PR Campaigns – The blog

April 14, 2009

Smarties not so smart?

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — viancavv @ 11:14 am

Don’t ask me how, but I stumbled upon a “pr dilemma” Smarties candy faced in March. Smarties are the little sugary disks that come in all different colors, and they’re pretty yummy. There had been word that kids are crunching up the little candies and “sucking them in their mouths which turns them into smoke, yeah a little confectionery Puff the Magic Dragon action going on for fifth graders.”

Apparently a couple YouTube videos had circulated, as well as a Fox News piece. Parents were claiming that this little act with the Smarties had them wondering what the kids will be smoking next. They think it’s a logical progression into more serious drugs. I think it’s really far fetched.

The “dilemma” then was that Smarties hadn’t confronted the issue on their home website. They made a few comments on Fox News, but they made no other attempts to address the issue. Should they have tried to reach out to parents first hand instead of through other networks? Let them know they’re aware of the issue and don’t support it? Should they even have done anything at all? Is it something that just passes with time?

I think Smarties would have been wise to at least let people know they were aware of what was going on and they didn’t support it. Whether they agreed with the idea that it would lead to other smoking habits or not, it would be wise to acknowledge the idea, especially on the sites that were promoting the act.

April 6, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand clients

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — tmpace @ 7:24 pm
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I was reading through a few PR blogs when I ran across Seth Godin’s ( a marketing expert and author) blog entitled The Power of a Tiny Picture. In this blog he discusses how you picture can either make or break  your first impression you leave on people.  He says after browsing through many photos he developed suggestions for how to make you photograph into a great first impression. He has a few suggestions for what your picture should look like.

Here are a few:

  • Use a professional looking photo
  • Have normal background
  • Don’t wear a hat (and if you do make it a good hat)
  • Avoid having significant others in the photo. People are looking for you and not for them.
  • Look Happy
  • Don’t have a weird picture that is not of you (like a cartoon or object)
  • Cropping makes a photo look professional

Since this class I have been really focusing on my social media knowledge because the importance of the knowledge is growing. I was interviewing for internships last week, and all the potential employers wanted to hear about my social media skills.

This whole facebook picture idea shocked me. My first reaction was, “who cares.” But then I thought about how some of the pretty weird facebook profile pictures I  have seen.  I laugh at some of them because they are clever, but others I am confused or shocked. Imagine you are a potential client. You are thinking about hiring a new PR agent and you google their name and their facebook picture shows up. What if their picture is weird, unprofessional or risque? Would you second guess your decision of hiring them? I think I might.

I must be honest my profile picture on both facebook and twitter do not fit some Seth’s points. (I don’t think I will change it any time soon.)

I posted this blog to see what you guys think. How important do you think a facebook picture is? Would your opinion change if you owned your own PR firm, or knew your potential employers and clients were checking out your page?

March 30, 2009

Word of mouth marketing is a hit

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — bryantedleson @ 10:45 pm
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Recently at my internship , I was asked to create a twitter account for the company and begin following as many people that fit our “target audience,” hoping in return they would follow us back.  In case you were interested, in just roughly 2 hours of following, we had over 200 followers in return.  This helps to better understand how many people are  tweeting all day.

We all can see how quickly social media marketing is increasing and how these wonderful tools are bringing us closer together.  Whether it be, twitter, youtube, facebook, blogs, digg or any other tool- there’s some social element out there for everyone that helps us connect with both familiar and unfamiliar faces.

However, it took awhile….

Although millions of users were rapidly flocking to social media sites, most marketers stayed away.  Marketers either didn’t know how to communicate effectively without overwhelming them with their product, or they were nervous about associating their brands with questionable content.  

In a recent blog post by Steve Rubel from Micro Persuasion, he stated, “things are changing.” Steve believes companies are beginning to learn how to leverage social media and successfully tap into the rising tide of social media consumers.  Word of mouth marketing is allowing small companies to succeed because they can actually accommodate us and our special needs we demand for every penny we spend.  

So what does this mean? It means marketers are moving to social media.

In a recent study conducted by the Aberdeen Group sponsored by Visible Technologies, the following was recorded……

Aberdeen found that 63% of the companies in their survey (defined as best-in-class) planned to increase their social media marketing budgets this year.

I’m sure the trend will continue to increase as more and more people become introduced and familiar with these social media sites. People will continue to trust the people they know rather than the ad’s they see on TV’s, websites or hear on the radio.  Since today’s consumers are getting smarter and more demanding, companies both small and big must also adapt to this change.

March 23, 2009

Twitter all you want, but remember people can see you

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — tmpace @ 6:12 pm
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Twitter has really taken this nation by storm. It seems like ever since we learned about this “twitter” in PR class that is all people can talk about.  I find myself browsing people’s tweets constantly finding it entertaining and useful. Twitter is such a great place to market, network and research.

Two of my family members find twitter is creepy, and they are constantly sending me articles about why I should not Twitter.

So I was not surprised when I checked my email this morning and found:

Twitter gets you fired in 140 characters or less.

The email linked me to a MSNBC article written by Helen Popkin that described how one person’s tweet got him fired.

This got me thinking, “How can people be so silly?” Of course your employers are searching the web!

This guy in the article tweeted, “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Of course the company found the tweet, and was not very happy.

Even though twitter is a great place to express how you feel it also a place where companies can see what you feel.

Then I was reading PR blogs for class, and I found PR Squared’s, a PR group who specializes in social media and marketing, blog posting “Twitter Rule #2 Remember that you are being watched.”

This blog brought up many great points. When we are working for clients, companies, etc. we have to keep in  mind what we post may come back to haunt us.  They discuss how if you are upset do not tweet something you will regret because what if a client sees it and reports it to your boss? Or what if a reporter sees? Do you really want something like that in an article?

Twitter is a fun social network site, but we have to keep in mind we are professionals. We take down our myspace and facebook photos that are not appropriate, and now we need to make sure we only tweet things our future bosses or clients would not be embrassed or angered to read.

March 16, 2009

Wrong moves with social media

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — viancavv @ 11:56 pm
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So I’m a manager at a retail store and recently I received an email that said the company would be discontinuing the weekly newsletters. I was really surprised by this because these newsletters were incredibly informative and always had really useful information about new products and promotions. Corporate said that they would be discontinuing the newsletter because they were trying to establish a better image online; with the new website, as well as facebook and myspace accounts. They want our customers to become familiar with the company by visiting these sites. It seemed like they were pretty optimistic about establishing a new image, however their focus is strictly online. I definitely dont agree with this approach.

Although social media networks and appealing websites are always a plus, I dont think a company should rest its entire message on these outlets alone. I guarantee there are hundreds of people, including myself, who really valued that newsletter. While it’s definitely not as technologically savy as what they seem to be going for, it was still very beneficial. I cant help but wonder how many customers or opinions they will lose with a move like this.  Although many people are hopping on the social media wagons, companies shouldnt take it for granted. I think they should maintain their old tactics while acquiring new ones at the same time…not cancelling one out for the other. Bad move.

March 4, 2009

Is all publicity good publicity? The Bachelor Season Finale

Filed under: The Fifth Firm,Uncategorized — haleypetersonasu @ 11:27 am
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Just as many women across the country do, I tune into a weekly little show called, “The Bachelor”. It is the only reality television show I will watch because for the most part, it seems sincere (or as sincere as reality t.v. can get) . Not to mention the fact that it is very entertaining when 30 women vie for the coveted spot to be engaged to at the end of the show’s filming. It can be a very emotional roller coaster and whether I like to admit it or not, it tends to pull on my heart strings the more consistently I tune in every Monday night.

Tonight’s show took a turn in the opposite direction when something happened that had never happened before in Bachelor history. Jason Mesnick (the current bachelor) chose a young woman named Melissa on the season finale tonight that he then proposed to. The other girl (technically 2nd place) that he sent home was named Molly. As she left the show in a black limo (as every rejectee one by one does) she told Jason that he had made a big mistake. Typical. A scene of a very distraught and emotional Jason followed as if he didn’t know what he had just done. Shortly after, he proposed to Melissa (America’s Sweetheart).

Then came The Bachelor’s “After The Final Rose” show. Here, the entire setup of the show was made very intimate and “unlike any other previous show” by having no live audience. As I watched the host of The Bachelor preface what was going to happen next, it was a very dramatic feel. The audience did not know what was going to happen next.

Within a matter of minutes, one of America’s most LOVED bachelors became one of America’s most HATED bachelors. How could he break the heart of sweet and kind Melissa to only go back on his decision and choose Molly? Even after he had proposed to Melissa!

Although this is the personal life of three people, it is a very public event and is all over major national headlines now. I can only imagine what will be written in tabloids and entertainment magazines in the weeks to come.

What type o PR professional could help Jason Mesnick out of this mess? Should Molly and Jason try to keep their relationship as out of the spotlight as possible from here on out?

I feel the credibility of the show, “The Bachelor” definitely has gone down after this most recent season. Anything can happen and hearts will definitely be broken. My initial reaction was to be mad at both the network of ABC as well as Jason.

Do you feel this entire act was a publicity stunt? Did Melissa need to be humiliated on national t.v. like this? As far as Jason’s case goes…is all publicity (including bad) good publicity?

 

 It really has everyone talking and this was a genius move from many aspects. Maybe the ABC network is much more shrewd than I thought…

All I know is that Jason Mesnick will have a hard time even going to the grocery store in the months to come..

Here is an article back in December on MSNBC where Jason talks about how he has “found love”. (Here, he was referring to Melissa).

Here is a list of articles describing The Bachelor’s season finale and final outcome of Jason’s back and forth ultimate decision.


February 23, 2009

Marketing is Evil, and PR practioners are Spin Doctors

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — tmpace @ 7:06 pm
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When people ask me my major, and I answer, “public relations”  some look at me like I just said, “I am majoring in shooting puppies.” I believe the image of public relations and marketing is getting better, but the history of negative feelings toward our field will be hard to change.

In Seth Godin’s Blog “Is Marketing Evil?” Godi, a marketing expert and a well-know author, explains how marketing can be used for evil, but is not evil. He  admits that marketing is powerful and can cause evil, but that is not marketing’s fault. The fault is at those using marketing for evil.  It is the craftsman not the tool, he states. Godin says that marketers should think about how their actions will impact society. He explains even though you may be doing your job, does not make what you are doing right. Just because you can market something does not mean you should.

Godin goes on explain how marketing can be a beautiful thing. How it can encourage people to do or purchase things that will make their lives better. Marketing can be used as positive infleunce for people to make informed decisions.

This article was written in response to a Time magazine blog, where the writer said you would probably never see Godin writing an article about marketing being evil.  Well, Godin wanted to prove him wrong.

Working the PR and marketing fields we will have great power. We will (hopefully) influence many people with our campaigns. OK, I have to quote Spiderman (sorry I know this is so cliche) “with power comes great responsibility.” Overused but true. Ethics in our field are important. It may be tempting to make a million by selling your ethical principals along with your soul, but be the bigger person. We may have clients that want us to pitch ideas. We have to think about the impact this decision would, and decided whether it is ethical or not. In the end we will impact the way people think, and we do not want to be evil spin doctors.

We are not “puppy killing practioners” so lets not have people looking at us like we are. As Godin explained marketing can be something beautiful, and I think that is what we should always strive for.

February 17, 2009

Social media in the sports world

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — bryantedleson @ 8:30 pm
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After first being introduced to Twitter last Thursday, I was unsure how I would respond and adapt to this new form of social media.  Being an active blogger and Facebook user, I was uncertain how useful “tweeting” would be for me and my interests.  As for my interests, I am a loyal sports fan who enjoys knowing the latest updates and breaking news stories as quickly as possible.  

Who wouldn’t, right?

For instance, last Wednesday I missed the men’s US soccer World Cup Qualifier game against Mexico.  Normally, I would be a little upset if I was unable to watch the game but now I can go to the internet to get complete highlights and coverage.  I am now able to even read what other people had to say about the match in their blogs or tweets. 

When I first noticed that my favorite NFL player Ladanian Tomlinson had joined Twitter the other day, it led me to discover a larger effort by Tomlinson’s team, the San Diego Chargers.  The Chargers web site, like many other sports teams now features links to a series of blogs, and podcasts that seem to be updated frequently.  But not everyone has evolved.  

So why wouldn’t a sports organization want to evolve into the social media world?

In a recent post by Micro Persuasion titled, “The Newspaper Reporter of the Future is Here Today,” discusses the importance of social media and how beneficial it can be in building a stronger connection with its audience.  In the article, New York Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham explains how sports media is growing and adapting as well.  Abraham also discusses importance of blogs, Facebook, podcasts and the IPhone.  

It’s clearly evident that social media is expanding at a rapid rate.  Although Abraham has yet to expand into Twitter, Youtube, or Flickr, his social media “footprint” is off to a good start.  I agree with Abraham that this method of social media is redefining local media, since it’s all potentially global.

One thing is surely true, more content creates more opportunities for us to tell our stories.  Even if it’s just through a tweet.

February 9, 2009

“Horizon Management”

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — viancavv @ 2:10 am
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As a public relations senior at ASU, I can’t help but frantically question my career opportunities after graduation, especially considering the state of the economy. Comprehension.prsa.org  had a somewhat insightful post about the challenges of PR professionals at a time when clients are pinching their wallets and cutting public relations budgets. The post, “Long-range vision and leadership leads to long-term clients,” had a relatively self-explanatory title.  It outlined various tactics to fulfilling the immediate and long-term needs of a client insomuch as drawing them a vision of “sailing together toward new and beneficial destinations.”  They called it “horizon management.” Cute.

The post outlined the following ideas for agencies to achieve an interactive team process:

  • Hold regular meetings every Monday to update client activities
  • Use the meeting to brainstorm new ideas for clients on a rotating basis
  • Have team leaders review background information in advance of the session
  • Visualize the flow of activities and critical deadlines and plot your plan on an Excel spreadsheet

The ideas continued, emphasizing that agencies should create both current and long-term plans for the clients to prove their significance and long-term value.

As I read through this, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Shouldn’t you have been doing this from the very beginning anyway?” Why is this information presented as the solution to maintaining a client during the recession? Why isn’t this expected at any and all times?

If you establish a significant relationship with each and every client from the beginning, you should be confident that they wouldn’t be too quick to question whether your contribution to their company is within their budget. If you know that you have gone above and beyond their wildest PR dreams from the very beginning, then you won’t be cringing in anticipation of whether or not they’ll consider cutting you.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just a naive college student who awaits corruption of the real PR world. I don’t like to think so. All I know is that with the current state of the economy, I’ll be more than satisfied with any PR position sent my way, and I like to think I’ll be able to represent my client to the best of my ability from the very beginning…not just when I fear the separation notice. 

“Horizon management” is a great theory, as long as it’s utilized from the get-go. If you wait until you start seeing budget cuts, you’ll probably be thrown off the boat before the sun sets.

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