Tag Archives: publics

The Acceptance Phase

…oftentimes connected to the “admitting-you-were-wrong” phase.

I realize this may seem like an over-statement, but after successfully resisting for a few years, I’m finally realizing and accepting all of the associated glories of Twitter. Before this semester, I was exceptionally hesitant to take on an additional social media persona. Facebook seemed like enough. “How many life-consuming tech-habits can one have?” I thought. However, despite my strong resistance, it suddenly became necessary to join Twitter as a class requirement (for several Comm. classes, I might add)–a requirement I initially found utterly annoying. For the most part, I maintained a mostly unconvinced mindset, but I set up my account and attempted a few tweets.

Flash forward two months as I find myself staring wide-eyed at my computer screen clicking the “Follow” button frantically. Music, entertainment, food, news, blah blah blah–the categories are endless. And as a result of the unending options, I believe it is accurate to now label myself “Officially Obsessed.” I have heard over and over again how Twitter can be a valuable communication tool once you learn how to truly utilize it. While I might have scoffed at this sermon before, the tables have finally turned. I’ve even caught myself preaching to others about how useful Twitter can be. In fact, I’ve even convinced a few non-believers to join.

In class, we’ve discussed how important Twitter is for Public Relations. I had no problem accepting Twitter as a useful communication tool for companies–it’s hard to ignore blatant evidence–but now I’m realizing how much fun it is from the public’s position. And, frankly, I felt it was an appropriate time to admit it.

Follow me! @secomeaux

Tagged , , , ,

Did social media kill the press release?

This seems to be the big mystery.

There’s a lot of debating going on about whether or not the traditional press release is effective anymore. Why? Well, one side argues that social media has officially killed it… in the study, with a candle stick.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have altered the way people communicate in the 21st century. People now expect to be communicated with in a timely and personal fashion. From e-mails to blogs to the now-trendy “tweet,” fast, 2-way communication has become the norm.

So how does this affect PR ?

Here’s how I see it: Publics want to listen and be heard by the clients/brands they support. Social media has proven to be a great tool for generating these types of relationships. Consumers and stakeholders have many opportunities to interact with the press–And be heard! Because individuals can offer quick and direct feedback, PR pros are able to learn more about their specific audiences and respond appropriately. It’s a win-win situation. (To read more about how social media is changing PR, click here.)

To say that social media has killed the press release seems overly dramatic. It has simply offered more options for communicating with audiences. I think the press release is still an effective communication tool. There’s just more tools to choose from. It’s the PR pro’s responsibility to analyze each situation and determine which medium is the most appropriate to use. (Click here to read about some great uses for press releases today.)

Tagged , , , , ,

Public relations? What is that?

Truth is, a lot of people don’t really understand exactly what public relations (PR) is; in fact, I’m still working on figuring it out myself. One thing I do know, though, is that there are a lot of misconceptions out there. As a result, professionals have tried over and over again to debunk the different myths about PR. For a list of some of these myths, see Richard Edelman’s article, “PR Profiling.” The real question is, after 32 years in the business, why does Edelman feel obligated to defend himself and PR as a whole?

Oftentimes, people think of PR as an unethical field devoted to controlling the minds of the impressionable, general public by using disingenuous, deceptive, and/or highly manipulative tactics. In his article, “PR prof: It’s ironic to read journalists complain about PR,” Tim Penning emphasizes the importance in recognizing that misinforming the public is not at all the standard and accepted practice. Instead, PR positively contributes to the fundamental goals of democracy by informing people before they make important decisions.

So, now that I’ve helped you form  a general idea for everything PR is not, what the heck is it? Well, here’s what I’ve learned so far. PR is:

  • a process
  • deliberate
  • planned
  • performance based
  • concerned with public interest
  • 2-way communication
  • part of strategic management
Furthermore, successful and effective PR involves research, action, communication, and evaluation (R.A.C.E). It is concerned with publics (groups of individuals) and aims to identify, establish, and maintain beneficial relationships between these publics. By these standards, PR isn’t all that bad, right? If you’re still a little confused, here’s a video I found that might help: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Video/477.aspx.
Tagged , , , , , , ,