PR Campaigns – The blog

November 20, 2008

The Future of Public Relations

Filed under: Sparkle Media — ksorensen19 @ 10:50 pm
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As I sat down to write this blog post tonight I had no idea what topic I wanted to delve into. Having attended the side-panel earlier today I was inspired by the notion of how the mediascape is changing and how we as professionals cannot ONLY change with it, we must also be able to use it to our advantage. Interested in how the future of public relations was viewed by others, I did a quick search and found a post on Edelman’s blog called, “Is Public Relations Ready for Discontinuous Change?”. The interesting thing about many of the articles I found when I ran my search was that they all discuss the changing media landscape. This is a time where people are utilizing tools like Google, Tivo, and online news services. In an era where it has ever been easier to create and consume information what does the future of PR look like? Most of us will be graduating within the next year and we’ve got to recognize that with all the changes occurring in our field and in the economy in general increased emphasis will be placed on cost to businesses. Edelman argues that one way to take advantage of the emerging media scape is to use the web to our advantage. We can have direct conversations with key stakeholder groups, garner feedback, and influence many through blogs. Edelman also argues for the idea of experimenting and even considers adding video clips to press releases as they are sent out. My question is, understanding the influence that using the web can have, why don’t many companies have blogs? And why don’t more PR companies automatically turn to the web when coming up with tactics for their clients?


November 14, 2008

The ugliness of layoffs and how to deal with it

Filed under: Sparkle Media — mara2009 @ 10:34 am
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Most of us have heard or read the stories about how the economy — both national and international — is falling apart.  The media is filled with stories about new industries wanting to be added to the bailout plan and how other countries are supplying the United States with credit.  So it should come as no surprise that many large companies have to let employees go, but how does one do that?  And how does a public relations person do that?

Shel Holtz has been in this situation before and shares his tips in, “Nine tips for communicating layoffs.”  Although his experience seems to have come from large corporations, his advice can be modified for those PR professionals working in small businesses.  Holtz stresses that communication between CEOs and employees and CEOs and stakeholders is important.  The access that angered former employees have to media, especially social media, makes it more important that PR practitioners and CEOs work harder to make layoffs go as smooth as possible.

Most of Holtz’s advice is common sense, although it is hard to have to fire or let someone go.  How would you handle huge layoffs as a PR practitioner?  What do you think companies should do?  How do you think negative communications between a company and its former employees affect the company’s image?

November 7, 2008

PR and the public good

Filed under: Sparkle Media — esimarsk @ 10:46 am
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With so much emphasis on Public Relations as “spin,” only used to make bad situations appear better than they are, I found an interesting post about Public Relations being used to contribute to the public good. On the PR Studies blog, Richard Bailey discusses his attendance at a police public relations conference. As Bailey says, these PR practitioners work everyday on crime reduction and don’t have to go chasing headlines. He discusses some of the work that was impressive to him, such as a broadcast journalists video of a victim with fireworks burns. The video received thousands of hits when it was uploaded to youtube. In my opinion, PR is constantly used in ways to contribute to the public good. Many times, these uses of PR are overlooked. Somehow people emphasize the ways in which they think PR was misused or abused. Do you think PR is used frequently enough for the public good? If so, why is it not shown in this light and what could be done to change the public’s perception of PR?

October 31, 2008

Social Media and Our Professional and Personal Reputations

Filed under: Sparkle Media — kakeane @ 11:47 am
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In Brian Solis’ blog PR 2.0, in a post entitled “In the Social Web, We Are All Brand Managers,” he talks about creating corporate brands using socia media, including Facebook, Twitter, and many more. “Everything we share online, the comments we leave, the posts we publish, the pictures and videos we upload, the updates we tweet, the statuses we broadcast in social networks and lifestreams, contribute to disparate digital recreations of how people perceive us – as an individual, representative of a company.” This line really got me thinking about not only how our brands will be affected by our presence online, but also our personal and professional reputations.

So what can we do to manage these two parts of our lives, and have them co-exist peacefully? Do we need separate profiles for websites like Facebook, so that we can keep our reputations intact? Or does it require personal censorship of some aspects of our personalities that might alter our working relationships with future bosses, colleagues and clients? These are all challenges that we will come across soon as we enter the professional world.

On a side note, Solis also posts the Conversation Prism, and asks viewers to consider where the social media they use in their branding falls. I thought this was interesting, since we have looked at the prism in class.

October 24, 2008

Facebooking and PR!

Filed under: Sparkle Media — ksorensen19 @ 7:09 pm
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Today on the PR Squared blog there was a post talking about Canadian Club Whisky’s Movember event. The event itself centers around a moustache growing contest which takes place in November and is done to raise awareness towards men health. The interesting thing about the post was how SHIFT communications chose to implement a promotional campaign. Using Facebook, the team created an application that allows you to, in short, draw moustaches all over your friends’ profile pics.

The great part about this campaign was that they chose to avoid the mainstream media and use a social media tool. If this application is successful, there is no counting the number of people who become aware of Movember. I’m sure that most of us have Facebook profiles and understand how quickly new Facebook applications become popular. It is also highly possible that if the application reaches a huge number of people the mainstream media will become aware of its popularity and give Movember additional coverage.

Overall, I just think this is a great illustration of how we all have to think outside the box when it comes to brainstorming campaign ideas for our clients. I’m sure that most PR professionals turn to traditional media when they need to garner press coverage, however, with the evolution of the internet and with more technology savy individuals joining the professional ranks perhaps we will continue to see more innovative campaign ideas. What non-traditional media routes can we take to gain exposure for our clients? How can we use social media to create innovative campaign ideas?

Most importantly, let’s all go moustache our friends on facebook and support Movember!

October 17, 2008

PR lessons learned from working at McDonalds

Filed under: Sparkle Media — mara2009 @ 11:24 am
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I came across this post from 2006, What I learned about PR from McDonalds, written by Kami Huyse from the blog, Communications Overtone.  Huyse recounts her teenage years of working at the fast food restaurant and what those years taught her about PR.  The post came about because a senior director at McDonalds asked bloggers about tips on doing a corporate blog.  (Huyse’s tips are listed in this post, McDonalds’ blogger learns fast.)

Huyse listed three lessons from her first job.  They are: know your audience, the power of having and working a plan, and how to shift gears in a crisis.  She gives examples from her McDonalds’ days. 

I found these basic ideas useful because they are what a lot of us have been thinking about as we come up with plans for our clients.  These ideas are also timely.  The media is filled with reports of carefully designed presidential campaigns and bad press about Wall Street.  Huyse’s three lessons can be applied no matter where one is in his or her career.

So what have you learned about successful PR from an unlikely source?  How do you think these lessons should be incorporated into PR classrooms?  Do you think they are used well in PR professional settings?

October 10, 2008

Actions speak louder than words

Filed under: Sparkle Media,Uncategorized — esimarsk @ 1:15 am
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With less than a month until election day, the presidential candidates are strapped for time. Assuming we have all caught CNN at one point or another over the last couple weeks, we have probably heard the insults and the “he said, she said” go back and forth between parties. In this post from The Firm Voice, an interview with CEO and President of Xenophon strategies, David A. Fuscus, reveals all of the valuable lessons PR practitioners can take away from watching the presidential race unfold. I especially liked Fuscus’s response to the question: How is this relevant to agencies and PR people not in politics?

Fuscus responded:

“Emphasizing action over messaging is important in communications overall—not just in politics. It depends on the situation, but messages have to be built around your actions and not the other way around. For example, you have to take definitive action in the consumer field if something happens that will result in a loss of confidence.”

I believe action is key in expressing confidence during times of crisis… whether on Wall Street or as a PR executive working on a client’s campaign. From watching the presidential race from a communication perspective, I agree with Fuscus that it is important to (1) act quickly and (2) find touch points for your public, meaning simple messages to touch people as individuals. Do you agree with Fuscus’s perspective on what we can learn from a presidential campaign? What lessons, from a communication standpoint as a PR student, have you taken away so far?

October 3, 2008

Presenting the world’s stories

Filed under: Sparkle Media — kakeane @ 10:40 am
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In the last two weeks of class, we have talked about effective presentations in preparation for our client presentations at the end of the semester. And I have to say, I wish I had known about sooner. Browsing through the “ideas worth sharing,” I stumbled upon a talk by Jonathan Harris, entitled “The Web’s Secret Stories.” While there are a few problems that I have with his presentation style, such as the many, many “um”s, overall, I thought the presentation was a wonderful example of different ways to present data.

Most of his presentation focused on a site called “We Feel Fine.” This site looks at blogs posted throughout the world every few minutes, and picks up on any sentence that includes the phrases “I feel,” or “I am feeling.” From here, it creates a database represented by floating orbs that characterize this unique blogosphere into the different feelings that are actually being felt. It is a unique way to present data that encapsulates so many people and emotions in one cohesive, easy-to-manage site.

Harris also spoke of an event in Albuquerque, New Mexico that featured a world-wide time capsule projected into the night sky. Here, Harris presented photos to capture the mood of the event and of the project. These photos were very effective in presenting an event that focused on significant moments throughout the world. He used no text in his presentation, but instead used media and photos to accompany his spoken message.

Since our discussions in class on effective presentations, what ideas have you come upon that are inspiring to your client presentations? What do you feel is an effective way to present data, and make it memorable? Share links to your favorite presentations that you can see really affecting your future presentations.

September 27, 2008

Perception of PR Practitioners

Filed under: Sparkle Media — ksorensen19 @ 3:24 pm
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I know that ABC PR recently published a post regarding how PR professionals are viewed and I wanted to delve into that a little further. I recently found a somewhat shocking article that discusses the negative side of PR. The article, The Truth About PR Disasters, discusses the role that PR specialists play in crisis management. However, the article theorizes that whereas once our role involved managing any client crisis, in today’s world PR practitioners are, “increasingly being ‘outed’ as the perpetrators of the catastrophic errors of judgment and ethics that create or catalyze PR disasters.”

In my mind it is astonishing how often PR practitioners are viewed as “spin doctors”. This idea really hit home with me when I was at a car dealership the other day. My mom was talking with a car salesman about financing and during their discussion he asked what I was studying in school and my mom said public relations. His reaction was one of astonishment and judgment. Why would I want to go into THAT particular field? My mom agreed with him right away. It was amazing to me how quickly a car salesman passed judgment on me and my future profession.

The question now is, how do we change the negative image that those in the PR field have? Is it enough to adhere to an organization’s code of ethics, or hope to follow our own ethics? Personally, I believe that the bad choices of a few have lasting effects on the rest of us and it is going to take a lot more than simply making good choices to clean up our image.

September 19, 2008

Google — Your company’s new homepage?

By Sparkle Media

Through this class and others, most of us have learned that being successful in public relations goes beyond just being a good writer and verbal communicator. Nowadays, entry level practitioners will have to know the ins and outs of social media, marketing and search engine optimization.

Controlling our client’s image to its stakeholders and spreading its message are important. One of the most strategic ways of doing this is through search engine optimization. But now, many PR and marketing professionals argue that content is just as important, if not more, than key words used to determine your client’s Google ranking. One such person is Kami Huyse. She covers this issue in Six Game Changers: Why Content Will Once Again Be King in Search Engine Optimization.

Huyse points out that companies used to focus on using popular key phrases in their content and monitoring the number of visitors to their Web site to propel them to the number one spot on Google’s search engine. She says recent changes to how search engines organize information has changed these methods.

Search engines now focus on a site’s emphasis instead of just key words. They rank search engines’ results by how local (regional versus national) they are to the searcher. A site’s relevancy is determined by the credibility of the sources it has linked itself to. These are just some of the developments.

But why should we care?

Well, our jobs depend on how well we can publicize our clients. A huge part of that is our client’s online persona. Many people find out about an organization through the Internet. How well they can find our clients online is determined by our skills, which includes knowledge of search engine optimization.

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