Public Relations… a New Pathway

public-relations-sketch

Original drawing by Hugh MacLeod @gapingvoid

The end of the program is coming soon, so this is a good opportunity to think about the PR courses I have taken and what I want to do next with what I now know. When I registered for this program, I knew a little bit about Public Relations, although I didn’t know how interesting I would find it. After taking these PR courses, I like what I have learned. I enjoy the analytical thinking that is required, and I have a much better understanding of the kinds of research required and how to apply that research.

For example, I discovered new ways of approaching a case study for the assignments. I was amazed how first ideas for developing a PR plan changed as I did more and more research, and how I could develop a strategy from a point of view completely different from the one I started with.  I learned the importance that the role of storytelling plays in a plan and how stories can be the medium to communicate the message; stories touch people and can open the door for two-way communication.

Nancy Duarte, in her book Persuasive Presentations, talks about ways to inspire action, engage the audience, sell your ideas, and create something the audience will always remember. I believe these concepts can be transferred to PR because we need to reach our audience and engage them with our messages. This is a big challenge for any PR practitioner. Duarte says,

“…Stories have the power to win customers, align colleagues, and motivate employees. They’re the most compelling platform we have for managing imaginations. Those who master this art form can gain great influence and an enduring legacy….”

Another aspect of PR I learned is how important it is to be aware of current and global events, and how some of these events can impact the organization where we work. This realization will help me form my own opinions so that I can communicate, for example, with city councils or legislators in meaningful ways. Also, to be part of this global community and understand issues and events that affect other cultures will help me see different viewpoints outside my own world.

I also learned the importance of the sincere apology, particularly when a crisis comes up. Through different examples, we saw the effects that an apology can have on public opinion. BP CEO Tony Hayward said during BP spill crisis, “We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.” It sounds as if Hayward is much more concerned about his own life than the lives of all the animals and people the oil spill impacted. This is not an effective apology. When Maple Leaf CEO claimed responsibility for the listeria outbreak and took action immediately without blaming anybody, we saw how beneficial an effective apology can be.

I’m excited about what is coming next. Before these courses, I never thought that PR could be so fascinating – a pathway I would be interested in following. Now, I look forward to the opportunity to apply all this new knowledge in the real world and build my own PR story.

“Blending Experiences”

Last week in our PR class, we analyzed different type of campaigns. The one that captured my attention was the Will It Blend? campaign from Blendtec®, because the idea was original and simple.

Blendtec® is a small company based in Utah that manufactures family and commercial blenders. In 2006, the company was selling its high-quality commercial blenders for $400.00. However, but the brand was not attracting the attention of the general public. This lack of recognition showed in the company’s sales.

One day, George Wright, the marketing director, saw Tom Dick, the company’s CEO, blending a variety of items, such as marbles, metals, papers, to test the quality of the blenders. This gave Wright an idea for a new marketing campaign. He decided to videotape Tom Dick’s  experiments and share them with customers. With a budget of only $50.00, a series of videos titled “Will It Blend?” were created. The idea of the campaign was to demonstrate the unique power and durability of Blendtec® blenders. At first, the videos were uploaded to the Blendtec® website. Later, they became available on YouTube. Since then, the videos have been viewed over 100 million times, and blender sales have increased by over 700%.

Seth Godin defines brand as “…the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”

I think Blendtec® created both a story and memories. When I saw the videos the first time, I saw a man having a lot of fun. The setting of the video reminded me of the old style of cartoons. The idea that you can have fun while you are cooking is also shown on those videos. As Blendtec® says, “Blendtec incessantly seeks out ways to make customers’ blending experiences better.”

The way that the company developed its campaign and capitalized on the success of “Will It Blend?” is amazing. Through social media — YouTube channel, blog, Facebook page, Pinterest — it has created two-way communication. First, it invites its employees participate in the campaign by sharing the videos with family and friends. Second, customers are invited to participate by sending recipes or ideas of things that can be blended. Third, the company answers all Facebook comments, making customers feel that they have a voice. The company continues to get revenue to further the campaign through speaking engagements and by the co-branding of promotional clips (as they did with Ed-FM).

Today, Blendtec® is a recognized name and face that has created memories.  When someone mentions the name of the company or brand, people think of Tom Dick in his white lab coat blending a bunch of weird items. Blendtec® has successfully spread the word.

Occupy Wall Street Movement

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Declaration Flow Chart — Creator Rachel Schragis

This week we are discussing the Occupy Wall Street movement . To understand what this movement is about, we need to know the idea behind it. Here is the statement from the website:

“The NYC General Assembly is composed of dozens of groups working together to organize and set the vision for the #occupywallstreet movement. New York City General Assemblies are an open, participatory and horizontally organized process through which we are building the capacity to constitute ourselves in public as autonomous collective forces within and against the constant crises of our times.”

The following video explains how this movement works:

People are disappointed with government and politicians, and tired of the injustice of the actual society. People feel that leaders are not representing them and are, therefore, failing them. This movement is about participation. In which leaders from within emerge naturally. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) states:

“Occupy Wall Street is structured on anarchist organizing principles. This means there are no formal leaders and no formal hierarchy. Rather, the movement is full of people who lead by example. We are leader-full, and this makes us strong. Instead of picking leaders, which you would then have to follow, leaders emerge organically. These people become leaders because others choose to follow them.”

When I read that OWS was the topic of the week, the first question I had was: how could this movement move forward without a leader? I found two interesting articles that answered my question and gave me a better understanding of this movement. “When No One’s in Charge,” written by Andrea Ovans (Harvard Business Review), analyzes this trend of leaderless movements. Also, she gives examples of “participatory democracy — in which everyone comes together in person to discuss problems and forge solutions through civilized debate.”

The other article, “The Future of the Occupy Movement,” written by Jules Lobel, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, provides an analysis of the lessons of OWS. According to Lobel, these lessons are:

  1. Presenting a Narrative, World View or Declaration — Not Specific Demands
  2. Political Independence
  3. Non-Violence, Creativity, Experimentation, and Inclusiveness
  4. Visible, Not Transitory Presence
  5. Creating Alternative Models of What a Democratic Egalitarian Society Might Look Like

When Lobel talks about the future of the movement, he refers to Noam Chomsky’s speech at the Occupy Boston:

“The Occupy outposts are trying to create cooperative communities that just might be the basis for the kinds of lasting organizations necessary to overcome the barriers ahead and the backlash that’s already coming.”

Both articles bring up the idea of working together, building communities, and participation through different models such as co-ops. If we look over these models, all of them have leaders that guide the organizations. From the video, we can see that some of them are natural leaders that people follow.

I think the OWS is sending the message that people have a voice and are entitled to express themselves and share ideas and actions. There are websites with links to different experiences in the United States and elsewhere around the world that shows that some change is happening.

People are starting to become involved in and take care of their future. I believe the OWS movement did succeed. Before these big demonstrations, many people did not publically question what they had or did not have.

I don’t agree with everything Joe Nocera said in his article Two Days in September.” For example, unlike Nocera, I think that when people begin to talk to each other and share  their problems, the seed for something larger has been planted. However, I do agree with him that this movement will need a leader.

Hopefully, OWS can evolve in a way in which more people will feel that expressing their ideas and participating can make a difference. When that happens, new leaders will certainly emerge.

If you want to know more about OWS, here are some interesting links:

Insight: Can Occupy Wall Street survive? by Chris Francescani

#OCCUPYTOGETHER 

Occupy protests around the world: full list visualized by The Guardian

Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now by Naomi Klein

PRE-OCCUPIED: The origins and future of Occupy Wall Street by Mattathias Schwartz

What Business Should Do about Occupy Wall Street by S. Sivakumar

Case Study and Issues in PR — Blog’s Comments

Comment week 3 

Link to the article  http://soydanbay.com/2011/09/21/you-and-me-the-brand-relationship-theory/#more-640

You and Me: The Brand Relationship Theory Posted by Soydanbay

Comment posted on July 16, 2013

As a PR student, I had to write an assignment analyzing different types of campaigns. The campaign that captured my attention was “Will It Blend?” from Blendtec®, because the idea was original and simple. I think some of the ideas you wrote in this article apply to Blendtec® – the company established emotional bonds with its customers. It also built two-way communications with its customers by inviting them to sending recipes. What attracted most of my attention, however, was the way the CEO could have fun with the company’s product and could show that to customers. You talked about relationships being “a two-way street,” and I think this is the challenge that brands today have to be successful at. Blendtec® clearly is.

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Comment week 2

Link to the article

http://spinsucks.com/communication/starting-a-public-relations-firm-the-business-side-of-things/

Starting a Public Relations Firm: The Business Side of Things by Gini Dietrich | June 27, 2013

Thank you for this article! As a PR student, this story shows me that it is not easy to start a company, but it is possible. My dream is to find a mentor from whom I can learn, for example, how to handle a crisis or how to reach the audience. With a mentor, I would have the opportunity to improve my skills and learn new ones, gain valuable knowledge, and further my professional development on a one-on-one basis. This year, I have discovered how interesting PR is and how much I enjoy analyzing different PR scenarios.

I hope to find a job in PR, because I’m not the kind of person who can begin my own firm without having experience. In the meantime, I’ll remember what I need to know to protect myself. Thanks again.

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Comment week 1

Link to the article

http://www.deirdrebreakenridge.com/2013/07/how-to-work-with-your-best-six-friends-in-a-crisis/

How to work with your Best Six Friends in a Crisis. A Guest Post by Jane Jordan-Meier

As a PR student, I’ve found it useful to go back to the basics – as you wrote – and remember the six best friends in a crisis. In PR, the process is the same for each project, but each project has new challenges. The mantra “Who needs to know What, When, Where, Why, and How?” is the always same, but the answers are completely different in each project. This makes PR interesting and challenging.

After reading your article, I wanted to know more about how Johnson & Johnson handled the Tylenol crisis. From this case, I learned how important is to have open communication and the importance of maintaining communication with the different audiences during a crisis. It is interesting to see how many big companies fail to manage a crisis effecively because they are not able to apologize (for example, BP after the oil spill). Thanks for this article.

Comment posted on July 2nd, 2013

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The Power to Persuade

Last week, the focus of the Case Study and Issues in PR class was to understand public opinion and persuasion. To go deeper in this understanding, we need to think the following questions.

What has made you change your opinion of a public figure, organization or brand. 

Persuasion involves engaging people’s emotions, and stories can do that. Any company can use storytelling to persuade its stakeholders or customers. I read an interesting article, Storytelling That Moves People, written by Robert McKee and Bronwyn Fryer (Harvard Business Review), about the importance of storytelling and how to communicate ideas using this tool instead of a boring PowerPoint presentation. The authors suggested, “There are two ways to persuade people. The first is by using conventional rhetoric, which is what most executives are trained in. It’s an intellectual process, and in the business world it usually consists of a PowerPoint slide presentation in which you say, ‘Here is our company’s biggest challenge, and here is what we need to do to prosper.’ The other way to persuade people—and ultimately a much more powerful way—is by uniting an idea with an emotion. The best way to do that is by telling a compelling story. In a story, you not only weave a lot of information into the telling but you also arouse your listener’s emotions and energy.”

The Body Shop was created as a green alternative to mainstream cosmetics. Founder Anita Roddick built The Body Shop around opposition to animal testing of products, using natural ingredients, and supporting local farmers around the world. She created a story around the brand, which people bought and supported. I was one of them. When L’Oreal bought The Body Shop, I felt betrayed. I did not understand how a company with strong values could be sold to a company that is known for the opposite values. Something did not match. I felt that the story behind The Body Shop was a lie. I have the option to not betray my values, so I’m not a Body Shop customer anymore.

What factors have influenced your decision to do or not do something? 

After the factory disaster in Bangladesh, there has been a lot of discussion about companies are handling globalization – that is, what do they do in countries where corruption is common and law enforcement policies are different from those in North America?. Many companies have said that they do not have ties to the collapsed factories and, therefore feel no responsibility to what happens in countries such as Bangladesh. I believe that all companies are responsible. All businesses have values, and those values need to be transferred to any and all markets.

Gap Inc. is one of many companies that produces its products in Bangladesh but did not sign the Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord. This accord commits the brands to work with local stakeholders to guarantee the safety of workers. Gap said it “…was ready to sign on to the agreement, but first wanted a change in the way disputes are resolved in the courts.” Gap Inc. states the following on its website: “Working with Integrity: Our Code of Business Conduct, available in nine languages, promotes a responsible and ethical work environment for all Gap Inc. employees.” I shop at the Gap; however, I am concerned by the fact that what the company says appears to be different with what it does. I have not decided if I will continue shopping at The Gap. I like Gap clothes, but I need more information before making any decision.

What has made you think differently about an issue? 

In 1999, Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said created the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which is a youth orchestra for young musicians from Middle East, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Spain.

The objective is to promote understanding between the people and “demonstrates that bridges can be built to encourage people to listen to one another. Based on this notion of equality, cooperation and justice for all, the Orchestra represents an alternative model to the current situation in the Middle East.” Daniel Barenboim said, “Music can connect people and give the possibility to listen each other.”

This experience is showing us that other way is possible and how listening, art and dialogue can make a difference.

The Process of Learning

This is the final topic of the week for Public Relations Fundamentals. I have to reflect on three key learnings I have taken away from this class and on how working on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights project has informed my learnings of the PR process.

The first thing I did before writing this assignment was brainstorm words and phrases I learned in this course.

Create significant relationships
Understand the meaning of two-way communication
Blogging
How to stay current — Resourceful class
Be more open to the PR world
How to see social media as another useful tool for PR
Content matters
Engagement — Create a culture from there
Empower people — Analyze the audience — Understand the audience
Listen
Simple act of sharing
RACE — Strong foundation

All of these words and phrases are connected and are part of PR. The three topics that have impacted me most are:

Social Media and Blogging

From a PR perspective, social media is important and, therefore, a big part of this class  – which I like. I learned to think of social media as a way to connect with people, to share what you need or want to say, and to learn and listen what other people need or want to share. Seth Godin’s thoughts about social media reflect my new understanding of this tool well.

“Social media is either a time-wasting, wool-gathering, yak-shaving waste of effort or, perhaps, just maybe, it’s a crack in the wall between you and the rest of the world. It’s a choice… up to you.

If you’re keeping score of how many followers you have, how many comments you get or how big your online footprint is, then you’re measuring the wrong thing and probably distracting yourself from what matters.

On the other hand, digital media can offer you a chance to make real connections, to earn permission and gain insights from people you’d never have a chance to interact with any other way.”

Through the writing assignments for our blogs, I have learned to think about our audience and how to connect with it, the importance of having content that is relevant. Engagement is part of that connection, because it shows that the conversation has begun — two-way-communication. How to engage people is the key in any campaign.

Social media and blogging need to follow a strategy that engages people while integrating with the PR campaign.

RACE Formula

RACE formula is the foundation of any campaign. RACE formula stands up for Research, Analyze, Communicate, and Evaluate. If any of these steps is skipped  when a campaign is being planned, something important will be missed. I read in the Harvard Business Review that “accomplished people reach their goals because of what they do, not just who they are.” We need to take time to research and analyze to make sure the message is understood. Furthermore, we cannot rely only on the Internet when researching. We have to contact people, ask questions, and look for answers from both primary and secondary resources. Our analysis has to be done from different angles, and we can get our best results by discussing all the findings with our team.

Listening: Empower people — Analyze the audience — Understand the audience

When developing a strategic PR campaign, always listen what your client has to say in general and, in particular, about its audience. We need to understand who the target audience is and what the target audience needs and/or wants. Listening – to stakeholders, audience, everyone – is a fundamental part of a good communication strategy. Listening allows us to engage with and connect to our audience by understanding its attitudes and behaviour. Listening as research is part of the foundation of a good PR plan.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) project

Research, Analyze, Propose, Research, Analyze, Propose…

First, you research and analyze the result, and you think that you have a good understanding of the challenge; you come up with ideas for your strategy, and you find that others are doing the same. You realize that you have not created anything really new. At this point, you feel disappointed, because you do not understand how your campaign will make a difference. So, you need to go deeper with your analysis and perhaps do more research. You ask, “What is the real purpose of the campaign?”

Be Part of a Team

Being part of a team is not easy. Each team member may have a different goal or different expectations for the project. The key to team success is to communicate effectively with one another. This includes assignments, project status, progress, results, expectations, and passion.

Pressure

There is a lot of pressure when it comes time to present your idea to a real client.  You want to be good, you want to be creative, and you want to be the best. Sometimes it helps to forget that you are dealing with a real client and instead focus on your work and your team to create a sense of community.

As a final thought, I have found an analogy between publishing and PR. What I love about publishing is that the process is the same for each project, but each project has new challenges — new authors, content, and design. PR is similar. The process (that is, fundamentals) is the same for each campaign. Each campaign, however, has new challenges — different clients, goals, audience, and tactics.

 

The importance of Sharing and Connecting With People

This week’s blog is about a discussion I had with a public relations professional. We met and talked about a PR campaign he worked on a few years ago.

When I read first this assignment, I felt overwhelmed – I didn’t know to whom I should talk. I began researching some Winnipeg PR companies. That’s when I came across a photo on the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) website. In the photo, a former president of the society is presenting someone with an accreditation certificate. Imagine my surprise when I recognized him. He was Terry Aseltine from my yoga class. I love it when life shows me the way to follow.

I contacted Terry, explained my assignment, and he agreed to meet for a coffee at his house. Terry told me he worked in corporate communications for many years – at the City of Winnipeg, Great-West Life Assurance Company, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. At the art gallery, his job was to make art more accessible to the public, encourage the public to become more aware of the art and programs offered by the art gallery, increase gallery membership and visitors, and provide more media coverage of gallery events. In June 2009, Terry joined the University of Manitoba where seeks out non-traditional sources of funding for university programs and projects. He is also a past National President and Fellow of the Canadian Public Relations Society and is accredited in public relations (APR).

Of all the campaigns and projects he has been involved in, Terry talked about a campaign he developed when he was working for the City of Winnipeg. The campaign, named the “New Deal,” was a project of former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray. Its focus was on tax shifting. Nick Ternette best describes the campaign: “The ‘New Deal’ campaign argued that taxes needed to be focused differently. The idea was to use taxes to change behaviour and get different results. The goal of the ‘New Deal’ was to cut property taxes by half, eliminate the business tax, cut bus fares by half and eliminate the amusement tax. Taxes would be shifted from property/business taxes to user taxes and fees.”

In my PR course, I learned that strategy explains “how” an objective will be achieved. It is the foundation upon which a tactical program is built. The strategy of the “New Deal” campaign was to get people involved and approve the proposed new tax system. As for the nuts-and-bolts of the plan – the tactics – the city made the following plans:

  • Hold six public consultations, or “town hall meetings.” The idea of these meetings was to present to the public the new system and explain how the public would pay the taxes. Because there was not support from the public, people were happy that the mayor held these public consultations.
  • Present media stories to TV and the press
  • Place signs about the campaign on city buses
  •  Work with city hall reporters
  • Advertise the “New Deal” in newspapers

The slogan of the campaign was: “Have a Say in What You Pay.”

The target audiences for this campaign were (a) city council, (b) business leaders, and (c) homeowners. Key messages were crafted specifically for each audience.

The campaign was developed in 2003, when electronic communication was not as usual as it is today. However, the city encouraged people to make their inquiries by email. Once or twice a week, the mayor and the PR department answered the queries by email.

Terry told me that the “New Deal” was a difficult campaign to work on. People get upset whenever tax increases are mentioned. Even when the city tried different ways to convince Winnipeggers of the fairness of this new system, it was a difficult battle. In the end, the new tax system was not approved by city council.

Although the result of the campaign, Terry commented that it was interesting to work on. The attempts to win public approval and the size of the campaign were just some of the challenges. In some ways, though, the campaign was highly successful: the public consultations attracted a lot of people who would normally not become involved in civic politics; the media gave the campaign a lot of attention (e.g., Macleans magazine), because the topic was of national interest; Glen Murray was recognized throughout the country as a very progressive mayor with new ideas. The campaign got the recognition from the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS.)

If you are interested in reading more about the “New Deal,” take a look at these two articles: Mayor seeks new deal: Murray launching drive to grab more money, power for cities, from the Winnipeg Free Press, and Riding off in all directions: An examination of Winnipeg’s New Deal written by Hugh Mackenzie and Todd Scarth from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – MB.

I enjoyed having a coffee with Terry as we shared our experiences – mine as a PR student and his as a PR professional.

References

Mackenzie, Hugh, and Todd Scarth. Riding off in all directions: An examination of Winnipeg’s New Deal . Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-MB, 01 Feb 2003. Web. 5 Jun 2013.

“Mayor seeks new deal Murray launching drive to grab more money, power for cities.” Winnipeg Free Press [Winnipeg] 16 05 2003, n. pag. Web. 5 Jun. 2013. .

Blog’s Comments

Comment week 4

Link to the article

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/5_TED_talks_all_brand_storytellers_must_watch_13959.aspx

5 TED talks all brand storytellers must watch. Posted by Jon Thomas.

Good article. I like the way that is written. TED is a great resource.

As a PR student, I’ve learned the importance of having content. Stories have the power to transmit that content. Yesterday, I made a presentation of a PR plan and took me few days to realize that we needed a story to make sense of what we wanted to say. Our audience needed to have an image in their mind. The story gave the frame that the presentation needed. Now, I know that stories are the way to connect and transform your audience. Stories have the power to touch people. Any brand has a story to tell.

Comment posted on June 21, 2013

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Comment week 2

Link to the article

http://shankman.com/oped-this-week-the-chicago-sun-times-lessened-journalism/

OP/ED: This Week, The Chicago Sub-Times Lessened Journalism. Posted by Peter Shankman

Comment posted on June 5, 2013

The message that the Chicago Sun-Times is sending is that content doesn’t matter anymore. Behind the newspaper’s massive lay off is an ideology. Society today values tools more than it values content. Are critical thinking and imagination – both elements of a good story – no longer important? Are readers willing to accept “lessened” journalism?

It is a sad day for everyone who enjoys a good story. For sure, readers deserve better and, well-written content; good photographs that help tell the story; trusted facts. The power of a good story is unlimited.

In my opinion, the Chicago Sun-Times is making a big mistake.  Could we call this progress? Let’s hope the “layoff disease” doesn’t spread.

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Comment week 1 

Link to the article http://soydanbay.com/2013/01/29/explore-canada/#comment-2149

“Explore Canada” gets it! Posted by Soydanbay

Comment posted on May 21, 2013

Recently, I was working on an assignment about campaigns that are not well researched. That’s when I came across your comments about the “Know Canada” campaign. I decided to check out the campaign for myself. Then, I asked myself three questions: “What is the purpose of this campaign? Is it to raise Americans’ awareness about Canada? How effective is it?” I do not think the “Know Canada” campaign will encourage more Americans to visit Canada or to have a better understanding of the Canadian identity.

While the campaign’s aesthetic is great – the look and feel are beautiful – its purpose is not clear. I agree that Americans need to be better educated about Canada but, then, I also believe Americans need to be more informed about what is happening around the world. However, that is another issue – and blog.

Thank you for your posting. It has helped me to think more deeply about identity and brands and their purposes.

By the way, I came to Canada a few years ago, too.

Marcela

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Why is research important?

imagesI haven’t written my blog for a while because I have been busy with school, with assignments, and with other things. I could continue with many more excuses.

The main idea when I created this blog was to share my experiences as a mature student. One area of my experiences that I have not shared is the assignments I have been working on.

Last week, I began a new course – PR Fundamentals II. Writing a blog to share opinions about different PR topics is one of the assignments.   So, I no longer have any excuse for not writing.

This week’s topic is about why it is important to not jump ahead to tactical ideas for a PR campaign when taking on a new project.

First of all, if you jump directly to the tactics, you will waste time, effort, and money. Tactics – “the nuts and bolts of the plan that describes the specific activities that put strategy into operation and help to achieve the stated objectives” – need a foundation. Research and analysis are the way to find that basis.

To me, then, it makes sense to compare the process of developing a PR campaign with building a new house. A good solid house needs to start with a strong foundation. A good solid PR campaign needs to start with a strong foundation. Why are research and analysis so important? Research and analysis are forms of listening. If you do not listen to what your audience is saying about its needs, your product, or your organization, you will fail to understand what your audience wants and be unable to craft the key messages that your audience wants to hear. Research and analysis help you define the purpose of your campaign and therefore, it is hoped, launch a successful campaign. . In summary, good research and analysis allow you to build your strategy, set your goals, and reach your audience.

Doing the research for this post, I discovered an example of what can happen when a company fails to research and analyze what its target audience wants.

In 2007, Honda introduced a more powerful hybrid in the Accord line without adequately researching and analyzing who would be interested in such a car. The company discovered that people who drive Accords and hybrids are not really interested in extra horsepower. Consumers were not interested in spending $9,000 more on a hybrid Accord model. That same year, Honda announced that they would not release the Accord in a hybrid model.

At that time, people from Honda missed out on the hybrid growing market for hybrids because they did not take the time to research and analyze what the market wanted and needed. You can read more about this issue at Failure of Accord Hybrid is a Marketing Fiasco, posted by David Kiley on June 5, 2007.

This was a very expensive lesson for Honda. This fail could be prevented if the company had not jumped ahead to the tactical ideas for its campaign before building the foundation.

“ Identifying and understanding the perspective of stakeholders helps you in framing responsive messages and matching future actions to stakeholders needs.”  — Jeff Ansell

A little bit of me

This post is a little different. I want to show you things that are important to me, that are part of my life. I hope you enjoy them and also tell me which things you enjoy the most.

Blog 9_B

Blog 9_A

Pages from Blog 9_C

Pages from Blog 9_D

Blog 9 part 2_E