PRCA 2014

Coexisting: Modern and Traditional Communication Tools

Compare and Contrast the use for Public Relations Practitioners of modern communication tools and traditional communication tools.

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After looking over comparisons, I would say that modern tools are more decentralized, low cost effective, and interactive; compared to traditional which are ad driven, fixed in format and are graphically constrained. Modern media is mostly viewed as books, telephone conversations, radio and even postal services. Traditional media today is known for mostly wireless access to all news, like the internet.

The traditional communication tool, the internet, is used for everything, from gathering research to promoting an organization or product. The internet has brought them to the more modern tools though, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. These social media tools allow PR practitioners to use different methods for PR. Also, traditional media or new media mostly features one-way communication with limited feedback channels. These new media options allow easy access for today’s generations of media users.

Modern media, like newspapers, is a way for PR Practitioners to provide press releases and news releases of upcoming events as well as introduce products. Newspapers have evolved to be more modern, by being offered online. Instead of buying paper copies, a lot of people get their news and information from newspapers online; which some modern media tools are considered or becoming traditional, depending on the individual preferences. I can babble all day about this stuff.

In summary, new media techniques are far more cost-efficient, accessible/readily available, more customer driven, and they provide PR personnel with the ability to actually participate in two-way communication.

No One Says What They’re Really Thinking

Are PR practitioners and the media getting along?

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PR practitioners and members of the media have roles that compliment each other. Both sides of these relationships have common goals of creating stories, or developing features, that keeps readers, listeners and viewers informed. The media is known to some as the central vehicle for the PR industry’s messages; and PR practitioners want to place their stories in the news or other media publications. The media have become more dependent on PR to supply content for column space. PR can control access to information that media wants, which give them much leverage in negotiations with media, as they can refuse information. PR could lose one of its main avenues for communication with the public without media. Both have many opportunities for tension in the relationships between them, which lead to many ups and downs.

For example: “…when Armstrong Williams, billed as a conservative commentator, reportedly accepted $240,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to promote the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on his syndicated television show. Public relations firm Ketchum, a unit of Omnicom Group, brokered the deal. The incident raised a number of questions, including whether it’s appropriate for the government to use tax dollars to promote policy in the media, whether Williams should have disclosed the relationship to his audience, and whether Ketchum crossed the line.”

This brought about much controversy tension between practitioners and media. There should be open, positive communication between the two. Relationships between PR and media professionals are built on mutual respect, so that both groups are able to reach the public with good stories and information people can use to improve their lives. Not everything will be all peachy-keen.

Media professionals sometimes resent PR practitioners who pitch boring, non-newsworthy or off-topic ideas. PR professionals sometimes resent media for writing stories in unwanted directions or not responding to their pitches at all. Public relations practitioners want to see the most flattering media stories about their clients. They learn what producers, journalists, columnists and popular bloggers want in terms of news and topics, and the exact ways these people need news pitched to them.

The media is always in need of constant streams of compelling content to fill airtime and print space. They are looking for experts and guests daily. As a practitioner, you have to keep up on breaking news and trending topics that a client’s product, company or expertise could somehow tie into so as to expand that client’s business and reputation through media coverage.

There are some services such as Help A Reporter Out and PR Newswire that serve as matchmakers between media and PR professionals. They help in delivering media professionals’ needs regarding stories, deadlines and interviewees wanted for PR practitioners who can determine if their clients fit.

At the end of the day, both professionals should learn to keep it simple, clean, straight to the point, and fun! It does matter!

Power of Communication

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“Words have power.” — Mira Grant

Many people overlook the power of words and the useful tool of simple communication. We hold the key to doors unopened, connections and relationships unforeseen — all by way of communication.

I feel that major success of communication comes from inspiring, motivating, empowering, and improving others’ lives, no matter the situation or circumstance. It can be work related, family or friend conversions. For instance, as public relations professionals, we improve others’ lives by providing a way to communicate an image for people and/or their organizations directly or indirectly (i.e. face to face, social media). Truth?

Communication is also a two way street. Learning to listen, with feedback is essential. We have to ensure that when we are listening, understanding, and interpreting that our attention is direct and engaging. Thus, another step in communication’s power! It’s not a mystery! Regardless of whether we are speaking about careers, politics, sports or fashion, some of the best leaders are great listeners and communicators. Their values and purposes for speaking are clear and solid, and they promote these staple traits. Personally, I aspire to follow great communicators.

I see communication as an effective leadership characteristic that allows change to happen, by way of growth, which is a key to success. There are many people who continue to struggle with to communicate not only in their careers, but in social and personal relationships. I know that I am still learning; heck! everyone deserves a little room to grow.

Overall, I can speak all day about communication, how it’s important for growth and development, and ways to improve; all while learning myself. There is no better way to know that communication is power than to ‘know what you mean, and mean what you say.’ If we stick to this, everything else needed will follow. Right?

What Is With Today’s News?

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The news is constantly being updated and stories are changing every few minutes. We don’t have to wait for tomorrow’s paper to know more information, and most papers are now fully online. So what makes all of this information newsworthy?

Information today is so easily accessible. I feel like everything we hear about is related to some type of crime or celebrity breakdown, or even the weight gain/loss of a celebrity. Although crimes are important, we would rather not indulge in details of Jennifer Hudson’s dramatic weight loss. I think Timing, Relevance, Human Interest, Significance, and Prominence are the main factors to building great stories.

Timing basically describes what news is today, and people want to know what is happening as it is happening. If something is significant and it will affect a large amount of people, more than likely we will want to know all of the details.

The relevance of a story is important because people want to know if the news is important concerning everyone’s daily activities throughout the day.

Most readers love stories involving heart-warming and juicy emotions. Human interest stories are more up-to-speed because many people can relate and get a feel for what is being written.

I feel prominence relates to the entertainment news aspect of pop culture. We see much of this on E! News and TMZ. If you aren’t a celebrity or an A-list current, simply put — you don’t make the cut. The information is updated every second, and people are just as interested in the daily lives of celebrities as much as what’s going on around the world.

There are so many changes in daily news and determinants to what makes something newsworthy, that I stay prepared for the next new thing.

Why am I studying Public Relations?

Welp! This would make this the third time that I have typed this post; hopefully, this will not get deleted once again!

So, I am choosing to study public relations because I feel that it is an interesting topic. It seems fun and is always ever-changing. After volunteering with the PR team for Miami Fashion Week, I felt inspired to pursue public relations. I have been in love with it since! Although I am a fashion major, Fashion PR is my ultimate goal at the moment. Everything about it gives me life! I admire the women in the field, and have every intention on working as hard to be as successful. I can honestly say that being involved on campus, whether a fashion event or not, I have always chose the public relations task (although that isn’t what we were calling it.); I still had my hands in some type of PR.

I now have two internships, both geared towards PR, so I’m hoping that with all that I will be learning I will be successful in the field..no matter what company I choose to be with. Overall, I strongly feel that the best is yet to come with this career goal. Maybe this is for or maybe it isn’t…but at the moment, I know that Fashion PR is where I want to be. I get daily inspiration from Crosby Noricks of PR Couture; the website is EVERYTHING! I have learned so much more about fashion public relations reading her website, along with the principles that I have gained here at GSU. I feel that everyone interested in PR, in general, can gain new insight to the business.

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