PR Campaigns – The blog

November 27, 2008

Big Three Bailout: What about your consumers?

Filed under: The Agency — bkranz @ 9:50 pm
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I’m sure I’m not the only American sick and tired of hearing the phrase “bailout” repeatedly throughout the day. In these harsh economic times, it’s nearly impossible to escape it. For lack of a better way to describe it, I don’t get along with numbers well (I’m a journalism student, I can’t help it). In an effort to better understand the whole “bailout” issue, I went googling and came across an article on about the automobile industry and the bailout they are trying to convince the government they need. “Big Three can learn from comms mistakes” talks about Ford, GM, and Chrysler and their economic issues.

The issue seems to be that while the “Big Three” is asking for an enormous amount of money to fix the problems they are facing, the companies are lacking in communication with their most important customers, those living in Middle America. Instead of communicating with the public as to what they need the money for and how it will be used to their advantage, the Big Three has avoided communication and instead the CEOs are traveling by private planes to meetings. If you are in such deep economic trouble, why would you choose to fly private instead of commercial like the rest of the country?

For someone who doesn’t understand money in the greatest sense (I’m not naive, I just don’t do economics), this makes less sense than calculating supply and demand curves. If you want to entrust the people of the country as well as the government with saving the financial well-being of your corporation, why would you not communicate those goals? I am a Ford driver, I have heard nothing of the issues they face. I’m not about to support a bailout that is going to drive our economy further into oblivion if I don’t know why it’s happening. I’m usually quite satisfied with Ford, but after reading this article, I’m more than a little annoyed.

I think this is definitely a PR issue considering communication is at the forefront of it. What do you think? Should corporations be asking for help without going into detail about their troubles? Should we just assume that they will be doing the right thing with our money? I find it difficult to believe anyone would think that, but I’m interested to hear what others think.


November 21, 2008

Let’s Talk About Ethics, Baby

Filed under: The Agency — agilliam @ 8:01 am
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So, I stumbled upon an interesting blog this week about journalists giving public relations advice to paying clients. This practice has been brought to the forefront of ethical issues as of late due to Dan Abrams leaving broadcast journalism behind to start a consulting firm. He will continue to stay on the NBC payroll, however, as an outside contributor.

Is it right for an Arizona Republic writer to tell a business how to get covered by the Arizona Republic, and then be paid for it? Doesn’t that feel like insider trading or something? At the same time, I have heard journalist tell PR people what works at their media outlet. Channel 3 here in Phoenix even sends out a tip sheet to PR professionals on how to get your story covered. I think what sends the situation of them giving this information out into sticky territory is that they are getting paid for it and are specifically catering to a clients needs. This is in contrast to telling general PR practitioners who may have a number of clients. As a client in Phoenix, wouldn’t you prefer to hire someone who knows the ins and outs of the Arizona Republic and may be able to affect its coverage?

This is a hot topic among professionals, some of whom are particularly vocal in their outright disagreement with the practice. But, before quickly writing it off as unethical, there is another side. We are in a journalism school, taking journalism classes and some would argue that we are journalists. I attend Society of Professional Journalist functions and professionals act like I am trying to steal their secrets.

Maybe I am.

November 14, 2008

PR, Relationships and Barack Obama…

Filed under: The Agency,Uncategorized — wackyzachy47 @ 11:25 am
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First I would just like to say that I LOVE how every blog I looked at, no matter what aspect of PR it was talking about somehow related to Barack Obama winning the election last week. I know American Politics is fascinating, believe me, I know. But some of the things I was reading I was like really? I mean I am as excited that he won as the next guy, but if you want to write an “I love Obama” blog just do it and quit masquerading as something else. *steps down of soap box*

The blog that struck me (mainly because we were on the Crisis kick in class yesterday) was one on PR Conversations, this post, covered a wide range of topics but was very interesting in showing the intrinsic value of strategic relationships and how cultivating meaningful relationships can help companies combat crisis, when it hits. Toni Muzi Falconi mentions the recent financial crisis and how the “migration tsunami” has afffected how this one crisis that started on Wall Street has spread around the rest of the world.

So I guess my question to all of you would be what are your thoughts on the relationship between strong relationships and healthy crisis management? I feel like it makes sense, but I also think that have a general crisis plan can definitely be helpful as well. They sort of hit on this as well, so I don’t know, thougts?

November 6, 2008

Marketing and Public Relations, are they interchangeable?

Filed under: The Agency — erikanp2004 @ 10:29 pm
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Like many of you I am going to be a college graduate in December. I will soon have to spread my wings and get a big kid job. Therefore I have been looking for jobs lately and I feel like many companies and job search sites lump Public Relations and Marketing into the same category. But they are not the same thing. Even a top PR professional, who spoke in one of my classes, lumped public relations into marketing. While researching this topic through google I found a site called that laid out the differences for us.  The main difference is that marketing focuses on the market, the consumers and the demand of products. While public relations main focus is building relationships and telling a story. What do you think? Could you move from public relations to marketing? Should the Cronkite public relations program include marketing and advertising because many companies want an integrated marketing agency?

October 30, 2008

To use video or not to use video? That is the question.

Filed under: The Agency — bkranz @ 9:47 pm
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Mark Rose, of, recently posted about the use of video in the PR profession. He discusses the slow process of changing the tedious tasks PR practitioners do every day into “web-based digital assets.” According to Rose, the process of creating and implementing pitches and news releases is a thing of the past. Digitally enhancing these everyday tasks (for PR professionals, that is) makes them readily available to both clients and the public. 

Even those not involved in PR are using video as a new outlet. Rose counts the Wall Street Journal as a video-friendly web site. Presidential debates, interviews and other news stories can be seen on web sites like the Wall Street Journal and other news sites. Videos greatly enhance a news story, as a video can often humanize words.

Rose also states that Business Wire, a global communications company, has partnered with Digital Citizen Media, a digital media production company. This partnership that will establish, manage, track and promote digital media in PR. This business venture will help Business Wire members utilize Digital Citizen Media to better meet the needs of the corporations.

Video can be extremely helpful in visualizing stories and presentations, what do you think about incorporating this method into regular PR tasks such as news releases and pitches? Does it help or inhibit the profession? Does it dehumanize practitioners?

October 23, 2008

Come to the dark side

Filed under: The Agency — agilliam @ 7:52 pm
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With many of us in this class graduating within the year, I’m guessing that a great many hours have been spent pondering what we will do with our lives after school. I think one of the first things we set out to decide is if we will work for an agency or in-house for an organization. It has proven a difficult task to get unbiased answers from public relations professionals on this topic, however, PRSA has an interesting blog up, which does not delve too deeply into the issue, but does give a nice overview of the two options.

Although my experience has been through relatively short internships, I have worked in both agency and in-house settings. The two are vastly different environments, and I think that most people immediately know which one they fit into better.

Setting personal preference aside then, is there a difference in the quality of product put out by public relations agencies and in-house public relations people? There are some great arguments on a PR-Squared blog for the benefits of agencies and among them are their large resources and media contacts. Those who work in-house make their case as well, one blog I found put it plainly, with the general point being that they are able to be on the pulse of activity in the organization.

Are these two sectors different but equal, or is there one that is superior? I feel that mainstream thought is that agencies are better, because they are more glamorous, but what real evidence is there? I feel that I have been continuously leaning toward the side of in-house work, based on it’s unmatched ability to know the organization’s needs, its people, and its structure. In my experience an agency must spend hours and hours to get a relatively shallow understanding of an organization every time they get a new client. Which side will you choose?

October 12, 2008

Facebook, iPhones and Other New Avenues for Communications…

Filed under: The Agency — wackyzachy47 @ 10:06 pm
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As I have seen in my tenure here in college the use and necessity of cell phones and facebook has exploded. This past weekend, I went on a trip to California to ASU take on (and summarily get slaughtered by) the USC Trojans with the ASU Marching band. Upon reaching our hotel in Chino Hills, I realized that I had forgotten my phone charger cord. To make matters worse I had forgotten my MacBook Daphne’s (yes I have named my laptop) power cord. I was without my two main means to access my online, mobile life. It was a rough Friday Night/Saturday to say the least.

Upon returning home I plugged both of my dead pieces of technology in and turned them on to find my inboxes full of messages, my facebook lit up with new tags and updates. I literally felt “plugged in” in to what was going on again. Does anyone else ever feel like this? I feel as if the internet has become one of my senses, the new “sixth sense” so to speak, because it is definitely a conduit for which raw information enters into my system. But as a few bloggers have brought up, are these mediums taking hold and being exploited correct? Are mobile phones and facebook and email novelties that will soon wear off as I grow older?

As I was looking through the PR blogosphere for something to talk about for this week, I came across the Intake blog. The past few posts have been on communication with employees and topics relating to this–which struck me seeing as how I was cut off from my main avenues of communication for a whole day (a day I know, but I felt so disconnected).

In a blog on entitled Face It by Matt West, discusses how what once was a medium for college students has quickly become and is the new intranet that many workplaces are quickly exploiting for their own internal communications (and if they are not now, then they should do so.) The idea that has become this new way to learn more about your own company and employees when just a short time ago, it was seen as an unprofessional, youth oriented site. I find this very interesting, because I feel like I am always being told of the dangers of online sites like and–that people post too much information on there and that one should be careful of their online media foot print. It almost makes me afraid to participate in it and I have set my profile’s security settings to some of the highest they can be–blocking everyone except my friends from seeing my profile and not even allowing people from my networks to see my profile picture in a search for me unless they are already my friend.  I mean I guess I am not as protective as I should be with over 700 friends, but still, does any one else feel this protective of their online self?

In another post on this blog, Reaching Mobile Employees, by Allen Putman, the idea of the many avenues of communication that are used to reach employees in the company setting. To go back to my anecdote of this weekend, how out of touch would someone with a blackberry or iPhone connected to their email and such feel if they would have left home without their charger? As stated in the blog, email was not enough in the beginning because people get easily overwhelmed with all the spam out there that if it does not immediately capture the readers attention, no matter who it is from, they will just delete the message and move on (as we have discussed in class). But with the advent of the iPhone and the blackberry, people’s lives are now in their pocket and the internet is never further away than an arms reach. As Allen Putman states, with the advent of online boarding passes and electronic versions being set straight to your mobile phone, the new form of communication has finally been achieved…but I just want to ask has it? Because how long before the novelty has worn off? Interning in D.C. this summer in a Congressman’s office, I saw that the blackberry was viewed as a ball and chain and kept you in the office perpetually 24hrs a day (a sentiment that I do not yet share, not that I have a blackberry, iPhone or any other email capable phone for that matter)…how long before the effectiveness of this new form of communicating wears off?

October 9, 2008

Spin Alley – Necessary?

Filed under: The Agency — erikanp2004 @ 2:16 pm
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Have you heard of spin alley? I had not heard of it until I was watch the pre-debate coverage of the Oct. 7 Presidential debate on Fox News Channel. As a public relations student I was intrigued by this concept, so I did some research the next day. I found a column by Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal. The spin room is essentially where representatives of each candidate spit information at the media saying how their candidate won the debate. Rosenthal argued that spin alley is no longer necessary because the candidate representatives just recite talking points, not on what was actually said at the debate. I agree with the statement because it serves no purpose. The media already knows the candidates talking points. Although public relations was not mentioned in the column I think the word “spin” implies it. As a future public relations professional I would not want to be associated with that word or the concept of the word. What do you think? Do you agree with Rosenthal or not? Would you work as a candidate “representative” and participate in spin alley?


October 1, 2008

Is Journalism Really Dying?

Filed under: The Agency — bkranz @ 10:53 pm
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As a new member to the world of blogging, I decided to Google PR blogs and see what else is out there. I came across Naked PR, a blog written by Jennifer Mattern. Mattern refers to her blog as “cutting through the crap in online public relations” among other things. In reading her blog, which is quite interesting (although uses the occasional expletive), I discovered the entry “Journalism is Dead?”, a post about a media summit in which those attending discuss the concept of journalism and PR as a dying profession because everyone these days is a “communicator.”

The issue with this belief is that while everyone is indeed a “communicator,” not everyone is skilled to practice PR or journalism. It is a studied profession in which we are taught the correct way to go about our jobs in an ethical fashion. I find it hard to believe that the two professions will disappear because without both, many businesses could not survive. I do agree with the notion that the profession must be more than a press release, as Neville Hobson states, but I think that it’s already more than that. The creation of a PR campaign requires an educated team of PR professionals who know how to go about planning and executing a successful campaign. It isn’t all about press releases.

What do you think of the idea of PR and journalism being dying professions?

September 25, 2008

Journalists’ Right vs. PRs’ Might

Filed under: The Agency — agilliam @ 11:22 pm
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In the past few days there has been quite an uproar from the media due to the McCain campaign’s continued sheltering of Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin. On Tuesday and Wednesday she met with world leaders from the United Nations for the first time, and her campaign attempted to only allow photographers into the meetings. The journalists involved refused to take pictures if there was not an editorial presence there. They compromised at allowing the editorial presence, but only for mere moments.

Is it OK for Governor Palin’s public relations representative to say no to the press? The campaign has allowed for almost no questions from the media. Is that their right? As public relation’s people, how do we balance the need to be in control of certain things while still being ethical? And couldn’t this type of “hiding” cause a backlash from the media, who we need to have good relations with? It may have already caused ripples with some news outlets, but perhaps the campaign decided it was worth it.

Thursday, Governor Palin opened up questions to four reporters, so I thought maybe they decided to let her show a bit of herself. Then I realized that she only answered questions of her choosing. Is this all an ingenious strategy or do you think that the public will eventually get tired of it? I don’t mean to be picking at Governor Palin, I think many in the field of public relations use this strategy, but does that make it right?

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