Archive for September, 2011

Late Night Rant for an Innocent Intern

I just  read an article in Ragan’s PR Daily, by Christina Starr, a senior journalism major with a PR concentration at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In the article she describes some of the challenges she faced during her internship.

One that caught my attention was #3Maintaining a professional relationship with the opposite sex.”  The experience she had reminds me of typical media scrutiny of women.  It’s okay for a man to be 50 lbs overweight, but if a woman is slightly overweight, people tell her she’s fat.  If a man flirts with a woman, it’s obviously her fault…she brought it on herself.  At what point is it not the woman’s fault that she is being noticed by the male?  Is it a crime to be friendly or beautiful?  Okay, ladies! Now stop being friendly you don’t want the guys to get the wrong idea! can’t smile and be professional at the same time. While you’re at it quit wearing make up, what do you want…attention??

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My Blog Comments

Here’s a list of blog comments I make on other blogs on the web.

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15. 10 tips for public speakers — from 1980s pop music, Brad Phillips — December 3, 2011

 

14. 50th Tweet Commemoration, BryannaKatelynn — December 3, 2011

These are great! My favorite –the “What are you doing” “Weirdo..”. That is hilarious! I want a Follow Jesus shirt too! It’s amazing how our generation is so into the tweeting and face booking…No generation before us has gone through this! Appreciate the humor. Thanks for posting Kate!

Christina

13. 9 tips for a successful Facebook presence, Jim Belosic — November 29, 2011

Very good points. About the allow prompts, that’s exactly what I think. My mind is on what’s going on with internet privacy and identity theft and I don’t really know what they are planning on doing with the information on my facebook, and it’s very personal. Most of the time I don’t know the business or whatever app it is requesting my information and I don’t think twice about clicking ‘dont allow’.  Thanks for posting!

12. Does the smiley face have a place in the PR workplace?, Arik Hanson — November 29,2011

I don’t believe it’s wise to include emoticons in emails to anyone higher up. Emoticons do seem fairly childish (also depending on the context), but can make the person seem less serious about their and less professional. If wanting to build relationships with equal counterparts, however, smilies are a familiar way to do so. Thanks for posting!

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10. The Oxford Dictionary welcomes ‘kewl’, Meredith Coburn, Ragan’s PR Daily

Do other languages adopt words from pop culture the same way? I am part of this generation using these words as well.  I don’t think that this is a healthy thing do.  The reason language is becoming this way is because of text messaging, instant messaging, etc. My generation is becoming a generation that cannot spell and that no longer find it necessary to write grammatically correct.  Will this be incorporated into formal writing and become accepted? I sure hope not.

9. How to be a better interviewer, Brad Phillips, Ragan’s PR Daily — October 10, 2011
The purpose of an interview is to be all about that person for that time. Charlie Rose did a phenominal job in this interview. There’s a sense of selflessness about both of them. When Michael Crichton explains that his work does not come easy by natural abilities but that he works hard at what he does, Charlie does a great job in expounding on that but bringing out all the positives of what he was saying. Very encouraging guy.

8. “YouTube” CAN be a very useful PR device, JenmBrowning — October 10, 2011

I have to say I love YouTube!!! I think people definitely want to hear what “we the people” have to say and think on various issues along with voices in the mainstream media and this is a phenomenal source for that. Also, I was not aware of all the things YouTube was had available as for making videos until recently having to make a video for my Intro to Mass Comm. course. Thanks for posting!

Christina Miller

7. 12 Common Mistakes on brands’ Facebook pages, Justin Rondeau, Ragan’s PR Daily — October 8, 2011

I especially can relate to #1 Don’t Over-Post. I have “liked” some small businesses, because I really do. However, on facebook, repetition is not the key as it is on radio or television. If they repeat too much of the same things or become annoying, it’s not like a commercial that you have to see or hear. The person can just decide to never hear you again. So if we or businesses want to continue to be heard we do have to remember they choose to listen. Thanks for posting! Great tips.

Christina Miller

6. Journalist explains how PR pros should pitch using social media, Kevin Allen, Ragan’s PR Daily — October 8, 2011

That is so true! We were just talking about this in my Public Relations Applications class. We are learning how each medium can and should be utilized to be the best communicators possible. Email is definitely not the best way to go about getting information out quickly to large amounts of people. I’m thankful for twitter and facebook for making PR more exciting, quick, and fascinating. What a great way to learn. We have the world at our fingertips! Literally! Thanks for posting!!

Christina Miller

5. Landing Your Dream Internship, JenmBrowning — October 8, 2011

Great! I was just beginning to think about how to get started in preparing and looking for somewhere to do an internship. Definitely some helpful tips in here. I would definitely like to go to a a career fair and that was a good tip to remember, to research companies prior to going to speak with them. By being more knowledgeable about the company this could create questions for you to ask and open up doors for great conversation between you and the company reps. Being prepared could make the difference. Thanks for posting!!!

Christina Miller

4. How do journalists use social media?  PR pros, take note. , Ragan’s PR Daily — October 8, 2011

I just recently made a twitter account and I know I haven’t experienced all that can be done with and though it; However, Rebecca Jarvis certainly has found it useful in her career and I’m sure it would be equally or of even greater use in Public Relations.. I’m excited to get more accustomed to utilizing twitter as it may be the best way to build a foundation for a career. Thanks for posting!

Christina Miller

3. PR Firms Vs. PR Departments , Paul Hamilton — October 8, 2011

I would agree with you on that. Starting out in a PR firm would be more beneficial in the long run. Especially starting out it is important to develop more of a foundation than starting out making a higher salary but not being able to make as many contacts and develop as many skills. Great post!

Christina Miller

2. Don Imus “Nappy Headed hos”, Paul Hamilton — September 18, 2011

I agree with you. What he said was inexcusable and if he would get out on a limb and say something like that, then I doubt we wouldn’t hear it again, and next time maybe something even worse. They made a wise decision firing him. Although his listener base may have been quit big because of Imus’ personality, he had been warned several times and it had to end somewhere, because there it went to far.

1. FASHION EMERGENCY!, breannakatelynn — September 18, 2011

Great job on this blog! I was really impressed by it. The whole situation here seems to be coming from a company who could care less about anyone else. How rude is that to ignore calls..? Obviously they knew they made an unwise decision seeing that they were unwilling to defend themselves in the situation. They may have thought that no one deserved to be in their business but they shouldn’t be oblivious to what’s going on around them.

Toys “R” Us Sweepstakes …FAIL and thrice win

In 2007 Toys “R” Us would award the first baby born in 2007 a $25,000  United States savings bond.  Yuki Lin was born at exactly midnight at New York Downtown Hospital, thus securing her title as the First American Baby Born in 2007. However, the night quickly turned into a “PR-ish” nightmare when sweepstakes officials revealed that all the requirements had not been met. Yuki Lin was a US citizen, but her parents were not.

Toys “R” Us changed their minds and said that Yuki could not claim the prize. Instead, a baby born in Georgia to U.S. citizens was awarded the savings bond, and Yuki got a $100 gift basket as a consolation prize. Two other babies were found to be born around the same time and had been finalists in the drawing.

The story had became national news and The World-Journal, a Chinese-language newspaper published a story about Yuki’s loss of opportunity.

In an attempt to negate the negative attention and to fix the problem all together, Toys “R” Us decided to award Yuki, the baby in Georgia AND the other baby born in Long Island to parents from El Salvador each with a $25,000 savings bond.

Baby Yuki Lin was a U.S. citizen, so why would that young child be given any LESS of an opportunity or treated as less than another citizen because of that child’s parents?  I think it was preposterous that anyone would revoke such a beautiful gift to a child and their family on New Years because of findings of non-citizenship of the parents.

I appreciate what they did at the end though.  I think that was a good call.  Sometimes you have to say rules are rules but there is a point where I think humanity draws the line and things aren’t as black and white as we sometimes treat them to be.

PR — A science

If I could work in any era of PR history, I would choose the 1920’s when PR was in it’s very ripe stage.  In this time period lived one of the first and most influential writers in public relations,  a man named Edward Bernays.   Bernays was the double-nephew of Sigmund Freud (born to Freud’s sister and Freud’s wife’s brother).

Bernays view of Public Relations and career was based off a dictionary definition that said engineering is the “art or science of making practical application of the knowledge of pure sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, etc.

Bernays was prominent at the same time of the women’s liberation movement.  In 1929, Bernays  was working for American Tobacco, and with his interest in psychoanalysis, he payed a large sum of money to consult with psychoanalyst A.A. Brill who revealed to him that a cigarette represents the penis, and thus smoking was a form of male domination. Likewise, a woman’s smoking could be seen, therefore, as a gesture of successful defiance and self-determination.  He used this analysis to quote the term “Torches of Freedom”.  Women began to accept this fallacy and soon if you didn’t believe in women being able to smoke, then you didn’t believe in liberty.

The reason I like this time period for public relations is because this was I think the beginning to work smarter with the public.  Not necessarily for the purpose of manipulation or be deceiving to the masses like he did, but for the purpose of understanding the public on a much deeper level and being able to communicate things to people because you understand more about them…why people do the things they do. Bernays was able to understand people in this way on a much deeper level.  I love the fact that he sought to understand and work with the public through science.

Dealing With Difficult Conversations

I recently took a free 1 hour course on NewsU.org called “Dealing With Difficult Conversations”.

Early on in the course I took a self-assessment of what style of conflict resolution I had.  The first time I took it my style was “competition” which is “I see difficult conversations as win/lose and I will win”.  About a week later I took it again and I was tied between accommodation which is  “I hate the bad feelings that come from difficult conversations and prefer to give in rather than press for what I believe is right” and avoidance which is “I’m so fearful of a bad outcome that instead of talking I avoid the person entirely..”.

The first time I took it, I had theology on the brain…and my first thought was “There’s some things you just don’t compromise with– especially in religion.

And with the second go around… with every day matters that aren’t as meaningful, I don’t feel it necessary to press for the things I “want”, I’d just rather make the other person happy.  And with matters that would probably hurt the other person to bring up, instead of bringing it up and making a issue about it, I’d probably just pray…so that’s my avoidance.

Through this course I learned that it is best to get straight to the point and to explain the reason they are there.  After giving bad news one should provide answers as to what there next step should be.

Another thing I learned from this course was that after someone has a difficult conversation with an employee, the employer is to give some sort of follow up, whether that be through an email,  a letter, note, a meeting scheduled for the future, or even a drop by the office.

The only things that really surprised me about this course is how it asked you to give possible answers the way you would begin a difficult conversation and then to be able to compare it with a professionals.  I was also surprised at how organized it was.  It wasn’t confusing at all and it stayed on track, on topic the entire course.  There weren’t too many deviating links that it gets you confused.  Only a few, so it wasn’t bad.

This course covered all aspects of dealing with difficult conversations from initiation to getting out on that wire, to wrapping up the conversation in a respectful manner, all the way to a follow up in some cases.  I don’t think there is anything I really feel like I should have learned that I didn’t get in the video.  Although it was short, it covered I think every basic aspect of dealing with difficult conversations.

What is Public Relations?

Public Relations can be defined in numerous ways.  Public Relations is also in itself, a number of different things.  Public Relations is maintaining communication between a company and its publics.

Public Relations is also in the business of cultivating good relationships with local press representatives as they are the ones trained to make the company look good and they are going to project that out to the public through the use of the local press.

Public Relations is being the face and voice of the company and representing them in the best light possible.

When an new company arises, it is Public Relation’s job to make the company known and  help people understand about the business.  It is their job to build relationships and develop a trust and familiarity with consumers.

Public Relations professionals basically make it easier for advertisers.  If people already know about and trust the business, advertisements can go further and people are more likely to remember the advertisement because they are already familiar with the product or whatever is being advertised.