Topics of Interest in Public Relations and Communications, everyday life and me. A final year PR and Comms student currently writing my dissertation while working for Remarkable PR Agency, it's fantastic!

Enthusiastic | Passionate |Driven | Love Life!

It's time to get my BLOG ON!


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Lack of communication...

Having spent the last month hidden away in my room either in front of the computer or with my head in a book I can finally see the light at the end of this dissertation marathon. 

Alongside this uphill struggle we (a six person student PR agency - Pocket PR)  have been summarising the two month long pro-bono campaign we ran for Safe in Sound a sub-division of Southampton Voluntary Service... this is the reason my blog has been so neglected.

I am two weeks away from finishing my University degree and can honestly say I cannot wait (having spent my entire life in education - without even the cheeky gap year!). There is no rest for the wicked however because the day after completing my final exam I start full-time at the Winchester based PR Agency Remarkable!...all I can say is the best is yet to come!

Despite the lack of content in this post I felt I had to write something:
A. so everyone knows I'm alive and...
B. because of the value of communication.

In order to build a strong online presence you have to update content regularly, which my blog has lacked. However when this work is out of the way there will be regular updates and I may even move to the more 'professional' world of Word Press (despite my initial inability to pass page one when trying to set up a blog on it...) Also keep an eye out for my website I recently created it will be going live soon and discusses the value of creativity, both from a management perspective but also a graduates perspective of trying to find a job!

For now I will just leave you with a video we (Pocket PR) produced to include in our very last presentation for our PR and Communications degree. It summarises the Safe in Sound awareness campaign we ran and I must admit I am more than a little bit proud of it!


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Help a (desperate) student in need...

Talking of helping, do you give to charity in times of disaster?
I want to know whether you donated to the following natural disasters... just take my polls! They take less than a second, click click click DONE!

Results are simply for dissertation purposes (so 100% private and confidential)  

Happy polling, but be honest!

Thank you! (you have just helped me get my degree)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

After the flood...during the chaos

How and why are stakeholder loyalties to charities built through disaster related appeals?

With almost every headline screaming about natural disasters, human-made disasters and catastrophes, the rise of charities in our public consciousness is enormous. We are bombarded with endless appeals for donations and support by charities, following colossal crises, across all communication platforms, whenever a disaster occurs. Heart-breaking, shocking news coverage acts as an extremely important, potentially influential call to action.
The purpose of Public Relations is to add value; this can be achieved through having a credible and trustworthy reputation. In order for charity campaigns to be successful, they need to install trust and confidence within the minds of their stakeholders and potential stakeholders. Charity appeals revolve around building and maintaining relationships, they tug on our heartstrings. People's motives for giving to charitable causes come down to a variety of contributing factors, the need for that ‘feel-good’ feeling, public image/reputation or even because of personal experience. Trust is crucial in any disaster or emergency appeal, because without it people probably won't part with money. Without faith or trust in a charities ability to follow through with claims of aid or grandeur, i.e. if people can't see the results of where their money is being spent, they won't donate let alone keep donating... will they?
Did you donate to the Pakistan floods of 2010, or the more recent Japan  earthquake/tsunami disaster, 2011? If you only donated to one... why? 

Lastly, which charity did you personally put your faith and trust into to actually help the disaster victims?

Spare two minutes - please fill in my survey:   

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Breast is Best... Really?

Ice cream made from breast milk? Hu?! Well... the media certainly had something to say!

An international wave of headlines hit the news after the London based store, The Icecreamists, began serving a breast milk ice cream, yes, breast milk. In all fairness look at the response it has got! Now that is one hell of a way to get in the media! But is it for the right reasons?
'A masked women, in pink lycra, filling an ice cream dish with a baby's bottle and sporting two pointed nipple cones. It's definitely not boring!' (Kate Howe - Head of Comms, Fitness Industry Association).

The Icecreamists staplines read - Lick Your Addiction' and 'God save the cream' (Hilarious!)

'Taylor Herring helped spread the word that the concoction, named the 'Baby Gaga', was churned with a donation of 30 fluid ounces of breast milk.' From what I can gather these 'donors' were accessed online?! The 'Baby Gaga is a vanilla and lemon-scented dessert churned with human breast milk. Gaga's lawyers are going Gaga, apparently furious, initially demanding that the parlour cease production and sale.'

The ice cream sold out within hours of its launch on February 25th though! But days after the ice cream went on sale it was taken out of sale, local health officials at Westminster City Council claimed sales were stopped and an investigation started because of two complaints (by men!) to which The Icecreamists' tweeted: "Ironic, eh?" (which personally, I think was brilliant!).

Despite the fact I think this is great I also think that in order for this almost 'sensationalized strategy' to work it needs to produce strong brand recognition and generate trustworthy customers for the long-term... I'm not sure they achieved that. It almost feels like a media/PR stunt which doesn't help the respect or credibility of our industry. What do you think...did they use a credible comms strategy?...

Facebook's new ad format - 'Sponsored Stories'

Facebook is launching a new ad format called "Sponsored Stories." It allows participating advertisers to promote their Facebook activity by turning it into homepage then the ads are only seen by your friends. This activity can include liking a Facebook page, checking in via Facebook Places or sharing content to the News Feed from a Facebook application meaning potentially lots of people will see it and not just in the side ad bar!

I read this online: 'These shares, which would have appeared in your friends' News Feeds anyway, are now given special promotion by way of a Facebook ad that appears on the right-hand side of the homepage. The ad will display your friend's name, photo, a picture and link to the relevant Facebook Page or application, plus any likes and comments.' - SO just another way for Brands to scream: 'look at me'?

It's all about seeing what friends have done encouraging someone else to do it, subliminal marketing. A message delivered by someone you know means you trust that message a lot more! BUT do we need more advertising? And now in our news feeds?!?! Can we ever get away from it? how are we even going to tell if advertising is advertising anymore? especially when told by a friend...

(click on the 'Sponsored Stories' link above to check out the video Facebook Marketing Solutions have released on it, it tells you ALL the benefits... from a marketing perspective of course!)

Blog Neglect

The Importance of Blogging hmmm...

 I have to be honest before starting my blog I was dubious along with the majority of my cohort as to whether there really was a point to me blogging at all. Who in the world would be interested in what I have to say?
Most people, I feel either go online daily to talk 'rubbish' e.g. on Facebook (which I definitely do) or to catch up on news (VERY brief overhaul!). For me, I feel I’m good at talking the 'rubbish' but felt I needed to be talking about important, relevant, PR news worthy things which I have been trying to do. What makes an interesting read though? Surely it depends on the person...

Until now my blog had come to a standstill since... January which is shockingly bad I know! But I have had so much work on it has kind of taken the back burner. It acts as a platform for me to be able to get recognition; it speaks volumes about my personality, what I’m interested in and what I value as important. I feel myself (despite the lack of posts lately) finding blog worthy topic everywhere I look. I have a word document saved on my desktop full of juicy topics I should have touched on, that have come and gone! So, here is my, all-be-it late New Year’s resolution - I need to keep up blogging.

What do you think the values of Blogging are?  Can they help graduates secure careers? I'm back, no more neglect in the hopes they can! (until my dissertation takes over my life!)

Monday, 10 January 2011

What happens when you are doing your best but the media screws you?

In the case of Shell and their community relations within the Nigeria Delta; is it worth trying to do good only to be slated? 

Most people when they think of Shell think bad things...

Some would say that corrupt is the adjective most often used to describe politics (in the north of) Nigeria. On the other side of the spectrum, the word that most suitably portrays the landscape of its oil-rich south seems to be hellish.

‘The Niger Delta, a region of mangrove swamps and creeks is crisscrossed by thousands of miles of pipelines. Oil spills - the result of neglect by oil companies and vandalism by militants have caused significant environmental damage in this region. The area is further scarred by “flaring” which causes acid rain and air pollution’.
98% of oil spills that occur are down to this militancy activity, how can Shell get this message across with out looking like they are 'passing the buck'?

If a more positive message was portrayed of Shell's attempts then maybe they would be encouraged to keep it up! What is the point of them publicising their efforts when all it does is damage their reputation by opening them up to criticism? They might as well keep quiet and out of the firing line! A strategy that until now has proven extremely successful for Shell! From the results gathered in my survey so far, 64% of people weren't even aware of the negative coverage Shell get in national newspapers!

If YOU were in SHELL's shoes, stuck in the middle of a war zone, a volatile environment where gangs form an everyday part of life and criminal activity is endless; what would you do? Like Shell, would you choose the Government as your key stakeholder over local communities? Without ‘taking care’ of the government’s needs Shell wouldn’t be able to operate within the region.

It’s NOT realistic to believe you can fulfil ALL your stakeholders’ needs SO who is more important in this case? The local commuinity or the corrupt Nigerian Government...

Get involved - fill out my survey and let me know what you think of this post

Have an opinion - comment!