why some don’t. It also talks about how important it is to get across your “core” message to your audience. What I find is really helpful is the idea that whatever you write should be simple and concise. In this day-and-age people do not have the patience nor the attention span to sit and read pages and pages of information, they want to get to the point and move on. This book really stresses how important it is to keep it simple and get your core message across concretely. It’s definitely a good read!

PETA has been known for its notorious fight for animal rights. They are thought of as extreme activists, often going to frightening lengths to make an impact on their beliefs for animal rights. PETA is against eating meat, animal testing, using animals to make clothes, and pretty much anything else that has to do with using an animal for any other means than to look at it. Although, PETA has made some great campaigns against animal cruelty, and have grown to gain attention and sponsorship from celebrities such as Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney, and Moby, PETA is also know for its shady financial reports and unethical campaigns and rallying that go against finding cures for diseases such as AIDS. Supposedly Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, is quoted as stating that “Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it.” This is a very harsh statement, and some people refer to it as being anti-human. According to Newkirk’s spokesperson and campaign coordinator, Newkirks words were misquoted and that Newkirk feels that animal testing has made little headway in the search for an AIDS cure and sees no reason to continuously torture animals for such insignificant results. Well, no matter how it’s put, Newkirk really seemed to have put her foot in her mouth for this one.

So, last class I was introduced to the PRX builder, which basically is the technology behind building a social media news release. Many PR agencies are now converting to this modern, electronic form of creating press releases. However, I must say that, all though I am not very tech savvy, the PRX builder had a lot of kinks in it that really got to me. For one, I was never sure If I saved something properly, and I think a few of my classmates felt the same way when their work got erased. Also, there were some complications with the media portion of the PRX builder. For example; trying to upload a video on to the press release was difficult, and I’m still not sure how to accurately upload one. One other aspect that I didn’t like about the PRX builder was that I couldn’t position the media and the words in the places that I wanted them to be. I had to stick with the format that was given to me. But with that said I think it was a pretty easy tool to use. I felt that everything was pretty cut and dry, if not for all the random technical glitches it was a pretty fun, and interesting tool to learn, and something that I can see would come in handy in the future.

In light of the social media news release I will be doing in class tomorrow, I decided to write about the PAWS DOGGONE FUN RUN.

The DOGGONE FUN RUN, in alliance with the AIDS WALK, will be going on July 20, 2008. It is a great activity that anyone and any dog can participate in. This is for a great cause, and will bring a lot of awareness to the fight for AIDS, as well as to the services PAWS provides to its clients and their pets. All donations collected by the PAWS team will go directly into funding for the services PAWS provides. This is a great opportunity to get involved one foot and paw at a time!

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About Me

Hello! My name's Jean Kim and I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon. I'm pursuing a major in public relations and a minor in communications. I have a real love for animals, and a great interest in public relations. I hope one day that I will be able to combine my knowledge and skills in PR and communications with my passion for helping animals in my future career.