Starbucks… The thing to do?

March 29, 2011 2 comments

What is it about Starbucks that makes it stand out from the rest?  What is it about it that makes people go back multiple times a day and some not able to even start their day without a cup?  Is it the soft ambient music, the low lighting, the plush chairs, or just the legacy?

Everyone has been to Starbucks and most people know someone who is addicted to it.  The marketing team behind Starbucks is doing a great job at creating customers who come back again and again.  Loyalty is the key behind a successful business.  If you can get someone to come back again and again, you can build a thriving business.  Please one person and they share their experience with their friends.  This is what we have seen with Starbucks in the past few years.  It went from a small coffee shop to a worldwide attraction!

Everyone has their own place for Starbucks, whether it be the stop on the way to work every morning or the treat for every once in a while or the place to study overnight.  All of these people got there because of a solid marketing strategy.


The Dominion of Facebook

March 28, 2011 1 comment

We’ve all heard about, and probably experienced the grasp of Facebook on the lives of people today.  Just 7 years ago, the site was launched by the infamous Mark Zuckerberg and since then it has made giant leaps towards taking over our lives.  As of January 2011, Facebook claimed to have over 600 million active users.

Users of Facebook can do a variety of things through the site including plan events, chat with friends, play games, network, advertise, and many more.  Because users can do so many things on one platform, it makes itself a very useful, and addicting, service.

Although Facebook is very useful and good for staying up to date on the latest happenings, in my mind,  it can turn into a sort of addiction.  Lately, I have been trying to stay away from Facebook as much as possible because I realize how much of our time it can devour!  I have recently wondered what college life would be like without Facebook or social media.  Although we wouldn’t be able to plan events or network online, I think it would be much more stress-free because our schedules would be more open.  We wouldn’t have to fight the urge of checking our friends’ status updates every 3 1/2 seconds!

What would life be like without Facebook?

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.

PR Professional Interview

March 20, 2011 Leave a comment
I recently conducted an interview of a PR practitioner.   Read on for the interview!
The person that I interviewed was Cari.  She has worked for two marketing and communications firms, Simantel and Landers & Partners.  She is involved in the marketing aspect of PR.  I found this person through extended networking with my friends.  We conducted the interview over the phone.
What’s a typical week like?

Everyday is filled with new deadlines and unforeseen challenges so it’s hard to say there is ever a typical week. However, if I had to pin point some consistency I would say following up with people and communicating with the client consumes the majority of my day/week.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
I worked on a project for the Peoria Zoo in Illinois. The zoo was in desperate need for renovations and expansion. It was our job to get the awareness message out to the public. We created a logo and mascot (among other branding elements) and I got to be the mascot for an event. We were able to have fun with this campaign as well as exceed the fund raising goal. 

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
Our office keeps staff current by subscribing to several industry publications and always doing research on other companies in the same field. Of course, you can always do classroom training but there’s nothing like watching your competitors. 

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
I wish I would have know that this is a 24/7 career field. You never stop thinking of new and innovative ways to do the same old thing. If you aren’t careful, things that used to be entertaining – radio, TV, movies, billboards, magazines etc – can become work so you never rest. 

How important is writing in your career?
Writing is paramount in my career! Whether you are communicating to the client or communicating about the client you have to be well spoken/written. Proposals, commercials, publication articles and press releases – almost everything I do can be linked back to writing. Learning to write in a variety of different styles can be the thing that makes your company unique and more desirable as a PR representative. 

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
Three tips –
Be flexible while still having structure. Things never go as planned but almost always work out. It’s important to put a plan in place but adjust the plan when needed without having a breakdown. 

Know about your client/project on a detailed level. Read up on the history of where they were, where they are and where they want to go. The more information you absorb, the better you can relate a genuine message from the voice of your client.

Always be teachable. Listen and watch the people and world around you. You never know where you will draw inspiration from for a current or future campaign!

After interviewing this person, I am more likely to be more involved in PR in my career.  I am a theology major, so I will have to do some PR in my career, and after speaking to this person, I am more inclined to take on more of the PR aspects.

The iPad 2 is Here!… Sort of…

March 2, 2011 2 comments

Apple released the  new 2nd generation iPad 2 today in a long awaited press conference this morning.  Surprisingly, Steve Jobs, who has been on sick leave for the past two months, still made the announcement and introduced the new gadget.  The new iPad is thinner, lighter, faster, and more capable than the previous one, but some people, myself included think it was too fast.

The first iPad was announced just over a year ago, which sounds like a long time, right?  In this case, it isn’t that long.  When they announced the first iPad, they were introducing a new area of personal devices, touchscreen tablets.  Although there had been devices like the iPad before it, they never caught on and were discontinued.

In my observations, the device took a while to catch on, finally beginning to get widespread adoption and usage a few months ago.  A lot of the people who bought the first generation now own an out of date device that they just got and some are probably still paying off!

I don’t think this was a wise choice on Apple’s part.  I think they could have extended the life of the first generation until this summer and released it with the rest of the devices instead of cutting its life short.  And, on top of that, it isn’t available for another week and a half!

Wireless 500

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment

There is, at this point, a race going on with the wireless companies.  The race is of development sorts, with all of the major cellular carriers racing each other to try to develop the widest 4G network the fastest.

Sprint was the first to release and begin expanding a 4G network, holding the standing legacy of always being the first carrier to release the new technology and begin expanding.  The other networks, such as Verizon, At&t and Tmobile have since released their own version of Sprint’s 4G Wi-Max network.

This race is largely of installing the necessary hardware and transmission devices around the country.  4G is the next generation of wireless signal and is capable of speeds faster than some of today’s broadband internet services!

The thing about the race is the balance between expanding quickly and giving the customers the best service.  As we all know, anything done fast usually has more problems, and in this case, would take much longer to fix if they had to service every transmission point they have installed since they started!

The race has just started a few months ago and is sure to be here for the next few years as the companies continue to expand, but we will soon be able to establish a winner.