TOW 15: Guest Blogger- James Kicklighter

Today, I am featuring James Kicklighter as my guest blogger.

Jame’s blog PR Connection: ABC and Cablevision and the Oscars caught my attention, because as you know from my past blogs, I love when people relate PR to things going on in the world.

Thanks James for being my guest blogger today!

“Just after the stroke of midnight Sunday, 3 million Cablevision viewers in the New York area lost their ABC channel because of an impasse by the cable operator and broadcaster to resolve a feud over transmission fees.

And unless an agreement is reached during the day between Cablevision and Walt Disney, the parent company of ABC, viewers won’t see George Clooney or Sandra Bullock stroll the red carpet at The Oscars. And subscribers will miss out on some of television’s most popular shows such as Lost and Good Morning America.”

from The Washington Post

In the modern era, when 58.6% of television watchers are cable subscribers, broadcast networks are now participants in the cable arena — even if you can get their channels for free over the airwaves.

For most cases, this might not present a problem. But tonight, ABC will air the annual Oscar telecast, the most prestigious film award and one of the more popular telecasts of the year.

The situation between ABC and Cablevision presents a problem for the 3 million Cablevision subscribers in New York City; the station is the largest ABC affiliate in the country.

Suppose for a moment that you’re a movie buff, or even someone that works in the film industry — highly likely living in NYC. Suddenly, you’re going to have to find an antenna if you want to watch the awards ceremony.

For the interim, Disney CEO Bob Iger demands that Cablevision pay $40 million to ABC in subscription fees that are owed. While the companies battle it out, however, they have 3 million consumers who are left out of the conversation.

The “he said” vs. “she said” mentality rules the conversation while programming isn’t avaliable.

I would hate to be the public relations practitioner in this situation, because no matter who I’m representing, it all comes back to the sniping back and forth. There isn’t a dialogue taking place between companies for consumers.

While I can understand both sides of the argument, the conversation they should be having might consider their customers. As they are dealing internally, their external images are being damaged for consumers.

April 18, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. 2 comments.

TOW 14: Guest Blogger- Mackenzie Stratton

Today, I’m featuring a guest blog, from a friend and classmate, Mackenzie Stratton.

Everyone has heard(and is tired of hearing) about Tiger Woods in the news, but since I have not made any comments on that matter, I though her blog on this topic would be a perfect feature.

Thank you Mackenzie for sharing!

CALLING THE TROOPS IN FOR TIGER WOODS…

After reading PR Week’s article,“Tiger Woods Calls in Former White House Press Chief Ari Fleishcher for Advice,” I have realized the importance of how Public Relations Professionals are to celebrities likeTiger Woods.

The article discussed how Ari Fleishcher who work for George W. Bush has been brought in to reintroduce Tiger Woods, after his three-month break. The break is due to the allegations that broke last year that Woods had several sexual-affairs.

Fleishcher runs his own sports PR company that specialises in handling crisis communication. The article quoted Steve Martin ( M&C Saatchi Sports & Entertainment CEO) who said: “‘Tiger Woods desperately needs good PR advice. He has not got his strategy right so far. The press conference was awkward. It won’t be turned around quickly for him but a PR plan needs to be created carefully.”

This article was really interesting to read, because it’s refreshing to read an article where Public Relations professionals are shown as being needed. I think lately with the economy, Public Relations is seen as an added bonus, and not a necessity. In reality though, to keep a successful company, or image, consulting with someone who works in the field of Public Relations is one of the smartest things to do. This is not the time to take a risk with your company, Public Relations professionals are trained in handling crisis situations, and keeping a company afloat.

Reading this article made me realize that with social media, and the fast paced society of today, Public Relations professionals are even more of a necessity. While the Tiger Woods situation is not the best situation to draw a light on PR, it is refreshing to know that people do see an importance in PR.

April 16, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. 1 comment.

TOW 13- David after Dentist

Viral Videos, such as David after Dentist are becoming all the rage. I have friends that sit on YouTube for hours watching the newest and funniest video uploaded.

What makes these simple homemade videos so popular?

Simple: Human Interest

Before YouTube was invented, remember that show we used to watch… America’s Funniest Home Videos?? Well, it’s the same thing! It’s just at your fingertips, able for you to customize to your liking.

Take this video for example.

It became popular immediately after posting and remains popular today. Something like this is funny and people like to laugh. If they can share in the laughing with someone else, they show someone, and so on. It’s almost a sense of accomplishment when you’re the one find that funny video to show your friends.

Another type of video that gets a lot of views is shown below.

It is so random and you almost have to be out of your mind to be able to understand it, yet it has over 46,000,000 views. It is so random that one can’t help but watch it in stunned silence only to think “what in the world was that” after it is over. Then of course, you have to show your friends this crazy cartoon video you watched. Who in their right mind would take the time to make this short video?

April 9, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. 5 comments.

TOW 12/Reading Notes – Ch. 9 Widgets and Badges

Chapter 9 in our book Survival Guide to Social Media and and Web 2.0 Optimization by Deltina Hay talks about widgets and badges.

Definitions from the book:

Widgets:

-snippets of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or websites.

-They are customizable and allow you to pull information for the original site.

Badge:

-An icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.

Although the two are often used interchangeably, they are different. The widget has actual content and is more like an application. A badge is an image that represents a link.

These are great for businesses to use, because not only will it get your website more hits in the long run but it can better your relationship with the business world. Others can add your widgets and badges to their sites and vice-versa to attract different people.

For instance, for the event MG Events is doing in February, Engaged in Savannah 2011, a  badge could be created using the logo for the event. Then vendors involved can post that to their site, leading those interested to click on the badge and lead them to the Engaged website.

This is such a great way for businesses to work together, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of it?

March 30, 2010. PRCA 3030, Reading Notes, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

TOW # 11: Interview Reaction

Barbara Nixon interviewed Martin Waxman, president and co-founder of Palette Public Relations Inc. During the interview, Nixon and Waxman talked about his PR Agency, the importance of traditional PR backgrounds, and digital foot printing.

First thing I learned right off the bat was that Canadian PR agencies are usually smaller than US agencies.

I liked the 3 pillars that Palatte PR found itself on:

Simplicity, Energy & Integrity

What surprised me the most is that they record most of their podcasts without even seeing each other. They record through Skype. It also made me feel better that they take about 40 min before the show to figure out what they are going to say. Because I definitely didn’t know what to say in my first podcast!

I love the quote Maxwell said, “You put something on twitter and it can be amplified.” This is so true! I recently had trouble with receiving a package I ordered through Get Married. Even though an e-mail said they would mail it 1 week after I ordered it, I waited a whole month before finally getting it. I tried calling multiple times, but received no answers and even no phone calls back even after promised. So, I took to twitter. Within 30 min of “complaining” on twitter, I received a phone call with answers as well as a twitter message back.

After listening to the interview, I would like to learn more about what Palette PR does. He talked briefly about it in the beginning, but I would like to head/read more about his PR experiences. He sounded like he worked with some interesting clients, so I’m sure he has some interesting stories.. maybe through his blog!

March 22, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. 1 comment.

T.O.W. 9 & 10 – PROpenMic

PROpenMic  is a social networking site that connects students, faculty, and PR practitioners. I have actually been a part of PROpenMic for almost a year now, but have not used it to its full benefits.

PROpenMic allows students to connect with faculty and PR practitioners in order to further their real life experience.

Once joined, you create your own page with a few facts about yourself including your basic demographic information, your PR status, your college or university, your location, and an “about me” section. You can also link your blog, Facebook, and twitter account to the page.

Photos can be added and groups can be joined depending on preference. There are also open forums for discussion. These forums are great for students that want to ask questions to professionals. It is a great way to get your real life answers from experienced people.

Groups can also be joined to connect you with others with similar interest. This is a great way to meet people working to your same common goal. The group Events and Conferences helps you keep track of upcoming events that could interest you. This is a great way to network and gain experience.

Finally, there is a jobs/interns area. This area is a great way for PR students to see new jobs and internships that are available to them in the PR world. Direct links take you to pages that give you information about the job or internship available and shows you how to apply, such as one available as a PR intern with Guess in New York.

Overall, there are many ways to connect with the PR world using PROpenMic, including ones not listed in this blog. If you are interested in the PR world at all, I encourage you to check it out, and actually use it (unlike me) to its fullest potential. You never know what kind of connections you will make and what you get out of it.

March 18, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. 3 comments.

T.O.W. #8 – Podcasting & Event Planning

A podcast is basically streamed web casting downloading via audio or video. Podcasts are good for keeping up to date with information and news, as well as for keeping up to date with public relations world. However, podcasting can be beneficial in event planning also.

Event planning can be a very competitive market. Those who succeed in the service are not the planners that focus only on their clients and nothing else. They also connect the events world. Podcasts, such as The Event Planning Podcast or the wedding planning audiocast, help you do that.

Just like in any business, it’s always good to know what competitors are out there and what new technology is available. Podcasts allow planners to compare and contrast and build their company. In the event planning world, there is a saying “Those who help other vendors will be helped in return.” It is so true. It’s the same a good karma. Through podcasting you can learn about other vendors in the business and help them build their business, and in return they will help you build your business.

Stay connected.

March 7, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

T.O.W. # 7 – Foursquare??

Okay, I honestly have to say I have never heard of Foursquare until this post. But I did myself a little research… and I’m intrigued.

Foursquare is an application you download preferably on your iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry that  “helps yourexplore the city.” Basically, when you go to a place, you “check-in” to a place(such as  cafe, bar, restaurant, office, etc.) and tell people where you are. People can follow where you go and recommend places to you.

It’s also kind of like a game or contest, because you can earn points by finding new places, visiting places multiple times, and bringing friends with you. This is where it benefits businesses. If you become a “regular” and are the “most loyal” you can become the “mayor” of that place. A business can track that and give you rewards.

I’m still in the beginning stages of figuring out how to use it, but business wise, it is a great way to reward your frequent customers. In return they will want to come back, bring more friends with them, and get more points to get more rewards.

However, there’s always a catch. Would you really want everyone to know where you are at all the time?? This can be taken to the extreme. Fortunately, you have to approve friendships for people to see your locations, so as long as people are smart about  who they befriend, there should be no problem. But people are not always smart.

So… only time will tell how Foursquare will play out… Will it be a fun game with prizes or will it turn into a stalker disaster?

February 28, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. 1 comment.

T.O.W. #6 – Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Shel Holtz, Mark Ragan, and others discuss “concerns and objections around the adoption of social media communication channel” at the Ragan Communications Conference.

Quotes I liked during the podcast:

“Social Media is all about building relationships.”

“I don’t think everything has to come from one person.”

“If you’re not personally committed to doing this blog, you shouldn’t do it.”

“Customer feedback is priceless.”

I liked how open the conversation was. I think it is great that the CEO of the company takes questions and suggestions so freely from his employees. That is a great leader. I also liked what they had to say about blogging and social media. It is so true that customer feedback and interaction matters and that is exactly what social media is providing.

I learned that not everybody is convinced with social media. Maybe it’s the older generation. Since I am part of a generation that has used computers and the internet since elementary school, I understand it more. However, the older generations are more questionable. I forget that sometimes. I just assume for them to have my same point of view on the matter.

I want to know more about how Ragan Communications turned out. How much Mark Ragan has been blogging since this past October and how it has helped his company.

February 22, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

T.O.W. 5 – Social Searching

Search Engine Visibility is an Edelman Digital Position Paper written by Steve Rubel with insights from Kevin King, Michael Wiley and Rick Murray.

This paper is about the process of search engines and how they work. Rubel tells of the ranking system Google uses in order to decide which pages will come up when you search certain words. Rubel then compares search engines with social searching.

Social searching is searching through social media such as twitter or Facebook.

Rubel claims that “all of the major networks are building out search tools that could, conceivably, threaten Google.”

First off, the most predominate aspect I learned about in this paper is the ranking system used by Google. I always wondered why certain pages were chosen to show up during any given search and now I have that answer. Google’s PageRank System “assigns every page on the internet a ranking on a scale of one to 10. The higher the rank, the more that page can affact search results.”

Secondly, what surprised me the most was the idea that Google might be “threatened.” Although, yes I do believe people are searching information on twitter and Facebook and blogs, I believe people are still either then taking that information to Google or found it through Google in the first place. Google might as well be a monopoly in the search engine world. Nothing and no one is going to make Google go out of business anytime soon.

Finally, I would like to learn more about how individual companies are using the PageRank system and Twitter to increase their search results. Rubel talks about JetBlue’s use of Twitter and Starbuck’s most searched terms on Google, but I would like to know how other companies, specifically ones affecting me, are using these search engines and social searching to benefit.

February 15, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week. 2 comments.

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