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  • Amber 11:33 pm on November 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , finance, ,   

    My Last Day 

    Today was my last day at my internship and I can look back and say I have accomplished a lot.  By helping to draft press releases, media alerts, web briefs, social media posts, blog posts backgrounders and fact sheets I have definitely improved my writing skills.  I learned how to use valuable public relations tools like Cision to help build media lists.  I learned about a variety of clients in diverse industries including aviation, finance, data management, eye tracking and more.  I learned how advertising and marketing go hand in hand with public relations to create successful campaigns for clients.

    What I enjoyed most was having the opportunity to help draft press releases and blog posts.  Both of these activities allowed me to be more creative.  Before writing, I had to research the topic extensively so that I understood it and organize my thoughts in a logical way to present it to the client and the public.  While this was sometimes a challenge, I definitely enjoyed it.  My least favorite aspect of my internship was probably helping to call reporters and stuff media kits.  Even though calls are needed, some reporters are very rude and aren’t interested in the topic at all.  Additionally, stuffing media kits can take hours and definitely becomes very tedious.

    Consequently, today I ended my internship by helping to call reporters about one of client’s holiday media kits.  As a treat, my supervisor brought me noodles and co. for my last day lunch! The mac and cheese was excellent.  At the end of the day I gave a presentation about my internship to my two supervisors, Stephan and Kristina and some of the other employees.  I made sure to point out how thankful I was to have been given this opportunity and to have learned so much.  I also pointed out some suggestions to the program and noted that Pot Luck Thursday was my favorite day since I got to enjoy delicious food and get to know the employees a bit better.  At the end of my presentation, Kristina, the VP of Public Relations, gave me a gift card for my hard work which was very nice.  It’s great to be appreciated.

     

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  • Amber 1:50 pm on November 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , extended warranty, , wedding gifts   

    Calling Reporters 

    Today I spent the majority of the day assisting in calling media outlets to garner press coverage for a holiday press release for one of our clients who focuses on extended warranties for consumer electronics, appliances and more.  While this is not my favorite task, it is something that must be done.  It’s hard to call reporter after reporter to only reach voicemails or hear people explain they are not interested.

    For the rest of the day I will be helping to assemble the rest of the holiday media kit for the same client, so it has been a very busy day!

    Additionally, one of the blog posts for this same client that I helped draft on wedding gifts is now published and can be seen here! Blog post

    You can also check this clients facebook page to see some of the social media posts I helped draft!

    Monday will be my last day so I am currently working to prepare my presentation for the office about my internship there!

     
  • Amber 1:47 pm on November 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , TV stations, twitter   

    Holiday Media Kits 

    Today I have spent a lot of time working in Cision again, helping to create a media list for one of our clients who offers extended warranties for consumer electronics and other products.  The media list focuses on TV outlets in DC, Baltimore and Richmond.  Thus, although I am already aware of many of the TV stations in DC, I am learning about other existing TV stations in the other two cities.

    Before that, I helped to assemble 200 holiday media kits for the same client.  In my opinion, media kits can really look impressive to a client or reporters when including relevant information and polishing the product well, but I never realized how much time it takes to print all the papers, staple them and assemble it into one kit.  From now on every time I open a media kit, I will consider the time and preparation needed to prepare one.

    Additionally, one of our clients that deals with data management is planning on creating a Twitter account, and I am helping to find some related Twitter contacts to add to its social network.

     
  • Amber 5:34 pm on November 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: awards, electronics, , photo studio, warranties   

    Questionnaires and the Re-Launch of Focused Image’s Web Site 

    This week was a bit more diverse and interesting than my other weeks here.  First, on Monday, I was assigned to assist in calling local photo studios to find a place where one of our clients could be photographed for head shots within a certain price range.  After much searching and calling, I finally found three suitable studios: one in downtown D.C., one in Tyson’s Corner and one in Bethesda.

     

    I also helped draft a questionnaire dealing with the social media for one of our clients who provides extended warranties for electronics.  This was quite a coincidence, considering we just learned how to create questionnaires in my Public Communication Research class with Professor Ivancin.  In order to create a good questionnaire you really have to be creative in thinking of questions, and they certainly cannot be repetitive or lengthy so as not to bore your respondent.

     

    I also assisted in drafting a backgrounder and a fact sheet for one of our financial clients which were beneficial for my writing skills.

     

    Lastly, Focused Image Inc. is re-launching its web site sometime soon, so I helped the PR team draft some press releases regarding some of the company’s latest accomplishments, including its achievement of winning four 2010 MarCom awards, two platinum and two gold!

     
  • Amber 5:29 pm on November 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Learning more about Cision 

    This week, I learned more about media lists.  On Monday, I used Cision to assist in updating one of our older media lists, and then afterward I started assisting in creating a media list for an aviation solutions company for a media event.  Using Cision can be tricky at times, because it loads rather slowly, and it isn’t always easy to narrow down the types of media for which you’re looking.  Different events require different media outlets, whether it is based on the industry, the location or the type of publication.  However, once I got the hang of it, it seemed rather efficient to just click “add contact” and then automatically export the list to Excel.  That’s definitely helpful.

    Today I spent the majority of the morning assisting in calling contacts on a media list for an upcoming campaign to support a client that specializes in eye tracking.  While it is easy to simply read a script to an answering machine, I found that dealing with a live person may sometimes be difficult.  Many people are not interested in the story that you’re trying to pitch or explain if it does not relate to the field of their publication.  All in all, it’s a learning experience and proves to be good practice in dealing with editors and other members of the media.

    Currently I am drafting a web brief for a data management company.  As I write more press releases and web briefs, I am noticing improvement in my Public Relations writing skills.

     
  • Amber 6:01 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Learning about Media Lists and Media Alerts 

    This week I learned about writing media alerts by helping to draft a media advisory for an aviation solutions company.  I also helped draft some news briefs for a local DC bank, and started a press release for a research company that specializes in counter-terrorism .  All in all, it’s been a lot of writing that has kept me busy.

    I’ve also helped research and start drafts of more social media posts for one of our client’s facebook and twitter accounts, which deal with news about the latest electronics, appliances and sports equipment.  According to the latest in electronics and gadgets, the new MacBook Air is here and it’s fabulous, the Athletic Propulsion Lab Concept 1 sneaker that gives you 3.5 inches more vertical lift with its unique spring system is BANNED from the NBA, Toshiba has created a solar powered E-reader, and Panasonic’s 3D HD TV has been rated the best of the best.

    Basically, my internship has been involving a lot of research mixed with writing.  I’m currently working on helping to start a media list through Cision for regional and state publications.

    What I have learned in the public relations world, however is that the development and planning time required in press announcements is considerable and sometimes materials take weeks to approve

    On a completely irrelevant note, the maintenance man stopped in today and announced that they had extra flowers and nicely gave my desk a delightful potted plant.  I guess it brightens up the office a bit 🙂

     
  • Amber 6:00 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Learning about Fact Sheets and Blogs 

    This week I had the chance to do a lot more writing.  I helped start drafts for two press releases, and once they are published, I can hopefully add them to my portfolio, which is always a plus 🙂

    I also helped update a fact sheet for a client that specializes in eye-tracking technology with information about its products.   Learning about this company’s products is quite interesting.  It’s really amazing what can be done with that sort of technology.  For example, the latest eye-tracking technology is helping drivers who might fall asleep at the wheel to stay awake by noticing when the eyelid closes and alerting the driver to wake up and stay alert.

    What I enjoyed most about this week was helping to start a draft of a blog for a company that deals with extended warranties for certain products, because it allows for more creativity.  The company’s blog gives tips about taking care of or protecting electronics, jewelry, appliances, etc with extended warranties.  It also gives recommendations and reviews of the new and best electronics.  The post I assisted with has not yet been published, but expect to see it on the page soon!

     
  • Amber 5:58 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , iPhone, , Wii   

    Learning More About Press Releases 

    I am getting some great experience  helping to draft press releases.  I have already assisted with two for an aviation solutions company and one for a company dealing with extended warranties for electronics and other gadgets.  Assisting with release drafts is one aspect of my internship I enjoy doing more than researching, since I am able to be a bit more creative.

    While researching for social media posts today, I found out that Verizon is finally partnering with Apple to release the iPhone 4! Too bad I don’t use Verizon or have an iPhone…..

    Some other noteworthy facts I found while researching gadgets: there may soon be a cell phone that can charge off your body heat.

    Nintendo is launching a Wii system in bright red to celebrate SuperMario’s 25th anniversary!

    There is a new concept hot tub that is designed to never spill, because it descends into the floor.

    Other than that, today has been filled with more research, helping the team build media lists and formatting press clips for client reports.

     
  • Amber 5:57 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Potluck Thursday 

    Today is Potluck day at my internship! Everyone brought in something delicious for lunch and my two supervisors are just swarming around the kitchen area waiting to eat.  I contributed homemade mac and cheese, so hopefully everyone likes it!

    Last Thursday I was able to sit in on an interesting meeting.  A representative from a company that creates publications for the military and its surrounding audiences came in to discuss working with us on advertising for one of our clients.  The representative showed many options for ways to advertise  including posters, hologram stickers, pressure-sensitive stickers, belly-bands and inserts.  They are also offering a new product called webcasts, which are more interactive for the consumer.  Overall, it was an interesting meeting, because I was able to learn and see how advertising combines with Public Relations.

    One of my more regular tasks has been helping to research and start drafting social media posts for one of our clients that provides extended warranties for electronics, lawn and gym equipment and jewelry.  I research new gadgets and devices on websites like engagdetcnet and dvice to post on its facebook page.  It can be pretty interesting, because I’m not very tech savvy and would probably not know about things like the robot window washer or the dawn stimulating alarm clock if I didn’t read these sites.

    Today I also helped being a draft of a press release for client in the aviation industry.   I will say that my Public Relations writing class has prepared me well in writing press releases.  Thanks Professor Melillo!

     
  • Amber 7:12 pm on October 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aerospace, defense, energy, government services,   

    The First Few Weeks at Focused Image 

    I’m a senior in the School of Communication at American University majoring in Public Communication and French. My past internships have been with Linda Roth Associates, a small hospitality-based Public Relations firm and the Washington Post Express in the fashion/beauty/home/food section.

    This semester, I am interning at Focused Image Inc, an award winning marketing communications firm in the Greater Washington area that specializes in branding, marketing and public relations. They represent a variety of clients in industries including aerospace, defense, energy, government services, retail, financial services and technology.

    As I learn more about the companies, the one I have found to be the most interesting is a technology company that specializes in eye-tracking. You might be thinking, “What is eye-tracking?”  That’s what I first questioned. Basically the company manufactures special glasses that can track a consumer’s eye movements to study what image first draws them to a product.  Which product on a website or in a store aisle will attract a consumer’s eyes first? Eye tracking records that and determines consumer interests.

    I chose this internship because it is something much different than the two communications internships I have had before. I previously worked at a boutique style PR firm that worked with hotels, restaurants and other companies in the hospitality industry.  Hopefully this internship will give me a chance to learn about other important industries in and around DC.

    This is my third week at Focused Image, and I have been researching a lot about the clients and their media coverage. However, I do hope improve my writing skills by taking on other responsibilities such as drafting press releases, media alerts, etc.

     
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