A Day in the Life of a Public Relations Major

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  Checking emails, your LinkedIn and Twitter every five minutes is part of your daily routine. If you’re a public relations major, this probably sounds familiar to you. It’s hard balancing the chaos of coffee meets, networking opportunity events and PRSSA meetings all in a week or even a day. On top of that, you have classes, manage social media accounts or write for a blog. It feels like you have 10 jobs sometimes, however, hopefully by now you’ve become quite used to it. Although this sounds stressful and overwhelming, there’s nothing PR majors enjoy more than being constantly busy. Here are some things PR majors can relate to and most likely do on the daily:

Check your emails 

Wake up and smell the...emails. For most people, the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is get up and make coffee. For us, checking emails is almost an automatic response and the first thing we do in the morning. Whether you’re waiting to hear back from an internship that you recently applied for or a new connection you just made, you never go too long without refreshing your mailbox.

You go to a media-related class 

It’s a week day and everyone else is stuck in an English, math or science class. You, on the other hand, are in any kind of journalism-related class. Your textbooks are about media, publicity, etc., and you actually ENJOY reading them. Studying for a quiz or test is no longer stressful when you have to memorize the ethics and responsibilities of a public relations professional.

You are constantly checking social media 

Let’s just say you’re never bored on your phone. Whether its your own account or an account you’re running for an organization, you are on social media 24/7 checking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs - the list goes on.

You know everyone 

Networking has become second nature for pre-PR professionals. Being a people person, you take this quality and often incorporate it into your social life by constantly meeting new people and making connections. Therefore, when you go out to any public place you pretty much always run into somebody you know. This can be either be really great or inconvenient, such as when you leave the house thinking, “I hope I don’t see anyone I know,” because you definitely will.

Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to work on everything. Yet there’s no better feeling than getting in bed after a long day and feeling great about everything you’ve accomplished - until you remember that you forgot to do something of course. Being a PR major is both a rewarding and inspiring job. If you can relate to these, you’re definitely killing it in the field. Remember its important to take time for yourself and try not to stay up too late checking twitter because when you wake up, you get to start your routine all over again.

This post was written my Jamie Honowitz, a first-year public relations major at The University of Florida.

Implementing Ethics #withPRSSA

Happy Ethics Month from UF PRSSA! Ethical behavior is a crucial element of reputation building. Since public relations is centered on building mutually beneficial relationships, we use September as a month to celebrate and learn what ethics really means. We are lucky that PRSA offers us a very insightful Code of Ethics to follow. The core values are as follows: • Protect and advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information. • Foster informed decision making through open communication. • Protect confidential and private information. • Promote healthy and fair competition among professionals. • Avoid conflicts of interest. • Work to strengthen the public’s trust in the profession.

Volkswagen is currently facing a major scandal due to a breach of ethics. If you haven’t heard, VW created and installed a code called a “defeat device” that could sense when one of its diesel vehicles was being tested for levels of nitrogen oxide emissions. The software would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions while the test ran to ensure that the vehicles met regulation standards. However, when under normal conditions and not being tested for emissions, the vehicles used separate software that increased nitrogen oxide emissions for greater acceleration and fuel economy. Volkswagen is the world’s largest automaker. With that level of power comes a great deal of responsibility, yet Volkswagen failed to behave in an ethical manner and chose instead to engage in illegal acts to make their products appear better than they truly were. Take a moment to look back over PRSA’s core values from its Code of Ethics and think about what would have happened if Volkswagen had followed these general ethical rules. Ethics matter just as much for the independent PR practitioner as they do for the world’s largest automaker. Ethics are a promise to others that you will act in a way that is just and fair. Ethics define your reputation; whether that is a personal brand or a world leader, it’s always essential to act in an ethical manner. Reputations can’t always be repaired, trust can’t always be regained and mistakes can’t always be forgotten. Acting ethically bolsters your reputation, gains trust and creates the type of mutually beneficial relationships that will endure over time.

 This post was written by Vice President of Chapter Development Torri Macarages

Building a Legacy: In Memory of Dr. Leonard Hooper

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is an inherent part of who we are as public relations students. It’s the link between us and the profession.  We owe this connection to a man who helped establish PRSSA more than 47 years ago. Dr. Leonard J. Hooper, the inaugural UF PRSSA faculty adviser, accepted the first PRSSA charter on April 26, 1968 -- just 22 days after the creation of the University of Florida Alpha Chapter of PRSSA. Then only nine Chapters strong, PRSSA has grown to more than 300 Chapters internationally with more than 11,000 student members.

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With great sadness, we write about the passing of Dr. Hooper at the age of 91 on Aug. 20, 2015. We honor his legacy every day by working to make our Chapter a resource for every student interested in pursuing public relations.

"Although I never had the honor of meeting professor Hooper in person, I'll be forever affected by his actions,” said Jenny Fenig, 1998-1999 UF PRSSA president. “PRSSA changed my life. I directly credit that organization for giving me the skills, connections and wings to start my public relations career at a global agency in New York City.”

His dedication to teaching and to the profession trailblazed a path for students to find their niche in the burgeoning public relations industry.

"PRSSA is more than an organization. It's a network that gives students the opportunity to see their potential and grow into successful young professionals,” said Adara Ney, 2013-2014 UF PRSSA president. “The UF Chapter shaped me into the person and professional I am today and for that I am forever grateful.”

Dr. Hooper joined the University of Florida in 1964, after earning a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Illinois. He spent 27 years teaching at UF, focusing his efforts in radio, television and ethics in advertising.

“I wish I had known Dr. Hooper. I owe him a debt of gratitude; we all do,” said Kay Tappan, UF PRSSA faculty advisor. “In founding one of the first PRSSA chapters in the nation, he left an amazing legacy that has benefitted countless students at the University of Florida.”

Our thoughts are with his family. May he rest in peace.

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You can read the obituary for Dr. Hooper here

This post was written by Josh Ferrari, 2015-2016 UF PRSSA president

Spreading Diversity #withPRSSA

Happy Diversity Awareness Month from UF PRSSA! Diversity is crucial to the success of any organization, and PRSSA is no different. We take care to ensure that our Chapter is inclusive and representative of students from many different backgrounds, beliefs and viewpoints because we understand that our strengths often lie in our differences. In order to make our Chapter as inclusive as possible, we encourage students from all grade and skill levels to become members. We hold membership rallies in the beginning of both the Fall and Spring semesters to inform students about the benefits that PRSSA can offer them. We reach out to all colleges within the University of Florida to recruit members in order to make sure that our Chapter is comprised of students from many different backgrounds, with many different interests, talents and perspectives. This year we are very excited about reaching out to students at Santa Fe College as well! We will be sending out emails on Santa Fe's college-wide listserve and tabling on their campus to inform them about PRSSA. We also work hard to keep our membership dues as low as possible to make sure that all students can afford to be part of our Chapter.

Internally, our Chapter strives for full inclusion among members. We are taking a bus to National Conference this year to cut back on transportation costs because we believe that every PRSSA member should have the opportunity to attend this event. We host diversity events throughout the year to make sure that all members fully grasp the importance of celebrating our differences. This past spring, our Chapter, in conjunction with Alpha PRoductions, presented a "Diversity in Public Relations" panel-style discussion. The panel featured four leaders and advocates of diversity in the communications field who discussed issues such as inclusion of diverse races, ethnicities, backgrounds, genders and disabilities in the field and in our personal lives. In addition to the panel, we used a hashtag to get members involved in Twitter and actively discussing what diversity meant to them.

To UF PRSSA, diversity is more than just a quota to be filled - it's a way of living that recognizes that we are stronger, smarter and better together; that inclusion, diversity and synergy are more powerful than exclusion, uniformity and individualism; that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

This post was written by Torri Macarages, Vice President of Chapter Development

Starting a Career in Global Public Relations

Finding A Career Path Right For You!

There are many career paths for a public relations practitioner to take. Many young professionals will soon launch careers in agencies and businesses across the U.S., but some of the most exciting and rewarding public relations opportunities lie in international opportunities.

As social and economic changes open new markets around the world, businesses and nonprofits will need communicators with the skills to engage audiences across borders and platforms. Public relations practitioners often grow into international roles later in their careers, but young professionals can leverage graduate education to jump on the fast track to the global stage.

A Graduate Degree Program You Can Put to Work

The UF College of Journalism and Communications’ Global Strategic Communication specialization offers an ideal path for public relations practitioners hoping to elevate their skills. Offered 100% online, this Master of Arts in Mass Communication (MAMC) program is specifically designed to prepare communications professionals for the jobs demanded by multinational companies and nonprofit organizations.

During the 18-month online program, you’ll master skills in international advertising and public relations, global branding, crisis communication and more. You’ll graduate with a real-world portfolio, prepared for positions including:

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• Global Communications Specialist • Development Communications Officer • Regional Communications Manager • International Affairs Liaison • Corporate Communications Specialist • International Media Consultant

Why Online?

Though many students choose to enter the workforce immediately, a master’s degree is a common choice for students who know they want to go beyond their undergraduate education. UF’s online MAMC programs allow you to begin your career while simultaneously learning to create and manage international communication initiatives.

The Global Strategic Communication specialization is delivered completely online, taught by a world-class faculty of Ph.D.-level instructors and renowned industry professionals. Each course focuses on delivering valuable insights and tools that will prepare you for a rewarding career in international communication.

Interested in building your career on a global stage? Visit globalcommunication.jou.ufl.edu to learn more about the Global Strategic Communication program, or explore UF CJC’s other online master’s degree programs: Social Media and Web Design and Online Communication.

Alachua Habitat for Humanity #WithPRSSA

UF PRSSA’s Advocacy/Community Service Committee has kicked off the spring season by working with Alachua Habitat for Humanity’s campaign to celebrate volunteers, families and donors contributing to building Habitat’s 125th house. The campaign also emphasizes the importance of donations in building the 126th house by highlighting specific people Alachua Habitat has helped. The newsletter written by UF PRSSA Advocacy Committee member Lana Nasser has been published by Alachua Habitat and will be sent to 5,600 donors on Habitat’s listserv.

Alachua Habitat also published a flier created by UF PRSSA Advocacy Committee member Rachael Reh. In addition to helping Alachua Habitat for Humanity with its ongoing efforts to assist families in need, the UF PRSSA Advocacy Committee members are able to add these published works to their professional portfolios that will assist them in obtaining internships and jobs in the near future.

Members of this UF PRSSA committee have also been published in the previous semester through Alachua Habitat in a former campaign. These members include Marcus Holton, Rebecca Moonitz and Grace-Ann Kerkvliet. Having built a long-term relationship with a philanthropic organization like Alachua Habitat, our student members are able to maximize their ability to give back to the community and document their achievements throughout their college experience.

This post was written by Lana Nasser, a PRSSA Advocacy Committee Member.

4 PR Tips from NASA’s Lisa Malone

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UF PRSSA was honored to have guest speaker Lisa Malone, the director of public affairs at NASA, speak about her experiences and share some of her wisdom. Malone spreads awareness across the country of NASA’s latest projects, launches, live shots and more through both traditional and social media. Malone was a journalism major and wrote for her university’s newspaper, started as an intern for NASA and got hired afterwards.

Here are 4 public relations tips that Malone suggested for college students entering the real world:

  1. Internships. Internships. Internships!

Launch your college career with an internship; it’s all about the real-life experiences you have rather than learning something in a classroom. Recruiters want to see that you can apply what you learned in a professional setting.

  1. Always come prepared.

Anytime you have a meeting during an internship or a job always come prepared! Be ready to deliver the right answers and ask the right questions.

  1. Be professional and don’t lose your cool.

When working with the media, everyone has some deadline whether it’s at noon or midnight. There are times when you will be asked the same question multiple times as well as questions that may be out of line. Having patience is crucial to working in such a fast paced environment like this as well as acting professionally.

  1. Establish a rapport with the media and develop a good list.

Get to know the fellow reporters, bloggers etc. Find out who they are and be sure to keep in touch with them by responding to their emails or phone calls. When they call up to ask to get an interview, interview THEM.

  • Who do they want to talk to?
  • What’s their angle?
  • Do they need any press release information or photos?

It’s always a good thing to establish solid relationships with professionals you’ll be working with in the future.

Be sure to check out NASA’s upcoming unmanned flight test for spacecraft Orion on December 4th 2014.

Speaker Series: Lisa Malone of NASA

Come out this Wednesday, Oct. 22 to hear Lisa Malone speak to UF PRSSA.

The event will be at 6:15 p.m. at Turlington L007. Visit our event page!

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Lisa Malone, APR, CPRC, serves as the director of public affairs at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. With more than 25 years of experience in public affairs, she is responsible for overseeing news media, television, Web, social media, exhibits and internal communications.

Her responsibilities include managing media activities surrounding expendable launch vehicle launches, flight hardware showings and other high profile events, as well as advising KSC management on public affairs issues and policy, and overseeing the center's Freedom of Information function.

Malone also served as a launch commentator for 15 years for space shuttle and expendable launch vehicle launches including the Atlas, Delta and other rockets

Add Social Media to Your Event Networking Strategy

This post was written by UF PRSSA member Ryan Baum and was originally featured on culpwrit.com.

Ryan-Baum-150x150Social Media and Networking Strategy

PRSSA 2014 National Conference has finally arrived, and many students are brainstorming ways to maximize their weekend in D.C. With an intentional approach to networking, attendees can build valuable relationships that last long beyond the closing ceremony.

Strategic networking can lead to mentorship opportunities, internships, and, in my case, even a guest blog post on Culpwrit.

It is important to practice smart networking during any meetings with potential connections, but, in this day and age, any professional repertoire is incomplete without a social media component.

Social networking can be used to set the scene for in-person meetings and to sustain newly formed relationships once everybody returns home. It’s also a great way for students not at the conference to stay connected and engage with attendees.

The advice in this post can be applied to large gatherings like National Conference or on a smaller scale with professionals that visit your PRSSA chapter. Here are my tips for success:

Brace for Failure  

Before you start reaching out to new contacts, it’s important to prepare yourself for silence.

Most of the time, even when you are doing everything right, you won’t hear anything back from the professionals you reach out to. Try not to take it personally, and keep at it — it will all feel worth it when you finally get a response from a popular speaker or industry leader.

Culpwrit owner Ron Culp, providing perspective from the other side of the aisle, explained that industry-standard long weeks can make it difficult for professionals to interact. “There simply isn’t enough time in the day,” he said, “even for those of us who are inclined to respond to everyone.”

Plan Ahead 

Start by researching the event speakers, and, more importantly, their topics.

Try to find personal connections with your target contacts, like something distinctive you share in common. Bring it up when you talk during the event, and then mention it when you follow up to jog the professional’s memory.

In that vein, narrow down your pool of potential contacts at larger events to focus on a handful of authentic interactions instead of an abundance of shallow small talk.

Attend sessions and workshops prepared with the Twitter handles of the speakers and some background information, which can be gleaned from their Twitter history and a quick Google search. By understanding what each speaker cares about, and why, you can engage in a more meaningful way.

You can also set yourself apart by starting in the days leading up to the event and tweeting to speakers about how excited you are for their presentations. Again, authenticity is key, so utilize your research and include one specific aspect of their topic that you are particularly looking forward to.

Provide Value

Students often have more to gain from professional relationships, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a one-way street. Figure out what you can bring to the table to show that you care about the other person beyond what they can provide you. Use what you learned in your research to determine what needs your new connection has and think about how you can help.

This could be as simple as tweeting an insightful article related to a speaker’s discussion point during her workshop or even recommending a restaurant if a professional travels to an event in your town.

I have personally had success with live-tweeting speakers at the UF PRSSA chapter and creating Storify event recaps afterward. Here is an example I made after Golin CEO Fred Cook spoke to our chapter last month.

This technique works because you are engaging with the speaker (and other attendees), sharing the content with a larger audience and preserving the presentation for posterity — all benefits for the speaker. Also, any engagement will help professionals remember you when you follow up.

Continue the Conversation

Face time at the event is important, but relationships form over time, not through a quick handshake.

As you process National Conference and assess all of your new connections, follow up by requesting to connect on LinkedIn and make sure that you personalize the message. Include something distinctive that you talked about to recall his memories of the conversation. I also like to include one specific idea from the presentation that resonated with me, and how I plan to apply it to my life or professional career. That means a lot more than saying “nice presentation.”

In the case of a multi-day conference, you can also use social media to follow up before you leave the event. My university hosted the first frank gathering last year and one of the speakers was Jenifer Willig, who led the charge on the international (RED) campaign. Adara Ney, 2013–2014 UF PRSSA president, reached out to her on Twitter after her presentation, and they ended up having coffee the next morning before Willig flew home.

In the weeks following the event, continue the conversation by occasionally reaching out and staying on the professionals’ radar. Like and retweet their content that you enjoy and share your own relevant articles and information with them when appropriate. You can also reach out via email for a more personal discussion. Just be careful that you don’t overdo it; it rarely helps to come off as overeager.

No 'Faults' in my Blogging Adventure

By Sarai Cruz Interviewing Nat Wolff, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort at “The Fault In Our Stars” fan event in Miami. Photo: Gustavo Caballero / Stringer

This summer was a summer of hard work but also fun. In June 2013, I joined a friend in creating a blog about the book and movie, “The Fault in Our Stars.” We had a huge passion for the story, along with brewing excitement and nervousness about our favorite book being turned into a movie. Not all book adaption films do justice to the original material. We decided that the best way to deal with the excitement was to follow every single step of the process.

Needless to say, we were successful with more than 1 million views, 100,000 followers on Twitter and 50,000 followers on Tumblr. Filming started August 26, 2013, coincidentally the first day of class. I remember being in class and on Twitter and ready to retweet any tweets or news from set (sorry, professor!).

With this blog I was able to apply skills I learned in my public relations classes. In my head I could hear Ann Christiano, professor of PR strategy and public interest communications, going over engaging with our audience and understanding what they need and want. I also learned a lot of new things that you can only get from actually doing. I learned to use social media as more than a personal tool of socializing, but also as a way to inform and communicate with others who care about the content you put out. I did a lot, and I mean a lot, of writing. I collaborated with a graphic designer in making original graphics for the website. I was interviewed by Yahoo! Movies and the Los Angeles Times to discuss the blog and the passion behind this amazing story.

I attend the red carpet world premiere of "The Fault in Our Stars" in New York City. Photo: Sarai Cruz

This blog was a lot of sweat, a lot of tears, a lot of late nights, but it was a joy. We were fortunate to work with 20th Century Fox and attend events as press. In Miami, I got the chance to talk to John Green, Ansel Elgort, Shailene Woodley and bond with Nat Wolff over the Floridian heat. I was also able to travel to New York for the world red carpet premiere and talk to cast and crew.

It was a once in a lifetime experience, personally and professionally. I look back and I am amazed at what I and the team, who were so passionate about a story, accomplished on our own. I am and will forever be proud of this project. I don’t know what is next for me, but one thing is for sure, I can only go up from here.

First Speaker Series of Fall 2014: Fred Cook

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Fred Cook speaks at UF PRSSAJoin UF PRSSA at our first Speaker Series meeting of the year, featuring Fred Cook, at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, in Turlington L005.

Fred Cook is the CEO of Golin, an award-winning public relations agency with 50 offices around the globe.

Before joining the corporate ranks at the age of 36, he talked his way into a job as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker, peddled fake Italian leather goods to unsuspecting tourists, ran a rock-and-roll record company, substitute-taught in Los Angeles’s worst schools and winged it as a novice tour guide.

In his book, Improvise -- Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO, Mr. Cook shares the wisdom he’s accumulated through his unconventional life experiences.

Mr. Cook was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in public relations by PRWeek and has worked with top business leaders such as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Feel free to invite your friends and join the Facebook event.

All majors are welcome, and food will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

Fall Membership Rally

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Fall Membership Rally at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 3! 

UF PRSSA Fall Membership RallyUF PRSSA is gearing up to hit the ground running with our first meeting of the semester. Check out our Facebook event page to RSVP and keep up to date with the location of the rally.  We booked Weimer G037 (in the basement) for the meeting but due to changes in room reservations for Drop/Add Week, the location may change.

We'll be providing an assortment of food to enjoy while you learn about upcoming events, ways to get involved, as well as all of the great things PRSSA has planned for the upcoming semester.

We hope to see you there!

If for some reason you cannot attend but would still like more information, email us at ufprssa@gmail.com.

New Position Opening- Director of External Relations

Want to get more involved in UF PRSSA?

We have an opening available- Apply to become our next Director of External Relations today!

Some responsibilities of the position include:

  • Working with Executive Board to strategize semester recruitment
  • Assisting VP of Chapter Development in reaching out to other organizations on campus and planning class visits for recruitment
  • Strategizing with executive board to determine sources of potential new members
  • Maintaining relationships with campus organizations
  • Communicating and collaborating with College of Journalism and Communications organizations

For the general application, click here.

For the election packet and requirements, click here.

Applicants can email the application materials to Sara Jane Wilder at swilder.prssa@gmail.com

Fun, Fear and Falafel: A Summer Adventure in NYC

By Elizabeth Boone Living in New York has been exhilarating. The stakes are high, the people are intense, and, sometimes, you just want a pool and your puppy.

But you have to keep going. As is so in ANY place or profession!

Manhattan Theatre Club

New York Manhattan Theatre 2014 Public Relations Interns

My experience interning in marketing with Manhattan Theatre Club has an incredible a non-stop adventure with new things every single day. The job varies depending on the department’s needs, but I usually work with tickets, advertising and customer relations with audience members. On top of this, I also help run a private lounge where major donors visit before the shows. In my spare time, I like to explore the city with friends, and, on rare occasion, sleep in.

PR Lessons

Specific to public relations, I've learned so much about networking and social media for theater. Networking is truly what makes the world go around and what can absolutely give you your next job! In terms of marketing, social media is used to engage our audiences and fans, and is an excellent tool for building good relationships.

Fantastic Fun

I make it a point to see/do/visit everything I can. I've tried amazing foods (Get falafel from a food truck. You won’t regret it.), drinks (can be expensive unless you know where to go…), and seen some killer shows (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder won four Tony Awards for a reason!) AND all within a budget: I just made sure to do my research!

Big Picture

Overall, working here has been an overwhelmingly amazing learning and living experience. I recommend it to all who have any inclination to work here. See for yourself what the environment is like before committing for good because you’ll never know what you’ll learn.

I can’t wait to return one more year as an even more experienced Gator!

Elizabeth Boone is a rising senior studying Public Relations and Theatre at the University of Florida and is a member of the Online Strategy Committee at the University of Florida. 

How I survived an unpaid internship           

By Sarai Cruz It is officially summer-internship-searching time and in the communications field, unpaid internships are the norm. They are easier to find compared to paid internships, but don’t let the lack of monetary compensation deter you from learning all that you can from a really great internship. Last summer, I was the intern for The Riviere Agency, a New York and Miami based fashion and beauty integrated marketing agency. The internship was unpaid, but I don’t regret it.

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Image source: http://beauty4abargain.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/experiencing-miamis-swim-week-as-an-intern/

Yes, it was hard to work without getting paid but I survived those eight weeks. First, I saved money beforehand. I knew that finding a summer job while doing an internship was going to be really hard, so thankfully I had saved enough money during the school year to cover expenses. Secondly, I picked an internship in a location that wouldn’t create excessive cost. My internship took place in my hometown of Miami, which meant I didn’t need to worry about housing and transportation.

Most importantly, I understood that monetary compensation isn’t everything. For example, I was able to work during Mercedes Benz Swim Week, which meant lots of swag bags and free samples. Plus, experience and knowledge are more valuable than money. I am so thankful my boss made sure I was able to absorb as much as I could, from writing a media alert to producing a television segment. She understood that I was more than someone she could ask to go to Starbucks and grab her latte.

So as you send in your applications and resumes for those summer internships, remember to do your research and don’t let the paid or unpaid label deter you from it. As the debate whether employers should offer unpaid internship to college students heats up, keep these tips in mind.

 

And the Oscar goes to...

By Nicole Martins  In honor of the 86th Academy Awards a few weeks ago and the continuing hype of the “Oscar selfie”, here are our own awards for a few noteworthy achievements social media-driven public relations campaigns in the past year.

 Best Foreign Campaign: Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign

Source: http://www.theprintblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Coca-Cola.jpg

Launched in Great Britain in April 2013, this summer-long campaign drastically improved consumer perception of the world’s largest beverage company. Coca-Cola replaced the logo on its bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero with 250 of the most popular names in the country. Coupled with the hashtag #ShareaCoke, marketing efforts encouraged consumers to find their personalized bottle and share them with friends and family.

Best Viral Video: Carrie’s “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise”

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Distributors for the 2013 remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie” successfully generated interest in the film by partnering with Thinkmodo. The agency produced an elaborate hidden camera prank in a fantastic execution of viral marketing. The video, released just prior to the film’s October 18 release, features coffee shop customers reactions to a freaky stunt with a short promo for the film at the end. The video has reached over 54 million views at the time of writing.

(Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlOxlSOr3_M)

Best Spotlight Steal: "Dorito’s Super Bowl Photobomb"

Source: http://media.creativebloq.futurecdn.net/sites/creativebloq.com/files/images/2013/03/doritos2.jpeg

Doritos created a “human Dorito” by dressing a group of people in orange outfits and arranging them in the shape of the iconic triangular chip. This in-person prank proved to be especially memorable and effective as viewers gathered in masses through social media to discuss the photobomb. Along with images tweeted from the company, Doritos also produced a video displaying the orange-clad participants receiving a special award: the World Record for world’s biggest Dorito.

Walmart's PR Team Uses Twitter in Unique Way

By Kristina Florio
If you have ever tried to follow Walmart on Twitter, you have probably realized that Walmart has a different approach to Twitter than most corporations.

Walmart has seven Twitter accounts.

“As you can imagine, we talk about quite a few things at Walmart, and our biggest fear in using just one handle was audience fatigue,” said Chad Mitchell, senior director of digital communications for Walmart, in an interview with Arik Hanson. “With initiatives ranging from veterans hiring to domestic manufacturing to sustainability, we simply couldn’t manage an editorial calendar covering so many topics.”

Deciding that one Twitter handle would not work for the corporation, Mitchell and his team created the following seven accounts:

  • @WalmartNewsroom: issues press releases and other announcements; the official “corporate spokesperson handle”
  • @WalmartGreen: addresses sustainability issues.
  • @WalmartGiving: highlights the corporation’s philanthropic efforts.
  • @WalmartAction: focuses on public policy and supports their efforts in the communities where they serve.
  • @WalmartHealthy: shares news about ongoing efforts to get customers fresh and healthy foods at great prices. Some of their best content has been recipes, Mitchell said.
  • @WalmartVeterans: focuses on the corporation’s support of veterans hiring and other veterans-related issues
  • @WalmartHub: the “parent” hub; “utilizes a retweet strategy where all of the best performing content pushed out from the sub-handles mentioned above is surfaced with our biggest following,” Mitchell describes.

Additionally, the corporation has the account @Walmart that is managed by the marketing team with more of a focus on product and store related news.

Mitchell describes that such an approach takes team effort, a lot of work (they manage approximately 60,000 mentions a day), flexibility and willingness to experiment. They believe that multiple accounts facilitate their effectiveness in sharing news, giving updates, protecting/enhancing their reputation, responding to criticism and preventing crisis.

As PR professionals, we are always trying to find new ways to be innovative and effective. Do you think that this innovative idea is a good strategy for Twitter relations?

Recap: Gary McCormick's "Top 10 Things I wish I'd Known"

gary By Adriana Di Graziano

Network! No other word can best summarize what Gary McCormick, APR, and Director of Partnership Development for HGTV, said during his speech at the UF PRSSA meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Entertaining as well as instructive, McCormick's presentation Top 10 Things I Wish I'd Known took the audience through some really interesting facts on how to build a career in public relations, as well as some timeless classics that McCormick renewed with his personal experiences.

Three points in particular seemed to stand out from the others, all orbiting around building relationships and networking:

- Knowing how to use your network is as important as creating one.

- Building relationships is more about giving than taking.

- There's a time and a place for everything.

"Your network is your lifeline to getting a job and being better at it when do land one,"  McCormick said. "People who are getting a job are people who are networking."

Any PR freshmen knows that creating a professional network is important, but McCormick took the game a step further. "Think about your father, your mother; Who are they? Who do they know?"

McCormick pointed out that, in fact, everyone of us has a solid network made of family, friends, relatives, teachers and so on. What matters now is how we use this network. As McCormick pointed out, people know people who know other people.Perhaps a teacher of yours knows a person working for that company you love, or maybe your mother went to the same class as the person responsible for HR at that same company. The takeaway? Know the people you know, who they know and use your network to connect to your dream job.

Now, you might think that this all sounds great, but so far it sounds more like we are taking from our relationships; where does the giving and listening part come in? Well, the listening and giving part comes into play in getting to know your connections.

In this regard, McCormick talked about mentors and how to use them. When you go to someone for help, you cannot expect them to know what you need and do it for you. A connection is created in the moment you approach someone with a clear question and objective. After you establish that, a relationship can be built, and you can work together on clear objectives.

The same applies for a company you might want to work for. Get in contact with people there, ask them about the company and learn more and more about them. In any relationship, he added, "you'll only get what you put into it."

Finally, McCormick touched on a rather odd point that we seldom hear. He talked about relationships in the workplace, putting great emphasis on how there is a time and a place for everything.

"Share your success with friends and family and not in the workplace" McCormick said.

Through the personal experience of a coworker, he showed how sharing your successes in the workplace could hinder your relationships. Particularly when it comes to a promotion people in the workplace might resent you, he added. In the same way, he advised the audience to avoid the office gossip because you can always be the next topic of conversation.

Laughter and hilarity concluded the presentation as McCormick shared some PR horror stories and answered the audience's questions.

So next time you are going through a job listing, or are wondering how to even start your search for the perfect job, remember that your search should start with people. If in doubt, remember that people like Gary McCormick, Champions for PRSSA, are there for students. The effort needs to be yours to get in contact with people, but as McCormick himself said "when you're going to call'em up, they'll help you."