Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Let me just explain quickly that this will be  the first post of my blog’s face lift. Previously known as “The How To’s of PR Today,” I renovated it into a crisis management blog this morning, because I’ve been considering a future career in sports PR and yesterday, I think I brainstormed my niche– crisis management for athletes. Managing a crisis is tricky business to be sure, whether it’s in our own life or someone else’s, and many PR teams fail at it.

I am deeply grateful for the education I’m receiving through the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications, although I think if I were to add one class, it would be a risk communication 101 class. Everyone should know the basics of crisis management. I think the skills required for successful crisis management are related to those needed to solve conflict in real life. Therefore, here I am, practicing. Read my updated “Stats” section for more information. Now, onto Masoli…

As the PAC-10 expands, the Duck football team diminishes. Following his suspension in March after his participation in an alleged frat-house robbery, Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, a native of San Francisco, was caught this week with an ounce of marijuana in his glove compartment while driving with a suspended license and was promptly dismissed from the team. Although he’d had the opportunity to play for the Ducks during the 2011 season, that was ripped from him after the most recent infraction.

Coach Chip Kelly claims that he asked simply for Masoli and his teammates to behave. When Masoli showed that he couldn’t, Kelly could no longer keep him on the Ducks. Although Masoli has one season of eligibility of college football left, it remains to be seen about what will happen to him, particularly following his court date on June 24th.

So what can we learn from all this? From a PR perspective, I think Kelly’s quick decision to dismiss Masoli was well called for, especially after what happened in March. Masoli got his chance to behave, and when he failed to do so, Kelly put his foot down. Let it be a lesson to coach’s everywhere that no matter how good an athlete may be at his sport, it in no way entitles him to do whatever he wants and get away with it.

Secondly, there isn’t much Masoli can do other than live with what he did. Although he has one season of eligibility left, he’s walking a very narrow line. My recommendation would be for him to come out with a statement of regret and apology in regards to his actions. This would show fans that he is mature and that he cares about them. However, I believe this is up to the Oregon football department.

For us fans, it sucks. Masoli really was an incredible player and quarterback. In his year at Oregon playing starting quarterback, he completed 177 of 305 passes thrown for more than 2000 yards. His team looked up to him. His school looked up to him. And his fans looked up to him. He will be missed and he will be remembered for the things that he did– good and bad.

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Last week I came up with a few ways to do your part in helping the Gulf deal with the BP Oil disaster. Since I wrote that post, I noticed that this blog post was published on Kelli’s LinkyLove account and so I thought it was fitting to follow it up from last week. Way to stay current, right?

To date, at least 18 million gallons of oil have spilled; worst case scenario, 39 million have spilled. BP has developed a top kill system in order to stop the spill, although they have had problems with mud leaking along with the crude oil. If the top kill fails, BP has some other potential tricks to test. However, even though Obama has put new restrictions on drilling, the problem is far from solved.

Lately, the big issue has been the fake Twitter account @bpglobalpr, which started just a few days ago, and after 50 tweets had more than 13,000 followers, more than double @BP_America, the real Twitter account. Even more strange, BP has done nothing to respond to the tweets from the fake account, besides saying that people are frustrated and entitled to their own opinion.

The PR community is amazed at how poorly BP has handled its crisis management. According to this blog, BP was not transparent, did not control the photos that ended up on the Internet, nor did they act like apologetic, concerned corporate citizens. However, the same article illuminated the fact that no oil spill has ever been well seen to PR-wise. I would guess that when you make a mistake as large as that one, it’s easier to run and hide than actually deal with the consequences, even if that’s exactly what’s needed.

The Future. These two scary words have been on my mind all day  today… gnawing at me, and I had one of those small anxiety attacks that I’m sure all college students have when they’re on the cusp of graduating… I don’t know exactly what I want to do when I graduate. Granted, I have about eight months or so, at least, before I even have to start thinking about graduating, but still, it happens when I’m about to sign up for next term’s classes.

Right now, I know I’m getting a degree in PR and maybe possibly a Master’s in teaching. After that, I have no idea. I mean, how do you even prepare for The Future as a PR student? Luckily, my professor posted this link to this great blog post on the Spinks Blog about things that a college student can do now to get a foot in the door.

Some of these tips included networking on sites like LinkedIn, attending conferences and other events, getting mentorships and doing a ton of writing. However, what I liked most about this post was how laid-back it all was. David Spinks merely gave some great tips and then tipped us off that some of these (or none at all) may work for us. We have to make our own way in the world and that’s perfectly okay.

So thank you, Mr. Spinks for your timely commentary. Your tips are much appreciated.

Happy Earth Day, everyone! It was such a beautiful day out today this Earth Day and I figured, what better day to discuss sustainability and PR than on Earth Day, right?!

First of all, what exactly does sustainability mean? It seems that these days it has become one of those catch words like “green” that are used so often, one begins to forget its meaning. So let’s clear this up. According to the 1987 Brundtland report, sustainability, or sustainable development, is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Still, sustainability is a vast, broad topic because it’s applicable to so many things. When I told my boyfriend, who is an environmental studies major, that I would attempt to apply the principles of sustainability to PR he asked, “Well, which ones? There are hundreds.” Hence, my search began.

After only 30 minutes on the Internet, I found a wonderful list of six sustainability principles from Colorado University that I figured I could easily apply to this challenge of mine. Below, I shall try to apply these principles to practicing PR.

1) Quality of Life: Traditionally in community sustainability, this means to “define and plan the quality of life a community wants or believes it can achieve.” In practicing public relations, I believe this applies to particular clients and their goals. As practitioners, we must help clients assess their capabilities and- through a strategic PR plan- we must help them achieve or maintain these capabilities.

2) Economic Vitality: In community sustainability, economic vitality includes providing plenty of opportunities for citizens and a significant portion of revenue to support internal and external expenses. Applied to PR, we must strive to maintain economic vitality within our own firms. If we can maintain our own expenses, we will have more time and resources to aid our clients.

3) Social and Inter-generational Equity:  This principle applies to equality for all- as in, everyone has the same right to resources and opportunities as everyone else. Within our practices, we must treat all of our coworkers with respect, no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, or social status. This also applies to how we treat our clients and/or potential clients.

4) Environmental Quality: This principle applies to treating our environment with respect. As a community within a larger eco-system we must respect the other communities that live simultaneously with ours. Applied to PR, we must remember to treat the environment we work in (be it the office or out in the world), with respect by using resources wisely and treating other communities respectfully.

5) Disaster Resilience: This principle equates with a self-reliant community that is aware of the uncertainties in life. In practicing public relations, we must be prepared for “disasters” or what PR likes to call “risk communication.” Every practitioner must have at least some awareness of risk communication and must be self-reliant in face of the uncertainties our profession brings.

6) Participatory Process: This principle equates with everyone in a community being able to engage in decision-making with others. Everyone’s opinions are heard and understood by others. Everyone has equal say in what happens within their community, to an extent. In practice, we must be willing to hear those who are in both superior and inferior positions to ours and respond respectfully.

And there you have it! Sustainability can easily be applied (and in my opinion) should be applied to public relations. Whether you’re a student or a practicing professional, you can apply these principles to whatever it is you’re doing. Once again, Happy Earth Day!