Integrated Strategic Communication

Informing the class of things that relate to ISC

ISC Topic #7

The 1st answer to this one is very easy!! BLOG!! keep up with the blogging and do not let yourself get behind. I know multiple people in the class that are really behind and feel that they cannot catch up. Because of the way the class is set-up, that is the biggest one I would say.

Next, read the book on your own. Even thought the exams are very small percentages of the grade, you will learn a tremendous amount that you can use towards your blogs if you just keep up with the reading.

Attend every lab day! If you have to miss class, miss Monday’s or whatever day is the lecture. Obviously don’t miss class at all if possible but if you HAVE to, miss the lectures. You can always catch up with the reading, but the labs are huge! I know that I completely changed my grade after failing the mid-term simply because I attended every lab and did relatively well on them.

I’m trying to think about anymore major keys that will help. I really can’t think of anything, I feel that if you take care of those things then you should be fine for the class. Maybe get a twitter and follow Dr. McArthur… I guess the best thing that you, the future student can do, is come into the class with an open mind and a willingness to learn because this stuff isn’t easy but if you get it down you’ll be thankful in the end.

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April 19, 2011 Posted by | ISC Topics | Leave a comment

ISC Topic #6

I have certainly learned a lot throughout the semester. The course work, as well as the blogging and labs showed me that there is a lot more to Public Relations and Integrated Strategic Communication than I thought there was. I mean, I knew that press releases as well as interviewing were a major part of communication but I had no idea what exactly they fit under. It just showed me that more was involved in ISC than I was really aware of.

I guess that my original definition of ISC was kind of vague because I didn’t really know what to expect before I got into the class. If I had to say a definition now it’s definitely a combination of things that are incorporated to help an organization make the best decision and present their company in the best way possible.

As far as the most beneficial thing that I’ve learned from the class. I would have to say the blogging even though I was not very good at it. I would say that because, as you pointed out in class, it is a tremendous skill that I will be able to take into the work world later on that some people might not be able to say that they have. It is definitely something that comes with practice, but I am very happy and grateful that I was able to start the process now rather than later.

April 19, 2011 Posted by | ISC Topics | Leave a comment

Chapter 18

As technology continues to improve, PR companies have had to adapt. The development and the increase growth of the internet has forced PR companies to keep up and work simultaneously with it. There are a number of ways that companies use the internet to further better their Public Relations and there are new ways that Public Relation companies can work with organizations to increase their companies image.

The first is a website. Obviously before the internet, companies had no idea the impact or the knowledge of producing a website. Now a days, it seems like almost every company, everything you can think of is on a website or has it’s own website. This is one of the ways that a company can directly show it’s brand and image to the world.

Next is email, although sometimes considered an internal method, there are somethings that companies can do to make this tool an external one as well. Companies have people sign up for email newsletter so that they are given updates on company products, or news.

Blogs is another major device that we have seen lately. Sometimes people, like myself, are using blogs as a springboard before they create their own website. Most sites have the basic set up and use of a blog for free and therefore people or companies can create a fan base or followers before they pay for a full out website that costs them money.

As we continue to see technology improve, there will certainly be more and more ways that companies can use the internet for PR and also there will be more ways for the PR firms to grow as far as what they are able to do for companies. We are just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we are going to be able to do.

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment

Chapter 17

When a company is looking to build a brand, there are a couple of things that they should do to create a successful brand.

Be early: If you aren’t the first in a certain sector or to get your product out… it’s almost impossible to cut into that market. The perfect example of this is Apple’s iPod. The iPod was so revolution and beat all of the other companies out that when the Zoom came out, it didn’t even come close to the popularity or the revenue that the iPod did. According to the book, this is because of the law of primacy which states: “posits that people are more likely to remember you if you were the first in their minds in a particular category.” (Fraser. P, Seitel, Practice of Public Relations page 346)

Be memorable: Your product or brand needs to stand out above the rest. Because of the size and the amount of companies now that can produce similar products, most people tend to go towards the ones that stand out to them the most. Once again you take a look at the Apple brand. Arguably the best brand out there right now. There commercials almost make you want to grab the product through the television and ultimately the results have been seen through their increase in revenue and sales.

Be aggressive: Advertising…. pretty simple, you need to have your brand or product constantly in front of the public especially with all of the technology and ways of finding information these days. Companies have had to change their advertising from the simple billboard and television ads to social media, internet as well as other methods. The company that does this the best and has their product in constant view will create a better brand.

Use heritage: harder now to access because of all the different age groups, but keeping the traditions of a company like Chik-Fil-A and their family mentality.

Create a Personality: Companies try to build brands that people can recognize. When you think of a companies personality it simply stands for what they are best at or what their tendencies are. The book talks about how FedEx stands for overnight delivery.

A company that put all of these together will ultimately have a tremendous brand and image. As i’ve mentioned before in the blog, Apple has done a tremendous job of this and I feel that everyone either relates, or knows the Apple brand.

image courtesy of techworld.com

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment

Chapter 9

When you have to handle media interviews, the circumstance could be for anything. It could be for a small social event, all the way up to a presidential announcement. There are a few key things that you as the individual can do to better prepare yourself according to the textbook. (Seitel) These are just a few of the 11 listed:

1. Prepare: The person who is being interviewed needs to know what he or she is talking about. They should also understand and have some kind of idea of where the person interviewing them stands on certain points. If you just throw someone out there, they will be crushed and since you are trying to represent your company you don’t want that. Just have your interviewee prepared.

2. Know your lines: Map out your key points and even the entire answer to the questions before hand. It kind of goes back to preparation but you do not want any surprises during your interview and do not want to have to answer questions on the spot.

3. Relax: The book says: “remember that the interviewer is a person, too, and is just trying to do a good job.” (Fraser. P, Seitel, Practice of Public Relations page 191) However, I believe that relaxing just allows you to be more vocal and more understanding as well as understandable. If you are uptight or nervous you are either going to answer differently or come off as something you don’t necessarily want.

4. Don’t bluff: Don’t try and work your way out of a question if you don’t know the answer. If you don’t know it, simply state that you don’t know and move on. If you try and bluff your way out it will probably be somewhat obvious, and once again, since you are representing the company you do not want to make them look bad.

5. Tell the truth: This perhaps the biggest one of them all. If you go into an interview and are dishonest, you will completely lose all credibility. Always tell the truth, the answer might not be the one that you would like to have to say but at least you are honest with yourself and the problem will more than likely go away quicker than if you lie and drag it on. A perfect example of this is Tiger Woods, had he just admitted to doing something wrong in the first place, the entire problem might have just blown over and he would still be fine image wise. Instead he tried to drag it out and it became an absolute mess.

 image courtesy of ESPN

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment

Chapter 14

Believe it or not, the country that next rivals the United States when it comes to Public Relations, is our neighbors to the north. The Canadian public relations is currently representing nearly 2,000 professionals throughout the country. The agency for the Canadian PR is called the Canadian Public Relations Society. The mission of the CPRS is as follows: “dealing fairly and honestly wit the communication media and the public.” (Fraser. P, Seitel, Practice of Public Relations, page 288) Canada is just one of the many other regions and or country that take part in the role of Public Relations throughout the world.

Because of the global spread of Public Relations, major corporations have recently had to realize and be careful about what their image, or actions can do on a global level and not just at home. In fact, as the book mentions, companies are becoming more and more important and “prominent” for their country. The United States being the world power it is, has a handful of the most power brands in the world. The image of the company is bigger than the corporation itself. Again as mentioned in the book, there was a case in 2006 when a bunch of French students who were protesting attacked McDonalds because it was a sign or an image of the United States.

Companies really need to make sure that they know what is going on especially as companies have multiple branches because something that a branch in Europe or Asia does will directly fact the branch in the United States or Australia. image from enchanted learning.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment

Chapter 12

The government takes a major role in the public relation of the United States and how we present ourself to the rest of the world. There are however, two main departments that cover and control that for the United States. They are: The State Department and the Department of Defense.

The State Department is in charge of press briefings as well as other duties. According to the textbook, the State Department took control of the United States Information Agency as per the Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1999. The agency: “explains and supports American foreign policy and promote U.S national interests through a wide range of overseas information programs and educational and cultural activities.” (Fraser P. Seitel, Practice of Public Relations, page 247)

The new restructuring completely undermined the abilities of the USIA and the mission of the agency has since been altered because of the new developments and the new mission of the US in the war against terror. Some of the new policies or jobs of the agency include: “Build the intellectual and institutional foundations of democracy in societies around the globe, support the war on drugs in producer and consumer countries.” (Seitel, page 247)

Basically, the State Department is the most influential and most important Public Relations firm in the country and perhaps the world. Because of the power and the image of the United States, the State Department’s job is so large and so important on so many levels that we cannot really relate to the magnitude without being directly involved. 

image from state.gov

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment

Chapter 11

Community relations is a huge role for companies. A survey done in 2004 showed that from 189 companies, 12 billion dollars was donated to charities. However, charity donations is not the only thing that companies are doing within the communities. There has been an increase in the hiring of minorities, doing a better job of producing cleaner air and water, creating policies for the benefit of all its employees, and providing a every employee a better quality of life.

However the major impact that companies are providing is their monetary donations. They are providing communities funds that they would never have imagined that they can use to benefits schools, scholarships as well as other community groups.

The service provides the companies with a nice tax break firstly, but more importantly it increases their relationship with the community as sometimes with the national and international view point. If you look at what some of the companies are doing for major crisis’ or diseases. For example, Apple does the “red” items that provides money towards HIV research and treatment. This incentive creates the image that Apple cares and will have some people buy products that they might not necessarily buy because it is going for a good cause.

Even though these companies are doing these good things for the community, they still have an underlining goal of making money, just having the communities backing and or support is a major help.

April 10, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment

Chapter 13

Consumer Relations or customer satisfaction is one of the major goals companies that run on sales. The reason being that if the consumer is not happy with the product or the service then they might not return or buy more of the companies products.

That is the obvious, there are a few other goals that companies use to increase their consumer relations as well as their sales.

1. Keeping old customers: keeping old customers will create a “fan base” that could ultimately lead to good word of mouth to others. If you look at the major companies, the ones that are so successful are the ones that can have people continue to come in and buy their new product because of the satisfaction they’ve had with the previous model or product.

2. Attracting new customers: As mentioned before, the increase in “fan base” or members will have an ultimate connection to the increase in sales. The more people you have interested in you product, the better.

3. Marketing new items or services: “Customer relations techniques can influence the sale of new products.” Since there are constantly new products being put out into the market, the consumer sometimes has a problem figuring out what is what. A good relation such as the model used by GE and their Answer Center, allows the consumer to have constant access to ask about their GE product. “Building such company and product loyalty lies at the heart of a solid consumer relations effort.” (Both quotes are from Public Relations textbook page 270)

4. Expediting complaint handling: How companies can deal with the numerous complaints that people have is a major point for the consumer. There is not a single company that doesn’t get complaints and sometimes there are complaints that you would never think of. However, how you handle those plays a big role in the way the consumer views your company. There is a major new movement that many companies have started to implement and that is outsourcing of call centers. There are 3 major centers that most major firms are using: Lakeland, Florida; Johnson City, Tennessee; and Bangalore, India. At these centers, companies are training employees to help deal with the complaints and other problems the consumer might have.

5. Reducing costs: The saying that “an educated customer is our best customer” is what is referred to when talking about reducing costs. If the consumer is uneducated about the product, returns as well as service calls create higher costs for the companies. With that being said, companies are making major efforts to educate their consumer about their products to avoid these problems.

All of these are things that companies are doing when they are thinking about their relations with the consumer, if you think about your favorite companies that you use or buy from on a regular basis, you can see this very clearly.

April 10, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment

Chapter 10

In chapter 10, the book talks about the S-H-O-C abbreviation. The abbreviation stands for Strategic, Honest, Open and Consistent. This method will help employers win trust as well as credibility from their workers. This method is also used when there is a lack of the above mentioned, and this method can help rebuild that as well as create it with new employees. The method is broken down to the 4 mentioned words above, however, what do they mean?

 

1. Strategic: the book says that “employees want to know 2 simple questions:

Where is this organization going?

What is my role in helping us get there?” (Public Relations)

the book states that once employees know the answers to this question, that they are more likely to be productive and work towards that goal.

2. Honest: Many employers like to either make up their information or simply just extend the truth. We can see this with the examples of the big banks and how they ended up failing. Most employees are already suspicious of what their superior says and the only way that companies great credibility is through honesty.

3. Open: What this states is that employees must be able to communicate openly with their employers and other employees. By having this openness will allow there for to be feedback and constant sharing of ideas.

4. Consistent: Basically this is just that if you have meetings or other ways of communicating with your employees that you keep it up and on a regular, set schedule.

All of these things according to the book, will create a better atmosphere for a companies employees as well as having a better relationship between employer and employee.

April 7, 2011 Posted by | Reading Notes | Leave a comment