This summer semester I took PUR 3000. This was my first official PR class and I very much enjoyed it! It made me excited to take the rest of my PR coursework through graduation. I feel that this class touched many aspects of the public relations spectrum and has prepared me for my future classes. I feel like I now know the general ideas, tactics and purposes of public relations. My favorite part of this class was the social media campaigns. These were very interesting and entertaining to watch. These projects showed me how much public relations use social media and are incorporated into Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks in their everyday use. I never realized how much social media was used until after this project. In this class we were also required to make a Twitter, a blog, a LinkedIn and a Prezi. I have never been one to use Twitter or one who did blogging. However, after doing it, I see how important and helpful it is in public relations. I became a lot more technologically savvy through these projects as well. We also had to volunteer at an event for this class. I choose to volunteer for the Best Buddies organization and helped out with a 5k race. I very much enjoyed this experience and learned a lot. We had to write a paper on it as well and that obviously helped me with my PR ability because writing is very important in this field. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and I think that it was a great class to prepare me for the rest of my PR classes and future career.
Best Buddies Volunteer Experience June 9, 2011
For my volunteer project I decided to help out with the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, which benefits the national organization Best Buddies International. Best Buddies is an organization that is attempting to spread volunteer experience globally to expand friendships, leadership opportunities and employment opportunities for people or are developmentally or intellectually challenged. I have volunteered my time many times through numerous organizations. After volunteering for the SPCA last year I didn’t think that it could get any more rewarding than that, simply because of my overwhelming compassion for animals. However, after volunteering for Best Buddies my opinion changed.
My volunteer work for Best Buddies Friendship Walk was the break down shift. I helped distribute food, handed out shirts, and took down tables, signs and chairs after the race. While I felt helpful, the best part of the experience was actually talking and spending time with the “buddies;” those with various disabilities. I saw how thankful these people were to have friends and people that cared and wanted to hang out with them. After meeting Cynthia, the director of Best Buddies in Tampa, she introduced me to one of the “buddies” named Ben. Ben told me how he has biked 18 miles from his home and then ran the 5k, then was about to bike 18 miles back, yet he was still so happy to be around everyone.
The energy at the event was so positive. It was truly a rewarding experience. At the end of the event, I spoke with the president of the Best Buddies chapter at USF. I am now hoping to get involved in the chapter here at USF.
I did the #PRstudchat on Twitter on May 18, 2011. At first, I thought it was just going to be a lot of people happy to graduate, but after being on the chat for a while I learned a lot of helpful tips that I could use in PR. It was asked what the expectations of young professionals were. A CEO said, “If you’re asked to complete a ‘test’ assignment, turn it around fast.” Another professional said that a valid concern in PR is that many students have no experience and no online presence. Patience and passion are key in PR. Lauren Gray suggests an online portfolio for students. She also suggests keeping up with the news and knowing what is going on in the world. Understanding the other side of the spectrum first hand is important, so getting internships is vital. Gray says that marketing and advertising are your colleagues, not your competition. I noticed that a lot of the new grads were very anxious and had many questions about suggestions as a young professional. Many of them had tips for those of us who weren’t graduated yet, such as getting an internship, and being involved. Speaking of being involved, Christina Morgan emphasizes just how important PRSA is. She describes it as an extremely active network with tons of student/professional engagement. One girl asked what industries are up and coming that PR professionals should keep their eyes on? Mark Ragan said that health care is always up and coming. Lisa Brock added that Medical tech, celebrity, and sports PR are also on the rise. A final suggestion from PRSSA was to be adaptable. In turn it will make you more marketable. This chat really helped me see the ups and downs of PR and gave me so many useful tips that I know I will use in my future PR career.
Celebrity Photos April 11, 2011
The other day when I was down in South Tampa, I met celebrity Cameron Diaz. Then just shortly after, I saw a picture of her on the internet on a PR pictures site, talking about her “bad teacher” photos. (http://www.prphotos.com/store/category.cgi?category=search&query=^events.sql&q2=CinemaCon%202011%20%2D%20Day%203%20%2D%20%22Bad%20Teacher%22%20Promotion%20with%20Cameron%20Diaz) So now Diaz’s publicist will have to work on fixing whatever went wrong. After this experience I started thinking: what would it be like to do celebrity PR? A job of following celebrities’ lives and making sure their image is protected would be a pretty cool job. So basically, that job title would be a publicist. Allure Magazine: “We all need publicists. You’re nowhere unless you’ve got a publicist, and your publicist is nowhere unless he can glom on to a celebrity who uses his service.” (http://www.nationalpublicist.com/id3.html) According to SourceWatch, “Celebrity PR refers to the media management of high profile personalities such as actors and musicians. The usual controversies handled by celebrity PR advisers include claims of drug use, sex or police investigations. Occasionally it can involve corporate scandals such as with Martha Stewart in the U.S.” (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Celebrity_PR)
Recent celebrity gossip includes: Kendra Wilkinson being allgedly “pissed off” for not yet receiving a save-the-date to Hugh Hefner’s wedding, drama with Charlie Scheen and Kate Gosslin now misses her ex, Jon. (http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/) Hence, these celebrities will need a publicist to cover these issues. Celebrity PR is needed for every celebrity.
The Apple iPhone is one of the most popular, most talked about, and highest rated cell phones in the world. The most recent iPhone is the iPhone 4. The issue that Apple faced is the “trash-talk” of the hardware on the phone. Cult of Mac says, “Apple acknowledged the issue earlier, but said the problem was caused by the way the iPhone calculates signal strength. The company had promised to issue a software fix quickly. Many critics viewed Apple’s response as spin, which was compounded by a devastating report from Consumer Reports saying the reception issue is hardware related.” (http://www.cultofmac.com/pr-experts-iphone-4-hardware-recall-is-inevitable/50565) PR specialists have said that Apple is losing valuable custumers and hurting the brand, which is more valuable than anyone product, all due to Apple’s “lackluster response.”
So what should Apple do? PR expert Rene A. Henry, author of Communicating In A Crisis, also said Apple should issue a hardware recall. “They’ve got to recall and replace it if they want to protect their image and reputation.” (http://www.cultofmac.com/pr-experts-iphone-4-hardware-recall-is-inevitable/50565) This PR crisis has grown so much that the iPhone wasn’t even suggested to consumers in the widely-read Consumer Reports magazine. (http://www.macrumors.com/2010/07/13/pr-experts-suggest-iphone-4-recall-inevitable-as-antenna-issue-snowballs/) Apple’s press release stated that it is a simple fix and software display issue, but rankings from magazines and critics say otherwise. The thing that many people are mad about is the fact that Apple didn’t come out with the issue and that customers are finding the glitches themselves.
The new iPhone is said to come out in June. PR experts are working hard to not let their image and brand name fail and to not let their customers down.
I have had many people ask me, “What is public relations and what types of jobs do you get in that field?” So I am devoting this blog to those who don’t know. First and foremost, public relations has many different angels, perspectives and potential jobs. Depending on what the job is, the public relations aspect could be perceived differently. For example, I want to be a PR specialist. Career Questions and Answers website defines a PR specialist to be those who work with organizations and businesses to maintain positive public relations with the public. They may be in charge of media and press releases, political campaigns, investor relations, employee morale or conflict mediation.
Keeping good relations with the public is so important because when a company has a bad reputation, it doesn’t have support from their customers, who keep them in business. I want to do PR for a celebrity, university or non-profit. I want to build and keep good relationships with the community while promoting a celebrity or company.
After explaining what PR specialists do, I’ve been asked if there is a demand for those jobs because they think it doesn’t sound extremely important. However, it’s actually a very important job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2008 PR specialists held about 275,200 jobs in the U.S. and employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow 24 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Depending on where you are at on the totem pole the average salary goes from $40,000 to $50,000, with the lowest 10 percent in the $30,000 range and the highest 10 percent making over $97,000.
Facebook for PR? March 20, 2011
Where is the line drawn for putting too much on Facebook? As time goes on, more and more public relations is being conducted through social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. A blog from “Journalistics,” by Jeremy Potter. When it involves reaching out to bloggers or journalists, Facebook can be okay if you are already in contact with the blogger. Reaching out to a blogger for the first time through Facebook is not professional. Facebook is an ideal tool to brainstorm story angles with other people from the media or a PR department. However, again, you must already know these people.
As far as media inbound relations, you will see Facebook used frequently. “According to a new survey from Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), as reported in PRWeek , 70 percent of journalists said they use social networks to assist in reporting.”( http://blog.journalistics.com/2009/70-percent-of-journalists-use-social-networks-to-assist-in-reporting/) Therefore, people can use Facebook and Twitter to their benefit. However, a worker must be professional on their site. Many who work in PR try to promote their organizations through Facebook.
Potter mentions using Facebook for community outreach. With all the social networkers connected to Facebook, it takes much less time to get the word out this way.
While Potter suggests all these good tips for Facebook, he also cautions using social networking for PR. This is because when something goes wrong, it is immediately tied back to Facebook. This is especially true when you have an angry customer. People may make their own pages about your organization and how unhappy they are with it. Just be aware of what is said about your organization on Facebook and the internet in general.
The Bottom Line: those in PR are looking for feedback. Always. Using Facebook will reach a huge audience and getting their feedback will be easy compared to expecting them to respond to press releases and pitches. Facebook and other social-networking sites are a useful tool, but be aware of what’s going on and what results can come of it. (http://blog.journalistics.com/2010/facebook-for-public-relations/)