Penn State Scandal

Since the unraveling of the Penn State scandal many brands have been scared off just like they were after the Tiger Woods incident and other controversial incidents. Penn State’s former defensive coordinator, who left the team in 1999, is facing charges that he abused eight boys as young as 10 years old in his own home and at the teams locker room showers. The abuse dates back as far as 1996 and the defensive coordinator has been under investigation since 2008. He allegedly recruited victims through a charity organization he founded known as “Second Mile.”  Once the charity found out he was under investigation in 2008 they cut off all contact between him and the children.

As if this wasn’t bad enough for the university, two other coaches are accused of covering up the incidents for years. They apparently were aware of what was going on and said nothing to officials to try to stop it.

Liberty Mutual pulled its banner ads supporting the sponsorship for coach of the year awards from the website and other team fan sites. also steered clear from their ads being associated with the team when they decided to pull ads from ESPN’s coverage of their game against Nebraska.

According to ABC News, in contrast, Nike, Chevy, John Deere, and American Red Cross have said they are not going to be ending partnership with the universities athletics.

It will be interesting to follow the story to see if more details unfold and more brands pull away from the team. In crisis situations it is important for companies and businesses to stay as far away from the negative publicity as possible. I think if I was a brand supporting the team I would be considering pulling away from the negative attention as well. Although your brand is not guilty of the crimes or scandal, it could hurt your reputation by being affiliated with the “bad guys,” and that is something that should always be remembered and considered.

penn state scandal has supporting brands scared

Penn State scandal


Chapter 17: Meetings and Events

In the book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, chapter 17 is all about organizing, planning, and executing meetings and events. In the public relations profession it is often part of your job to plan events to help promote the business you work for or your client. Meetings and events, if done the right way, can do a lot for your clients reputation and image.

The book discusses staff meetings, group meetings, banquets, receptions, cocktail parties, open houses, plant tours, conventions, trade shows, and promotional events. I think banquets are very important to discuss because they are usually held to celebrate an event like a companies anniversary or to honor an individual within the company. They can also be utilized to raise money for charitable organizations.

When planning a banquet, budget costs are an important key consideration to remember. While special speakers at the banquet may help increase ticket sales it will also increase price of the event. Throughout entire process of planning a banquet you should always be considering your budget and what it allows for. Other important aspects besides speaker costs when considering budgets for banquets are menu types. Fixed menus are usually used for banquets to help maintain costs. As far as drinks go for the event, sometimes it is best to go through the location of the banquet but sometimes it is best to provide liquor yourselves or through other services. It all depends on the costs and if there will be a corkage fee for alcohol brought in by another party.

The book discusses short cocktail parties as well. Usually these are used to celebrate a milestone or a recent success. They can also be used to introduce new key employees or just for alumni gatherings. The important thing to remember about all cocktail parties is that they are mainly focused on interaction and not speeches. If there is some kind of speech given it should last a maximum of 5-10 minutes. While it is easy to begin a cocktail party, they aren’t always the easiest thing to end. The best way to conclude the cocktail party is to notify guests the bar will be closing in ten minutes and close the party once the bar is closed.

Open houses and plant tours are important when wishing to gain favorable public opinion about the organization. Open houses are usually one day affairs unless there is a large number of people planning to attend then it could be stretched out for two days. Plant tours on the other hand are usually offered regularly. An example I thought of when reading about plant tours are the tours given at Anheuser Busch brewery. Those are offered quite often and attract a large crowd to the facility. While a lot of people go on the tours at the brewery there are only so many allowed in the groups that they take at one time. This was mentioned in the book as a difference between plant tours and open houses. Open houses have a large amount of guests at one time and plant tours have less people in groups at one time. The main key considerations to remember when planning an open house are: day and hour, guests, and publicity and invitations.

I think all of the events are important to discuss in the book and it was a great chapter to read for students because events require a long and detailed planning process. I don’t think I realized how much work planning an event or meeting entailed until I had to help plan some events at my internship. The events I have helped to plan include company movie nights, in-house contests, and right now I am in the middle of putting on a canned food drive event. For the canned food drive event we have teamed up with Operation Food Search from November- December to help out the less fortunate. We have prepared flyers, sent out emails to employees, kept in touch with the Operation Food Search people, and included a company wide contest where winners will receive a gift card to Target for their contributions to the food drive. It takes a lot of preparation and a lot of planning to conduct these things and I don’t think people are always aware of the time that goes into such events. This chapter definitely helps to explain the long process of organizing and hosting events.


Kardashian and Humphries call it quits after 72 days of marriage

As a loyal fan of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” someone who watched “Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event” more than once I was shocked to hear the news of the divorce. After 72 days of marriage Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian have called it quits. Kardashian was seen filing for a divorce on Monday October 31, 2011. It is said their divorce is filed under grounds of  irreconcilable differences.

The extravagant wedding aired on television in early October and included more than 500 guests. Kris Jenner, mother of Kim Kardashian, has talked about the split on “The View” and NBC’s “Today” saying the wedding was not a sham for the cameras and neither was  the relationship.

Kardashian posted a blog telling her fans that her marriage was not a sham and that she feels terrible. She also said in the blog that she will be donating money from the gifts she received at the wedding to the Dream Foundation. She also acknowledged that she got caught up in everything and when she should have ended the relationship before the wedding she did not know how to. Kardashian’s sisters and family are sticking by her side through  this tough time and heartache.

Kardashian wishes to keep her divorce drama off tv and she does not plan to be on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” until 2012.

Kris Humphries has released a statement in shock of the news. He says he loves his wife and would do anything to make it work. A source has said that Humphries found out via internet about his divorce. He apparently knew they were going through a tough time but thought they could work it out.

Kardashian really wanted a family and babies. I feel really bad that her marriage ended up like this and I think that she deserves to find true love and happiness one day. I also don’t know what to believe if Humphries really had to find out online or if he is just saying that to look like a victim. To read more on the divorce here are some links I found interesting!

Kim blogs about the split

Kris Jenner Talks of Daughters Divorce

Kardashian divorce


Chapter 16: Direct Mail & Advertising

In the book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, chapter 16 discusses the importance of utilizing direct mail and advertising. I found this chapter to be extremely interesting since I am a mass communications minor and in one of my classes we have been working with direct mail pieces for projects as well as advertising materials.

The difference that is important to remember as a PR professional when utilizing these tools is advertising used by public relations professionals should not be aimed to sell a product or service to consumers. Instead public relations professionals should utilize advertising and direct mail to build further trust, create favorable opinions or attitudes and motivate audience to support. When talking about advertising in my mass communication courses the objective to sell the product or service so PR objectives differ greatly and it is important to remember the differences.

The book discusses  some advantages of using direct mail. One main advantage is it is a controlled communication medium. You are in charge of who receives the direct mail and who doesn’t. I think this is an advantage over some technological communication advantages we have now because if you are posting something online somewhere there is no control of who sees it and who doesn’t. Another advantage is the personalization factor. There are so many emails and things sent via web these days and while that is good the materials tend to lose the personality factor.

Another reason direct mail has an advantage is because of its cost effectiveness. Direct mail is cost effective in the sense that it costs much less than a radio or TV spot. It’s also less than a print advertisement in a magazine.

Direct mail has some package components the book lists that are important to know. The mailing envelope should be attractive to the eye because it is what the reader or intended audience sees first. The envelope should make the audience want to open it. Some direct mail pieces used for advertising purposes include teasers on the envelope such as telling the consumer they won a cruise or money. These should be avoided by PR professionals.

Another component of the direct mail package is the letter. It should use a personalized greeting and the headline or opening paragraph should attract the readers interest. The book also lists brochures as a component in the direct mail package. Brochures should be brief but also provide useful information. Some elements that can increase a brochures interest are testimonials, questions and answers, benefits tables, comparisons, and guarantees. Other components of direct mail packaging are reply cards, return envelops and gifts.

Advertising is a controlled medium like direct mail. There are different types of public relations advertising. These include image building, investor and financial relations, public service, advocacy/issues, and announcements. I think the most important type for PR professionals is image building. Since PR is all about building and maintaining relationships with publics and maintaining an image, image building should be considered extremely important when it comes to advertising. This will strengthen an organization’s image or reputation and that is what PR is all about.

Chapter 16 was a good read for public relations students. I really enjoyed reading about how public relations utilizes advertising because since I am a mass communications minor advertising is an interest of mine. I think that now I know there are differences between the type of advertising we talk about in our PR classes and the type we talk about in my mass communication classes I will be a well rounded PR professional. Since I work with both kinds of advertising I can understand the difference to a further extent now that I read the chapter.

Christmas Time

I know it isn’t even Halloween over yet but I can’t help but to be thrilled about the upcoming Christmas season. The reason I am so excited is because at my internship I am working with Operation Food Search for a company wide food drive. We are planning contests between the departments and prizes for the winning team. I am so excited to give back to an organization that helps people in our local community.

As I have been preparing distribution materials, I have been researching and reading about Operation Food Search. I was not aware that over 50% of the recipients they help are children. I also was not aware that they helped over 100,00 victims to hunger last year.

Once I read that I knew even more that I wanted to make this food drive a huge success. I have been preparing flyers, sending emails, and coming up with ideas to really get the employee morale going. Since I was reading I found the way to really have a successful event is to have a contest or competition to go along with it.

We are also planning to build a canned food Christmas tree in our facility. I am going to get tree trimming decorations and make it a discussion piece for employees and customers alike.

I think giving back during the holidays is something everyone should do. Hunger does not take a holiday unfortunately so giving these donations is vital for some in the community.


Chapter 15: Speeches and Presentations

In the book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, chapter 15 is about giving speeches and presentations. Public speaking is an important skill to utilize and should be taken seriously public relations professionals.

Before you can give a speech there is a lot of preparation to do. First it is important to research everything possible about your audience. Not only should you research your audience but you need to know things about speakers too. After you do your research you can lay groundwork for your speech.

There are three main parts of a speech; objective, key message and strategy. The objective is the framework for the speech. It should aim to determine what you want to accomplish by giving your speech. What do you want your audience to walk away thinking or believing after your presentation? The key message is important too. There can be more than one key message in a speech. The strategy is the way you approach the speech. The strategy should be appropriate for the setting and tone of the speech.

When writing the speech it is important to remember that there will be several drafts and outlines conducted. The outlines include an opening, body and closing. The opening should get the audience’s attention and establish empathy as well as point to the conclusion. The body of the outline needs to present evidence that leads to conclusion and should use examples, quotes and facts or figures. The conclusion of coarse should summarize evidence and point out what it means.

The book discusses the importance of word selection. The speaker needs to talk to the audience not at them. Some word selection suggestions given were use personal pronouns, avoid jargon, use simple words, use direct quotes, use questions and make comparisons and contrasts. I thought this part of the chapter was extremely important and useful because word choice is critical when preparing speeches. The use of personal pronouns allow the speech to seem more conversational. Avoiding jargon is important because although you know what words used in your industry means it doesn’t necessarily mean your audience does. All this is important to know when preparing speeches and I think will come in handy in the future for me.

Chapter 15 is extremely important for public relation students because knowing to write a successful speech is vital. Speeches can be tricky and will require many drafts and different approaches before succeeding. This chapter can help students to prepare better written speeches once they are professionals in the industry.

Think like a Kardashian, Score a Job

The number one stress on all college graduates or in my case soon to be college graduate is finding a job. All I have known until this year has been my retail part time jobs and school. For the last 16 years of my life, it has been all about school. Now that I have a great internship that I love, the real world and starting my career seems less scary but making sure I land the job after graduation is still a constant stress on my mind. It is overwhelming when thinking of life without classes or assignments but it is also exciting!

I was reading PRdaily and found a post on ways thinking like Kim Kardashian could land your next job. This immediately drew me in because not only do I love Kim Kardashian but I am looking for all tips possible for when I am thrown out into the real working world.

The article claims four ways thinking like Kardashian could land you a job. One way is to brand yourself. Most of us execute branding strategies without even knowing that we are doing so. Branding is not something we can pick up, it is perceptions others have of you. You need to know how you want to be pereceived and what makes you stand out from others.

Another way is to utilize messages not medium. Be a part of the conversation everywhere and follow the company your dying to work for on Twitter or like them on Facebook. Before you do this, make sure all pictures and comments on your accounts are appropriate or utilize privacy settings.

The article also discusses expanding social networks and being creative. You have got to put yourself out there in person and online. You not only need to attend networking events but keep up with opportunities like internships and career fairs that you are made aware of. Creativity is what can set you apart from others instantly. Market yourself in many different formats and explore a variety of options. While you should utilize Facebook and LinkedIn think of different ways to get yourself out there like blogs or online portfolios.

I believe creativity is a huge part of success as well as being able to be diverse. Showing your skills in all ways and showing all your skills to possible future employers is extremely important and should be taken seriously by everyone.

Kim Kardashian Tips for Success