All posts by tannerblane

Earth Day. Better Late Than Never.

I couldn’t attend Earth Day at Samford University, but I did get to go to Clemson Universities Earth Day.

Clemson had tons of tables set up from stores and organizations local to the area with ways to go green as well as help out in the community. They brought in wild life to show the animals that students could help by being more aware of pollution and keeping our planet beautiful. Also lots of companies had promotional deals such as the one in the picture below. Clemson’s Earth Day was a lot of fun and they displayed a lot of ways to make an impact in your community.

Go Earth!

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On Friday, April 29th, our PR class was visited by a young and successful entrepreneur, Andrea Walker. She is the CEO of her company W Social Marketing and has been running it since its creation two years ago. She is now 26 years old and spoke to our class about what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Here are a few things I learned that I will take with me into a career:

1. It is okay to say “I don’t know.”

– Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A company would rather help you the first time and teach you something new than you waste time trying to figure it out on your own.

2. When building a team, find people that know more than you.

– If everyone on the team has the same set of skills and only knows certain things then you do not have the ability to expand and make ideas better. Hire people that have different skills sets to cover a wider range of design and creativity. Then all skill sets an work together.

3. You must always be willing to put in the extra work and learn new things.

– Mrs. Walker described to us all the extra hours she put in working on different tasks and learning the ins and outs of all the programs in order to make herself a well rounded employee. I’m sure it was not always fun, however those late nights and early mornings gave her insight into how to run a productive company and she is now doing it herself.

4. Bring your ideas to the table without alienating the rest of the staff.

– If ideas are brought out and you make it seem like you are trying to compete with everyone, there can be no team work. However, if the ideas are presented in a way in which the group can works on it as a whole it builds unity.

As always I learned many things from our speaker and each of these things will make me a better professional.

Hunting in the world of PR

Last Friday our class enjoyed hearing guest speaker Kara Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy is the director of external affairs for the Brock School of Business at Samford University. This class period brought a new spin on the PR world because she works for a non-profit organization. Oddly enough many of the concepts are the same for both types of organizations.

The Basics

-get back to the basics.

– Be choosy about where to spend the little advertising dollars you   may have.

Engage Customers

– Have you reconnected with your constituency?

-It’s all about your relationships.

-“Hunt ducks where ducks live.”

-Stay true to your core mission. Tell your story to your constituents.

 

Stay above 30,000 feet

-Be upfront.

-Be honest.

-Be smart

-Be innovative

For non-profit organizations you almost always are working on a strict budget and it is important to stick to the essentials of PR even when you don’t have much money. Some things are always necessary.

Do you have  a marketing committee?

Do you have a media face?

Do you have a PR and marketing plan?

Do you have a crisis communications plan?

What is your relationship with the media?

As we can see once again, PR is all about relationships. Another wonderful speaker. Thank you Mrs. Kennedy

 

Think. Big.

Stacey Hood, the unofficial Director of Marketing for the Stewart Perry Company visited our class Friday to add more to our notes of knowledge from past speakers. The work that he does focuses on keeping the Stewart Perry Company Green as they do construction in the birmingham area. Here are a few things Mr. Hood shared with our class…

1) You need to be remembered.                                           

– Make an impression on your audience in whatever ay you can. You have to get noticed if you want people to take interest in your product. That is the PR lifestyle.

2) Utilize social networks.

– Get on Twitter and Facebook. It is the easiest place to connect with people that are at the top of their game in the PR world. Not just connect with but learn from the things they are doing and the habits they have.

3) Use you skills.

– Just because you think you are a good writer doesn’t mean you can stop writing until someone needs you. Practice, practice, practice… and then practice some more.

4) Keep it fresh.

– Change things on your site often. Keep it new and never boring. Give your consumers new things to explore when they visit the site and make it fun.

A final piece of advice would be to keep an open mind and think BIG. Go the extra mile and be great at what you do.

Men buy…women shop.

Men buy and women shop.

The Wednesday before spring break our class hosted, guest speaker, Brittiny Bookout of Holland and Holland. She presented information that taught the class about why women should be the target of advertisers. After growing up and observing my mother and father I believe she was right on.

The following bullets are a few facts she presented as well as things JMC students need to know:

> Not all women are moms.

A common misconception in the advertising world is that all women that are shopping are mothers who drive mini vans and stay at home. In reality there is a large number of women who are single, drive sports cars, and are a part of the working world. When advertisers are under this misconception they tend to market to the wrong demographic. All “demographics” can be thrown out the window. What is normal then is not what is normal now.

>  Women love relationships.

Women’s lives are based around deep and meaningful relationships. Advertisers need to understand that women are not looking for a product, they are looking for someone to understand their needs and be helpful in meeting them. And when you meet her needs she will go tell her friends and create new customers.

> Women will always support a cause.

This is true. I have watched my mother do this for years.

> As always everything is going to social networking.

Web 2.0 is making everything a conversation. Advertisers need to know that if they want to go to the audience, they need to go to the web.

Wednesday was another informative class. Mrs. Bookout taught us a lot, as well as reminded me of things I have observed all my life.

It’s gotta hit home.

This past Friday John Richardson of Forte Marketing came to speak in class. I was not in class but I watched the video and this is what I learned…

“The outlet of being creative and make money at the same time is pretty awesome.”

This was one of John’s opening comments and I think this is a large part of the excitement for people heading into this profesion. Instead of having paperwork to look forward to everyday we have the opportunity to create and change the industry.

Here are some main points John made throughout his talk:

1.Web 2.0 changed everything.

–       Through the web, advertising became much more cost affective.

2.Increase the volume of your clients.

–       Whether that be product, information, or whatever.

3. Strategy.

–       Without a solid strategy, not much will get done.

4. Writing is something you will do a lot of.

–       Develop your skills and your own style over time.

5. Connect with your audience.

–      “If it doesn’t strike home with someone it doesn’t matter.”

6. Take the time to know your skills and your co-workers skills.

–        Let them do the jobs they are good at so you can focus on the jobs you are good at.

These are just some of the points John covered. With each speaker we receive some new information and other information that is echoed by each speaker. Ideas such as knowing your audience, knowing your skill set and making it better (like writing), and having a strategy and understanding of the client you are going to take.  Another great presentation and there is more to be learned.

Let us make your future happen.

In our Public Relations class we were told told take the JMC Department at Samford and to develop a PR plan to recruit new students to attend Samford University as well as major in Journalism and Mass Communications.

I chose to use the 9 basic MBO steps.

1. Client/Employer Objectives. What is the purpose of the communication, and how does it promote or achieve the objectives of the organization? Samford has  is a wonderful school, and every major it offers is unique as well as prestigious. Samford wants all of its departments to grow in size and as a whole continue to make the school larger. The students need to hear about the opportunities that wait at Samford not just as a Christian school, but also a a place of academic excellence.

2. Audience/Publics. Who exactly should be reached with the message and how can that audience help the organization achieve it’s objectives? The audience or publics are the students are their parents. The more people we can attract to take part in the Samford experience helps to make the school larger.

3. Audience Objectives. What is it that the audience wants to know, and how can the message be tailored to audience self interest? The audience wants to know what is in it for them. How can they benefit as a family by sending their child to Samford. It can be tailored buy offering in-depth knowledge of not only the major but also the working world and how these degrees will transition into stable jobs for students.

4. Media Channels. What is the approprite channel for reaching the audience and how can multiple channels reinforce this message? There are many ways to go about this. A few channels that would definitely reach the highschool crowd are in school visits with handouts and something free, a good website, and a facebook page or a well kept twiter account.

5. Media Channel Objectives. What is the media gatekeeper looking for in a news angle, and why would a particular publication be interested in the information? This would apply if our target was making into some type of paper or news story but in this case I don’t believe it applys.

6. Sources and Questions. Which primary and Secondary sources of information are required to provide a factual base for the message? For primary and secondary sources I would turn directly to the Samford staff as well as the JMC students that are already apart of the programs.

7. Communication Strategies. Which factors will affect the dissemination and acceptance of the message? The presentation to the students is key in this area. If you simply throw numbers at them about how much they will improve scores or information all about the academics they may be bored, but if you present that information along with events on campus and other social aspects it would be more attractive to them.

8. Essence of Message. what is the planned communication impact of the audience? The goal is to attract them enough to where they want to come visit and look into scholarships that are offered. Samfords beautiful campus is a wonderful recruiter we just need to get the kids here.

9. Nonverbal Support. How can photographs, graphs, films, and artwork clarify and visually enhance the written message? Images and videos are always more attractive to the younger generations, and it would help show of the beauty of Samfords campus as well as its people.