TOPW 6A: Podcasts for PR People

Allie Osmar of The Creative Career does us a solid in her podcast interview on how to network effectively at events, with Sandy Jones-Kaminsky, author and blogger of I’m at a Networking Event – Now What??? A Guide To Getting The Most of Any Networking Event, and, respectively.

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In this interview, Sandy highlights certain points that can help people recognize and execute behavior that is effective in networking, while being aware of ineffective behavior that can alienate people. Crucial points include:

  • “The Nametag Scan” describes self-serving behavior such as allowing your attention to be drawn away from a conversation at hand by someone wearing a nametag from a prestigious company who you think can offer better opportunities. This is rude behavior that can alienate the person you are talking to and possibly others.
  • DO NOT push your personal success pitch unto other people. Many people tend to get overexcited and end up talking their way through a conversation, which is awkward for others.
  • DO attend events, intent on offering other people help with whatever social capital you might have.
  • DO find the host, thank them and introduce yourself. Chances are, they will introduce you to someone who you can talk to.
  • DO smile, introduce yourself and and include other people into conversations.
  • DO refer people you know to other people who might need help with certain work.
  • DO follow up. The follow up is as important as first impressions.

Yikes, where do we even begin?

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PR podcasts such as this one can be very beneficial to PR students as well as PR practitioners, regardless of experience. These podcasts not only offer relatable advice about skills that may be required at work, oftentimes these skills are applicable to life in general and can increase the quality of daily life activities. In this podcast with Sandy for instance, the points she brings up don’t just apply to people who are new at networking events, but they are advice for people to be better listeners and communicators in general.

Listening to podcasts can greatly increase awareness about the skills that are required to be a successful PR person, especially for those who are new. There are so many aspects of PR that require honing of specific skills, and can be daunting to practitioners who are inexperienced. Expertise and advice are often shared on very specific topics during podcast interviews, with the goal of educating people about what they might face as PR people, or even helping them solve certain problems. PR happens to be a muscle, the more you work at it the better you can get, but of course not without trial and error. Experience is necessary for quick thinking and eventual success, and podcasts may just very well be a stepping stone towards that goal.

-By Sandra Woo


PR BUZZ – A Daring Step from Palestine

You can count, literally, the number of female entrepreneurs in Middle East… You can.

It is not easy at all to become an entrepreneur or break through certain industries or even to be a part of them. Perhaps that’s why there are a few rebels who are challenged to break through and achieve their dreams. 

BOLD KNOT is a company that was established by Lama Mansour, a Palestine business development consultant and her co-founder, Ismat Tuffaha.They met at university and started work on one startup but found it too difficult to grow the business there because of border restrictions where they lived. Bold Knot is their second attempt at a startup.

 Until now, it is not easy to be a woman entrepreneur in general due to many factors such as political context, the lack of infrastructure and border restrictions. The number of women entrepreneurs in Lebanon and Palestine is relatively low, with the majority of women-owned businesses operating in the informal sector and mainly in rural areas. Facing challenges such as cultural constraints and a lack of access to training and financial services, these women struggle to participate in the formal economy.

The Bold Knot is a neatly designed top-up battery pack and it aims to prevent smartphone users from running out of battery towards the end of the day. Plug it in and your beloved handset will get a fuel injection (equivalent to three hours!!!

Economic conditions for Palestinians entrepreneurs remain hugely challenging.

A World Bank report published this week warned that the economy of the Gaza Strip, the other Palestinian territory, is on the verge of collapse, with unemployment set to reach a staggering 44 per cent, following last year’s 50-day conflict with Israel.

“It is very restricted because of the occupation so it is difficult to import any necessary components from outside the country.”

The more challenge it is, the more daring people will become and brings more chaos BUT it is also important to remember to make the society better and richer by being innovative. Here, gender discrimination should not disturb the society and country.

No matter what, entrepreneurship and social situations can be inter-related.

-by Grace Cho

[TOPW 6] What did we learn from Blogs

Blog writing is very different from academic writing. It does not require formats and rules to writing. Some may say that blog writing is merely creativity and some may say that it’s a mixture of creativity and facts. Blog writing in actual fact can be anything the blogger wants it to be.

As for our blog, it is a mixture of opinions, facts and creativity. What I have learned from blog writing is doing proper research. Research is really important when one wants to put up information in any forms of media. It is very important that the information up is ready for viewing and contains actual facts. One would not want to put up information that confuses people or sends the wrong message to people. Thus, doing proper primary and secondary research is vital in blog writing. I have learned the proper methods of research.

Following research, I have learned a lot from doing research and blog writing in terms of knowledge. I am a lot more knowledgeable now and I do feel that the information that I know now is more in-depth and current. I am aware of the happenings around the world in terms of facts and politics. The knowledge that I have gotten definitely is informative and has made me a more informative person.

One of the most amazing benefits that I’ve gained from blog writing would be a tremendous improvement in my writing skills. No one wants information up his or her blog that’s poor in terms of grammar and sentence structure. Thus writing from writing this blog I have improved my writing skills. From research and lots of reading I now know the basics of writing which is all anyone needs to be a blog writer. Blog writing needs to be simple in terms of language as the target audience may not necessarily be good in English. Also with this, I have learned the skills to deliver a message in an effective method – not being too long-winded and more precise.

Writing for this blog also cleared this clutter from my mind. I got to somewhat express myself. This blog writing has really helped me a lot. I feel a lot wiser and knowledgeable now. I notice the increase of knowledge and growth in myself. I would definitely recommend blog writing to everyone. It is not only interesting but helps you to grow as a person and an individual.

-but Cindy Do

PR Buzz: Kim Kardashian – From Amateur Porn to Fashion Empire

Kim Kardashian, as we know it, has single-handedly changed her family’s reputation as the poorest of the rich to the richest of the rich in Beverley Hills. Her start in being a celebrity was not all the glamor and high-fashion as we see today. She entered the industry known only as Paris Hilton’s friend, or as Paris says, Kim Kardashian was her assistant. Now, Kim herself has a net worth of $USD 85 million.

Her shot to fame skyrocketed immediately as a sex video of her and ex-boyfriend, rapper Ray J, was leaked onto the Internet. As she gained popularity with the tabloids, E! cable channel approached her and her family to star in a reality television show featuring the Kardashian family. From here on, Kim and her family were given public relation agents to represent the family. She has been starring in Keeping Up with the Kardashians for more than six years and within those six years she has been through a major public relations overhaul from being a lowly stylist to the stars to owning her own empire. There are a number of things she did to change her image, such as:

  1. Sex Sells

As we all know, she gained her moment to fame with an amateur porn video she made with Ray J. Since then, although she has not starred in any more porn films, but she has been featured in nude in a number of high fashion magazines such as Playboy, Paper Mag, Love Magazine, and GQ. By constantly making headlines in the tabloids for her nude magazine shoots, she is inadvertently making money and staying in eyes of the media.

  1. Social Media

Kim Kardashian is probably one of the pioneers at using social media. She has close to 37.7 million Instagram followers and 25.4 million twitter followers. She is in constant engagement with her friends via Instagram and Twitter. Forbes has recently mentioned that a part of Kim’s capital comes from social media as she is paid by a number of brands to promote their brand to her many followers and fans. Now, we are constantly updated about her life through photos of her events, daughter, and her infamous selfies.

  1. Transparency

The one aspect of the Kardashian family that brought them fans from all around the world is the transparency into their lives. Keeping Up With The Kardashians shows their audience the struggles the family had to go through even though they are rich and famous. Their struggles as a family such as Kim’s failed relationships, Kourtney’s issues with her husband, Rob’s weight gain struggle, Khloe’s divorce with Lamar Odom, Kendall and Kylie’s awkward teenage years, and most recently, Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner. There are not dirty laundries with the Kardashian family since they air out their laundry for everyone to see. When the audience are able to relate to any one of them or their struggles, they are more inclined to keep up with the Kardashians.

  1. Brand Management

Kim Kardashian has insured that her name will stay in the media for years to come by having a number of deals with many fashion brands. She and he sisters also have their own clothing line that is being sold in major department stores such as Sears and Macy’s.

  1. Marriage and other events

Kim’s marriages to both Kris Humphries and Kanye West have brought her major publicities with a number of media. She builds the anticipation of the public by announcing events that she has planned such as weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, and many others.

In a nutshell, Kim Kardashian follows a simple PR rule –‘There is no such thing as bad publicity’. As long as she is the talk of the public, she will continue to gain momentum to build her empire for herself and her family. She has gone through a number of struggles with publicity, but as her life is public for everyone to see, she has also been trained over a number of years to deal with publicity disasters easily.

by Iyesha Jamaludin

[TOPW 5 #2] Grammar NAZI

When you hear ‘Grammar Girl’, what are the things come to your mind? I asked myself, ‘Is this another ‘Grammar Nazi’ that we need to know about?’ There are so many grammar mistakes in our daily conversations and someone has been educating people in her own ways to approach and rectify the mistakes and grammar faults.

Universal LanguageEnglish has been gaining more popularity and attention for decades.

A Quick and Dirty Success

by Mignon Fogarty

Who is this Grammar Girl that many people have been talking about? What has she been doing and it looks like a lot of people are following her. Just, look at her Facebook page and 539,000 likes on the page and still counting!!!

“I like to think that even when you see people writing sloppy things on Facebook that deep down they really do know the rules, and if they were taking more care, they could do it right. That is what I saw with my students, too. I was happily thrilled with the quality of the papers they turned in. On their day-to-day assignments, they have been sloppier, but when they took the time to sit down and work on what they viewed as an important paper, the quality of the writing really went up. I think that is true on social media.”

I went to her website/blog and found out quite refreshing knowledge and information about ‘My grammar mistakes’ and unconsciously these are the parts that I’ve been using since I spoke English!


Have you ever wondered or noticed why people get confused between ‘Congratulations‘ and ‘Congradulations‘? Which one is correct? As simple as it may sound, it is undeniable that these two terms do make people confused, including me. At first I found no wrong in these two and thought I could use these two – just like how we do have ‘American‘ and  ‘British‘ pronunciations and spellings. Wrong!, Grace!! and that led me to think, how about ‘Graduated from college‘ or ‘Graduated college‘?
To answer the second question, it is correct to use ‘from’ after ‘graduated’ – the preposition ‘from’ is important to remember!

Okay Now… Back to the first Question, CongrGrammar Girl says...atulations vs Congradulations. 

It occurred when I was writing my wishes on a card for my friend and at one point, I stopped and thought which one is correct to spell between these two. Then I ‘googled’ and found out that Congratulations is the one that we use. WELL, if you read the article from Grammar Girl blog, it says…

Congratulations, comes from Latin. The gratulations part comes from gratulari, which means “to give thanks or express joy,” and when you add the con part you get the full Latin meaning: “to wish joy.” 

How about Graduate???

Gratulari comes from the Latin word gratus, which also gives us the words grace and gratitude. So those three words—congratulations, grace, and gratitude—are all related.

Graduate, on the other hand, comes from a different Latin word: graduatus, which means “to take a degree.” Through Latin, the word graduate is related the word grade.

It just happened that these two words have the similar pronunciations in the middle.


Do you know the difference between ‘Almost’ and ‘Most’? 

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Why is there ‘A’ and ‘L’ in front of ‘Most’ and make people confused what to use!?!?! Why can’t it be simple to ‘Most’??? Questions after Questions. This is one part that drove Grammar Girl crazy as well. She gave an example,

‘Most every politician believes the president,’

What do you think? Does it make a sense? But apparently, this is not a correct sentence – clearly Grammatically Incorrect! and logically nonsensical!! Then what is the right way of saying it?

Either, MOST politicians or EVERY politician—two different subsets of politicians and the Grammar Girl says,

I believe that what the users of this phrase are actually intending to say is ‘ALMOST every,’ which makes perfect sense.

Why do people get confused between these two and where did these originate from? According to the grammar girl,

The phrase most every does arise from people shortening almost to most, which clearly seems to change the meaning. I found many admonitions against such usage in books from the early 1900s, and a few in my more recent usage books. The usage notes at explain that using most to mean “almost” arose in 16th century England, and is common in informal speech but rare in edited text.

Nowadays, there are many short terms, jargons and slangs that older generations find quite hard to communicate and many words have evolved progressively – hope younger generations learn to find right ways to use English to write better as well as communicate better.

These two points above are something we use quite often – there are a lot more to discover and explore what we have been using incorrectly. 🙂

– Grace Cho

Passion for Fashion

Nowadays, the number of fashion designer has increased from one year to another. Although there were many leading designers, Tom Abang Saufi’s reputation has slowly emerge to be the best one of the finest in Kuala Lumpur. Born in the land of Kuching, Sarawak as Tom Abang Saufi decided to leave her hometown when she was 18 years old to pursue her dreams in Kuala Lumpur. She just finished form six since she had an offer by Malaysia Airlines as a stewardess. I“went to the interview right after my exams without telling my family and I was immediately offered a job.” Said the bubbly designer.

Tom Abang Saufi, the Star 2014

Tom Abang Saufi, the Star 2014

After that,she gotten into so much trouble that her father eventually agreed to let her go for the training session in Kuala Lumpur. At that moment, going to Kuala Lumpur was like a big holiday rather than escape for her. She was placed in the Merlin hotel and back then it was the hottest spot in Kuala Lumpur because it is where very important people meet.

With her colorful personality, no wonder she managed to build quick relationship with friends after she landed here in the 1970’s. At the age of 22 she met her husband during her two years stayed as a stewardess and got married since then. After several years of marriage, she had had signed up for six month fashion course in London while she was 28. She got bored being a housewife and started to realized that she has passion for fashion. So then she pursue her dreams and left her 2 children back in Kuala Lumpur with her husband and relatives. After graduating she flew back to Kuala Lumpur and started her clothing line ever since.

Models showing one of the Malaysian designers’ collections at Le Pre Catelan in Paris. — Bernama

Models showing one of the Malaysian designers’ collections at Le Pre Catelan in Paris. — Bernama

Recently turn 56, Tom has her very own boutique in Jalan Eaton Kuala Lumpur and was announce the most creative designer in the year of 2000. She knew that growing her business in Kuala Lumpur is one major decision because back then in the 90’s there were limited source of information and education in Sarawak. “We didn’t have television when I was growing up, so my childhood revolved around the museum. There were so many different kinds of garments from the various ethnic groups in Sarawak, and there were beads and fabrics in every design. They also had these beautiful stuffed birds in every color imaginable. I also grew up with wild orchids and kingfishers in my garden. I didn’t have to venture out to find them; it was  all smack in my face.” In addition, not only she has a boutique in Malaysia but also in Paris where most of the time it is in charge by her daughter.

On the contrary, not only she’s involve in the fashion industry but also  busy in some of charity work.Some of the Charity that she had organized past years are such Force of Nature in 2008,Islamic Fashion Festival 2009, Songket Ball 2009 and many more. She believes that it is an honor for her to help others and spread her love for modern tradtional pieces.

Dato  Raja Rezza requesting the SULTAN OF PAHANG to present the tokens of appreciation in KLIFS 2009

Dato Raja Rezza requesting the SULTAN OF PAHANG to present the tokens of appreciation in KLIFS 2009

To sum up, it was not an easy life for her when she moved to Kuala Lumpur because back then she doesn’t know anyone and any place to go. Even though she comes from a small village in Sarawak, she had successful survived in the big city. The reason she had made this far was because of her pure  effort plus passion that kept her going. All she wanted to do is make eveyone feel be proud of where they come from and never forget their roots. Even though she married a foreigner that does not makes her forget where she comes from.


Everything about her manner is unguarded and complicit. She is generous with sweet if wildly far-fetched compliments and her sentences are often completed with a gesture or expression, so that it feels as if her whole body is making conversation… 

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Carla Bruni is a former First Lady of France and a well-known former super model. She was born in Turin, Italia. She is a daughter of of Italian concert pianist Marisa Borini and industrialist and classical composer Alberto Bruni Tedeschi.

Carla entered the world of modeling just behind the first wave of supermodels—Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista.   At her height in the 90s, Carla Bruni was in the top tier of supermodels, with 250 magazine covers and millions of dollars in earnings. Her mother was her manager—“there to help,” says David Brown, who was her agent, “not to cash in.” Carla had a truly regal quality, and designers liked her because she was easy to work with. “She was full of life and wit. She was beyond polite,” says Karl Lagerfeld. “So many, like Linda and Christy, had periods of being moody and difficult. She was always perfect.” Designer Jean Paul Gaultier agrees: “She’s clever, super well educated, and much focused. She is like the heroine of a book or a movie.

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For more than twenty years, Carla Bruni has been known as the most beautiful woman in the world. Besides her career as a top super model in fashion, Carla Bruni used to a headline news for high-profile relationship with Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Donald Trump.

In 2008, she met France president Nicolas Sarkozy and the couple fell in love from the first sight.  “It was love at first sight. I must say, we left the dinner party together. People were like… (laughs) and we got married three months after” said Carla Bruni in an interview on a T.V show on CNBC.  Carla Bruni met Nicolas Sarkozy for the first blind date on November and became France’s First Lady when they got married three months after that. 

Regardless of rumors, Carla Bruni proved the rumors wrong by completing a mission as a First Lady of Elysee Palace and staying side by side next to her dearly husband Nicolas Sarkozy. She brought Sarkozy a great angel as a lifetime’s gift. Giulia, Sarkozy and Carla Bruni’s daughter was born two years ago.


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Apart from being beautiful, powerful, famous and rich, Carla Bruni has a sweet warm and unique voice.  Voila! Carla Bruni can sing. She released her first album “Quelqu’un M’a Dit” (in English, “Someone Told Me”) in 2002 followed by No Promises in 2007.If Ella Fitzgerald was known as the First Lady of Song, Carla Bruni is the singer- songwriter of a first ladies. Her songs are often very simple, slow but cute. Carla Bruni wrote a new song in 2013 call “Little French Song” and it became very popular in France after releasing. Well, if you have some small baguettes, some cheese and some rose wine on the lovely sunny weekend, Carla Bruni’s songs can be a very good complimentary.

Since becoming first lady, following her wedding to Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, the French-Italian model, who has several nude photographs, has turned herself into the embodiment of a refined and elegant first lady in the mold of Jackie Kennedy. She preferred modest suits and sheath dresses, mostly from Dior, for daytime. In fact, critics applauded her when she chose to wear Dior to her first visit to the UK as first lady. By choosing to wear a French label designed then by the Brit John Galliano, her fashion choice couldn’t have been more politically and sartorially correct. And she looked the part of a style icon too.  For formal evening state functions, she wore long, lean gowns that were cut to perfection, often unadorned and very understated. Why would she go for glitzy beadwork and all sorts of accessories when she has the carriage and svelte body of a model? Her fashion choices were about cut, silhouette, and proportions


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Unlike her American counterpart Michelle Obama, Bruni preferred colors that were neutral, if slightly somber

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In my opinion, Carla Bruni brought a great impression as a First Lady in French soil.  Her talents, her taste of fashion, her background are a good combination that created a very unique Carla Bruni. She’s kinda cool First Lady.