Category Archives: PR Connections

Grand Finale

To all “New Beginnings” fans, its been a pleasure writing to you this semester. But as everyone knows, all good things must come to an end (well at least for a little while anyways). So I hope you enjoy my last blog for Public Relations Applications. It has been quite an experience.

This last blog is dedicated to the top 10 things I’ve learned this year about the practice of public relations. Here they are:

10. What is public relations?
I always thought PR was like advertising and the purpose of PR was to make people want to buy a product or accept a certain idea or come to an event. Well, that’s not technically the case. Public relations professionals work hard to create an open environment with their target audience, or “publics.” According to Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics, “Public relations is a process involving many subtle and far-reaching aspects. It includes research and analysis, policy formation, programming, communication, and feedback from numerous publics.”

9. Blog Commenting
This is a very critical practice to those wishing to maintain a successful blog. My advice is to find blogs that write about similar topics as your own. Comment on their blogs and hopefully they will comment on yours.

8. Using Social Media in Public Relations
It is important of public relations professional to keep up with their publics. In order to do this, it is a good idea for companies to set up accounts with different forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or engage in activities like blogging or podcasting. This way communication becomes 2-way.

7. Resume Writing
One of the most shocking facts I learned over the semester is that employers only give resumes 15 seconds before they decide which pile they go into: possible new hires or the trash. It is depressing, but not everything in life is fair, right. Because of this it is necessary to check out resume-building websites and utilize the luxury of building relationships though networking websites. 

6. Research is the Key
The most overlooked piece to the puzzle, yet probably the most important is research. In fact, when it comes to the RACE process, research should always take the most amount of time. There isn’t much more I can say about this because it should be a give-in. Make sure you know what you are taking about before you talk about it.

5. Press Release Format
Did you know most news stories aren’t even prepared or written by the journalists of the newspaper you are reading? I didn’t before I took this class. Many stories are created by a team of public relations professionals hoping to gain free publicity for a product, event, or idea.

4. Crises
One of the more difficult jobs public relations practitioners will have to handle are those dealing with crises. This section of the class was actually the one I became most interested in because of the variety of issues that can arise on a given day. The crisis I found most appalling was probably about the Wendy’s “Finger-in-chili” hoax. It was cool to see how Wendy’s reacted in such a positive way and worked its way back into the rankings of top fast food outlet.

3.  Twitter
I didn’t even want to think about this one. I was a Twitter-hater before this class, but now I really enjoy it. Although I probably don’t use it correctly, or in ways it should be used for public relations, I find that its a great way to let everyone know how you feel about something. I also find it very useful when I am thinking about going to a movie, and using the search feature to see instant movie reviews. I should have used it before paying 7 dollars to see Remember Me.

2. Just write
Kneale Mann said it best, when you start blogging, just write, but more importantly write about something that interests you.

1. Finding my way
After taking this class and taking Kneale Mann’s advice I started finding my way. I really enjoyed writing about public relations issues that were occurring in the world of sports, dedicating most of my PR connections posts to baseball, football, and basketball. Because of this, I have been looking up possible careers and internships with professional sports teams.

So if you survived reading all 10 items, thank you for keeping up with me. But lucky for you, you don’t have to read anymore.

The End.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under PR Connections

Making the Right Move

If you aren’t an avid sports fan like me who watches ESPN every morning, then you probably haven’t heard about Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Rothlisberger, a publicist’s nightmare. Here is the run down:
2006 Off-season: Rothlisberger crashes his motorcycle. He wasn’t wearing a helmet.
2009 Off-season: Rothlisberger is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in his Lake Tahoe hotel room. (Charges Dropped)
2010 Off-season: Rothlisberger is accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year old college student in the women’s restroom of a nightclub. (Charges Dropped)

After this latest sexual assault scandal, Rothlisberger has been suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for 4-6 regular season games, even though all legal charges were dropped. This has caused some confusion among certain ESPN analysts, stating that the suspension is too severe because Rothlisberger was not charged. In my opinion, this disciplinary action is exactly what Rothlisberger deserves. For example, he continues to get into legal trouble year, after year, after year, and it is obvious that he hasn’t learned his lesson yet. As an NFL player, especially one who is in a such a high leadership role and the face of his team, should be responsible to hold himself at a higher standard. I mean, why in the world would a 28 year-old even be at a nightclub in the middle of a college town? There is no reason for that. Even though Rothlisberger might have been falsely accused, continuing to place himself in these shady situations just shows he is asking for trouble. Therefore, severe measures have to be taken to serve as a wake-up call to this great player. I don’t want to see such a talented athlete throw it all away and I don’t think Goodell does either.

4 Comments

Filed under PR Connections

Get Loud!

If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m a sports junkie and I dedicate most of my PR connection posts to the world of sports. This post follows suit.

When I was in high school, I fell in love with the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team. As if it was yesterday, I clearly remember their slogan “Get Loud! Get Crazy Loud!” This phrase has stuck with Cavs fans and their organization ever since. Because it is playoff time, the noise level only increases within Quicken Loans Area. The Cavaliers public relations team gave fans another way to “Get Crazy Loud” during game two of the first-round series against the Chicago Bulls: each fan was given a box of Kraft Macaroni Cheesy Explosion to shake throughout the competition.

The cool thing about the Kraft promotion is that after the game, fans can either take the free box of macaroni home, or they can place it in a donation box located throughout the arena. This donation goes to the local food pantry, which shows that Cleveland is dedicated to the needy community that surrounds them. This project is just another reason showing how the “NBA Cares” and I’m all for it!

P.S. The Cleveland Cavaliers just beat the Bulls, causing them to go 2-0 in the series. I’m all for that too!

Leave a comment

Filed under PR Connections

Did You Know?

In my Media Management class at Southeastern University, my professor introduced my class to this video called “Did You Know.” This presentation highlights the rapid growth of technology and the influence the Internet has on today’s society.

Check it out:

I hope you got a chance to watch this video clip because the facts presented are astounding! Does this information, however, relate to public relations? The answer is “definitely!”

Public relations is a career dedicated to a life of problem solving. Professionals must figure out how to promote a new product, service, or event, how to identify potential threats within a company, and how to restore reputations during and after a crisis. One piece of information that was important for potential public relations practitioners to be aware of is that “the top 10 in-demand jobs did not exist in 2004. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” Why is this important? Public relations professionals of the future are going to be required to work with companies that utilize technologies that are even in development yet. That means PR is always going to be changing as our society continues to innovate. PR professionals must constantly be the top of their game.

In addition, this video proves that social media is an increasingly important outlet for PR firms to reach their targeted publics. For example, 200 million individuals have created a MySpace account. According to the video, “If MySpace were a country, it would be the 5th largest in the world, between Indonesia and Brazil.” Furthermore, it took Facebook only 2 years to reach an audience of 5o million. This is a drastically short period of time when compared to more ancient forms of media such as the radio or television. Social Media sites allow PR professionals to reach more people more efficiently, giving them the ability to spread their message at extremely rapid rates unlike never before.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see how the innovations in social media sites influence the way public relations works!

7 Comments

Filed under PR Connections

Innovations

The iPad. This device is the newest technological advancement and has created a ton of publicity. I have to admit. At first I was pretty skeptical of the iPad. I mean it’s just a iPod touch times 4 right? After a little bit of research, the iPad, once it becomes popular, will have the capability to transform the industries, especially the publishing business.

Magazine companies are already changing the way they publish information because of the iPad’s versatility. The iPad provides audiences with a more exciting and interactive reading experience. For example, VIVMagazine is leading the revolution, fusing vivid moving pictures with brilliantly crafted articles. Through moving images, magazine and book producers will be able to capture the energy of a still life shoot with the motion of a block buster film. Using visually stimulating images will draw more readers just as visually stimulating images draw large crowds to the theaters. Check it out!!

Not only will this innovation change the way the magazine industry works, the iPad can reshape the way we do public relations. For example, the iPad will give readers the opportunity to give editors instant feedback on content, giving the publishing staff a closer relationship with their consumers. Consumers will be able to get what they want exactly when they want it. I would consider this a public relations professionals’ dream.

I know that magazines are becoming more available online, but I truly believe America will embrace the iPad once costs decrease. The reading experience is just so much more appealing and exciting at the same time. In addition, everyone wants the newest, most versatile devices and the iPad is that next big thing. We will just have to wait until the diffusion of innovation hits the peak.

For more information about the iPad, check read this blog post on BNet.

2 Comments

Filed under PR Connections

Digging Deeper

INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW

For this assignment, I interviewed Chelsea Kuchta, a fan relations employee with the Lakeland Flying Tigers and Detroit Tigers spring training.  Although she is quite young, Chelsea has a great education and experience background as she graduated from Michigan State with majors in political science and communications. During her education, she focused mainly on interpersonal communication. In addition to her schooling, she has worked as an intern at Disney World and is planning to rejoin the Disney community relations crew after the 2010 spring training season ends. Chelsea and I are co-workers at Tigertown in Lakeland, Florida and this interview was conducted in a face-to-face manner.

What is a typical week like?
On game days, Chelsea has quite a busy schedule. Pre-game tasks include creating informational posters and finding children in the crowd to run the rosin bag to the pitcher’s mound, throw out the first pitch, and say “Play ball!” During games, she hands out promotions such as free Zaxby’s chicken meals and  BD’s Mongolian Grill coupons in between innings. On other days, Chelsea works hard in the office creating posters, organizing information into spreadsheets, and making important phone calls to sponsors.

What is a project you are especially proud of?
When Chelsea was working at Disney, she was in placed in charge of cast members in the college program. During this time, she helped the cast members create and maintain resumes. One part of this experience that she was most proud of was the fact that many of the cast members she trained were offered Disney internships after the college program.

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
According to Chelsea, keeping updated on trends is very important to the work of a public relations professional. To keep current in the industry, she maintains a facebook and twitter account. Furthermore, Chelsea stays updated on professional sports by following ESPN news, reading blogs, and searching for articles on the Detroit Tigers’ official website.

What do you wish you could have known before staring a career in PR?
Chelsea said that she wished she had more “hands-on” experience speaking with businesses while she was in college. She discussed how learning about how to communicate and actually communcating are two totally different things.

How important is writing in your career?
Writing is a very important part of the public relations career, especially in the areas Chelsea has worked in. At Disney, for example, she spent a huge amount of time writing emails that were professional, clear, and concise. However, she stated that verbal communication is more relavent to her job than written communication.

What are 3 tips to someone starting in public relations?
1. Be confident. No matter what the situation is, it is important to appear that you know all the answers or at least know where to look for answers.
2. Do your research. It is important to know as much information as possible about the companies or clients you are working with.
3. Ask questions. It is better to ask questions and do a job right the first time instead of not asking questions and doing it wrong.

How did your education prepare you?
The most imporant class Chelsea took to prepare her for a career in public relations was Interpersonal Communication. In this class, she learned why people communicate in different ways. For example, someone may be perceived as rude because of previous events that have occured in their life that day. People tend to carry their negative feelings onto others.

What has surprised you the most about your career?
Chelsea acknowledged that the thing that surprised her the most is the lack of communcation skills within companies. Although communication can improve, most people seem to be stuck in their ways and are not interested in change. In addition, she described how networking plays a huge deal in getting what you want as opposed to experience.

How does technology affect your daily work?
Technology is used everyday. It is important to keep up with what is happening minute-to-minute. It is important to check your email as often as possible. It is highly necessary to purchase a Blackberry so email can be checked out of the office as well. With the Tigers, Chelsea is required to use different computer programs to create promotional flyers, brochures, and other forms of media. Additionally, co-workers keep up with each other by using radios.

After my interview with Chelsea I feel like I am more likely to pursue a career in public relations. As I sit in the outfield during games, I get to watch Chelsea and her co-workers interact with the fans. I would love to make the fans’ experience an extremely memorable one. Although public relations requires a lot of work, my goal in life is to put a smile on someone else’s face. This is possible through a career in public relations.

1 Comment

Filed under PR Connections

Life in Technicolor

Choosing a favorite music artist, for me, is a difficult challenge. One minute country music will be blasting out my speakers and the next day I will be addicted to the sounds of Frank Sinatra. Some bands, such as Third Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, and OneRepublic will always be a part of my favorites list. I have to say that if there is a time here I just need some good background music to increase the mood of the environment, Coldplay is my go-to choice. I really enjoy Coldplay’s use of rhythm piano, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, and melodic song writing. In addition, they are willing to take chances by infusing sounds from various different cultures.

Coldplay is highly involved with their fans, especially through social networking mediums such as Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook.   Most of their interaction with the public occurs through their official website. Here are a few examples of Coldplay’s use of public relations:

1.) As a thank you to their fans, Coldplay released a free copy of their album LeftRightLeftRightLeft, which features 9 live songs including “Viva La Vida” and “Clocks.” The album can be downloaded on their website.

2.) The official Coldplay website includes a page called The Exhibition Room where fans have the opportunity to display their digital artwork. Throughout its existence fans have uploaded their animation, graphic design, home videos, claymation, illustrations, paintings, photography, music videos, and short films. Each week, Coldplay members choose a new piece of work to add to the online art gallery.

3.) Another page on the official website is called the Oracle. This area allows fans to ask “The Oracle” questions regarding band members such as “What is Chris Martin’s favorite song he has performed?” and much more!

4.) One interesting use of public relations is the adventures of Coldplay puppets. Each puppet looks like one of the band members and a picture is taken with the puppets in an area that best represents each tour spot. Although I am not really sure what significance this has, it sure is humorous and interesting to see where the puppets will end up next! Here’s a picture of the puppets in Argentina!

Leave a comment

Filed under PR Connections