Public Relations Lecture Notes
Thursday, October 04, 2012
PUBLIC RELATIONS PRACTICE
PR professionals craft and manage communication strategy. They must communicate a clear message that resonates
with the brand's values with the different publics (slide).
• Communications experts
• Designing and executing communication strategy for how they're going to get a message out to reach various
internal and external publics across various platforms
• Consumers • Clients
• Agencies • Lobbyists
• Investors • Members
• Activists • Employees
• Shareholders • Suppliers
Same brand values, slightly altered messages to fit your target public.
• Writing press releases
• Pizza Pizza did sponsored a survey and sent their findings to journalists for press release (33% love pizza best)
• Bosch sponsored a survey that indicated that washing dishes causes household arguments (40% fight over dishes).
Hoping that this relatable press release would resonate with a journalist somewhere.
• Free publicity
Press Releases and Pitches
• Social media news releases: organizes links to event landing pages, hash tags, high resolution photos, pre-made
Tweets to quote, links to social media platforms, newsworthy pitch telling you what's happens
Media Kits and Social Media Press Kits
• Reporter Ready Media kits make it easy for journalists to cover a story
• They include photos, backgrounders, fact sheets, pull-quotes, charts/statistics, story ideas, expert source lists
• Available on demand
Online media rooms (digital asset optimization)
• Online Media Room assembles all the newsworthy story ideas in one place for the media
• Where the media kit sits
- Queen's Media alerts professors of current media trends and emails professors, asking if they would like to be
- Queen's PR keeps track of their media involvement and sends a "Queen's in the News" email to all the professors
that are quoted, the head of the department, the dean (internal publics). Also is posted on the website.
Internal and external publics
• PR targets and communicates different external and internal publics through different screen grabs
- Queen's homepage photos are carefully selected to represent the university's values
- Queen's Facebook page attracts students, student prospects, parents, alumuni, Kingston community members,
- Twitter: gives updates from all over the campus
- Principal's blog - he uses social media to connect with students at Queen's. - Principal's blog - he uses social media to connect with students at Queen's.
Branding (collective perception)
• A brand is not just a trademark character, logo, tagline, spokesperson, trade character, a message, or an
• A brand is accumulated from all these things and people's collective perceptions of them.
• A brand is the accumulation of collective perceptions by the various publics- What people think about something
makes it what it is.
• Perceptions are based on the pieces of the branding puzzle that is created by Public Relations departments.
The Branding Puzzle
• Trademark characters: are potent pieces of the brand- they evoke a feeling that we remember and associate with
the brand. (Energizer bunny, Tony the Tiger, etc.)
• Iconic Logos: people are use to a certain look, they want that familiarity, and they need that emotional attachment
- Iconic Fonts (Malboro)
• Memorable taglines (I'm Lovin' It)
Brand stories and values
Brands have stories and values that they are associated with.
- Harley Davidson: freedom, wild, dangerous, bold, etc.
Emotional Attachment to Brands: Lovemarks
• People are loyal to brands beyond reason.
• Love the brands no matter what
• Emotional attachment to brand identification
Brands and self-expression
• An expression of who you are, your mood that day.
• Brands can tell something about you.
- The kind of car you drive, the magazine you read, the computer you own
• Make assumptions about people based on the brands they adorn. • Make assumptions about people based on the brands they adorn.
• Some brands understand this principal, and offer lots of choice so that consumers can accurately represent
themselves with the product.
- Multitudes of Starbucks coffee flavor combinations/name on the cup
Brand charisma (relevance via conversation)
Brands must be infused with novel perspectives, resources, and identities on a continuous basis to keep consumer
attraction strong. This involves creating new brand associations to help the brand stay relevant.
• Brands have to change in order to stay charismatic.
• Hit the sweet spot between consistency and being fresh (keep conversation going)
• When brands exist in the social media ecosystem, they are spread out among many different platforms, so brand
messages get disaggregated
- Conversations across platforms that are relevant to your bland
• You can have control of your brand until people start leaving comments or writing reviews
The new media landscape: paid, earned, owned
• Goal is to have an integrated marketing combination of these aspects
Paid media: media buy required
- Display or broadcast ads
- Advertorials (paid article)
- Pay-per-click search ads
Pay to be mentioned.
- Large lego model advertisement
- Creation of lego app for tablets and smart phones
- Creative advertisements
Earned Media: influenced but not directly controlled
- You must be newsworthy/controversial
- Get people talking - don't have to pay for these free media mentions
- Amateur videos
- Online communities
When you make advertisements that are worth talking about, you earn your publicity
[ex] Starbucks encourages consumers to take Instagram photos of memorable moments in daily life with their coffee
and they will post them.
• Oreo generated conversations about their cookie by generating controversy - lots of engagement
• Consumer-generated media (brand love)
Owned Media: controlled by brand
- social media pages
- Brand Facebook pages are owned and controlled by the company
[ex] Oreo's birthday banner changes each day
Integrated marketing and communications mix
Public relations must combine the marketing and communications sections of companies to accommodate social media
During an auditable period Consumer brand engagement: impressions and expressions
Expressions are more valuable than impressions
• Stimulates engagement
• People must be really engaged in a brand to want to create something from scratch.
• Brands encourage the public to get involved and create content for them
- Doritos encourages the public to make advertisements, create new flavors, etc.
Photosharing: 58 photos uploaded each second to Facebook stimulated PR to encourage the public to share photos of
Gives consumers a way to co-brand themselves
- More relatable forms of advertising
- Form a bond with the brand
- Gets people to their website
[ex] Jeep, Armani sunglasses
Fan community photos are posted - can cobrand themselves
Sometimes this backfires when people post content that negatively represents their brand.
[ex] Burger King photo of employee standing on lettuce
Communication crisis management: people accidently tweet messages that they meant to send from their personal
• Chevy Tahoe crowd-sourced an uncontrolled commercial contest that generated a mash-up of content.
- Backfired submissions: misfit content
• Skittle Effect: Gave up their main brand webpage to aggregate the user engagement. Left their website
- Fans can turn on you to teach you a lesson.
- Hashtag to Bashtag
Always monitor the conversation
Crisis communications in the age of social media (minimizing brand damage)
- Dark sites: PR shaped the clear message of what the Brand wanted to communicate on that day- they have
foreseen the possibility for a dark effect and have the damage control response ready.
- Responsiveness in real-time
- Social readiness: more than 50% companies have no plan on how to handle crisis situations
- 75% of brand crises were avoidable
[ex] Taco Bell is being sued for using "fake beef". Released a press release that was well planned out. They were ready to
respond, and it was successful.
- Free Taco week
• Rogers and McDonalds immediately replied with a dark campaign to control negative social media crises.
- McDonald's Q and A website gave PR response in almost real time
- Instant way to accept responsibility and squash rumors.
• Music events/festivals are often sponsored by beverages • Music events/festivals are often sponsored by beverages
[ex] Smirnoff, Redbull, etc
American Eagle made a branded experience by having volunteers (dressed in their clothing) help students move
into University. Move In Day is essential because
- People are in spending mood
- Tied to a positive experience - positive brand association
- Parents are present
• Get responses, capture the moments to share and keep the conversation about the brand going
• Olympics were social by design: PR workers made it possible to connect and engage with the public
• Many Fashion brands sponsor events
• Charity events are orchestrated by brands, who stimulate awareness.
- Charity events can promote social engagement (Movember goes more global every year).
• Public relations and event planning fundraising is shaped by PR workers.
- They are needed to make sure the event goes smoothly
- Write press releases about fundraisers
• Eventbrite can be used to socialize their events
Gen Y is very socially conscious: want to make an impact/difference in the world.
- Corporate Social responsibility workers
Educate people by grabbing your attention
PSA (public service announcements)
Get you to think about something in a different way and communicate a message.
• Not trying to cell you anything but an idea
• MADD and World Health Organization communicate messages about personal dangers PR Readings
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Early Developments in Public Relations
• As people moved to cities, new products were created. Advertising drew attention and customersto
new products and PR partly began to help businesses fend off increased scrutiny from the
muckraking journalists and emerging labor unions of the time.
• Press agents: those who sought to advance a client’s image through media exposure, primarily via
stunts stages for newspapers.
P.T. BARNUMAND BUFFALO BILL
• Buffalo Bill's press agent John Burke and P.T. Barnum were among the first to use publicity → A type
of PR communicationthat uses various media messages to spread informationabout a person,
corporation,issue, or policy- to elevateentertainment culture to an international level.
• Phineas Taylor Barnum used extreme exaggeration,fraudulent stories, and staged events to secure
newspaper coveragefor his clients
• Burke was one of the first press agents to use a wide variety of media channels to generate publicity:
promotionalnewspaper stories, magazine articles and ads, dime novels, theater marquees, poster
art, and early films
Big Business and Press Agents
• Utilizing the press brought with it an enormouspower to sway the public and to generate business
Railroad press agents developed some of the earliest publicity tactics
• Buying favourable news stories about rail travel from newspapers through direct bribes
• Deadheading → giving reporters free rail passes with the tacit understanding that they would write
glowing reports about rail travel.
Modern Public Relations
Pg. 362 - 365
With the rise of middle class, increasing literacy among the working class, and the spread of information
through print media, democraticideals began to threaten the established order of business and politics -
and the elite group who managed them
• Rockefellercontrolled 90 percent of the nation’s oil industry and suffered from periodic image
• After labourers died, he set up photo-ops for John D. Rockefeller Jr. to pose with the families of those
• He would skew facts and forge different stories to turn the stories around and make them look as if
they weren’t faulty by the company rather the individual
• Wrote the first textbookand taught the first class on public relations
• His definition of PR: the attempt, by information, persuasion, and adjustment, to engineer public
support for an activity,cause, movementor institution
• claimed that for the cultural elite to maintain order and control, they would have to win the consent
of the larger public
• Engineering of consent - the shaping of public opinion through PR • Engineering of consent - the shaping of public opinion through PR
• Like Lee, public opinion was malleable and not always rational
The Practice of Public Relations
• With more than 7000independent PR firms in the United States, as well as thousands of additional
PR departments within corporate,government,and nonprofit organizations, the formal study of
public relations has grown significantly.
• New courses in professional ethics and issues managementhave expanded the responsibility of
Approaches to Organized Public Relations
The Public Relations Society of America’s definition of PR
Public Relations helps an organization and its publics adapt manually to each other
To carry on with this process, the PR industry uses two approaches.
1) There are independent PR agencies whose sole job is to provide clients with PR services
2) Most companies, which may or may not also hire the independent PR firms, maintain their own in-
house PR staffs to handle routine tasks, such as writing press releases, managing various media requests,
staging special events, and dealing with internal and external publics.
• most independent PR firms are smaller and are operated locally or regionally
• most larger PR firms are owned by, or affiliated with, multinational communicationholding
• In contrast, most PR work is done in-house at companies and organizations; almostevery company
involved in the manufacturing and service industries have an in-house PR department.
Performing Public Relations
Propaganda: communicationstrategically placed, either as adverting or as publicity, to gain public support
for a special issue, program, or policy, such as a nation’s war effort.
• PR managers are formulating a messagethrough research; conveying the message through various
channels; sustaining public support through communityand consumer relations; and maintaining
client interests through governmentrelations.
RESEARCH: FORMULATINGTHE MESSAGE
• PR uses similar strategies of advertising to project messagesto appropriate audiences.
• PR uses the same strategies as advertising to get a fix on an audience’s perceptions of an issue,
policy, program, or client’s image.
• One of the main functions in PR is creating and distributing PR messages for the news or public
Press releases → or news releases, are announcementswritten in the style of news reports that give new
information about an individual, a company,or an organization and pitch a story idea to the news media