By: Ellie Broaddus
In Public Relations, advanced writing and editing skills are a necessary skillset in order to effectively communicate with all types of audiences. Below are ten tips for improving writing and editing for PR!
1. Use clear, concise language—the more straight-to-the-point your message is, the more powerful it will be!
2. Avoid wordiness—if you’re feeling unsure about the wordiness of your writing, try reading it aloud! Extra unnecessary words muddle up your message.
3. If you experience the dreaded “writer’s block,” take a break and come back to your writing later.
4. Opt for active verbs in the present tense—try to avoid “throwaway” verbs, such as utilize, facilitate, and so on.
5. Follow punctuation rules—the AP Style Guide is a great resource!
6. Create an outline before beginning any writing—this is a great way to make sure all of your ideas are included and organized.
7. Strive for shorter messages—the length of your writing can be vastly shortened by removing unnecessary phrases such as “that is,” “which are,” and so on.
8. Remain consistent with verb choice—it’s usually best to always write in present tense.
9. Get to your main point as soon as possible—don’t lose readers’ interest!
10. Proofread—errors can be costly, and embarrassing!
By: Meghan Sullivan
Starbucks, as I’m sure everyone knows, is one of the largest coffee companies in the world and the company has decided to use this popularity to launch a campaign on Monday they are calling “Race Together.” Their goal, according to Corey duBrowa , Senior Vice President of global communications and internal affairs, is to stimulate a conversation about race relations in America.
The campaign is receiving criticism and backlash, causing duBrowa to deactivate his twitter on Tuesday. The main question being asked is whether or not the employees of Starbucks are qualified to start a conversation about such a difficult subject. Other critics called out the company for the image above in which those holding the cups are lacking in diversity. The public relations for this campaign is being handled by the public relations firm Edelman and the marketing and communications agency SS+K. Starbucks is standing by their decision to launch this campaign and explained that they have never been one to shy away from controversial issues. The question is whether or not it was appropriate for Starbucks to launch this campaign and how it is affecting Starbucks reputation.
By: Rosie Leuby
As public relations professional, one should have an increase sense of responsible for privacy and personal identity. The trouble is how privacy and personal identity are far more difficult to obtain with the advances of technology as well as social media. The reality is that one has to make ethical decisions every day. Ethics is an important component especially with transparency, which frames the ideas as truth, accuracy, fairness, and a responsibility to the public. While decisions are not necessarily black and white one must have a strong sense of ethics.
Albert C. Pierce, professor of ethics and national security at the National Defense University in Washington has outlined four abilities that organizations should develop:
1. Moral awareness to understand when a problem start to have a dimension of right and wrong.
2. Moral reasoning to be able to think through the problem, project the consequences, then decide what to do within the deep complexities of an issue.
3. Moral courage to overcome the fear of an ethical answer that is not easy to implement.
4. Moral effectiveness to positively persuade someone else to choose the most ethical action.
As public relation professionals, one is in the unique position of influencing decisions for their team as well as clients or organizations and it all starts with a solid understanding of your own professional ethical standards and values.
Hirsch, Neil. "Above the Gray: How We Approach Ethics As An Organization." PRSay – What Do You Have to Say? PRSA, 8 Dec. 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
By: Richard Allphin
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, what better way to celebrate Irish heritage than to have a glass of Guinness? Guinness has become one of the biggest names in Irish beer since it’s conception in 1803. Guinness is especially consumed on St. Patrick’s Day. Although, St. Patrick’s Day is not a legal holiday in the United States, it is still widely celebrated every year through green attire and food/drink such as Guinness. In 2008, Taylor Strategy visualized “Proposition 3-17” for their client Diageo, or more specifically known as Guinness
“Proposition 3-17” is known as “the drive to make St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday.” Taylor utilized a “through the line approach” to get a renewal of the proposition into 2009. Making this PR campaign one of the most successful in Guinness’s history. The proposition gained thousands of signatures and spread awareness to a younger demographic of 21-29 year olds through social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. This “direct to consumer approach” campaign not only created awareness about Guinness by effectively “reclaimed ownership” of a key consumption period know as St. Patrick’s day, which is the otherwise cluttered with competition every year according to the P.R Council.
For more Information on Guinness and proposition 3-17 you can visit http://taylorstrategy.com/guinness/
By: Sarah Emery
Black and blue or white and gold? Social media users worldwide were intrigued, frustrated, fascinated, and irritated (often all at once) when a seemingly simple picture of a dress went viral. A bizarre optical illusion caused the dress to appear black and blue to some people and white and gold to others. It felt like everyone from Rob Lowe to your great-aunt was posting on social media about which colors were “real.”
Many companies and celebrities alike immediately jumped on this prime public relations opportunity, many garnering thousands of retweets on Twitter and likes on Facebook. It was one ad posted at 12:08pm SAST (or 5:08am in Oxford) on March 6th that took the Internet by storm.
Designed by South African ad agency Ireland/Davenport and then taken to the South African branch of the Salvation Army, the ad portrays a bruised woman wearing a white and gold dress with the words “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” The ad has gained support worldwide, including news organizations and and has been retweeted over 15,000 times. A second PSA posted a few hours later stated “Because they cover it with white and and gold” and showed a beaten woman putting on makeup. Although the second ad has gained less traction, both have been hailed as groundbreaking and stunning by international news organizations such as Time and Newsweek.
How do we use viral topics to promote our brands in a tasteful, yet thought-provoking way? How can social media promote social change? It’s our duty to assure that our PR campaigns make an impact on society, but we must always be careful to assure that it’s the impact we want.
By: Paige Garty
While the weather in Oxford is beginning to heat up, so is the attention that 72andSunny is getting. The LA-based advertisement agency was recently ranked in the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2015. The CEO, John Boiler, believes that advertising is all “about behavior, not messaging.” And this is exactly the focus for the agency’s latest campaign.
The “Ask the Google App” Campaign can be seen all over New York City. Frequently asked questions are posted all over the city’s landmarks to promote the usage of Google’s new app. The questions focus on the consumers’ behaviors and attitudes toward their potential, everyday thoughts.
Where most companies would create a commercial to get their message out, 72andSunny submerged their ads into locations that correspond with consumers’ questions. Some of their ads include signs outside of art exhibits that read, “Ok Google, what is Conceptual art?” Every ad is positioned in specific location or on a certain item where a person might stop to ponder what they are actually looking at.
72andSunny’s campaign is just one way how agencies are making advertisements a more customary and common part of our lives. Want to know what the other 49 Most Innovative Companies are? Go here: http://www.fastcompany.com/section/most-innovative-companies-2015
By: Ariel Wiley
Have you heard of Miami Television News on Miami University’s campus? If you have, that’s great! If not, you are not alone. As the Vice President and Business Manager for Miami Television News, I have witnessed many missed opportunities to promote our organization around campus to get both viewers and new members.
There are a many ways to improve your own organization on campus, but there are 3 big steps you can take upon yourself to get great PR for your club!
1. Social Media
2. Getting out of your Comfort Zone
3. Old Fashioned PR
These are just a few starter tips to gaining followers and members for your own organization. What other PR strategies have your favorite organizations taken to improve/gain members?
By: Rosie Leuby
Success stories can be the most powerful selling tool! The best way for any success story to be told is typically through word of mouth. For example, suppose a customer who you recently completed a project with speaks highly of your company to ten people. Then, those people recommend you to ten other people and soon it is posted on the web or it appears in the news media about your success story.
Success stories are highly value way to market you and your company to customers. It is a way to transform a customer into a personal advocate willing to promote on behalf of you and your company.
To launch a successful success story, you first have to ask yourself:
1. Are success stories right for us?
2. Can we get permission to “name names” of clients?
3. Is now the right time to suggest doing a success story?
4. What is the ideal length of a success story?
Eggert, M. (2015, November 25). Success Stories: Your Most Powerful Selling Tools | ComPRehension. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
By: Allie Dillie
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 47 percent of the nations workforce but 60 percent of the public relations workforce. Women make up 63 percent of public relations “specialists” and 59 percent of all public relations managers. Sarahjane Sacchetti, who works on marketing for secret stated, “It’s all women out there.”
What is it that draws women towards jobs in the public relations field? Is this trend a by-product of societal norms given to women? Or are women the best fit for jobs of this nature?
The “women-in-PR trend” started happening for a variety of reasons, and it’s not all bad, so that might be why it never stopped. One idea that has fueled this pattern is that, the average girl is brought up to believe that it’s good for women to be collaborative and personable. Once these women get to college, many truly find their strengths and passions to be in the fields of reading and writing. Then, once these women graduate, they tend to gravitate towards careers involving these same fields.
With the public relations job field growing by 12 percent a year this gravitation women have to PR can be seen as a good thing. With more and more women joining the workforce, this job growth can open many new doors for women and how they are perceived in the work place. The nature of the PR job field allows those who are dedicated and hardworking to rise to the top in a way some professions don’t. “I think PR offers women the opportunity to hold high-level, corporate positions, so the career-oriented find empowerment in a PR position,” said Jessica Chesney a digital marketing coordinator at Command Partners.
If there is anything women can take away from this it is that public relations is a rapidly growing job field that offers women opportunities to grow and expand professionally. Hopefully, as more women hold high-level jobs in PR, society will wipe away the stigma that only men can hold executive positions in the corporate world.
Gender Breakdown of PR and Journalism Job Categories
By: Christina Peterson
The so-called Carnival “Cruise from Hell” may have devastating effects for Carnival as an organization. A fire caused the cruise ship to lose power and drift uncontrolled through the Gulf of Mexico. Sewage and water seeped through into the cabins, and there was hardly enough food to go around. People were getting upset not only about their safety but also about the large amounts of money they wasted on this vacation. The coast guard investigated the fire said that the fire was not large it just happened in the perfect place to take out power for the entire ship.
CEO, Gerry Cahill apologized on behalf of the company. He completely took responsibility for the issue at hand. He stated that the cruise line prides them selves on providing excellent service and experiences to their customers, although this time this was not the case. The company offered to repay each customer $500, a free flight home and a full refund for the trip. This was the right thing to do because the waste of money was a large downfall from the crisis. It is important that the company reminds their consumers that Carnival is known for luxurious vacations and this was an abnormal experience. If these actions are taken to compensate for the miserable experience aboard the ship, then parts of Carnival’s reputation may be salvage for handling the situation accordingly.