Jayme Says…

Posts Tagged ‘PR

Considering I am now addicted to blogging, I thought it only made sense to do one last blog for my final. There are many things that I walked away knowing by taking this research class. PR research is no different than any other research course in that, ethics is the basis of it. Throughout the research course, we learned many lessons that would ultimately make life a lot easier when working for clients and for our future employers.

1. Being Ethical

The first lesson I learned while in research is to keep ethics on the front burner. In our research class, we took the National Institutes of Health (NIH) training to prepare us for working with human subjects. This training layed out the ground work for everything that we needed to know. It taught me when you do and do not have to have parental consent and for which subjects you have to have guardian consent for. This training gave examples of different consent forms and different documents that you should have in order to cover yourself and out of any type of legal battles. NIH helps course takers understand that it is important to maximize results while minimizing subject harm. Above all, I think the training gives you a better appreciation for your subjects and you leave the course being a certified researcher!

Ethics doesn’t just mean working with your subjects and doing research, it can also mean what you do with the information after you’ve collected it. It is CRUCIAL that when you’re writing that you make sure you are writing correctly. Okay and how do you do that you ask?! Well you have to make sure you give credit where credit is due. Small slip ups like forgetting quotation marks or forgetting to put an authors name at the end of a quote can cause a lot of trouble and could ultimately lose your credibility and job. It’s very important to make sure you cite sources correctly and often just to be on the safe side.

2. Consultant/ Client Relations

It is imperative that the client stays happy throughout the course of you working for them. You have to make sure their best interest is at heart and also make sure that what you’re doing is what they want. My friend Mr. Bottary said it best, “you have to know what your client wants.” When working with clients, you have to remember that it’s not about you, but about the client. It is up to you as the professional to create a vision around the client’s interest. That’s what we did. When we worked for the CET, we made sure we answered what they wanted to know. They wanted to know the strengths and weaknesses of today’s college students, so we did just that. We created surveys and sent them to the teachers in order to gain an understanding about what teachers really thought were students’ strengths and weaknesses.

3. Monitoring the Media

During the month of November, it was our responsibility to pick a Fortune 500 company and monitor their online conversations. We did this by finding different websites that allowed us to see when our company’s name was being mentioned in various social media networks. This gave us practice with using the different sites like: Technorati and Icerocket. Both of those sites were very helpful in navigating online conversations about our brand.

4. Working Together

Working with a team can be very difficult especially when you’re like me and work well alone. It is important that you respect everyone, no matter how crazy and far fetched their ideas may be. Since most people agree that working in groups is hard, it would be more beneficial to the whole group if everyone just got along. When we worked in our group for our research project, it was easier than I thought it was going to be. Everyone did their own section; however, it became difficult later on when it was time to put the project together. To make sure that everything goes your way in a group project you just have to remember to carry your own work load because everyone has their own work load to carry. And you have to remember to be considerate of time and effort that others are putting into the project, so it’s only fair that you put in that same time. I think just these two tips alone will make for a positive group experience.

5. research, RESEArch, RESEARCH!!

As PR representatives, research is always going to be a part of our lives, so we might as well enjoy it or learn to enjoy it. Research is supposed to spark your interest in what ever the subject is. I learned that in research you can’t take everything that you see as being the truth. In class we watched a video about how you should really research everything because over 70% of the facts in that video were made up. We should have known that to because some of the facts in that video were above and beyond believable. There are ways to make research fun. I think as long as you’re in a field that interests you, research should always be interesting.

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For my informational interview, I chose to interview Mr. Leo Bottary. He was the only one from PROPENMic to respond to my interview request. I interviewed Mr. Bottary over the phone on Monday, October 26, 2009. We spoke briefly because he was at Midway Airport in Chicago waiting on his flight and having a meal with his colleagues. He gave a lot of helpful information as far as the PR field, and I am glad I chose to reach out to get his professional advice.

Mr. Bottary has his B.A in Political Science and German from Jacksonville University, his M.A in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University, and is working on his Ed. D in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. He worked for a couple of companies and also headed his own PR firm called Bottary &Partners Public Relations. He’s now a private consultant and an adjunct professor at Seton Hall. He has been in the PR business for 25 years and this is what he had to say:

1.       What is a project that you worked on that you are proud of?

Ans: Well…there are a lot of things that I’m proud of, but if I had to narrow it to two…the first is helping Winn-Dixie Supermarket with the primetime live pricing issue. Customers were being charged differently than what was on the shelves.  Diane Sawyer actually did a 30 second blurb in support of Winn-Dixie so that was a success. I’m also proud of the New Orleans sponsorship by major league baseball, the Diamond of Dreams. This was ball park revitalization. This helped in reclaiming the neighborhoods because they were in rough neighborhoods.

2.       How important is writing in your career?

Ans: Writing is very crucial; it’s very high on the list. Good writers are people who know what they want to say and can say it effectively and persuasively.

3.       What are some tips that you would offer someone just starting off in PR?

Ans: Just to work on PR related skills…three come to mind as being the most important. First is writing, then you have to understand the tools available to you such as marketing tools, and also how do you communicate what your client wants.

4.       What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

Ans: I keep social media around me. I follow people on twitter. I keep up with Regan Communications, and I read Paul Holmes’s writings.

5.       What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?

Ans: I tell my daughters this all the time…the more educated you are versus experienced is more helpful.

6.       Did your education prepare you for working in PR?

 Ans: Sure, political science gave me understanding as well as the ability to write.

 7.       How has PR changed since you entered the field?

Ans: Well, I entered the field 25 years ago. So now, there are more tools available. Tools are more available and they are expanding.

8.       Are you involved in any professional organizations?

Ans: No, because I didn’t find them particularly helpful.

9.       How many hours do you work a week?

Ans: That’s the luxury of being an independent consultant, I probably work 35 hours a week now. When I was running my own firm, I worked anywhere from 60 to 75 hours a week.

10.   Do you travel a lot?

Ans: I would say I am travelling 15-20 percent of the time.

**This is where our interview ended and I thanked him again for his time and also letting me interview him.

Mr. Bottary was very helpful and he is willing to help anyone in our field that needs his help. He wants to make sure that new PR representatives are educated in a number of areas versus just being trained in PR. And after talking to him, not only do I want to work in PR, I want to work with him. It was unbelievable how nice and helpful he was. I really enjoyed talking with him and I appreciated him allowing me to get a little snapshot of what his life is like. His modesty was great and he told me I could even use his picture.

To contact Mr. Bottary, go to his linkedin profile: www.linkedin.com/in/leobottary

On November 6, 2009, our PR Publications class took a trip to the campus print shop. The Eagle Print Shop that was once in the Williams Center has MOVED and is conveniently in the new Centennial Place Apartments across from the student union. This tour was very successful because everyone left feeling like they now had a place they could go to fulfill all of their printing needs.

From the brochures that we needed printed for our PR Publications class, to graduation announcements, they do it. They print EVERYTHING!! On our tour, we learned about paper quality, colors, and everything else they do. From laminating bookmarks to printing and binding books for instructors, they definitely have their work cut out for them.

At first glance, you would never think they would produce such quality work because they are in such a tight spot, but they are making do with the space they have. They showed us samples of different posters that they’ve printed for various school functions as well as tickets and programs. The print shop is not only for students, but the community can use them for their printing needs as well.

Their prices are probably the cheapest in the Boro’ and the quality is phenomenal. I had to print two brochures on 80lb glossy paper and that was only $1.48, which was the cheapest quoted price that I received.

Another thing that was interesting about the print shop is that you don’t have to physically drop your work off for them to print your material. You can email them at printshop@georgiasouthern.edu. They just ask that all of your work is formatted correctly and give specific directions of what you need.

For more information about what they do contact them at 912-478-5697.