Archive for the 'Reflections COMM 2322' Category


Non Profit PR

For this reflection, I’m simply going to talk about what I’ve observed from Soles4Souls, the non profit that a friend of mine works for.

To give some background, Soles4Souls is a Nashville, TN based non profit organization that provides shoes to those in need.

From what I’ve observed, one of the main strategies of Soles4Souls is to actually establish and maintain relationships between themselves and their followers. The primary method of going about this is through social media, as it allows for the brand to reach those that reside miles upon miles away, and to actually work with them to achieve goals, checkpoints and objectives.

Another thing that works with Soles4Souls are the partnerships between the brand and celebrities both within the area as well as national and international. The great thing that I’ve learned from seeing these sorts of things, are that great things can be done when famous celebrities are able to communicate a greater cause.

El norte vive! by Libertinus

To close, I’ve learned that using images to evoke emotions are one of the most sure-fire ways to establish a greater connection. People like seeing pleasing things that make them smile or think. The positives tend to work better, but anything emotion-striking is better than something that is not.


Communication in Local Politics…

For this post, I decided to focus on local politics.

Recent Purchase: Megaphone by LarimdaME

Local PR practices in politics involve assisting in communicating any governmental decisions. Decisions like any new acts that are being passed. Other things to be considered are the sayings and statements that are issued upon the release of laws and regulations. If said in certain ways, some would not be as willing to comply than if it were worded differently.

As a matter of fact, most of the work is dependent upon word choice, layout, imagery, and content. Typically, the government tries to not evoke much personality into their pr releases, but things change when you are targeting certain demographics. For example, when trying to target minors, you might want to attempt to use humor into your pieces in order to catch attention.

So as a matter of fact, if you’re trying to get a point across, speak it in different ways to yourself. Make sure to vary your word choice on these different go-around’s. Once you’ve taken a look at the different ways to communicate something, be sure to choose the wording that doesn’t allow room for any misinterpretation. One last important point is to include all of the important details associated with the message.


PR Tactics: Television

This week’s topic covers one of the many tactics used in PR.

Television by dailyinvention

Public Relations in the world of Television broadcasting doesn’t really span that far. Typically, there are only4 standard kinds of delivery in terms of actually presenting content towards directors and producers of a television network.

There are:

News Release
Present what you use for the print media, and hope they can work with it.

The problem with this is that it’s not tailored out for broadcasters. These could easily be ignorable because it doesn’t emphasize a need to be featured in the world of television.

Media Alert
Give the editor/producer a heads up about an upcoming newsworthy event.

These are great, but there are better methods, because in many cases, these can be pretty boring.

Story Pitch
Illustrate the potential story to the editor/producer via email.

The only problem that I see with this is that these tend to come off in an informal way, and they need to be done one at a time. You can’t really spam these out at all.

Video News Release
Basically film a little “bit” on what you’re trying to communicate.

These are great, but everybody will receive the same piece. You really want the different outlets to be displaying different pieces for your brand.



To some people, the idea of working in public relations and being ethical about it is a bit of an oxymoron. It just doesn’t happen at all.

Clean dirt by WordRidden

You see, the idea is “spinning”. Spinning in PR involves a lot of very seedy things.

Spinning is where the truth (usually something negative) is twisted around into something else.

This is usually done to either:

A. Protect the party doing the spinning.
B. Harm the opposing party.

For example, there’s the case of Kanye West at the 2009 VMA’s

To sum up what had happened, Kanye had interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to say that Beyonce’s album was better. Before Kanye got any flack, his publicist had advised Kanye to blame his behavior for his mother’s recent death.

The publicist had basically spun the disaster away from what it could’ve been, which wasn’t completely lying, but was it ethical by any means? Many would say that it wasn’t.

Gini Dietrich fights the negative perception that all publicists are spin doctors, which translates into liars in the pr world. Gini does this through her blog, Spin Sucks. The blog talks about what is new and current in the realm of pr crisis.




Polling During Presidential Elections

A lot of ideas come to mind when I think of examples of polling. In this case, I think politically.

Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey by DonkeyHotey

The presidential election really isn’t all too far away from today. In about 220 days, we’re going to decide on our nation’s next leader. Isn’t that just mind blowing?

Between now and then, the best way for us to gauge how things will turn out for the actual elections is to poll the public on their thoughts and opinions. So the first thought to come to my mind was “How do groups typically go about polling the general public?”

After a little Googling, I eventually found a video that spoke on the important truths in regards to polling.

Some of the major points that are brought up throughout the video are:

George W. Bush didn’t pay much attention to polls.
Who knows why, but his cabinet did. Maybe it all was too much for him, or maybe it was to give an appearance to show that he didn’t care.

In general, national results aren’t looked at, it’s the results of the individual states.
It does help to look at national results to get a general consensus, but the individual states are what matter, so they’re looked at one-by-one.

Nowadays, in certain demographics, we can gauge public opinion through social media.
It’s a good and great measure, but it doesn’t work for all of the other demographics that aren’t so receptive of social media.


PR Research

On February 23rd, we talked about the concept of public relations research. I’m going to say it right off of the bat: I didn’t expect that to be such a thorough process on the end of PR workers. I know that it is such a big industry, but wow, that is some TEDIOUS work.

Dr Childs brought us through the process of creating a survey through Zoomerang/Survey Monkey, and he showed us the different things that he would recommend us doing if we were working on certain projects. He also showed us the different things that he had done with his past work for obtaining his latest degree and even that in and of itself seemed like so much!

We had looked at how there are different phases to different publicity campaigns, and research is used quite often before, during, and after to determine how effective the campaigns really are.

"4 Steps" taken from an in-class powerpoint by Dr Joe Childs

Dr Childs had also brought in some handouts that seemed really interesting. What made them really worth taking a closer look at was the fact that they were real world examples of internal communication pieces similar to the same pieces that many corporate PR workers develop regularly for whatever upcoming events are happening.


Wedding Planners and PR (Wait, What?)

So today in class we had Linda Marie Somersall, the owner of LMS Weddings come in for a mini-publicity consultation. To be totally honest, in some ways, it was pretty fun and interesting to do.

"Class w/ Linda Somersall" by Joe Childs

You see, Linda already had some prior knowledge of using social media to increase brand awareness. Yet at the same time, Linda didn’t know all too much about it to begin with, but I can’t totally blame her because she had started her career in wedding planning long before social media had really made any sort of an appearance into the common, every day world.

So all of us (the students) had to partner up in groups of two, and deliver a presentation to help her with a few things. We had to address the following topics in our presentations:

  • How Linda could draw in a greater readership in her blog.
  • How Linda could use social media to gain more attention & awareness.
  • How Linda could draw in more attention to her affiliate page on her website.

I partnered with my good friend, Cynthia Flynn to give a presentation, and I think we did a pretty good job with it. We mentioned a few good points throughout the presentation.

To sum up the major points, here’s what we talked about:

Guest posting on other blogs is a great idea for generating more attention to your blog. For this to go well, you need to aim to guest post on other blogs that are more known than yours. Also, linking to your own blog would be a good idea.

Twitter chat is a useful tool, not just for self promotion, but also for connecting you with other people within your field of interest. Connections are fundamental to anything, so why not get out there? You might just learn a thing or two.

Hashtags do have a point, you just need to learn how to use them effectively so you don’t look like an idiot. Learning to use the relevant hashtags to your field is key to getting anywhere with what you do.

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