Buddhism

After reading Huston Smith’s chapter on Buddhism, I have come to realize that the Buddhist religion has some similar aspects to Christianity. An example that caught my attention was when Mara was trying to distract Siddhartha from his quest, this is like how the Devil tempts humans into sin. Furthermore, I found the six aspects of the Buddhist religion to be fascinating, the aspect of intense self-effort really grasped my attention because I find that characteristic the be useful in everyday life. It doesn’t necessarily say to fully rely on yourself in order to achieve the top, but in order to do so you cant have anyone else do the work for you. Further through the reading, The Four Noble Truths revealed some sides of life that I really didn’t think of before, for example dukkha questions how much of life is enjoyable. Throughout my life, there have been times that life has been enjoyable but there are just as many undesirable moments. Lastly, I found hat the Eightfold Path to be a very reasonable way to live, it is a way to better oneself in more ways than one. Also, in relation to myself, I can see the Eightfold Path work in Christian doctrine, and I can see myself want this type of lifestyle.

Next I feel as if Smith really focuses on two main points in the Buddhist religion, having a lot of self-effort and being able to reach nirvana. First, I see the point of self-effort in many points of buddhism, it is even included in Buddha’s six aspects of religion. Also, I feel as if the Eightfold Path’s themselves are based on self-effort because only you can change yourself, of course people can lend a hand but it’s really up to the individual. Furthermore, I feel like Smith’s writing really focuses on how Buddhism’s goal is to attain nirvana. He even talk’s about three different branches of buddhism but their goals are all the same. Subsequently, I feel as if Smith’s goal is to simply explain religions and as to why and how thy exist, however, he is writing in a way that relates to use, for example he uses the example of Western people or ideas that come from the West.

Chapter 1 reflection

Three things really stuck out to me in chapter one.

1.) Giving information to different media outlets is free, but still comes at a cost.
– You loose control of the content, and the media gains control.
– The media doesn’t have to use the information if they don’t want to.
– The media can use it in any way they choose, which has the potential to be detrimental.

2.) There are four mass communications goals that also apply to public relations writing
– To inform people of threats and opportunities.
– To teach skills, knowledge, and appropriate behavior that help people adapt to their environment.
– To persuade people to adopt desired behaviors and see them as acceptable.
– To please people by providing entertainment and enjoyment.

3.) The diffusion of innovations theory explains how people adopt new ideas
– They must become aware of the idea.
– They must develop a further interest in the idea.
– They must evaluate and weigh the pros and cons of the idea as well as discuss with others.
– If successful, they will adopt the idea!

The book said, “Persuasion is not a dirty word.” I think that is key to public relations writing. Persuasion is not propaganda, and using persuasion should not be something that makes anyone feel guilty. If it does; it means that something is wrong.

I thought it was interesting that the book said to use a blend of rational and emotional messages. Psychologically it makes sense, but I think that when we are first learning to write, we are taught to mostly focus on factual information, and no fluff. Writing emotional messages will usually draw an audience, and as long as the article remains factual I think it is a great strategy for my current writing style.

I think that the diffusion of innovations theory will help me most professionally. It is important to understand how the public may or may not adopt ideas. Since its our job to communicate with the public, an understanding of the process that can make or break that process is crucial.

Essays on Animals

The way that people write about animals reveals a great deal about the person.  People tend to reflect their own emotions and human characteristics onto the animals, and the anthropomorphism that occurs almost always has less to do with the animals than it does with the humans.  After reading two essays focused on animals, “Dog Story” by Adam Gopnik and “Making Peace” by Barbara Kingsolver, I realize that there are several common threads between the works as well as many significant differences.

While the tales of the two writers vary in the nature of the animals they discuss – Kingsolver writes about wild animals in the desert, and Gopnik writes about a (sometimes wild) domesticated animal – both essays explore the relation of humans to animals.  The two authors began their journey into the realm of animals with different perspectives on animals.  Gopnik begins his essay by openly admitting to his initial reluctance towards dog ownership.  Conversely, Kingsolver has a romanticized view of nature, writing, “When I left downtown Tucson to make my home in the desert, I went, like Thoreau ‘to live deliberately.’”  She writes of her surprise at the dispositions and tendencies of the fauna native to her new home.

Both “Dog Story” and “Making Peace” employ humor in cases of assigning human characteristics to the animals that they describe.  After describing the position that many hold of dogs being pack animals, Gopnik writes, “Dogs…are domesticated animals, and to treat them as though they were still in a pack rather than long adapted to a subservient role in a human family is as absurd as treating a child as though it were ‘really’ still a primate living in a tree.”  By equating dogs to children, as he does throughout the essay, Gopnik seeks to gain the readers’ support of dogs through connections to the parent-child relationship, the same connection that helped Butterscotch, his dog, win his heart.

Although it is to convey a starkly different point, Kingsolver uses the same technique of humorous human to animal comparisons in her essay.  She writes, “’Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin,’ thought they, apparently, in what passes for thought within those bony skulls,” and that “the victim paused for half an instant midgobble and sniffed the air as if to ask, Was that a change in the weather?”  Here, Kingsolver depicts the pigs as belligerent and stubborn and nearly snarky humans.  It is much easier for humans to hate animals that they can assign unfavorable human characteristics to than those seen as defenseless and speechless stolid creatures.

Both of the essays rely on anecdotes to acts as bookends for the pieces.  Gopnik begins his essay and ends it with tale of Butterscotch, and Kingsolver opens and closes her piece with her experience with the desert pigs.  Although both of the authors rely on scientific research to bolster their points, they integrate the proof into their own narrative quite differently.  While Gopnik supports his argument with direct quotations from books about dogs, Kingsolver relays the information largely through paraphrases of the studies she has read and professors she has heard.

Adam Gopnik and Barbara Kingsolver take similar approaches to their essays about animals, “Dog Story” and “Making Peace,” respectively.  In order to gain the interest and sympathy of their audiences, both authors use anecdotes to soften the blow of and make more interesting their scientific arguments, and these anecdotes often rely on humorous anthropomorphizing of animals.

Summarize Public Relations Writing Advice

I loved how one of the articles read highly suggested to blog more in order to help your writing skills. That is exactly what this class is having us do. I cannot wait to see where my writing goes from here on after knowing that piece of information. Another article urges writers to know their audience before writing any piece. I have been told this in my Principles of Communication class, so it is good to know this will pertain to my job for the rest of my life. Lastly, it was suggested to present information in small, bite-sized pieces. Americans can be overwhelmed easily, so it is important to present information to your audience so to not be overbearing. When reading, I came across a tip I had never thought much about, become an excellent reader. My dad is a huge reader and tried to get me to read growing up, but it never stuck with me. I now see where it could be of great use to me. Reading helps enhance your vocabulary, helps creativity flow, and especially helps you learn more in general. Even just reading the tabloids in the checkout line, or reading the headlines on Yahoo News can help you become a better writer. I was pleasantly surprised to read this tip, and will take this into consideration of my everyday actions. These articles gave me great advice of how to be a better writer. From here on out, I am going to blog more. Not just for this class, but about my everyday life, what I learned at Bible study that day or even write creative stories. It is important for myself to keep writing every day no matter how long or short the piece.

6 Recommendations That Will Make Your PR Writing Great in 2016, Jeff Opperman, http://www.prnewsonline.com/subscription/2016/01/11/6-recommendations-that-will-make-your-pr-writing-great-in-2016-great-writing-is-about-your-audience-not-you/

Blogging keeps writing skills sharp, Howard Solomon, http://www.prweek.com/article/1268697/blogging-keeps-writing-skills-sharp

Tips for better writing, telling stories via online video, more
Read more at http://www.prweek.com/article/1252696/tips-better-writing-telling-stories-via-online-video#HjUvi1pYiK7W0vuI.99, Beth Krietsch, http://www.prweek.com/article/1252696/tips-better-writing-telling-stories-via-online-video

Writing Advice

When researching tips on how to better my PR writing, I was able to find different articles that brought up good points in writing that I would not have thought of on my own. The first article I found was “Tips for better writing, telling stories via online video, more.” The article mainly talks on you have to do your research about what it is that you are writing about. It also talks about the importance of knowing which audience you are writing to. You are not going to use the same wording for something that is going in a news paper as something that is being written for television. At the end of this article it speaks about personalizing one’s message so that the media source receiving it can picture how people will except the story. The next article I found was named “6 Recommendations That Will Make Your PR Writing Great in 2016.” The six recommendations given are all very helpful. The ones that stuck out to me the most were remembering that writing isn’t about you, and become a storyteller. Remembering that writing is not about myself is a tip that I feel could be very useful for many writers. There is an audience other than yourself making it important to think about what they think will be interesting to read or things they would like to know other than keeping with what you always want to write about and what you think is interesting. The tip saying ‘Become a Storyteller’ intrigued me because I never saw PR writing as a story.Stories connect to people making them more interested in what they are reading. Being able to tell a story in whatever you are writing shows progress in someones writing and is impressive. The last article that I am going to discuss is “5 Brainstorming Techniques for Better PR Writing.” The article is a good read for people who are beginning their PR career. The first tip says put pen to paper. With our electronically based society sometimes our minds get distracted while trying to write on our electronic devices. By closing everything and putting it away, a person can put their mind on paper without many distractions. One of the best pieces of advice in this article is write down questions that people have about the certain topic and try your best to answer these questions whether it be from your own insight or from the insight of others. The tips that talked about in this blog post were ones who stood out to me that I feeling I could put towards my everyday writing.

‘Tips for better writing, telling stories via online video, more’
Beth Krietsch
http://www.prweek.com/article/1252696/tips-better-writing-telling-stories-via-online-video
‘6 Recommendations That Will Make Your PR Writing Great in 2016′
Jeff Opperman
http://www.prnewsonline.com/subscription/2016/01/11/6-recommendations-that-will-make-your-pr-writing-great-in-2016-great-writing-is-about-your-audience-not-you/
5 Brainstorming Techniques for Better PR Writing
Julie Ellis
http://www.prnewsonline.com/water-cooler/2015/10/19/5-brainstorming-techniques-for-better-pr-writing/

Essays on Animals.

In the foothills of the age of technology it is easy to lose appreciation for the strength of our connection with animals and the environment. It isn’t any wonder when you consider humankind has spent the last eleven thousand years slowly removing its self from the natural world. Little by little, over the last several millennia, we have been amassing a collection of unnatural junk that surrounds and separates us from our kin of the Earth. From artificially evolving plants and pets, fruits and veg, to wearing clothes, building houses and driving cars, it seems like we lost interest in what comes naturally a long time ago. In both “Dog Story” and “Making Peace” the authors do a fantastic job of exploring our current relationships with animals and the environment, as well as providing insight into how we arrived at these relatively new, and now commonplace, perspectives. They do this through features of fine writing.

I found similarities in Gopnik’s and Kingsolver’s use of organization and structure. Both essays start with strong narratives in which they present to the reader their original views on a particular matter. Gopnik expresses his disdain for dogs, and Kingsolver, her disdain for the pigs causing a ruckus on her property. They then both present a question – after warming up to his family’s puppy, Butterscotch, Gopnik asks how a dog, that so obviously shares traits with wild beasts, can be so eager to suck up to humans; and after giving up on the pigs taking notice of her attempts to signify to them her property, Kingsolver wonders how humans ended up with a sense of property in the first place. After the questions have be fully explored the authors return to their narrative tones and conclude with changed perspectives of their original views. Gopnik ends by saying that he does not know how anyone could live without a dog, reflecting his newly found respect for the relationship between humans and dogs. Kingsolver resolves to write that permanent property is a human made idea that is owned no respect from the creatures of the wild, no matter how much effort she puts into planting her flowers.

With strong support and elaboration, the authors are able to answer these big questions. By referencing scientific studies and literature their essays become both entertaining and informative. It is in the quality of their research that these features work for the authors. Gopnik writes about dogs evolving from wolves through an achieved co-dependence with humans: Dogs get easy food from humans, humans get love from dogs. Kingsolver writes about the evolution of the idea of property, which sprouted from the trading of food and the advent of agriculture.

Another strong feature of both essays is the style of the writers. They use precise language that conveys their messages in little words. They use great metaphors and imagery to build a connection with the reader, allowing them to feel and empathize. One image that stuck with me was Gopnik’s reference to twenty-six thousand year old footprints in the Chauvet cave, France. Dating back to the time of the last ice age, well before the dawn of so called civilization, a young child’s foot steps are matched stride for stride by a canine. Together, imprinted in the Earth, they span time – shedding light on the strength of the relationship between our two species and the life in nature we left behind. It is one that endures today, even if we don’t stop to appreciate it from behind the walls of all our unworldly possessions.

 

 

Typography

I thought the shoot the serif game was fun. At first I was pretty bad at it but the more I played it the better I was at identifying the serif. I would say I do not know anything about typography so this game was helpful with identification with a time limit.

I found Type Connection to be informative. This site had a lot of information about different typography and I was able to learn which pairs went together and which did not. I think I will study this site further to learn more about different typography.

Type War was an easy way to see how well you knew different typography. At first I did well but then I started to do not so well. I find these typographies difficult to distinguish and I will need to keep practicing to learn more about the different styles.

 

Overall I found these games to be extremely helpful and I plan to keep practicing with them so I can learn more about the different typographies. This will also help with pairing different ones together with projects we will have.

 

 

 

 

 

Typography

I am a competitive person so these typography games were right up my ally. I really enjoyed Kern Type and Type War. I was low-key obsessed with Type War though… When I found out extra credit was involved if you got to Level 10 I was hooked. We were given permission to cheat. So, I pulled up Word and typed all the fonts out. I got to Level 10 in less than an hour so I am still proud of my cheatin’ self. What stunk the most about this was I would get a really good streak going, which would make me nervous, and I second guessed myself. I got 76 in a row correct though! I love Type War.Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 1.12.29 PM

Design Blitz

Color- This business card stands out to me from other business cards I have received at networking functions because of its unique light blue color. This color is the companies main color and is also used with their website with fonts and other elements. I find this color to be a unique color to use and makes the company more identifiable. When I have a stack of business cards the white and cream colored ones go unnoticed when this blue and white card is in the mix. I feel like colors stand out to be more than other elements on signs, business cards and other objects.

Tyography- This is lipstick that comes in liquid form at first and dries to become a matte lipstick. The color is called melted and the typography grabbed my attention. The brand is Too Faced and it is written in a simple cursive. I researched the brand and the typography used for the brand name is called kuenstler script black. The main typography that sticks out to me is the “melted” word that is in the middle of the tube. This typography is black and has a smudged element to it, making it appear a bit smudged. I like this play onto the name and I think it has a great look to it.

Balance-To use a business card as an example again, this business card has a balance to it. This balance has each of their social media outlets put into a corner of the card. It tells the person with the card whichsocial media sites they can be found on. The logos are the same size and each have their own corner. The companies website is in the middle of the card. The user name for Twitter and YouTube are to the side of the logo on the bottom. This adds a balance to the bottom of the card as the user name is not just beside on logo but both. The top has space between the logos, which looks balanced. And the sides are equally balanced as well.

Minimalism- The NFL ad is just simply showing the NFL logo. It is against a black background so the logo is the only thing the viewers eyes go to. The logo is also in the middle of the page so it is the only thing to look at. It is simple and it is functional.

Dominance- This is a body spray bottle and the golden flower on the bottle is much larger than anything else on the bottle. The flower dominates the bottle and it is what your eyes are drawn to first. This flower also wraps around the entire bottle and almost connects in the back. It gives the bottle a nice design feature and at quick glance it can be all you see. The text appears very small in comparison to it.

Chapter 1: What is Public Relations Writing?

Three things I found interesting in this chapter were…

  1. People get public relations, marketing, and advertising mixed up. The goal of public relations is to build goodwill and an understanding of organizational goals with their different publics so the organization cam operate smoothly in a cooperative , conflict-free environment. The goal of advertising is to distract customers and the goal of marketing is economic exchange.
  2. Adoption of an idea starts with awareness of the idea and then developing an interest in it, which is where PR writing plays a significant role. The next steps, evaluation and trial, are more influenced by face-to-face communication and personal experience. The last step is adoption of the idea.
  3. Public relations professionals use persuasion all the time. They have to be honest in order to keep the trust people have in their organization.

Advertising and PR is different because advertising pays for their media, and public relations is free media. Anyone can use the press releases and make them into a newspaper article. This made me think of PR writing in a new way because you can’t control how other people use your writing.

The five-step adoption process is very applicable in professional writing. When I get an internship or a job somewhere, I am going to remember this as I write press releases so I can make sure I do my best to persuade my audience.

The adoption process also is useful in my current writing because on my blog, I talk about different opinions I have about topics and sometimes my purpose is to persuade them to think the same way I do.