New and imPRoved (it's about time!)

Have you noticed the new look? After 84 weeks of blogging, I decided it was time to freshen my blog. But I must admit, it was regrettably not by my own inspiration.

In fact, the idea to do something different came from my new Public Relations Tools class. My students and I spent our first week creating blogs using either WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr. As they were selecting their templates, it occurred to me that my blog looked boring. I had been using the same template since I started this, and it became  just easier not to mess with it.

But I recalled that the most frustrating time of my PR career was when I had a senior position at a large, established organization (I won’t say which one). I was hired as an agent for change, and yet the mindset around me was, “We’ve always done it this way so there’s not reason to change now.” There was resistance from every corner. It was too hard for the people there to find new and better ways of doing things.

I was reminded that we should approach every task–especially the ones we do regularly–with the goal of doing it better than before. The best public relations practitioners are those who constantly seek new approaches. They find better ways to pitch stories, or create a new look to a publication or online product, or make cutting-edge plans to address a difficult situation. This lesson goes for the little jobs, too. Newsletters, event signage, tweets and yes, even blogs, should be tackled with tweaks and adjustments designed to make it better each time.

Hence the new look for Public Relations Nation. And the part I had most fun with was the image beneath the heading. Because I had chosen a template with a very rectangular aspect ratio, I couldn’t use a conventional headshot. So I experimented. My students got a giggle from it and gave it a thumbs up. And I’ll be ready to tweak the blog again, finding ways to improve it each time I post. Your thoughts?

43 thoughts on “New and imPRoved (it's about time!)

  1. publicrelationspro

    I agree that in every task that a public relations practitioner, as well as any other profession should be constantly seeking new and innovative ways to go about doing their business. It is the innovators that every company wishes to have working for them because they revolutionize and create newer, better ways at doing the same things. When you take the time to make the effort on upgrading or improving your work, it shows people that you care about your work also. It is often these people who come up with the new approaches that end up becoming experts in their field.

    ***typo*** “We’ve always done it this way so there’s not reason to change now.”

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  2. Kerry Kiddoo

    Although I did not see the blog prior to what it is now, I really like the layout and also got a chuckle out of the picture! I think it is easy to manage and find everything you need from the site! Well done, professor! And way to be different and adapt to the current trends, isn’t that what PR people are trained to do? 🙂

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  3. Sherrell B.

    Awesome, love the new look… Your point about PR practitioners should always seek ways to do things better, lite a “light bulb,” over my head. I guess I never really thought of that aspect. However, I will keep that in mind from this point on 🙂

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  4. Christine Brazeau

    Change is always a good thing in the realm of public relations. It’s important to constantly be moving onward and upward. Personally, I never like to stay in the same place, or the same mindset for too long. I need to be satisfied by new and creative ideas to push myself farther in whatever I’m doing. I think your new layout was a fresh new change. It modernized it, while keeping it easy enough to navigate.

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  5. mshelorke

    Love the new layout! I think your headshot was creative and added a personal touch. Change is not always a good thing, but I think it’s something that needs to happen so life is not monotonous and boring. PR practitioners need to seek these changes to improve their work,especially in this fast changing society. With all the new social media sites out there, change is essential to keeping up with the times.

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  6. Katlyn Catubig

    I like the new look! Definitely a thumbs up.
    Your talk of updates and change reminded me of Facebook. Whenever Facebook changes the layout of their profiles of better match the times and apps that people are utilizing, there usually tends to be an uproar. The most recent change was the switch to Timeline. The reaction to the change was overwhelmingly negative. However, like every other time Facebook re-vamped it’s site, users eventually got over it.
    Change is essential to PR. What if companies continued to use their same age-old PR tactics year after year? Eventually, the publics would stop responding. There would be no progress, monetarily or otherwise. Change is completely necessary in the world of PR, as well as in life in general.

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  7. Kevin Alexander Tamerler

    http://www.replacementlevel.com/index.php/RLYW/index/

    I decided to reply by recommending my favorite blog design of all time, the (sadly defunct) Replacement Level Yankees Blog. Replacement Level is a term used in baseball statistics to refer to a player whose talent level is approximately what you could pick up on the open market, an average player who isn’t a hole in the lineup but isn’t an all-star by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoy the cheekiness of making a “replacement level” blog and putting no effort into the design, while also providing excellent articles.

    While I enjoy the new design of the website, and sleek modern design has it’s place, I think fun and different can work too, often through plainness.

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  8. Casey Madsen

    After 84 weeks of blogging it was definitely time for a change! Websites such as blogs and social media are very personal pages so the way they look should evolve with the author. There is no reason to change them more than say once a month, however I think it’s important to keep photos and backgrounds current and relevant.

    The field of PR requires a lot of creativity to keep the public interested in what you’re trying to promote. It’s important to understand what’s new and fresh, and keep up with the trends. Staying current is difficult with today’s technology, it seems as if the second you catch up with a trend, it changes.

    That being said, great job with the new look! The headshot at the top is a great personal touch, and a fun way to add a photo of yourself to your blog!

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  9. Kristen Kelly

    With technology and the web being such a big part of peoples lives today, bloggers and web designers have to keep up with their pages to keep their followers interested. Content is huge, but a lot of people also look for design. You have your followers/subscribers who have been with you from the beginning, but you always want to gain new ones. The first thing that will draw the attention of potential followers is your layout/design. Keeping your design up to date, but not too busy, will draw people to read your posts/web page. Yeah, they didn’t know about your page before, but when they see something that catches their eye, they’ll stop. And for your current followers, it shows them that you’re not only updating content, your trying to go for a new look as well. I don’t have a blog or my own web page to design, but I think change is good, no matter what the change is. I would say though, changing a layout of a blog or web page may sometimes annoy your current followers, as they are use to the one you have had (especially if you haven’t changed it in a while.) Changing the design with different colors or pictures is a good change that people can appreciate without changing too much!

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  10. Corey Wagner

    The new and improved look is working for me! I have a tumblr blog and I think its very important to update my blogs look every few months. I keep my theme the same but tweak my blog picture and my color scheme. That alone has helped my blog get more followers and keeps my old followers intrigued. I definitely think it was a smart idea to revamp your blog. I dig it.

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  11. Holly Haynes

    First and foremost, the blog looks fantastic. While streamlined, clean cut, and professional, the non-conventional head shot, though due to your layout, has worked out in your favor. Very edgy.

    On a different note, I like how you say our goal should be to do everything better than it was done before. I grew up with a similar mentality: “If you’re going to do it, do it correctly. If not, don’t bother.” This still rings true today, probably more so than it did as a child when my father used this in regards to telling me my chores.

    In PR, especially in a media driven society, it is important to show that you can do your job, you can do it well, and that you can do it in a fresh, new way. Again, this society is MEDIA DRIVEN. If it has been done before, people will know. This is why I mirror your thought process; I completely agree that it is important to bring new angles to the table, especially in a world where it seems that all of my counterparts here at Hofstra are PR majors. The question to be asked is what can be done, and how it can be done. It is up to the individual to decide, and that is what sets us all apart.

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  12. Karli McDougall

    I really love the new layout, I think it really brightened up your blog. It is important to always change and improve things in your professional career else you will fall behind quickly as the things around you change. It is difficult to keep up with the world because things change so often and so quickly. especially as a PR practitioner, your job has a lot to do with dealing with media.

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  13. Spencer MacDonald

    I like the new look! Personally, with the web and technology being as fast paced as it is, I judge websites that look like they were made the day after the internet was created (not saying your previous one looked like that at all haha). But with so many advances on the web, it looks unprofessional to have a dated looking website. I would not trust putting personal info on a business’s website that looked like it belonged in the stone age. The better the image on the web, the more trustworthy and legitimate it appears to be.

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  14. Stephen Steglik

    Needless to say I will probably recite what everyone in class has already said about changing to new looks and the importance of re-inventing one’s self. People always say “You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover” which I always respond with “Well how do you know you want to read the book then?”. It takes a no how and a appreciation for the craft to realize when you need to mix things up to stay relevant. I like the new look by the way..it is very social media friendly and looks as if it belongs in the same realm as my facebook and twitter which makes me more inclined to keep logging on to your blog.

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  15. Kerri Sheehan

    The new look is nice. Changing around a layout every once in a while is refreshing. Readers can now look at the content with new eyes. Personally I don’t change my tumblr all too often, but with a blog that is more geared towards students its nice to see a change.

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  16. Kellie Sahagian

    The new layout is nice. I feel like it’s important to change the look of your blog every now and then because it makes things interesting to the reader. I always find myself changing my tumblr layout and such, just because I feel like it helps people to know that I’m always up to date on the newest blog trends. I also like your header!

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  17. Caitlyn Hutchison

    The visual aesthetics are the first thing a person encounters in any given situation. The way a blog looks to a viewer greatly affects whether they are going to take the time out to read the blog, or simply move onto the next. PR must adapt to a constantly changing environment since the essence of appealing to an individual is connected to appealing to the society as a whole. Society opens up to the fresh new ideas that keep our world constantly changing as opposed to the old outdated forms of communications. This is why new ideas and images are so attractive to society.

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  18. Anand Patel

    I believe that looks are indeed everything. The image one exudes to others is vastly more important than what goes on in one’s mind when it comes to Public Relations. As superficial as this sounds, we all know to some extent that this is in fact a reality. Ever heard of how “the face is the money-maker”? It’s all too true. Pretty people who have the same qualifications and experience as other, less attractive people, make it further in life because as humans we tend to favor those individuals that we find attractive. It is in our human nature. Thus, when we see a blog, website, etc, that is more attractive than one that is rather monotone and boring, we seek favor with that which we find more interesting. This is why Graphic Design has become such a popular field in contemporary society. I hope I am not sounding extremely judgmental or shallow but it’s what happens. Nobody is going to want to read a blog that seems so utterly boring at first glance that whatever the blog entails most assuredly has the same level of monotony. As PR students we must understand that image is everything and once that image is tarnished, it is extremely difficult to redeem one’s self. Public Relations is all about making people like you and it can only help to seem more attractive to a certain target audience as opposed to simply being a wallflower that nobody would even notice. Whatever it may be, it must POP and catch the attention of the audience. In conclusion, I must affirm that it is always better to attract positive attention from an audience rather than attracting no attention or negative attention– obviously.

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  19. Kristin Mancuso

    After a year and a half of blogging, it is reasonable to assume that you became accustomed to your old theme. However, I find it respectable that you fought the resistance of staying with he old layout and instead, sided with creating a new, captivating theme. I like the personable header and color scheme that you selected for your layout. As many people previously mentioned, I also tend to focus on the aesthetic appeal of blogs therefore I welcome change with open arms. This new layout is certainly satisfying and further evokes my curiosity in your blog.

    In all aspects of PR, it is important to embrace change and utilize it to build a better relationship with your audiences. It is easy to take a subject such as this and brush it to the side. However, many people fail to realize how important change and keeping up with your surroundings is to their image. Not only does change bring attention to an issue, but also it draws in other audiences. In other words, this will not only keep the reader/client intrigued, but it may also attract the interest of new people as well. You even stated it yourself, “the best public relations practitioners are those who constantly seek new approaches.” In order to do this, one must be fully accepting of change in the fast-pace world we live in.

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  20. passportstories

    I also love the new layout and design of the blog. It is important as a PR practitioner to kept up on the latest social media trends and ways of doing things. Otherwise, your current clients are going to lose out since you would not be offering the best services possible. They may even go to a different PR practitioner, which could cost you your job. If we as a race were not always looking and researching new and latest trends we would still be living like cavemen. In order to make technological advancements or even advancements in techniques or knowledge, we must push ourselves to embrace change and even maybe start change. By being a change trendsetter, you define the future.

    -Molly Sestak

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  21. Nicole Chiarella

    I like the new look a lot. I agree with taking a different approach to achieve more in a different way. I took a course when I was enrolled at the University of Rhode Island that was based on web design and blogging. It is all about how you set up your blog or website to get the attention of the reader or consumer. When you change the location or size of areas on your blog or web site it makes a huge difference. Your blog is your own advertisement for the world to see, so it is important it will attract the reader.

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  22. jillarchibald Archibald

    I agree with the students in your PR class; the glasses header is funny! Your blog’s new look conveys a less serious message, and although your blog is always filled with pertinent, and mostly serious information, it’s good to know that the writer has a personality too.

    As a PR professional, I can only imagine how hard it is to stay on top of technology in our ever evolving society. Even as a college student I find myself falling behind on all the new apps and sites that are emerging every day.

    However, it is 100% necessary to keep up because as soon as you fall behind you become less relevant. I always relate this back to professors who don’t use Blackboard. It’s a simple technology, but some can’t be bothered to use it, and it’s frustrating for students. I think that this example can translate well to the PR world too.

    I also really appreciate how you have an “Internships” tab now!

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  23. Lindsay Shulman

    I like the new layout! It’s important in this field to not only play the part but to look it as well. This rule goes for everything from blogging to how you dress at work.

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  24. Lauren Means

    Nice changes! I like it when blogs update their look. Sometimes, if the background is off, it can be disconcerting. But usually it shows that the people behind the blog–and thus, behind the organization or campaign–are constantly thinking of new ideas to connect with their audience. It tells me that the people behind that blog are on their feet, ready to accept criticism or make changes. It sends a good message.

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  25. alexcoughlan

    I agree 100% that is it important to constantly be creative and changing in the public relations world. In my internship this summer the firm I interned for lost 2 clients by the end of the summer and I think it had a lot to do with how they approached it. They did the same thing for every client every month, yes constantly can be a good thing but they rarely got creative and usually were heavily focused on one client. I believe that if they were given the chance to be more creative they could have kept those clients they lost.

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  26. rebecca wolfe

    I personally like the new look!! I love the cover heading with you wearing your glasses, very classy. I like the colors and how they are softer on the eyes than before. Your blog definitly has a more relaxed feel than before. Though people may not always like change, I feel it is a necessity to change things up once in a while. Every time something is changed on a website it is like looking at the site for the first time, and people might notice more than they had before. I can not imagine anyone who would always want to look at a page that always looked the same, because that is boring and monotonous, and therefor looses interest. I definitly give your new look a thumbs up as well!!

    -Rebecca Wolfe

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  27. Jenny Rowe

    Over the summer I had a Marketing internship with a site that used a lot of social media where I learned a similar lesson about little jobs since most of my work had to do with tweeting, blogging, and updating the site. Although completing these little tasks seemed like it wasn’t doing much, eventually I was able to see how much one small adjustment could make an impact.

    On another note, drastic change is exciting to many people, yet the adjustment is also uncomfortable for some. I think the most important thing for a social network or site to do to avoid losing users is to get feedback. Asking what readers think about the change gives you as a blogger a better understanding of what they are looking for while making you look more relatable. I really like the changes you’ve made so far!

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  28. Kyle Noone

    I think you bring up a valid point. Sometimes we get used to doing something one way for so long that we don’t even consider another route. If one way works, then why bother to change it or approach something differently. In by doing this, however, we often block ourselves to better and easier approaches. In this scenario, you are using it to refer to your blog, but it can be applied for many things. I can apply it to how I handle my homework or my daily routines. Sure I’ve done everything one way for a long time because it works, but I haven’t entirely considered changing, or even thought about how I could change my habits. I’ve been doing things one way for so long that the idea of changing them just seems so strange to me. That I think is one of the main reasons why people don’t change things more often, whether it be their profile picture on facebook or the food they eat from day to day.

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  29. Michelle Soslowitz

    I like the new look. Social media today is a huge way of getting new and returning people to read blogs and twitter posts and if it looks more appealing that may draw them in. The picture on the header was definitely a good way to draw in the audience and it made me want to scroll down and read the blog. Change can be hard, not everyone can handle it, but it can also be a very good thing. Even if it is somehing small like the format of a blog it’s like starting a new beginning and that can be beneficial.

    “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
    ― Leo Tolstoy

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  30. Lauren Someck

    I totally agree with the idea of frequently changing the look social media sites. I believe updating these channels can be beneficial in several different ways. For instance, it could attract potential new followers while at the same time show your current followers that you are active and keeping up with the latest trends. I think its important for readers to know that bloggers and other social media outlets are keeping up with the times. In this case, your banner ads a personal touch for people reading your blog, which I think makes a big difference when people are deciding what they enjoy reading and why. PR practitioners should definitely practice changing/updating their work as well as constantly trying to improve on the little things. I enjoyed this post because you can apply this idea to absolutely anything, from jobs to your personal life. Not only is this beneficial for PR but for people in their everyday lives.

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  31. Ryan Derry

    I definitely enjoy the new look. I’m a guy who likes things that are visually and aesthetically pleasing so this is definitely both funny and relevant to your insight on PR. When it comes to keeping things fresh, blogs should definitely be included. People who read your blog might get bored with the same old layout after months and months of blogging and decide to read something more professional looking/visually stimulating. Content of course is always an important factor as we all know, but if someone’s website looks crappy it might turn someone away from the getgo, losing you followers or even business in the case of major profitable companies.

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  32. Nicole Risell

    When it comes to social media, I think changing it up from time to time is a great idea. It can attract new users, as well as keeping existing users on their toes and interested in your content. When it comes to PR, you can never go wrong with finding new and creative ways to get your message across. This post about change reminds me of a quote i’ve been seeing a lot lately. It says, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

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  33. Jeena Liriano

    Change can be intimidating but once it is made you feel refreshed and think why haven’t I’ve done this sooner? I do love the banner, it adds a nice personal touch to your blog. Times are always changing, so it’s important that you keep up with the changes. Also it is important to start new trends as well and keep transforming yourself.

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  34. Alecia Detka

    I have to say that I love the new look! The banner itself adds a nice personal touch. No one really LIKES change, but I find that once I have the guts to do it, I end up loving the results! I guess that’s one of the reasons why i decided to major in Public Relations–I want my surroundings to constantly change because it’ll make my life more exciting that way.

    Can’t wait for any future changes for your blog!

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  35. Leia Schultz

    Your new header is fun, Professor Morosoff, and definitely adds some human intensity to the feel of your blog. It can seem daunting to make changes to something (a business’ strategy, a story’s angle, a blog’s format) when there’s nothing ostensibly “wrong” with it – yet, especially as PR practitioners, it is so important to think innovatively:

    What can I do differently to push the boundaries?
    How can I view this project from different perspectives?
    What hasn’t been thought of before?

    These are just a few questions that we must ask ourselves in our profession, to “constantly seek new approaches,” as you noted. Coinciding with this, I think that it’s vital not to hesitate to adapt with the ever-changing landscape that is our societal reality. Throughout history if people remained within their realms of comfort we wouldn’t have many of the remarkable businesses and organizations of today.

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  36. Kellianne

    I love the new look! My personality tends to always like change. I get sick of things very easily, hence the reason to change them. For example, I have my own twitter account. There is a section where you can change the look of your webpage such as the background and color of the text. I find myself changing that around monthly. As for my furniture in my room, I change that even more. When my friends come into my room it always looks different than the time it did the last time they were in my room. I believe that some people are afraid of change and they shouldn’t be; change is good, change makes the world a better and newer place.

    Hopefully, when I become a PR practitioner I can spread my sense of change around the work place I will work in. Maybe I will get those people that are afraid of change to get more used to it!

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  37. Hillary Alexandre

    I do believe that changing the look of a blog or any publication for that matter is a great idea. I believe that the viewers/audience enjoy a fresh look on things that they check on regularly. The change to your blog actually made me look at the whole page entirely and notice the tweet update, the tags, and even how many hits you have. (I’m not sure if you had those showing before). In reference to your situation at the organization that refused to budge, although staying consistent with one method may be good because it always worked, the right change can be even more beneficial in that it will not only keep the current public viewers interested, but also may attract new ones.

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  38. Jenny Zheng

    The aesthetics of my blog have always been one of the more important things to me. A blog has to be eye catching, something that someone won’t just glance over. Many websites get overlooked because people don’t find it pleasing to look at, or user friendly. I sometimes spend hours looking for a template for my blog. Furthermore, I agree that with every job you are tasked with, it must be done with the mindset that it will be better than before. Not just the easy or the usual way, but always with a conscious effort, and this doesn’t only apply to blogs and public relations. When we constantly push our limits, that is how the world moves forward.

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  39. Jon Fisco

    Liking the new look for sure. I actually had a similar, and weird, experience with changing the face of a blog a while ago. I had one I was posting to for a while and it always looked simple because I know next to nothing about style other than I like simplicity. Then one day I redesigned my blog around a website I found functional yet attractive and people that read it regularly acted as if I had upgraded it in major ways. It’s fun to see how a different lens or a different approach can change a view so drastically. People that passingly read a blog can get intensely into it just because the new look resonates with them, and I’d venture to guess that idea goes for more than just blogs.

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  40. Chloe Lambros

    First off, let me just say that I really like the new look that you have given to your blog. The adjustments and the new image conveys a fresher look. I completely agree with the concept of approaching “every task–especially the ones we do regularly–with the goal of doing it better than before.” If PR practitioners did not seek new ways to approach certain elements, then nothing would move forward and have as much of an impact that PR practitioners are suppose to enforce.

    Experimenting and find new creative ways to pitch stories and give presentations, or form a new look for a publication/online product will only help maintain an interest of the public and even attract others. I also agree that inventing cutting-edge plans to address a crisis or any difficult situation is also beneficial. I like how you chose to acknowledge the “little jobs” and the importance of constantly improving newsletters, event signage, tweets, and blogs. The “tweaks and adjustments” that are made and designed will only help send messages of PR practitioners further, and further down the road. By striving to be better, messages will be perceived far more clearly and down the road will produce better results.

    I always try to push myself, and strive to do better in everything. I think this concept applies to all things.

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