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Tribes March 31, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 12:31 am

For my PRCA 2330 class, I watched a video of Seth Godin speaking on his book called Tribes. Even if I hadn’t learned anything about the book, I feel like I would’ve read it simply because Godin is such a character. He has many interesting points of view. The book Tribes is about the different tribes, or groups, we as society, function in. The three original tribes he speaks of are church, work, and community. I had never thought about my “tribes” but since he brought it to my attention, I agree. Godin’s definition of a tribe is a group of people who have similar interest and share fundamental ideas. People of the same tribes have easier access to find like members because of the Internet. The invention of the internet has broken down many barriers, including georgraphic and monetary barriers. Godin brings up a cartoon by Godin’s friend, Hugh Mcleod.

Godin says though the economy is low, the items people have been buying are things that make people feel good. After people buy food and shelter, and other necessities, they search for items with meaning.

It suprised me to see him show pictures of adults dressed up as Star Wars characters and Wizard of Oz characters. He states these are people who enjoy the movies, and want to show their appreciation by dressing up as the characters. This action also shows their dedication to their tribes.

He made me laugh when speaking about women who work all day and then relieve stress and “hurt themselves” by playing roller derby.

Godin describes the difference between a crowd and a tribe. A crowd is just a group of people gathered. A tribe is a people who are grouped for a similar reason. He gives the example of pirates. Pirates have one goal: treasure. They usually have similar dress.

I enjoyed watching Godin speak about Tribes.  I will probably read the book at some point to learn more about his ideas.


Crossworld Puzzle March 30, 2009

Filed under: Responses — sbsullivan @ 5:09 am
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Today in my Public Relations class we worked a crossword puzzle on advertising slogans. This was such a fun assignment. Some of my favorite slogans are “Finger lickin’ good” by Kentucky Fried Chicken, Campbell’s Soup “Mmmm Mmmmm Good,” and “They’rrrrre Great!,” for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.


Evaluation in PR March 25, 2009

Filed under: Responses — sbsullivan @ 4:11 am
Tags: ,

 In today’s PR class, we discussed the last stage of the Public Relations process, evaluation. Here are the slides from today’s class. I think slide #5 is especially important.



Spring Break

Filed under: Personal — sbsullivan @ 1:47 am
Tags: ,

I, unlike many other college students I know was not looking for a week of partying and unmentionables in Panama City or Cancun, I was really looking to just relax on the beach for a week with my closest friends. As a result, I had the best spring break I have ever had. As “trip planner,” I had booked my seven friends a condominium in the Ocean Walk Community. Ocean Walk is located in New Smyrna Beach, a quiet community south of Daytona Beach. With two pools and easy beach access, Ocean Walk was the perfect vacation spot for us. We read on the beach all day and relaxed at the pool all night. We saved money on food by cooking most of our meals. Next year, I think we are going to step it up a notch and go on an all inclusive cruise through the Caribbeans.


Chapter 8 March 22, 2009

Chapter 8 is about the evaluation stage of the program plan in Public Relations. The definition of evaluation given in the book  is the measurement of results against objectives. In order to have an evaluation, one must first have objectives. They will be used to evaluate success in obtaining the objectives. On average, about 4-5% of a public relations budget is put towards the evaluation stage. There are different levels of evaluation. On the most basic one, practitioners can measure message distribution and media placements. The next level, which is more sophisticated, measures audience awareness, comprehension, and retention of the message. The final and most advanced level is the measurement of changing attitudes, behavior, and opinions. Also involved in the evaluation process are the measurements of production, message exposure, audience awareness, audience attitudes, audience action, and supplemental activities.

Measurement of production:

Some examples of how this is done is by tabulating how many news releases, brochures, annual reports, etc. This is an estimate of employee’s productivity and output.

Measurement of message exposure:

Some methods are calculating media impressions (potential audience reached with a message), systematic tracking methods by using databases and software, percentage of key messages used, and the percentage of coverage related to the competition. At times, evaluation is also determined by researching the cost to reach each member of the target audience.

Measurement of audience awareness:

This process is used to find out the level of awareness and understanding the audience has of the message. This is usually measured through surveys.

Measurement of audience attitudes:

This is determined through a baseline or benchmark study. The awareness and opinions are measured before, during, and after a campaign.

Measurement of audience action:

This shows whether or not the campaign helped an organization achieve its goals through changing audience behavior, whether it involves sales, fund-raising, or the election of a candidate.

Measurement of supplemental activities:

Some methods are communcation audits ,pilot tests, split messages. Meeting and event attendance are measured by the number of people there and their attitudes. Newspaper readership can be evaluated by content analysis, interest surveys, advisory boards, and article recall.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.


Chapter 7 March 14, 2009

Chapter 7 is called Communication.

Five objectives of communication are:

  • message exposure
  • accurate dissemination of the message
  • acceptance of the message
  • attitude change
  • change in overt behavior

Many things are important in communication. Some other key points are receiving the message (the more people, the harder it is to communicate), paying attention to the message (sometimes a speaker must tailor the message to meet the needs of the recipient), understanding the message (use common language), believing the message (depends on level of involvement), remembering the message (repeat extensively), and acting on the message (awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption).

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.


Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is about program planning. This is the next step in the public relations process after research. Planning should be strategic, creative, and pay close attention to reaching key audiences. Projects can have different objectives, ranging from purely informational to creating awareness. There are many different approaches to planning. One example is the MBO model. This is the Management by objective model which categorizes objectives, communication strategies, audiences, and the heart of the message. A plan should have a minimum of eight elements. These are: situation/opportunity, objectives, audience, strategy, tactics, calendar, budget, and evaluation. Planning is a key part of the public relations process.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.


Chapter 5

Chapter 5 is titled Research. The main reasons for using research are:

  • to achieve credibility with management
  • to define audiences and segment publics
  • to formulate strategy
  • to test messages
  • to help management keep in touch
  • to prevent crises
  • to monitor competition
  • to sway public opinion
  • to generate publicity
  • to measure success

Research is done primarily and secondary. Primary research is directed to answer a specific question. Some examples of primary research are in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, and polls. Secondary research uses existing information, such as databases, books, and magazine articles. There is also qualitative and quantitative research.

Another important part of research is how to construct questions. There are a number of ways to create a questionnaire that is unbiased and politically correct.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.


Chapter 4

This chapter discusses the different departments and firms in PR. Some department names are corporate relations, marketing and corporate affairs, investor relations, public affairs, marketing communications, community relations, and external affairs. At the head of a department, there is usually a head executive called either a manager, vice president, or director. Each department is usually divided further into smaller sections.

Sources of friction is another topic in this chapter. Some sources of friction are:

  • legal issues
  • human resources
  • advertising
  • marketing

A PR firm provides many services. Some of these are marketing communications, media analysis, crisis communication, public affairs, and events management.

I also learned about how PR firms charge their clients. Some charge by the hour, some charge a monthly fee called a retainer fee, and others have a fixed project fee.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.


Chapter 3

Chapter 3 discusses ethics and professionalism in public relations.

The three basic value orientations are

  1. absolutist-thinks every decision is either “right or wrong” regardless of the consequences
  2. existentialist-makes decisions based on the immediate practical choice
  3. situationalist-decisions are based on what would cause the least harm or the most good

The chapter also mentions ethical advocates professional organizations which set standards for ethical behavior.

One standard is giving gifts to journalists. Gifts to journalists can lessen their credibility if they are viewed as bribes.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.