What I Learned

I am not a communications major nor do I plan on entering the field of communications, but I still learned many interesting things in the introduction to public relations course I took this semester. Public relations as a career field is fairly new and was created in the early 20th century. The father of public relations was Edward L. Bernays. I learned how to create a press release, fact sheet, and communication plan for a campaign. I have also learned how corporations use social media to get their word out and how sometimes they make mistakes such as hashtag fails, like the way McDonalds made a mistake with #mcdstories. I also learned how to set a blog page and blog and also how to use social media in a professional way and to my advantage. I have also learned that public relations are a huge field and that public relations are everywhere. There are public relations in the government, non-profit organizations such as Red Cross, corporations, and independent public relations business that work much like a contractor. A public relations professional would earn the most money working for an organization, but most public relations professionals enjoy their work and it is not all about the money. Even though I am not a communications major I have learned many interesting things about the field of public relations. Since public relations is all around the information can still be useful in the future. The course was also enjoyable and the professor had a way of teaching and communicating to students that made the class entertaining.


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Who Needs to Evaluate?


     Measuring the effectiveness of a campaign is very important. An ineffective campaign can be a waste of time and money or even be harmful, that is why measuring campaign effectiveness is very important. Measuring the campaigns success allows companies to know if they are getting a return on their investment. The information they gain can help them concentrate their focus. If a company is running a campaign that is not effective and they do not measure the effectiveness of their campaign they could be wasting and money, because they would not be getting any return on the investment they made. If they evaluate the campaign they can make changes which could make it more successful.

                 In order to measure a campaigns effectiveness standards will be need to compare to. Most companies will want to keep track of money saved, revenue increase, and increased publicity. They will then compare this to competitors. It is also important to have the methods in which you plan to use to evaluate your campaign clearly thought out, prior to the evaluation phase. In a campaign it is important to reach your target audience. In order to make sure you reached your target audience this should be measured and evaluated. Measuring this can be done through surveys. Other things that should be calculated is the number of hits or impressions your message gets and the reach of your message how many impressions your message reached compared to your competitors. It can be very difficult to assign numerical values to this type of data.

                In the end even though it can be difficult to evaluate campaigns at times there are many methods and strategies to do so. It is also very important to evaluate campaigns to determine their effectiveness.


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A PR Nightmare

                Organizations sometimes go through crisis and have to take action to resolve the situation. One organization that had a crisis lately is the Carnival cruise line. In February Carnival’s cruise ship the Triumph was left a drift in the Gulf Coast after an engine fire left the vessel disabled. The huge ship containing thousands of people were left a drift for several days. The condition within the ship was terrible the bathrooms were overflowing, the ship did not have power, and there was a food shortage the passengers were rationed onion sandwiches.

      In order to right this huge wrong carnival reimbursed the passengers for the cost of the cruise as well as $500 in compensation, credit toward another cruise and paid for their plane tickets some and there hotel stays once they had docked in Alabama. Carnival reacted quickly to the incident and quickly let passengers know that they would be compensated. The ship’s crew also worked extremely hard for the passengers and worked long shifts.

       This incident will likely tarnish Carnival’s image but they did what they could to blunt the impact by showing a real concern for their passengers and by giving them monetary compensation. Carnival also let people know what had happened and what they will be doing in the future to keep it from reoccurring. Carnival knew that people would more likely remember how Carnival handled the situation instead of how it happened. In the case with Carnival’s Triumph disaster they took action to resolve the situation using several strategies, they did the best they could. Only time will tell what overall affect the disaster will have on Carnival’s future.


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How to be a Successful Blogger

      Blogging is very important to the field of communications and can be an effective way for people to get their word out there and to possibly be noticed by others. There are several things a blogger can do to be more successful when blogging.

The blogger should be real

The blogger needs to identify themselves and tell the audience what they will be blogging about. The blogger should not blog about everything that interest them because there are to many things to talk about. The blogger should also know their audience.

The blogger should enjoy what they blog about

The blogger should enjoy talking about the topic they are blogging about. This makes the blog seem more real and make it more interesting for the audience to read.


The blogger should comment on other blogs that are in an area that interest them. This helps to get you attention, build relationships, and helps others find your blog. Commenting on other blogs can have tons of benefits.

A good title

The blogger should create a creative title for their blog. A creative title will entice readers to read their blog. A creative title also makes it to where search engines can find you. Simply put a creative title leads up to getting more links and more traffic on your blog page.

Facebook readers

The blogger should put a link to their blog on their Facebook or other social networking cites. This is not hard to do and does not take a lot of time. This will probably not gain the blogger hundreds or thousands of readers, but could help the blogger gain some.

Keep it clean

Spammers may find the bloggers page and leave irrelevant advertisements or links in the bloggers comments. This takes away the professionalism of the bloggers blog and detracts readers from the bloggers blog. The blogger should check their comments often and clean them out.


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    I think most organizations have been successful in using Twitter to promote their products and services. It is an easy and inexpensive way to advertise and to get their word out. Since lots of people also use social media cites such as Twitter and Facebook it is also a quick and effective way to promote business to a large number of people. This method of advertising should however be used with caution. Many companies such as McDonald’s have miss used hashtags that have been misinterpreted and misconstrued that have actually harmed their companies. Once the company puts something on a social media cite anybody could comment on it or hijack their hashtag, which could potentially harm the company.

                 McDonald’s originally put #meetthefarmers and got good responses but later changed it to #Mcdstories, the change was a terrible idea and people began telling horror stories about the restaurant about how terrible the food was and all the nasty things they have found in their food etc. McDonald’s pulled the plug on it after a couple hours and the remarks dropped off. In this case pulling it worked for McDonald’s, they are still racking in tons of money every day.

                 I think they should have done more than just pull the plug on the campaign. They should have come up with something to try to undo what they did something to hopefully distract people and get them on a different topic and hopefully forget about the horror stories. The use of social media can be a great way for organizations to get their word out, but they should use it with caution or they could get into situations that could do their company more harm than good.


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Press Releases in PR

Press releases are very important in the world of public relations. Press releases are an inexpensive way to get noticed. Press releases are also easy to create and publish and can be read not long after their creation. Press releases can also work as an advertising method and at a much lower cost than that of a television commercial or a magazine ad. A press release can also establish the writer as an industry expert. The uses of press releases are a great way to promote business. Press releases also work exceptionally well on the internet, which is one of the primary ways people get their news today.

Press releases can be used to a big benefit in the public relations world. The press release is cheap, easy to create and publish, can work as an advertising method, can promote business, function well on the internet, and can establish the writer as an industry expert. The press release can serve many purposes and can be used in many ways from informing to advertising. It is easy to see how the press releases are so important to the world of public relations.

Five Tips for Writing a Successful Press Release

Write in a simple style. Use short sentences and paragraphs constructed from common words.

Be objective and write like a reporter and avoid unattributed opinions.

The news release should be focused on one of the four topics that have the best success with editors: consumer information, a coming event, interesting research, or a timely issue.

Localize the release it should target a specific audience.

Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should read it.


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Unethical Behavior in Large Corperations

Chevron was involved in unethical behavior.  The company had dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste in the Amazon rainforest.  The Chevron company dumped and buried this waste to save money, but endangered an entire community. The waste had contaminated water sources that are important to the indigenous peoples. 

                The company hired several public relations firms to cover up their unethical mistake. Chevron even hired public relations firms that were helping tobacco companies.  Chevron denied responsibility of their contaminants.  Chevron was ordered to pay for damages, but promise that they will continue to fight the charges. Chevron claims that their company is built on a foundation of their values, which separates them and guides their actions. They claim to conduct their business in a socially responsible and ethical manner. They claim to respect the law, support universal human rights, protect the environment and benefit the communities where they work. It is pretty obvious that what they did in South America violates every one of the values. Their behavior harmed the environment and the people of the community and also broke the law. What they did goes against everything they claim to be.  

                There are many things that they could have done differently. They could have disposed of the hazardous waste properly, in a manner that would not have harmed the environment, people of the community, and wildlife. If nothing else the company could have owned up to their mistake and not have tried to cover it up. A theoretical concept that the company could have used is the theory of utilitarianism. By understanding that dumping the waste would cause unhappiness for a greater number Chevron would have realized that it was the wrong decision due to the fact that it would not create the greatest happiness for the greatest number.  I would have thought this mistake would have greatly hurt the company’s long term existence, but apparently it has not. The company is still in business and still creating products which can still be bought.  


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