Top 10 things learned in PR class

Top ten things I have learned about public relations-

 

1. What public relations actually is- Before taking this class, all PR was to me was a job where someone got other people out of trouble.

 

2. How very important social media is-I did not realize just how often public relations professionals utilize the avenue of social media to promote or enhance what they do.

 

3. International PR is vital- My presentation was about international public relations. Since I studied more of that chapter, I came to realize that PR is something that is not at all just an American thing; it is universal. Not only is it universal, but also it is vital to just about any corporation.

 

4. Blogging isn’t so bad- I had never blogged, nor had I even considered blogging, but after doing it, I realized it is a good way to communicate. If nothing else, a great blog could be used as a portfolio.

 

5. Dealing with crises is vital- When a company finds itself in the middle of a public relations crisis, the way in which the company handles the situation plays a major role in the public’s view of that particular company.

 

6. Twitter isn’t as bad as I thought- As much as I don’t want to admit it, twitter isn’t as bad as I initially thought. I don’t see myself continuing using my account; however, it was nice to now how have experienced it for the sake of knowing more about it and its uses.

 

7. PR involves event planning- One group did their presentation on PR events. I had never really thought about public relations playing a role in major events, but that’s exactly what most events are all about is public relations.

 

8. Firms vs. Departments- I learned the difference between a PR firm and a department. A firm is a stand-alone company that works for customers, and a department is part of a company that works for that company.

 

9. Ragan’s PRDaily is the place to go- If ever in need of some news or some tips about public relations, Ragan’s is the site to use; it is full of information.

 

10. Press Release- I learned that a press release is a vital part of PR. It is either written or verbally communicated to the public and announces the news of something deemed noteworthy.

The following was written by guest blogger Jessi Ellerbe. To read more of her musing be sure to visit her blog.

 

To many, the PR world is simply about dealing with the public. Whether it’s promoting something or handling a nasty scandal, PR has simply gathered the rep of being the mediator. But what many people don’t see is what PR people do behind the scenes. Because when something is done for the company or organization, PR has to measure the extent of effectiveness their message has done.

Measurement is important for a few reasons, but the main reason is to keep the PR staff driving toward success. Every campaign will have its issues; it’s situations that caused it to not flow perfectly. When the availability to measure out the success rate of a campaign arises, it allows the PR staff to analyze it, dissect it, note it, and try to do better in certain areas for the next time.

The book Think: Public Relations, gives a figure called “The 3 Levels of Measurement for Public Relations Programs.” These three steps are broken down into even smaller subcategories. They are as follows:

photo credit to Konstantin Lazorkin

Basic: targeted audiences, impressions, media placements
Intermediate: retention, comprehension, awareness, reception
Advanced: behavior change, attitude change, opinion change

By following these guidelines, PR practitioners can thoroughly assess exactly what type of effect their campaign has made. When dealing with the media, look beyond just the TV and the news. Read online articles and blog posts, magazines, maybe even academic research to find out how far the campaign has spread. Take surveys on how the campaign changed the viewpoint of the viewer, and in what ways it did such.

In all reality, the options are endless as to how you can come about the information on the effects of a campaign. However, following these three steps are a great way to keep a solid base while measuring PR campaigns.

Courtesy of Jessi Ellerbe

 

International Public Relations

For our semester presentations, my group had chapter 14, which is all about international public relations and how it relates to the United States. My section was about language and cultural differences and how they affect PR.

PR professionals need to be able to recognize these differences and adapt accordingly. The book mentioned a few instances in which different countries value and view things differently. For example, China is superstitious about numbers, so at a large banquet hall the tables won’t be numbered. In Thailand, it is disrespectful to pat a baby on the head because the head is considered sacred. These are just two of the examples the text gave about the many differences between nations.

Then the text continues on in talking about foreign corporations in the United States. Many foreign corporations and industries employ PR and lobbying firms in order to promote their products in the US.

The Center of Public Integrity (CPI) reported that in a 6 year span, 700 companies in more than 100 nations spent over $200 million lobbying the United States government to see their product or idea here in the United States.

The text also mentioned this odd PR campaign that Romania instituted. A local businessman wanted to bring back travel and tourism to Romania, so he implemented a virtual Bucharest where users could create avatars and experience the city virtually. Using Second Life, this man had many users experiencing the city of Bucharest through their computers. As strange as it may seem, many of the campaigns that took place in the virtual world came to fruition as the people of Romania took this seriously and brought it to reality. The idea was to promote the city and to promote the tourism industry for the country.

The last section I talked about in my presentation was about the presence of US corporations in other nations. The US faces 3 main problems when having corporations abroad.

1. Competition of US corporations being abroad

2. Dealing with sustainable development

3. Being boycotted by nations that disagree with U.S. foreign policy

Posted below is the PowerPoint from the whole group’s presentation; however, the videos will not play in the powerpoint, but they are posted below.

First Video

Second Video

Hobson and Holtz Podcast

I listened to the podcast #634 For Immediate Release (FIR) with Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz. They talked about an interview had with Christ Boyer. They were together at a social media healthcare clinic and shared a little about their talk with Chris Boyer. Apparently Chris had never used four-square check-in, but after doing his research and taking it seriously, he realized just how useful and helpful this tool could be.

 

 

 

Holtz and Hobson talked about how when you give four-square the attention it deserves, you realize just how great it can be.

 

 

 

The next topic they talked about was at Google’s headquarters in the United Kingdom. There was a sell out media huddle, and the room was full of video cameras as Google was filming the whole convention and streaming it to California which is home to America’s Google headquarters. The convention will be put into podcasts and available in the upcoming week.

 

 

 

They then mentioned the blog word expo where workshops and sessions took place; one of which they mentioned was a panel of blog networks. From a recent survey of over 4,000 bloggers, they found many interesting statistics. And they use most of the podcast to talk about blogging.

 

 

 

Their findings were as follows:

 

-leading influence of bloggers is other bloggers

 

-18% of bloggers report income from blogs

 

-bloggers mostly blog about brands to promote the brand or the company

 

-61% don’t post daily

 

-only 11% of those surveyed posted daily

 

-5% are professional bloggers

 

-most bloggers juggle an average of 3 different blogs

 

-wordpress.com is the blogging service of choice

 

-37% of bloggers link their blogs, twitter, and facebook in order to only have to post once

 

 

 

They then continue to talk about facebook, tumblr, twitter, and blogging.

 

 

 

Listening to podcasts can be useful for any career someone might want to go into, not just public relations. Any person can benefit from these podcasts. If you find experts in the public relations field, then their experience and insight can be extremely beneficial. Nothing is better than learning from someone who has been there before.

 

 

 

Near the end of when I was listening, they played a short advertisement from one of their sponsors, Ragan Daily. I thought that was interesting.

 

 

 

 

Tips to land a job after graduation

In searching for a PR Connection, I came across the article by PRDaily that talks about 5 tips for landing a job as a PR professional after graduating college. I thought this article was certainly relevant for us college students who are close to leaving the comforts of a university and landing a job in our career field.

The following are the five tips given for college graduates hoping to land that job.

1. Apply for internships- In the field of public relations, it is vital to one’s resume and ability to have already had some hands on experience in the PR field

2. Build a portfolio- PR professionals look for experience when hiring college grads, so putting samples of your work into a portfolio is just what these employers are looking for.

3. Be a “strategic” online expert- It is vital for a person looking for a career in PR to be well versed in the avenues of social media and all things web related.

4. Create an impressive resume and cover letter- These two components are the first thing an employer sees when you’re applying for a job so they had better be presented well.

5. Improve your writing skills- I have heard this over and over again, but that must mean it is so very important. Being a good writer and liking to write are vital qualities when applying to work in the PR field.

Favorite Professional Blog

Before taking this Public Relations class, the only blogs I’ve ever visited werephotography blogs, and I never really looked at them for content, more just to view the style of photography. However, upon taking this class, I have been exposed to professional public relations blogs.

 

I am probably not the only one to mention that PRDaily was an extremely helpful blog to view. Since it is geared and targeted for public relations people, it was the perfect choice. I viewed a few other PR blogs, but I found that the way PRDaily posted their posts and organized their material was the most effective.

 

The website is pleasing to the eye and truly captures the reader. While there is a lot of information to be seen, they present it in a way that is not too overwhelming, which is very nice. The website is organized making it easy to find specific posts I’m looking for or to find specific categories.

 

I also like how they collect from other professional blog sites to bring the best to PRDaily.

 

Kevin Allen was one author I found myself reading a lot. He writes about relevant topics and does so in a way that is enjoyable to read.

 

If you sign up to receive Ragan’s PRDaily News Feed, then just about everyday you will have one or more emails from them. Included in these emails are public relations conference information and workshops. Also, you will find updates and new articles or posts that are now present on the website. So if you forget to check the site one day, you still have that bit in your email inbox to view. If anything catches your attention in the emails, which it usually will, then you are more likely to view the site.

 

These are just a few of the reasons why Ragan’s PRDaily was my favorite professional blog site. Like I mentioned, I viewed other sites, but they did not compare to this one. My main issue with the others was their websites. If you’re going to have a website, it needs to be pleasing to the eye to grab and keep the readers’ attention.

Interview with a PR professional

Interview with Lorrie Walker of Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc.

1. What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)

We do a lot of writing instead of campaigns. The bulk of our work is writing or dealing with our clients. Vast majority is writing press releases or web content for clients. The second most important thing is generating media publicity for clients to peak the interest of media outlets and make connections for clients. These are the things we do in a typical week.

2. Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

Most recently we worked with Park Auto Mall, a used car dealership.  The owner has taken in some unusual things on trade—he took in a horse, which he thought would make for a good press release. He wanted some media attention, so we came in and got the story to print and to Internet exposure.  The owner is having a cable television show about used car dealers. It is a reality TV show and filming starts this week. This was a recent project that was a lot of fun.

3. What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

Follow social media, follow certain twitter hashtags, and follow email newslists like prweb. We also nose around on our own to see what other PR firms do.

4. What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

I wish I would have known to take some marketing courses as well as courses in the research realm. Learning how to target audiences can be difficult without knowing how to research, so we mostly draw from past campaigns to see what works and what makes people tick.

5. How important is writing in your career?

We wouldn’t be a business if we weren’t good writers.  It’s what we do. You have to know how to write according to associated press style. If something is written the way they want it, then it is more likely to get printed. Who has time to fix other people’s writing? Interns better have the current AP stylebook.

6. What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1. look for internships before it’s even required

2. be good at writing, read good writing, and write often

3. search engine optimization–know SEO to make you more marketable

7. Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?

Yes and no.  I didn’t finish college right after high school. I became a journalist in the army, and that training does help with what I do know. I went back to school as an adult, and that degree has helped in knowing how to run my business but not specifically PR work. If I were to go to graduate school, I would go for a masters degree in PR or communication.

8. How has PR changed since you entered the field?

So drastically. In the early 90s we were still laying out newspapers and printing and cutting. We didn’t email, didn’t type notes into a word document. It’s no longer by hand. Everything is now social media related, and there are more opportunities now. We use social media to promote our clients or their businesses.

9. How does technology affect your daily work?

Streamlines it. It’s easier. We can post something in one place and it will show up at another. (Facebook and twitter connection) We work smarter not harder.

10. When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?

-Strong writer

-Understands AP stylebook

-Well versed on social media

-Have a Twitter account and use it

-Have and use Facebook smartly

-Understand Tweetdeck

-Have a 4 square account and use it

-Be as techy-nerdy as possible

11. After interviewing this person, are you (the student, not the practitioner) more or less likely to want to have a career in PR? Why?

Less likely.  I’m not well versed in social media and I probably don’t stay as current as someone who is looking into PR should be. I don’t really see myself as having a career in PR, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy learning about it.