Written by Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, Syntax Training
Send me the tips for taking effective minutes at meetings. Thanks.
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Follow news in the world of PR with these blogs.
- PR Week: Check out PR Week for PR and communications news, as well as opinion, research, jobs, and events. (Recommended Post: Investment in Social Media Set to Increase Over Next Year)
- Everything PR: Stay on top of public relations news with Everything PR, a public relations news portal blog. (Recommended Post: 100 Media Monitoring Tools for PR)
- PR News: PR News will help you become a smart communicator with media relations, PR jobs, industry events, news, and much more. (Recommended Post: Do Something Different: Engage the Media Using Twitter)
- PRBlogNews: Find subjective public relations news and commentary on PRBlogNews.com. (Recommended Post: Useless Knowledge)
- O’Dwyers: On this New York-based blog, you’ll find insider news in public relations and marketing communications. (Recommended Post: Cooking PR Chile)
- PRSA Newsroom: Follow this blog from the Public Relations Society of America for awards, advocacy news, events, and more. (Recommended Post: PRSA Speaks Out on “Pay for Play”)
Follow these blogs to get a general look at public relations.
- Online Public Relations Thoughts: Read this blog to find daily thoughts on PR and trends in communication online. James Horton, the blog’s author, received three degrees, from UCLA, University of Missouri, and a university in Evanston, Illinois. (Recommended Post: Anger and Ignorance)
- PR in Your Pajamas: Find practical publicity ideas for entrepreneurs on PR in Your Pajamas. (Recommended Post: 15 Types of Stories That Get You Free Publicity)
- Tech PR Nibbles: Tech PR Nibbles features small insights and ideas for conversations, influences, and even bigger ideas. (Recommended Post: The Digital Miscommunicator)
- Skogrand PR Solutions Blog: Find solutions, tips, and insights on public relations, social media, and more on the Skogrand PR Solutions blog. (Recommended Post: An easy way to keep clients: surveys)
- Beyond the Hype: Lois Paul’s blog takes high tech PR beyond the hype and into reality. Paul writes from Boston, MA. (Recommended Post: Rebuilding Your Reputation by Digging a Deeper Hole)
- PR Couture: Read PR Couture for reflections and news in fashion PR. (Recommended Post: Fashion PR With an Editor’s Touch)
- The Flack: Follow Peter Himler’s blog to see the role public relations plays in politics, finance, technology, and more. (Recommended Post: Long Live PR (and the Press Release Too))
- Public Relations Blogger: On this blog, you’ll find resources for PR, social media, media relations, and more. The blog is authored by Ashley Wirthlin, a marketing associate and graduate of the University of Portland in Oregon. (Recommended Post: 4 Reasons Public Relations (Not Advertising) Builds a Brand)
- Drew B’s Take on Tech PR: See what Drew has to say about his work as a managing director at a tech PR agency. (Recommended Post: How Digital PR is Changing)
- Solor PR Pro: This blog is great for PR students who want to learn how to become a successful freelance PR consultant. (Recommended Post: Why You Need an Online Home Base — and How to Get One)
- Prowl Public Relations: Read Temple University’s student-run PR firm blog for PR strategies and knowledge beyond the classroom. (Recommended Post: Fighting the Dark Side of Social Media)
- PR Breakfast Club: Start your day off right with this PR blog for fresh PR news, education, and insight. (Recommended Post: Defending the PR Profession)
- Think: Temple University’s American Marketing Association shares this blog to get you thinking about PR. (Recommended Post: PR/Marketing/Events Internship)
Media & Communications
Check out these blogs for a guide to marketing, media, communications, and more.
- PR Meets Marketing: Find out about the application of PR and marketing on PR Meets Marketing. (Recommended Post: Beware of “Speeds and Feeds” PR)
- PR for Thought Leaders: This blog shares insight for B2B marketing and public relations. (Recommended Post: The Huge Mistake We All Make)
- COMMS corner: COMMS corner is the home of people-shaped communities. (Recommended Post: The Don Draper Guide to Social Media Marketing)
- Jeff Esposito: Jeff Esposito explores conversational media on this blog, and shares how you can win the race in communications and community building. (Recommended Post: Measuring Social Media and the Value of Information)
- Media Bullseye: On the Media Bullseye blog, you’ll find thoughts for communicating more with less. (Recommended Post: Ragu, Dads, and Lessons Learned for Communicators and Bloggers)
- Holtz Communication + Technology: Check out this blog to learn about communicating at the intersection of business and technology. (Recommended Post: It’s Not About You)
- Brian Solis: Follow Brian Solis’ blog to see the convergence of media and influence. (Recommended Post: The Rise of Social Commerce)
- Journalistics: In this blog, you’ll learn about topics at the intersection of public relations and journalism. (Recommended Post: A Look at How People Share Content on the Web)
- Media Relations Blog: Media Relations is dedicated to the world of media, public relations, and marketing. (Recommended Post: Beginner’s Guide to SEO for Optimized PR)
- Strategic Public Relations: Find strategy for integrated marketing communications on this blog. (Recommended Post: What Would Jesus Twitter?)
Social media is one of the biggest things happening in PR these days, and these blogs offer great guidance for staying in touch via social media.
- PR 2.0: Deirdre Breakenridge offers strategies for new media, tools, and audiences on PR 2.0. (Recommended Post: PR 2.0 Checklist)
- Liberate Media: This online PR and social media agency has insight for online and offline expertise in PR. (Recommended Post: Crowdsourcing Compendium)
- Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog: Karen’s blog features reputation management, social media, and crisis communication, (Recommended Post: PR & Reputation Insurance for Clients)
- Peter Shankman: Peter Shankman’s blog is all about advice for social media and business from a guy who’s been there. (Recommended Post: Be Careful What You Post)
- 360 Digital Influence: On this blog, you’ll find fresh influences in social media and word of mouth marketing. (Recommended Post: How Hospitals are Quietly Leading the Way with Social Media)
- PR-Squared: On PR-Squared, read about the next big things that are already here with conversations in social media and marketing. (Recommended Post: Social Media Abhors a Vacuum)
- Social Realist: Check out Social Realist for social media without stupidity. (Recommended Post: A Few Words for Social Media Cyberbullies)
On these blogs, you can read about PR from professionals who do it every day.
- Cathy Hrudicka & Associates: Cathy Hrudicka offers her advice and guidance as a PR, social media, and marketing mentor on this blog. (Recommended Post: An Unrelenting Passion to Make the World Better)
- WiredPRWorks: Barbara Rozgonyi offers inspiration in direct, digital, and dynamic marketing and PR on her blog. (Recommended Post: Most Powerful Twitter Women at the Moment)
- Voce Communications: Voce shares great ideas for building brand awareness and more on this blog. (Recommended Post: Understanding the Big and Small of Social Media Measurement)
- 360 Days in Our Circle: Follow this PR group to see what it’s really like to work in the world of public relations. (Recommended Post: How to Create a Viral Video)
- BiteMarks: BiteMarks takes a fearless look at global communications. (Recommended Post: Real-time Marketing)
- Communiqué PR: Communiqué PR offers insight into the life of a strategic public relations firm on this blog. (Recommended Post: Coca-Cola Fan Page Takes Facebook by Storm)
- A PR Guy’s Musings: Stuart Bruce shares his musings on public relations, corporate communications, and social media. (Recommended Post: An Inconvenient PR Truth)
- POP! PR Jots: This blog offers regular commentary on PR, publicity, and related topics in starting a public relations firm. (Recommended Post: I Don’t Do SXSWi)
- PerkettPRsuasion: Get a look into integrated PR, social marketing, and digital content on PerkettPR’s blog. (Recommended Post: The Art of Listening in Client Service)
- Next Communications: Riche Escovedo writes about conversations and communities in school communications and beyond on this blog. (Recommended Post: PR People Can Measure Social Media. We Just Need to Learn.)
- Dave Fleet: Follow Dave Fleet’s blog for a look at communications, social media, and PR. (Recommended Post: 8 Questions to Ask Your “Social Media Expert”)
- StevenSilvers: Read Steven Silvers’ field notes on PR and strategic influence on this blog. (Recommended Post: Five Things All PR Students Should Know About Their Choice of Career)
- prTini: Heather Whaling blogs about collaboration, integration, and social good on prTini. (Recommended Post: Say Hello: Beyond Social Media Cliques)
- Bloomacious: Carrie Leber’s blog features PR, event planning, and publicity, with the occasional style and craft feature. (Recommended Post: Desperate Housewives Set Style)
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A small part of my job is to edit, proof-read, correct, …
The major part is to ensure all the departments are conveying the right message and keep a common house style for all communications. Yet some of the complacent co-workers insist that this means that we (PR&Communications Unit) are just a rabble of plain mortals whose sole ability in life is to put commas here and there.
“It’s easier to teach a poet how to read a balance sheet than it is to teach an accountant how to write.”
– Henry R. Luce (1898-1967)
Here’s one for you, sloppy co-worker. It matters. Got the chip on my shoulder now. Try me. 😉
If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.
Some might call my approach to grammar extreme, but I prefer Lynne Truss’s more cuddly phraseology: I am a grammar “stickler.” And, like Truss — author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves — I have a “zero tolerance approach” to grammar mistakes that make people look stupid.
Now, Truss and I disagree on what it means to have “zero tolerance.” She thinks that people who mix up their itses “deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave,” while I just think they deserve to be passed over for a job — even if they are otherwise qualified for the position.
Everyone who applies for a position at either of my companies, iFixit or Dozuki, takes a mandatory grammar test. Extenuating circumstances aside (dyslexia, English language learners, etc.), if job hopefuls can’t distinguish between “to” and “too,” their applications go into the bin.
Of course, we write for a living. iFixit.com is the world’s largest online repair manual, and Dozuki helps companies write their own technical documentation, like paperless work instructions and step-by-step user manuals. So, it makes sense that we’ve made a preemptive strike against groan-worthy grammar errors.
But grammar is relevant for all companies. Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.
Good grammar makes good business sense — and not just when it comes to hiring writers. Writing isn’t in the official job description of most people in our office. Still, we give our grammar test to everybody, including our salespeople, our operations staff, and our programmers.
On the face of it, my zero tolerance approach to grammar errors might seem a little unfair. After all, grammar has nothing to do with job performance, or creativity, or intelligence, right?
Wrong. If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use “it’s,” then that’s not a learning curve I’m comfortable with. So, even in this hyper-competitive market, I will pass on a great programmer who cannot write.
Grammar signifies more than just a person’s ability to remember high school English. I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing — like stocking shelves or labeling parts.
In the same vein, programmers who pay attention to how they construct written language also tend to pay a lot more attention to how they code. You see, at its core, code is prose. Great programmers are more than just code monkeys; according to Stanford programming legend Donald Knuth they are “essayists who work with traditional aesthetic and literary forms.” The point: programming should be easily understood by real human beings — not just computers.
And just like good writing and good grammar, when it comes to programming, the devil’s in the details. In fact, when it comes to my whole business, details are everything.
I hire people who care about those details. Applicants who don’t think writing is important are likely to think lots of other (important) things also aren’t important. And I guarantee that even if other companies aren’t issuing grammar tests, they pay attention to sloppy mistakes on résumés. After all, sloppy is as sloppy does.
That’s why I grammar test people who walk in the door looking for a job. Grammar is my litmus test. All applicants say they’re detail-oriented; I just make my employees prove it.
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What I’ve been bloggin’ lately:
- What type of geek are you?
- Intelligence or emotion word choice | Vocabulary
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- Business Writing Truths and Myths
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- Effective communication is “BRIEF”