By: George Harris
PR has been an expanding industry for many years and it hasn’t been until more recent years that it has impacted societies in other cultures. This industry has been expanding the most in the developing nations in the world and this has had an impact of PR in America. In this blog I want to cover what are the proper etiquette or expectations in certain countries that American’s should know about before doing business abroad:
By: Kiley Harris
Crisis is a word most people fear. Those people, however, are not PR people. Crisis communication, although ideally avoided, is something that PR professionals must be prepared to handle.
A major aspect of crisis communication is understanding every audience that a company should contact in the event of an emergency. Potential audiences can include the community, the customers, the employees, the people affected by the crisis and their families, the news, etc. The list goes on and on.
Customers can make or break a business, so they should be a main priority in a crisis. Communicating with them is the key to success. The news will also be very important because they will be on scene in large scale incidents. Companies should have specific spokespeople to represent them in times of crisis in order to make sure they are represented in the most professional way.
It is also important to keep in mind what information each audience wants to hear, and to figure out the best way to communicate that to the specific audience. This way, the spokespeople can make a script of a message for each audience. Consistency of said message is absolutely essential in order to uphold the company’s reputation, especially as new information comes into play as time passes.
Although a crisis cannot be planned, being prepared for any curve that can arise during a crisis is the best way to ensure a smooth and successful response to any emergency.
By: Allison Haworth
As many Millennials are in the midst of their college years or just nearing that stage of life, many wonder why college has gotten so expensive over the years. As there are scholarships available, many pay the full price for out-of-state tuition, which adds up very quickly. Here are many factors that you can expect to be included in one of many bills.
While many underestimate the costs of tuition, it is imperative to research and do financial planning before sending kids off to school to avoid the surprises of steep prices for the factors above.
By: Cassie Howard
When studying and working in the PR field, it is extremely important to stay informed and up to date on what is going on in the industry. While PRSSA and PRSA blogs are a great place to start, there are so many others out there with the potential to inform you on things that could impact your future career. Here are the five blogs that I regularly read:
By: Lilly McCormick
Research is a key component to public relations. It brings out the strategic part of the communication in PR. Without research, public relations can’t be accurate and effective with their strategic management. Although research requires a large budget it is necessary in the long run. Research is two-way communication. It is not just a dissemination of information; it also collects information from the publics.
Two-way communication is way more useful than one-way communication. Research is how we find our key publics. They are the publics we want to focus on. It also gives us not just qualitative date but quantitative data with hard facts. It proves a research question or hypothesis the PR company is working on. Research is a huge part of the foundation of public relations.
Source: Durnescu, Ioan. "Research Note - CEP Probation." CEP Probation. N.p., 03 Mar. 2016. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
By: Breck Murphy
In a recent article published by Advertising Age, the rise and importance of Public Relations in companies is explained. I found this article especially impactful because of the site it appeared on; an advertising centered outlet published this piece advocating for PR. In my opinion, it provides an excellent explanation of why PR is becoming so critical in places of business.
First, they credit an internal Public Relations team from Coldwell Banker in leading the company to success with smart home technology companies. The PR team, while often considered a counter part of marketing or advertising in this particular company, shone through at a Consumer Electronics show last week. The team crafted a 3-year plan for the company to implement smart home strategies and presented this idea at the convention. This was the first time the company centered their campaign on Public Relations (over advertising/marketing) and they achieved great success and feedback.
In another company, H&R Block, the Chief marketing officer recently stated that the firm is putting more resources into Public Relations, rather than advertising. They are focusing on their partnerships and their social media. Personally, I find this shift in focal point incredibly resourceful; in a world where advertising is becoming easier and easier to avoid with click-away ads or fast forwards, social media is an honest and practical way to reach the public.
This article made it clear that PR is a rising form of effective communication in the business world, and it is no longer to be overlooked in relation to advertising and marketing. It’s a way to ethically relay a message to the public while positively impacting a company’s internal and external affairs.
By: Kris Fiocca
As Public Relations professionals, we are asked to stay up to date on the news regarding our clients. PR agencies are responsible for representing different clients. It can be difficult thinking about a diverse set of clients and how they fit in different news stories.
When the city of Cleveland was host to the first game of the World Series and the Cleveland Cavaliers Championship Ring Ceremony, reporters asked LeBron James what would make the night better for Cleveland sports fans. James said, “I don’t know, having an ice cream truck outside both arenas at the same time.”
The PR firm that represents Blue Bunny Ice Cream heard what James had to say about Cleveland’s big night. Blue Bunny leapt at the opportunity to be involved on the special night for Cleveland fans and provided a semi truck full of ice cream and distributed free ice cream for Clevelanders.
The story of LeBron and Blue Bunny Ice Cream interests me because part of the reason I want to be in PR is that it is a necessary part of the field is to be informed on current news headlines. Also, as a Cleveland sports fan, I was excited for my hometown and the buzz surrounding Northeast Ohio.
By: Rebecca Sowell
With the 2016 presidential election drawing to a close, there’s no doubt that this election season has been a smash hit for political public relations. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have made direct efforts to appeal to voters by projecting themselves as the ideal candidate.
While the candidates are shaping the outlook of voters through tireless canvassing and rhetoric-fueled advertising campaigns, they have attacked each other and strived to put the other party in a negative light.
Although attack ads are common within election season, both Trump and Hillary have utilized social media more than any previous election. Social media has given the candidates the ability to become more personal to their aspired voters and reach closer to home than ever.
According to the Pew Research Center, 44% of American adults in January 2016 reported having learned about the 2016 presidential election from social media.
Now that the election is ending tonight, let’s take a close look at the top five tweets of the candidates:
References: Bort, Julie. "Out of 1 Billion Election Tweets, One Zinger from Hillary Clinton Was the Most Popular." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc., 08 Nov. 2016. Web. 08 Nov. 2016. & Gottfried, Jeffery, Michael Barthel, Elisa Shearer, and Amy Mitchell. "The 2016 Presidential Campaign – a News Event That’s Hard to Miss." Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, 4 Feb. 2016. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.
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.