Archive for April 2008

I try not to get political but….

April 25, 2008

I know this isn’t a political blog, but I wrote an op-ed piece for my Journalism class and thought I’d post it up here and see if it got any reactions.

Hilary Clinton took shots at Barak Obama for his comments at a closed San Francisco fundraiser, where he said he couldn’t blame small town, economically distressed voters who “cling to” guns and religion, then went out and tried to show her sympathies for those controversial subjects herself.

On Saturday, Clinton shared childhood memories of shooting lessons her father gave her, and said at the Compassion forum that since she was a child, she’s felt the “enveloping” love of God and that, on many occasions, she’s felt the Holy Spirit has been with her as she took her “journey.” So while criticizing Obama for assertions that working class Americans turn to guns and religion, she then assumes that his statement is true when trying to appeal to those same working class Americans, by trying to show that she likes guns and religion.

Then, to top it off, after branding Obama an elitist, she stops at a local bar to down a shot of whiskey, hoist a beer and eat a slice of pizza – again to show how similar to hard working Americans she is. Does she really think voters will believe this is an everyday event for her? Hilary, after a lengthy debate about what she should take a shot of, went with Canadian Crown Royal. She does it so often she didn’t even know what she liked to have.

Who is really the elitist: The candidate who makes the statement about the people, or the candidate who thinks that taking those stereotyped views and appealing to them will make her more likable?

When we view Obama’s comments in context, as reported by the Huffington Post, he was actually talking about how small town voters have slipped through the cracks.

He said that “they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not,” Obama reportedly continued. “It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

He was trying to say that he recognized there was a problem in these small towns and that he wanted to make things better for them. Hilary, by mocking his comments but trying to appeal to the same sentiments he is recognizing, seems to be saying it’s all going fine for these people – hey she’s just like them and it seems she’s doing well enough…

Finally, as Jon Stewart on the Daily Show said, what’s wrong with an elitist president? Shouldn’t the president be smarter then most Americans? If a candidate doesn’t think they know better then the rest of us, what are they doing running?

Americans have had an average Joe in the White House for too long. Bush is definitely not “elite” (though he may think himself to be). Don’t we want a change?

Advertising yourself: resume and cover letter

April 1, 2008

Reading my textbook for the class I’m taking on Writing for the Media this week I realized how much writing a cover letter is really advertising for yourself. We were doing a section on ads, and had to write copy platforms – for a advertising campaign.

When you’re looking for a job, that becomes your advertising campaign. You are advertising yourself – so you should keep in mind all the things that ‘sell’ you. Basically, you should create a copy platform for yourself.

Unless you’ve studied marketing, that probably doesn’t help you much. So heres the break down:

A copy platform is, according to our text book, “a way of getting ideas and information of an advertising situation down on paper and of organizing those ideas in such a way that effective advertising copy can be produced from them.”

It is putting down on paper:

  • The Ad subject (You)
  • The Ad problem (getting you a job)
  • The product characteristics (in a few short bullet points, your best selling points with facts and details included – what you have to offer in a much shorter version then your resume)
  •  Ad objective (getting you a job),
  • Market (types of places you’re applying)
  •  Competition (things other people that are applying don’t have or are unlikely to have that you do – you’re advantage),
  • A statement of benefit or appeal (the one or 2 TOP points, things you are offering a potential employer)
  • Creative theme (come up with your own slogan or maing selling point)
  • Supportive selling points (again, selling points but put in a way that can is short and precise)

The entire piece should still be less then a page. I’ve attached one I did for myself as an example. I think that doing one of these before going in for an interview would help set in your mind exactly what you want to convey to the potential employer. You want to make sure all this information comes across clearly in your cover letter and that it is part of your (much broader ) resume. Then, when you sit down for an interview, you can hit all your points and ‘sell yourself’ to your interviewer. It will make you come across as confident and organized and, if you do a good job, they will be ‘sold’ on your product – yourself.

Copy Platform

Our text book is : Writing for the Mass Media by James Glen Stovall

Other Relevant Posts:
How To Write a Resume
How To Write a Cover Letter