Friday, November 12, 2010

“New Rules of Marketing and PR”

New Rules of Marketing and PR” is a book by author David Meerman Scott. I am reading this book for my PR Methods course, and I absolutely recommend it to everyone that pursues public relations as a career.

Its emphasize is on how traditional media is no longer a successful tool to consider when marketing, advertising or simply promoting a product, idea, etc. Scott thinks of the Web as “a massive focus group with uninhibited customers offering up their thoughts for free!” Basically, you can find what people are saying and thinking about organizations and products via RSS feeds on the Internet.

I have only read up to Chapter 8, but so far I have learned a lot about “the new rules,” and I now look at social media and the Web through a total different lenses.

Here are “the new rules” that Scott mentions often throughout the book:

* Marketing is more than just advertising.
* PR is for more than just a mainstream media audience.
* You are what you publish.
* People want authenticity, not spin.*
* People want participation, not propaganda.
* Instead of causing one-way interruption, marketing is about delivering content at just the precise moment your audience needs it.
* Marketers must shift their thinking from mainstream marketing to the masses to a strategy of reaching vast numbers of understood audiences via the Web.
* PR is not about your boss seeing your company on TV. It’s about your buyers seeing your company on the Web.
* Marketing is not about your agency winning awards. It’s about your organization winning business.
* The Internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on media.
* Companies must drive people into the purchasing process with great online content.
* Blogs, online video, e-books, news releases, and other forms of online content let organizations communicate directly with buyers in a form they appreciate.
* On the Web, the lines between marketing and PR have blurred.

I will keep you guys posted on my adventure throughout this book!

*I find this funny because there is a PR show on The E! Network called The Spin Crowd.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What was life like before social media?

I entered the social media world in high school. MySpace had recently launched, and it was the "it thing" to do. My page was frequently updated with status messages, a hit single and photos of my friends and me. Once I entered college, Facebook was the new MySpace. I logged on numerous times a day, checking my feed often. I signed up for Twitter about a year ago, and just like my addiction with MySpace and Facebook, I tweet often. Today, I joined Foursquare, and I really hope this doesn't take over my life as well.

I said all of that to say, "What did humans do before social media entered our lives?" Did we simply jot our thoughts in a journal, meet up with our friends to discuss our day, or simply keep all our thoughts to ourselves? I personally cannot remember. Social media has really transformed the world. People now have the ability to display their opinions and thoughts for the world to see. I am still trying to figure out if this is a good or bad thing.

Have you ever thought about going back to the days that consisted of calling your friends and not tweeting them? Or how about the days when creating a scrapbook was cool and not uploading your latest pictures in a Facebook album? What if the norm was to still have a magazine or newspaper subscription and not be able to read your favorite blogs?

Reverting back to those tasks can be done, but is it actually worth it? Social media plays a big part in today's world, and not having a presence on the Web could probably hinder you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


According to "The Psychology of Climate Change Communication" by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, framing is the setting of an issue within an appropriate context to achieve a desired interpretation or perspective. James Hoggan describes framing as mental shortcuts that helps us manage information and understand our too-complicated world in his book "Do The Right Thing."

I combined both of those definitions and interpreted framing as mental shortcuts that help achieve a perspective of our complicated world. When trying to persuade the public on any issue, public relations practitioners have to take into consideration that everyone has preconceived notions about everything. Putting the issue in a context that relates to the target audience will help them not only understand the issue but also retain and possibly act accordingly.

Ralph Benmergui,
veteran broadcaster and strategic communications adviser to the Green Party of Canada, states in the video below that one should frame a message around someone's core values. Watch this video and see how he frames a sustainability message.

Framing is important because it helps capture the audience's attention, and it explains what the issue is and how it relates to the public. Bringing the message close to home, or making it relatable, is the best way to make the message stick and creates behavioral changes. For example, instead of just telling your target audience that the climate crisis is real and humans are responsible, explain to them how their community is being affected by climate change.

CRED states that by framing climate change as a local issue it increases the audience's sense of connection and helps them better understand the climate crisis. CRED describes the benefits of framing as:
1. Frames organize central ideas on an issue.
2. Frames help communicate why an issue might be a problem, who or what might be responsible, and in some cases, what should be done.
3. Frames can help condense a message into useful communication "short cuts" and symbols: catch-phrases, slogans, historical references, cartoons, and images.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Do The Right Thing

I recently began reading "Do The Right Thing" by James Hoggan. It is a really great read so far. He begins by stressing the importance of credibility and that it cannot be created. It's built solely on performance. Hoggan defines public relations as the art and science of earning credibility and building goodwill among all those who are important to your business.

Hoggan developed a tactic called the "Hoggan approach," which he believes can help public professionals. They are:
1. Do the right thing.
2. Be seen doing the right thing.
3. Don't get #1 and #2 mixed up.
The public respects organizations or companies that are trustworthy much more than ones that are not. From a PR standpoint, being the stand-up guy when bad things happen looks better than trying to "put a spin on things." When you step up quickly, acknowledge that there is indeed an issue, give an apology and assure that it will not happen again, things will turn around rather fast. The goal is for your organization to state the crisis first. If the story is broken by some other organization, the public will assume that the issue was being covered up by your organization.

The public is more than likely to trust a company when it is seen doing the right thing. Companies that are actively engaged in the community attract an audience. Community service looks really good for organizations. Actions speak louder than words—cliché I know—but when the company is seen doing the right thing, their actions helps back the company up in a crisis situation. No, I am not stating that once a controversial issue comes out about your organization that you should jump in community service because this will not save you. Always being actively involved in the community helps take the pressure of the issue the organization is involved in.

Hoggan reassures his readers to not get the first two tactics mixed up. He states "do the right thing because it's the right thing to do." Do not engage in these tactics with a public relations mindset because the public will be able to easily distinguish between the two.

We all are aware of the BP Oil spill that occurred earlier this year. This caused an uproar in every community, especially the Gulf Coast because people along the Gulf were directly affected. Below is BP's latest commercial that I found on YouTube, and BP have successfully followed the Hoggan approach.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Effects of Social Media

Social media have become a part of our everyday lives. A lot of people have become so dependent on it that they can barely make it through the day without signing on to it. Some people use social media to display their entire life, while other people may use it to connect with potential employers or employees. Using social media doesn't have to be considered a negative aspect of your life as long as you are using it appropriately.

Today, a lot of employers are using social media to recruit potential employees. So it is pertinent that college students, as well as those who may be entering the work world soon, be cautious of what they post because no employee want to hire a drunk, but they do not want to hire someone who lacks personality.

The soon-to-be released movie The Social Network is an example of just how big the social networking scene really is. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, had no intentions of making Facebook such a large phenomenon. He just simply wanted a way for college students to be able to interact with their classmates and have record of their college experiences. I imagine he did not think he would be one of the richest men in the world.

I am currently reading a new book titled "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott. He talks about the role that social media plays in the public relations world. He notes that PR practitioners can engage in social media to try and understand their target audience. This is a great way to see exactly how to approach them and which methods can work the best.

Yes, I am actively involved in social media. I use both Facebook and Twitter regularly, but I am very cautious of the things that I post.