These are words you never ever want to hear. Be it in your personal life, or your work environment. Unfortuantely, I do not have any saged advice as to what to do when these words are uttered within the context of your family or friend dynamics. But thanks to a class discussion with Professor Nixon, I can help you out when it comes to work life. Well actually, when it comes to PR work life.
There are 4 types of Crises:
The sparks of a Crisis are: -Environmental
Benefits of Planning:
-Flow of Information
In your Crisis Communication Kit you must have 7 items:
1) List of members of crisis management team
2)Contact information for key officers
3) Facts sheet on company:each division, physical location, and each product offered
4) Profiles, bios, ect. for each key member in the company
5)Copies of logos, press release format, and scanned in signature of CEO on disk
6)Pre-written scripts answering key questions
It is VERY important that you have this kit stored OFF-SITE.
The 4 stages of a crisis are:
Understanding what a crisis is and how to tackle it is the first step in crisis management. You must prepare your entire team on how to handle a crisis if/when one ever arises. As the Boy Scout’s always say, “Always Be Prepared!”
In class, we learned the basics of PR thanks to an acronym: R.A.C.E.
R =Research—Define the problem
A =Action—-What will we do about the problem.
C =Communication—How will we tell the public.
E =Evaluation—Did you reach your audience? What effect did you have?
When we are reasearching, we are figuring out what specifically the problem is. We must discover what kind of info is needed. We need to decide how research data will be analyzed, reported, and applied. We need to establish how soon results need to be reported. And as always, we need to know how much this research will cost us.
PR professionals use research in a few different ways:
-Help management keep in touch
To make things easy, research is generally broken up into two sub-groups:
Secondary Research: Ex: reading
Primary Research: Ex: Research we do ourselves.
In class, we went into great detail about what it means to communicate effectively. We learned that you must always have a very clear objective as well as a means to accomplish this objective. No matter what you’re trying to commuincate, you are always trying to accomplish 4 main goals:
1. Accurate dissimination of info.
2. Accept message.
3. Change attitude based on message.
4. Change behavior based on message.
Audiences are broken into two types: Active and Passive. With a passive audience, you must do something to grab their attenetion.
BE MEMORABLE. BE MEMORABLE. BE MEMORABLE. This little piece of advice cannot be stressed enough. Just like anything else in life, if you are not interesting and speaking in an interesting manner, you will lose your audience.
In the same way that you must be memorable, you must also be understandable. You need to properly and effectively use language, write clearly, use symbols, acronyms, and slogans. You must always avoid jargon, cliches and hype words, euphemisms, and discriminatory language.
The point of communication, is to empower your audience. You want to introduce them to your side. To join your cause. You want to give the ultimate pep-talk, in a sense. We all know that passionate people are the ones that make change happen. They are the ones who get the ball rolling. So you want to always leave your audience motivated and excited to be on your team.
In class, we had the privilege of hearing two Georgia Southern alums tell us about the world of PR from their firsthand experiences. Jeremy Estroff and Lauren Crawford are both employed with THREE, which is an Atlanta based firm that specializes in Public Relations, Advertising, and direct Marketing.
Jeremy and Lauren both reaffirmed what we’ve been learning all semester: press releases, researching, and social media outlets are all extremely important in the practice of PR. Lauren even goes so far as to say that social media is, “changing the face of PR.” From Twitter, to Facebook, to blogging—there are endless possibilities when it comes to the face of social media.
We were encouraged to learn strategy then create art. We need to start becoming prepared now for life post-college. Jeremy suggests doing any free-lance work we can, writing PSA’s for a company, and helping organize events. There is no better time than the present to begin gaining experience in the field of PR. We must create our own opportunity. We must always look to what is next. What is next in PR? What is next in trend? What is next in social media? We must constantly stay up-to-date and relevant.
Jeremy also reminds us to always aim to be memorable to editors. This is a must. Now is the time for all of us to be perfecting our writing style and credibility. Again, there is no time like the present.
In class on April 20th, we discussed the ins and outs of news. I think we can all safely agree that news is always new. It encompasses information that is beneficial or important and that can/should be shared with the general public.
In this state of mind, is where news releases are born. News releases, as previously discussed, are written in hopes of being published in a mass media capacity. Reporters rely heavily on news releases. They process info gathered through news releases and find/publish the most ‘newsworthy’ release. News releases rarely if ever will have the actual writers name on it; its more likely to appear under the reporters name. To be completely honest, when I first heard this, I was a bit irritated. I mean, did the report find the scope? Did the reporter do the drafting? Does the reporter have the emotional connection with the release like the actual write does? No. However, does the reporter have more leverage? Yes. Is the reporter putting themselves in a position that could cause controversy? Yes. Is the reporter doing a good thing here? Yes. It actually all does make sense when you think about it.
Commonly referred to as the 5 W’s & H, these 6 little words are the backbone to every article a journalist will write:
If these questions are not answered in an article, you have my permission to call the article less than satisfactory.
In addition to news releases, PR professionals spend a great deal of time ‘pitching.’ This simply means trying to convince a journalist that what you have is what their readers want. A tip our professor recommends if you know you want something in a paper—get to know what kinds of things that specific journalist covers. Meet them where they are. It’ll get you noticed, and help you gain credibility if you’re well informed of the subjects they work with.