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ECEDENT PR Public Relations Student Society of America

Issue 5 • Feb. 19, 2014 • University of Georgia • Drewry Chapter •

Frequently Asked question: What is the future for pr?

Brian Solis speaking about the future of public relations at the 2013 PRSA Conference Brian Solis, an esteemed thought leader for the future of business and technology, approached the big question most college students ask about their profession: What does the future hold? At the 2013 PRSA conference in Philadelphia, Solis approached this question for all PR professionals in his keynote speech. What is the future for public relations? Solis addressed the ever-evolving profession of PR and the new dynamics between business and the media. He said that it is up to PR practitioners to put the “relations” back in “public relations.” We are in the age of innovation and it is time to try something new. Solis said we need to rethink the approach to public relations writing and marketing. “We’re still broadcasting at people, marketing at people, and in an era of social media, we’re actually kind of antisocial,” he points out at the beginning of his speech. He states that it’s time to challenge our organizational ecosystems and use social media to reinvent PR by making relationships matter again. Do you agree with Solis? Read more about Solis’ keynote at: how-pr-pros-can-define-the-future-of-public-relations/. Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing and culture. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media.

By: Jessie Bonham Image:

Super Bowl 2014: As one of the most watched annual sporting events (only behind the World Cup and the Olympics), the Super Bowl serves as the stage through which football, advertising and public relations collide. At this year’s Super Bowl XLVIII (48), we witnessed advertisements involving everything from heartwarming animalfriendships, to celebrations of multi-ethnic families, to nostalgic 80’s flashbacks, even to demonstrations of the ebullient, unrelenting human spirit. One of the most noticeable trends this year involved the melding of commercials with Twitter connections, or other identifiable features through which the viewer could establish a deeper connection with the brand. Acting as both a measurement of response to the commercial and a liaison to open up new dialogue with the consumer, these features enabled experts in both public relations and the advertising to decipher what features exalted or condemned the delivery of their message. What follows is a succinct and laconic look at the winners and losers of this year’s Super Bowl. Two of the most popular companies in the world, Coca-Cola and Microsoft feel pressure as they are expected to release advertisements that move audiences in some way or another. This year, Coca-Cola released a brilliant rendition of a compilation filled with many different ethnic groups all celebrating America by singing “America The Beautiful” in their prospective language. The beautiful visuals of friends and families intertwined with the intoxicating chorus of angelic sounding voices stunned audiences and was a great indicator of Coke’s commitment to recognizing all diversities and ethnicities. Alternatively, Microsoft’s advertisement concerned technology’s impact on propelling the human race forwards. From the heart-warming images of a five-year-old double amputee running and hitting a baseball, to a soldier using video chat to observe the birth of his son miles away, to the new ways technology is being used in the operating room, Microsoft inspires us and reminds us that technology can make any dream come true. The heart-wrenching final scene features Steve Gleason, an ex-football player and ALS survivor who we find out has been narrating the entire advertisement, practically pulls the tears from our eyes as we witness him using technology to overcome his silence while gazing lovingly at his son Rivers.

The Victors and the Vanquished In terms of excellent public relations tactics, two companies stick out in particular. Doritos annual “Crash the Super Bowl” challenge, in which they host a competition inviting users to create and vote on the best commercial, has long proven to produce some of the funniest and most memorable ads. This year they outdid themselves by not only producing two hilarious advertisements, but also with a superb stunt. Thirty “bold” fans were given orange jackets and seated in such a way that they resembled a right-ward pointing equilateral triangle, thereby forming “The Largest Human Doritos Chip Ever.” Kooky, yes; but the buzz it generated on social media and the visibility of it in the stadium proved to be a huge success for the company. Another exceptional public relations strategy came from an unlikely company: JC Penney. Posting various messages that resembled something more like intoxicated tweets than a well thought out awareness strategy, the company sent messages like, “Who kkmew theis was ghiong tob e a baweball ghamle. #lowsscorinh 5_0 .“ Hundreds of people thought a drunken, social media associate was the culprit; as it turns out, the scheme was part of their #TweetingWithMittens approach. The gambit was successful in generating huge buzz and controversy towards the company, while also being a playful and well-thought out move that brought attention to an item most people wouldn’t even think about. Bold? Yes. Noteworthy? Absolutely. Though it was unusual and unorthodox, the tactic was a great use of social media to gather attention utilizing a much different strategy. While there were many success stories, no Super Bowl premiere would be complete without some failures and mishaps. RadioShack, with its somewhat unfathomable and head-scratching logic, chose to pair its store with iconic 80’s characters and symbols. I don’t know what’s more of a botch; the fact that the store tried to create an intangible and bizarre connection between itself and the 80’s, or the fact that most of the Super Bowl viewers will doubtlessly sidestep the store for fear of being helped by Alf or Richard Simmons. Another blunder comes from Maserati’s Ghibli commercial. The one minute and 30 second advertisement featured scenes of nature, epic city

Hulk Hogan in Radio Shack’s 1980s-themed ad pan-over shots and a girl narrating, while only 10 seconds of very average Fast and the Furious type footage depicts the Ghibli. One viewer called it a “blue-collar gut check,” which rings true when comparing the $66,900 price tag to the average American’s salary at about $45,000. The advertisement was befuddling, disorganized and somewhat pervasive as the Maserati logo flickered quickly on screen before it faded to darkness leaving us scratching our heads and questioning what the hell we just witnessed. Whether you’re a football fanatic or a gridiron guru, a Seahawks supporter or a Broncos believer, a lover of advertisements or a cynic of propaganda, Super Bowl XLVIII was undeniably the core for much discussion and controversy. Yet this year, more than any other, companies are listening to and analyzing the types of buzz and dialogue resulting from this sports and media event. Overall, I enjoyed the experience in terms of its preparedness and its enjoyment (though I wish the game was a tad more competitive), but am eager to see what changes we will see in viewer communication as well as new advertising strategies. As technology continues to evolve and broadcasts permeate into more and more housing, the media must focus on strategies that reinforce awareness and attempt to maintain retention in their viewers mind, lest they be categorized in the silent majority of unremembered Super Bowl ads.

By: Doug McWilliams


All is Fair in Love and Marketing V

alentine’s Day has come and gone. This year, companies exercised all the essential ways to promote their brands for the holiday. Social media is the most efficient way for companies to interact with their consumers, and what better holiday than Valentine’s Day for brands show audiences that they appreciate them? The main ways to capitalize on social media is by using your different platforms to reflect the holiday. No matter how you do it, it should be obvious that on Feb. 14, your brand is a reflection of the warm and fuzzy feelings that everyone experiences. Companies should use social media platforms also to create innovative ideas in relation to the holiday. The ideas should correspond with the company and brand but also bring something unique to the holiday. We all know that consumers spend most of their time on their mobile devices, engaging in social media. Companies should develop innovative ideas and they should also give their consumers rewards also for interacting with their brand on Valentine’s Day. Rewards can range from discounts to prize-winning contests. If the customers value the content communicated through the different platforms as well as gain an incentive from the experience, the company will likely spark positive buzz on the Web and other news outlets.

by retweeting the original message and also included “coffee>flowers” in the body of the tweet. This was great messaging for several reasons. By using Twitter as a platform for message distribution, more than 26 thousand people (both single and taken) interacted with the message. Customers felt valued and appreciated because they received a special deal from the coffee giant. Valentine’s Day messaging like this was a good move for the brand because it left loyal customers with a positive impression of the brand and it may have brought in new customers as well. On Feb. 14, consumers were bombarded with Valentine’s Day marketing. The companies who made the biggest impression are those who used all aspects of social media to get consumers excited about the brand.

Valentine’s Day does not have to be all about couples and relationships. People who are not in relationships and people who are genuinely delighted in making others happy want to enjoy the day as well. Companies always should remember to include all their consumers and even go so far as to connect the holiday with the human-interest aspect of spreading love. One company that used social media strategy well on Valentine’s Day was Starbucks. On Feb. 13, @StarbucksStore tweeted, “From 2-5pm on 2/14, buy any latte and get one for free. #letsgettogether.” Later, @StarbucksCoffee spread the word

By: Patrice Boswell

Could the Sochi Winter Olympics

be Dangerous to a Brand? When the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic games are mentioned, Russia’s anti-gay idealism, the lack of preparation of the Olympic village and terrorist threats come to mind. Overall, public relations for the Olympics has not been positive. Sportsmanship and competition usually override political tension, but that does not seem to be the case for these Olympic games. From a public relations viewpoint, what does this mean for sponsoring brands and corporations heavily involved with the games? Will their involvement put their brands at reputational risk? Olympic partners like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Visa and Samsung have to be aware of negative publicity surrounding the games and must wonder if they are putting their names at risk. Coca-Cola has already faced a large setback with its support of the games; specifically from the LGBT community after a gay rights protestor wearing the brand’s logo was arrested by Olympic security. Coca-Cola released a statement proclaiming their unwavering support of equality for the LGBT community and that they do not condone discrimination or intolerance. Their “Equal Happiness” global campaign shown during the Olympics demonstrated the difficultly of the brand position within the games environment.

The predicament Coca-Cola has faced exemplifies the two major considerations the companies sponsoring the Olympics have had to face—the potential commercial value and the sensitive moral aspect. Commercially, the companies have to determine whether the investment is worth it; can they reach the people they want to during the events? There is a possibility that the organization’s brand could be lost in the noise because the Olympics are so heavily sponsored. Also, any supposed political affiliation could damage brands. The moral aspect becomes involved in the “politics and sports should not mix” sentiment. If an anti-government event does happen, organizations need to be aware of negative repercussions that could happen with the associated sponsorship. Each sponsor of these 2014 Winter Olympics has run a calculated risk by sponsoring the games. They will continue to be on the edge waiting to defend their brand throughout the games if anything should happen. Public relations and brand awareness play huge By: roles in how brands will be perceived once the Olympic Abby games are completed.


Professor Spotlight

Dr. Michael Cacciatore Michael Cacciatore, a new Public Relations Research professor, is now teaching for his second semester here at UGA in the Grady College. He is also conducting risk communication research in the Grady College Health and Risk Communication department. Originally from Canada, Cacciatore began his studies at University of Manitoba and got his B.A. degree in English. He moved to Madison, Wisconsin and got his M.S. in Life Sciences Communication and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication at The University of Wisconsin in Madison. Do not call him “Doctor� though. Cacciatore likes to keep things casual in the classroom to create a more welcoming environment for his students. What has your transition to UGA and the South been like? The transition has been smooth both academically and with the family. On the academic side, I am fortunate enough to have a few publications come out relatively recently from when I arrived here, which always helps the academic transition. I cannot stress how helpful the faculty and staff has been. Everyone I have encountered has been fantastic in terms of questions about teaching, research or day-to-day stuff. Coming from Madison, Wisconsin, an incredibly liberal city, I think people were preparing us for moving south. They said that it was going to be very different, but it really has not been. The people have been fantastic. My son has made a whole bunch of friends at his school, so that really helps the transition. What is weird or different? The weirdest thing has been that realizing that I am on the other side of the aisle now. I used to be sitting where the students are. Now I am the one making outdated pop culture references, and getting blank stares from my students when I do them. Why Grady? UGA had an opening; they were looking for someone to do public relations within areas of risk. I had my heart set on applying for the job. I checked with my

family because they are key decision makers when it comes to where we are going end up. They loved the idea. I loved the idea of coming to Grady College, which has a very solid reputation. The ADPR department in particular has a very strong reputation in the field. So from an academic standpoint, the decision to apply and ultimately accept was pretty easy. Why is research important for public relations? Research should be the foundation for any campaign that you build. I think it is something that industry has embraced much more in recent years. They are coming to us quite often, coming to faculty in this college and asking for advice. Without research it is very difficult to make informed decisions. You can make educated guesses but research helps you make systematic and highly educated predictions. It should also play a role at the end of the day when you evaluate what is happening. You can tell if your campaign worked by looking at it from a distance, but in order to really get a sense of how a campaign moved the needle, you need to conduct some sort of systematic research to get a sense of what your campaign did well and what did not work quite as well. What was your first PR job? I am new on a lot of fronts. I went right from my undergrad into graduate school, completed my graduate degree and then ended up at the University of Georgia. My industry experience has always been in an academic setting. The industry comes into the academic world and seeks our advice and our counsel.

What do you think is an importcommunicate? We are trying to get of work on students’ part and on ant quality to have as a professor? a sense of what drives parents with the faculties’ part. I am constantly I think the most important thing young children to either choose to changing my various assignments, is to have a sense of humor about vaccinate or opt out of that. If you trying to improve on them based yourself and to have “short memget a sense of that, you can build on feedback. ory.” A topic like research is not a a campaign around the key things very glamorous topic when you are that publics are looking for. The other thing I would say is get entering into the course, so I am involved. In my short time here, I trying new things. Not all of them Do you have any have certainly seen that the most are going to work; so you have to embarrassing moments? successful students or the ones laugh it off, not take it personally I have not had any major moment I think are going to be making a and have a “short memory.” Just that made me step back and think mark in the PR industry are the because something did not work ‘whoa, that was a mistake’ or anypeople that have been taking addoesn’t mean I should stop atthing like that. I do feel like I throw vantage of many of the programs. It tempting to find different ways to pop culture references out that I is impossible to take advantage of communicate the subject. So have think people are aware of because all the programs because there are the ability to laugh at yourself when they are incredibly salient to myso many. The faculty here not only things fall flat, and they will fall flat self and my group of friends, but I is helping to guide me, but I am when you are learning so “Just because something did not work doesn’t mean I should stop trying new much about things. attempting to find different ways to communicate the subject.” what they do for their stuWhat kinds dents. Things of research are you doing at often find them going over people’s like the PRSSA, ADPR Connection, Grady? heads. It is to the point now where Creative Consultants, Summer at I am involved in quite a few I am not embarrassed by it. The the Circus and agency tours, these different projects. One of the students come to expect it once are all things that the most successthings I am doing is working with a week, for me to say something ful students take advantage of. It is a longitudinal study of industry ridiculous that has no bearing on is getting to the point, given how collected data, looking at how trust their day-to-day life. Again, that competitive these jobs out of colin business and government has is embracing the philosophy of be lege are, that I think these activities shifted over the years. The study able to laugh at yourself. Be able to are less a complement to the classlooks at how trust has shifted in realize that sometimes not everyroom and more of a prerequisite. these areas as well as the role that thing I say is going to be interesting You have to involve yourself in at media plays in that process. Where or engaging to students. You have least one or two of these things at are people getting their information to be able to roll with that and learn some level. I really feel like if you and what does that mean in terms from it. do not, it is a glaring omission on of their trust levels? your CV or résumé. So I strongly Do you have any advice for public encourage people to take advantage Another thing I am working on relations students? of the opportunities Grady has to currently, in the planning stages For incoming students, be preoffer. is a study that will look at public pared to work hard. I do not want attitudes towards vaccinations. So, to speak for the entire faculty, but how do we market vaccinations to I do feel that this department has the public? How does the public a reputation of challenging stumake sense of vaccinations? It is a dents. I certainly have made efforts very complex issue because very in my class to do that. I think it is few people know how a vaccine fair how we do it, but I do think works. Is that necessary to it is challenging and requires a lot

By: Kelley Meyer


2013-2014 Executive Board

President Cody Nichelson @CodyNichelson

Contact Information: February Speakers

Vice President Brittnee Jones @BrittneeJones Creative Consultants Director Whitney Jinks @WhitJinks PR Director Tana Bosshard @tanabosshard Treasurer Renee Micheli @reneemicheli Secretary Megan Deese @Meg_Deese

Speaker: Tripp Cagle, Executive Stakeholder and Communications Manager Contact:

Publications Editor Reagan Fromm @ReaganMFromm Social Media Director Stephanie Pham @Phammy117 Historian Jessie Powell @olivialucy Faculty Advisor Dr. Betty Jones Creative Consultants Advisor Kristen Smith Professional Advisor Jessica Rossi Cox Communications


Next Issue: Spring Schedule: 250 MLC, 6:30 p.m. If you would like to submit an article for the Feb. 19: Southern Company next PRecedent, email March 5: Nonprofit Panel March 19: Sports Panel March 26: Wal-Mart April 2: Elections/Member Appreciation/CC Presentations April 9: Senior Night

Other Important Dates: Feb. 21: PRSA Real World April 16: Senior Banquet


PRecedent: Issue 5  
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