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!

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!

pr fundamentals comments.

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I am required to comment on PR-related blogs three times in the next few weeks. I will be posting my comments on here, continually updating this post each time I’ve written a new comment. Feel free to read and comment on these posts!

Comment #1

The article I commented on was called “Common Excuses for Crappy Social Media Marketing” and can be found here.

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“First of all, I love your writing style. I really enjoyed this article! You’re funny and to the point.

Second, I agree with @theSarawr. There should always be a balance between interacting with people and simultaneously making sales. Social media can build relationships, brand loyalty, etc…if you do it right, of course. Those relationships and loyalty can then in turn generate sales! Most consumers these days are constantly connected to social media. Social media gives us as marketers, PR professionals, etc. a chance to research and analyze what is going on in the brains and lives of the people we want to reach the most. The information is now so accessible! It’s not only an interactive relationship-building platform…it’s also a way to be strategic in marketing and sales techniques. The two go hand in hand. And I think both departments should always work together in order to have the most impact.” 

Comment #2

The article I commented on was called “Lululemon’s Sheer Brilliance In Yoga Pants Debacle” and can be found here.

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“I had just started my diploma program in PR when Lululemon first came out with their statement on the see-through luon pants. It was one of my first true realizations of how important PR really is. I’m sure many customers were outraged (can you imagine doing the downward dog and finding out that every yogi behind you could see your bum?), but they managed to save themselves. I feel like many retailers wouldn’t send out a statement like that. A lot of retailers just recall the product without explanation or being transparent. It shows how much Lululemon cares about their customers. This smart PR move definitely helped them to restore their reputation of quality apparel. Thankfully, they’ve proved that with the new pants that have been tested and are definitely not see-through. Thank god because not only do I love Lululemon’s yoga pants, but you’ll also catch me in some interesting yoga poses from time to time!” 

Comment #3

The article I commented on was called “8 Guidelines for a Great Blog” and can be found here.

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“Good article…thanks for the tips!

 Blogging has become a new passion for me ever since we were required to make our own blog in a course I finished a few months ago. As much as I love to write posts on my own agenda, it’s difficult to do sometimes when I’m required to write one as an assignment. It’s hard to write naturally when I can’t pick the topic or the deadline. It becomes writing just to write and get a mark. It was interesting to me when you said to let your post sit a few days before pushing “publish”. There have been times when I’ve published a post as an assignment just to get it done, and I felt sick after about it because it didn’t feel like ME. It’s made me appreciate the feeling of blogging for the sole reason of loving to write.”

is social media really relevant?

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Today we live in a digitally connected world. No one can deny that fact.

Whether you are a full-fledged addict, or a skeptic on the influence of social media, there is no doubt that social media has taken over the communication world and will continue to do so.

I am currently in a Public Relations class where my instructor, who is several years older than the students he is teaching, consistently claims that social media is not useful. Today he announced to us that social media goes everywhere and nowhere. Hmmm, Mr. PR Instructor, I beg to differ.

Social media brings many things to the table that are beneficial for both individuals and organizations. It provides a channel for learning, sharing, interacting, and building connections. If your business does not use social media, you are missing out on a HUGE potential market. The key to being successful is to be where your customers are.

According to a recent article from Huffington Post (http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-social-media-statistics-for-2013/), 80% of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook and 23% of users check their Facebook five or more times a day. Another interesting statistic is 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. A disturbing stat is 56% of tweets to companies are being ignored. Once again, why aren’t more brands placing themselves where their customers are?

As a PR professional, your goal is to get your message out there, right? So why wouldn’t you want to send your message to where your customers are?

I don’t have the guts to argue with my instructor because I’d really like to receive an A in his course, but the facts and statistics speak for themselves. Hopefully he will realize this one day soon in order to not mislead more of his students. It’s a sad and dead-end road for people and places who don’t believe in the value of social media.

Our world is changing. We need to change with it in order to be successful.