Musings of a PR Professional

BB Reading Assignment 2

What PR is not

This blog post is saying more of what chapter 13 harped on in our class textbook: PR and marketing are different but they work together. PR focuses on many publics while marketing focuses only on the consumer.

I think the idea of trying to define PR by describing what is is not is a good idea, in theory. It started out working fine but then became confusing to me. In some definitions the author, Bill Sledzik, would acknowledge how PR helps this aspect or how the other aspect is a subset of public relations. For example, the author admits “Sales people often benefit from the good works of public relations people… And because sales people are the organizations front-line storytellers, it behooves PR to understand their needs and to support them in the efforts.”  It seems to me that PR is much too integrated into many of the communication aspects of an organization to try and pull it out of contexts and define it. Sure, PR is not simply marketing, but it’s unfair to deny the fact that the two are very much related (and are even more successful when they are).

Chapter Thirteen

  • Integrated Marketing Communications: (IMC) Revolutionizing the world of mass-marketing. Today, more specific messages are being sent to smaller groups of people. Organizations seek information about consumers so there is a constant flow of information between the two.
  • It is important to send one clear message in an IMC campaign as to not confuse consumers. However, PR can at times send a slightly different message in order to bring up an issue that would make buying the product necessary.


  • Public relations, advertising ans marketing work together. However, where advertising and marketing focuses only on the consumer public, public relations focuses on all publics.
  • The four P’s of marketing are: Product, price, place, promotion where PR comes into play at promotion. 

Chapter One

  • Public relations is extremely hard to define.


  • Elements of the profession: management, two-way communication (organization to public and public to organization), planned activity, researched-based social science (research to understand the context within which the communication occurs), socially responsible (concerned with the well being of others).
  • Theme of relationship management: Organizations that have healthy, positive and generally good relationships with the public are more successful.


  • Public relations as a profession has just begun to slowly gain acknowledgement that it is a valuable asset to the organization. Public relations has previously been famously under appreciated.


  • Hunt-Grunig models of public relations: press agentry/publicity model, public information model, two-way asymmetrical model two-way symmetrical model.
  • The public relations model used depends on the structure of the organization.


  • Public relations is different than advertising and marketing.


  • Ways of practicing public relations: PR agencies, corporations, government, nonprofit organizations or trade associations, independent PR consultants.
  • PR practitioners use a wide range of communication skills and are constantly learning new skills to keep up with newer and newer technology.


  • Linear four-step model of the PR process: Research -> Planning -> Communication -> Evaluation
  • However, in reality PR is not that simple. These four steps in the process should shift in order, be repeated and so on. This is known as the dynamic four-step model of the PR process
  • Values-driven public relations: The two previous models lack the necessary framework of values that organizations must work within. The organization’s and the public’s values must be considered before appropriate communication can occur between the two. “…process of uncovering not just where an organization wishes to go but also the principles the organization will observe in getting there.” (pg. 17)
  • Organizations must be more socially aware as a result.

Kevin Dugan Phone Call

Today, class was a very cool experience. For about ten to fifteen minutes of class time, we were given the opportunity to listen to Kevin Dugan, a very prominent and successful person in the PR world on the phone. Our professor called him and asked him to explain a typical day in his life, as well as give a short overview of what his job entails.

Currently Dugan is the director of marketing communications at FRCH Design Worldwide. One thing that really stuck out to me when he was explaining what his job entailed was that PR is not just media relations. That seems to be a very common misconception about PR and to be very honest, not too long ago I was a victim of it. But that is why I was so grateful to hear from him. He provided three wonderful words of advice that one should follow if they were interested in getting an internship with him or within the field:

  • Professionalism (Attention to detail)
  • Good writing skills (Have samples such as class pieces or a blog)
  • Passion (Desire to learn)

I’m definitely going to take these three things to heart!

BB Reading Assignment 1

Babblesoft Mad Blogger

In today’s day and age it doesn’t matter how big, small, public or private a person’s voice may be, someone, somewhere will hear it. I think it is important for each and every one of us to realize that because of the Internet, things such as blogs, email and Instant Messenger carry an enormous weight. If i have learned anything from this PR example, it is that one should never be too quick to judge. I thought that Gunasegaram handled the situation wonderfully by not immediately attacking Laycock and overreacting. She is certainly a very good example of someone who took the time to follow the procedure for “engaging with blogger critics” and had it pay off.

Red Cross Social Media

First and foremost I think it is absolutely amazing that the American Red Cross utilizes technology so well. It seems that PR and technology are a match made in heaven. I don’t know why I am so surprised at this fact, it seems the Internet would be an obvious choice to disseminate information quickly since today virtually everyone is “plugged in.” Also, I love the term “citizen journalist.” It is becoming harder and harder to deny the fact that anyone with technology at their disposal can be a reporter.

BestBuy + Sex and the City Movie

The pitch was pretty funny. Knowing that Sex and the City would not only be affecting the lives of women all over the country this summer, the Geek Squad was brilliant to include the men in a different, yet just as engaging way. By plastering Geek Squad on their pamphlet, Best Buy was able to get their name out to thousands of men. Just a (not so) subtle attempt at creating an association between relief and salvation and Best Buy.

Mars Explorer on Twitter

This is a wonderful idea. Though I’m definitely not the fist person to be keeping up with space travel or exploration, I can name at least five people who are. The simple update is a wonderful way to keep the public in touch with exactly what is going on with the MarsPheonix. The blog is very convenient and a really great and easy way to gain publicity.

City of Greenville Parking Bunny

My first impression was that a parking bunny was completely unnecessary and really, a little stupid. The cutesy rhyme? I don’t know about you but when parking enforcement officers are trying to give me a ticket or telling me to move my car, something “funny” and “adorable” is not what I want to deal with. But the fact that the Parking Bunny issues warnings is very intriguing. One must understand where the officers are coming from, I think the Bunny is an attempt to facilitate this understanding for the public.

Clinton’s Spelling

How does this happen? Who are her representatives?! Time to do some damage control. I know people make mistakes sometimes, but someone who is running for presidential candidacy really shouldn’t make such glaring errors. Does she want people to question her competency?

GM Fastlane Blog

I love this blog. And not because I’m a car fanatic or because I’m in the market for a new one, but I love this blog because big names in the company are contributing to it. “Bob Boniface Director of Design for Chevrolet Volt, GM” and “Bob Lutz GM Vice Chairman,” for example all take time out of their day to sit down at the computer and let the public know what is going on. The way that this personalizes exchanges between the lage motorvehicle company and the every-day buyer is extremely beneficial. Through blogging, it makes GM seem as if they are an honest, intimate company working for the buyer.

JetBlue Video- Post Crisis Communication

David Neelman was in a very tough position being CEO of JetBlue airlines and I think hehandled it very well. Not only did he appear on several new shows to explain the cirsis and why it happened, but he also issued this announcement to the public in an attempt to begin to make ammends and show the customers what JetBlue is doing for them. As I mentioned in the paragraph abover concerning the GM Fastlane Blog, I think the most personal communication is, the more effective it is. It was a great PR call, in my opinion to have Neelman be the one to offer his condolances and reassurance. I think it seemed much more sincere than if someone lower in the company or some representative had been the one to speak out.

Clemson #22

This video and email really resonates with me, and I’m sure everyone else associated with Clemson University in some way. I think it was very wise of President Barker to take a humble approach to his announcement by thanking everyone. It is an honor to be ranked twenty-second but it is even better when we are referred to as a family. “Family” has a very meaningful and positive connotation that everyone can appreciate and by including this concept into his announcement. It’s really a huge honor, and great PR for the school to be ranked so high.