Strobe? by danielmking.So, you signed up for an account at WordPress, and you added an About page. Now what’s next?

FIRST: By May 24, let me know your blog address by completing this Google Form.

NEXT: How do you go about learning more to create a blog that reflects your personality and style?

Fortunately, WordPress offers many FAQ screencasts to help you with the step-by-step instructions. Here are a few of the best ones to help you get started on the right foot:

And though you may have a good handle on the technical aspects of blogging, remember that the technical side is only part of the blogging equation. Corinne Weisgerber, a professor at St. Edward’s University and fellow PROpenMic member, created this presentation for her Social Media for PR class. The emphasis? How blogging can help you create your personal brand online. Take a look. It’s worth the time.

View more presentations or upload your own. (tags: commenting identity)
 

In our PR Writing class (PRCA 3330 at Georgia Southern University) this summer, we’ll all blog about the same general topic each week during the semester. Your TOWs of 300 words or more should be posted by Saturday at noon at the end of each week.

Some weeks have more than one topic listed; choose one of the available topics on those weeks.

If you mention a website or another blog, be sure to hyperlink to the post. And consider inserting graphics to add visual interest for your readers.

If you are unsure how to get started writing these TOWs, many times you can use this three-pronged approach:

  1. What did you learn?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What do you want to know more about?

WEEK ONE

No TOW required. But if you would like to go back and write one, write about which types of social media you currently participate in (such as blogging, podcasting, social networking, etc.), which platforms you use, and why.

WEEK TWO

  • Visit Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl’s website. Either read one of her blog posts or listen to one of her podcasts on an area of grammar that is troublesome to you. Write about what you learned (using the three-pronged approach above.)
  • This week, you took the NewsU Cleaning Your Copy course. There were four main topics in this course: Grammar, AP Style, Punctuation and Spelling. Using the three-pronged approach described above, describe your reactions to this course. Remember to include a  hyperlink to the course, too.

WEEK THREE

  • Why are comments such an integral part of blogs? What advice would you offer on writing effective blog comments?

WEEK FOUR

  • This week, you took the NewsU The Lead Lab course. Using the three-pronged approach described above, describe your reactions to this course. Remember to include a  hyperlink to the course, too.

WEEK FIVE

  • One Week of Twitter (NOTE: Complete the assignment during Week Four, but write about it during Week Five).

WEEK SIX

WEEK SEVEN

  • This week, you took the Five Steps to MultiMedia Storytelling course at News University.  Using the three-pronged approach described above, describe your reactions to this course. Remember to include a  hyperlink to the course, too.

WEEK EIGHT

  • Working either alone or in a group of no more than three, create a list of at least 10 ways that PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy. After each item on the list, indicate what the PR person could/should do instead. Hyperlink to sources as needed. (If you are working with others, each of you should post to his/her own blog, and note where else it is crossposted and who the co-authors are.)

WEEK NINE

  • What advice would you offer PR students who are new to blogging? Come up with your own Top 10 list. (Note: This post is due on the last day of class.)
 

Our One Week of Twitter assignment begins on Monday, June 7, and will end at midnight on June 13. Your blog post about this experience count as your Topic of the Week for Week Five.

First, Learn a Bit About Twitter

  1. Listen to Laura Fitton discuss Twitter for Business.
  2. Listen to my Twitter: What’s in it for me? presentation.
  3. Read 10.5 Ways for PR Students to Get the Most Out of Twitter.

Setting Up Your Twitter Account

  1. Go to Twitter. Click Get Started, and sign up. I prefer it if you use some version of your first and last name as your Twitter ID. (Avoid putting numbers in your Twitter ID, or you may appear like a spammer.)
  2. Upload a photo or avatar.
  3. Write a brief (160-character or fewer) bio. It’s good to mention that you’re a PR student. Consider mentioning your university.
  4. Send a tweet saying “I’m a student in @barbaranixon’s #PRCA3330/#PRCA2330 class”. (Use the correct number for your class.) Be sure to include the #xxx1234 indicator, with no spaces between the hashtag (#), letters and numbers.
  5. If you haven’t already done so, complete my form that tells me your Twitter username before midnight on  Monday, June 7.

Setting Up Your Following List

  1. Follow at least 20 (why not all?) of the people or organizations in my Twitter Starter Pack for PR Students.
  2. Visit your class’ list at TweepML: PRCA 2330 or PRCA 3330. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to easily follow all the people on the list. (I created these lists on Tuesday, June 8, at 3 p.m. Only a few people had given me their addresses on time. I will update these lists again on Wednesday.)

Using Twitter

  1. Over the course of the next week, send at least twenty tweets (Twitter messages of 140 characters or less). Tip: Rather than tweeting that you’re having ramen for lunch, instead consider what might be of interest to your classmates and followers. Perhaps point others to something interesting or funny you read online. Share a fact you learned in a class. Maybe you could even pose a question that you’d like others to answer.
  2. In addition to the twenty tweets that you originate, respond to at least five of your classmates’ tweets. To respond, click on the arrow after a tweet. Or you can type the @ symbol followed immediately by a username (such as @barbaranixon).

Additional Information

  1. Review my tips on how college students can use Twitter to their advantage and Choosing Whom to Follow on Twitter: My Strategy.
  2. Review Prof. Sam Bradley’s College Student’s Guide: Twitter 101.
  3. I find using the web interface for Twitter to be clunky. I prefer using TweetDeck, a free Adobe Air app that works great on PCs and Macs. TweetDeck makes it really easy to send URLs via Twitter, as it automatically shortens them for you.
  4. I’ll occasionally post information on Twitter and use the hashtag for your class (either #PRCA2330 or #PRCA3330).By using this hashtag, I’m indicating that I want students in this class to pay special attention to the tweet.
  5. OPTIONAL: If you’d like to publicize your blog posts via Twitter, you can it automatically in WordPress.

Blog About Your Experience

After the week is over, add a 300-word (minimum) post to your blog about the experience and what you got out of it. Include a link to your Twitter profile (here’s mine). Be sure to include at least one way you might find value in continuing your account in Twitter. Your blog post about this experience count as your Topic of the Week for Week Four Five.

Questions? Just send me a DM (direct message) or an @ (reply) in Twitter!

NOTE: Many thanks to Kaye Sweetser and Karen Russell for their ideas prompting this assignment.

Tagged with: