Cara Mitchell

September 23, 2008

Ch. 9- Communication: The Tactics of Public Relations

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 4:22 am
  • Tactics are specific recommended actions designed to help an organization achieve objectives in a public relations plan.
  • Available channels for tactics are special events, controlled media (newsletters, speeches, brochures), or uncontrolled media (TV, newspapers, radio)
  • In order for a public relations tactic to be successful it must target 1 public at a time, be based on research, send a clear message, and be evaluated as it is being carried out.
  • Traditional publics that an organization might have to communicate with are employees, news media, investors, community groups, governments, customers, and voters. There are different tactics that work best for or are preferred by each of these publics.
  • Accomplishing tactics is the third phase of the PR process (it follows research and planning). *Values-> Mission Statement-> Goals-> Objectives-> TACTICS*

September 18, 2008

Ch. 8- Planning: The Strategies of PR

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 12:53 am
  • All PR plans should be values-driven. (This is the major point that this chapter seeks to drive home).
  • Every goal, objective, strategy should be consistent with the organization’s values and mission statement. Highlighting an organization’s mission statement and values can show management that a certain issue exists and if the organization’s mission is used while planning – all actions can be justified and explained.
  • There are three different kinds of PR plans: Ad Hoc plans (for this purpose only), Standing plans (long-term), and Contingency plans (used for what-if scenarios).
  • Each stage of planning should support the goals for that plan.

September 16, 2008

Ch. 7: Research and Evaluation

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 2:54 am
  • Research and evaluation are two crucial phases of the PR process. The two processes are intertwined and there is a constant need for both research and evaluation.
  • What to Research? A research strategy is key. Some potential areas for research may be client research, stakeholder research and evaluation research. Evaluation research is good to do throughout the entire process.
  • How to research? It’s important to know some of the different methods commonly used by PR practitioners in research: secondary research (library/ primary sources), feedback research, communication audit, focus group and survey research.
  • Many times research and evaluation are overlooked in executing a PR plan because of the failure to see the true value in research and because of not understanding how to show the value of PR on paper.

September 11, 2008

Ch. 4: The Publics in Public Relations

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 3:25 am
  • Publics and Stakeholders- A public is any group whose members have a common interest or common values in a particular situation. A stakeholder has a stake in an organization or issue that potentially involves the organization. All stakeholders are publics, but not all publics are stakeholders.
  • The publics in PR can be categorized in many different ways: traditional and nontraditional; latent, aware, or active; intervening public; primary and secondary publics; internal and external; and domestic and international.
  • There are several questions we ought to ask ourselves about each public involving coorientation. For example, we might ask: What is the public’s stake in our organization? What is the demographic profile? What do members of the public think/believe/feel? Who are opinion leaders and decision makers of the public?
  • Traditional publics are groups with which organizations have ongoing relationships. Examples of some traditional publics an organization might have are employees, the news media, governments, investors, consumers, multicultural communities, voters, and other businesses.
  • In sum, it’s important to understand who all of your publics are including those who have many stakes and those who aren’t aware of their ties to your company. More than just knowing who they are we must understand their views of our companies and their values. Categorizing these publics helps make distinctions about how to best use resources in managing relationships with these numerous publics.

September 8, 2008

Comment on “Is communication ambiguous?” by Alyssa Maute

Filed under: Blog Comments — by caramitchell @ 6:10 pm

Comment on Alyssa Maute’s blog post “Is communication ambiguous?” September 8, 2008

Ch. 3: What PR History Teaches Me

Filed under: Responses — by caramitchell @ 2:18 am

The most important idea that I think is presented in this chapter on PR history is the theme that the past is prologue. This is why it is so important to understand history and take notes on where and how others fell short or excelled.

Something that this chapter really made me think about was about representing clients that are controversial. It is definitely a personal and ethical choice, but there is so much truth in the saying “bad company corrupts good character” and the spin that the book puts on this saying, “you are judged by the company you keep”. It will be necessary to represent clients who have a negative reputation with the public and this is definitely a part of PR, but there is a line to be drawn between these clients and those who are completely up to no good (like the question in the book asking whether or not you would represent an exectuive who stole from his company).  This was the downfall of Ivy Ledbetter Lee – although he is credited with establishing ethics within the profession of PR, he is also noted as not walking the walk.

Another lesson to learn from this brief history of PR is from Mr. Edward Bernays. Our book talks about his success, the strides he made for the discipline of public relations, and how he is considered the father of PR. The book also mentions the way that he was very focused on self-promotion – to the point where he sometimes received more credit for an organization’s efforts than the company itself received. It’s definitely necessary to make yourself look good, that’s how you actually get clients, but it’s important to remember that it’s not all about you…

The main lesson I learned here is to pay attention to the history of PR and what people have done in the past because it is crucial to my future.

September 4, 2008

Breathing is to a Person what Blogging & Twittering is to a PR Pro

Filed under: Other,Responses — by caramitchell @ 5:38 pm

Maybe the title is an overstatement, but it drives my 1st lesson of the day home.

In class today we watched “A Moment With Phil” and spoke with PR professional Kipp Bodnar. After watching this video, speaking to Mr. Bodnar, and listening to Dr. V talk about how she reads from 200-300 blog posts per day, and others read up to 4,000/ day, I was completely blown away!

I now realize that I need to make a real effort to make blogging as common as “drinking coffee” like Dr. V said, so that writing posts and commenting, and twittering won’t feel like a task or another homework assignment to cross off the list…especially since we are going to be engaging in these activities all semester long. I would like to incorporate blogging (and other online activities that I’m learning are extremely useful for upcoming PR professionals) into my lifestyle.

This is definitely one of my major goals for this class. Let the journey begin! 🙂

Necessary Ingredients for the PRactitioner

Filed under: Assignments — by caramitchell @ 3:59 am

After reading our chapter in the textbook “Jobs in PR”, 13 Skills of the PR Pro of the Future, and some ads for jobs in PR – I’ve compiled a list of ingredients that when combined, will make tasty PR practitioners. 🙂

  • Writing: Practitioners should be able to write under deadlines to produce items like news releases, newsletters for employee relations, speeches, etc.
  • Communication Skills: PR is about cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships with numerous publics. For example, practitioners should be able to manage relationships with other businesses, communities, consumers, employees, and investors.
  • Commonsense: This plays a part in being able to make good judgments, decisions and managing a team. (This is really necessary in most professions).
  • Creativity: Be able to discover and implement new ways to reach publics and forge new ground within the field. Incorporate the use of new technologies to better communicate with publics.
  • Education: Most job ads want practitioners to have at least a Bachelor’s degree and one year of related experience for an entry level position.
  • Planning skills: Activities may include organizing events like volunteer efforts and fund raising.
  • Marketing and Advertising skills: The textbook, the blog, and some PR job ads all referenced the need for these types of skills.

My Progress with These Skills and My Plan to Develop Them:

Since practitioners need all of these skills, I need to further develop my skills in every area. Right now, I am focusing on improving my writing and planning skills. I already have some writing skills that I’m working with, but to improve these I am currently taking two journalism classes. These classes will improve my ability to meet deadlines and understand what editors might look for when I’m crafting news releases.

I’m the type of person that pays tremendous attention to detail-this is a good thing, but can also get to the point where it’s working against efficiency. Getting my education here at Clemson in general is helping me to work on being more efficient and better my time management and planning skills. Another way that I plan to improve these skills is by joining the Public Relations committee for the Clemson University Gospel Choir. This year the PR committee is starting a newsletter for better communication within the choir. We will also be reaching out to our publics more this year, so this is a great way for me to develop writing, planning, creativity, and some of the other skills I need to work on. Hopefully I will be able to apply some of the theories from class and concepts from our textbook in my efforts.

Since an understanding of marketing and advertising ideas is becoming increasingly necessary in PR, my plan to work on my lack of expertise in these areas is to take a few of these classes while I’m in school. These two areas are where I definitely need the most improvement.

This Intro to PR class is definitely helping me in several areas listed above. For example, I’m improving in the creativity area as I learn and explore some of the technologies that successful practitioners are using to practice excellent PR.

Now that I have made some plans to develop these skills that are important for PR practitioners to have, it will be interesting to see how executing these plans helps me to grow in each area. *Stay tuned* 🙂

September 2, 2008

“What Public Relations is Not…” and Ch. 13: PR and Marketing

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 3:12 am
Tags: ,
  • PR, advertising, and marketing are all related, but have different focal points. While marketing focuses on everything involved with selling products to consumers, public relations focuses on numerous publics – not just consumers. Advertising is centered on the use of controlled media to reach and impact its public.
  • Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is a type of marketing that focuses on the consumer and the individual versus mass marketing.
  • The beliefs about what PR is, and is not are still up in the air and the majority of scholars and practitioners hold varying views on the subject. After reading our textbook which includes the vocabulary word “marketing public relations” and the blog post “What PR is Not…” – the two do not agree with one another which is a reflection of the way things are in the field today.
  • The fact that some believe a solid line should be drawn between PR and marketing and others feel that it is fine and useful to mesh the two together or consider one a part of the other reflects the section in our book from Ch. 1 (p. 9). One of the four barriers of PR practitioners that is noted is the difference in the ways that various managers and fellow practitioners view public relations. This is why it is important to understand what PR is and is not for yourself since there are so many different opinions…This chapter and blog post were definitely two must-reads because it’s definitely necessary to understand the differences between all of these different, yet related fields.

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