Cara Mitchell

October 2, 2008

Cluetrain Manifesto- key points

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 3:01 am
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95 Theses & Ch. 1 of Cluetrain Manifesto

  • The current ways that companies function in their business to business relations, customer relations, community relations, and employee relations must shift and adjust to thrive in this new networked market.
  • The old ways of doing things are becoming inefficient (ie: relying on brand loyalty). Markets these days won’t settle for the usual- they want to be active in the organizations’ inner conversations. For example, community involvement is crucial; without it companies will not be able to relate the market and will have no “human voice”.
  • “Just as GM mistook the Hondas and VWs for a passing fad, most corporations today are totally misreading this invasion from Webspace”. This idea is HUGE in CM. This addresses the issue of organizations being unaware of how big of a deal the Net can become in their careers.
  • CM discusses the way that the principles of scientific management are at work under the surface in organizations today. Basically, managers and CEOs don’t truly trust their employees enough to be creative, innovative, or to interact with their customers and one another without so many rules, stipulations, or surveillance.
  • A lot of the rules, jargon, and big word that corporations now view as standard and normal are what is building a wall between them their publics (employees, customers, community members, other businesses). This speaks to the question that the CM asks: what if you build an intranet and no one comes? From this perspective, it seems as if the main point of these intranets and organizations using the internet (connecting with publics) are being overlooked and forgotten.

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 2, 2008

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

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 3:12 am
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  • 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.

August 28, 2008

Chapter 1: What is PR?

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 12:52 am

This chapter covers so many practical and significant issues related to the definition of PR – it was definitely thought provoking. Here are some highlights from this chapter:

  • I like the way the authors broke down the numerous definitions of PR by listing and discussing the commonalities among the many definitions. My favorite portion of the breakdown of the commonalities among PR definitions is the idea that “PR is socially responsible”. This seems to be the viewpoint of the authors throughout the chapter and I am glad that they underline this idea.
  • When I read the statistic about PR being rated as 12th on the list of the 250 most stressful jobs it really made me think, but I can definitely believe this statistic to be true. After doing internships in this area I have taken note of the different ways my different supervisors deal with their stress. (Hopefully in the future I will be able to learn from my observations). Thankfully, the very next section of the book called “Why a PR Career?” reminded me of some of the reasons why I am interested.
  • I like the values-driven definition of public relations that our textbook offers. I also appreciate the fact that the authors acknowledge the difficulties that accompany adhering to values.
  • The section in the book about the 4 step process of PR is useful because it shows the evolution from the traditional 4 step process to the process that leaves room for the dynamics of everyday life and the changing world, evaluation of actions, and values.
  • The “Actions Speak Louder than Words” sections are very useful because they emphasize how important it is to stick to organizational values in PR. Regardless of what a mission statement says and how pretty it sounds, what the organization actually does in that crunch time is what truly matters. The actual example about The Gap is useful because it shows how it can be difficult to uphold organizational values, however it is still the best route to take.

August 26, 2008

Red Cross Social Media

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 4:27 am

The fact the the Red Cross is using social media to keep people informed (and that they have a Twitter account) in the midst of emergencies is fascinating! It just reinforces the fact that we truly do need to know the things we are learning in this class about social media and how to use it. In my journalism class today we were discussing our personal responses to the fact that today anyone can call himself a journalist. This example of public relations is the perfect response to that question. Social media networks and citizen journalists can be lifesavers in emergency situations and can really help in keeping people connected when they’re accurate. It’s up to the public and everyone’s own personal discretion to decide which blogs, organizations, and people are the proper source of information – especially in emergency situations.

(the original post)

Babble Soft Mad Blogger

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 3:56 am

This case study is useful because it is a realistic situation and it includes how Babble Soft succeeded in easing tensions with the mad bloggers. The latter part of the case study is especially helpful in this way because readers get to see firsthand how Babble Soft apologized and what a response to an angry blog might entail.

This case study is definitely opening my eyes to how things work in the world of new media today. It’s clear to me that being well informed on ALL fronts is key when launching a public relations strategy towards a specific group. It’s not only important to know who you are addressing by name, it’s even necessary to be familiar with the tone they use in any blogs that they write. I also appreciate the blogging etiquette (ie: don’t hijack) that’s included in this case study because to those who aren’t yet familiar with this world of blogging (like me), these rules are not common knowledge (not yet anyways).

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