by Elizabeth Robbins
Come late October, it is hard to get away from the shrieks and howls of ubiquitous horror movies. Why fight it? It turns out horror movies can teach important lessons, especially to the public relations professional. Sarah Gibbart points out on PR Daily that the horror genre uses a variety of devises to keep us begging for more blood-curdling screams. Try using these tools of the trade.
1. The double whammy surprise. You know how you feel when the second half of a terrifying one-two punch hits you? The first minor scare comes expectedly, leading you to let down your guard and relax. Then, just when you think that you’re safe – wham! The second surprise brings you screeching out of your seat. We can use this type of devise as marketers to follow up a minor, expected courtesy with a much bigger one.
2. Build suspense. Like the drama that keeps terrified moviegoers glued to their seats, channel Steve Jobs leading up to your next product release.
3. Use abandoned areas. The most memorable and frightening things in horror movies happen in conspicuously abandoned places. You can find some of your best ideas in places that have been under-explored.
4. Create memorable moments. A good horror movie leaves you with memories that keep creeping back through your head. Likewise, a good marketing tool, such as a catchy jingle, will keep your customers thinking of you.
5. Don’t let the end be “The End” A good horror movie ends with a tease that suggests that more might be coming in a sequel. Keep your customers hoping for more as well.
by Emily Lammers
The Federal Commission hit yet another lawsuit this Tuesday on cellular provider, AT&T. The lawsuit centers on AT&T misleading customers with unlimited data plans by slowing connection speeds after a certain amount of data is reached. The FTC issued the lawsuit saying that AT&T failed to adequately disclose that the customers data speeds were to decrease by as much as 90%.
AT&T is fighting back saying that the allegations are unsubstantiated and that they have disclosed their policy of slowing speeds to customers. This is not the first time AT&T has faced these sorts of allegations. Only weeks ago the company paid $105 million in settlement charges after slipping in unauthorized charges on customers wireless bills. AT&T has continued to deny all allegations with the current lawsuit and others filled again them. In a statement AT&T held, “It’s baffling as to why the FTC would choose to take this action against a company that, like all major wireless providers, manages its network resources to provide the best possible service to all customers.” This may not be the best tactic when this isn’t their first public reputation hit in recent weeks. As a company they may want to take a more sympathetic front in order to save customers from switching to other providers such as Verizon.
by Alana Hallett
If you haven’t read or seen it in every major newspaper or news media, Ebola has officially arrived in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian patient who recently traveled from Africa, came into Texas Presbyterian on Sept. 25, 2014 with symptoms of Ebola, but was released with antibiotics. As to why he was discharged, that’s the question on everyone’s mind. DallasNews stated that Duncan returned two days after being discharged, and was officially diagnosed with Ebola. Presbyterian hospital announced Duncan died on Oct. 8, 2014. The even worst part, he not only died, but the two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson have now contracted Ebola.
The real question, has Ebola affected the hospital’s ability to communicate? Bruce Haynes, Washington consultant, states that “mixed messages from Presbyterian created confusion that undercuts the public’s confidence.”
Due to the lack of communication and confidence between the hospital and public, the hospital hired Burson Marsteller, global PR firm to help them restore trust. Its public relations efforts include a new social media campaign illustrating the hashtag #presbyproud, as well as a series of videos posted on YouTube with messages from Presbyterian nurses answering the question: Do you feel safe working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas? Daniel Varga, the clinical officer, is hoping to see a restoration in trust and confidence in the hospital to treat all patients. Will these new strategies work? Or will they fall at the hands of another fatal effort illustrating how not to handle a situation?
Yasmin, S., & Railey, K. (2014, October 17). Texas Presbyterian begins public relations effort to restore trust. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20141017-presbyterian-begins-public-relations-effort-to-restore-trust.ece
by Tali Hunt
Humans are visual creatures; we enjoy pictures. Infographics are illustrative images, like charts and diagrams, which display data in an appealing and easily understood manner. Infographics allow people to quickly view the data, and quickly draw their own conclusions about the topic in question. Many business, non-profit organizations, governments, and individuals have turned to infographics to help reach their intended audiences.
In order to clearly convey a message, infographics must show valuable information, contain accurate data, be legible, and be visually appealing. One way to succeed in in this is to display data with attributes like contrasting colors and images, organizing the data in a hierarchy of importance, and putting the information into relevant terms.
Infographics are also being utilized for their versatility. They are easy to read on multiple platforms. An infographic can be displayed on paper, television, the Internet, and smartphone screens. Being able to use the same image to reach the audience through various means is something that many companies are taking advantage of. The use of infographics will, most likely, continue to grow.
by Christina Peterson
Recently, "Breaking Bad" action figures were being sold in a Toys R Us in Florida, where the controversial toy created quite the stir. A local woman started a petition to ban the toy from being sold on the shelves of a store that her child often shopped at. She believed that the toy represented drug and crime related messages and did not think it was appropriate for young children. Eventually the Florida mother had over 9,000 signatures on her petition and Toys R Us decided to pull the product from their shelves in response to the negative reaction from the public. This was definitely a beneficial public relations strategy by Toys R Us because the inappropriate toy was actually causing decline in their other sales as well. In addition this very well known toy store has the reputation for being family and kid friendly environment that sells toys that suite a younger generation. Instead of fighting back with a defensive response, Toys R Us gracefully stopped selling the toy that was displeasing the public. As a company they came to understand that it was no inappropriate to make the doll as a whole, however, it is inappropriate to attempt to sell the doll in a store that targets a younger market. In conclusion, the company made the right decision to stop selling the doll and managed the minor crisis in a calm and sensible manor.
by Shannon Kinney
If you happened to step outside yesterday, October 22nd, you probably noticed the hoards of people crowded around The Farmer School of Business. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the line coming out of Dividends. The massive amount of people standing on the corner of High and Patterson were protesting to display their disapproval of George Will, a Washington Post columnist, coming to give a speech. Many students didn’t like the idea that Miami University was paying is a whopping $48,000 to come speak after he published a controversial piece, “Colleges become the victims of progressivism” on The Washington Post, about campus rape and sexual assault earlier this year.
As many people are well aware, sexual assault has been a reoccurring issue specifically on Miami’s campus. It is not something that is taken lightly here in Oxford, Ohio. The scrutiny of the matters regarding campus rape that was shared in Will’s column did not go unnoticed or unheard in this small college town.
by Courtney Helmuth
Get ready. Walt Disney has just released their next princess. Her name is Moana, which means ‘ocean’ in many Polynesian languages. Disney plans on releasing their newest CG film in late 2016.
While Disney has not let very many details slip, a basic plot has been shared. A young, adventurist female sets off on an adventure to find a fabled island in the world of Oceania. She teams up with the Polynesian demigod, Maui, to complete her “ancestor’s quest.” Along the way, they meet mythical sea creatures, underworlds, and folklore.
Following in the footsteps of previous movies, such as ‘Brave’ and ‘Frozen,’ Moana will be the courageous heroine of the movie. Unlike the earlier Disney princesses, she won’t be sitting around waiting for a Prince Charming to come save her. Instead, she embarks on her own adventure.
Disney has taken many steps in the right direction for women. With ‘Frozen’ grossing $1.27 billion, you can clearly see how the idea of a strong female lead and sisterhood attracts people to watch and re-watch a movie. Here’s to hoping that what ‘Frozen’ did for feminism is what ‘Moana’ does for cultural diversity. Especially considering the fact that she will be only the fifth princess of color.
by Ellie Broaddus
Within the past year, the coffee chain Starbucks has generated plenty of positive publicity through their positive and innovative Public Relations ideas, such as their Starbucks College Achievement Plan, in which they’re offering thousands of part- and full-time U.S. partners to finish their bachelor’s degree with a full tuition reimbursement.
Recently, Kristie Williams, a Starbucks employee, has created a petition in order to grant Starbucks baristas permission to sport their tattoos and piercings while working. With more than 25,000 signatures from Starbucks employees all across the country, the dress code change has been approved, and Starbucks employees will soon have permission to sport visible tattoos and piercings while on the job—as long as they are deemed appropriate.
It’s important for companies to pay attention to Public Relations trends as well as increase employee retention. In my opinion, Starbucks made the right choice in supporting the petition, as well as over 25,000 employees nationwide. Attitudes towards more relaxed dress codes for employees in major chain companies have become a lot more common during the past few years, including major companies like Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Petsmart. However, will more companies join the bandwagon in this growing trend?
by Tali Hunt
Today, Melissa Currence will be visiting Miami University. Currence is the Interactive Media Manager for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. She has over three years of experience in many areas of public relations: email marketing, corporate writing, social media and crisis communication.
She graduated from Ohio State University with a Masters in Journalism and Communication in 2004. Currence is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. She serves as the Community Service Chair for the Cincinnati Chapter. Currence has gained experience in the field of PR through many past involvements, such as, being a press office intern for the US Senator George Voinovich, being a section editor and reporter for The Xavier Newswire and volunteering for nonprofit groups.
Currence specializes in writing, Adobe Creative Suite, web design, hypertext markup language (HTML), and photography. She has given her time to better non-profit organizations, like the League of Women Voters. Currence is the current Vice President of Development for the League of Women Voters. She will be sharing her knowledge about the development of public relation for non-profit organizations with any and all Miami students who wish to learn more.
by Paige Garty
You and your friends go on a hiking trip and to remember your good times you snap a ‘selfie.’ Later, you post that picture onto social media. Little do you know you and your social media followers are not the only ones who can see the picture from your hiking excursion. Ditto Labs in Massachusetts created new software that scans people’s photos from different social media sites for companies to track how their customers are responding to their product in everyday life.
1.8 billion photos are uploaded to social networking sites every day. This means 1.8 billion photos are being scanned every day from sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. The software allows companies to track the logos and patterns on people’s clothing, the location of the picture, and even reads facial expressions to determine the satisfaction of the customer.
The new program is a dream come true for marketing firms. They can now carry out extensive research with little effort and can find out vast information about their products’ consumers. Based on the results form Dittos Labs’ program, Advertisers can find out exactly how they should target their customers.
You may be thinking that this is totally intrusive and simply cannot be legal, but the director of Big Brother Watch (a group that challenges policies which it believes threaten people’s privacy) says otherwise. Emma Carr told MailOnline, “Social media companies are well within their rights to scan photos for marketing purposes, which will certainly come as a surprise to many users.”
I guess it is true what they say: be careful what you post on the Internet!
by Shannon Kinney
It’s that time of the year again! It’s almost Halloween—also known as the day that you need to start planning what you’re going to wear about three months in advance. Remember last year when you said you were going to put together an awesome costume but never got around to it? You probably said something like, “I’ll try harder next year” or “I’ll come up with something really creative next time”. Don’t wait until two days before the holiday to rummage through yours and your roommate’s closet to see what you can come up with…plan ahead! Try out some of these tips to help you get those awesome costumes you were thinking about a year ago.
· Creep on friends of friends on Facebook to see old costumes. After all, a part of creativity is knowing how to hide your source.
· Make it scary(ish)! Everyone seems to overlook this category.
· Base your costume off pop culture! Think along the lines of new artists, new apps, or new movies. Everyone loves things that are current and have never been done before.
by Ariel Wiley
Some people were born great and some people achieve greatness through hard work and dedication. To be, not a good, but great leader in your community and extracurriculars takes these top ten qualities and skills according to Forbes.
·Honesty – Always be honest with yourself and your team because the best way to accomplish or overcome and obstacle is by talking about it.
·Ability to Delegate – Find what your team members enjoy working on and this will not only make your team more efficient, but the quality of work will be better.
·Communication – Communicate to be on the same page with your workers and they will learn to trust and even depend on your decisions.
·Sense of humor – Short laughing breaks or allowing your workers to take long weekends will keep the office, and you, happy!
·Confidence – Confidence is key, if you believe in yourself, so will your team members.
·Commitment – Work hard, and others will follow and respect you.
·Positive Attitude – To keep quality of work up and the energy, it takes positive vibes, give your workers positive vibes!
·Creativity – Don’t always play it safe by thinking inside the box, your co-workers will appreciate doing something different ever once in a while by thinking of new ways to solve problems.
·Intuition – Listen, watch and communicate to figure out what is right for the team and what isn’t.
·Ability to Inspire – Enthusiasm is a very powerful thing, work hard and respect your team members and they will want to do the same.
Of course, there are many other skills and traits that great leaders possess. These are just a few to think about when going into job interviews and preparing for the work place.
by Paige Garty
I’m sure most of you have heard of Fashion Week: a hectic week dedicated to announcing next season’s hottest fashion. But have you ever heard of Advertising Week?
Advertising Week is the annual gathering of marketing and communications leaders from all different companies. People from all around the world meet up in New York City for a week of seminars, workshops, and other events that relate to advertising. Just like Fashion Week, fresh new trends are announced that impact the entire industry.
There are many entertaining activities for attendees such as contests, guest speakers, short films, and even concerts.
Each year, the executive board of “The Week” announces the new members of the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame. This years lucky winners were: the Morton Salt Girl (celebrating her 100th anniversary), Smokey the Bear (celebrating his 70th anniversary), and Snuggle Bear from Snuggle Fabric Softener (celebrating his 30th anniversary).
“The Week” consists of many hands on opportunities. The 6th annual Big Ad Gig was a huge success. Five men and women presented their ideas to the industry judges and Advertising Council who awarded them with paid, 30-day freelance agencies posts.
Here are some FACTS & FIGURES about Advertising Week:
· Advertising Week began in 2004.
· Over 90,000 advertising junkies attended this year
· This year it was held from September 29th to October 3rd.
· There were 250+ events and 190+ seminars and workshops held by the industry’s most prominent leaders
· The second annual Advertising Week in Europe will be held in March 2015
Feel free to check out the official website here: www.advertisingweek.com
by Sarah Emery
Although birthdays are an exciting time of year for anyone, sharing a birthday with John Lennon (who would have turned 74 on October 9th) just makes my special day even more unique.
How did this young man and his fellow Beatles band members become some of the most iconic names in musical history? Although they had incredible talent and charisma, even Lennon himself credited their success in a 1960s interview to the fact they “had a press agent”.
The man behind much of the early success of The Beatles, Tony Barrow, started his career writing a slightly risqué alternative to his school’s newspaper. When hired, Barrow started with the mindset of promoting The Beatles with the regional press. He knew he could gain support for this new band from Liverpool organizations. Barrow soon began to branch out in his PR work, including ghostwriting articles and creating special Christmas records, helping The Beatles achieve more and more fame.
His job couldn’t have been easy. Take a look at some of the pictures and the comments that he constantly had to deal with.
What can students take away from the rarely told story of the PR mastermind behind The Beatles? Although even he admits that a lot of his good fortune came from being in the right place at the right time, it’s important to point out how he took advantage of his connections in his own community. Rather than taking the boys straight to London, Barrow garnered support from their hometown of Liverpool.
Obviously, Barrow is an incredibly successful agent who utilized every opportunity he had to promote his clients. How can we do this in our own work, especially with the Internet right at our fingertips? How can we emulate Barrow and start small, to hopefully make it even bigger than anyone could’ve imagined?
by Ellie Broaddus
October is PRSA/PRSSA Relationship Month, yay! To me, my membership in PRSSA means building professional and personal relationships with other collegiate members in my PRSSA chapter here at Miami, in addition to PRSA members. After I graduate from college, I hope to transition my membership in PRSSA to PRSA in order to best develop a career in the Public Relations industry.
Due to my membership in PRSSA, not only have I received amazing relationship-building and networking opportunities, but I’ve also gained access to numerous PRSSA benefits, such as my myPRSA account, which is filled with award-winning Public Relations case studies, daily briefings of top Public Relations news, and leadership tools!
Our chapter’s Sponsor Chapter is the East Central Chapter, and I am so excited to continue meeting with more of these members and learning about their experiences working in Public Relations. Our chapter’s calendar is filled with guest speakers who visit our campus and inform us about the firms they work with, as well as provide us with networking opportunities, career mentoring, tips for working within the Public Relations field, information about internship opportunities, and so much more.
“If we’re about building ‘mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics,’ we acknowledge such relationships must be founded upon mutual trust.” – George L. Johnson, APR, Fellow PRSA
by Rachael Booth
Social Media. It surrounds us everywhere. Social media websites are portrayed in the media as positive inventions that have benefited society. However, beneath all the excitement and advancements social media brings, what are the consequences? It has been said that Facebook can cause loneliness and depression. Studies have shown that the way users portray their lives and display photos, specifically photos of vacations, cause others to envy them. Taking a closer look, Facebook may not be the biggest criminal here. These four reasons explain why:
The question here is will social media sites continue to tell us that the best images are what give us our worth and will we continue to be influenced by the ideologies social media presents?
WINTER, J. (2013, July 23). Selfie Loathing Instagram is even more depressing than Facebook. Slate. Retrieved October 5, 2014 from http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/2013/07/instagram_and_self_esteem_why_the_photo_sharing_network_is_even_more_depressing.html
by Ariel Wiley
In the technology section of The New York Times this article on Facebook was highlighted and how they are “promising” a deeper review of user research but the way they are doing this is not specified. Facebook now is up to 1.3 billion users, this means news and media opinions are spread around very quickly. Facebook has taken advantage of their viewers in the past year with the advertisements used to get the viewer to click, which usually end up being spam. When Facebook came out with the messenger app, another article came out claiming that the app was able to take a lot more information of the user than the user was ever aware of (everything from their phone number, home address if posted on Facebook, and likes and dislikes, etc.).
Facebook is getting very aggressive with the way they take their users information before the users even get to benefit from the site. From this article, they hit a certain point that Facebook seems to be missing. This social media site is only functioning because people are using it, if Facebook pushes the people too far (which they almost did this time), they will not be needed in the near future. Consumers will find a more trusting social media site to be apart of. They need to work on better communicating with the public and giving users enough information to trust the site with personal information.
GOEL, V. (2014, October 2). Facebook Promises Deeper Review of User Research, but Is Short on the Particulars. The New York Times, p. 3. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/technology/facebook-promises-a-deeper-review-of-its-user-research.html?ref=technology&_r=0