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"Writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers" -Isaac Asimov

Advertising: Just do it

Advertising is meant to grab a specific audience’s attention. There are different kinds of advertising, whether it be print, radio or television. Within these different kinds, there are a lot of approaches or techniques an ad can use.

One technique is inspiration. Nike makes inspirational print ads the majority of the time. The above ad is from a group of my favorite ads, titled Nike: What is your fight? The copy is a paragraph made up of short active sentences. It uses repetition in saying “this is my weapon.” The visual is inspiring because it shows that if he can do sports, anyone can. The tagline “just do it” is reinforced as well as the Nike swoosh.

This print ad is simple but powerful. It makes me want to go run a marathon in my Nike shoes and it gives me the idea that the impossible is made possible through Nike. In my opinion, Nike has the best ads.

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Feature writing: Hook and inform

Feature writings can cover a variety of events. They are more entertaining than hard news and have human interest. Instead of using the inverted pyramid style, features are written with a clever headline and a lead that entices the reader to continue reading, hooking them on the story.

In the Glendale Star, a community paper, there is a feature story on Oklahoma State students giving back to Glendale. This feature caught my attention because it talked about my beloved school.

The feature was a quick read that used imagery to capture my attention. It was well written and flowed smoothly. The feature started with a hook and then became a news story, making this particular feature a hybrid feature. There was a good amount of quotes that kept the feature interesting.

It was a worthwhile read about OSU students getting excited about giving back to the community and OSU doing good in the world through its students. I did not feel like I wasted time reading this feature and I learned something new about my peers.

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Media kits: Style Magazine

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Media kits are entire packages of information about an organization given to journalists. Styles can vary from simple and informative to crazy and creative. Some of the most common pieces in a media kit are news releases, fact sheets, backgrounders and photos. Basically, if it makes the journalist’s job easier, it belongs in the media kit.

Style Magazine created a media kit about the opportunities within its magazine. The layout is eye-catching and carefully organized in a stylistic way that uses pictures in a creative way. The first page is the about section. The tone of this page is more promotional than encyclopedia-like.

The next page talks about its audience that includes analytics as well as goals of reaching its target audience. The kit tells how others can get involved with Style Magazine. The contact information only consists of an email located in various places throughout the media kit, but not located as the first item.

Although this media kit is visually appealing, it is too promotional and lacks helpful information.

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News releases: Garden of Life

News releases are used as a way for organizations to communicate newsworthy information to journalists. Although every organization has their own style, there are certain standards that should be in every news release.

As I was looking at different websites for potential internships, I stumbled upon the Garden of Life website. In the top right corner, the site has a press room pull-down menu.

There was one news release discussing the sponsorship of Whole Planet Foundation. This news release does not follow AP style nor the general format of releases. The first mistake is the contact information is located at the bottom of the page. When the release quotes someone, there is no attribution at the beginning or the end. Some of the words seem more promotional than objective.

Although these news releases are located on their websites, I do not believe this news release would get far with journalists.

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Blogging: A potential life changer

Whether it is the blogger releasing stress through writing or a reader being moved by words, blogs have impact. I began looking at blogs last year in my electronic communications class where I discovered the magnitude of people who can be reached. Whenever I think of blogs that have made an impression on my life, it’s not the funny, light-hearted blogs, but the life stories of the bloggers who overcame a struggle or learned a profound lesson.  It depends on what mood and style of blogs the reader prefers because while I may prefer the more serious blogs, someone else may enjoy the blogs that poke fun at others and there is no problem with that at all.

One particular blog has spoken to me recently called Grace for the Road. The language and style of writing is friendly and conversational. The point of the author’s message is clear without her condemning others for other beliefs.  This particular post is long, exceeds the five paragraph limit and most people probably would stop reading half-way through, but to me the writing enticed me to continue reading even though it took more time.

This post encouraged me to start following and reading her other posts. She does a good job of adding variety to the blog and experimenting with different blog styles: pictures, videos, quotes and words. The layout of the blog is clean and simple. She has organized all her blogs into three categories: the humanity, the mercy, the nations.

I would encourage all to read this post, especially girls who are struggling with relationship problems and trusting God with his timing.

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Website: University Heights Baptist Church

Writing for websites is becoming increasingly important. Because the potential audience is diverse and worldwide, websites need to appeal to a variety of different cultures. The first thing to consider is who is the website’s target audience? If the website is an international organization, being aware of the multicultural opinions and interests will help the website thrive. If the website is geared more locally, the values of that specific community are more important than those far away.

University Heights Baptist Church’s website is created for the local community of Stillwater. The sight itself is eye-catching and easy to maneuver. In the top right corner, there are landscape pictures that change every five seconds. UHBC’s main Bible verse is in quotations at the top of the page. There are good and bad qualities to this website.

One of its good qualities is that it has an introduction letter from the pastor, John Bugg, which includes the church’s reasoning for their name and what it means to the congregation as a whole. The layout has a block for all the main information on the home page. This includes service and office times, upcoming events, a calendar and a link to hear the pastor’s sermons. The negative thing about the sermon link is that it says, “Click Here”, when it should link the words, “Pastor Bugg’s Sermons” so that if someone only looked at links, they could find these sermons more easily. The top is a pull-down menu that includes an about, ministries, prayer guides, general, get connected and extra sections. These sections are well organized, but the format of the subject headlines need to be more consistent; choose one style and stick with it.

Overall the website is put together well. Although it is a little wordy and does not necessarily follow the F-shape scan, it is still user-friendly and easily accessed. It reaches the local target audience sufficiently, thus reaching its goals as a website. I would highly recommend this website to anyone looking for information on this particular church and wanting to know their mission and what the church is all about.

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