Writing Effectively

More fun content will be posted soon, but for now, let’s talk grammar!

Writing with Clarity

Being a PR professional, I have to learn how to articulate my thoughts clearly. Here is an example of a reallllly bad PR mess up and how to fix it.

Poor: I love having brunch at the most crowded times of the day such as 1 p.m.

Better: I love having brunch during the crowded time of 1 p.m.

Reducing Clutter

Again, being concise and eliminating fluff is extremely important for a public relations writer. Here is an example of when to cut to the chase.

Poor: Not any of the seven cats laying in the bed by the window are sleeping peacefully. 

Better: None of the seven cats laying in the bed was asleep.

Sentence Variety

Combing sentences that are unnecessarily wordy into a nice, simple sentence is important for all writers. Here is an example of how to nicely combine sentences.

Poor: All of the animals in the zoo were rowdy. They were jumping around and wailing.

Better: All of the zoo animals were jumping around and wailing.

Sentence Emphasis

Making sure the right pieces are in the right places is necessary for making assertive claims. If the information isn’t aligned properly, the meaning or message could get skewed. In paraphrases, the person attribution comes behind the quote and makes sure that said/says is after the speaker’s classification. Here is an example of correct/clean paraphrasing.

Poor: Hannah Claire stated Wednesday that the murder crime scene was a horrendous sight to see during her lunch hour.

Better: The murder scene was a horrendous sight during her lunch hour, Hannah Claire said.


Thanks for learning something today (hopefully!) Talk to you soon!

– Haley C.



Let’s Get #Social

Alas, Fall 2017! It’s a new start at Gaylord Hall with one of my favorite topics as a class, Social Media Marketing. And just to make it better, it’s taught by no one other than my old boss, Candace, from OU Web Communications, Marketing, and New Media – who now is the social media director for LegalShield.

Our noble steed, and subject of this project, Sonic.

Our noble steed, and subject of this project, Sonic.

Like always, we hit the ground running and our first assignment is the “Social Media Psyche.” With this, we have to create a Facebook profile for a person, item or character and use their personality, culture and more to create their social media page. For this assignment, I’ve taken on the brave soul, Sonic the Hedgehog.

As stated in our assignment, social media is successful if they build a brand and gets results. On Sonic’s Facebook page, I wanted to make sure that he was interacting heavily with members from his team of allies called, “Team Sonic.” I also wanted to include a post from his number one enemy and shows his team members ganging up on the enemy.

I think it’s important to maintain the same kind of voice throughout the characters. Since the Sonic brand is geared towards kids, I aimed to be elementary with my word-choice.

I also found it super important to include a photo with every post. We know, as social media marketers, that people like pictures and videos, and not just a load of text. With all the articles posted to Sonic’s wall, I included a photo and an accurate caption so it would easily depict what was going on in the post.

As learned much earlier, and reminded of this summer, I think it’s important to give credit where credit is due. So thank you, Candace, for teaching me these wise social media tactics as your intern, and letting me put into play as your student. Here we go, fall 2017!

What drives my interest in media?

My whole life, I’ve loved to tell stories. I remember being ten years old and writing chapters upon chapters of made-up stories about made-up characters and proudly reading them to my family at dinner.

I’ve always been passionate about effectively communicating the things I care about, and as I’ve grown up I’ve learned that I truly love learning new ways to tell peoples’ stories. I love to learn the world around me. I love to learn people– and when I can tell the stories of the people around me in an effective way, it fuels my passion for journalism.

I prioritize relationships — that’s why learning the stories of the people around me makes me excited. The desire to learn people’s stories and tell them in an effective way truly drives my interest in media.

Writing Effectively, Unit 2.1

Writing with clarity– clarity means making your content easy to understand and able to read clearly

Poor: They found the stuffed animal underneath the bed next to the fuzzy slippers.

Better: They found the stuffed animal next to the fuzzy slippers underneath the bed.

Reducing clutter– Try to reduce long clauses to make shorter phrases

Poor: There was literally not one customer in the Sprout’s last night.

Better: Sprout’s didn’t have any customers last night.

Sentence Variety- Using assorted sentence patterns, lengths, and rhythms.

Poor: Marcus High School is being renovated on Tuesday. This is the second time.

Better: Marcus High School, for the second time, is being renovated on Tuesday.

Sentence Emphasis– The simplest way to emphasize something is to tell readers directly that what follows is important.

Poor: President Barack Obama said Monday that the car accident


Type war is a game I’ve played before and I honestly thought it would be much easier because I had previously played. I never truly understood how important typography was because I thought fonts were just there to look pretty. I now work as a marketing coordinator for a marketing and pr firm and I do some graphic design on the side. Working with different fonts is something that I do on a daily basis and matching fonts without knowing the exact name can be tricky. I took this screenshot the third time I played this game this week and I still wasn’t doing very well. This is something that I definitely need to work on because, even though I thought it was silly at first, it truly does help me with what I do every day.


I started playing these new typography games online, per request of my professor as an exercise for the class. To sum up typography, it is essentially the style or appearance of what fonts look like either online or in print. I used to find it fun to experiment with fonts and use expressive fonts based on my moods, but college kids and “professionals” don’t do that…at least without a grade deduction or being deemed a “rookie.”

So, I dove into the games thinking this would be a relatively easy task, I was wrong. Typography is significantly harder to identify the exact typographic you’re looking at, than I arrogantly thought. It’s different then being able to automatically recognize curls or chalkboard fonts, or typography if you will, in your word documents. These “college level” typography games were about identifying serif and sans serif and fine details like the thickness or the length of a letter.

I tried out a few of the games that were listed, to name a few: Shoot the Serif, Type Connection, and Poster Letters.

Shoot the Serif: I throughly enjoyed because I already had an understanding of serif and sans serif fonts from a previous social media job…serif tends to be harder to read on social media platforms.

Type Connection: Fortunately or Unfortunately, I am not currently on any dating apps, which I feel made Type Connection harder for me to not only operate but truly understand the concept of matching, I quickly moved on from this one. I didn’t go on the second date…

Poster Letters: Very cool game. I am a big movie person whether it’s going to the movies or rewatching my favorites over and over only to learn something new every time. So it was time to put my movie knowledge to the test. I wasn’t as successful as I initially thought, but hey, I’m just a beginner in the world of Poster Letters.

If you’re new to typography or merely want a refresher, I would now recommend these games as a UGE help.



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Writing Effectively, Unit 2.1

Throughout this unit in PR writing, I have learned about writing with clarity, reducing clutter, sentence variety and sentence emphasis. This has been interesting because these skills are so important in becoming a good writer. I have constructed examples below to demonstrate what I have learned.

Writing with clarity

Poor: Jim fed the cat food from the dog bowl.

Better:  Jim fed food to the cat from the dog’s bowl. 

Reducing clutter

Poor: Neither of the three students could create complicated designs on the computer program.

Better: The three students couldn’t create designs on the computer.

Sentence variety

Poor: The teacher has written many books on how to use good grammar. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in journalism. 

Better: The teacher, journalism graduate from Stanford, has written many books on how to use good grammar. 

Sentence emphasis

Poor: Sandy’s grandma gave us a series of speeches about how today’s society doesn’t use correct grammar. 

Better:  Today’s society doesn’t use correct grammar, according to Sandy’s grandma’s speeches. 

Hopefully these examples have demonstrated the important of using good writing skills. Thank you for reading.

Writing Effectively

There are several ways to ensure that your writing is effective in both its message and its delivery. Some basic core concepts for effective writing are as follows:

Writing with clarity

This means that a sentence should be clearly written so that it is easily understood.  Here’s an example:

The book was hidden with a broken cover.

The problem with this sentence is we don’t know whether the book has a broken cover or if it is hidden underneath a cover that is broken.

Here is a better version:

The book with a broken cover was hidden.

Reducing clutter

Clutter is the use of unnecessary wording that make a sentence harder to comprehend. Here’s an example followed by a  better version:

The old person who is a man is as old as the hills.

The man is old.

Eliminating redundancies and cliches makes the sentence simpler. It is easily read and sounds better.

Sentence Variety

Not all sentences should sound the same. Differing lengths and styles of sentences can keep a reader intrigued. For example:

Jimmy is old. Jimmy owns a house on the hill. Jimmy hates kids.


Jimmy, the older man who owns a house on the hill, hates kids.

Which would you rather read? It is easier, and more enjoyable, to read one well crafted sentence than three blunted and repetitive sentences.

Sentence Emphasis

Sentence emphasis is the focusing of importance on a word or phrase in a sentence. This importance is usually given to the beginning of the sentence. For example:

The keynote speaker at the UN conference revealed the death toll from the latest missile strike by North Korea.


Death tolls from the latest missile strike by North Korea were revealed at the UN conference by the keynote speaker.

In this case the more important information is quickly given to the reader.

With simple fixes like the ones listed above, your writing will become more readable, without sacrificing brevity or content.





reflection . . .


 Unit 1.3 was titled “Welcome to Bootcamp” which accurately describes this unit. I was asked to watch multiple videos explaining how to understand Photoshop and InDesign. These videos were extremely helpful since these are completely new concepts to me. After watching the videos I was given three assignments, a newspaper markup assignment, a typesetting assignment and a reflection blog post (this!)

I was actually pretty excited to get started on these assignments, I have been wanting to learn how to use InDesign and Photoshop for a few years now. I would say my response was positive and I attempted to just take my time and really focus on what I was asked to do, which turned out to be beneficial for me.

I would describe my reaction to this unit as a little overwhelmed. The typesetting assignment took quite a while to figure out but I managed to learn many tips and tricks from the Lynda videos to complete the assignment.

I think I was at first overwhelmed because I have never taken a class like this before, in high school or college. Everything I have done so far for this course has been new to me, but I am excited to learn more about Photoshop & InDesign and get one step further in my major!