PR Campaigns – The blog

April 14, 2009

Landing that Dream Job you’ve Always Wanted

Filed under: Spirals — kmmorten @ 10:29 am
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Congratulations seniors, you’re a few weeks away from being a college graduate.  Maybe you’re one of the few who found their dream job straight out of college.  Chances are, with the way the economy is going; you’re not one of those lucky few.  You are probably stressed to the max sending out dozens of resumes and waiting for an offer on a new job.  Admit it, it’s scary.  You’ve typed countless papers, drank countless Starbucks and studied countless hours on this college journey.  And after four years (or more) your college days are over and you’ve got a piece of paper to prove it.

In Jed Hallam’s blog, The Three R’s to being Recruited, he explains plain and simple the necessary steps to getting a job.  It’s crunch time, so if you’re one of those people shaking in their boots trying to find a job, here’s some tips:

1.)    Research

I’ve come to realize how important it is to take the time to look into the company you want to apply to.  That can mean even as something as simple as searching for them on Google.  Have a clear understanding of the company’s objective or mission.   When you are ready to send in your resume and cover letter, make it specific to what they are looking for in the job description.  A generic cover letter won’t win them over.

2.)    Read

After four years of college, we should be champion readers.  Although it can be tedious, it simply cannot be overlooked.  It is crucial to know the foundation of the company you’re interested in.  Get to know who they are, what they represent and what they are looking for.  This will impress them when you go in for your interview.

3.)    Really try bloody hard

Get noticed.  Set up a Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.  Do whatever you can to get your name out there.  Then, go out of your way and make an effort to get that job.  Jed Hallam is a good example of this:

“Well I forced my way into the Twitter clique, set up a blog and got noticed. Then when I got back from traveling I started creating relationships with the influential people in the industry and then got them to sign up to a Facebook group I’d started describing the reasons why I thought Wolfstar should hire me. The people I asked to join then posted lovely things about me (purely coincidental, I swear) and Wolfstar invited me in for a chat.”

So, there you have it.  Keep your spirits high and you’ll find a job that’s meant to be.  Good luck job hunting.

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April 13, 2009

The Twitter Game

Filed under: Spirals — lindsaylynch @ 7:27 pm
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First of all the most crazy thing I read in the post about Gaming Twitter on Communication Overtones was that Twitter originated in April 2006, I guarantee half the people in our class did not know this!

I didn’t know that people “gamed twitter”.  What it means to game twitter is when you create tons of followers by telling them you will follow them back, neither party has any interest in the contest either is posting.  I find it fascinating that people even care if 1. They have followers and 2. That other people “game twitter”.  If someone is using Twitter for proffesional means, shouldn’t they be professional and not act like a 7 year old and fight over who has more friends?  This seems funny to me.

These are the Twitter rules to Game Twitter:

Four Steps To Game Twitter

1. Sign up for a Twitter account, creative name gets you extra credit but isn’t necessary

2. Automatically follow people with similar interests by searching for specific keywords and autofollowing people. One of the most well-known services for this is Twollo

3. Sign up for all of the services that help you manage your followers: SocialToo, TweetLater, My Tweeple,  Friend or Follow, Mr. Tweet, TweetSum and others. Use them to unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow you, preferably leaving only those that autofollow. Rinse and repeat this step daily.

5. Be sure that you auto follow people so others like you will add you.

I did not know that there were services that manage your followers, it is like a vaccum that goes through your account daily.  This seems like far too much work to claim you have followers, when really do you care about any of them. 

On an additional note, did this article REALLY post something reminding people not to pay people to follow them on Twitter…what is our world coming to, this is ridiculous!

In this post there are links to people’s opinions on what it was like before Twitter became a huge trend, for personal use.  There is also a link to ways that a business can use Twitter affectively, which is a good idea for all of us in this class launching a social media campaign, to make sure we are selling Twitter the correct way!

April 6, 2009

Blending social media and CSR

Filed under: Spirals — Patty Lepkowski @ 10:55 pm
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I have to be honest, I normally skip over any blog that even mentions Twitter, as I feel it has become an over-talked about topic recently. However, when the blog titled Social Media Provides the Tools to Make Positive Change popped up on my Google Reader last week, I had to take note.

The blog posted on the Communications Overtones blog page discusses how Michelle Greer, a web marketing strategist and blogger from Austin, recently won a social media award for a Twestival she organized to coordinate blood drives for Burmese refugees.

Although the blog never directly mentions anything public relations-related, I was immediately drawn to this topic as a potential tactic for a corporate social responsibly campaign (CSR), a campaign through which companies participate in activities related to public interests, while improving the company image. Corporations are constantly looking for ways to form mutually beneficial relationships with their communities, and what better way than through everyone’s new favorite medium – the Internet.

Using social media to power a CSR campaign is a strategically sound decision for a number of reasons. For one, social media is a quick and effective way for organizations to reach their publics. Currently, many companies discuss their CSR efforts on the company blog, but why not take that a step further and use the social media Web site as a platform for the campaign, rather than just a medium to discuss it? Also, social media Web sites are effective because they allow public relations professionals to disseminate controlled information that will reach target publics, those that are already loyal readers of the company’s blogs.

In my opinion, companies have a lot to gain by conducting CSR campaigns on social media Web sites. However, some may believe that social media Web sites would not be appropriate for some CSR efforts. What is your opinion? Do you think social media and CSR are mutually exclusive topics or that we can find a way to blend the two, so as to create communications results? If you disagree with using social media for CSR, what do you think is the best way for companies to conduct and report on CSR efforts?

March 26, 2009

Twitter vs. Facebook

Filed under: Spirals — kmmorten @ 9:00 am
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Everywhere I go it seems like I can’t get away from this social media frenzy- it’s haunting me. I have a Myspace account. I have a Twitter account. I have a Facebook account. Although there are hundreds of other social media sites, these three are just about the only ones that I can keep up with on a daily basis. Each of them has their own unique features, which is why I use them for different reasons.

Bill Sledzik’s blog, How do you use Facebook? And does it really Matter? discusses how he uses Facebook. He has fun with it and doesn’t over think it, which is exactly my outtake on it as well. I use mine as a personal space where I can talk to my friends that I know personally. I don’t accept random strangers or professors because I think school and work should be separate from your personal life.

I started my Facebook account when I was in high school so mine is mostly a collaboration of my crazy college years. I must admit my page isn’t exactly what you would call squeaky clean and isn’t something that I would want future employers looking at. Luckily, Facebook has the option of setting your profile to private or a limited view.

Now that the older generation is flocking to Facebook, I’m starting to debate whether or not I should clean my account up. Just last week I had a friend request from my aunt and uncle. Weird? Yes. However, whether I like it or not, the older generation is jumping on the social media bandwagon.

On the other end of the social media spectrum, I use my Twitter account as a professional tool…well, kind of. I do post personal tweets, but I make sure they are always clean and won’t come back to bite me in the butt. I don’t post tweets about how hungover I am, how much I hate work/school or how drunk I got last night. I follow my professors on Twitter, and they follow me. It’s interesting to see what mentors like your professors are thinking or doing outside of class.

So there you have it. This is how I manage two social media sites for two very different reasons. I get to talk to my friends on a personal level on Facebook, and talk to everyone on a professional level on Twitter. I get the best of both worlds.

March 22, 2009

A PR nightmare for the firm used to resolving everyone else’s

Filed under: Spirals — Patty Lepkowski @ 10:30 pm
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In case you’ve been living in cave for the last two weeks and have missed the myriad of Tweets, blog posts and media articles, let me get you caught up to speed. On March 8, MSNBC commentator, Rachel Maddow, blasted public relations giant, Burson-Marsteller, referring to it as an “evil” company. Ouch.

                     Click here to watch the segment.

The segment discussed a decision by AIG, an insurance and financial services company, to add additional public relations services to mend its bruised reputation. The company is 80% owned by the public after 4 bailouts, and the point of Maddow’s segment was to convey the message that the public shouldn’t be paying for AIG to “shine up” its image to the public. However, it seems she focused more on taking aim on Burson-Marsteller than discussing AIG. She rattled off client after client to represent Burson-Marsteller as an unethical company, referencing among others, the firm’s work with the Bhopal chemical disaster, Philip Morris and even the Saudi Arabian government after the September 11th tragedies. ““When evil needs public relations, evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed dial,” Maddow said.

Yep, it was a pretty rough night for Burson-Marsteller, to say the least. An obvious PR nightmare. It’s a good thing they are already experts on public relations and already know exactly what to do. Or do they?

One of the first lessons we are taught is crisis communications – an area with which Burson-Marsteller is clearly familiar – is that when crisis erupts, organizations need to face the problem head on with transparency and responsiveness. The worst thing a company can do is say nothing at all. Or that’s at least what we advise our clients.

Blogger’s have been discussing the issue since the airing, including Valley PR’s advice about how PR firms should try to balance companies that are regarded highly in terms of ethics, with companies in need of crisis communications. Public Relations College Students also addressed the issue, attacking the event from the viewpoint of the constant clash between journalists and public relations professionals.

You will find the episode debated and alluded to on countless blogs. Just not on Burson-Marsteller’s. All three blogs that Burson-Marsteller maintains on its Web site fail to address Rachel Maddow’s blow. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find formal, written responses coming from Burson-Marsteller, with the exception of a leaked internal memo.

In my opinion, Burson-Marsteller should have addressed the issue immediately to minimize the damage. Sometimes, public relations firms have to remember to take their own advice.

But maybe I’m overreacting. What do you think? Is this really a PR nightmare, or simply one commentator’s opinion that is soon to be forgotten? What do you think Burson-Marsteller should have done/ should do?

March 16, 2009

You can’t always rely on your fans…

Filed under: Spirals — lindsaylynch @ 10:17 pm

Everyone always says “there is no such thing as bad press?”  At times I am sure people disagree with this, especially when they are on the negative side of things, but what happens when you set yourself up for this?

Okay, I know we are not teenagers, freaking out over the Jonas Brothers, but my job requires me to care who the Jonas Brothers are and what they are up to.  They just released a movie Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Experience personally I had no interest whatsoever in seeing this, which I think is a good thing, because that means they target the right audience.  

I did notice a few things that they have done wrong.  The week prior to the release date The Jonas Brothers did tons of PR for the movie including a press conference shown on MTV throughout the week.  For one, they were sitting in front of their private jet, bragging about their private jet and two WE ARE IN A RECESSION! Are you kidding me!?!  It kills me because we are so down in the dumps right now that celebrities, especially those who barely have a drivers license, should really be mindful of others who aren’t as fortunate as them.

Another brilliant idea that the Jo Bros came up with: lets con our fans into coming! In hopes to get people to the theatre they planned “surprise visits” in theatres because if you were 14 wouldn’t you want to go JUST IN CASE they popped by the theatre you went to.  I feel like there were too many angles the these guys were trying to cut and in the end it didn’t pay off.

The movie made $12.5 million in it’s 2 week run in theatres.  I’m sure it was a terrible movie, but to get back to “there is no such thing as bad press,” people around the nation are making fun of these guys.  Radio stations, news stations, internet sites and more are slamming the movie.  I would think that the first week of terrible reviews would hinder the possible number of people who would attend the movie, which I would consider to be bad press.

February 27, 2009

Guilty as Charged: Information Addiction

Filed under: Spirals,Uncategorized — kmmorten @ 8:42 pm
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After reading Jed Hallam’s blog, Information Addiction, I realized I’m not the only one who wants to get the 411 on everything, everywhere at anytime. I constantly find myself trying to get access to the internet so I can see what’s going on- even if I just checked it 5 minutes ago. Its crazy how technology has made information so easily available to us. And it’s even crazier that we become addicted to getting that information. I rely on the internet as a means of information everyday.

I wake up bright and early every morning, and the first thing I do is fire up my computer. I jump in the shower, and by the time I’m out, my computer is booted up and ready to rock. I double-click that Mozilla Firefox icon and seconds later I’m reading the latest headlines on MSNBC’s Web site. Here, I’m greeted with U.S. News, World News, Breaking News, Weather, Politics, Entertainment, and the list goes on and on. I skim the Web site to find articles that catch my eye and read the ones that seem interesting.

Minutes later, I check my e-mail. That’s followed by checking my Facebook, which is followed by checking my Myspace, which is followed by updating my Twitter, which is followed by checking my bank account. (Don’t ask me why I check my bank account 10 times a day, its not like I have that much money to spend- possibly because I have that reassurance that my money hasn’t gone anywhere and isn’t going anywhere… especially in a matter of an hour.) All this internet access before I even brush my teeth!

Then I’m off to school. As soon as I walk in the classroom, I log on to the server and check my e-mail, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Blackboard, etc. This vicious cycle continues throughout the day…probably about 50 times- and that is not an understatement. Even when I don’t have access to a computer, I still manage to find access somehow, someway- a.k.a. my cell phone. This goes on from the second I wake up, until the second I hit they hay.   Even then, I totally disregard that I have to wake up in six hours and have to force myself to go to bed.  (NOTE TO SELF: Nothing is that important on the internet to lose precious sleep over.  Just step back, push the “off” button, and it will be waiting for you in the morning.)

It all comes down to this: when I’m not “plugged in” to information, I feel like I’m not “plugged in” to life. I am addicted. I think I have a serious problem.

February 23, 2009

Bringing the PR basics to the digital world

Filed under: Spirals — Patty Lepkowski @ 9:26 pm
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I think it is safe to say that we, as future public relations professionals, are obsessed with social media. With Facebook, Blogger, YouTube – and our new favorite Twitter – it seems social media is PR’s latest buzz word.

It is clear that social media is changing our profession, but is there such a thing as too much social media? Could it be possible that we have become so consumed with employing social media, that we have become lost in the Twitterverse, the Twitter online community? Have we forgotten the basics of public relations?

Arik Hanson, a communications professional at a health care system in Minnesota, brought up an interesting discussion on PRsarahevens.com about not forgetting the basics of public relations in this evolving digital market. He reminds us to focus on three core competencies: professional skills, client skills and team-building skills. These are skills that we have all been working to develop and hone throughout our public relations classes. And these skills apply to all aspects of public relations – agency work, corporate communications, digital communications, etc.

In the end, if we are going to demonstrate ourselves as public relations professionals, we have to employ the necessary skills to devise successful campaigns that will advance our organizations.

Social media can be a successful communication tool, but without these core public relations skills, what makes our blogs any better than my grandma’s?

February 16, 2009

Is our Twitter addiction something to worry about?

Filed under: Spirals — lindsaylynch @ 8:46 pm

In a way I find our addiction to social media hilarious. This is quite fitting since we are all learning about Twitter right now. Has anyone been about to go to bed and their laptop is 3 feet away and you grab it to update your status on Twitter to “going to bed” or “had a long day I did this, this and this, finally going to bed?” Ok now tell me, how many followers do you actually have (since almost all of us signed up within the week). Isn’t it terrible that probably no one will read that yet we have this urge to edit what it says?

If it is on Twitter, Facebook or Myspace the desire to let people know your next move exists. I found a story on PR Practitioner about how Tweets will soon turn into “a sidebar in the newspaper”. I think the author, Brian Camen, means that events are being followed so closely on Twitter that maybe some users comments on tweets will actually turn into quotes in the NY Times. My login name is “Flynchie” could you imagine if you read a article in the NY Times that said, “I know that Barack will make a true change to the United States” commented Flynchie on Twitter. Rellly?

There is a specific language that people speak on Twitter as well. You give information in a respectful manner, not to mention quickly. Twitter Search allows you to follow specific events, which became very popular during the 2008 election. I feel that in order to be “good” at Twitter I need to really get a hang of the #, @ and all of the other random codes existing.

I almost ask, what is our world coming to and then I wonder, are we just adapting to our technology as quickly as it is advancing? If we have gotten this far with the internet in about 15 years, I can’t even believed where we will be in another 15 yearas. We will just have to see if Brian Camen is right in the end and if Twitter turns into a sidebar in a newspaper.

February 8, 2009

Be Cool, Go to School!

Filed under: Spirals — kmmorten @ 8:05 pm
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Now that my senior year is dwindling down and graduation is just around the corner, I have been asking myself, ‘what’s next?’  In Seth Godin’s blog, What is School for?, he lists all the reasons why people go to school.  Even after four years in college, two of which were in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, I still am just as confused as I was when I sat through my first day of class at Arizona State University.  To make matters even more complicated, come May, I’ll have a degree in Public Relations without knowing for sure if this is the career path I want to pursue.

So, really, what is school for?  I thought Godin’s response, “learn for the sake of learning,” pretty much sums it up.  Yes, I have learned a lot in college.  However, am I ever really going to use the information I learned in my Plant Biology or Elvis class?  Probably not.  Do I even remember it?  Not really.  Often times we sit through a class because it is required- not because we actually want to be there learning the material.

I also agree with Godin’s response, “Do well on standardized tests.”  The one thing that I hate about college is that your grade reflects on how well you take a silly test.  I took a class where your whole grade was dependent on one, single exam.  To me, this is unfair to the students who are horrible test-takers.  Likewise, it is great for the good test-takers.  So, after not doing so hot on a few exams, I learned the tips and tricks to do well on a standardized test so it wouldn’t weigh me down.

My three favorite responses about what college is for that Godin wrote were, “minimize public spelling mistakes,” “make sure the sports teams have enough players” and “give kids something to do while parents work.”  I thought these were absolutely hilarious, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the validity of them.

Maybe you have a different reason what school is for.  It seems like a straightforward answer, but it really stimulated me to think of the reasons why I’ve been sitting in a desk for the past four years…and still am right now.  So the next time you are sitting in your early morning class with a Starbucks in your hand and struggling to keep your eyes open through another boring lecture, check out Godin’s blog and it will give you a little spark of clarity why you went to class that day.

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