By: Breck Murphy
A large part of the Strategic Communications major, and this profession in general, is truly understanding the difference between Public Relations and propaganda. It’s often hard to separate the two if we don’t really take the time to consider what makes them completely distinct from one another. Sure, both of them attempt to change the way people think and impact a certain audience. The main difference, though, is the validity and truth of a statement.
Public Relations takes the facts and frames them in a light that is positive for all parties involved; there is no twisting of words or information, and all of the information presented is valid and authentic.
Propaganda, on the other hand, is typically more negative in nature; it involves the twisting of information in order to better its own cause, with little regard for the audience involved. It concerned about its own personal betterment, oftentimes with little regard for accuracy.
Here is a great example of a Public Relations campaign by Procter & Gamble in 2015:
This is public relations because it is taking the message that girls are strong and powerful, and framing it in a way that relates to its audience well. It debunks stereotypes placed on women by society by using hard facts and genuine people to do this. It is empowering women and making an idea clear to the public while remaining ethical and sincere.z
Here are 4 examples of propaganda in a podcast from This American Life:
The most impactful one, in my opinion, is act 2, in which a children’s play titled “Eviction Blues” is explained. This play had the children perform and sing about the “techies” taking over the San Francisco area, and how many families were being forced to evacuate their homes. However, the play didn’t properly represent both sides, and portrayed hard working citizens in a negative light in order to better the opposing side’s message. This is propaganda because it is attempting to impact the audience’s way of thinking while spinning information to better a specific cause.
By: Megan Bowers
These are all words I would use to describe Nike’s ad campaigns.
They release each commercial when it is most relevant.
“Chicago Cubs: Someday” was released mere hours after the Cubs won the World Series. It connects their brand to that win immediately while also providing something people want to watch. Fans of the Cubs will feel those joyous emotions time and time again while watching the advertisement.
Each commercial is filmed in a way that captivates your attention.
The “Unlimited” campaign, which ran during the Olympics, gave people a reason to watch. They wanted to see the dedication and commitment each athlete puts in. They wanted to understand how they could have that same drive.
The commercials make you feel and connect to things you understand.
The “Worth the Wait” commercial came out shortly after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championships and mirrored the feelings of every Cleveland fan. It showed images of people everywhere in the city watching and realizing they had won. It mentioned that they were in shock and allowed to celebrate, which made Cleveland fans laugh and cry even more.
These commercials show that Nike knows its audience and knows how to play to them. They look for what is important and showcase it.
It is important to do the same in any Public Relations job. Connecting with your audience is the only way to succeed.
By: Reagan Bennet
One of the most valuable “real world” skills that college students can learn is how to write effectively. The ability to write outstanding copy is important in any field or in any career. Grammar and readability are an important part of this, but it’s also important to take in consideration the quality of the content. If your writing isn’t interesting, no one will care if you used their, there or they’re. You can proofread all you want, but when it comes down to it, effective copy should grab your audience’s attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing for a television ad, a press release or a speech. Your audience’s attention is essential. So, here are the most important factors of interesting writing that I’ve learned in my three and half years at Miami.
Simple: This concept is one of the most important things I’ve learned, and it ties back into readability and grammar. One major key to writing is knowing your audience and writing at their reading level. Using an SAT word may seem impressive, but if someone in your target audiences doesn’t know what it means they’ll stop reading. Don’t overcomplicate your writing.
Unexpected: Drop some bombs, blow peoples’ minds! If your story is well written and unique it will go far. People love ground breaking stories and innovative writing.
Concrete: Don’t beat around the bush or make your writing too abstract. Stick to hard facts and solid key messages to keep your copy succinct and to retain your readers’ attention.
Credible: Credibility is important for a number of reasons. If you are advertising for a product, people won’t buy it if they do not believe you’re telling them the truth about it. If you send a pitch that isn’t credible it won’t get picked up. Believability is important to building strong relationships with media and your audience.
Emotional: A tried-and-true writing tactic is to appeal to peoples’ emotions. Humor, sympathy, anger and sorrow tug on readers’ heartstrings and really make them pay attention. Emotional stories also make the audience much more likely to spread the story and share it with other people.
Story: Create a narrative in your writing, no matter what you are writing for. Telling a story makes your content more interesting and relatable. People will stick around to hear the ending if you tell a good story.
Keep these different factors in mind when creating your copy and you will have great success in all your writing.
By: Cassie Howard
The release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been a huge headache for the company and its users. The phones were found to have a tendency to catch fire, which caused the company to announce a recall and refund of phones. In a world that is divided between Apple and basically every other smartphone brand, any mistake, large or small, could cause irreversible damage to the company. Here is a positive and negative that we, as young professionals, can take away from Samsung’s crisis management practices:
The Negative: Make the information stand out on all media outlets
If you visit Samsung’s website, you will see a small banner at the top of the screen that, if clicked on, will direct you to a new page with information and FAQ’s on the Note 7. This banner does not stand out from the site, and is easily able to be clicked away from, almost like an ad. Many users of the website would disregard this, thinking that it is not of importance.
The Positive: Inform consumers that you are readily fixing the situation and care about their well-being
If you are able to get to the information and FAQ section of the website, Samsung does an awesome job of being transparent with their information. They also reiterate how important the customer’s safety is to the company, which can give the public peace of mind.
For more information on the Note 7 recall, visit: http://www.samsung.com/us/note7recall/
By: Jen Stabler
The customer is the so important to any business. In “real-world” work, people need to understand that “customers may not always know what they want, but they are never wrong.” It is important to know your customer, and in order to do so, you need to understand their desires. What is stopping them from these desires? And how can they achieve them? Customer satisfaction is a huge element in businesses, and it is so important to make sure your customer is satisfied. I thought it was very interesting to read about the CEO of Costco who would routinely visit more than 150 stores per year and talk to employees and customers. He said he would do this because “Seeing is believing,” and that is an example of where it is important to really know your customer and also your employees, even if they are the lowest employees for your company.
Think about how frustrated you have gotten with customer service at certain companies and how pleased you have been with customer service at certain companies. The companies with great customer service are the ones you want to use and go back to. I personally think Apple always has great customer service. They are always reliable and are very helpful. They also have many great resources for their customers, something that stands out amongst other companies.
Sources: Mckee, Robert. "Storytelling That Moves People." Different Voice, pp. 51-55. & Schroeder, Bernhard. "Leaders: Build Customer Truth Into Your Company DNA." Leader to Leader, pp. 19-24.
By: Megan Bowers
If you have even heard the acronym before, it was most likely in an English class. You used it to guide your writing for the one or two essays in that class, and then completely forgot about it.
You had no idea the concepts could be applied in other areas of your life. I didn’t until my journalism 201 class this semester.
SOAPStone is a way to plan ahead anything you want to communicate. It stands for Subject, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Speaker, and Tone.
It is typically used for planning essays, but my journalism professor showed us how it can be utilized in every area of your life.
He showed us how it could be used to convince your parents of something, how it could be used to write a speech, and how it could be used to make an excellent marketing plan.
Utilizing these skills in creating a Strategic Plan or working with a Public Relations team, could make all the difference in convincing people to believe your message or support your company.
By: Lilly McCormick
With Halloween coming up, people (especially college students) get excited to show off their costumes they’ve been planning for weeks. But, planning this costume can be difficult just like a public relations campaign. You must create a good pitch for your costume. Some of public relations main components are society, audience, communication, news, media, social, and advertising. I’m going to use these tactics as in example for Halloween.
PITCH OR TREAT!
By: Reagan Bennett
As a soon-to-be graduating senior, I have been thinking a lot about where to move after graduation. I was born in raised in Michigan. Going to school in Ohio, I’ve never lived anywhere outside the Midwest. My internships have all been near home, so I’ve only ever experienced foreign cities and states through brief vacations. Now that I feel ready for a new adventure in a new city, I have begun to research which cities are the most college graduate-friendly. This search is potentially applicable for students searching for internships as well.
What I’ve found throughout the last couple months is that most cities are ranked based on a few different factors: cost of living, jobs available, median income and young college graduate population. Of course, a lot of these factors intertwine and some even contradict each other. One city may have a very high median income for entry-level positions, but that same city may have the most unaffordable housing. So when it comes to this time, it is important to know what factors are most important to you when searching for a new home town.
Here are ten cities that made a few different lists:
If you’d like to read further, this article has specific rankings of which cities are the most affordable, population of young college grads and job availability. Happy job hunting!
Link to article: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/25/best-starter-cities-for-college-grads.html
By: Joel Primack
I have been a Chicago Cubs fan since the day I was born, attending games as I grew up in a suburb in Chicago. These games were the highlight of my childhood, now I attend games with my family, fraternity brothers and my friends. I’ve flown to Arizona for Spring Training games, collecting autographs and baseballs as keepsakes. Right now, the day of the first game of the Chicago Cubs v. Cleveland Indians World Series match is the perfect time for me to discuss the excellent public relations of the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs organization has done an excellent job showing their lifestyle of the organization to the fans, getting them hyped for the Cubs. The short videos of the after parties of huge wins was successful engaging with fans, these videos get shared across social media like a wildfire. Also, the Cubs have been having great success with having fun along the way, whether the way players and employees engage with the media or Bill Murray crashing the White House Press Briefing room, giving updates on the Chicago Cubs. These make the fans crazy about the Cubs, engaging us and getting us beyond excited for games.
I am a Cubs fan! Go Cubs Go!
By: Jen Stabler
Language is used as a way to be understood in a particular time and culture. Depending on the context in which language is used in Public Relations, it really does change meaning if it is for a different culture or even a different time. It is important for the words to speak to the readers and that has a lot to do with how it is written. We understand ourselves and the world we live in through language and therefore, any experience happens through language. The way words are written are not random, but instead correspond to the experience. In Pubic Relations, words are not written just to get the message across to the others, but instead correspond to the experience and what occurs from the experience and the way in which it is interpreted. People can relate to and understand each other through language, and in Public Relations, it is important for language to target a certain audience in which they will be able to identify with themselves and experience what they want the audience to experience.
An example in the use of language in a corporation is Starbucks. Starbucks’ mission statement uses language in which it creates an experience for customers. Most, if not all, corporations’ use of language and symbols to create a “cultural community” in order to financially be successful. Starbucks creates this sense of “cultural community” through its use of language and symbol. They use the words “we,” rather than “Starbucks” which makes the reader feel some sort of bond/community. Also by saying “hope to share great coffee with our friends,” creates this sense of community amongst customers instead of just saying, “sell,” which is very impersonal.
I studied abroad last year in Italy, and there are no Starbucks there. Whenever we traveled, everyone was so excited to go to Starbucks, because it was “comforting,” and everyone knew exactly what would be there and that they would have whatever you wanted/always get from Starbucks. In every Starbucks, you will find everything to be the same, which is something that customers find comforting.
Sources: Batchelor, B. & Krister, K. (2012). Starbucks: A case study examining power and culture via radical sociodrama. PRism 9(2): http://www.prismjournal.org/homepage.html & Mickey, Thomas J. "The Language of Mental Illness." Chapter 7. Deconstructing Public Relations: Public Relations Criticism, pp. 109-19.
By: George Harris
As we have learned in our strategic communications class there is a fine line between the differences between Marketing, PR, Branding and Advertising but we often get these mixed up. Obviously they are all in relation to one another but I’ll explain them in simple terms so you have a better understanding.
Marketing: The “Umbrella” for all of these industries, marketing is what makes the world go around and for our economic system to stay stable. Without marketing, there wouldn’t be any products or information for consumers to be kept updated with what is in the world.
PR: Very relationship driven, PR is just simply the process of getting your product or message delivered to your targeted audience. Companies will use this marketing tool in every aspect of promoting their products, which requires computer-focused tactics while utilizing their consumer standing to back it all up.
Branding: Something you see being used every single day, branding is the process in which visual elements are used to give your company a memorable image. By creating a list of adjectives in which you want your company to be described as, you then formulate a logo that fits these adjectives so it gives off your desired look.
Advertising: Very similar to PR and defiantly the two that people get mixed up with, advertising is an outbound marketing approach but what does this mean exactly? Well, as PR is getting your product delivered in a systematic fashion, advertising is using the traditional (newspapers, print ads etc.) and new media (websites like social media or banner ads) to promote your product. In today’s world, consumers utilize the use of new media outlets more due to the high amount of electronic use.
Now you know the differences between these four elements of marketing strategies.
By: Kris Fiocca
As a new Strategic Communication major, my experience has been full of learning. I find myself enjoying the major and wishing that I had gotten more involved in public relations sooner. Which is why I was surprised when I saw an article by Valerie Honeycutt Spears in the Lexington Herald Ledger about second graders at Arlington Elementary practicing the art of public relations.
School teachers tasked their second grade students with developing their own PR campaign to promote school rules. Students came up with songs and posters to help promote school rules.
The posters contained messages that included, “stay in your personal space”, “don’t push anyone” and “keep hands to yourself.” The public relations campaign to promote following the rules and good behavior will hopefully encourage students to follow the rules. So whether you are a senior in college or a second grader, the basics of public relations help build a foundation for a career.
Link to article: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article105544216.html
By: Allison Haworth
As many know October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, some iconic symbols that pop into mind are the Pink Ribbons. The ribbons are not the only things that denote support for those battling the disease. The color pink is represented all around the community from football cleats, to any pink symbols you might find in your daily lives.
While this is one way to raise awareness, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is taking other actions to increase recognition and take action for the women of their communities.
Public relations professionals for the Susan G. Komen foundation are going above and beyond the awareness. A majority of the world knows that breast cancer is a prevalent issue that affects nearly 300,000 woman of the United States alone. Their next step is to go on the offensive and raise money to abolish this disease.
Their most well known campaign and event is the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure,” which was one of the leading contributors to the $6 billion raised annually for the cause. Overall, it solely helped raise $420 million for breast cancer research.
As the money continues to grow each year, it seems as if the campaigns for breast cancer are wildly successful all in hopes to tackle something that’s bigger than ourselves.
By: Joel Primack
This infographic shows the good things currently happening in the Greek community, here at Miami University. The infographic focuses on the recent data that occurred throughout Greek Week 2016. The numbers are record-breaking and the increased participation is great for building a stronger community throughout Miami University and Greek life.
I’m the current Vice President of Public Relations for the Interfraternity Council at Miami University. I designed this infographic to be a distributed image showing data from Greek Week.
I serve for the Interfraternity Council community and I would like everyone to see the great things we do in the community. Part of being in the Interfraternity Council is to make everyone understand the importance Greek life has on all young man or women lives.
By: Beth Pfohl
We all know that fine line between business casual and professional; practically every speech in college has this dress-up component. How do you decide what to wear? Is this appropriate? Here are some basic tips to take some of the stress out of dressing up!
1. Neatness- You can automatically up your game with making sure your clothes are well taken care of. Always make sure your outfits are firmly pressed or ironed so that there are no wrinkles in sight!
2. Dress appropriately for the weather- If you are uncomfortable, your audience will be uncomfortable.
3. Perfumes and colognes should be kept to a minimum.
1. Long sleeves are generally considered dressier than short sleeves, and long sleeves are appropriate for all seasons.
2. Ties are NOT necessary for business casual but a must for professional.
3. Always wear dark socks that go halfway up your calf. This way no skin can be seen when you sit down.
4. Leather or dress shoes are a must for all business situations.
5. Keep all facial hair professionally groomed.
1. If you think it might be a little short, it’s too short.
2. Pants are acceptable for all business situations.
3. As for tops, keeping it covered is the best rule of thumb.
4. Keep makeup light and natural. Use it to enhance your own natural beauty.
5. Panty hose are no longer a necessity, but they are still recommended if your skirt is knee length or shorter.
By: Beth Pfohl
Everyone knows the “picture the audience in their underwear” trick for public speaking, and as a theatre major with terrible stage fright, I can tell you that this is probably the worst advice anyone could ever give you. I know; I’m sorry. I just ruined your childhood and tore down the advice of every English teacher you have ever had. Well, here are the best tips I have managed to pick up over the years!
1. Breathe: You know the information better than anyone else in the room, so you don’t have anything to worry about. Just say what you know.
2. Don’t picture anyone in their underwear: The original thought behind this was to make nervous people laugh, but laughing in the middle of any public speech is really a terrible idea.
3. Don’t move your hands too much: It’s simply distracting and makes you look like you are nervous. You may be inclined to use gestures to get your point across, but an audience will understand your point without any excessive hand movements.
4. Every person in the room understands your plight: The fear of public speaking applies to more people than you think, so you are definitely not alone in the room. They are on your side.
5. Wear something that makes you comfortable: Yes you should always look professional, but if you are uncomfortable, you are more likely to appear nervous.
6. Your audience wants you to succeed: It’s that simple. No one wants to watch another person crash and burn, so an audience is more likely to support you than to not. They want you to succeed.
Remember these six simple steps, and you will rock any pitch or speech you ever have to give!
By: Erin Antonelli
Earlier this month, an Internet scam about the Dr Pepper beverage began circulating social media. The hoax claimed that the company was sold to Coca Cola and that the Dr Pepper brand would be terminated.
Grammar and design mistakes on the shared post led Dr Pepper’s PR team to believe that the rumors would blow over; however, they quickly realized that was not the case. The team attacked the crisis, addressing both internal and external concerns.
The company developed two key messages. The first was internal for employees at Dr Pepper. They took a serious approach to ensure that employees felt secure in their jobs.
The second was external for Dr Pepper’s customers. For this message, the PR team chose use social media as its only medium, because this is where the original rumors came from.
Since the hoax wasn’t negative, just untrue, the company decided to have fun with its response. A GIF was posted to both the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages dispelling the fabricated story. Both of Dr Pepper’s messages succeeded with the social media posts reaching over 13,000 people within the first 24 hours.
Brian Bell, Dr Pepper’s brand manager, commented on why he thinks the company succeeded in dismissing the fabrication, “The most important thing is to know your brand, its voice and know what people respond to.”
By: Sarah Emery
After fifteen years working at major media companies in Chicago, including Leo Burnett and Ogilvy & Mather, Miami University alumnus David Kelbaugh was ready for a change. He knew what aspects of the public relations, advertising and marketing industries he excelled at and the parts he didn’t really like as much, so he decided to create his own brand strategy company that could focus on what he and his team enjoyed. Soon, Tacklebox was born.
Founded in 2014, Tacklebox has been making waves in the Chicago area, working with various local companies and starting to take on some major national names- including winning a contract with Goose Island Beer Company earlier this month.
Tacklebox believes that “with the right brand, a company can separate itself from the competition, increase sales, and transform customers into lifelong advocates.” It prides itself on helping companies connect with audiences in powerful and effective ways.
Kelbaugh and his team focus on the importance of a company’s brand being so much more than a company’s product. He does presentations throughout the Chicago area to inform companies, whether large media agencies or flourishing start ups, about the importance of establishing a brand and using it to thrive.
David Kelbaugh has stayed active with his alma mater post-graduation, including spotlighting Tacklebox during the Inside Chicago program, and was recently recognized at Miami during the MJF Distinguished Alumni Days for his successful career.
By: Chloe Tykal
As a future public relations professional, being a good writer is a large part of your job. Nobody can just jump on their computer and crank out an amazing press release in 10 minutes without practicing, either. Even the best PR execs in the industry had to start somewhere.
Luckily, we live in an age where anyone can write and publish their own material. There is no better way to hone your writing skills than to start a blog. It can be about anything, all that matters is that you are consistently practicing your writing and putting material out there.
To start, think of something that interests you (it doesn’t have to be PR related at all). If you love fashion, start a fashion blog. If you love cooking, share your recipes. Once you have a basic idea, get a little creative. Find the thing that’s going to set your blog apart from the others.
There are a ton of platforms for blogging that are easy to use and free. Check out sites like Weebly, Wordpress, or Tumblr and see which one fits your idea best. They also often have templates that make designing your page easy if that’s not your thing. Any blog can look well-polished and professional with zero web design skills needed.
Coming up with a name can be tricky, but try to make it reflect your theme. Also stay away from naming it something directly with your name (aka don’t name your food blog Carol’s Recipes). Since you most likely aren’t a celebrity, name recognition isn’t going to mean a lot and can often sound hokey.
Once you have have your site all planned out, it’s time to start creating content. Start out by challenging yourself to post once or twice a week. If you know that you’re busy, sit down when you have time and crank out a few posts at once, then save them and publish them slowly.
This is your time to really develop your voice and become comfortable with your writing. The more you write, the easier it gets and the more confident you will become in your abilities.
Writing and maintaining a blog not only gives you a lot of writing practice, it can give you a portfolio of your work that you can forward to future employers. Often, they will request a writing sample with your resume and your blog can act as an archive of your work.
Blogging can be a key tool for PR professionals. Learning the ins and outs of the industry early on can be a benefit just as important as improved writing skills.
By: Kabrella Clark
The University of Cincinnati’s PRSSA chapter hosted their first Regional Conference April 8 and 9. As a member of Miami University’s PRSSA chapter, I, Kabrella Clark was able to attend PR Grand Slam.
While at the conference, I had the opportunity to connect with members of other PRSSA chapters. In addition, we spent time listening to stories from a wide-range of professionals involved in social media, marketing communications, small boutique public relations, Adobe Illustrator and more.
Jon Horton, Assistant Athletic Director for Game Presentation at the University of Cincinnati, shared his experience as a professional in the sports world. Horton described how crucial visual storytelling is to his career, especially through social media. His message also included the importance of listening and being transparent.
The most inspiring session of this conference for me was listening to Nick Belpario, who has won seven Emmys. Belpario worked at FOX for sixteen years and is now a professor at The University of Cincinnati. Belpario suggested that people should learn to respect their inexperience, but at the same time ignore it. He explained that so often we get caught up and flustered by things we do not know and “can’t” do, but this only limits what are actually capable of doing.
This advice is applicable to almost anyone, but particularly college students who plan to be in the workforce soon. This transition can be one of the most intimidating and challenging, but as Belpario mentioned, confidence in what you CAN do will take you very far.
All in all, between the amount of successful tips, inspiring people and experiences shared, PR Grand Slam was surely a win.
Thank you to Miami University’s PRSSA for giving me this opportunity!
By: Allison Haworth
Recently, a new program for a faster settlement of Syrian refugees has been implemented in the United States. This “surge operation” was successful with a full settlement process in just three months. This program takes all the necessary precautions for background checks while welcoming new citizens into the land of the free. It pushes for a better life in America, better education, better working conditions and it promotes the positives of the resettlement process.
While many people have applied to this resettlement program, it is based off of need and does not discriminate against any walks of life. In this specific resettlement, a family of seven living in a one-bedroom home with no windows and eating off of food coupons has been chosen to test out the new plan, which followed in a successful relocation.
According to the PR code of ethics, “We acquire and responsibly use specialized knowledge and experience. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education. We build mutual understanding, credibility, and relationships among a wide array of institutions and audiences.” A good company or program does not discriminate and acts as an advocate no matter who you’re representing. In this specific situation, the program applies all of those elements and promotes a positive experience for the refugees.
Whether or not you agree with the Syrian resettlement program, it is apparent that they provided a perfect example of good public relations that we can all practice to become successful in the public relations world in the future.
By: Chloe Tykal
For years, your Twitter account has had the same funny, but slightly inappropriate handle. Your profile picture is you in a bikini. Or maybe you’re tagged in some photos after consuming a few too many beers (complete with red solo cup in hand).
As the finish line approaches and you realize you have to become a “real adult,” your social media image becomes more important than ever. Your new company isn’t going to care about your following/follower ratio, or how many times a week you post. Before you’re even hired, they’re going to have looked you up and at least done a quick scan of your accounts.
It’s time to accept reality and do some online spring cleaning.
The first thing to do is make sure that the “outside” of your profile looks good. Set your profile photo to one where you look like someone that people would like to hire. That doesn’t mean it has to be your LinkedIn headshot, just make it one where you look like the type of person it would be nice to work with.
Make sure your handle identifies you with your name. As boring as it sounds, it’s time to switch your handle to some combination of your first and last names. It looks professional and is easily identifiable.
Digging a little deeper, it’s now time to get to work cleaning up the content on your pages. Delete questionable posts, unlike all of those Facebook pages that you liked in middle school, and untag yourself from those terrible photos.
Try to keep your personality on your page. If you’re a comedian at heart, don’t delete all of your funny posts. If you love music, don’t take down the links to playlists and videos that you’ve shared.
Instead of making your online presence completely disappear, curate and grow it to something worth remembering.
Try to coordinate all branches of your social media. Have them all work together as a single unit. If you write a blog post for your Tumblr, share a related photo on your Instagram, Tweet the link to it, or even tell your Snapchat friends to check it out in your story.
Social media is one of the biggest tools PR professionals have. If you can’t manage your own, how can your boss expect you to manage a company’s?
By: Claire Parker
1. Assign leadership roles. No one likes a person who takes charge too quickly or does everything for the project. In that same light, it’s really hard to work with people on a team if they do nothing. Without hurting anyone’s feelings, it’s nice to assign everyone a role. For example, one person can always be in charge of scheduling the meeting spot, one person can keep everyone on time and on track, and another can keep people accountable for their work.
2. Schedule deadlines before the actual deadlines. Have you ever worked with anyone who saves their work for the last minute? This pretty much describes half of the population, but now there is a solution for it. Trick yourself and your group members into an earlier due date so you don’t have to stress the night before something is due. Whether you’re working together on a PR plan or a news release, you’ll feel much better about your early turn-in date than late one!
3. Physically work together. Your best ideas come out when you can bounce them off of other group members. Sometimes it’s hard to get together as an entire big group, but your writing will flow better, your ideas will work together and the strategies will translate into the timeline which will be in line with the budget. It’s tempting to put everything on a GoogleDoc and let people fill out different sections, but then the voice of the plan/paper won’t be congruent. Take the time to meet with your team, map out ideas and write.
4. Listen. Everyone has really creative ideas on projects, but sometimes it’s hard to stop talking and listen. If you’re a louder group member, take a second to sit back and hear what your other group members might have to say. You might surprise yourself and like their idea more than your own.
5. Celebrate as a team. Now that your project is done and you’ve turned it in, celebrate with your team members. Thank everyone for doing a great job and working really hard. Remind yourself that no matter what the grade is, everyone put their best into the project. You guys worked hard!
By: Adam Goodreau
Every June, over 11,000 delegates from all over the world travel to Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France to celebrate creativity. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is known to many as the largest assembly of professionals, designers, digital innovators and marketers. Gaining its inspiration from the Canes Film Festival, the seven-day festival awards and celebrates the best of creativity and brand communication within: Film, Film Craft, Media, Press, Outdoor, Cyber, Promo & Activation, Design, Radio, Mobil, Branded Content & Entertainment, Creative Effectiveness and PR.
How does PR make its way into an international festival of creativity?
According to Cannes Lions, “Public Relations is the creative use of reputation management by the building and preservation of trust and understanding between individuals, businesses or organizations and their publics/audiences.” To receive an award for PR at Cannes is to creatively demonstrate that there has been change within a corporate policy. Most importantly, that the change builds and preserves trust between any organization and its publics.
How does Cannes define change?
Anne Davis, PR jury president, says that the jury focuses on: “Creativity, innovation, freshness and ingenuity… Earned trust through influence powered by authenticity… Change. Change could be behavioral, or change in conversations, in minds, in lives, in societies, in laws… And then ultimately we asked the question, ‘Why does this work matter?”
What does this mean for you and me?
As PR professionals we should all be asking ourselves, “Why does this work matter?” Our work matters as we influence change. As communicators we have the ability to cause change within society by fostering interpersonal relationships. Through these relationships we can influence behaviors, policies, conversations and laws. In being influencers, we also have the ability to be creative. We can meet our audiences and publics through creativity, making the “story” compelling and relevant. Finding purpose and channeling creativity allows us to be effective agents of change.
By: Rosie Leuby
With many great triumphs in life, there will also be moments of failure. There are many different major public relations mistakes that have happened over the years that can teach future public relations practitioners what to be careful of. Here are just a few major mistakes found in public relations practices that one can learn from:
1. McDonald’s on TwitterAs a public relations move, McDonald’s promoted the use of a hashtag, #McDStories, on Twitter. Almost immediately after posting about their promotion, the hashtag was overwhelmed with negative comments about McDonald’s. They pulled the hashtag after only two hours and criticized Twitter users for their “snarky” comments. The lesson to learn here is that one cannot control the conversations on social media, and especially not act all that surprised when people say something that is not nice.
2. Coca-Cola‘s Carton Change
One of there products, Tropicana, was getting a new, cleaner-looking design on their cartons, instead of their signature orange with a straw image. It caused the customers to be upset and confused them when they were trying to purchase their favorite orange juice. The uproar caused Coca-Cola to quickly reverse their decision after the fan outcry. The lesson here is to stay true to the brand packaging.
3. Apple’s Steve Job’s Comment
When a post to the world, like a comment from Steve Jobs about the iPod being the “funnest” ever, has grammar issues, that message is no longer getting through to consumers as the word choice has distracted them. The lesson to learn here is how no one is immune to grammar mistakes and one should make sure that grammar rules are used correctly.
To learn more about public relations mistakes and lessons to learn from it, check out this link: http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2012/05/05/11-major-public-relations-mistakes-and-how-to-learn-from-them/