Last Friday we had a number of PR professionals come into our classroom to talk about their jobs. Each speaker’s profession was completely different from one another even though they all worked in the public relations field.
The first speaker that I had the pleasure of listening to was Hayley Green. Hayley is the marketing director and PR professional of the Bulloch County Board of Education. She shared with me what her daily routine is like and some occurrences of crisis management. She explained that during the summer there isn’t much for her to do because school is no longer in session, but when school starts back up again, they are very busy. Hayley mentioned that a lot of different cultures are being immersed into the school system and that she is trying to make them feel more comfortable with theme nights. She publicizes different theme nights for different cultured students and their parents. Some of the situations that she had to deal with crisis control were when fire drills would go off without warning. Also last year there was an inappropriate sexual affair with a teacher and a student that she had to manage.
The second speaker that I was able to hear from was Lindsay Cameron, with Intercontinental Hotel Groups. Her job was most interesting to me because she spoke about the entertainment aspects within her job. Her company plans parties and a giant conference in Las Vegas every year. She also talked about how she is able to travel to major cities throughout the year. Her job is to take the group of hotels she works with, which was specifically the different branches of Holiday Inn, and make them appeal to the public.
What I learned from these two speakers was that there are many, many different opportunities within the field of public relations. I learned that mostly every department of the workforce need public relations professionals and that there are several different branches of public relations that you can work for, including social media sites, promotional materials, lobbyists, etc.
Lately there has been a large circulation of public relations campaigns. Dove has based their campaign off of soft sexy skin. The Obamacare campaign has appealed to an audience that doesn’t usually get attention. However, I am going to discuss the public relations elements of a PR campaign that I am fondly impressed with; Papa John’s. Papa John’s Pizza has recently become recognizable by their relatively new slogan; “Better ingredients, better pizza, Papa John’s.” The company has brought the founder and CEO, John Schnatter, into every commercial. This has had an emotional and ethical appeal to the audience by showing how involved the founder still is and that he cares about improving the business. Schnatter bought back his 1971 Chevy Camaro, which he originally sold in order to start the business to also appeal to audiences.
Undoubtedly one of the most impressive elements that Papa John’s used to relate to the public is their texting promotion. Customers can now text in their ordesr to Papa John’s and watch a progress tracker to see when it will be ready. Their PR professionals knew that this would catch the people’s attention because we are a generation highly based on technology. Also, the slogan itself sends a message to the public. It says, “We are using better, more fresh ingredients to improve our pizza.”
When Bloggers started to criticize the founder for discussing Obamacare, Papa John’s reached out to bloggers and asked them to correct or change their comments. The company has begun to take bloggers more seriously, treating them as part of the media landscape and calling them on their posts, which in return, makes bloggers feel more important and they start to pay attention.
Papa John’s has taken many steps to imrpove their relationship and attraction to the public eye, and in my opinion, they have gone about it in an impressive way.
Publicity and public relations are often mistaken as being one in the same. This is because in large part they both start with the word ‘public’. While these two terms share many characteristics, they also have many aspects that separate them from one another.
Public relations is often communally seen as being the actions of a corporation, organization, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public or community.
Publicity is defined as being extensively mentioned in the news media and the state of being public, or open to general observation or knowledge.
I have always seen public relations as being more of a process that goes beyond media coverage. There are many steps that attribute to public relations. Marketing, advertising, crisis management, research, and campaigns are all diverse aspects to the field of PR. Whereas publicity is more of just the adjective of being public. It is being known and heavily recognized in society. The more someone or something is shown in popular media spectrums, the more publicity they possess.
Example of PR
An example of Public relations that is more relevant to the students of Georgia Southern is the Aspen Heights Campaign. Aspen Heights has put out a commercial, given out t-shirts and other objects, opened an office, created a Facebook page, etc. The organization has done all of these things to appeal to college students and to make them want to jump on the Aspen Heights bandwagon.
Example of publicity
Recently there was a controversy at the presidential inauguration speech. Beyonce performed at the inauguration and there were some faults with the recording of the vocals. The media blew up with coverage of the performance and it was conspired that Beyonce was lip singing. This is an example of publicity because if it wasn’t such a huge celebrity, like Beyonce, the media would not have cared that deeply. This whole ordeal gave her even more publicity because she was seen all over the news.