Monthly Archives: October 2011

The PRuler (TOW8)

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(Source)

Q: What are some ways that a PR practitioner can measure the effectiveness of a campaign? Also, discuss the importance of measurement.

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With some quick research, in the matter of seconds, I found this article, “Measuring The Effectiveness of Your Advertising Campaign,” (Imagine that.) by a Jennifer Kathleen Phillips (a writer, publisher, teacher, artist and poet…).

She had done some research of her own and found out what a few PR people have to say in this area.

Mr. E. Pomerance* uses 5 topic areas to measure effectiveness: Profits, Sales, Persuasion, Communication and Attention. He also placed value on repeated exposure for recognition by consumers.

Two researchers, Lavidge and Steiner*, suggest recognizing and following the various stages of purchasing behavior of your clients. These stages can be identified as Awareness, Knowledge, Liking, Preference, Conviction and Purchase.

Kotler and Armstrong, also researchers, believe that evaluating, studying and researching communication and sales patterns and information is the best way.

Another article I found, Advertising Effectiveness? , provide a list of possible areas to look at: (rephrased in my own words, even added some commentary of my own.)

  • The amount of times people asked about the product.
  • The amount of times those questioning about the product, purchased it afterward.
  • Test awareness of brand and logo recognition.
  • Levels of repeat purchasing by clients.
  • How many customers you are able to keep.
  • If testing popularity, measuring demographics of purchasers, to test at where in the population to aim the marketing.
  • Compare previous sales of product without the implemented marketing tactics to the sales now with the advertising. Have they improved any?
  • Measure types of goods order by your clients; learn your companies strong points and what to promote for strong increase in sales.

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Just by common sense, I gave a few of my own measurements:

  • A noticed increase in sales, purchases and revenue of your marketed product.
  • An increase in client traffic frequenting your website, business, or shop.
  • An increase in the amount of consumer contact through face-to-face encounters with personnel, phone calls, emails, and online inquiries on company website or other sites like Answers.Yahoo.com.
  • Seeing interest and popularity of product by other venders like Amazon; also looking at customer reviews done by, say, these Amazon buyers.
  • Test brand awareness in a group of consumers and clients, through polling or other methods.
  • The increased amount of simple, unconscious marketing just by unrealizing civilians in personal conversations, blogs, tweets, chat rooms. (ie. product or company recommendations to friends; stories to family members about visits to businesses; product comparison between colleagues; recitation of a TV commercial ditty to a classmate.) If you can pick up how much people talk about your product everyday, you can tell how effective it has been.
  • How many times your product or service has been searched for in online search engines after a big marketing campaign.
  • How many times online ads for your company were clicked on and pursued.

(Source)

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So, why is all this important again?

It’s very important to measure your campaign’s effectiveness because, as a PR person working for a company, it is a reflection of how well you do your job and how well your methods of marketing worked. Your success or failure will show if you should continue with your methods or if you should totally revamp your marketing strategy to find something that does work so that you are being efficient, productive and frugal with your money and resources allotted to the advertising project.

You want your ideas and plans to work correctly and bring about a positive change in the current business pattern of your company or organization.

(*Note:*Although author Phillips cited her research, she failed to mention more details about her PR people whom she took suggestions down: all she gave was their names, and I was unable to track any further information down.)

From the Characters of Pride and Prejudice Comes… Tips for Public Speaking?

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In my PR class today, we were asked to choose one of our favorite movies and find things from instances or characters in the movie that we could learn from in the area of public speaking tips.

The first movie that came to mind was Pride and Prejudice. You know, the one with Matthew McFadyen and Keira Knightly– <sigh> one of my all-time favs.

Just Oh-So Beautiful!

At first, I didn’t know how I could learn anything about public speaking from a movie.

I know, I know: how could I ever possess such primitive and ignorant thinking?

Well, you can breathe easy now, because I quickly realized that I was wrong.

I really started to think about it and realized how much I actually could get from the iconic characters of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. I thought that the tips I gathered were worth blogging about and sharing.

So without further ado, here’s what I gathered about good or bad public speaking from Pride and Prejudice:

Mrs. Bennet

  • Mrs. Bennet: Don’t talk too much. Pause every once and a while—take a breath. And if all you do is gossip, complain and demand, no one will not only ever want to listen to you, but also not want to be around you in general.

Mr. Bennet

  • Mr. Bennet: Have a mind of your own. Don’t just repeat what others say or demand you to say. Include your own opinion when appropriate. People don’t want to hear what they just heard from the other guy/girl. Be original.

The Charming and Deceptive Foot Soldier Wickham

  • Mr. Wickham: Be charming and know how to draw emotions. It sure worked for him…

Mr. Collins, The Dreaded Cousin

  • Mr. Collins: Please know how to relate to your audience and hold their interest. God forbid you are boring, monotone and bulldoze straight above anyone else about issues that no one cares about.

The Dry, Gray and Depressing Mary Bennet

  • Mary Bennet: Learn to be a bit exciting. Don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinion…unless its boring and unrelated—then it’s probably best that you hold your tongue. 😉

Fitzwilliam Darcy... oh, Darcy

  • Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Don’t give the appearance of or gain the reputation of being prideful and egotistical, without a care for anyone or anything. That turns people off right away…or does it? 🙂

Her "Royalness" High-n'-Mighty-(n'-Stuck-Up) Lady Catherine De Bourgh

  •  Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Demand respect but don’t instill fear in your audience. And then, in return, you also be respectful by having tact and not mindlessly offending others just because you think you’re better than them.

And... the unspoken and honest Lizzy.

  • Elizabeth/Lizzy Bennet: Be passionate. Be witty. Be confident. Don’t be ashamed of being yourself. (I wish I could be as beautifully poetic as Lizzy… or any of the Austen Characters really!) Oh, and having un-embarrassing, discreet and graceful family members is a plus…

If anyone thinks of anything else to include or another note-worthy character, please add to the list!!

iTweet. (TOW7)

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I have a confession to make.

An admission of guilt, of sorts.

Since I first heard about it and learned what it was, Twitter never sounded like something I wanted to be a part of. Anytime I someone with one tried to explain or I read a snippet from a celebrity’s, I always was left more confused about this Twitter-thing than before.

I never understood how someone would keep up with it, why you would ever want one, what would you write about and…..wasn’t it just a waste of time?

Well, it does take up time–sometimes too much–but I found I fit right into the Twitter-verse pretty much instantly. Any worries about my not knowing how it worked or what to write about, pretty much ended after the first week of my signing up–for what I thought was just gonna be to complete a school assignment.

It’s very fair to say that I went from being ignorant and twitterless to being a very proficient “addict.” I use that term loosely– I just really, really enjoy it.

Considering the constant dedication with which I keep up with it (I even downloaded a little Twitter Timeline scroll app for my laptop–it’s best I can do without a smartphone!) and the fervor with which I contribute my own statements, thoughts, experiences and worship lyrics to the billions and trillions of others each day, my friends would (and DO!) call me “addicted.”

See. Now, I have to explain a few things.

  1. At this point and time, I do not have a Facebook: therefore Twitter is my only outlet of social networking. Call me deprived–whatever. So you must forgive me if my Twittering is a bit heavier and more frequent than normal people. So what? ………What is normal, anyway?* ;-D
  2. Just because I had 100 tweets in only 10 days and 157 tweets after 20 days… doesn’t mean anything, ok? Especially not an ”addiction.” I just find I have a lot to comment on and tweet about…which brings me to my next point.*
  3. I will “talk” about almost anything more openly and thoroughly in writing than I ever would verbally. You put me in a class discussion and, even if I know the answer like the back of my hand, I will not say a word unless asked/forced…(or I’m really super comfortable in that class). Something about me and public speaking: we never seem to mesh well at all. MY point in saying all this: you ask me a question on paper/computer, and I will produce for you a detailed novel–analyzing every area of that topic to the best of my knowledge–even if you had just asked me the same question verbally and I had remained silent like an ignorant mute.
  4. Personally, I just connect better with people through writing. Because I find myself more willing to be bolder than usual, I know I have made more acquaintences/connections and been able to further cultivate current friendships with Twitter than I would have without it. Why? Because I am also more likely to address someone directly through Twitter than just walking up and talking to them in person. Why? Because communication through writing is my strength–where I am comfortable and confident. So….Good? Bad?                                                                                                                                                                        Both. In business, writing skills are very important. However, I know I can’t always rely on my writing for communication. There will be times, I am very certain, when I will have to open up my mouth and say something–something that cannot be conveyed, like a speech presentation, through the written word…. or when the message is too urgent/vital to be translated into words on a page. Strength in verbal communication is a practically a necessity to a good leader.
  5. I have really come to enjoy Twitter as a social outlet; and all the little joys of a new follower, a re-tweet or a reply. It helps me feel more connected to  my community and friends. With Twitter, we all get to see and show a side of ourselves which can only be portrayed in 140 characters. 🙂

(*Note:* *I use sarcasm and feign emotions I’m really not feeling way too often. The problem with this, is when it comes out in my writing, which occurs all the time– I am very much unable to put a tone onto my written words. I fear this may often lead to misinterpretation or misunderstanding of my message. I try to fix it with ellipsis and smileys.)

Nuh-Uh! McD’s Would Never Deceive Me! What!?!

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I think– I would hope– that we all know somewhere deep down that they do it to us… right?

The whole “appealing to the senses” thing they do? Just to get us to walk in and hand them our money for something we know doesn’t look at all like their advertisements?

It’s all a deliberate trap.

They put these images on billboards, TV commercials, magazines, the sides of 18-wheelers truckin’ down the highways past us. And they make it almost irresistible for some.

We (I say the collective “we”; I don’t prefer fast food) start drooling and make an immediate beeline for the nearest sighting of the Golden Arches.

They definitely know what they’re doing.

Looking at these pictures, I just want to laugh. I wonder: if the real pics of the products on the right were posted all over the billboards and ads, would business go down? Or are people just addicted anyway and do not care what it looks like?

(In terms of categories: this is obviously the marketing side of PR.)

Out-of-the-Box Résumés

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I enjoyed looking at these.

With regards to the interests and skills of some of my fellow classmates also involved in marketing and graphic design, I think some of them would too.

Its a slideshow collection of different résumés that people (mostly creative graphic designers) have put together.

I encourage you to take a look. Its quite impressive.

Click HERE to see some ridiculously creative résumés.

(Tip: Make sure you take your mouse of the slideshow after each time you click to the next one so that the black borders disappear. That way you can see the whole thing.)

ENJOY!

 

 

It’s kinda’ like Football… (TOW6)

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UESTION: Based on what you read in Chapter 5 of your THINK Public Relations book, do you think it’s more beneficial for a new PR practitioner to begin his/her career in a PR department or in a PR firm? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

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Before answering that question, the basic difference between what is considered a PR/communication department and a PR agency/firm needs to be discussed.

A PR department–which also goes by the names of corporate communications, corporate relations, public affairs, community relations–is its own institution or unit inside of a single corporation or businesses. According to PR consultant, Alfred Geduldig, “the increasing use of the term ‘corporate communications’ signaled that public relations people were doing many more things in a company now than they had in the past, reflecting an integration of communications services” (91).

The sole goal of the department is to answer to either the manager, director or vice president of the company and accomplish with tact, wisdom and creativity whatever PR objectives have been customized by the organization for the organization with the success of its goals in mind.

When you work in a department of a company, its like you joined a football team. How so, you ask?

Well let’s say (we’ll make somethin’ up) Blueprints Co.– a million-dollar, big city company of top-notch, big-name architects and designers that specialize in luxury skyscrapers for business and condo owners– hires you to head their PR department. As part of Blueprints, you are now part of a complete team of departments and specialists all doing different jobs but working toward one common goal of success and making money for the architects.

Going back to the football analogy: the CEO, calling all the shots, is like the Quarterback. Right there close to and working with our CEO are the VP and Board of Directors, we’ll give them the roles of Fullback, Halfback and Center. The PR department, depending on its many varied roles of communicator, marketer, idea runner or damage control, could be a mix of the Safeties and Wide Receivers since the need to act as protection to an offensive attack or be open to deal with what’s being thrown at them. We’ll give the guys in the actual field, the Architects and Designers, who do the actual architect-ing and designing, the positions of End, Guard and Tackle, since the go out each day to face the competition and do the best job they can to get for the success of the whole team.

Then we got the accountants, assistants, managers, human resources (I’m terrible at completely understanding football, so you can give them proper positions): each of them do a different job, but are working toward the same success for Blueprints Co. by accomplishing the mini goals of their own department.

As long as the QB calls a good play, the Center hikes, the Tackle tackles, the Guard guards, the Receivers recieves, and all the -Backs run around in the proper play moves (or whatever), then all will hopefully go well and the team will win.

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A PR firm is a company with lots of PR specialists who are hired out by other businessses to do all their PR or just a certain project for them.

As a practitioner for a firm, you may specialize in a few or all disciplines of the PR field. And although in principle, you are an paid employee of, say, PR, Inc., each day you may be working for a different company and juggling six different projects at once.

For this, I give the analogy of a team of mercenaries, or hired guns. You’re all soldiers together, and you may all have a different technical specialty or strength (sharp shooter, sniper rifle, grenade mastery, paratrooper, tanker, engineer, etc.), but everyday a unit of your team is contracted out to a country in need, willing to pay for your skills as fighters.

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So….which is best to start in? Firm or department?

Well, if you really must know…

For the most part I think that the decision is not really whether one is better than the other or not. It’s really all based on the person, their skills, and their desired experience.

You should work in a PR department if:

  1. You want to experience more than just PR, but also the other areas similarly related that are necessary in the workings of a corporation, such as internal communication and policy, social media, mission statement, .
  2. You want to learn to understand the workings a a company, and how all parts and branches come together to create a successful organization. You are part of the PR team, but you work with the other departments such as human resources, fanagement, Directors, accounting, and even maintenance.
  3. You don’t mind working on only a few areas of PR, and often the same ones.
  4. You don’t mind being limited to just the goals and projects of the company you work for.

You should work at a PR Firm if:

  1. The only thing you want to do is PR.
  2. You want to know and experience a very diverse and wide variety of areas of PR.
  3. You want to learn about a new area of PR.
  4. You want to work with different companies and be part of their different projects. For Company A, you may be hired to clean up a crisis mess the have

For both, a PR person needs to:

  • Be a good team player and flexible to situations.
  • Have the ability to keep calm and composed in situations of high emotions or stress.
  • Know how to deal with the emotions of others.
  • Understand how to deal appropriately and successfully with crisis.
  • Be fully aware of what is going on and who’s doing what in each project.
  • Know how to pull creativity out of thin air at the drop of a hat–use nothing to make something, quickly and suddenly– in case of emergencies.
  • Remain humble and respect the other departments and their position on the “team.”
  • Know your position and what you are there to do.

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“Executives increasingly see public relations not as simply publicity and one-way communication, but rather as a complex and dynamic process of negotiation and compromise with a number of key publics.” (Page 88)