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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

PR LAW

While Public Relations professionals have a certain ethical code that ought to be followed, the more important thing they have to deal with would be legal issues. PR professionals have to be careful not to break any of the laws regarding defamation, privacy, copyright, infringement, trademark, liabilities, and government regulations.

 

Each of the above issues is very important in the PR world. Any person who works in public relations ought to be well versed in the areas above as to avoid any conflict or legal issue. A PR department or firm can suffer greatly from just one legal case; their reputation could be tarnished forever.

 

I feel that the most important laws would be the law against defamation and the law against privacy.

Defamation is when a person or a company’s name and reputation are harmed due to some printed material that slanders the name or due to spoken words that are harmful. I feel like this is an important law to follow because no one should be allowed to knowingly print or speak material that is false with the sole purpose to harm. And once an act like this is committed, even if the information released is false, it is extremely difficult for the innocent but attacked person or company to reassure their clients and customers that the information was false. Once trust is lost, it is very difficult to regain it.

 

The second issue I feel is very important to PR professionals is the issue of privacy. No one deserves to have his or her public life on display for the whole world to criticize. I feel like it is extremely untactful for a person to purposefully harm someone by broadcasting private information for the sake of getting ahead.

 

A PR professional had better be well versed in all the laws regarding his or her profession because lawsuits look bad for a company and cost a great deal of money.

Online Media Law NewsU Course

I took the NewsU course about Online Media Law, which is the basics for bloggers and any kind of online publishers. This course was helpful as I am new to the blogging world and really don’t know much about online media rules.

 

The first section of the course discusses the issue of defamation and the two types. Libel is written defamation, and slander is spoken defamation. Both of these can be extremely harmful to a person’s reputation, which is why anyone who does any sort of publishing has to be extremely careful in what is written or said.

 

The second section that I learned about was the invasion of privacy.  This happens when you publish private or personal information about a person without his or her permission, and this can cause many legal or liability issues for the publisher. Some people may publish information that will tarnish a reputation, or will exploit the person for the sake of making money; both of these would be cases of invasion of one’s privacy.

 

The third topic discussed in the course was the issue of copyright infringement.  This is important for any blogger, photographer, or reporter or anyone who publishes online. Copyright laws protect the original works of authorship so that proper due is given to the proper person. Without copyright laws, the wrong people would be receiving the credit for work they did not do.

 

I liked this course because it applied not only to my public relations class and to my blogging, but also to the writing I do for the school newspaper. I have to be very careful that I do not misquote someone, or that photos are properly credited to the person who took them. Much of the information the course offered, I will apply in my work for the paper.

 

The case studies surprised me a bit just because it can be difficult to decide whether or not something is considered infringement or invasion. It may seem easy when you’re just talking about it, but when it comes to a real situation, the lines are blurred and what’s right and what’s wrong isn’t always easy to distinguish.