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or the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, the term “global Grady” is more than just a tagline; it serves as a promise of the wide variety of programs, both domestic and abroad that Grady provides for students to learn, explore, and network with respected professionals in their desired industries.

The people you meet have the power to immediately grant you a job if you play your cards right. Many students who come back from their experiences often describe them as life-changing, but the benefits of studying abroad don’t disappear after graduation. Grace Zeitlin, a 2017 graduate, participated in the Global China Advertising and Public Relations Program in the summer of 2016. For Zeitlin, the ability to travel and learn among such a select group of people (the program only has six spots!) provided invaluable hands-on experience and gave her a unique perspective on how public

relations can vary between cultures. The new perspective she gained while in China serves her well as she takes on the real world as the Content Marketing intern at Extra Special People Inc. While some students travel halfway around the world, others can find oncein-a-lifetime opportunities closer to home. Senior, Tyler Boozer, travelled to Washington D.C. last summer for an exciting summer on the hill. While working for Representative David Scott, he was able to gain insights about the inner workings of our nation’s capital. “Beyond getting to meet my political idols, I learned a lot the public relations industry itself. D.C. moves quickly and you can miss a lot if you’re not paying attention. [This experience] taught me the importance of being aware of what’s going on around you, especially when you can use that space to voice your opinion,” Boozer said. Perhaps one of the most valuable things students can gain through study abroad is a wider network, and Boozer was no

exception, “The people you meet have the power to immediately grant you a job if you play your cards right. In fact, I’m relying on many of the people I networked with while in the city to help me start my career after I graduate.” Maya Jones, a senior from Alpharetta, was also able to establish connections on her maymester trip to New York City. “I really tried to make the most out of every visit, learn about what employers expect from PR professionals and network and connect on LinkedIn and other social media. There are so many roles open to pubic relations majors and this experience really opened my eyes to that.” From China to New York, Cannes to Los Angeles, and even Washington D.C., Grady’s wide variety of study abroad programs strive to cater to all facets of the ever-evolving field of public relations. For more information on the wide variety of programs Grady offers, contact Rebekah Ryan in Grady 311-A or email her at




How crisis communication played a role during the false Hawaii missile warning.



hen crisis strikes, it is easy to get overwhelmed, stressed and panicked. For the residents and vacationers in Hawaii, what started out as a normal day quickly turned into a terrifying morning: many believed they were about to die. It all started on Jan. 13 when a state employee accidentally triggered an alert for Hawaiians to seek immediate shelter because of an incoming ballistic missile threat. This resulted in state-wide panic as people tried to find shelter, called their loved ones to say good-bye, and prayed for a miracle. What could have been a real crisis ended up only being a false alarm. However, it took Hawaiian officials 38 minutes before announcing that the alert was a mistake. While thankfully the alert was false, questions were raised about why it took so long for authorities to communicate that the threat wasn’t real. While a communication plan was in place about an incoming crisis, the lapse in time to correct the initial communication error proves how crisis communication goes beyond the initial threat to an organization. Therefore,


listed below are some key tips to implement successful crisis communications.

1. Have a crisis reaction plan.

Before a crisis even happens, there should be a response plan in place. These plans are made so that a team can effectively deal with the problem at hand. Without a plan when a crisis strikes, organizations would not be prepared to communicate with the public or news media about what is happening. Having a plan in place is key for an organization to get through the crisis. For example, in case of a missile threat to Hawaii, the government had a plan to quickly communicate to the islanders.

2. Establish a crisis communication team There should be a crisis communication team in place and ready to take charge whenever crisis hits. Sometimes that means calling in the experts, but a having a team in place and ready to take charge of the situation is important to handling a crisis. Had a team been prepared prior to the accidental alert, it is likely that the corrective message would have been released sooner.

3. Assess the situation and establish the facts With the outcry of fake news dominating social media, it is important to know the facts in any situation. When a crisis hits, the team needs to call a meeting and define the situation, identify who is impacted, and list the facts of the problem. The crisis communication team can’t react or respond with a comment without first knowing all the information at hand. For example, after the alert was sent out, officials quickly checked and realized the alert false. By establishing this, the communication team was then able to alert the public.

4. Assign a Spokesperson

When there is more than one voice responding to the press and on social media, there is a higher chance for miscommunication. Establishing a spokesperson ensures that the right message is being relayed and makes the response to the crisis more manageable. For example, Gov. David Ige was the spokesperson to assure the public and media that there was no threat.

Social Media Forecast: Staying Relevant in BY GUSTAVO CERVANTES



ocial media has shaped the lifestyles, trends, purchasing habits and more than an entire generation at this point. Possibilities within social media platforms also constantly change as they intersect with the ever-evolving technology industry. As communicators, staying on the cusp of the most relevant and influential social media trends can mean the difference between reading fascinating news about a piece of messaging that effectively communicated with a massive audience in never-before-seen way and you yourself developing messaging that makes the news. The following are a few big trends to watch out for as 2018 kicks off. The first and probably biggest trend to look out for this year is the development and implementation of AR. What is AR? In Silicon Valley speak, AR stands for augmented reality, which is simply the use of technology to enhance everyday living by displaying digital information over real life through the use of something like a smartphone camera. If it sounds daunting, just think of Pokemon Go. AaR may sound like a farflung technology or something futuristic, but important apps like Snapchat are beginning to invest heavily in the technology to add to its user experience – think the dancing hot dog that blew up last year. One creative example of implementation of AR is IKEA’s app that allows users to select from its furniture catalogue and virtually place items in their room, allowing potential customers “try” items before actually buying them. With other large companies like Facebook and Apple beginning to invest in research

Executive Board PRESIDENT Riley Muse VICE PRESIDENT Claire Taylor

and development of AR, be on the lookout for more creative implementations as this year goes on. The next trend is an increase in brand fatigue as a result of the increased amount of communicators, whether they be brands, businesses, organizations, or anything in between, all attempting to make a splash in the incredibly oversaturated pool that social media has become. With so much branded content constantly pushed onto social media users on a variety of different platforms, major changes in how communicators utilize social media branded content features are in order if these communicators want to stay relevant to social media users. The final trend is the continued decline in consumer trust in mainstream institutions such as media, academics, CEOs, and government. This steady downfall of consumer trust has been measured by Edelman for many years now, but it seems that 2018 is going to be a year in which consumers may reach new lows in trust. This lack of trust translates to an increase in trust in other more “human” sources of information such as peers and other similar consumers and even more down-to-earth “micro-influencers.” Watch carefully how consumer trust plays a role in social media communications in 2018. These trends show that as social media grows ever more important, it also grows ever more complicated. Keep your ear to the ground for these big trends and more this year.





onveying sincerity has become increasingly difficult in a digital age. Interpersonal interactions have arguably suffered as a result of our commitment to engaging in digital devices. However, storytelling has become more important as media consumers actively search for humanity, positivity and heartwarming moments. Turning sad moments into opportunities to communicate sincerity and create an engaging narrative is a strategy to build genuine relationships with multiple audiences. As students at the University of Georgia, we know all too well how tragedy can write stories for us. However, heartbreak can also be the beginning of a beautiful transformation, personally, professionally and in college football. This year’s unprecedented football season has taken us on a rollercoaster of emotions that went up longer than many spectators suspected. In January, however,


students and fans alike mourned a loss in the National Championship game against the University of Alabama. Despite excellent attendance rates among Dawgs fans, a disappointing loss in overtime left a somber note on an otherwise incredible season. Since then, the sentiments of the Bulldog Nation have turned to a feeling of pride and anticipation for the years to come. The way the team has framed their loss in the media is a great example of how to take disappointment and transform it into hope. They also did a stellar job of remembering senior players moving onto the NFL or other professional endeavors, conveying the bigger picture of the brotherhood and teamwork that extends beyond the football field. Plucking the personal stories of players and the greater story of the institution as a whole from the narrative of loss has shifted the story to one

of unwavering excitement. News outlets that have covered college football this season have expressed their high expectations for the future of the program. The story they tell might be one of disappointment, but it also one of hope and unification around an institution. All public relations practitioners can take a few lessons from this sporting example. Primarily, focusing on hope and humanity in an otherwise unfortunate situation inspires support and dulls the negative aftermath. Secondly, sensitivity to privacy is important. Considering the privacy of players and coaches has revealed the importance of respect. Lastly, sometimes the most drastic and instrumental changes begin in heartbreak. Disappointments, both personal and professional, can be extremely frustrating, but they can also provide guidance, instill strength, and give us an incredible story to tell.




very four years, athletes from all over the globe gather together to compete at the Winter Olympic Games, the most prestigious athletic stage. This year athletes of 93 countries gather in Pyeongchang, South Korea, to begin this unifying tradition. To the viewers, this is a dreamland. To the athletes competing, this is time to showcase their incredible talents. To public relations practitioners, this is a time to see how each country publicizes itself. Citizens, athletes and companies are all invested in the Olympic Games. As the 2018 Olympic Games begin, check out these four PR lessons.

1. Keep Up

When you are a speed skater, keep up on the ice. When you are in PR, keep up on what is publicized. The news is piling high as the Olympic Games approach. • In December, Russia was barred from the 2018 Olympic Games because of a doping program. • North Korea and South Korea could potentially walk under the same Korean flag. • There are four new events in the 2018 Winter Olympics. • Pyeongchang is cold. Really cold. Businesses must stay up to date with changing trends and new innovations. As a communicator, it is important to be as knowledgeable as possible about your particular industry. This will allow you to quickly create plans to boost the positive PR you receive. You never know when spotlight will shine your way.

2.Prepare for Everything Political tensions are high. Ticket sales are not. The weather is a teeth-chattering cold, a big problem when the Olympic Stadium where the various ceremonies will take place doesn’t have a roof. All of these big problems have been covered by the news, but precautions unquestioningly limited the potential crises these issues might precede. Crisis plans are a necessity. Anything can go wrong; a client or spokesperson might go off message, a product might fail unexpectedly, or a storm might blow in and destroy property. It might seem unlikely, but all things are possible. If a crisis does occur, address your crisis plan and make the necessary changes. In the chilly Olympic Stadium, they will provide blankets, hot packs and short security lines. Maybe this does not make up for the 7 degrees Fahrenheit weather, but they are proactively trying to improve conditions.

3. 5 Ws

Polo Ralph Lauren is a brand that fully embraces the spectacle of the Olympic Games. It is impossible to miss the brand logo as Team USA parades into opening ceremonies in their fancy Polo Ralph Lauren uniforms. Now, the company is vamping up the heat, literally. Polo Ralph Lauren created the uniforms embedded with wearable heating technology to keep the athletes warm.

Who: Olympians are wearing their patriotic line What: The new most technologically advanced jacket ever produced When: The coldest time of year Where: Pyeongchang, South – the host of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games Why: PUBLICITY! Polo Ralph Lauren knows majority of their audience will watch the Olympic Games. They also know this is a target market that can continue to grow. Associating their brand with the patriotic feelings tied to the Games is a true nod to their solid public relations team.

4.Tell a Story

Soohorang is the 2018 Winter Olympics mascot. His story embodies Korean history. He is a white tiger, Korea’s symbolic guardian animal. “Sooho” translates to protection in Korean. This symbolizes the protection offered to the athletes, spectators and all involved. Telling stories creates an identity for your brand and builds relationships with consumers. Customers also tell stories of how companies have positively impacted them, so encouraging them to share their positive experiences can also set the tone for conversations surrounding your name. The 2018 Olympic Games will exemplify the highest level of athletic excellence, but look for brands as they capitalize on this event. Though some rules are in place which limit brands’ athlete partnerships and the expense of TV spots, companies are going to get creative to take advantage of this special event.




ne of the most impactful events for Grady students at the University of Georgia occurs each spring semester. In February, Grady College will host the Journalism and Mass Communication Career Day. Here, more than 40 businesses ranging from Goodwill to Delta Airlines travel to engage with hundreds of Grady students. These students come equipped with decorated resumes and contagious personalities to pursue tsheir internship and job hunt. Among exceedingly dedicated students, how does one stand out above the rest? Lead UGA Career Consultant Samantha Meyer stresses that the best way to stand out in a networking setting is to do your research. She says that too many times undergraduates approach a booth being unfamiliar with a company, and her solution is to take a breather outside, get water, and do some quick research on the company before you begin to network. “One of the biggest things that employers have said in the past few years is really knowing what you’re looking for,” Meyer says. “Be self-possessed and know what they’re asking for.” Networking may be the main event, but it is still important to come prepared with proper dress and a beaming resume. The Career Center offers resume critique services and provides a year-round pinterest board to provide students with examples of appropriate and professional clothing. In addition, they have multiple resources on their website to facilitate job hunt preparation. Grady Career Day this year is on February 8th in the Tate Grand Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, preparing



for interactions with potential employers provides important practice that will benefit you far beyond the Career Fair. This practice run provides students with the opportunity to expand their comfort level when dealing with employers, some of whom will be across the desk from you in future interviews. The ability to impress someone and the responsibility of building initial relationships in a short amount of time are invaluable skills for college students seeking employment.

Here are some networking tips that apply specifically to PR students: According to research, it takes only seven seconds to form a first impression, so put your best foot forward by dressing sharply, maintaining eye contact and speaking in a friendly and confident manner.

Prepare your resume and have at least three people look it over. Get advice from your professors on design, and proofread it multiple times.

Go the extra mile. If there is a luncheon or coffee hour with the present employers, join them. Taking this extra step shows that you are serious and gives you a chance to learn more about them, their position, and their company, and it allows them to build a relationship with you.

Practicing these networking skills in and out of schoolfacilitated events are absolutely necessary for PR students to land a seat in the office of your dreams.

CES: THE WORLD’S LARGEST TECHNOLOGY SHOW A Therapeutic Duck and an Ergonomic Robot Nanny Walk Into a Bar…



he Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in January each year to showcase the world’s newest technological products. Business met electronics on a global platform for publicity in this comprehensive event at the World Trade Center Las Vegas in Las Vegas from Jan. 9-12. Nearly 4,000 companies held booths in the 3.2 million square-foot convention center, hoping to dazzle over 170,000 attendees. Topics ranged from digital health and fitness to sleep technology to virtual reality and automotive transportation. With two full days of press-only events on Jan 7 and 8, it’s safe to say that this event is huge for publicists, journalists and public relations teams. With the abundance of exhibitors, getting your company and product noticed is difficult without a creative branding strategy. The running theme this year was the emphasis of communication of products across sectors, especially regarding virtual assistants. Tech giants Amazon and Google used the convention to promote

their artificial intelligence (AI) products (Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.) One favorite AI product was a robot therapy duck in the healthcare sector, called My Special Aflac duck. The cuddly toy is designed as a responsive guardian and friend for children with cancer. The robotic animal can mirror the child’s symptoms and care routines. Then, the children can ‘play doctor’ on them to understand their own treatment better. The duck is equipped with responsive sensors to monitor the child’s vitals and can even coach an anxious child through breathing exercises. Similar to Aflac, many brands utilized the global press of CES to unveil gadgets contributing to larger, comprehensive PR plans. The therapeutic duck was unveiled at CES as part of Aflac’s Childhood Cancer Campaign and won 2018 CES ‘Tech for a Better World’ award on Jan. 8. Events such as CES provide news conference opportunities; media outreach opportunities, and coverage opportunities for exhibitors. The use of influencer marketing was pervasive but the key to

successfully doing so was hiring celebrity influencers that related to the product and the message. Comprehensive PR campaigns had to incorporate this global event into their schedules. Many products were presented as ‘people’ themselves. Following pursuit of Siri and Alexa, many AI gadgets began with “meet [insert human name]”. By introducing the product as less of a gadget and humanizing it with a name, products received more commemoration and recognition. Other notable AI tech products included “Kuri” the Robot Nanny by Mayfield Robotics, Willow Smart Breast Pump, LeEco smart bicycle and “Ara” the intelligent toothbrush from Kolibree. Technology is now more than ever available, accessible and molded for the larger public. As we see the increase in IoT and ambient technology connecting various parts of our daily life, it’s vital to understand the latest trends in innovative technology in order to communicate a product to the consumer in the most efficient way.





acebook made a big announcement Jan. 11 about a new algorithm in post prioritization that will likely cause businesses everywhere to rethink how they interact with consumers. Facebook content reorganization has led to panic within businesses who will be affected as they adapt, once again, to a changing digital landscape. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that they are working to show more posts on your dashboard that “spark meaningful interactions between people” by essentially “prioritizing posts from friends and family over public content.” In other words, you are going to see fewer posts from acquaintances, or those who you don’t interact with on this platform, and likely fewer sponsored advertisements. This is great news for users; you will now get to see a lot more of what you like, but businesses have to adapt to new tactics to make sure their content does not fall to the wayside. Companies are advised to switch to a much more in-depth micromarketing in order to zero in on who their target market is and figure out exactly what that person wants to see. They then need to find incentive programs that would get

these users to either follow their accounts on a regular basis and to hopefully add them to their list of “who they want to see first,” which is a new feature Facebook has created. This means that the brands will be more successful if they post fewer but more meaningful posts directed toward a specific audience. It would also be beneficial for brands to localize their markets with the Facebook Local application.

Facebook made this change because they were reportedly receiving a lot of criticism from users. Many complained that their feed felt so clogged with useless media promotions that they were missing the moments they actually did want to see. Because of this, actual advertisements with the site have become a lot more expensive which is another hurdle businesses will have to overcome.

The social media landscape is changing rapidly, and with that comes necessary adaptations for advertisers on these popular sites. With more expensive advertising space comes a need for more professional and strategic posts. Generating traffic to business and organizational pages will occur as a result of quality ads and strong consumer engagement. “Liking” a brand is the central way to ensure that that consumer will continue to view a company’s materials, and the likelihood of continued conversation increases with brands that possess a strong existing reputation. Breaking through the noise of established competition is becoming more difficult, but it opens the door for innovation and creative thinking. This will keep creative departments on their toes and the media landscape evolving.



FEBRUARY 27 Spring registration closes, remember to pay your dues!

MARCH 20 PRSSA hosts Brian Robertson, political strategist


FEBRUARY 27 PRSSA hosts Southern Company

MARCH 23 Tour stop: Nashville in Studio 100


MARCH 2 ‘PR for Good’Non-profit agency tour in Atlanta

MARCH 23 PRSA Annual Conference + Real World in Atlanta



Feb. 2018 Issue of the PRecedent  

Featuring Global Grady, Social Media Trends, the Hawaii Missile Crisis and more!

Feb. 2018 Issue of the PRecedent  

Featuring Global Grady, Social Media Trends, the Hawaii Missile Crisis and more!