Posted by Kathryn Napolitano
Last month, Ellen DeGeneres sent out these tweets to her 23 million followers, which quickly went viral among BU’s campus, Red Sox Nation, and the rest of Boston.
With such a large online following, Ellen’s social media presence is one of her greatest communication assets: within a matter of two or three hours, thousands of green monsters showed up at Marsh Plaza to participate. From a PR standpoint, it was awesome to see Ellen hone in on Boston, especially with the simultaneous advent of the World Series. By focusing her World Series ticket giveaway in Boston, in a timely manner, she was bound to have a successful PR stunt.
Ellen got the entire city buzzing without actually being in Boston. Her name, brand and status within the entertainment industry carry so much weight that she can send her assistant, Jeannie, to almost any location and expect an amazing turnout. As a spectator, it was amazing to see the kind of crowd and enthusiasm she stirred up while being all the way across the country. After some light rain, a beautiful sunset, and a double rainbow, Ellen made an appearance via Skype to give away the grand prize, a pair of Red Sox World Series tickets and $5,000 to a lucky Boston University student.
Ellen’s successful combination of social media with the timing of the World Series in one of America’s strongest cities was absolutely a PR success. You can watch Ellen LIVE in Boston here.
Posted by Sarah Ryan
Pasta and chicken sandwiches are all relatively well-known consumer items in America. Within each category there are countless brands, trying to prove why they’re better than the rest. At the end of the day it’s all just consumer products.
Should carbs have an opinion about society’s biggest issues? Whether you agree or disagree, today brands are being prompted to respond with their views.
In September, I was shocked to read that the popular pasta brand, Barilla had released a statement on gay marriage. Guido Barilla, Barilla’s Chairman, created an international upset when he stated that he would never feature a gay couple in his ads, adding if homosexuals don’t like it, they can buy another brand. Pasta lovers everywhere were outraged and took to social media, creating the hashtag #BoycottBarilla.
I wasn’t as struck that he made the comment, but I kept asking myself why he made the comment. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but do consumer brands need to take a stance on these issues? Barilla’s crisis communication team attempted to amend the situation, but Guido Barilla seemed reluctant to follow the textbook guide to cleaning up a reputation – it seemed he didn’t want to apologize.
It got me thinking – maybe he doesn’t want to apologize. I’m not agreeing with his decision or endorsing other companies to follow the same protocol, but could having an opinion set your brand apart from the rest and create a more genuine connection to consumers?
In an interesting Forbes article, contributor Phil Johnson argues that there is a new marketing trend: “the ability to differentiate between brands based on what stand they take on significant societal issues.” Johnson framed the article around Dan Cathy’s public statement regarding his stance on gay marriage. Chick-fil-A was all over the news when his opinions hit the press, but Johnson also noted that Cathy, “crystallized a position in the market and created a point of differentiation that consumers immediately grasp.”
Our opinions on society’s most pressing issues define us as individuals, but should it also be a defining factor for brands? As brands are continually poked and prodded by lobbyists, activists and anyone else who wants an answer, it’s becoming more difficult to appease the masses. Will brands continue to appeal to all customers or take a side, regardless of the repercussions? We will have to wait and see.
Posted by Kathryn Napolitano
COM 101 is the first requirement for any communication student at Boston University. As a new freshman this fall, COM 101 was my first taste of the study of communication and, more importantly, public relations. COM 101 gives a basic overview of the communication fields from journalism to advertising, film and TV, and public relations.
On November 15, various PR professors joined our class for a guest lecture on the scope of PR and the many jobs we might potentially find ourselves in one day. Public relations is the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of actions in order to help an organization and its publics adapt to one another. We learned that PR is not precisely defined, as is varies from organization to organization and covers a wide variety of activities.
Here’s the breakdown of what PR people do:
- Media Relations 88%
- Online Communication 70%
- Marketing 65%
- Special Events 64%
- Product/Brand Communication 64%
- Crisis Management 60%
- Internal Communication 58%
- Community Relations 58%
- Reputation Management 47%
- Investor Relations 26%
- Annual report 23%
- Publicity is not advertising because you do not pay for time or space
- Public relations is a broader task which includes publicity and also involves promotion, public affairs, writing, event planning…
- Dealing with the media is a major part of PR
- A PR practitioner’s role is to disseminate company information to its publics
- Your job in media relations is to pitch and place stories
- Media professionals have the final say on what information reaches the public, so good relationships with them are key
- PR strategy and tactics can have a direct effect on sales of a product or service
- PR speaks to many audiences while traditional marketing speaks only to the consumer
- Reputation is an important aspect of PR
- Perception is reality and needs to be carefully managed
- Strong correlation between company reputation and company success
- PR professionals are a major part of a crisis management team
- Assist in creating a crisis management plan
- Crisis management is one of PR’s greatest and most exciting challenges
- Company websites
- Online newsletters
- Marketing emails
- Employee portals
- Includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.
- Companies create social media platforms and use them as communication tools
- There are PR specialists who focus solely on social media
- Creating a brand or company identity
- Includes: brand symbols or logos, slogans, acronyms
- Area of communication where PR and advertising overlap
- Communication with a company’s shareholders and prospective investors
- A major component of a company’s success
- Combines communication and finance to convey a company’s prospects in terms of investments
Annual Report—key part of investor relations
- A tool with which to communicate with stockholders and potential investors
- The interaction between a company and its community
- Includes company sponsorships and donations, employee volunteering, and community scholarships and awards
- Helps increase goodwill toward a company or brand
- Is a major part of public relations when working in the professional sports industry
- Events created to help promote a company product or brand
- Includes: product launches, company-sponsored events, media events, and community-related events
- Employee newsletters
- Company portals
- Human resource materials
- State of the company addresses
- Company magazines
- Includes media conferences and interviews
- Coaching a company member or client
- Briefing the media
- Acting as a spokesperson for the company
- Introducing a new product or services
Since completing COM 101, we are now all officially well aware of the many possibilities within the field of communication. It’s important to have a general understanding of all of the careers because many of the fields intertwine and overlap. Overall, the biggest lesson to be taken away is the influence that communication has in today’s world.
Tags: COM 101, Communication, community relations, crisis management, event planning, internal communication, investor relations, marketing, media relations, online communication, product/brand communication, Public Relations, Publicity, reputation management, Social Media
Posted by Boston University PRSSA
Are you interested in doing PR work for a film production? Look no further.
If interested, you can contact Erika at firstname.lastname@example.org