my future in PR?

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As my studies come to a close, I have realized that I am most interested in preparing Public Relations campaigns for companies, whether it is for awareness, a new product launch, crises, or issues. I enjoy the creative aspect of PR and find personal satisfaction in coming up with strategies, tactics, and key messages.

I think my career will be informed by my new Public Relations knowledge because I have learned SO much about just communication in general. I just started managing a social media account and have already come across moments where my PR knowledge has come in handy when posting content and responding to comments appropriately. I also find my writing has improved quite a bit and I’ve gotten better at being clear, concise, and effective.

As much as I’ve enjoyed learning about Public Relations and earning my diploma, I’ve realized that my personality is probably a better fit for the marketing industry. My last two jobs dealt with some serious stuff (bankruptcies and child protection), which gave me a sense of fulfillment, but also a feeling of misery when I would come home. Dealing with other people’s serious issues every day at work weighed down on me because I tend to take things on personally. So, right now my goal is to not work somewhere that will make me feel sad every day. I feel that a Public Relations job is more structured and serious than a marketing job would be and may be more likely to be a job that leaves me feeling weighed down at the end of the day. PR involves a lot of problem solving that is nowhere near stress-free. The marketing industry is much more creative and more shallow, for lack of better words. I wouldn’t mind working somewhere that allows me to come up with marketing concepts for a makeup company, clothing brand, etc. Somewhere fun! It will still be hard work, but it wouldn’t involve seeing people at their weakest moments anymore or doing major damage control.

Don’t get me wrong though…I am NOT closing any doors! I am open to any /all opportunities and maybe my dream PR job is actually out there. Or maybe my dream marketing job will present itself to me. I have no idea what my future holds or what path I will end up taking, but I am excited to see where the next year takes me!

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the most genius PR campaign EVER.

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BlendTec’s “Will It Blend” campaign is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to know about the campaign because it went beyond viral (shame on me), but I am so glad my instructor showed it to our class yesterday. If you haven’t seen one of their “Will It Blend” YouTube videos, watch this one now. I promise…it will make your day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rofgMueCOqo

This campaign captured my interest because the concept of it was SO simple, yet SO effective. It’s so fun and made me laugh until I almost cried. I love that BlendTec’s CEO (Tom Dickson) is the star of the videos. It completely humanizes the company. I love that they allow their customers to interact with them by suggesting things to blend. I can’t think of anything funnier than blending random, inedible objects. I love that it shows how effective their product really is and proves the quality of the $400 blender. And to top it all off, this campaign boosted sales by more than 700% since the campaign started!!

How did it start? In 2006, BlendTec was a relatively unknown company and wanted to boost their brand awareness. The team bought a white lab coat, marbles, garden rake, McDonalds meal, rotisserie chicken, and Coca-Cola. Filmed in the company’s lunchroom, Dickson blended up these items. After five days of the videos being uploaded to YouTube, there were over six million views! They have been viewed over 100 million times since then.

The company also has a “Will It Blend” website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

From a PR perspective, I learned that it is possible to create an enormously effective campaign on a very minimal budget. As we spoke about in class, sometimes the most simple ideas are the best ideas. Often times, people get caught up in doing a campaign that is over-the-top and extravagant. That is not necessarily the best approach. People want to be engaged, and these videos did just that. They gave their audience exactly what they needed to be excited about the company and excited to go out and buy one of their blenders!

OWS is leaderless for a reason.

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For this week’s blog post, we were asked to read the article called “Was Occupy Wallstreet a PR Failure?”. Furthermore, we were asked to share our thoughts on the management of the movement and what we think supporters need to do to continue to push their message and to make sure that their message actually leads to real political action, regardless of our personal political views.

From a PR perspective, I feel that Occupy Wall Street is a PR failure.

The management of the Occupy movement is lacking. They are not sending a clear message for starters. There also isn’t an obvious leader for the group and their credibility just doesn’t seem to show.

From a public-image perspective, OWS should partnership with organizations that share the same values as their movement. This will gain them credibility in the eyes of the public. This will give them more of a budget. This will make their message clearer, and will allow their message to be broadcasted in a broader, more focused way. They should also assign someone who can be a spokesperson for the movement who will be able to confidently answer any questions that the media (or anyone else) would have about the movement.

Obviously, this all sounds good in theory. But (here’s the kicker)…the whole philosophy behind OWS is to be leaderless. They want to be people-powered in order to make their point. Even the OWS website clearly states:

“Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. 

The only solution is a world revolution.” 

That being said… maybe the whole thing isn’t a PR failure at all? Looks like they might be doing exactly what they want to be doing. I might have to take back what I said about it being a failure because from what I can tell, the PR aspect of their movement is irrelevant. From the perspective of the supporters, they are doing something that transcends public image or the public’s opinion. They believe that they are starting a revolution in a quiet, leaderless way, and will most likely never appoint a leader or join up with organizations. But let’s be honest. These tactics will most likely never lead to real political action.