Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Campaigns is Officially Over!!!

My group officially finished our campaign this afternoon. We did our presentation to our clients and handed over out books. I would have to say that I am actually pretty surprised how well the presentation went. One of our clients was very surprised about some of our results, but seemed to at least respect us for the decisions we made regarding the campaign. This has truly been a frustrating experience, but I feel pretty happy with what we turned in. I think we probably deserve a low A or very high B on the presentation, but we'll probably end up with a mid to low B on the campaign book. There was just too much stuff that we had to throw together at the last minute. We weren't super organized and our roles in the group weren't very specific. That caused some issues because we all had random jobs all of the time instead of having a few set things that we had to do before the book should have been turned in.

Some things I would have liked to have done over:
1) Have a midpoint meeting with the clients just to run by what ideas we had thought up. We had to change some things at the last moment because we did not do enough research with the clients to find out if they had attempted these things before.

2) Better distribution of roles. Some people found out the information about a certain event, but then someone else would do the news release about it. That doesn't make much sense to me.

3) Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more organization.

4) Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more communication between the group.

This is a great thing to have learned though, and this kind of information will be very important to me when I get out into the job world. So to Dr. Russell, thanks for this opportunity. And to my group members, I had a great time getting to know y'all and I'm proud of how we came together at the end. It has been a pleasure. Until next time...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Crisis Managment on

I'm sitting here writing a huge paper for a class I have Thursday and I check and what do I see??? An article about crisis management and its uses. If you read my blog (which is approximately 3 people or so...haha) you know that I did a few posts about the JetBlue thing. Once again, I thought they did a pretty darn good job. I think they took the "mortification" and "corrective action" approach according to Benoit's Image Restoration Theory. I think those are the best two that you could use. Also, they essentially used the "compensation" tactic as well by unveiling a "Customer Bill of Rights," which outlines ways they will compensate those who have been hurt or personally anguished by the airline. Nevertheless, I am really interested in crisis management. I like being in pressure situations and I feel like I could come up with some good ideas...especially since I am a really honest, upfront person. Obviously there would be some lawyer barking at me telling me not to be "too" honest, but whatever. In my opinion (as a future public relations practitioner), winning public opinion is much better for your organization then losing a court case. What is the point of being mum and losing or winning a court case if the public is going to hate you? I'd much rather one person hate me than millions. Don't you agree? Until next time...

Women's salaries still less than Men's salaries

This is a blog for the ladies out there. A study found that women make only 69% of what men do 10 years after graduation. That is ridiculous. In our graduate classes we hear about this all the time. I would say that every graduate class I have had, we have talked about the pay gap between men and women. It was really hard for me to comprehend at first that someone would get less money just based on their gender, especially since like 70% of PR students are female. For example, in my public relations campaigns course there are only 5 guys I believe. That class has at least 40-50 people in it. I think I am one of only three guys in our graduate PR program. Nevertheless, you might be asking what this has to do with public relations? Well if you read the last part of that article it says, "women expect less and negotiate less pay for themselves than do men." What I get from this is that women need to do PR for themselves when they get into salary negotiations. They need to be strong and unyielding and show that they deserve just the same as everyone else; male or female. Maybe that will start to show an evening out of the salary gap. I sure hope so. Really I do. I think everyone deserves what is rightfully theirs. Maybe I should leave this argument to women? I suppose it is just something that I believe in. Oh well. Until next time...

Friday, April 20, 2007

What have I learned in my PR Campaigns course? we go. I'm going to vent a bit. I believe the MOST IMPORTANT thing I have learned in my campaigns course is...the team makeup is EVERYTHING. Some people just don't work well together. In my PR Management course we read a chapter from Essentials in Management by Andrew J. Durbin entitled "Teams, groups, and teamwork." I recommend EVERYONE read it. There is a section that talks about the "roles for team and group members." They are listed and described as such:

Knowledge contributor - technically proficient, provides useful and valid information.
Process observer - observes how the group is functioning.
People supporter - provides emotional support and resolves conflict.
Challenger - confront and challenge bad ideas (or any ideas)
Listener - helps to summarize discussion and progress for the team.
Mediator - helps when issues between members move past the point of reconciliation.
Gatekeeper - makes sure all team members contribute equally.

First off, I am a challenger. I have no problems admitting that. I feel that if everyone agrees all the time on every idea, you are going to run into problems. When it comes down to it, not all ideas are smart or well thought of. They are IDEAS...not set in stone. In this particular campaign I feel as if I am probably the knowledge contributor as well. Will I always be...of course not. I am the knowledge contributor because of my background in music. I am in a group where I am the only one with a SERIOUS musical background. Some of the other members have played instruments through middle school and maybe through high school, but I have a bachelor's degree in Music Performance so I feel more comfortable. In our group we don't have someone that is purely a gatekeeper and that is something we needed more of. I'll just say that work was not given out evenly and there were plenty of solid reasons why that had to happen.

Campaigns has been a VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY frustrating course, but it has probably been my best and most realistic public relations course. To be honest, if PR is like this all the time...I probably won't retire being a practitioner. I take things pretty personally and I get super angry when people don't seem like they are pulling their weight or doing their job properly. To give you an example...I'm kind of "over" school. I just really want to get out. I am probably not putting as much effort into some of my classes as I should, but I do put all of my effort and more into these group projects...mainly because I don't want to screw someone else because of me. That's not fair to anyone. Anyway...we are going to make a C on our campaign, but it has been an amazing, honest, and educational experience. Until next time...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Update on the University of Toledo points-shaving scandal

I recently had a post about a point-shaving scandal that was going on at the University of Toledo. Just a day or two ago, ESPN reported that the case had been dropped. HOWEVER, it has been dropped only so that the government attorneys will have more time to gather information and put together a stronger case. In my opinion, this doesn't look good for Toledo and their running back "Scooter" McDougle. The government seems to be really going after McDougle which probably means they have some information and they think they can find a whole lot more. From a PR perspective, I think Toledo needs to release another statement about the whole thing. I'm not sure if they should banish McDougle because when it comes down to it, McDougle was doing this WHILE in school. Right under Toledo's noses. That looks really bad on Toledo. Therefore, I'd probably release a statement saying that I would cooperate in any way I could and we are very upset that it made it this far. You would think that would cover all of their bases. Tell me what you think. Until next time...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Athletic Success leads to Academic Integrity/Enrollment

(Dr. Sweetser you are going to LOVE this post...haha) I have stated many times that I felt that success in collegiate sports would help a university boost its academic enrollment. According to the University of Florida (it is the next to last bullet under the "extra points" section), after winning the National Championship in football the freshman applications rose 8% which was a record. I really feel as if you could see that kind of response from almost any school who is receiving a lot of press for something positive like that. Any type of big victory in a major sport (Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, etc) would probably get the same results. I would love to see the number of applications sent to UGA in 1978 vs. 1980-81-82. I really think you would probably see a greater number for those glory years of Georgia Football. Thinking about it, I'm sure UGA gets a ton of applications nevertheless because it is the states largest and most prominent university (Georgia Tech doesn't count because it is a tech school, not because I hate them...haha). Florida has UF, FSU, Miami, UCF, Florida International, USF, Florida Atlantic, and I'm sure other huge universities so that could play a factor. Anyway, I believe winning in sports is a HUGE boost for academic integrity for a school. The more people who want to go to your school, the more competition you have for spots, which means the higher quality of student you will admit. Until next time...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Saban isn't starting well at Bama

I'm back to my sports now. Anyway, Nick Saban is obviously a well respected coach. He took a pretty good LSU team and made them a national championship team. Left for the pros and did respectable (better than Spurrier at least). Anyway, now he is back at probably the second most revered college football school of all time, Alabama. Saban is also known as kind of a overly serious coach. He does things his own way and really doesn't care much about the media or anyone else. He just wants to win, and he does. Well, he hasn't had a chance to win at Bama yet and he is already making the media angry. As a PR student I would have to say that is a terrible idea. The media is already going to be all over you because you coach at Bama, and you are the highest paid coach in college football. Obviously, if he wins the media will back off. However, if the trend continues with Bama and they don't live up to the expectations (National Championship every other year, SEC Championship every year, you get the drift) the media is going to make his life miserable which will in turn hurt recruiting and put his job on the line. Needless to say, I'd be careful. I would say that the University of Georgia's football team has a pretty stiff media policy as well. If I'm not mistaken, the media can only be at practices for a little while and they can only talk to players/coaches on Tuesday. That's pretty stiff I'd say. I just don't think Saban is handling it very well. Let me know what you think. Until next time...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Is Ford Motor Company trying to go bankrupt?

So this recent post isn't about sports. I thought I would change things up. Anyway, Ford's new CEO, Alan Mulally, got paid 28$ Million dollars for 4 months work. Ordinarily I wouldn't be surprised at such a large sum, but from a company which posted a gaudy $12.7 billion loss in 2006 and cut some 30,000 jobs it just doesn't make much business sense or PR sense. Lets do a little math here: Mulally's salary is worth about $933.33 per person that Ford laid off. That seems pretty ridiculous to me. They are willing to sacrifice ONE person for 30,000 people who actually build the product. Maybe Mulally will turn Ford around, but the more people that know he made $28 million while sacrificing 30,000 jobs, the more people who are going to HATE Ford anyway. It just seems a bit ridiculous to me I suppose. Also, at the bottom of that article you'll read that "Ford executives' use of corporate jets for personal travel cost the company almost $1 million in 2006, as Ford, Mulally and Jim Padilla, who retired as president and chief operating officer on July 1, were required to use the jets for all of their business and personal travel 'for security reasons.'" WOW!!! Does the company want to fail? I'm seriously confused. Once again, they will sacrifice $1 Million on three people instead of using that money to keep jobs alive? From a PR perspective, I feel like that are seriously damaging their image. They need to do something to show that they actually care about the "little people" or employees, owners, and perspective buyers are going to NOT want to defend the company or buy from the company. At least that is how I feel. Tell me what you think. Until next time...

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Betting on Collegiate Sports

ESPN ran an article recently about a University of Toledo football player who has been betting on his team. Now obviously this is a HUGE deal. This is essentially what banned Pete Rose, the MLB's most distinguished hitter, from baseball and the Hall of Fame. As you can see from my posts I have a deep love and respect for sports so this really gets on my nerves. Athletes who are given every opportunity in the world to live the dream of about 100 MILLION other people and they use their time to do illegal things that get not only themselves in trouble and probably kicked out of the sport, their team in massive trouble, but all their teammates that did nothing wrong also get punished. Classless. On the PR side of this, it will obviously make the university look bad, hurt their sports recruiting, and most likely hurt them in their academic recruiting. I fully believe that sports has a huge affect on the academic environment and recruiting. For example, as much as I HATE the University of Florida, you have to say that what they have done over the past 12 months is pretty incredible. They have won a football championship and two basketball championships. That school is getting so much press it is unbelievable. Now, their recruiting is like a machine. They don't have to do anything, people (student/athletes, and just plain students like myself) want to go there. Now the University of Toledo administrators are making statements about the allegations. I believe they are doing a great job of talking about how big of a deal it is and how serious they are taking it. Obviously, they can't do much until there are charges filed and so on. After reading these articles, I'm not sure they could do much more. They can't say too much or that would probably tick off the lawyers. So kudos to the University of Toledo and hopefully this will teach student-athletes a lesson. However, we all know that won't happen. Until next time...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Steroids and Professional Sports

As you may already know, I am a HUGE sports fan. Mainly I am a college sports fan, but I do love sports in general. However, my dislike for professional sports keeps growing and growing based on the reports of steroid use. So someone gets paid millions and millions of dollars to cheat? MLB's home run record holder has been accused of taking 'roids. Now, all kind of professional athletes have been accused of taking steroids. I bet there will be some of these professional athletes that make it into their prospective hall of fame's, but MLB's all time hits leader Pete Rose, will not be allowed into the baseball hall of fame, because he bet on baseball. If I remember correctly, he didn't even bet on his own team. Kind of strange isn't it? You may be asking yourself what this has to do with PR. Well, I believe it has EVERYTHING to do with PR. What if everything you believed was one big lie? You watch pro sports because you are amazed at what the athletes can do. They can jump 5 feet high to catch a ball, they can run over 3 defenders, they can run the length of the field in 12 want to be mesmerized by them. Now what if I told you that they were not truly human like the rest of us, that they were taking drugs that make them more than human, have more advantages than the normal person. You would feel betrayed, just like I would. How would you react to that? That is the problem that the pro sports world is looking at. The more these athletes are found guilty of steroid use (or accused of it), the more I see pro sports taking a hit. People will become angry that a cheater is getting paid millions. The only way to alleviate this problem is for the professional sports administrators take charge of the situation and eliminate illegal substance abuse. I suppose almost like a "witch hunt." I believe the MLB is somewhat already doing this, but it needs to be shown that they are NOT taking it lightly. I believe that is the only way to secure the history of professional sports. Tell me what you think. Until next time...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Brady Update

Well, Tom Brady and his publicist finally did the correct thing. I still want to say that a lot of people's first impression, including mine, was that Brady was a scumbag who was mad he was bringing a child into this world. I think the publicist and Brady could have used a little more haste in getting out there message about being so happy about the pregnancy. Still, I am really happy to see that Brady is "excited" about the pregnancy. That makes me not think really terrible things about him and society. I want to thank Dr. Trammell for giving me a heads up on the Brady update. Thanks a lot. Until next time...

JetBlue Update

JetBlue has released their "customer bill of rights" just days after the whole "sitting on the runway for 8 hours" debacle. I think this was really important to their image restoration. If you read the article, it says that their shares fell 6 percent after that whole mess. I'm not much into the stock market, but goooooooo...that's probably not good. I think the most important part of this whole article is the final quote from David Stempler saying JetBlue's "heart was in the right place, but their head was not." Personally, and this is just me, I prefer someone acting on heart. I mean, compassion is what makes us human right? Don't get me wrong...I would have been realllllllly furious to be sitting on that plane for 8 hours, but I would have probably forgiven them if they gave me a free flight and then came out with this "customer bill of rights" thing. People make mistakes...I understand that. I'm pretty impressed with JetBlue, I think I might look for them more when I have to take a flight. Until next time...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tom Brady's a daddy...JetBlue makes me happy

Weird title I know. First off, it has been confirmed that Tom Brady, the New England Patriots starting QB, is the father of the soon to be baby born to actress Bridget Moynahan. The couple had broken up a few months ago right when the baby was apparently conceived. Now, in this day and age having a baby outside of wedlock isn't anything new. My favorite actor, Johnny Depp, has 2 children with his girlfriend. The only reason I bring this up is because of how Brady could possibly be handling this. I think if I were the publicist of a big name person who was just found to be the father of a child that is going to be conceived outside of wedlock, I would definitely have some comment. I'm sure that Brady's publicist is getting about 8464354 calls, but I would definitely make sure I called arguably the number one sports source (ESPN) back with a comment. Obviously, this comment is going to be "Brady is sooooooooo excited about the announcement of him being a father." Just for your information, this same exact same thing happened to Matt Leinart, Heisman Trophy winner from USC and starting QB for the Arizona Cardinals, not too long ago.

JetBlue on the other hand makes me super happy. If you haven't heard, a JetBlue plane was stuck on the tarmac at JFK airport for like 8-10 hours the other day. No fun. Shel Holtz made some good comments about this situation and I tend to agree with everything he said. I think the apology was very nice and the way they went about it was wonderful. However, like Holtz says, there should have been something written on their website describing the situation and talking about precautions made to ensure nothing like that to ever happen again...or at least make things better when he does HAVE to happen. Until next time...

Monday, February 5, 2007

TBS makes a boo-boo

After reading the article about the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) stuff that went down in Boston, I have to say that TBS probably wasn't thinking. After 9/11 everyone is weary about bombs, terrorists, and so forth. I mean, there is about 5 bombs a day in Iraq it seems. I'm glad the Boston government freaked out. I do believe TBS handled it pretty well. I think they should have been more upfront about the situation. I think their contribution of $2 million and an apology should be enough. I think a "thank you, to Boston's finest" should be in order. That city should feel safer that the police force took such a serious attitude towards the situation.

Also, I have already stated that I'm interested in entertainment PR. Well, after reading Ryan Oneal's explanation for why he fired a gun, there is just no way to make this seem better. If you haven't read it, O'neal fired a gun at his son to avoid being hit with a fireplace poker. So is he insane and fires guns at his son, or is he a terrible father? Either way, not looking good for Mr. O'neal. Until next time...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

ASO Project Week 2

This past week, our PR campaigns group created a survey and a type of event that would help out the Athens Symphony. We decided that the best way to increase community envolvement would be to have the ASO hold a benefit concert for some organization. We were thinking of the PPA. Also, the survey we created has a good mix of questions that will help us get to some answers as to how the performers feel about the organization.

I'm going to attend the PR World event on February 16th in order to do some networking. I would love to get some attention from some corporate people. I believe that will be the best start for me. I'm hoping the Masters will help me in the long run. I don't think anyone is going to be extending me any offers or any interviews since I won't be graduating until August, but maybe people will remember me down the road. I need to do some revisions on my resume, but it'll be fine. Until next time...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Introduction

This blog is intended to express my views, questions, concerns, and hopes for the future in PR. To give you readers (if I ever get any) some background on myself, I received a degree in music performance last summer and decided to go a different route and get a masters in public relations. Therefore, I had no schooling or experience in PR before I got into school. The May before I started my masters I got an internship with a music media relations company. That really helped me get a start in PR. Once I got into school I was LOST. haha. I had no idea what people were talking about in my PR theory class. However, because of some good teaching and some good friends who helped me out I caught up. Enough of that...this blog is actually a requirement for my PR Campaigns course. Therefore, I'll talk mainly about my groups client issues. We had our first meeting on Friday. We have been given the assignment to try and increase the amount of string players and chorus members in the Athens Symphony Orchestra. This doesn't seem like it is going to be too easy. The main thing we are going to have to do is get perspective members from outside of Athens. I think most people who would want to play for the ASO would be worried about the time commitment, but after talking to the directors we found that it isn't really too bad of a commitment. We have another meeting tomorrow that will hopefully answer more questions and get a plan started.

In other news, I am very interested in sports PR. I have been going to Georgia sporting events for the better part of my life and I always wanted to be apart of all of that. However, after doing some work with the women's basketball team I have found that I will have to sacrifice my ability to be a fan in order to have that job. I'm not sure I would want to do that. I'm a really really really big fan of Georgia sports and I don't want to have to give that up. Therefore, I'm looking more towards doing corporate PR. Honestly, I'll do whatever I can...haha. Oh well, until next time...