Think Happy Thoughts

Archive for the ‘Assignments’ Category

This semester I took Intro to Pr with Barbara Nixon, and learned so many things from her. I mean, without her this blog would not even exist! Our final assignment for the class was to comprise a list of the top ten most important things we learned throughout the semester. My best friend, Erika, and I decided to make a spin off of the E! show The Daily Ten. It gives a fun twist to what could be a bland list. So check out The Daily Ten with Happy and Erika and see our top ten list!

So, for my intro to PR class I had to get a Twitter account, which at first I had never even heard of. Our first assignment was to write about our first weeks experience on it. Well, I thought it was the weirdest thing ever. So as the semester is dwindling down, our teacher told us to do an additional 48 hours of Twitter and see if the experience is any different. There was a world of difference for me!

After my first week, I kind of quit using my Twitter, but I would sporadically check it when I thought about it. Now, I’m not going to lie, I have become a tad bit obsessed. I love checking my Twitter! Its so exciting to see if someone replied to something you said, share interesting things with literally the entire nation, or read other interesting things that people are posting. Twitter is fun because it connects you to everyone, and really connects you.

I had an assignment to interview a public relations practitioner, and I did not personally know anyone that worked in the PR field, so I found the person I was going to interview on Twitter. He was so nice and accomodating. I also posted a tweet asking if anyone knew great places to live in Washington D.C. and I got some tweets back with excellence reccomendations. So, it really is a helpful device.

One thing that was at first going through my mind was that there are going to be some creepy people out there on Twitter that are just going to easily be able to follow me. But, that really is not tha case at all. Everyone that I have “met” through Twitter is very professional and so nice.

Even though my class is almost over, I definitely will keep up with my Twitter account and become more and more active with it. I can’t wait to see what other interesting people I meet!

I interviewed Jeremy Pepper who is the global Public Relations manager for Boingo Wireless. He has been in the PR field for 11 years. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in philosophy. In college, he worked for a college newspaper and did campaigning for student government, which he never lost. After graduation, a friend told him he would be good as a PR practitioner, which is what he did. Here is his interview:

What would you consider a typical week to be like for you?
Each day is pretty similar, but it really changes week to week.
Morning starts where I scan the news – national, local and trade
press. I then scan for coverage of Boingo (I’m the internal PR manager
at the firm).

From there, I look over the list of things to do and start the work.
That can range from media outreach, to PR planning and strategy, to
writing press releases. I write two a month, and the internal and
external process tends to get sticky.

There’s also the typical weekly marketing and PR firm meetings, as
well as one-on-ones with the boss.

What is your favorite part of your job? Do you have a least favorite?
It’s about the relationship building, writing and story telling. For
me, that’s the core of public relations – no matter if it’s social
media or traditional or community outreach. You are finding a common
ground, no matter the outlet, and telling a story that will resonate.
To me, part of PR is the ability to build and tell a story.

In PR overall, the worst part is that bloggers do not go out to get
the full story – or, well, blame others for their own issues and
faults. It’s part of what journalism is coming to, as well – there’s
no more fact checkers, and lazy journalism that does not get the full
story.

Is there any project in particular that you have done that tops all others?
It depends on what project

Early in my career, I was most proud of working on the breast cancer
stamp project, helping it become a  reality – the stamp has raised
tens of millions of dollars for breast cancer research; I continued
working with the surgeon, trying to get license plates in various
states to support breast cancer treatments – to help underinsured or
uninsured women get mammograms.

I am also proud of the work I did at Ofoto – took the company from
launch to acquisition. During that process, I worked with a reporter
from the Wall Street Journal on online photography, and from my work
with her, we dominated the article.

While working with Kodak, one of my proudest moments was working
closely with a reporter and being the main focus on a digital
photography and camera story for Communication Arts 40th Annual
Photography edition, a key publication for the professional
photographers.

At my last job, I was proud of the work in social media that I did
with large Fortune 100’s, including Cisco, Verizon and Clorox and
integrating social media into the traditional campaigns.

What is the most important part of your job?
Writing. If you cannot write concise pitch letters, press releases and
emails – you are unable to communicate to clients, media, colleagues
to get your salient points out to the public. No matter what I do,
it’s about writing.

Most of outreach is now done via email, and if you cannot write a
concise, smart and targeted pitch – you’re done.

What advice would you give anyone looking for a career in the PR field?
* Don’t be afraid of picking up the phone – it’s a key part of the
public relations practice, and the best way to build relationships
* Remember that the client comes first – too often in PR now,
practitioners are pushing themselves first, before the client. Clients
pay the salary, remember to do the work for them
* Hone your writing. Practice your writing. Learn AP style. The most
important thing in PR – besides relationships – is writing ability
* Be well rounded – it’s not just about traditional or social media,
but the joining of the two. Be able to show that you are going to be
well-rounded at the entry-level job, and as your career moves on, you
will be able to find your specialization

** After interviewing Mr. Pepper I realized even more how important PR practitioners are to a company. It also seems like an exciting field, and I look forward to hopefully working in it somehow.

  1. Wardrobe/ Appearance
  2. Eye Contact/ Body Language
  3. Handshake
  4. Bring Resume
  5. Etiquette/ Be Polite
  6. Confidence
  7. Be Honest
  8. Ask Questions/ Seem Interested
  9. Don’t Smoke beforehand
  10. Send a Thank You Note

The basic value orientation that the PR practitioner embodies is absolute. An absolutists believes that every decision is either right or wrong, regardless of the consequences. Brean had his associate murdered in order  for the war story to come out because what was said was not true. Even though they were close partners, Brean did not care and wanted to have him killed anyway. This is an example of the absolute value because he didn’t care what it took for something to be “right” or “wrong.”

According the the PRSA code of ethics, there are many ways that the practitioner is unethical. One way in particular is because they did not practice honesty. Everything that the told the public was false. The practitioner may have a sense of loyalty and faithfullness to the cilents, but in no way is that upholded to the public interest.

I think that Wag the Dog refers to the way that the dog controls when and how he wags his tail. He is the one that controls what is done with it, the way that public relations practitioners  control what the people think is true or not true, even if it is by means of manipulation. I feel that “wagging” is the way of fooling what people actually believe.

In my opinion the PR practitioner has a negative stereotype. I feel that because of the way things were done so unethically a bad vibe is given off. I feel that in some ways he took advantage of his job, knowing what he was capable of doing with it.

When I was first introduced to Twitter I thought the whole concept was pretty weird. But, that is partly because I was not used to it. I always considered facebook to be my only means of social networking. Plus, while on facebook, I never really did the status updates, which to me is basically what Twitter is. It really is interesting to me to see the things that people want other people to take a look at.

After I got the hang of Twitter, it became pretty useful. Especially for my intro to PR class. It connects someone to many different kinds of  people and allows them to spread helpful information. For instance, if I was looking for some type of internship or something that I was interested in, I could ask a question that all people who are following me could see. And more than likely I will get several responses on it.

But, to be honest when I get on twitter I only like to look at the things that other people have to say, because there really aren’t that many things that  I do during my day or think about that I want to update for everyone to see. So, with that being said, it was pretty hard for me to have 20 tweets in one week! Can’t lie… I haven’t really looked at my twitter since the assignment was over… I’m trying!


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