Jayme Says…

Archive for March 2010

Social media is definitely among us. It is taking over the way we communicate, the way we see things, and the way we think. It is very important as a PR practitioner to know what social media sites are at the top. Here’s a list of a few to get you started:

  • Twitter: This site is probably the most popular now. It is an instantaneous site where your posts go up and you get instant responses. This site can be used to advertise or to market your clients or products. It is very helpful to watch, just so you can see what different publics are interested in.
  • Facebook: This site became popular a couple of years ago. Facebook in my book is behind Twitter due to the different “upgrades” and changes they are making. Facebook makes it possible for advertisers to know who is supporting them by offering fan pages. Fan pages are set up so the client can see who is actually a fan of them or their product. This gives a better sense of connection because your Facebook page is more personal than Twitter.
  • Myspace: Although Myspace is declining, it is still booming for those who are pursuing a career in modeling or in the music industry. It is a way to get yourself seen because Myspace does allow for people to upload music and pictures and other things that helps in marketing themselves.
  • LinkedIn: This site is a professional site that is used in the pursuit of connecting with those in your career field or finding a job in your preferred career field.
  • Flickr: This site is for people who have taken a liking in photography, maybe not professionally, but people who like taking pictures. It allows them to join groups, post, and discuss different topics.

There are many more social media sites. This list is only the tip of the iceberg, but these are the most popular sites. It is a great advantage to anyone who can use these sites effectively. They can be used to enhance any brand, so familiarity is key.

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Over the past couple of months, Toyota has been in a public relations bind. With different recalls on many Toyota models, they have had their work cut out for them. Toyota is doing an excellent job in attempting to turn their reputation around. They have even done commercials that appeal to parents and kids by illustrating how much of a luxury their vehicles are. This is an example:

Toyota’s campaign is prompting other car manufacturers to do the same as far as more appealing advertising. It seems that many of them are taking the time to see who they are marketing to instead of saying…”hey, buy my car!” Here’s an example of a Ford commercial that also tries to appeal to those who are not financially certain:

Both of these commercials appeal to different publics in very different ways. Toyota has to rebuild their reputation by appealing to the senses, while Ford is appealing to people by using the nation’s economic state. It is important to understand that different brands have to keep the competition stiff even if one of the brands have had controversy. Competitors never know how or even if the competing brand will bounce back and reign victorious, so they have to stay on their toes.

Senior Seminar was not meant to cause seniors like me to pull our hair out. It is a class that is designed for students, who instead of venturing into the real world of work, wants to go the graduate school route. This class merges theory with the actual practice of Public Relations (PR). We as the student might not be able to see the benefit right now, but as we open our minds to the different theories and ideas that we are learning, it should come. We are learning a more effective way to communicate through understanding the different theories in which our clients may communicate.

It is important to note that we as PR practitioners do not know everything about communication, but the classes that we take prepare us for some of the obstacles we may face. Some of the theories that we’ve discussed in class include:

  • Conflict Resolution: this is not the actual conflict, but how it is handled. What we as PR practitioners do or did to diffuse our clients’ conflicts.
  • Framing Theory: this is when journalist and reporters choose whom to talk to, what kind of questions to ask, and even what kind of words to use in their stories. They do this for the sake of the angle they are choosing to take when reporting their stories.
  • Limited Effects Theory: this is when certain types of media don’t get through because it goes against a person’s beliefs and values; therefore, it doesn’t phase them much.

All of these are theories that are very valid in the PR field and they help us cater to our client in a more efficient way. It is very important to understand that the things we do as PR professionals are not just on a whim. Instead, there are rules. Social rules and social norms that we must understand before diving head first into our PR careers.

We are also doing different exercises that should enhance our ability in the future. For instance, this blog post is a part of what is expected of us as senior seminar students. It is to help us considering a great deal of our time will be spent talking to our different publics through blogs and different social media posts.

Overall, this class was designed to be more help than hurt. It is a lot of work, but it is beneficial work.