Category Archives: PRCA 2330

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WHAT I WANT TO DO IN PR – CARRIE BLACKWELL

http://carrieblackwell.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/what-i-want-to-do-in-pr/comment-page-1/#comment-4

“If you are still interested in sports there are plenty of sports teams need PR professionals. I know the need for social media in this industry is growing rapidly and would be a great way to start your career in this industry. If I were you I would try getting an internship for a sports team. I think it would be a fun and exciting way to go. I also have an interest in event planning. I don’t think I could handle weddings though. So much of it is based on what the bride wants and what people want for their weddings is always in my taste so I would have issues with clashing opinions.”

WEEK 3- FABULOUSMW

http://fabulousmw.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/week-3/comment-page-1/#comment-7

I agree with you. Along with the fact that I feel instagram is just another way for people to be self involved. “Hey! Look at this parfait I made! Look at my cat it thinks it’s people!” It’s so irritating. It takes away from life experience. Like Albert Einstien famously said “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. the world will have a generation of idiots”. Instagram promotes this by having people take pictures of everything that happens to them instead of experiencing them.

MR.ETHICAL AKA JERRY MAGUIRE- SOPHESTICATED FUN

http://sophesticatedfun.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/mr-ethical-aka-jerry-maguire/comment-page-1/#comment-10

I love that movie! Jerry Mcguire is not only one of Tom Cruise’s best roles but a great example of a PR practitioner in film. It is especially great for PR students to watch. We see Jerry go from the not so ethical man on top to watch him fall and be reborn into a more ethical man.

IS TRADITIONAL PR AND ADVERTISING STILL NEEDED?- RHIANELYSSA

http://rhianaelyssa.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/is-traditional-pr-and-advertising-still-needed/comment-page-1/#comment-4

I agree with you. New PR methods should be used along with traditional PR for a more effective program. I do believe that eventually traditional PR will be null and void. But, as of now, the most effective way to pull off a successful campaign is to use both new and traditional methods.

EH, FACEBOOK- AEZHABLAKE

http://aezhablake.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/eh-facebook/comment-page-1/#comment-13

I understand your dislike of facebook but now that you can filter your feed and hide people who have irritating post. you can block game request and you always have the option of deleting over dramatic people. There are ways to make facebook a little simpler like it used to be.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK #1- HAYLEYJ821

http://hayleyj821.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/topic-of-the-week-1/comment-page-1/#comment-22

Healthcare is and will be one of the most stable fields to get into. I think your reasons are very admirable. Have you thought about doing PR for a company that sells medical devices? I had an internship with a company that sells cancer equipment to hospitals. That is also an area that pays well and helps a lot of people.

NEWS FLASH!: We’re not as smart as we think.

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It’s a little bit funny that this was our topic this week because I just realized how much I needed my Into to PR class this week. I’ve spent most of the semester thinking that it was a waste of time. I thought that I knew all I needed to know about my future career after I finished my internship. Now that I look back at it, I had a Kanye sized ego. But, this week I noticed I’ve been using what I was learning in this class all along!

I’m the President of a student organization Independent Arts Movement and an Officer of The Swing Cat Society and the past few months have been the busiest of my college career. From September to now, I’ve been working on event after event for these groups. Combined, I worked on 6 major events one after the other and with out some of the basic concepts I learned, I would not have pulled them off as well as I did.

In this class I learned the importance of research. The Swing Cat Society audience is a lot different from the Independent Arts Movement audience in quite a few ways. I made so many promotional flyers and events to create all at one time. Once I finished them all I realized they weren’t exactly fitting for each group (thanks to our research lesson). After my realization I used the groups past photo, flyers, facebook events, to see what styles have worked int the past and what had not.

During the Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Independent Arts Movements biggest event of the year, we were discussing different types of media in class. In that class I came up with my promotional strategy for the show. I pretty much did a media sweep getting the news paper to do 2 stories on the show (one before and one after) and using the college radio station along with having the cast dress up in their costumes that week on campus. Thanks to that lesson, we sold out both nights.

I also realized this week that I use my book and my notes for inspiration. I use class examples of different campaigns as promotional inspiration, I use the lessons to guide my plans in a more organized fashion.

This class is completely necessary. We, as PR students have all the tools to do our jobs successfully to begin with but, classes like this one help polish, inspire, and push or skills to that next level. It helps build the picture to our future projects and without that extra push, we would not be as successful in the long run.

Social Media- A publisist’s new nightmare

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The name of this post must be confusing to you. “Social Media is a publicist’s best friend!” you say. “Social Media gives your client a real relationship with  fans!” you yell at me with anger in your voice, fist raised, spit flying furiously out of your mouth. I know, I know, social media has it’s strong suites but I’m starting to notice a really disturbing trend. I’ve noticed that social media’s ability to give fans a voice is just adding fuel to a PR disasters fire.

“WHAT?!” you exclaim in frustrated tone. Well, let me explain. When celebrity disaster strikes, twitter and youtube get over run with angry fans spewing venom at their so called “favorite celebrities”.  This ability adds a whole new step to conflict management. Damage control isn’t enough. How can you possible put angery (and quite vulgar fans) at bay?

Still not getting it? I’ll use my least favorite example first.

The Kristen Stewart’s Cheating Scandal

I hate Twilight.  The movies are awful, the book is poorly written, and the fans are incredibly obnoxious. That being said, I can’t help but take a look at this Kristen cheating on Rob debacle. Fans waited years for these two boring, pale, mopey kids to finally be an officially couple so, naturally when news broke that she cheated on Rob with the directer of Snow White and the Huntsman, the story was huge. This story would needed more than enough damage control on it’s own. In response Kristen, wisely, put out a public apology admitting her wrong doing and apologizing to Rob and her fans. Pre- social media this apology would have been more than enough. People would have appreciated her fessing up and telling the truth about her flub and gladly accepted her apology. She would have looked like a brave soul pre-twitter. But, alas, times have change.

Not everyone accepts celebrity apologies. In fact, some people find them phoney. It only takes a few neigh-sayers to spoil the whole bunch. Fans took to twitter and youtube with their angry and sometimes scary opinions on the subject.  Most of them were… let’s just say… less than nice. Most of them called her names I shouldn’t put in a graded blog and threats that make me want to get a restraining order for her. Not only was the cheating front page news, but the fans responses became front page  news as well. Especially this video:

This girl became the voice of Robert’s fans after this video spread like wild fire. It also caused the fire that burned  after Kristen’s cheating you burn even longer. The worst part of all this is you can’t control the fans post. It turn’s any normal scandal into a full out circus! Which leads me to my second example:

Justin Bieber/ Drake Bell “beef”

This simple little tift started with Drake Bell retweeting a Justin Bieber joke that Joan Rivers tweeted. Here is the tweet in question:

Justin Bieber is being sued for $9 million by a woman who says she went deaf at his concert. I’d pay DOUBLE that to not hear him sing again.”

Yes, this was harsh but we’ve all told our fair share of Bieber jokes (even Bielibers). Justin took it in stride. He made a slight remark about haters and called it a day.

But the story doesn’t end here…

Teenage Bieliber’s took to twitter in the most fowl fashion. Thousand of tweets were sent to Drake calling him every racial and homophobic slur imaginable. There were so many “go kill yourself” tweets. Essentially, Drake Bell was being cyber bullied… to the max. Some of the stuff I read disgusted me beyond belief. All the while Drake was begging these Bieliber’s to stop using racial and homophobic language and urged the parents to keep an eye on their 12-16 year old’s twitter (more than fair). And Justin wrote tweets telling his fans to be classy and even admitted his love for Drake and Josh as a child (the Nickelodeon TV show that made Drake famous). But the attack on Drake continued.

This story was only a story because of these out of control tweeters! Tweets are the news now! These faithful (and under supervised) fans actually made this news. Because of things like this:

“mom is gonna turn of the wifi…tweet you tomorrow (; @DrakeBell hope you die tonight… <3″

What could a PR practitioner do about this? I’m not talking about Drake’s but Justin Bieber. His Fans make him look awful! And as a former Justin hater I must say he did a great job of trying to stomp this fire out with his tweets supporting Drake.

This is what I mean! Social media and crisis management has become a whole new game! Fans bully you and make you look like a joke! And still, two months later, Drake is still getting hate tweets

I think public relations professionals are under estimating the effects of social media on their clients. What is written on a celebrity’s twitter page  isn’t the only thing that matters. Fans add a whole new perspective to the way we watch and what we feel about our celebrities and has just as much of an effect on that person’s image. The worst part is no one is really prepared to handle it. I don’t even know how to handle it.  The best you can do is what Justin did, reach out to your fans directly and set an example. But even then damage control can be hard. I can’t wait to see what tactics are used for this new issue.

Sources:

1. How could you do this video:

https://twitter.com/DrakeBell

The Plan

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I just spent my summer in Florida. I typically hate Florida. It’s ridiculously hot! I hate to be that person but it’s a different type of hot. People think Statesboro humidity levels are unbearable. Try walking outside in Florida heat after it just rained (which is just about everyday). It’s like the universe is sweating all over you! The air is so moist sometimes it’s hard to breath. But, I spent my whole summer in Florida and it was one of the best summers of my life.

A year ago, I was talking  to a friend about my plans to become an event planner. I talked about how I was planning to get into Art and Theater event planning. Then, he told me his sister, Natasha, was an event specialist at a company called Sun Nuclear. The company sells medical devices and his sister mostly worked on tradeshows. The company’s marketing department was pretty small and the always needed help. He thought she could really probably use an intern for the summer. It wasn’t exactly the direction I wanted to go in  but I knew the experience would invaluable. I told him to make the connection.

A few months and  an internship acceptance letter later, I got a call from Natasha. She told me that she got offered a better higher paying job and that she would be leaving Sun Nuclear the week after I was to start my internship. I was shocked! I didn’t know what any of it would have meant. Would my offer be revoked? Would I be working on the event myself? Would there be someone else to take her place while I was there? The one thing I knew for sure was that if I got the opportunity to work on this trade show, the biggest one of the year in this industry, I would be beyond excited. She told me that before they decided to keep me on, I was to have one more phone interview with the Human Resources director and the man I would be working under directly, the CEO of the company.

I can’t exactly remember what I said in that interview. I just knew I seemed confident. I tried my hardest to make it seem like I could handle the responsibility of putting this trade show together all by myself as a college junior. I found it easy to convey that since I had no clue what I was actually getting myself  into.

My plan worked. I spent my first week getting an AAPM ( American Association of Physicist in Medicine) crash course. Natasha quickly turned me into her apprentice. We got so much done that first week all while preparing    for the next 10 weeks. (Thankfully, Natasha agreed to come in once a week to check on my progress help me with task, and she composed precise a task list for to follow. She also opened her home to me. Giving me a comfortable place to stay and answering my questions on a daily basis. I don’t have words to fully describe  how much I appreciate Natasha and her husband  for all they’ve done).

The next 10 weeks were a blur. I became immersed in shipping details, Sun Nuclear products, labor, electrical details, and product datasheets. I was  becoming more organized, more proactive, more reliable. I was  not only learning a whole lot about the trades how industry, I was also learning about myself as an event planner. I was  becoming more efficient and Jeff, the CEO of the company and my direct superior noticed.

I think one of the most intimidating thing about the whole thing was working under Jeff. I only was able to get real time with him about twice a week at our 2 weekly meetings. Most weeks at least one of our meetings got canceled.  In those few 1 hour meetings I had to get everything I possibly could approved at that time. This wouldn’t have been that big a deal if I wasn’t responsible for thousands of dollars in fees, forms, and equipment. But, Natasha taught me well. She was my Obie Wan. She taught me how to do the job as if I was a pro and luckily, I picked up fast. As time passed by faster and faster, the more confident I felt about the task at hand. I always had this fear of failure that caused me not to try anything. In the trade show industry, you don’t have time for fear. All you have time for is making things happen and this was one of the most important lesson I learned.

Finally, the trade show came and I felt a little more in my element. I have quite a few years of theater planning under my belt. Trade shows are, shockingly, a lot like putting on a production. Once all your logistics are done and everyone has made it to the show it’s like planning for opening night. First you work with you labor team to get your booth assembled or “Installed”. Install is like building your set. Then you get members from your cast (sales people) all your surfaces cleaned, products and equipment placed, and literature out  and ready. This is all so much like set dressing . And of course the costumes (suits, and Sun Nuclear Button downs) and you cast starts selling the products (which takes some serious acting skills).

I enjoyed every minute of being at the show. Your trade show team becomes a family and we work hard all day and unwind at night. You get to know people pretty quickly. I was also fascinated by the trade show booth. The creativity you get to use in designing those things. I could look at them for hours.

I’ve always been a planner. I always planned my future 5 years in advance. I want _______ job in _______ city getting paid ______. Done. Stick to the plan. Always know exactly what you want. But in my experience as the “world oldest under grad” you would think that, by now, I would have learned the most important rule of event planning (especially trade shows). You can’t plan everything. Things will go wrong but, what makes you a good planner is being able to fix the problem creatively, quickly, and efficiently.

I was convinced I hated Florida.  The heat was unbearable. I was never a beach bum. I hate tourist attractions. But this summer, for a short time, I loved Florida. I never though about working in the medical industry. It was never something that struck my interest. But this summer, for a short time, I was fascinated by it. How the devices worked. What made Sun’s products better ( or in a few cases worst) than our competition? And the trade show industry was a back up plan something I would do if I absolutely had to. But this summer, for a short time, I found the industry that I love the most. An industry that intrigued me and kept me wanting more.

My future career path? I’m not a thousand percent sure yet. I want to try another internship in a completely different industry. I would like to explore. The best part about PR is that we have so many options so many different paths we can take. I didn’t learn what career path I want this summer, I learned that I have all the options in the world that I just found an amazing option for my exciting future.

Urban Outfitters: Emancipation of misrepresentation

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Recent fashion trends have been moving towards native patterns. Girls everywhere are donning native patterns on everything from their shirts to their socks. Urban outfitters, a largely trend based brand, took full advantage of this by starting a whole line inspired by Native American style patterns. They called the line “Navajo” surely thinking that not only were they offering their customer base what they want all while seeming more culturally diverse. Boy were they wrong!

Sasha Houston Brown, a 24 year old Native American women, was so offended by the line’s inauthentic depiction of Navajo traditional clothing, that she was moved to write a letter of complaint. She wrote “As a Native American woman, I am deeply distressed by your company’s mass marketed collection of distasteful and racially demeaning apparel and décor. I take personal offense to the blatant racism and perverted cultural appropriation your store features this season as ‘fashion’.” In all honesty, she’s right. After looking through the line myself the products look cheap and not one thing that was “Navajo inspired” looked anything like Navajo traditional patterns ( or any Native American traditional patterns).  And to top it all off, they included a “Navajo” patterned hip flask! (If this isn’t even a little bit racist, I don’t know what is)

To make matters worst, they not only offended the native American people but,  the use of the word “Navajo” is illegal. The Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and the Federal Trade Commission Act, make it so that it’s illegal to imply that a product is “Native-American” when it’s not ( which is blatantly obvious that the line is not). Also the word  “Navajo” is trademarked by the Navajo Nation of Native Americans.

So far, the only statements made by Urban Outfitters was defensive.

Urban Outfitters’ spokesman Ed Looram stated”Urban Outfitters is a trend-led lifestyle retailer dedicated to inspiring our customer with engaging product. Like many other fashion brands, we interpret trends and will continue to do so for years to come.” and “The Native American–inspired trend and specifically the term `Navajo’ have been cycling through fashion, fine art and design for the last few years.”

Though this statement may be true it still doesn’t reverse the mistakes made. The company has changed the name of the line to “Patterned” instead (clearly because of fear of legal action) and refuses to pull any of the products in the line.

If I was the PR executive of this account I would also change the name of the line but, in addition, I would make a less defensive statement. It would something like this “It was not the intention of Urban Outfitters to offend anyone or misrepresent the Native American people. Our intention, as a trend-based company, was to provide a trend that our customers are looking for.” Then, I would pull some of the more offensive items such as the panties and the hip flask.

Overall, I don’t think Urban Outfitters intended to be offensive but, as it turns out, it was slightly misguided in the naming of the products.

Sources:

  • Dailymail.com

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2051370/Furious-Native-Americans-force-Urban-Outfitters-remove-Navajo-description-fashion-items.html

  • Djrays.com

ive.drjays.com/index.php/2011/10/19/is-this-racist-navajo-clothing-line-at-urban-outfitters-causes-controversy/

Public Relations: What it’s not

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Ladies and Gents, I, Kadia Kimberly Scott, am tired. So, so, so tired. “Tired of what”, you may ask. I’m tired of explaining to people what my intentions are for my future public relations career. I want this job because I enjoy being busy. I want this job because I love feeling that great sense of accomplishment when I get a lot of things done in a short period of time. I want this job because I enjoy planning things,  problem solving,  clearing my to-do-list, being creative, getting stuff done, the list goes on and on. I never get tired of explaining that. What I get tired of is peoples Skeptical reactions. People say things like “what celebrities do you want to work for?” and “I bet your excited about all the partying you get to do.” and my least favorite “I bet you like lying to the public too, huh?”

Seriously people? I’m going to address these one at time so that my head doesn’t explode from anger.

“What celebrities do you want to work with?” Okay, it is true that SOME people that get in to public relations become publicist, but becoming a publicist is not my only option. When I say “I want to be a public relations practitioner” that is referring to more than just work with celebrities. One of the major assumptions people have about the field is that we all represent celebrities. That is very not true. I had to explain to  my sister the other day the other aspects of P.R. She had no idea that it was more than celebrity work! People don’t realize that any and every company has a major need for public relations practitioners to help manage their relationships. I personally do not care to do damage control for Lindsey Lohans awful image (I feel sorry for the person that does). It’s not what I’m about.

“I bet your excited about all the partying.” Uh… WHAT! It is true that public relations practitioners may have to do event planning. It is also true that some of those events will be parties. But there is no chance I, as professional, will be able to participate in any dancing, singing, socializing, and especially drinking. I’m at work! I’ll be too busy holding the event together to actually enjoy it! A dear friend of mine sent me a job posting that she thought I would want to see shortly after I changed my major to public relations. It was essentially a job that hired attractive girls to work at their bars. The dress code was a little clothing as possible and it required a photo with the application. I am not in college to do that!!! I can do that now with out the degree! That is not public relations! I have since forgiven my friend but I hate that people assume that I’m going through 4 years of school to get drunk and party. It’s not what I want and neither do my colleagues.

Lastly, “I bet you like lying to the public too, huh?”. Ladies and Gents, the job of the public relations practitioner is build and maintain healthy and positive relationships with and organization and it’s stakeholders. Please explain to  me how lying to the public would help with this at all! Many people assume my job will be to lie to everyone in order to make my company look good. This may be true for the movies but in real life if you constantly lie to the public about your client you’ll make the company look bad, yourself look bad, and lose all credibility. According to our definition this is not our job. Yes, it is true that SOME P.R.  practitioners lie to the public sometime. But when they get caught all hell breaks loose!!!

Now that I’ve set that straight I feel a little less… tired.