Archive for the ‘Topics of the Week’ Category

Top Ten!

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Public Relations, Topics of the Week

No, this post is not about basketball, or baseball, or any sport for that matter. In this post I will go through the top ten things I learned this semester while in Barbara Nixon’s Public Relations course at Southeastern.

We learned a lot of things this semester, from making resume’s to the difference between PR firms and departments. All of it is substantially important information, and I did learn a lot this semester during this course. Some of what we went over, like Twitter and social networking, wasn’t new to me, but was still a great way to learn about them from a professionals point of view. I never considered all the work those in the public relations field have to go, and I now have a lot more understanding and respect for them.

I would say the number one thing I learned was how vital networking is to the job. Networking keeps those in contact with their customers and supporters, and is so important that many companies, if not all, wouldn’t be operating without it.

Number two would have to be the resume. I never really knew how to make a resume before taking this class, and I was always worried about that. I always thought it was going to be such a hard and complex process to go through, but it really isn’t. There’s practically nothing to it but listing and describing, which is so easy to do. Good resume’s can make or break your employment and hire status, and making one that is professional and well made is vital.

Number three, which ties into number two, is keeping up with the day to day business of the companies you are interviewing for.

Number four, is that the classroom is not the only place that you can learn about PR. from NewsU courses to LinkedIn and other sources, there are many resources out there to stay educated.

Number five, blogging is very important.

Number six, twitter accounts, facebook pages, and more, are all vital resources and important to keeping customers up to date about the going-ons of the business.

Number seven, along with number six: be careful about those accounts, make sure they aren’t hacked or mistakenly used when someone forgets to log off.

Number eight, stay up to date, with everything going on in the world. Many websites, especially prdaily.com are very helpful for that.

Number nine, writing skills are very important. Being a good writer is most of the battle, and something that is vital to being a good PR practitioner.

Number ten, public relations can be a lot of fun if handled the right way.

This semester was a great introduction to the world of PR, and I look forward to taking more classes and learning more.

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For my presentation in class I am doing the section in Chapter 20 that deals with Social Organizations and Fund Raising. This was a fun section to do, even though I already knew the basics behind a lot of what was talked about in it, it was still a good section to read and create my presentation for so I can educate myself more, and my classmates more.

In doing this presentation I learned more about social organizations and what they do, and the different kinds. I learned that there are seven different categories of social agencies, and what exactly the term “social” in “social organizations” means. “Social” includes service, health, cultural, religious, and philanthropic organizations. Communication is essential for the organizations success, therefore they require active, creative public relations programs. I learned that about the seven categories: social service agencies, health agencies, religious organizations, welfare agencies, cultural organizations, and foundations. The book had a lot of good information on each category of organization, which was very helpful.

The public relations goals that were listed were also very helpful. The goals it listed were: develop public awareness of the organization’s purpose and activities, induce individuals to use the services the organization provides, create educational materials, recruit and train volunteer workers, obtain funds to operate the organization. The amount of detail the book went into with each of these was amazing to read and learn from. It really went into grave detail especially with volunteers and how to recruit them, which was very helpful in learning how to do so.

The fund raising section built upon a lot of knowledge that I already knew, but was still good to read. A lot of the risks and ways of fund raising I already knew about, but it was good to get the professionals point of view on the subject matter. I see a lot of the risks and methods of fund raising in my every day life, from telemarketers to direct mail sent to my house, I have been around it for quite some time.

Reading up on all of this new information was a great way to broaden my knowledge on the subject matter, and I look forward to giving my presentation to the class next week.

Attached is the powerpoint I made for the presentation.

PR presentation

The family restaurant Applebee’s is facing one of their biggest PR disasters in the companies history after it’s Madison Heights, Michigan, store served alcohol to a minor. The biggest catch however, is that the minor is only 15 months old.

Many restaurants have been caught doing this, and Applebee’s is the newest one to fall victim. Server’s at this Applebees gave the 15-month-old boy a tequila-induced sippy cup that was meant to be filled with Apple Juice. The child took a few sips of the drink, put his head on the table, and fell asleep for a short period of time. Upon awakening, he was very happy, saying hello and goodbye to everyone, and when his food came, he didn’t touch it. Parents took him to see the doctors and they found his blood-alcohol level to be .10, which is .02 above the legal level of a legal adult. Doctors said that if he drank the whole cup, he would have died.

Also, on March 31st, an Olive Garden in our own college town of Lakeland, Florida, was found guilty of serving an alcoholic sangria to a two year old, who was supposed to receive orange juice.

The media jumped on both cases, because as Public Relations consultant Katherine Paine told USA Today, “It’s too good a story. It’s got babies, alcohol and food.”

“In an industry that serves more than 150 million meals every day, these are two extremely rare occurrences,” the National Restaurant Association statement read. “However, we believe that even one incident like this is too many.” Both restaurants declined interviews and left it to their PR professionals to handle.

Restaurant and PR consultants say that both restaurants must retrain staff, rethink policies, limit bar use, be forthcoming, and involve folks. Personally, I think this is ridiculous. Yes this may be a very rare occurrence, but once is too many times to let this happen. These children could have died because of the mistakes that servers and bartenders made in both instances, and they would have been not only on the restaurant’s hands, but those servers as well. It would have been a PR nightmare even bigger than what it is now.

I can only hope and pray that this never happens again.

Watch the news video for Applebee’s here

Barbara Nixon, professor of my PR class at Southeastern University, interviewed Martin Waxman via video conference for her previous classes, and I got to take the chance to watch and listen in on it as well. It was very educational for me as Waxman’s company deals a lot with social media, something I am very in to.

Waxman runs and cofounded Palette Public Relations Inc. Palette runs a lot of social media aspects for their clients, and mentioned how interesting and fun it can be. It was really great hearing from a professional in the field on how social media and all the awesome technological advances nowadays help PR professionals and their jobs. It really helped bring to fruition what the job of a PR professional looks like and how they use everyday things to help in their line of work.

I really enjoyed when he said “The first step is to listen, and see what is being said.” This is so true because without listening and knowing what is out there, you won’t know what to do to keep up. You really need to keep up with the times and everything that is going on, not just in the world but also with technology and what the new generations are using. If you are to run a company and have no idea the benefits of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networking sites, you could be in a lot of trouble and not do your job as well.

I really enjoyed listening in on this conversation between these two professionals. It definitely gave me a new perspective on the PR world and how technology and social media has an effect on it. I’d really like to look more into this and hear more interviews and podcasts from other professionals in the PR world as it can be very educational and helpful when it comes to determining what it is indeed I want to do in the future.

You can view the interview here.

Guest blog!

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Public Relations, Topics of the Week

Thanks to this class I got the pleasure of meeting Cody Marlow and get to know him. I was scrolling through his blog and came upon this entry which I found very interesting, and I agreed with a lot of it, so I thought it would be a good one to use as my guest blog entry as we share similar thoughts on the matter.

Check it out,

The iPad 2 is Here!… sort of…

Apple released the  new 2nd generation iPad 2 today in a long awaited press conference this morning.  Surprisingly, Steve Jobs, who has been on sick leave for the past two months, still made the announcement and introduced the new gadget.  The new iPad is thinner, lighter, faster, and more capable than the previous one, but some people, myself included think it was too fast.

The first iPad was announced just over a year ago, which sounds like a long time, right?  In this case, it isn’t that long.  When they announced the first iPad, they were introducing a new area of personal devices, touchscreen tablets.  Although there had been devices like the iPad before it, they never caught on and were discontinued.

In my observations, the device took a while to catch on, finally beginning to get widespread adoption and usage a few months ago.  A lot of the people who bought the first generation now own an out of date device that they just got and some are probably still paying off!

I don’t think this was a wise choice on Apple’s part.  I think they could have extended the life of the first generation until this summer and released it with the rest of the devices instead of cutting its life short.  And, on top of that, it isn’t available for another week and a half!

see Cody’s article on his blog here.

Twitter Chat

Posted: March 21, 2011 in Public Relations, Topics of the Week

I have been a user of twitter for quite some time now. I have over 5,000 tweets. I tweet about pretty much everything, whether it’s what I’m doing at that exact moment in time, what I’m doing, what emotions I’m going through, etc. I had never heard of a Twitter Chat before this class, and the concept is very interesting. Even though I missed the actual chat, I chose to follow #PRStudCast and catch up on the tweets and listen to the podcast afterwards. It was still very helpful and a new experience to take in. The podcast can be found here.

In the podcast and during the chat they discussed the big topics in the Twitter universe going on these days, spending the majority of their time discussing  Charlie Sheen. As of the podcast, Charlie Sheen was up to over one million followers. Sheen has the record for most followers so quickly after starting on Twitter. They discussed how Charlie Sheen immediately got into everything without getting any advice from PR staff and went right into it on his own. Charlie Sheen has been all over Twitter, he even had his own hashtag for #TigerBlood. People are talking all about this on Twitter and don’t really understand and know what is going on because they only look at Twitter feeds. Harrison goes on to say a lot of people think negatively about him, others who are crying for help for him, there’s the PR people who analyze his every move, and the group of people who are “Team Sheen” and caught up in the phenomenon of everything that is happening.

Harrison says “It’s been determined that PR owns the influence on Twitter”. I completely agree with this because he makes very good points. The highest celebrities are on Twitter, and they are what create most of the drama and hashtags that we see on Twitter. They make up most of the news and they are what people talk about. Twitter influences a lot of conversations and what goes on these days. Every day brings something new with each new tweet from individuals, especially new ones like Sheen.

Preparing for a job interview can be very stressing and worrisome. I know because I have not only been there but I am seeing it in my friends lately as well.

First, you need to make sure you’re resume is complete and organized. Resume’s may not be necessary, but they sure help in a lot of cases. That way the employer can see right in front of them you’re complete history and experience.

Secondly, make sure you know about the company you are going to be interviewed for. If you walk in not knowing anything about them, you may as well not walk in at all. You are looking for a job and chose them, make sure it’s the right one you want. Make sure you know enough about the company so that if they ask you anything about who you are applying to, you can answer them assuredly and quickly. They may throw some very unexpected questions out at you and want to know what your exact response will be. Giving them a blank stare and silence will not help you get the job at all.

Thirdly, be confident in yourself. Be prepared to talk about yourself in a confident manner. You don’t want to seem too selfish, but you want to talk about why you are a better choice than the other interviewees. This article, here, is a lot of help. They give very good instructions on how to prepare yourself and what to do.

Don’t read straight from your resume. Reference it, but hand it to them so that they can see it as you talk about yourself. Ask them questions about themselves, and their company, and how well it could benefit you. Talk about your own personal failures. Interviewers know no one is perfect, and they want to hear about how you dealt with your troubles and got out of those situations. For more on this, check out this article here.

Also, practice. Practice always makes perfect right? Ask your roommate for help, ask your parents, ask your colleagues. They have all been down the same road. They can give you more advice if you get stuck simply with them.

If you need more help, check out this great article from USA Today here.