Caroline's Connections to Public Realtions

Care, Create, Conserve

Social Media Addiction…Really? April 27, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 8:23 pm

With everyone pushing Public Relation practitioners to use social media in EVERYTHING they do, some studies are finding that social media is becoming harmful to people, specifically college students. According to an article on the Life Science website researchers are finding that students describe their feelings when they have to abstain from using media in literally the same terms associated with drug and alcohol addictions: in withdrawal, frantically craving, very anxious, extremely antsy, miserable, jittery, and crazy.

This creates an ethical decision on my part because I can obviously see the effectiveness of social media in getting the attention of people and targeting them where they are already at but if it can cause them harm is it still okay? I in no way think that social media is on the chopping block but should we step back, as potential PR practitioners, and  put the peoples’ wellbeing before our want for money?

In a way everyone has the free will to stop the surfing the internet, Facebook stalking, Tweeting, and blogging and to an extent each person is responsible for their own actions, but should there be regulation on what and where the audience can be targeted? This would probably fall under some constitutional law about freedom of speech and free will, but it is something to think about next time you are trying to reach a specific audience.

What I have been talking about is worst case situations, so I doubt that anything can or will be done about this problem of social media addiction but it is something to consider and think about.


Tim McGraw at Georgia Southern?

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 8:02 pm

Many people did not believe the news when they heard that Tim McGraw was coming to Georgia Southern to perform. I for one suffered from shock and awe. Tim McGraw is the winner of 3 Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music awards, 11 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, 10 American Music Awards, and 3 People’s Choice Awards. He  has been a staple of the Country Music world for a while and that by coming to Georgia Southern, he can help us with our national exposure as we are able to compete with the larger universities on the playing field.

The tickets for this event ranged from 28-31 dollars and each student is able to buy two tickets. This discounted price is contributed to the student fees that are paid each semester, those fees are now being put to good use in a way that we as students can see. Parents and other members of the community are also able to attend the concert, taking place on April 30th, by donating money to the Georgia Southern. With their donation they will also be able to purchase tickets for the concert.

My parents, however, did not take advantage of this because the university was asking them for $200. This might have seemed unfair to them since they are the ones that are paying my student activity fees each semester, but they were happy that I would be able to attend for such a reasonable  price.

By bringing “big name” players to the campus we are showing that we are well equipped for what is to come. The influx of students, the new buildings, the new programs, and variety of organizations and sports will put Georgia Southern on its way to the top with in the next couple of years.


Budget Cuts… Where has all the concern gone?

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 4:27 am

I think that by now the scare of the budget cuts that were brought to the students’ attentions last month have settled down. Now I ask, what ever happened?

What happened to the cuts? The ones that were putting teachers out of work and students out a certain majors? Where has the concern escaped to ?

Last month the Georgia Southern Student newspaper, The George-Ann released a issue talking about the cuts and students and teachers reacted to the news with shock, fear, and anger. There were even Facebook events created to raise awareness and call for strikes and rallies to stand against the cuts. Georgia Southern also created a page where you were able to be updated and connect through Facebook , Twitter, Linked In, and Youtube about the most recent news on the issue.

There are even ways listed that you can get involved. Some of these include:

1. contacting your legislators

2. join Georgia Southern advicoates

3. contribute to Georgia Southern

4. spread the message

Georgia Southern really used its social media sources on this issue to keep the students and general public involved and updated. Though the university started out with the issue at full force I think that some of the concern has settled. Maybe people got tired of the issue, maybe the crisis management of Georgia Southern worked, or maybe the problem has been solved ( if so I have not heard). I hope that the issue of budget cuts can be solved in a beneficial way to all of those involved with out to much harm done.


Toyota… PR Nightmare

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 3:44 am

At this point in time I would not be happy being a part of the PR practitioner team for Toyota. If you would have asked me threeyears ago I would have felt very differently, but with the publicity nightmare and public scare that has happened over the past couple of months I have realized what a difficult challenge being a PR practitioner can be like.

Not only did a solid company take a hit, but they took it in a time where social media and 24 hour news prevails. Twenty years ago the situation that Toyota finds it self in would have been able to be managed and kept more quiet than it can be in today’s world. Twitter, Google, Facebook, and 24 hour streaming news stations have allowed the mistakes of the company to reach the next level of distribution.

Though this has been a rough time for the PR team for Toyota, there have also been many consumers that stand by the company. Some people have sent out rumors of the U.S. government making this situation worse, and some people have even tried to benefit off of Toyota’s mistakes by making false claims. These rumors and claims have been viral and this is where crisis management takes place. It is important for a practitioner to understand the steps of crisis management.

Once all of the commotion and viral news stories  settle down I believe that there are lessons that can be learned from Toyota.

Here are a few takeaways from Abliene Biz for business owners and other organizational leaders from the Toyota crisis:

1. Accept that it can happen to you. If companies such as Toyota and Johnson & Johnson (Tylenol) can get hit with major crises, so can your organization.

2. Plan ahead. When a crisis hits, executives no longer have the luxury of deliberating and responding with a news release for tomorrow’s newspaper.

3. Know where to find the experts. If

4. Get active on social media now.

5. If a crisis hits, assume responsibility and act.


GO GREEK April 26, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 2:02 am

I am currently the Vice President for Panhellenic Association ( aka the governing body for the sororities at Georgia Southern) and we are working on targeting the upperclassmen for the Fall 2010 Recruitment. This can be a hard thing to do since many of the upperclassmen are already involved on campus and have their groups of friends. We are planning on doing a “pen drop” by dropping pens around campus with the information about recruitment on them, putting fliers in the dorms, and displaying sheet signs around the campus.

This may sound like a lot but, I think that involving the social media aspects of Facebook and Twitter can help. After learning about social media in our Public Relations Writing Book I think that it would be a great way to reach the students already attending Georgia Southern University . I went and found a great website called White Paper Source where I was able to find great tips and find out what other people are doing in the area of social media marketing. This site also gives you over 400 responses to the posts that allow you to see the feedback given and advice from others and lure them into registering for Fall Recruitment 2010.

Here is the link for anyone interested in checking out or joining a Greek organization. There are many benefits beyond the social ones and there is a spot for everyone because each organization has over 100 members, you are sure to find someone who you can connect with and relate to.

Do you have any good tips on using social media?


IPad…not so great after all. April 7, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 7:10 pm

I recently found a good website to look at the top PR news related articles, blogs, and over all information. It is called Alltop and there are different sections for certain types of stories. I enjoy the one titled Most Topular Stories. Today there was an article about the new iPad that everyone has been waiting in anticipation for so long for.

The people waited and it is finally here, but the reviews seemed to be mixed. The article Apple iPad: Revolutionary , Shiny Paperweight ? explored the problems with this new product. It was a very fair article and presented thoughts from two people and one was an avid Apple product user.

The main problem that is discussed in this article is about the iPad’s inability to run Flash player. This prevents the users of the iPad from running half of the games and videos that are on the internet. This is not because there is no technology on the iPad for it nor is it about the cost of the program. It is purely about the issues that Abobe and Macintosh have. So to be able to run a simple site like Hulu the site would have to develop an App and sell it. This is a great marketing tool and good way to create revenue but it is sort of silly when considering that Macintosh’s crazy control on the stringent process they make the App creators go through.

Most people have been focusing on the new technology that this product brings and have been blinded to the reasons behind all of the Apps and difficulties with the internet working. Apple has done a great job at hiding its dominance and close mindedness on the adoption the Flash player. I think they should be exposed and that their PR company or person should be applauded for its good job at promoting the product and hiding the flaws but in the name of ethics in PR I think they should be disappointed.


Twitter and Celebrities March 29, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 2:52 pm

Recently I came across an article titled Tweets or Trouble. This particular article talked about the massive growth of Twitter since its inception in 2006. According to the article, Twitter “grew a staggering 1,382% from February 2008 to February 2009, and has more than 7 million unique visitors every month.” The popularity of Twitter reaches from students to scholars and has become the largest micro- blogging site on the internet.

Twitter and its varied users tend to even include celebrities like Rob Thomas, Kirstie Alley, and Kimora Lee Simmons. There is even a Tweet called Celebrity Tweet where you can track your favorite celebrities in one central location. The right of every human to express their opinion and exercise your right to free speech is apparent and celebrities are people after all, but the constant Tweets and updates about their lives are starting to cause them trouble.

Celebrities are loving the FREEDOM and being able to speak on newsworthy topics that they are interested or even involved in without having to wait on their representative to form a statement and take it to the press. According to the article,” Because of the public nature of the site, many public relations practitioners face a “media literacy” problem among their celebrity clients.” Once their client makes a Tweet it is there for life. Out there in the cyber world will be their comments and these might not always be the best things for the celebrities to do. Though they might not see the harm in it, there could be damage done to their or someone else’s reputation based on what they say.

Though Twitter allows the celebrities to be more accessible and public to their fans, they are also that much more accessible and public to the media and its criticism.Courtney Love made a great example when she proceeded to  Tweet an opinion of hers about a designer and his personal habits. The information could be proven true, but never the less she was sued for it  Celebrities opinions can be considered fact and taken out of context for many people. So, just be careful what you read and post and use discretion in all decisions about making information available on the World Wide Web.