Texaco recently released a series of 5 books that aimed at teaching children road safety tips. The character in the book series is named “Hector” and it is geared towards children aged 6-10. It created an emotional connection with Texaco and its customers (especially the parents). I think that this is an excellent example of PR. Ultimately, it will help increase Texaco’s business, but most importantly is establishes a relationship between Texaco and it’s customers, and that is the main purpose of public relations. Texaco’s Children Road Safety Campaign shows that they value their customers’ business and care for their well-being.
A great example of how public relations manages good relationships is the McDonalds case study. A few years ago, Greenpeace, an independent global environmental campaigning organization, attacked major multi-national organizations, such as McDonalds, that had poor environmental practices. McDonalds was blamed for the deforestation of millions of acres of land in developing countries due to their need for agricultural expansion. The public relations practitioners for McDonalds did not fight back, but rather listened to the criticism and used it to change for the better. McDonalds reached out to their environmentalist publics, apologized, and created positive social change. In 2006, McDonalds and Greenpeace joined together to create a more environmentally friendly business. Through two-way communication, McDonalds was able to save its relationships with its publics and maintain a successful business. This is an example of how organizations can avoid conflict and maintain stable relationships when responding to pressure. Great PR!
Out of all the blogs I’ve posted, I think that this one is the best example of PR so far. Dove’s campaign for real beauty has inspired women across the nation. In their advertisements, they show real women: Women with curves and flaws who aren’t stick skinny like the airbrushed models we all see on TV. Dove has done such a great job with this campaign and have made women more confident, and most importantly made them buy Dove products!
In a recent study conducted by Dove, it was found that:
- Only two percent of women describe themselves as beautiful.
- Sixty-three percent strongly agree that society expects women to enhance their physical attractiveness. Forty-five percent of women feel women who are more beautiful have greater opportunities in life.
- More than two-thirds (68%) of women strongly agree that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic
- The majority (76%) wish female beauty was portrayed in the media as being made up of more than just physical attractiveness.
- Seventy-five percent went on to say that they wish the media did a better job of portraying women of diverse physical attractiveness, including age, shape and size.
These statistics are outrageous! I think that Dove’s PR firm did an excellent job. Not only did they represent their product well and make a ton of sales, but they made women more confident about their bodies. I hope the people of Dove give themselves a pat on the back for this one!
I was unaware of how closely public relations and the law were tied together until I read this chapter in the book. PR and the law are very closely intertwined. Public relations practitioners are often put in the limelight when their clients are in some sort of legal trouble. They speak on behalf of their client to try and salvage their reputation and maintain their relationships with others.
The First Amendment is the most important development in public relations. It stated that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It allowed people the right to speak their mind and openly express their opinions. Ultimately, the First Amendment helped to stimulate the growth of public relations.
Crisis communications is a very important aspect of public relations. Even thought they are unwanted, bad things do happen to people. Crisis communications is a way to prevent crises, or in the case that they do happen, help do damage control. It is imperative that the public relations specialist knows who the audience/publics are and the most effective way to reach out to them.
There are seven cardinal rules in crisis communication: To accept and involve the public as a real power, plan carefully and use evaluations to judge your efforts, listen to your public’s questions, concerns, and comments, be honest and open with your audience, collaborate with other sources that can strengthen your organization, cooperate with the media, and speak clearly and with compassion.
With all the recent controversy over Tiger Woods, I think this blog post is necessary. Here’s a brief run down of what has happened this past week: Tiger was in a mysterious car crash just outside of his home right after he and his wife had a heated argument in the driveway. He hit a fire hydrant and then a tree. He had several facial lacerations and was going in and out of consciousness. The air bags did not deploy and he hit the hydrant and tree at a relatively slow speed, so how did he get knocked out?! Rumors have surfaced that Tiger has been having an affair with numerous women and his wife confronted him about it. With a little investigative thinking, it’s easy to say that his wife really handed it to her husband (with a golf club).
Tiger’s reputation as a highly admired family man and golf player has been completely destroyed. His PR firm has handled the situation as best as they can. They advised Tiger to release a statement apologizing for the recent events. A good PR rule is that if you have something to own up to, then own up to it completely and you will most likely be forgiven. Tiger stated:
“I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart… I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.”
This is considered public relations because Tiger Woods is not just a person with a ruined reputation; He has an empire built on his name. He has numerous companies and products and he is sponsored by huge organizations, such as Buick and Nike. The PR firm’s job is to maintain those relationships between the organizations and their publics.
In recent years, researchers have found that genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer in women. It was also found that over 80% of the US population will contract HPV in their lifetime. This is a huge number and scientists quickly went to work to find a cure. A vaccination called Gardisil was the answer. Gardisil could be administered to girls aged 12-24 years old and would prevent them from contracting the virus that could potentially turn into cervical cancer.
This vaccination raised many questions and concerns. Mothers feared that by allowing their daughter to get the vaccination that it would encourage them to become sexually active. Also, the long term effects were uncertain. Gardasil’s PR team immediately launched a campaign. Its purpose was to establish an understanding between Gardasil and health care providers by showing them the benefits of the vaccination. Why would you refuse a vaccination that could possibly save your life? The PR team provided statistics and facts about the disease and showed how the vaccine could greatly decrease the number of deaths caused by cervical cancer. Gradually, the vaccine was more and more accepted by people, and some states even made it a law for all girls aged 12 to receive the vaccine.
This is considered public relations because the public relations specialists’ job was to maintain the relationship between the organization and its publics. This is an example of great PR!
Tactics are used in public relations in order to influence relationships with an organization’s publics. Tactics should be tied to the organization’s values-based mission and have a clear message. For tactics to be successful, the topic should be extensively researched and evaluated. The most successful tactics are those that target each of the publics one at a time.
There are many tactics that can be used to boost an organization’s goal and/or product. Focusing on an organization’s newsworthy attributes can help build an honorable reputation. Another good tactic to gaining respect is sponsorship. Sponsoring certain events or charities creates awareness and associates your organization with positive attributes. Also, any kind of speaking opportunity is great for an organization. Relevant conferences or seminars are helpful in explaining the organization’s main goals or views on an issue. These are just a few examples of good public relations tactics to promote an organization, but there are many more tactics that are also effective.
Planning is a critical part of public relations. Without a plan, chaos and disorder is likely to occur. It is important to remember that all public relations plans should be value-driven. There are five excellent reasons to devise a plan: to keep our actions in line with out organization’s value-based mission, to help us control our destiny, to help us better understand and focus our research, to help us achieve consensus, and to allow affective management of resources. The purpose of planning is to sketch a path of how you will meet the needs of your customer and fulfill their mission.
The opening of a restaurant is a great opportunity to utilize a public relations specialist. There will be a PR plan for the grand opening and also for the ongoing business of the restaurant. A public relations specialist will make plans for the grand opening and each part would be mapped out in detail so that everything will run smoothly. Two weeks before the grand opening, press releases and media alerts will be sent out and advertised in local calendars or radio stations. At the grand opening there would be a photographer and promotional gifts. After the grand opening, the ongoing PR plan will come into play. This plan includes creating a calendar for the restaurant’s upcoming events, teaming up with a local art show or event for publicity, and having promotional opportunities such as a “Wine Week” that attracts customers. These are just a few examples, but they all require extensive planning. (http://marketingpr.suite101.com/article.cfm/restaurant_public_relations_plan).
Chapter 7 stresses the importance of research and evaluation in public relations. Important decisions made in PR are rarely based off of a hunch or “gut feeling”. Research helps to eliminate doubt and aids in creating a strategic and effective plan. Gael Walker, from the University of Technology Sydney, surveyed that over ninety percent of public relations practitioners strongly believed that “Research is now widely accepted as a necessary and integral part of the planning, program development, and evaluation process” (http://www.carma.com/research/PR_Metrics.pdf). Usually, if research is not included, it is due to insufficient funds or lack of time.
The Defense Firm case study is an example of how research determined the most efficient strategy to be used in public relations. In a competitive race to win defense contracts, the use of a spokesperson for a major defense contracting firm was highly controversial. The spokespeople were usually the company’s engineers, who were camera-shy and soft-spoken. Some agreed that these spokespeople helped to win over contracts, while others said that the camera-shy spokespeople discouraged their customers from accepting the contracts. The company responded by launching a study, which later revealed that there was a definite connection between the frequency and visibility of their spokesperson in the media. They found that the more the company’s spokesperson was quoted, the greater the chance that the customer would accept the contract. From this evidence, the PR firm redirected their efforts and made the spokespeople more visible to the public through television and newspaper articles. (http://www.instituteforpr.org/files/uploads/UsingResearch_DriveBusiness.pdf)