Tactics and Traditional Publics

After reading chapter 9 in our public relations book, I learned the differences between controlled and uncontrolled media.  I liked that our authors spelled out the advantages and disadvantages of controlled and uncontrolled media.  The fact that organizations control what text and images are being sent to the media is an advantage of controlled media.  A couple disadvantages of controlled media include: the loss of credibility and it may cost the organization money.  An advantage of uncontrolled media is that it costs less.  A disadvantage of uncontrolled media is that it is not controllable.  Organizations that have public relations departments have little to do with the information that is leaked through uncontrolled media.  I read a blog post by Heather Smith about controlled and uncontrolled communications.  In her post, she explains more in depth the advantages and disadvantages of controlled and uncontrolled media.

When our book talked about tactics and traditional publics in news media, many of the ideas that they talked about rang a bell for me.  While working at Jeff Dezen Public Relations, I was given the chance to help draft and distribute news releases, put together media kits, and draft and distribute media advisories.  Although I didn’t personally contribute to interviews, news conferences, or actualities, I’m familiar with these terms because I was around PR professionals.  I was lucky to learn these terms from PRo’s who constantly participated in these activities along with social media. Professor Vargas provided us with a Web site that explains social media terms that may be unfamiliar.  Check it out!

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My Defintion of Public Relations

In my last public relations class, I learned that public relations is the management of complex interactions between an organization and it’s publics.  To me, this definition encompasses many different things.  Through my personal experiences with working in three different areas (corporate PR- Verizon Wireless, small firm- JDPR, and law firm- Toussaint Law Firm) I’ve learned that a public realtions practioner wears mutliple hats.   Writing press releases, constantly keeping in contact with the media, developing new ways to pitch ideas, working with a company’s philanthropy, making flyers and brochures to distribute, and tracking media clips are only a few of the many things that I witnessed my fellow co-workers continuously do at my internships.

Now, as times are changing and more news is becoming “citizen news” through social media, PRos must keep up with the new technology that is being invented.  Through Twitter, blogs ,and Facebook, YouTube and other forms of social media, a company can be praised or totally ripped apart within moments.  It’s scary to think that people who may not have any expertise on a part an organization that you represent can easily bad mouth it and cause permanent damage.

Introduction for Public Relations Class

Hi Everyone in Professor Vargas’ class!  My name is Madison Fisher and I am a senior communications major at Clemson University.  I am currently enrolled in Professor Lauren Vargas’ Principles of Public Relations class.  I have held a few internships in public relations and am very interested in pursuing a career in this area. 

I started interning at the Verizon Wireless corporate headquarters in Greenville, S.C. for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee after my freshman year of college and continued the same internship during my next summer as well.  I worked under Carly Culbertson, the then public relations manager for the Carolinas/Tennessee region.  While interning under Carly for two summers, I also interned at  Jeff Dezen Public Relations (JDPR) in downtown Greenville, S.C. for a few days a week. 

This past summer, I strictly interned for Jeff Dezen Public Relations and worked mainly on the Verizon account.  I also began interning at Toussaint Law Firm in Seneca, S.C. as their marketing director.  I’ve enjoyed all of my internships and have gained valuable experience that I hope will help me in the future. 

Last semester, I took Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu’s public relation stakeholder communication class.  It’s interesting to see how my classes at Clemson have actually helped me in my internships.  I’m looking forward to learning more basic theories and practices of public relations through this semester’s Principles of Public Relations class.

I’ve had my blog for about 9 months now and I can see that my blog posts have slowly matured.  I hope to continue to learn and add more ideas and thoughts about public relations through my blog.  Let me know if you have any suggestions!!

A Luz de Giselli

For the past two summers, I have interned at Verizon Wireless in their public relations department and Jeff Dezen Public Relations in Greenville, S.C.  While there, I wrote a variety of news releases and helped distribute them to the correct media.  Last week, in my stakeholder comm. class, we discussed news releases.  We also discussed how to figure out who to send certain pitches and releases  to and how to create media lists.

We were given a PR challenge in class to pitch an artist from Seneca, S.C. who makes interesting light  bulbs.  Our team assignment was to make up our artist’s name, background, and story.  We decided that our artist’s name was going to be Giselli Dias and she was going to be from Brazil.  Our imaginary artist moved to Seneca after meeting her husband while he was doing research in Brazil for his new restaurant.  She makes one of a kind, moderately priced light bulbs.  Our artist’s business is named “A Luz de Giselli”, which translates to: The Light of Giselli.

We also needed to create a media list of 15 media sources and 5 bloggers.  Our team’s strategy was to mainly look for South Carolina print media who specifically wrote about the home.  We each searched individually and collaborated our findings in a folder on Vocus.com.  It was really easy to navigate the Web site and figure out how to search for journalists with a certain niche.

Our group assignment was to draft two pitches: one to a specific blogger and one to a specific journalist.  It was good working with a group because everyone had a new idea to contribute that made the pitches better.  After researching the blog that we pitched to, we molded our pitch to appeal to the “home decorator blogger”.  We made our pitch short, sweet, and to the point.  We also explained that the blogger hadn’t posted about home decorating with lights and that featuring lights would be a good idea.  For our journalist pitch, we decided on a writer for the South Carolina Home and Garden magazine.  In this pitch, we made sure to mention that the light bulbs were made in the state of South Carolina so that it was relevant to their magazine.

I feel as though my internships have helped me in my stakeholder comm class because of the experience that I have gained through hands on practice.  Before we talked about media lists in class, I knew what they were because I created many of them over the past two summers.  Instead of Vocus, I used MediaAtlas.com to make media lists at JDPR.  After using both Web sites, I’ve noticed that they are very similar and give just about the same information.  To me, it is interesting to learn how to pitch stories to certain journalists or bloggers because pitching wasn’t one of my responsibilities during my internships.

I like putting my past experiences to use… especially when they have to deal with class assignments.