Caroline's Connections to Public Realtions

Care, Create, Conserve

Tim McGraw at Georgia Southern? April 27, 2010

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?


Ch. 14 Key Ideas April 24, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — Caroline Rawlins @ 7:59 pm

Chapter 14 details the specifics of writing e-mails, memos, and proposals. I think that I pretty well versed on these issues but this chapter offered some new insight to the issue.

* Do not over crowd( pg. 386-87)- in such a technology based world it is easy to overloaded with e-mails, voice mails, Facebook, and Twitter so becoming bombarded with such things to sift through can get a bit stressful. To prevent these things it is good to “follow the basic guidelines of clarity, completeness, conciseness, correctness, courtesy, and responsibility in all your writing” (pg. 386). These principles are each outlined on page 387.

*Letters (pg. 395-398)-Some people may think that letters are old school and that all the technology has phased out but page 395- 98 gives the purpose, content, and formating of letters to allow you to make a well written letter. Always remember that the first paragraph of a letter is the most important and that it should be written on standard business stationary and being no longer than four or five paragraphs. Letters can be used for just about any occasion such as to “give information, to ask for information, to motivate, to answer complaints, to sooth or arouse, to warn” and many more (pg. 395). Think about writing a letter next time you need to convey any message .

*Position Papers (pg. 400)- Some people may not be familiar with position papers but every one will likely write one in their professional career.  Page 400 gives some tips on writing a position paper and describes the reasons for writing one. Some of the reasons include giving background information when talking to the media, method of advancing perspective and point of view, and as a marketing technique for establishing the organizations as a thought leader in the industry.

( information taken from: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by: Dennis L. Wilcox sixth edition)


Social Media News Releases: The Basics and Beyond. April 23, 2010

Filed under: Final " Smart Media News Release ",PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 1:49 am

The Basics:

A Social Media News Release is a news release that is able to incorporate “high-resolution photos/graphics, video, and audio components” (pg.136). Sometimes these special releases are called “smart media releases” or “multimedia releases” (pg. 136).

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Advantages: 1) There are options for more interaction opportunity from the readers. 2) It creates a deeper story. 3) Your audience is more than just journalists. 4) Provides more information from different angles for the journalist to use. 5) Very cost efficient. 6) Do not have to wait on third parties to deliver your message.

Disadvantages: 1) Too many links and multimedia can confuse journalists. 2) High-resolution multimedia can take a long time to load. 3)The less technology advanced people will have a hard time navigating it. 4)Technology problems could hinder your story when trying to distribute. 5) It is always permanently online even if you make mistakes of fact or grammar.

When PR practitioner should use:

A PR practitioner should always put their client or organization’s best interests in the forefront of their mind when thinking about press releases. Social media news releases should not be treated with any less attention than a standard news release, if anything the PR practitioner should think more intently about the content that they put in the Social Media Releases. They can be used for just about every topic that you would use a traditional news release for especially when you want to reach a wide audience on a budget. Be sure to have enough information to provide you with multimedia for the release and be sure that you have to technological skills to build in the multimedia, if not then get a IT individual to help you with the technology aspects (videos, pictures, links, ect.) of the Social Media Release.


IBM– This particular Social Media Release is about IBM and them tackling the energy crisis that seems to be a hot topic in the media today. There are pictures, videos, and links to other sites that help take this press release to the next level by making it a Social Media Release.

Southwest Airlines-This Social Media Release is about Southwest Airlines taking corporate blogging to a new level. There are links to video blogging, podcasting, Flicker feed and more. There are also links to share this Social Media Release with others and expand the reader base for this particular release, which is one of the benefits of Social Media Releases.

Getting Started:

PitchEngine – PitchEngine is a website where you can build a Social Media Release. It also offers many additional features such as a blogger outreach component to help organizations to expand their outreach, profiles of journalists to help facilitate relationships, and filter options for the media to allow them to filter to the information that matters to them.

PRX Builder– PRX Builder is a simple system that walks you through each step of making a Social Media Release. It may not have all of “extras” that are involved with PitchEngine, but it  perfect for the less technological advanced PR practitioners.

Eight Expert Tips:

1*”Place terms in key positions like headlines and first paragraphs”(pg. 137).

2*”Include links to pages where multiple instances your key words/phrases reinforce your message”(pg. 137).

3*Do not use to many tools at one time (pg. 137).

4* Use low-resolution images (pg. 137).

5* Do not put to many links in the release.

6*”Distribute a release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites” (pg.137).

7* Write content for online readers.

8* Incorporate interactivity.


Beginning of the End April 20, 2010

Filed under: Personal,PRCA 3330 — Caroline Rawlins @ 9:37 pm

I am now approaching the last couple weeks of school the stress is on. There are teachers giving final tests, pools are beginning toopen, the weather is wonderful, and my plate is full with school and duties to organizations that I am in. I always look forward to this part of the year because it means that summer time is coming and I will be able to go home for the summer and see family and friends for a few months. But, to get to that point I have to make it through the next few weeks. It will be hard to do but I find that if I try to get work done during the day and use every moment between classes I tend to manage time better. The push of friends to go to the pool or the invites from friends to go off for the weekend can not get to me now.

I have to not live in the moment and know that the hard work that I will put in now will be worth it come summertime. So, I will push through the beautiful weather calling me and stay indoors and make the grades to make the summer worth it. I may even do some of my work on our beautiful porch and enjoy the best of both worlds.