A Little Christmas Cheer

Coming back to college after Thanksgiving break can always be a bit depressing.  You aren’t at home with your family and pets, finals are coming, and in Florida – it’s hot – so it would be quite common to feel ‘down’ during that time.  Well, I have a solution for you – it’s called decorating!

I have the luxury of living in a house where I go to school, but even when I lived in a teeny tiny dorm, I always found a way to deck it out in festive decorations.

So if you are looking for some Christmas cheer, take the time to string a few lights and put up whatever size tree you desire – who doesn’t want to study for finals by the Christmas tree with some hot chocolate?

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Merry Christmas!

PR & Commercials

I love commercials.  I know, it’s weird.  Most people pay for DVR’s so they can by-pass commercials, however, i just sit and critique every one of them.  I love them so much that I can recognize just about any commercial someone refers to – it’s pretty bad.

When I watch these commercials I notice things – little things – however, in the minds of the people who made them, they are not little.  They are actually a bunch of strategic methods by PR professionals to get a certain type of people interested in whatever is being advertised.

For instance – Let’s examine the new Tide commercials.  A while ago, there was a Tide commercial that featured a young, white married couple folding a large sum of laundry which we find out is due to their triplets.  Not a big deal, right?  False.  For a while, Tide has had the reputation of “a rich person’s laundry soap” generally because it is one of the more expensive brands of detergent.  A rich person’s soap with a white couple advertising it – see where I’m going with this?  In our society, rich is associated with white (You would think we would have progressed from that viewpoint by now).

So guess what I just saw on TV this past weekend?  A brand new Tide commercial – featuring a hispanic couple who sort of insinuates  (and might I add, with very thick and noticeable accents – ironic?).  And what is funny, is that both of these new commercials were alternated between each commercial break of the particular show I was watching.  So do you think Tide is trying to reach a new crowd now?

As a PR representative you need to know about culture, ethnicity and race if you want to sell your product to everyone.  You need to include all race’s and all ethnicities in order to receive good feedback, and ultimately, good sales.

If it were me and I was the PR rep for a large organization determining how to best broadcast a commercial in order to gain the highest profit, I would research to find out what the most watched nightly television shows are, and find out which type of people watch it most.  I would research things such as, does the X-Factor have multiple hispanic contestants?  If so, there is a good chance that will attract a large hispanic fan base – so my commercial would feature a hispanic and I would make sure it is shown every week during the time of the X-Factor.

If you want to sell or advertise something, you need to know when and to whom to do it.

Law Abiding Practitioners

There are many things PR practitioners need to be aware of when it comes the law because sooner or later, every practitioner will encounter a lawful issue.  PR people generally deal with blogging, online publication, news releases and print publication, and the reputation of clients – all of which will more than likely have an encounter with the law.

One big issue that PR practitioners need to be aware of is copyright infringement.  Copyright laws are intense and very commonly disobeyed.  Learning how to avoid copyright infringement is very important for PR people that blog and write news releases and any type of online or print publication.  Another issue concerning blogging and publication is privacy laws.

Privacy laws are extremely important for any PR person that produces published work.  Especially in News Releases, the writers need to be aware of whether the issue is newsworthy and if all the facts were obtained publicly and ethically.

Like I said before, many PR practitioners work to maintain a client’s reputation, so those practitioners need to be aware of defamation laws.  How useful would a PR rep be if their clients couldn’t trust their reputation to be taken care of and defended due to a lack of defamation knowledge?  Not useful at all.

With these being said, here are tips for striving PR practitioners to gain some awareness of the law:

  • Research past defamation, libel, copyright infringement and privacy lawsuits that were taken to court and why
  • Practice an ethical blog now – no copyright infringement or slander, etc.
  • Watch the news – see how PR practitioners are doing their jobs and if they are doing them well – get ideas from them
  • Watch E! News, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, etc.  – This will give you an idea of how celebrity PR reps handle their clients’ reputations

So if you are a striving, up-and-coming PR practitioner (like myself) these are important issues you should work on becoming more aware of.

Friday Frills

I do not think my Friday could be anymore chill than it has been already.  I woke up this morning to find out my Friday weekly meeting was being held in my kitchen – yes, my kitchen.  I live in an “on-campus” house at school so I have the privilege of being able to enjoy warm, freshly baked cinnamon rolls and have a “meeting” in the comfort of my own home (when I say meeting, I actually mean playing the game ‘Mafia’).

That being said, my easy going morning has led in to a great day of stripes, nail painting, and gold accessories galore – All I can say is, TGIF!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…For Clothes!

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE fall fashion.  Boots, scarves, oversized sweaters, you name it – I love it all.  Unfortunately, living in Florida, we do not have much of a fall, but we do occasionally get two days every other week where the temperature drops to around 65 – and when that happens, us fashion savvy florida girls go nuts! We bring out our entire fall/winter wardrobe just for those two days.

When we do get the occasional “fall” weather, here are some looks that I like to display:

All Photos from Pinterest

Persuasive PR

Typically, when people think of PR practitioners they think “These people are going to scam me into getting my business” – and sometimes that is the case.  However, there are several ways for a PR practitioner to persuade people through communication, in an ethical manner, to get the outcome they desire.

In my opinion, I think one of the most effective ways for practitioners to use persuasive communication is through audience analysis.  In order to know what and how to sell, you need to know who you are selling to.  If you are the PR rep for Justin Bieber’s newest fragrance, what age demographic do your commercials need to appeal to?  What stores will that audience most likely shop in?  What television channels will they most likely see commercials for the fragrance?  If you show the commercial at 11am on a soap opera, then your chances of sales are not going to be very high, whereas if you air the commercial on ABC Family during Pretty Little Liars, then you will probably reach your desired audience.

Another aspect of effective persuasive communication is timing.  Timing is everything.  How effective would it be if Walmart sent out their annual holiday toy catalog in July?  Kids would forget and/or changed their minds on what they want by the time Christmas rolled around.  That is a situation in which you might wait for advertisement, however, it is different in situations like hollywood blockbusters. If you are watching tv and see a movie advertisement for the first time for a movie that is coming out that weekend, what will your thoughts be?  Mine would definitely be, “Oh, they sure haven’t advertised that well, it must not be that good” – but – movies that come out in December that have been advertised since August will make you say “Wow – they really are trying to talk this movie up – it’s got to be good!”  That is a situation in which you would promote early.

Both of these tactics are great ways for PR practitioners to effectively and ethically persuade an audience.  So go ahead, give it a try!