Peace Love & Sillyness

Tapping the Web and New Media

Posted on: 12/01/2010

These are my notes on Ch.12 from Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques

  • The media traditionally has the following characteristics:
  1. it’s centralized, having a top-down hierarchy
  2. it costs a lot of money to become a publisher
  3. it’s staffed by professional gatekeepers known as editors & publishers
  4. it features mostly one-way communication with limited feedback channels

The World Wide Web

  • allows interactivity
  • a website is literally a distribution system in cyberspace
  • in a lot of cases, an organization’s website is linked to other web pages and information sources
  • there are 2 basic concepts that are important when writing for the web:
  1. there is a huge difference between how people read online & how they read printed documents
  2. the PR writer needs to know the basic difference between linear and nonlinear styles of writing
  • when writing online you should limit line length to fewer than 60 characters
  • you have 10-12 seconds to “hook” a viewer onto your site otherwise they’ll click on to something else
  • if you want to attract visitors to your site you must give a lot of directional signage, which includes hyperlinks & search engines
  • page view/page impression – refer to the number of times a page is pulled up
  • unique visitor – means first-time visitors to a site
  • cookie – a file that is placed on your hard drive by a website you have visited
  • return on investment (ROI) – you compare the cost of the website to how such functions would be done by other means

Social Media

  • according to wikipedia “social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.”
  • blogs are the most dominant, but social media also includes MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
  • conversation is not organized, controlled, or on message, BUT is vibrant, emergent, fun, compelling, & full of insights
  • in 2007 there were 112 million blogs, with 120,000 being created every day
  • corporate blogs are usually written by an executive & represents the official voice of the organization
  • 70% of Americans 15-34 were currently actively engaged in some form of social network in 2008


  • is a digital media file or series of such files that is distributed over the internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players & personal computers
  • 3 major advantages:
  1. cost-effectiveness
  2. the ability of users to access material on a 24/7 basis
  3. portability
  • organizations use podcasts to provide news about their company, in-depth interviews with executives & other experts, features giving consumer tips about use of products & services, and training materials for employees
  • the ideal length is 10-20 minutes

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