48 Hours of Twitter April 17, 2009
You can find me @AllieSchlumper.
This 48 hours of twitter was much different from the first week. The main difference this time was that I actually knew what I was doing. I have been using twitter on and off all semester, so when we received this assignment I had a much better idea of how to use twitter and all of its aspects. At first I could not even figure out how to @reply to anyone, but now I am getting pretty good at it. I like twitter much more now and believe I will still use it even after this class.
The most surprising thing about twitter to me is how many people use it! Twitter has become an amazing social networking tool. Many companies, celebrities, and PR professionals are very active in twitter and update many times a day. By using twitter, I can find out information about the PR world and many other topics by just looking at my page.
One of the main things I still want to know about twitter is not really about using twitter, but it is more a question about the complete website. A lot of the time when I log onto twitter, it is frozen or it says too many tweets or something along those lines. I understand there are many people using twitter, but I wish that it wouldn’t freeze up on me so much (I guess having a really slow computer doesn’t help that either…). I also want to know what TweetDeck is. I always see that people are updating from TweetDeck but I can not figure out what that means.
The three Public Relations professionals that I would recommend to follow are:
- Tara Lefave. She is the person I interviewed for my “Interview with a PR professional.” I really enjoy following her because first of all she is a Red Sox fan and so am I, but I get to see sometimes what she is doing with her job and the is very interesting to me.
- PR_Couture. This isn’t really just one person, but this twitter site gives you good information about PR in the fashion world and what is going on in that department with PR fashion news, jobs, and discussions.
- Steve Farnsworth. He always has links to interesting websites that are related to PR and technology. He also has a lot of great updates about different topics such as twitter, PR, and many other things.
Overall, twitter was a learning experiance which I believe I have greatly benefited from. I think that twitter will eventually help me in the social networking world and it is a great tool to have in the world of Public Relations.
Interview of a Public Relations Professional April 7, 2009
The PR professional I interviewed for this assignment was Tara Lefave. She is the Public Relations Manager for a software development tools provider, Altova. This company is located in Beverly, Massachusetts and also in Vienna, Austria. Lefave is a graduate from Westfield State College, located in Westfield, MA. She graduated in 1996 with a BA in Communications and a concentration in PR. She has over ten years of PR working experience and has worked on the agency and corporate side of PR. Below are the questions I asked her and the answers she graciously provided me with.
- What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?) My typical week is juggling various tasks and deadlines. Working in-house instead of at an agency provides me with more creative freedom; however, I am the only person handling the PR for my company so I manage everything from award submissions and press release creation to analyst relations and editorial calendar research. In an typical agency setting there would be a team of individuals who worked on all these activities for a particular client(s).
- Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of. In the software development industry the most prestigious award are the Jolt Awards (http://www.joltawards.com/) . First you must submit a nomination for your product(s) and then finalists are selected from those nominations. Each finalist must provide their product(s) to each of the Jolt judges for further review. In the meantime, it was my responsibility to maintain contact with each of the 15 judges, providing them with the latest information on our products (e.g. in the midst of the Jolt product review we launched Version 2009 of our software tools which includes many important new features). The importance of maintaining positive relationships with members of the software development community (bloggers, industry experts, editors, etc.) finally came full circle. The Altova MissionKit won the 2009 Jolt Award for ‘Best Development Environment’ making everyone at Altova very happy!
- How important is writing in your career? Very important. I write all the Altova press releases as well as award submissions, our customer newsletter, replies to blogs, responses to industry trends and editorial opportunities, etc.
- What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR? 1.) Make and maintain strong relationships with industry experts, media contacts, analysts, etc. 2.) Learn all you can about Social Networking (e.g. blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) These will be important communication vehicles moving forward in your career. 3.) Never pitch an editor off topic. They HATE that! 4.) Find a mentor and LEARN all you can from them
- What do you do to keep current in the PR industry? I attend seminars, Webinar, etc. that are offered by PR services such as BusinessWire, MarketWire, Cision (formerly Bacon’s), PRSA, etc. I also do a lot of networking through former colleagues, Clients, and on Facebook and Linked In. All of these services will provide you with the tools you need to help move your career forward.
- Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How? Yes, but it was mainly through internships and not text books. I would strongly suggestion doing an internship from both the Agency and Corp. side as they are very different but will also teach you things not found in a textbook (e.g. work environment, how to interact with colleagues, etc.)
- What has surprised you the most about working in PR? When I began my career in PR I thought it was all about writing. While it is a large part of what I do, I’ve learned that relationship building is also a VERY BIG part of working and PR. And with today’s technology (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc., it’s harder to form these “personal” relationships.
- What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR? How difficult it would be to move from one industry to the other. For example, I started my PR career working for a client who produced plastics. I worked in that space for over 4 years, but when I wanted to make the switch to technology I was told I need more technology experience. Finally a company took a chance on me and I’ve been working in technology PR for 4 years now. So if you want to work in consumer PR start there not in B-2-B, the switch will be too difficult later on.
- How has PR changed since you entered the field? In one word — Technology. When I first started in PR I was on the phone constantly. We MAILED editors hard copy press releases / press kits. Now everything is electronic and email communication is the preferred method for just about everyone!
- How does technology affect your daily work? I use technology all the time in my daily work. I use email as my primary way to communicate with editors, customers, colleagues, etc. I’ve also begun using such social networking sites as: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. As I said earlier, learn all you can about social networking as it will be an important communications vehicle moving forward.
- When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes
a candidate stand out? We do not employ any other PR professionals. However, if I was to have an entry-level PR position available I would look for the candidate to be eager and willing to learn, very well organized, have good writing and communication skills, know about social networking and how it works, and be enthusiastic about working in PR.
Seth Godin’s- Tribes March 31, 2009
I enjoyed watching Seth Godin’s presentation. It was informative and interesting. As Godin begins, he states that people always want more in life. Whether people want more money, friends, etc., they always want more of something. Godin’s presentation made me realize that there are many tribes all around us. Fans of a celebrity can be a tribe because they all have something in common when it comes to that certain celebrity. That is just one example of many. Tribes exist all around us and we just do not realize it. According to Godin, a tribe is different than just a crowd because the people included in a tribe will have something in common with one another. Godin talked about what the three biggest tribes are. He says they are community, church, and work. It is interesting to me because when I think of the word “tribe,” I think about indians or the past, I never thought it could be related to today’s world and the people that are living in today’s world. Godin also mentions Twitter and how people can build tribes through their own social networking. When people are part of a tribe, they make connections with more and more people that are associated within that tribe. They can meet all types of different people, but they will still share at least one thing in common with one another. This leads to social networking. The video made me think about the different tribes that I could be associated with and will be associated with in my future.
Top Ten Tips March 1, 2009
When I had to put together my top ten tips for job search and job interviewing, I decided to come up with my own ideas on what I have learned and experianced in the job world. I think these tips have helped me and will help anyone who reads them and follows them. Here are my top ten tips on job search and job interviewing:
1. Always dress appropriately. Never wear jeans and t-shirt to an interview, even if you know that is what the people who work there are aloud to wear. You will be more confident if you dress nicely and you will come across more professionaly.
2. The night before your interview, make sure and get a good night’s sleep and to eat a good breakfast that morning. You do not want to go into the interview hungry and tired.
3. While looking for a job, you can NEVER send out too many resumes. Odds are for every ten you send out, you might only get one interview.
4. Never bring your phone, blackberry, iPod, etc. into an interview. Leave all of your electronics off and put away.
5. Do not be afraid to ask questions!
6. Always make sure to thank everyone who was involved in the interviewing process. Even if you don’t think you will get hired. You never know who you will encounter down the road and it is always good to be polite.
7. Be on time! Make sure you leave early enough for unexpected traffic, car trouble, etc.
8. Come to the interview prepared. Make sure you remember to bring your portfolio, a copy of your resume, and anything else you want to show the person that is interviewing you. Also go over some of the questions you think you will be asked so you can have an answer ready.
9. Play up your strong points. Everyone has negative aspects about themselves, but if you focus more on the positive ones it will help you in the long run.
10. Be confident in yourself! The more confident you are, the more it will show.
Wag The Dog February 16, 2009
- Of the three basic value orientations (discussed in Chapter 3 of your textbook), what basic value orientation does the PR practitioner embody? Provide at least one example.
I would say that of the three basic value orientations, the PR practitioner would embody the Absolutist. He always seemed to do what he wanted in every situation he was in and did not really care about the consequences that could happen to him or anyone else in the situation. One example would be when they lied to the entire country about Sergeant William Schumann who was really a made up war hero and they found out he was a convict. He didn’t care what the consequences would be if the country found out or if the information was leaked.
- According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, how is the PR practitioner unethical?
The PR practitioner was unethical in pretty much all of the six core values in the PR code of ethics. Advocacy because he did not have the publics interest at heart, he just wanted to help the President to win the election. Honesty because he was definitely not honest with the public about pretty much anything. They made up a war, lied up a war hero, and lied about multiple other things. Expertise because he would only make the profession look bad when the public found out what he was doing. Loyalty because he did not honor the obligation to serve the public interest. He was loyal to his client in trying to help the President win the election, but that was not best for the public. Fairness because he took advantage of his position and tried to fool the country and that is not fair.
- What is the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog, and how is it relevant to the situation involved?
I think the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog is that the dog usually controls his tail and when it wags. The public is the dog and Public Relation practitioners are the tail. In this situation, it is Wag the Dog because of all of the PR practitioners resources with the government and every one involved, they are able to fool the country into thinking and believing things that were not true. By doing this they could focus on more positive aspects of the President instead of the negative ones. So in my opinion, Wag the Dog means that the PR practitioners were able to “wag” the public instead of it being the other way around.
- In your opinion, what positive or negative stereotypes has the PR practitioner confirmed in his role in this movie?
I think that the PR practitioner mostly portrayed a negative stereotype. He did many unethical things and took advantage of his PR position. This could have a negative look for anyone in the field of Public Relations.
PR Eras February 4, 2009
I was in the fifth group for the eras of PR. I will give a little bit about each era as we talked about in class. The first era, talked about the Boston Tea Party, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, and Pope Gregory and his use of the word propaganda. The second era talked about the use of Public Relations to attract tourists. They expressed good PR techniques, such as Barnum using Tom Thumb to bring interest to the circus. It helped to population the Western United States by distributing pamphlets and PR started to work in political activist front. The third era talked about how Edward Bernays is the father of modern Public Relations, Moss Kendrix was the first African-American in PR, Ivy Lee was the first to use press releases, and Teddy Roosevelt was the first to use news conferences. They also talked about Johnson and Johnson and the Tylenol recall which was looked at as positive PR. The fourth era talked about the U.S. department of labor said that PR will be the fastest growing job from 2004-2014 with about a 40% growth. They said their will be an increase in non-profit groups which will be a new frontier for PR. James Grunig used three PR models and after WWII, there was rapid growth of PR in all areas. The fifth era talked about how social networking came about as well as the growth of the economy and women became more involved in the field of PR. The internet and world wide web also became more affordable and easy to use. The sixth and final group talked about how in the future PR needs to be more honest with the public, cater to multicultural societies, and cater towards older people because of the baby boomers. PR is constantly being updated because of new technologies. This is just some of the information we learned in class and this class period did help me to understand more about Public Relations and it’s past, present, and future.
These notes were taken from the book Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, Ninth Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.