Tag Archives: jmc492pr

Take Aways from John Richardson

John Richardson graciously came to speak to our PR class about the different types of work there is today in the world of PR. Despite the technical difficulties, Mr. Richardson taught the class a lot about the diversity that is available in the strategy and content of PR.

1: Get comfortable with writing. Mr. Richardson assured us that we will be asked all about our writing. With that, he said that no one has a good excuse to have typos. Typos boil down to how much attention you really are paying to what your writing. Writing is very important and you do it a lot.

2: Publishing anything will get your foot in the door. Mr. Richardson said that publishing your writing will not only get you comfortable with writing, but also to add works to your resumé. Whether it’s a blog, an article in the local newspaper, a website, any type of publishing will only be beneficial to your career in PR.

3: The goal in PR is to do the coolest next thing first. Research is vital. Whether you make the big hit will either make or break your career in PR.

John Richardson of The Forte Marketing Group

Young and in Charge

Andrea Walker, a UAB graduate,  is the CEO of W. Social Marketing, LLC, which she started in 2009 after having been a web designer and a producer at several news stations. A pretty good resume, no? Add this to the list. She’s just 26 years old.

Walker spoke to our PR class and offered several pieces of advice on how to ensure success young.

Ask for help if you need it. You’re never going to know how to do everything, especially when you’re first starting out.  People understand that.  Don’t be timid to ask for assistance. You’ll learn more and gain experience and perspective through another’s help.

Entrepreneurship is reached through Innovation, not by having a business. Being successful relies on hard work, determination, and standing out. Just because you do something well, does not mean that you will be the best and brightest.  Being good is no longer good enough. You have to set yourself apart, not only through hard work, but by being bold and giving the world a new perspective.

Say Thanks. Be grateful for help provided, regardless of the scale, and let the one helping know it. Appreciation is as simple as a few kind words or a thank-you note, and it can (and will) make all the difference.  Not to mention, people will be much more willing to provide assistance in the future!

So, thanks Andrea for speaking to our class! I’m taking your advice already.

Kara Kennedy on Hunting Ducks

This past Friday, Kara Kennedy, who does PR for Samford’s Brock School of Business, spoke to our PR class on public relations for non-profits.  Matter-of-fact and straight to the point, it is evident that Kennedy lives out her PR philosophy: “Treat Non-Profits like a business.”


She had much advice, which she accredited to her many years in the field.  The first: Get back to the basics.  She advised the class to do SWOT analyses and to be frugal with the little money the non-profit has.

Kennedy also noted the importance of engaging customers.  She used the phrase “Hunt ducks where ducks are”, meaning stay in the area where you will find people who believe in what you are trying to accomplish or sell.  She also said that, as a PR person, one needs to stay true to the core mission of who you are working for– don’t deviate in order to be all things to all people.

Tell your story every day; be upfront and factual.  This was something that Kennedy constantly stressed throughout her talk.

One of her best pieces of advice, in my opinion, was that you need to be very careful when deciding when and where to spend the publics money.  Because of her background with the American Cancer Society and the Red Cross, she has seen first hand the results of both good and bad decision making in this field. 


Stacey Hood: Being the Good Guy but not a Tree-Hugger

Stacey Hood of Stewart Perry in Birmingham came to speak to our “Principles of PR” class a few days ago.  He explained Stewart Perry’s vision as a company to make construction sites as “green” as possible by recycling, reusing, and reducing the waste at their job sites.  While Hood says he is not a “tree-hugger”, he does believe in the company’s mission and says that they are trying to be “the good guys”.  He said that, at Stewart Perry, they believe in giving customers a reason to come back by touching both the heart and the mind.

Hood gave many helpful hints and good advice for students looking to go into PR:

1) Continue to work on your writing.

-The more you write, the more opportunities you will see.

2) Thing BIG.

-Get outside the box, keep learning and thinking.

-Google is your friend!

3) Blog.

-Engagement is key.

-Hood says, “It’s the ‘good ol’ boy’ put online!”

4) Make the best of every situation.

The last and possibly most important thing that I learned from the day was not from our speaker, but from our professor Dr. Sheree Martin.  As Hood was mentioning the importance of getting outside of the box, Dr. Martin said something that I had never considered.

5) “You gotta know the rules to break ’em.”

-Dr. Martin emphasized the importance of learning what the box is (that is, the rules, guidelines, and basic structure), and then moving beyond what you know so that what you do will be extraordinary.

I thought this was an interesting point that I had never heard.  Most people emphasize the importance of “getting out of your comfort zone” and “going above and beyond”.  And, while she agreed, she also stressed the significance of knowing what the boundaries are so that you have the ability to push the limits.

This is just what Stewart Perry has done.  With innovative thinking and a passion to better the world around them, Stewart Perry is committed to doing things the right way while building repetitive customer relationships.


Our latest guest to JMC492PR was Brittiny Bookout of Holland + Holland Advertising.

Brittiny presented a new technique of advertising where her firm’s focus is marketing to women.

She differentiated men from women.

  • men buy, women shop
  • men are hunters, women are gathers
  • men use the internet to transact, women use it to connect

Brittiny also discredited standard demographics. “We must look at their life stages, not ages. Not all women are moms.”

Advertising is changing, because the way we are using media is changing.

39% less reading the newspapers

36% less reading magazines

31% less listening to radio

30% less watching tv

social media is a tool for the present, as well as the future.

Some of Brittiny’s best advise was “Tell the truth and tell it quickly.  For a company, being a community and sharing creates a higher level of trust in a brand.”

As PR professionals we need to start using the internet to foster relationships.

Brittiny said, “Technology is changing, social media has transformed advertisers can no longer develop a message and PUSH it on consumers.”

This reminds me of something my Dad used to tell me, media is becoming a pull service, not a push.  Nothing could be more true.  We don’t listen to radio because that is a “push” service.  Instead, we pull music from iTunes and put it on our iPhone and take it with us everywhere.  Push media is dead.  Pull is the future.