The idea of doing a twitter chat was a foreign thought to me. I haven’t even really participated in the twitter world until this class. As I prepared myself for this chat I imagined what questions they would ask, who was asking them, and if I would even be able to give good, educated answers. I gathered my thoughts and entered into this uncharted territory.
I decided to participate via Tweet Chat and went into the #PRstudchat at 8:30 p.m. As I went into the forum, I noticed immediately how many people were responding to the current question. I awaited my turn because I wanted to answer the most current question.
One question I answered asked what are the best ways to measure social media success. I said by measuring retweets, tags, impressions, likes and etc. As I answered more questions, I felt more comfortable giving my opinion and even retweeting others posts.
Overall, I enjoyed time on the chat and learned a lot from other students, teachers and Public Relations professionals. i hope to participate in more as I think I can contribute even more as my knowledge grows about the PR field.
What is Public Relations to me? PR is the promoting, enhancing and protecting the image of a corporation or an individual. The publicist does his or her best to put its client in the best light. Without PR, clients wouldn’t be able to protect themselves from the media frenzy and most likely would do a terrible job filtering what they say about a scandal.
Public Relations provides a service to the general public and all media outlets by giving them better knowledge on how and why their client is doing what they are doing. Publicists are the protectors.
I have personally learned a lot about what PR is, how it works, and the history of PR from this class, Principles of Public Relations. through all the group actives and social media campaign project, I’ve learned how to deal with others in a group, whether we have the same ideas or not. Collaboration is a big part of PR and this class proved how important it is.
This project was slightly intimidating at first. Looking at all the requirements and computer savvy knowledge required made me a little nervous. But with the knowledge i had gained from this class and others, I was able to understand all aspects and put together a well made blog.
This blog is very helpful at keeping all my work I’ve done for internships and other classes together in one organized place, as well as keeping my resume right at hand.
My experience with the American Heart Association Heart Walk was a great learning opportunity. I was put with the communications director, Nancy DeVault, who was in charge of all media covering this event, the talent performing and emceeing the event and making sure all sponsors were in correct locations.
I shadowed DeVault and helped with anything she asked. I was in charge of checking in all the talent and media for the event. After check in at 6 a.m., I directed the media to their locations before the walk began at 7 a.m. Next I helped the talent to the stage and directed what order they would be going in. For example, local newscasters were emceeing the event before it started so they went first and last.
American Heart Association plans this event many months before and with over 11,000 participants, it took a lot of promoting and social networking to put it all together. Other than constantly calling people to sponsor or participate, AHA used Facebook and their own personal website to promote this event. They updated statuses and posted polls to see who was returning and who was a new participant. Their website hosted survivor stories, current donation totals, and ways to sign up for the Heart Walk.
With an event goal of $1.2 million, AHA surpassed that total by $24,824. The money this event raised helps create awareness and research efforts for those who have heart problems or have a family history of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The money will go to patient care, education and awareness of the heart, and research.
Basketball stars have always created controversy on and off the court. Gilbert Arenas is no exception. A former point guard for the Washington Wizards, Arenas brought firearms to his team’s locker room, creating a PR disaster. According to ESPN, Arenas brought the firearms because team member Javaris Crittenton had a disagreement over a gambling debt. The final punishment for his actions was suspension from playing any games for the rest of the season.
Not only has Arenas destroyed his image, he also decided to make gun references with his hands in a team huddle showing that he has no remorse for his actions (sports.espn.go.com).
This was a PR disaster for Gilbert Arenas publicist because it is his or her job to rebuild the image he has just tarnished. Colin O’Keefe, a sports writer for Pastthepressbox.com, gives a few options on how to gain back the image lost and the trust of the fans again:
1. Show some humility- Acknowledge when you are wrong. In Gilbert Arenas’ case, he needs to apologize for his actions and if he offended anyone with his pregame joke.
2. Have a voice- Take to Twitter, Facebook and any social media outlet to explain what happened from your own perspective and apologize personally to your fans and team. Arenas’ PR team is in charge of making sure what he says makes his image better but at the same time sounds like himself.
All athletes make ethical errors that may directly affect their jobs but it’s their publicist’s job to teach and even tell them how they should handle it in a personal manner like tweeting to fans. The publicist’s job is to rebuild their client’s image when mistakes are made.
Facebook has shaped the future for public relations. New technology is always changing mass communications but these new ways of constant promoting and branding have created a new path for a publicist to create an image for an organization.
According to Jeremy Porter, a blogger for Journalistic.com, Facebook is a great tool for media relations because:
1. It Promotes Organizations- Groups created on Facebook are a great way to manage communications, post an event calendar, or provide additional networking benefits. Also, Facebook Groups can be a powerful tool for marketing and growing your organization for free. There are more than 350 million active Facebook users around the world, so there is a good chance users will join your group.
2. Leads Community Outreach Programs- Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages are both great for cause marketing efforts. It helps mobilize your cause and keep people informed on how to get involved who are fans of the page.
3. Builds Brands- You can create a Facebook Page to manage all your marketing. It would be hard to find a brand without a Facebook Page these days. If you have a brand, you need a Facebook Page. There is no better free investment to organize your most loyal viewers around your brand. You can regularly share information with your fans through a Facebook Page. They’ll learn more about your organization, than through any other social media website.
Facebook is the new PR tool that is being used just as much as press releases and websites. It is a quick, easy and free way to reach the audience you want and brand your organization.
The thing that makes the celebrity world so interesting isn’t the celebs’ actual careers but the crazy episodes a lot of stars seem to experience. From cocaine overdoses to hookers and many failed and disturbing marriages, Charlie Sheen seems to top them all.
Charlie Sheen, who is most famous for his starring role in Two and a Half Men on CBS, is all over the media right now: participating in interviews, recording his own webcast show and creating some of the most memorable quotes that are repeated constantly. This extreme behavior is not out of the ordinary for Sheen. Starting early on in his career he has had major drug problems. He also shot Kelly Preston and chased his most recent wife, Brooke Mueller, around their house with a knife threatening to kill her. These past incidences are terrible, and foreshadowed what will come to be one of Hollywood’s most notorious meltdowns ever (www.etonline.com).
Most would think that this kind of behavior would affect his career in the worst way possible but in some aspects his breakdown may be a genius move. Although he was fired from his TV show in which he made $2 million an episode, he is making money and headlines with his interviews, webcast, and now upcoming tour. Sheen may think this is a smart move now but soon the hype will phase out.
Charlie Sheen’s publicist quit on him recently but any publicist would do his best to manage the damage Sheen has done. Publicists can’t do that though unless the client allows them too and from the looks of things, Sheen didn’t. Sheen should follow some simple PR rules to help make his image a little better if he is going to be his own publicist. According to Hanley Freeman, writer for The Guardian, celebrities in Sheen’s predicament should not talk to the public directly through podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, etc. They should limit talk show appearances, unlike what Charlie Sheen has done, and ditch any extra people who are just along for the fame that comes along with a manic meltdown (www.guardian.co.uk).
Challenges that publicists face in the celebrity world.
The media loves to tear apart all celebrities- from the insignificant to the most famous of them all. It does not matter. These media sources are usually biased and want the juiciest story they can get their hands on. The publicist’s job is not to try and stop the story from hitting newsstands; it is to help rebuild the image of the celebrity or company. They provide a “comeback.”
Publicists deal with the dirtiest of secrets- like Tiger Woods’ cheating, Lindsay Lohan’s legal problems, and even smaller issues like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s messy break up. There is no end to the image repair these celebrities need. Although they are famous, they deserve to do what they do best and not end their careers because the public disagrees with their personal lives. The challenge for the publicists is to make sure that does not happen.
The bottom line is that all these “crazy” celebrities are just human like all of us. They make the same mistakes we do, but their problems are publicized for everyone to see and judge. Ron Torossian, a blogger from articlebase.com, says it best, “With strategic planning and a PR plan, all of these figures can make a return to some degree and repair their image. They too are human beings, and for them too life shall go on.”
A celebrity’s image is harder to manage then the image of someone who is not in the spotlight all the time, but that is the challenge and the job of the publicist. While some may be able to recover from the hard hits of the media, others will perish if their publicist and themselves cannot take care of the rebuilding of their image.