Posts filed under: ‘Chapter Summary‘




Three

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of having guests speakers, Lauren Crawford and Jeremy Estroff, who are both GSU alumni, come talk to my  PRCA 2330 class about themselves and their company three.

Threeis a public relations firm located in Atlanta that caters to clients such as Simmons, Wafflehouse and Healthcare.

Lauren Crawford started off with an internship with three and then landed a full time position public relations team where she was given the opportunity to work as an account executive.

She is now helping advertise accounts such as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Shaw Flooring, Waffle House and Burr & Forman Law Firm.

Jeremy Estroff started designing at the marketing agency Carbiner International. He is now a senior designer for clients such as iXL and lead artist on The Home Depot’s National advertising team.

He is working as the Art Director for three and designs accounts such as Children’s Health care of Atlanta, Simmons Bedding Company, Shaw Floors, and U.S. Kids Golf.

Jeremy has also launched his own freelance design studio, JeremyBlairStudios, designing projects for clients in locations such as Atlanta,London, Los Angles, Montreal, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

He co-owns Baby Nation, an infant and toddler apparel company focused on creating clothes that reflect fashionistas and their child.

One key thing Jeremy stressed was that everything revolves around PR.  A student in my class asked what the difference was between a marketing firm and a public relations firm was, and he said the big difference was that public relations focuses more on press and marketing is more about advertising and clientele.

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Add a comment April 30, 2009

Domino’s Crisis

dominos1I’m sure a lot of people have heard about the recent Domino’s video that went up on Youtube featuring two Domino’s employees playing with a food (including the guy sticking a some dough up his nose before he placed it on the pizza).

In class Mrs. Nixon asked us to sit back and think.

What do you need to know about this story?

Where the Domino’s is located?

Who did the order go to?

Were there any other employees involved?

Who were the two employees who made this video and were they held responsible?

Then she asked us “what action would you take”?

First, I would fire the employees and make sure to let the media know you did so.

Formally apologize to the public at large

Conduct a health seminar for all Domino’s employees

Make the two ex-employees apologize for their actions

Install surveillance cameras throughout the store including the kitchen

Domino’s Reaction: 48 hours later they responded to the video, they removed the video but it had been watched numerous times and the damage had been done. They fired the employees.

What Domino’s needs to do:

Utilize their social media, it took them 48hours to respond to the video, which allowed a wide variety of people to have access to the video and share it with others, and they need to secure their domain name on twitter because people tried contacting them to let them know the video was out there but the name Domino’s wasn’t actually the company, it was just a guy who had Domino’s as his twitter name account.

This could have happened to any company but the way that they choose to handle it makes all the difference.

Add a comment April 30, 2009

Punctuate This! and WKRP

The last couple of days in my PR class we have been discussing AP style and punctuation.  My teacher, Barbara Nixon came up with a fun and creative exercise to go along with the topic, a Dear Tom letter.

She divided the room into two groups. Group One had to punctuate the letter as if they were madly in love with Tom. Group Two, my group, had to punctuate the letter as if we despised Tom. The hate letter read as following:

Dear Tom, 

I want a man that knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind and thoughtful people who are not like you! Admit to being useless and inferior! You have ruined me. For other men I yearn. For you I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy!

Yours,

Sheila

I thought it was so neat to see the insanely huge difference it makes once you change the punctuation around even though you keep the same wording.

Also yesterday in class we watched a video “WKRP” in Cincinnati that took place in the mid 1970s. It was the first television show to play popular music.

I thought the show was entertaining and humorous. This show was about Mr. Carlson, who was the boss at the radio station WKRP, and he was extremely bored and tired of not being involved in the day-to-day activities that took place so he decided to get involved. He started annoying all his employees by being overly eager to dictate what they were working on. Then he came up with an advertising campaign that he wouldn’t tell anyone but told the team members to trust him that it was going to be huge. He ended up flying a helicopter over the town and throwing turkeys out of the sky to show that WKRP was wishing people a happy Thanksgiving and giving out free turkeys. The only problem was that the turkeys couldn’t fly and plugged to the ground at high speeds causing a frenzy to occur in the streets below. Mr. Carlson’s last words on this episode were “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly”.

This t.v. show was a funny way of letting the class evaluate what could’ve been done to avoid the disaster. There needed to be communication between Mr. Carlson and his staff members. The event needed to be organized and proper perperation should have been taken to make sure the reporter on the street had permission to be there. Most importantly Mr. Carlson should have done his research and he would have found out turkeys in fact, do not fly and the whole disaster would have been avoided.

Add a comment April 30, 2009

Managing and Valuing Diversity

In my PRCA 2330 class my professor talked about diversity and gave us a handout titled “Intercultural Nonverbal Communication: Gestures. This handout included a list of nine gestures and compares the way Americans view gestures vs. others other countries.

1. Shaking hands- Americans see that as a way to say “Hello, nice to meet you.” Some cultures can’t use a hand because they consider it dirty, and in some parts of Europe it is rude to shake hands with one hand in your pocket.

2. Eye contact- Americans use a lot of eye contact when talking to someone, but in India and China it is actually rude to look elders in the eye.

3. “Come here”- we simply motion our hand towards our body, in Australia that is how you call animals.

4. “OK”- Americans make the sign where your thumb meets your index finger and the other three fingers are pointed up, well in Spain that is a sign your wife is an adulteress.

5. Thumbs up- Americans think that means good job, in Austrailia that means up yours.

6. Touching- Americans don’t get in each others personal space, while some European countries kiss each other on the cheek as a greeting.

7. Spatial relationships (personal comfort zones)- Americans expect an imaginary bubble around them as the distance you should stand near them but in China they stand extremely close to you and think nothing of it.

8. “You have a phone call”- Americans motion this by placing their hand up to their ear like a phone, in Argentina they would look at you like you are crazy.

9. Entering a crowded aisle of seated people- Americans try to sit in the most convenient place so they do not disturb others around them.

In class we also watched a video on clowns titled “Diversity”, and it used clowns in real world settings (doctors-Dr. Blinky, hobos, etc.)

They found there were negative conitations associated with clowns, no one took them seriously so they were looked at differently, this represented minorities. 

“I wish they would only take me as I am”, said Dr. Blinky.  Dr. Blinky isn’t accepted because he’s a clown so they feel he isn’t qualified for the position.

This was wrong because they were judging based on appearance and not qualifications.

Accepting everyone “as they are” means accepting how they are different and also accepting their varied talents and abilities and this is very important in business today because you deal with many different people who are from many different backgrounds and each person vital information and knowledge about a subject you would never obtain if you don’t give them the opportunity.

Add a comment April 30, 2009

Dealing with Issues, Risks, and Crises (a recap of chapter 10)

In class we talked about what a crisis is, four types of crises, sparks of crisis, benefits of planning and the seven key elements in a crisis kit.

A crisis is a non routine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threatens “significant reputable damage”.

Kathleen Fearn-Banks, in her book Crisis Communications: A Casebook Approach, writes, “A crisis is a major occurrence with a potentially negative outcome affecting the organization, company, or industry, as well as its publics, products, services, or good name.”

Four types of Crises are:

1) Meteor- an example of this would be a hostage situation like the one in New York where fifteen people were left dead

2) Predator- someone else causes your crisis- for example if a company is being sneaky and someone else notifies the public

3) Breakdown- mortgage prices

4) Lingering- doesn’t really go away, example the Tylenol crisis that happened years ago is still fresh in many people’s mind

Sparks of a Crisis include:

– Environmental

– Technological

– Terroristic

– Criminal Misconduct

– Managerial

– Accidental

Benefits of Planning help to reduce stress, demonstrate goodwill, create a flow of communication, involves stakeholders and business continuity.

7 Key Elements in a Crisis Kit:

1) A list of the members of the crisis management team

2) Contact information for key officers, spokespeople and crisis management team members

3) Fact Sheets on the company, each division, each physical location and each product offered

4) Profiles and biographies for each key manager in your company

5) Copies of your company, division and product logos, your press release format and the scanned in signature of your CEO on disk

6) Pre-written scripts

7) Contact information

3 R’s of Crisis Communication

1)Research

2) Response

3) Recovery

3 Communication Procedures

1) Platform

2) Priority

3) Policy

Spokespersons

– Interest and Empathy

– Honesty and Authenticity

– Responsive and Proactive

– Open to Criticism

Add a comment April 29, 2009

“Getting into the News”

In class we discussed the aspects of the news (which could be an acronym for North,East, West and South)

Ms. Nixon began the class discussion by asking us what news meant to us. I defined news as information given about a certain topic whether it be about entertainment, politics, or informative, even actual facts, basically just information passed from one person to another enlightening a person about something new that grasps their interest.

Ms. Nixon then went on to say news needs to have three things: 1) be timely, 2) informative and 3) of interest to a particular group

Then we moved onto Press (News) Releases and discovered that Ivy Lee was known as the father of news releases.

A Press Release is a story you write with the intend of having it published in a mass media channel, newspapers, radio or Internet.

Reporters rely on press releases become they gather more information then share it with reporters and that saves time.

When writing a press release it is very important to write in Inverted Pyramid (from most important to least important information) because generally most people only read the first couple of paragraphs and just skim the rest.

When writing use the five W’s- Who, What, When, Where, Why and How

Media Kits-“Crest Kits” are major events your organization might have

The feature story is longer in length than a traditional story

We ended the class with a slide that read Die! Press Release! Die! and were told to Google if we were interested in knowing more. So you do the same!

Add a comment April 24, 2009

Chapter 14

Chapter 14 is titled News Releases, Media Alerts, and Pitch Letters.

News releases, also called a press release, has been around since Ivy Lee issued a news release back in 1906 for the Pennsylvania Railroad. News release continues to be the most commonly used public relations tactic. Its primary purpose is the dissemination of information to mass media such as newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines.

Internet News Releases are distributed via e-mail.  B.L. Ochman, writing in The Strategist, suggests that you should “think of the electronic news release as a teaser to get a reporter or editor to your Web site for additional information.”

One thing I really liked about this chapter was the section on media alerts and fact sheets where it defined a media alert as a memo sent to reporters and editors about a news conference or upcoming event that they may wish to cover. Media alerts are also referred to as media advisories.

Fact sheets are also another useful public relations tool.  They are often distributed to the media as part of a media kit or with a news release to give additional background information about the product, person, service, or event. They are usually one to two pages in length and serve as a “crib sheet” for journalists when they write a story.

Add a comment April 21, 2009

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 talks about reaching a multicultural and diverse audience through age groups, racial and ethnic groups and other emerging audiences. Diversity is the most significant aspect of the mass audience in the United States.  Ethnicity, generational differences, and socioeconomic status also shape the audiences segments that public relations practitioners address.

Age groups are usually divided among youth and young adults, baby boomers, and seniors. Today’s youth market (15-24-year olds) has over $350 billion of purchasing power.  The youth market has been identified as Generation Y, a term used to describe people born after 1980. They succeed Generation X, people born between 1965 and 1980. The Fortino Group (Pittsburgh) projects that the Y generation will spend 23 years online. Spending one-third of their lives online will have interesting impacts. Two examples of those impacts are that they will spend equal time interacting with friends online and in person, and initial interaction online will precede most dating and marriage.

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, and they represent the tidal wave of Americans born after World War 2, they comprise a market of 76 million people, or about 28 percent of the U.S. population.  Of this number over 60 million are over age 55. Baby boomers, as a result from growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, also tend to be what is described by one writer as a “rather active, socially conscious bunch.”

Seniors are defined as men and women 65 years or older. Medical advances have improved life expectancy to the point that today almost 36.3 million Americans are age 65 or older. PR practitioners should remember these characteristics of seniors: they are often less easily convinced than young adults, they vote in greater numbers, they form excellent source of volunteers for social,health, and cultural organizations and they are extremely health conscious.

Add a comment April 21, 2009

Chapter 8 Evaluation

The fourth step of the public relations process is evaluation, which is the measurement of results against established objectives set during the planning process.

Objectives should be part of any program plan. There must be agreed-upon criteria used to evaluate success in obtaining these objectives. A couple of basic evaluation questions any practitioner should ask are: “Was the activity or program adequately planned?”, “Did recipients of the message understand it?”, “How could the program strategy have been more effective?”.

Five sections outline the most widely used methods for evaluating public relations efforts: 1)measurement of production, 2)message exposure, 3)audience awareness, 4)audience attitudes and 5)audience action.

Measurement of Production is simply how to count how many news releases, feature stories, photos, letters are produced in a given period of time.  Another side of the production approach is to specify what the public relations person should accomplish in obtaining media coverage.

Measure of Message Exposure is the most widely practiced form of evaluating public relations programs and is considered the compilation of print and broadcast mentions.

Media Impressions are the potential audience reached by a periodical, a broadcast program, or an Internet Web site. Media Impressions are commonly used in advertising to document the breadth of penetration of a particular message.

Measurement of Audience Awareness is a higher level of evaluation used to determine whether the audience actually became aware of the message and understood it.

Measurement of Audience Attitudes uses a baseline study to determine changes in an audience’s perceptions and attitudes.   Baseline studies graphically show the percentage difference in attitudes and opinions as a result of increased information and publicity.

Measurement of Audience Action states the ultimate objective of an public relations effort is to accomplish organizational objectives.

Add a comment April 5, 2009

Chapter 7 Communication

Communication is the third step in the public relations process, and it is the most visible of public relations work.The goals of the communication process are to inform, persuade, motivate or achieve mutual understanding.

To be an effective communicator, a person must have basic knowledge of: 1) what constitutes communication and how people receive messages and 2) how people process information and change their perceptions, and 3) what kinds of media and communication tools are most appropriate for a particular message.

A number of variables must be considered when planning a message on behalf of an employer or client. The communicator should ask whether the proposed message is 1)appropriate, 2)meaningful,3)memorable, 4)understandable, and 5)believable to the prospective recipient.

Five possible objectives for a communicator:

1)Message Exposure-PR personnel provide materials to the mass media and disseminate other messages through controlled media such as newsletters and brochures.

2)Accurate dissemination of the message-the basic information, often filtered by media gatekeepers, remains intact as it is transmitted through various media.

3)Acceptance of the message-Based on its view of reality, the audience not only retains the message, but accepts it as valid.

4)Attitude change-The audience not only believes the message, but makes a verbal or mental commitment to change behavior as a result of the message.

5)Change in overt behavior-Members of the audience actually change their current behavior or purchase the product and use it.

One key variable in the communication process is source credibility.

A few things to avoid when communicating are jargon, avoid cliches and hype words, euphemisms, and discriminatory language.

The Five-Stage Adoption Process: Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Trial and Adoption

Five levels people approach innovation-Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards

Add a comment March 31, 2009

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