Archive for the ‘Topics of the Week’ Category

Martin Waxman Interview

April 15, 2011 Leave a comment

My professor of my public relations class was able to do an interview with Martin Waxman a while back.  Martin is the co-founder of Palette Public Relations Inc. in Canada.  He is an accomplished public relations practitioner with a lot of experience in the field.  In addition to being president of this corporation, he also runs a fairly popular blog focused on public relations work.

The things about Palette Public Relations that interested me were the principles that they hold and stand by.  They aim for simplicity, they never give up, and integrity.  These are all very practical and simple, yet profound principles to put forth as an organization.

Not a lot of public relations firms try to aim for simplicity.  Public relations is a complicated field, but Palette aims to simplify it and make their clients’ lives easier.

Never giving up is also very simple, holding true to the previous commitment, but it holds a lot of weight.  Even when they have all of the odds stacked against them and they just want to give in and throw in the towel, they hold strong and stick it out through the adversity.  This is a very commendable aspect of their company.

Integrity.  Sadly, integrity can be somewhat hard to come by in today’s workplace.  This is a vital aspect to hold on to, in my mind.  Integrity as a company-wide stance makes the audience much more receptive and honest with you as a company.  When someone opens up themselves to you, it is hard to not open up to them as well and not feel bad!

This interview has been a learning experience and it was definitely interesting to be able to see how technology can help us in our work.  Technology changes very rapidly and is advancing in leaps and bounds today, but we should embrace the change that is going on and use it to its fullest extent!


This Semester in Public Relations

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

As this semester is coming to a close, this will be a list of ten things that I learned in my public relations class this semester.  There are only twenty-one more days until graduation, and I will be there, with my cap and gown.  The long awaited ceremony is almost here; the ceremony that signifies freedom, or rather, the adult life.  Without any further adieu, my list of ten things that I learned about PR this semester:

  1. Public relations is a demanding, but much needed profession.  Without public relations to maintain and restore the relationships between customers and businesses, fans and sports figures, celebrities and fans, we would all be put off and not be a fan of any business or person.
  2. There are many different things that public relations deals with.  From advertising to customer relations, public relations professionals handle a variety of aspects of businesses.
  3. Crisis management is a very important part of public relations.  There are many times that crisis management is needed in any type of business or organization.  Just last week, here in Lakeland, a toddler was accidentally served alcohol at a local restaurant; this restaurant now has a job to do in restoring and maintaining their public image.
  4. The two “types,” or places that a PR practitioner can work is either in a PR department inside of a company or at a PR firm which then contracts with other companies to perform their PR work.
  5. As I am a theology major with a minor in web and app development, I didn’t know much about PR before taking this class, so I learned a lot of fundamentals and details about the profession.
  6. There are many different types of media that public relations can be executed through, such as print, web, video, etc…
  7. Research is also a very large part of PR.  Research allows them to see what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past!
  8. PR practitioners must be wary of what they release and what they say, especially when speaking about a certain person as there are laws governing slander and other derogatory remarks.
  9. Even sports and travel use PR in order to manage their relations with their customers and fans.
  10. Public relations isn’t just a job; once you become a PR practitioner, you live and breathe PR and will catch yourself thinking about it even though it may be the weekend!

Sports Publicity

April 13, 2011 1 comment

I have an upcoming presentation in my Public Relations class on the role of PR in sports.  I have embedded the section of my group’s presentation that I will be using for my presentation.

Sports Management

The role that PR Practitioners play in sports truly is vital.  As an athletic person that enjoys playing and watching almost any sport out there, I can see the various roles that sports publicists play.

Sadly, there are quite often professional and college athletes that are getting in trouble or being put into the media’s attention by something they’ve done or said.  Anyone can think of an athlete that they’ve heard some bad news on, whether it was steroid use, a misguided comment they’ve said, or anything else that can spread negative news through the media.  Sports publicists have to be on top of things in order to diffuse the bombs that are waiting to explode into the media.

Also, without sports publicists, many teams wouldn’t sell many tickets and would then not have as much money.  Sports publicists market ticket sales, concessions, booster goods, and other ways to help the club.  On top of this, they help in managing sponsorships for the teams.

Sports publicists have many different things that they deal with and many different hats that they wear in their jobs and all of them are very important to everyone involved.  Being that sports in America generate a gross annual revenue of $150 billion, we can see how big the industry is.  Sports publicists are the ones that make the industry so large!

The Infection……

April 11, 2011 3 comments

If you have been on the Southeastern Campus in the past week or been on any one of the other thousands of college and university campuses that host Humans Versus Zombies (HVZ), you have probably seen some interesting, sometimes humorous situations.

HVZ is, in summation, a giant, week-long game of tag.  There are two sides, the humans, and the zombies.  The zombies attempt to tag the humans through chasing, ambushing, or just sneakiness.  The humans, on the other hand, try to stun the zombies and get away through shooting them with nerf guns or hitting them with balled up socks.  This is where it gets a little hairy.

For a university, they don’t really want dozens of people walking around their campuses with guns, whether they are fake or not.  At Southeastern in particular, the game creates community any way you look at it.  Whether you look at it from an outside perspective, you talk to others about what you’ve seen, sometimes people you wouldn’t normally talk to.  From the other side, players create community within the game.  Whether it is humans forming makeshift troops to get to class safely or humans and zombies conversing in safe zones about the latest happenings, people talk and create friendships that would never start otherwise.

In my own experience, HVZ has created a few friendships and strengthened a few friendships of mine.  Some people that I would have never had a reason to talk to, I now have something that relates us to each other and something to create conversation, and in turn, friendships.

There has been a lot of negative talk about the game over the past two semesters, mostly from people who have been disturbed or annoyed by those playing.  However, this is like any other event, but in many ways, much more difficult to organize and govern.  The two sessions that have been played in the past two semesters have gone extremely well for a brand new event on the campus that requires a great amount of coordination, hard work, and dedication by the moderators.

As the next semester comes upon all of those at Southeastern, many are hoping that HVZ will continue to thrive and continue to be improved for all of those involved as well as those who aren’t.

From the University’s standpoint, it can be looked at as being a nuisance, but from a student’s standpoint, it is a harmless, fun, enjoyable, and community-building game.

PR Firm or Department

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

This is a post from Ben Herrman.  I read this post and thought that it offered a lot of good information.  You can view the original post here.

Deciding between a Public Relations firm or department to pick a career in is a vital part of PR. As potential future PR professionals it is something we are faced with not necessarily today, but very soon. Personally, I would rather work at a PR firm. There are many aspects of firms that appeal to me more than working at a department.

In just reading Chapter Four in our textbook, Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics, departments seemed a lot more complicated than firms. The levels of management, line and staff functions, and the friction that all goes on within the department swayed me already towards the firms. Firms have more excitement and adventure to them than departments.

Some major things that stuck out with me that the book stated were:

Marketing Communications, involving the promotion of products and services through such tools as news releases, feature stories, special events, brochures, and media tours.

Crisis communication, in which management is counseled on what to say and do in an emergency such as an oil spill or a recall of an unsafe product.

International jobs. I love to travel, and having a job that offers that would be a huge benefit for me. I already have some experience in this as my dad’s current job has him travel quite a lot, and on the rare occurrence I get to go with him, it’s a total blast not only getting the experience working for his company for a short time, but also seeing the world.

These are probably the three biggest advantages to working for a firm that appealed to me. I think the biggest part of it is the International area. Having some experience in working for my dad’s company, Z-Medica, as a Communications Associate and helping them out at different Trade Shows has given me a good view on some of the work that I would be doing at a firm. I really enjoyed doing it, and hopefully it can be something I can use in the future as I search for career opportunities very soon.

Twitter Chats!

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

A while back, I was able to take part in my first Twitter chat, #PRStudChat.  This chat is centered around and for students, so I felt very welcome in the discussion.  Everyone was very open and welcoming even though they didn’t know me previously.

The discussion started off with everyone introducing themselves.  Each person took a few seconds and a few tweets to introduce themselves at the beginning and that caused me to miss the beginning of the discussion!  Before I knew it, I was already way behind in the chat!

The discussion went though many different topics all the way from mentoring to what PR work entails.  It was a very broad spectrum and all of it was very interesting…  When I kept up enough to understand what was going on!  It was quite difficult to read and process each tweet from various participants in the chat and be able to keep up with the chat, but as a whole, I think I kept up adequately.

Overall, I did benefit and learn a lot of information about the field of PR and what the jobs entail.  I am not a PR or journalism major, so I am not aware of all of the tasks and responsibilities that PR practitioners have in the field.  This chat gave me a very good overview of the different things that take place and what practitioners do in their everyday work.

I am a theology major, so some of my work will entail PR work, but I don’t intend on pursuing it as a sole career.  This chat was very informative and I will likely use twitter chats to get information about different subjects.

Tips for Preparing for a Job Interview

March 1, 2011 Leave a comment

We have all been in the spot of having to go in to interview for a position that we are seeking.  We all also know how nerve racking the process can be!  With proper preparation, we can kiss the nervousness that comes with interviews good-bye.

First, research the company.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we need to know about the company that we are applying and interviewing for.  Know what they do, know what locations they have, what their expectations are, etc…  There is probably nothing worse to an interviewer than for the person they’re interviewing to not know anything about the company and to just blindly go into the interview.

Secondly, rehearse the common questions.  The following links have lists of questions that are commonly asked in  interviews.  Prepare and rehearse your answers.  Don’t sound robotic, just know what you’re saying.  Make sure what you say is in clear thoughts and relates to the question!

Thirdly, do some research on what the dress code is at the workplace.  Never dress any more casually than the workers that are there.  A suit is almost always the best bet.  It is always better to be over-dressed than to be under-dressed!

This again shouldn’t come at a surprise, but have an answer or explanation ready for why you want to work at this specific place.  This would probably go into the section of rehearsing common questions, but it could be overlooked on the basis that it seems so simple.  In reality, this is a loaded question.  This tells the interviewer what your motivations are for working for them; if they don’t like why you want to work there, the likeliness of you being hired are very slim.

Also, make sure you can explain what your future goals are or where you see yourself in the future.  For example, if you are wishing to be a meteorologist in the future, why should the resort hire you?

Lastly, relax.  It shouldn’t be totally laid back, but you shouldn’t be shaking out of your shoes going into an interview because that shows that you aren’t fully prepared for the interview.  The interviewer will be able to tell if you are nervous!

Now go out and interview like a seasoned professional!

Here are a few links to articles about preparing for an interview…


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