Newsletters Aren’t Dead

When we first think of newsletters and brochures we may think of them as something we no longer use because social media online content has replaced them. But that stigma couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, this week we learned in PR Communications that newsletters are still a great marketing tool among internal and external audiences. Newsletters are sources that provide audiences with information about what an organization is doing.

Newsletters are especially important for internal audiences. Its purposes are to inform employees what is going on, what will happen in the future and even industry trends. Most employees enjoy reading current events and happenings with the company because it keeps them in the loop. Employees dislike being left out and forgotten when it comes to company information, so it’s important to let everyone know what is going on weekly or whenever new information is available.

Another reason newsletters are popular with organizations and its employees is that some people aren’t online. Some aren’t interested or don’t know how to get on the Web and look up their company. When an organization covers all its bases, employees are more satisfied with their work.

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It’s also a smart idea for organizations to have a newsletter because they never know who will pick it up and read it. From a nonprofit stand point this is an excellent way to gain interest in the company’s cause. When an external audience picks up a newsletter, they get an insight of what that organization is like and what they stand for.

Newsletters serve as a valuable tool to communicate with different types of audiences and will continue to be a popular way for organizations to connect with publics. Newsletters aren’t dead; they just aren’t recognized enough for what they can accomplish for an organization.

Do you think organizations and companies should continue putting out newsletters? Or do you think they should only have an E-newsletter?

How to create the best social content

Listen up class: this will provide you with adequate information on how to create content for the social media world.  As a PR senior, I am concerned with creating the perfect content for my future employer. I want to stand out as an entry level professional and do my best to impress with my knowledge of social media content.

I read “The 5 steps of great social content” on the PR Daily and I think it’s a great resource for all levels of PR professionals. It gets down to the basics of what we do as PR communicators.

  1. Think big- The infographic from Lindon East suggests giving yourself some time and space to relax and let the ideas flow. Big ideas come from things that inspire you. Inspiration comes from everywhere—news stories, social media sites, podcasts, etc. When all else fails, write.
  2. Get the point across- This is probably my favorite part of creating social media content. Think about how you will communicate with your audiences. PR messages can come in the form of tweets, photos, blogs, podcasts, and videos just to name a few.
  3. Find your target audience- This is the most important step to creating great content. For PR it’s important to think about who you can get to act or behave a certain way, or who you can persuade to take on a particular action. Also note, you can’t be everything to everyone, so choose a niche or segment to focus on.
  4. Plan, plan, and plan some more- Once you’ve completed your research it’s time to plan. Determine how you will get your message out, what the structure of the plan will be, and the style of the message.
  5. Get the word out- Finally, it’s time create some buzz. Think about where your message will be seen; it could be filmed, uploaded online, or published.

Do you agree with these steps? If not, why?

What does Arizona Iced Tea and Skittles have in common?

Have you figured it out? Thirteen-year-old Trayvon Martin purchased both of these items shortly before he died in a shooting walking home  outside of an apartment.

Arizona Iced Tea and Skittles caught up in Martin scandal

Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea got caught up in the scandal because they did nothing about the matter. They were criticized for how they handled the matter. In the light of the situation, both brands released statements explaining that they were saddened by the incident and offered their condolences.

The public has said that Skittles and Arizona should donate a share of their profits to Martin’s family or create a scholarship fund under his name. Neither of them gave their profits away, but instead promoted the Million Hoodie March and told the nation to, “Send bags of Skittles to the Sanford Chief of Police, demanding that George Zimmerman be brought to justice.”

People shamed both brands for how they behaved, and shared their opinions about the incident using social media via Twitter. They were upset because they were profiting from the situation and yet doing nothing about it. Skittles and Arizona explained that it would be “inappropriate” for them to get “involved.” Here’s the thing, they were already involved.

Tweets go out to the two brands demanding they show their support for Martin

Public relations wise, I think that both brands should have done more or at least said more. I understand that they didn’t want to get involved because it was a national case and were afraid it would affect their sales, but show some sympathy. This was an unarmed kid who was killed. Skittles and Arizona must have known that the nation was outraged with the way they were behaving yet did nothing. The public’s opinion of them was unfavorable, but people continued buying their products to support Martin. The brands gained from this case; the least they could do is give to his family. If not them, then a scholarship fund under his name. Both of them should have showed some kind of compassion.

What do you think? Should Skittles and Arizona been more proactive on helping Martin’s family?

Chicago teachers and mayor in the midst of a PR battle

Chicago schoolteachers went on strike for more than three days while 350,000 students are out of school. The Chicago Teacher Union (CTU) went on strike because they are demanding job security, teacher evaluations, and benefits.

Its president, Karen Lewis, leads the CTU. Officials from the mayor’s office believe students could return to school as early as Monday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the union are in the works of a negotiation, but so far nothing has come of it.

Thousands of teachers gathered outside of their schools and met downtown to protest with parents and supporters.  The media, such as CNN and MSNBC  noted that the strike was well organized and that teachers were eager to share their stories with reporters and list their demands.

From a PR perspective both sides are using social media to get their point across and draw support from the public. They have both stated to the media that they want the best for the students and that they are very important in this matter, which is why the issues need to be resolved quickly.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel speaking at a news conference

It was reported that Emanuel said, “Don’t take it out on the kids of Chicago if you have a problem with me.” This is a smart PR move because who would want to take their frustrations out on the children? With this move, the public was more sympathetic towards Emmanuel.

In my opinion, the CTU has more successful PR efforts because they have really made a buzz. They had an organized stance, reached out to the media, and had a lot of extra support. However, from a PR point of view I like that Emanuel told the media how he worked on finding a solution quickly for the sake of the children.

I want to know what you think of the issue. Have you heard about the strike? Who do you think had the best PR efforts?

PR disaster for GOP presidential campaign overseas

One of the top PR disasters this summer included Mitt Romney’s overseas tour in Europe. In late July, GOP spokesman Rick Gorka got into some trouble after shouting obscenities to the Polish press.

News reporters bothered Romney and his team as they left the Pilsudski Square in Poland after visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. As Romney was getting into a car, reporters shouted questions and comments, and some made Gorka annoyed. In return he decided to share some unkind words of his own. Gorka said, “Kiss my ass,” and “Shove it”.

According to conservative press members, Romney’s campaign received nothing but negative coverage from the media. Tension was high between Romney and the press because Romney didn’t talk to many reporters.  It was reported that he only gave six interviews for TV broadcasters and two Israeli newspapers. Romney took a total of three questions from them which further irritated the press.

GOP spokesman Rick Gorka and Mitt Romney on presidential campaign

Well, Gorka made a mistake. Can you believe it? Of all the people to open their mouths and shout obscenities, it would be the press secretary. Gorka ultimately took the bait from the news reporters and suffered the consequences. He portrayed not only himself in a negative light, but the Romney campaign as well. It seems Gorka forgot his job isn’t to create problems, it is to prevent them. Gorka has since apologized to the news reporters, but Romney won’t be running to him to solve his next PR crisis. He’s taking an indefinite break from the presidential campaign.

What have we learned from this?
– If you have something nasty to say, it’s best to keep your mouth shut.
– What you say to others can backfire.
– Don’t let others get the best of you.
– Resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.

What other lessons can you think of?