Musings of a PR Professional


BB Reading Assignment 3

PR Measurement Blog

Before I could get any further in scanning Katie D. Panie’s blog, I was struck by the second newest post, Maybe Google will finally replace the clipping services.This caught my attention because just the other day in my Intro to Journalism class, the professor was discussing how the emergence of new technology and therefore new media has forced newspapers to change the way they present information and are published. My professor made a great point: people thought radio, then T.V., then Internet was going to render newspapers obsolete- but they were wrong.

Sure, the newspaper publishing industry is not the money-making business it used to be, but it is certainly still prominent in society. And now, it seems, that for once it’s not the newspapers that have to do the changing. According to Paine’s post, Google is expanding its news archive to include every newspaper story ever written. And not just that, people will be able to search for a story and be able to view it as it actually looked in the paper when it was published. Neat! But also pretty ambitious. Hey, if Google has the motivation, it’s a great thing to work for. The idea of preserving history is taking on entirely new meanings.

Charity Water case study

As a follower of Paull Young on twitter, I was able to witness first hand his birthday social media experiment. While reading the reflection he wrote on the experiment though, one this really hit me: this is great PR for Charity Water. Not only was he campaigning for donations and therefore getting their name out to many people who would otherwise never have heard of the charity (myself included), he was also linking to it repeatedly and therefore getting their mission out as well.

With social media on the rise, I predict that instances such as this will be occurring more and more. Simple acts such as someone blogging about an organization or tweeting about a great new product can have huge PR ramifications if done or viewed by the right people. Get opinion leaders, or Super Influencers to endorse something and their good graces can snowball into creating better awareness and therefore relationships between the online public and organizations.


Skills Needed in PR

After narrowing it down, which was extremely hard to do, I decided on the two most important skills needed in the PR field, in my opinion. They are writing and being technologically savvy. In a way, these two skills are completely different. Writing seems to be the rock in terms of important PR skills. It is the unwavering, tried and true means of communication and that’s what makes it so great- it can never go out of style. Writing (good writing, I should say) is necessary in all aspects of PR. From news releases and writing speeches to “coordinating communication efforts with advertising campaigns” and planning special events (pg. 37 in our text, Public Relations A Values-Drive Approach), writing helps accomplish what needs to be done. One must be eloquent and understood in their writing, no matter what type of writing he or she is doing. If you are not able to craft clear and effective messages then what’s the point? Well written messages are the backbone of PR.

Personally, I consider myself to be a very good writer. I think it is just one of those things I have a natural knack for. Ever since I was a little girl it has been my hobby to write whenever I could. I kept diaries and eventually, as the technology emerged, I began to blog. So, I think part of the reason I am a skillful writer is because I enjoy it so much. Working at getting better at it is not work at all for me. Now, that is not to say that I don’t have room for improvement, I certainly do. However, I think my talent for writing sets me apart from others in terms of good writing skills.

The other PR skill I find most important is quite different from the age old art of writing. But, that certainly does not make it any less important. Being able to adapt to new, growing and changing technology is critical. John Bell focuses on new technology in his series of blog posts about the skills PR practitioners will need for the future of the profession. He describes this new age very well, “The short story is that we are now in a great time of innovation. The same predictable media spend won’t cut it anymore or, more accurately, it may work today but maybe not tomorrow.”People today are getting their messages from a variety of new sourcesand not only are they recieving information, they are communicating right back to us in a technologically sophisticated way. In another one of Bell‘s post he lists the various online channels people are using to voice their opinions. Blogs, multimedia search engines and message boards are just a few. It is a PR practitioner’s job to keep their finger on the pulse. It is imperative that a person in this field have the technological know-how so that they can send and recieve messages the way the public is at that moment.

I am far from being Miss Technology, but I am definitely willing to learn. The more blogging I do, the more I search the internet for examples of PR, the more apparent it is becomming that this profession is extremely up-to-date. And it has to be, effective communication between the organization and its publics is impossible if organizations are sending messages and listening to the wrong channels. I love the idea that PR is constantly changing and I want to learn how to keep up. First and foremost, I plan to continue blogging and reading the blogs of people already in the PR field. I think the best way to adapt to technological innovations is through hands on learning. I plan to participate in a lot of trial and error with sites such as Flickr and Google Groups. 

The field of PR is so diverse, I am ready to dive in.


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.