Friday, December 14, 2012

Tips for the Next Class (from the last class)

Laura - ALWAYS double check the spelling of names for any story

James - Try to watch a news broadcast in addition to reading the Post so that you can an idea of what a broadcast article should sound like.  It may give a better idea of how to write them in the future.

Contributed by Caitlin:

Nicole - Be sure to actually read the comments on your revised writings, whether it was graded or not. If you don't you might continue making the same small mistakes over and over again, like forgetting the -30- (which is a silly way to lose points). 

- Create a Writing for Comm folder in your email and after you read over the revisions, put the email directly in the folder. They are a really good reference tool for tracking your improvements as well as very useful to look back on before the midterm and final. 

Sean - My feedback to incoming students: Read Professor Piacente's feedback and read it carefully. This man has been in the business for a long time and he knows what he is talking about.

Kelsey - Practice makes perfect! If you find you are having trouble with the writing, don't hesitate to ask for practice stories to help fix those pesky problems you might be having. May be extra work, but it pays off on assignments, midterms, and your final! 

Arielle - Never miss a deadline. Ever. 
- Always review corrections given by Prof. Piacente and remember them.
- Prof. Piacente enjoys a good play on words every once in awhile. Read the names of the people in the practice stories out loud. 

Caitlin: Don't forget to reread your article every time, preferably out loud. Remember to double-check your formatting and make sure everything you wrote actually makes sense and is needed BEFORE you send in the story.

Sarah M: Make sure to review old stories with Professor Piacente's feedback before completing the next piece of writing.  His comments are really helpful and you're almost guaranteed to improve your grade on the next assignment if you take his corrections into consideration.  Similarly, be sure to review those stories before the midterm and final as well--it will give you a leg up when you get the fact sheets.


Just the facts, Jack. Don't get too fancy with your writing, especially at first. Make sure your facts are correct. Read Associated Press wire stories to see how to write print news. Then listen to local and national TV or radio news (CNN, WTOP) to help conquer broadcast writing. Remember: a lot of what you'll learn -- use active verbs, get to your point quickly, say things clearly, read your writing out loud -- is applicable in other classes and will improve your writing overall.

Listen to the guest speakers. They're all interesting and funny, but most importantly they're experts in their field. It's rare to have the opportunity to learn from and interact with so many accomplished people, let alone all in one semester.

Prof. Piacente makes the class fun and interactive, so speak up. Take advantage and enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A tip for writing:

Pay attention to formatting each story (the -30-, inclusion of a headline, etc.) Those little points off can really knock down your grade, and are easily fixable mistakes.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Notes from 12-6-12 by Sarah Messenger

Last night, we had two guest professors from GSA, Greg and Judy.  They facilitated discussion and gave advice regarding how to present yourself in an interview and how to write well for personal success.
When discussing resumes, they reiterated that every word counts, and that it’s important not to use any extra language and to get your point across succinctly.
We watched a short YouTube clip on “What not to do in an interview,” and discussed afterwards.  In an interview, always be able to think on your feet, even if a question catches you by surprise.  Also, no cell phone use and dress to impress.  Be sure you are able to tell your interviewer why you want the job at their company, and don’t have an arrogant attitude and walk in assuming you are going to get the position.
As a class, we went around the room and shared our talking points and gave helpful feedback.  Some overall tips that were shared were:
·      Use words with positive connotations (ex: instead of saying you are direct, say that you “cut to the heart of the matter quickly”)
·      Make your flaws positive flaws
·      Say flip side of your negative attributes so the interviewer left with positive thoughts about you
·      Be able to follow up your talking points with examples and stories when they ask
It is important to separate political life from reality—government employees that have social media sites must be careful to never say anything about their position so that the people in the media don’t misconstrue your opinions as being representative of where you work (i.e. GSA).  Along with that, keep in mind that:
·      Employers are going to Google you: if you provide your twitter handle or FB or anything else, they’re going to find you: KNOW WHAT IS ON YOUR SITE
·      Flip it: use the company’s information on social media sites to know more about them
·      If you feel like something is invasive on social media platform , then it shouldn’t be there
Make sure to research and do your homework before you get to an interview, it will get you a leg up on other applicants.  Know who the company’s clients are, or their new initiatives, etc. so that you are able to ask good questions at the end of the interview, and show that you really want the job.

Always wrap up your interview with two things:
1.    “Ask for the sale:” reiterate that you want that job and why you are a great fit
2.    Thank the interviewer for their time, and say something like “I really hope I have the opportunity to see you in the next round of interviews”
HW due next class:   Study for final 
·      Review blog, review edits on all past assignments, and email Prof. Piacente with any questions. 
·      Final will consist of writing a press release and a broadcast story from different fact sheets. 
·      You may use any materials you want for the final. 
·      Current event quiz next week.
Posted by: Sarah Messenger