Cara Mitchell

December 3, 2008

Walgreen’s TakeCare Health Tour- Excellent PR

Filed under: PR Connections — by caramitchell @ 11:42 pm
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I saw a commercial for Walgreens TakeCare health tour that lead me to the website.

What is the heatlh tour? Basically, Walgreens is putting nurses and health-care-savvy experts on a bus and doing a 300-city tour in the US and Puerto Rico where they offer free screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels, waist circumference and body mass index. The idea is to increase health awareness in communities and offer possible early detection of diseases and health issues for anyone who comes.

As far as PR goes: First of all, the way that the commercial showed the website: ‘walgreens.com/takecare’ is an example of excellent PR because it proves that research is going on. This code automatically takes viewers to the TakeCare site and it provides PR people a way to track how many people came to the Web site as a result of seeing the commercial on TV.

Another reason why this is excellent PR: Walgreens launched their TakeCare health clinics in select stores a few years ago. Other pharmacies like CVS have started similar programs recently as well like MinuteClinic. This TakeCare bus tour is also giving the Walgreens in-store clinics a leg up on the competition by the relationships it’s creating beyond its customers.

This campaign shows customers and members of the community that Walgreens cares about them. The services Walgreens is offering on the one-year tour are worth about $115 (according to the website). Although the ultimate goal of Walgreens is to gain customers, this is a good way to build relationships with the community and potential customers at the same time.

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September 4, 2008

Necessary Ingredients for the PRactitioner

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

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