By Sierra Goodman
SPOILER ALERT: Be aware, this post spoils details about season 2, episode 13 and 14 of “This Is Us.”
UPDATE: Milo Ventimiglia from “This Is Us” posted a video on Twitter telling people to “come together” for the Super Bowl as he scoops some chili from a Crock-Pot. The video then uses #CrockPotisInnocent. Will this calm angry fans/Crock-Pot owners?
Milo reminds us to come together for the Big Game. Watch This Is Us on NBC, Sunday, February 4. pic.twitter.com/Iawc1llCWj
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) February 3, 2018
The latest episode of the popular NBC television series “This Is Us” has “sparked” (pun intended) some controversy. In the episode titled “After the Super Bowl,” a beloved character presumably dies in a fire caused by a faulty Crock-Pot. As a result, fans of the show and their Crock-Pots went to Twitter to state their fear of the cooking appliance and declaration to throw it out with posts, pictures and videos.
Crock-Pot has long-running social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. However, they missed Twitter, a key member of their social media presence. The lack of this social platform hindered their ability to address the issue in a timely manner. The company eventually made a Twitter account called @CrockPotCares. They demonstrated a strategic personable tone by addressing tweets about Crock-Pot safety standards and providing a place for consumers to reach out with questions. Showing empathy and using facts to correct misinformation has helped them swerve from the PR crisis. This does not mean they are in the clear — even with a large brand like Crock-Pot it takes time to gain followers.
A small number of followers equals a small amount of exposure for people to see their posts. They have gained 2,000 followers in the last week, but compared to KitchenAid’s 90K Twitter followers it is minuscule. Even with a lack of followers, they have considerably high engagement, receiving everything from 2-302 likes per post.
The episode of “This Is Us” created problems for Crock-Pot and NBC as well. Crock-Pot can potentially sue NBC for trade libel, slander of goods, commercial disparagement, injurious falsehood, and disparagement of property. Crock-Pot released a statement that commented on the action they hope to see from NBC:
The network itself has failed to respond; however, the show’s creator, Dan Fogelman, immediately responded to the Twitter outcry. Hopefully, the tweet from the creator, with a Twitter following of more than 40,000, can alleviate misunderstandings to help both Crock-Pot and NBC.
Although Crock-Pot has been responsive on Twitter, they have not been particularly responsive on their other well-established social media platforms. This is a bit confusing because their other social platforms have the most followers that will be able to view their potential response to the incident. Crock-Pot has also failed to make their official statement known to the general public.
Considering these variables I suggest Crock-Pot address the issue on all social media platforms and post a news release to the press section of their website.
By Kate Templeton
Winter break was great, but now we need to refocus as we begin the new term. Below are a few tips to get back into the swing of things and have a successful 10 weeks!
Organize Your Planner
You will be shocked how much better your life is with a planner. It has been proven that writing words down actually helps people retain information better than just reading it. By having a visual list of the work you need to complete, you will be able to actually visualize and better organize the tasks at hand. Plus, I have to admit, I find it very satisfying to cross a completed task off my list!
Winter term is not only a new term, but also a new year! Whether you made New Year resolutions or not, setting some goals for yourself will help start your term off right. It doesn’t matter if your goals are small or large — they will help you keep your focus on what you want to achieve.
Start a Routine
Be proactive and create a routine for yourself. I know that it’s syllabus week and we all want to lie around and finish the TV shows that we binge-watched all winter break. However, implementing a solid and effective routine at the beginning of the term will help you be more successful as the term progresses.
Start Healthy Habits
My next tip is simpler said than done! Starting a consistent workout routine and eating healthier food choices is easier now than when the term gets busy later on. It is crucial to be in both a healthy and a happy mindset. Winter term can bring on seasonal sadness due to the lack of sun and shorter daylight hours. Being mentally and emotionally positive is extremely important to keep your spirits up these next 10 weeks!
I hope these tips help and everyone has a happy and successful 2018!
By Talia Smith, UO PRSSA Communications Director and former Veracity intern
For our last meeting of Fall term, Amy Rosenberg of Veracity Marketing in Portland was kind enough to drive down to Eugene to talk to our chapter about traditional versus digital PR. As we found out, there is no difference.
Amy’s presentation was unique to our guest speaker lineup as we had yet to learn about digital PR and how it can be the “secret weapon to SEO.” Many of us have heard of SEO and know it’s important, but we don’t really know what role we will play in SEO as PR students and aspiring professionals. Amy did a great job explaining what we can do to start thinking digitally to make media coverage go further while helping clients maximize their online presence.
First, if your client doesn’t have a website, encourage them to create one or outsource someone to make a “SEO-friendly” site. Amy compared a company’s website to a flyer, except this flyer doesn’t end up at the bottom of your purse. A website provides your brand’s stakeholders with a platform to learn more about them and follow up. “If you don’t have a presence online, you don’t exist,” Amy said. The call to action of most of your PR efforts are going to lead back to this website which is why it is essential your client has one.
Once your client has a website, you need to help people find it which is where SEO comes in. In a nutshell, websites can get lost in a sea of search results on Google and Bing and SEO helps a site rank higher to garner more clicks. Let’s be real, no one is going to click to the second page of Google. In order for a website to be useful it must appear in the top results when using keywords associated with your brand. Blogging provides a website more keywords for people to search.
Once a website and blog are up and running, PR and social media can be used to drive viewers to the site through links. When it comes to securing media coverage, Amy suggests keeping your pitch to five sentences or less and linking out to a press release as reporters appreciate brevity. Also, don’t spam anyone. Instead, take the time to personalize a pitch and offer the same respect to all positions in the newsroom. Amy says bloggers and writers are the most important people in the newsroom to PR professionals because they could be editors five years down the road.
Once you secure media coverage, it is imperative to get the link so it can be sent to your client and shared on social media, an important step to amplifying viewers. It is also wise to have an “In the News” tab on a website and have an ongoing list of links to recent media coverage. If you can’t find a link to coverage you know you secured, Amy recommends asking the digital editor who is responsible for placing stories on a traditional news media outlet’s website. You might feel like you are bothering someone just for a link but Amy assures that these digital editors understand you are asking for SEO purposes and will respect you.
At the end of the presentation, Amy was asked what students can do to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to digital and traditional PR. She suggests “showing up” to professional development organizations such as PRSSA and PRSA for PR and SEMpdx for digital. Fortunately, Amy will be speaking at SEMpdx’s Engage conference in March 2018.
Thank you, Amy, for sharing your insight about traditional and digital PR. Please come back soon!
By Sierra Goodman
Local reporters, Tiffany Eckert, Justina Roberts and Amber Wilmarth, were on our media relations panel at our Nov. 1 chapter meeting. The three answered questions and informed members about relationships with public relations professionals and reporters.
Public relations professionals and reporters have a symbiotic relationship. Public relations professionals provide reporters with newsworthy stories and reporters provide PR professionals a platform to tell those stories. The key is to maintain the relationship on both a professional and personal level. Similar to any other relationship it requires mutual respect, communication and trust. Here are nine ways PR professionals can foster positive relationship with journalists:
1. Use the 5 W format
Journalists live on fast-paced schedule which means they need to know the who, what, when, where and why in a concise manner. Introduce yourself in a short and simple sentence. The pitch should be about a paragraph long to give enough detail about what you are pitching and why it’s important to the reporter and public as well. The ability to write concisely is a skill learned with practice so don’t beat yourself up if it takes an hour or more to write a paragraph.
In the past, it would be deemed inappropriate and unprofessional to resort to texting a reporter instead of calling or emailing. Texting is becoming a more efficient means of communication as reporters don’t have time to go through emails all the time and they are always on the go. Just make sure you have met or talked with the reporter at least once.
“I think that the most important part of PR is communication; communicate well, communicate distinctly, communicate visually.”
3. Initiate and maintain
Yes, we are in the year 2017 where apparently texting between professionals is now acceptable. However, it is still necessary to communicate in-person as well and introduce yourself. It is important to do so whenever the chance is given and to make an effort to make those chances possible. As Gossip Girl would say, “Remember public relations rule number one: your value is your social network.” Building these unique relationships develops overtime, there’s a number of angles to go about maintaining them. This can be anything from complementing them on a recent article they published to going out for a cup of coffee to discuss an impending exclusive. It all depends on where you’re at in the relationship.
4. Keep an exclusive, exclusive
One day in your PR career, you may be given the opportunity to give an exclusive news story to your favorite reporter. If you tell them it is exclusive, stick to your word and only share this information with them. Trust is lost if you tell multiple reporters you have an exclusive story.
5. Be crystal clear about an embargo
Following up on the last statement, be sure to make it clear when a story is an embargo. In this case, the term embargo is described as an agreement between a PR professional and reporter that information given will not be released until the time stated. It’s easy to misunderstand unless it is explicitly said the story is not to be released until the given date.
“What is the most important 15 seconds I could tell this reporter?”
6. Be available
There is nothing more annoying to a reporter than getting an interesting press release only to find out the contact is unavailable for further details. This forces them to move on to the next story making the day harder for both of you. If they are not able to rely on you for a quick response it can severe sever the relationship. Most reporters understand that PR professionals have a busy life too and may not be able to respond immediately. In this scenario, it is important to at least acknowledge that you have received the reporter’s message and let them know when you will be able to get back to them.
7. Get your story in before 8-10 a.m.
Before the day officially starts, reporters meet with the news team between 8-10 a.m. During this time, they are preparing stories for the rest of the day. If you want a reporter to pitch your timely story at the morning meeting, be sure to contact them BEFORE 8 a.m. If you contact a reporter after their morning meeting, the news agenda is set, your story will not be able to be fit in and it is old news by tomorrow.
8. Give plenty of lead time
Although reporters learn to live in a fast-paced environment, letting them know information a few days to a week in advance allows them to take a breather, even if only for a second. This step is important in maintaining a good relationship with the select journalist. No one wants to be working against the clock if they don’t have to.
9. Don’t pitch an advertisement
This part will take some time to master but it’s an important one. In order to not sound like an advertisement, a pitch requires some humanity. Remember to mention how what you are pitching effects the audience who watches the news. At the end of the day it’s one human speaking to another.
By Kate Templeton
Do you stress out before an interview? Don’t worry- you’re not alone! For me, interviews are the most nerve-racking part of the job process. Demonstrating to prospective employers that you are the most qualified person for the job while being asked questions on the spot can be very stressful. However, with preparation and practice anyone can become a pro interviewee! Here are five tips that will help you nail your next PR interview and alleviate some of that stress:
First impressions matter! When going into an interview, it is always a good move to dress professionally. Have you ever heard the expression, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” Dressing up for an interview can show prospective employers that you care about the job and are taking the interview seriously. You want them to be able to picture you doing the job you are applying for. Plus, when you dress well it can help you feel more confident!
When conducting an interview, people are looking for specific responses. They are seeing if you possess the skills needed to work well with their organization. Why not show up extra prepared? As PR students and PR professionals we should be able to think on our feet and effectively promote ourselves. There are certain questions that are consistently asked at interviews (ex: strengths, weaknesses, why do you want to work here, etc.). Practice answers to questions you think you may be asked so that you feel more prepared and confident for the actual interview!
It’s easy to tell people that you have a full public relations portfolio with a variety of creative work pieces through multiple clients. However, actually being able to show off your skills during an interview is even better. Make sure to show your PR portfolio and sample work to an interviewer, whether it be a hard copy or online. This will help differentiate you from other candidates.
Few things are as impressive in an interview as showing how prepared and knowledgeable you really are about what you are applying for. Especially if it’s a job related to PR, you want to know all of the ins and outs of the organization and role. Being able to demonstrate that you have done your research tells employers that you spent time learning about the company and position, and that you genuinely want the job.
After the interview is over and you begin the process of waiting for a response, it is important to follow-up with the person/people who interviewed you. Sending a thank-you note or e-mail is always a great idea. This is an additional way to reiterate how much you want this position and help them specifically remember you when they are picking from a large pool of applicants.
By Sierra Goodman
It’s no secret that the landscape of crisis communications has changed significantly due to the prevalence of social media. According to the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of U.S. adults received news from social media this year and of those users, 74 percent get their information from Twitter. Increasingly, we have seen social media used as a tool for social change. Crises involving public figures and brands have the added input of social media which can act as fuel to a burning fire. Here are some examples of how social media has brought social issues to the forefront of conversation:
Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo
It was recently brought to light that Harvey Weinstein has a reputation for sexual assault within the Hollywood community. This has been going on for decades but was unknown to the general public until now. After The New York Times published an article about Weinstein paying off his sexual assault accusers, social media made his actions finally surface. The stories have started a conversation on social media with the trending #MeToo, creating a platform for sexual assault survivors and supporters to speak up. This has brought up many other cases of sexual assault, both inside and outside of the film industry. As a result, Weinstein was terminated by The Weinstein Company and kicked out of the Film Academy. Without social media, the New York Times article uncovering this story would not have reached as many audiences as it did.
Starbucks and #borderfreecoffee
In August 2017, the hashtag #borderfreecoffee was trending on Twitter and suggested that undocumented immigrants would receive 40 percent off Starbucks coffee for “Dreamer Day.” At first, Twitter buzzed with praise for Starbucks until it was revealed that this information originated from an online message board in hopes of luring undocumented immigrants to Starbucks and reporting them to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Starbucks took to Twitter to confirm the information was a hoax. While social media has the ability to spread information widely for social change, it can also be used to spread false information.
Racist Dove Ad
The soap brand, Dove, recently came out with an advertisement that featured an African American woman taking off her shirt to reveal a white woman. Social media pointed out the ad as racist because it implied that darker skin is “dirty” and lighter skin is “clean.” Social media did not fail to remind both the brand and public why the ad was wrong and that it was not the first time Dove was racially insensitive. Dove released a statement to apologize for the offensive message. Social media has allowed for consumers to have a voice and as a result, companies are expected to take action and apologize when they miss the mark.
Social media can be both a gift and a curse for PR professionals and it is crucial for brands to know how to use it and how it is used by the public. If you’re interested in learning more about crisis communication, check out the links below.
By Kate Miller
Congrats! You landed a summer internship. I don’t know about you, but my eyes were so firmly set on landing an internship that I felt like I hadn’t slept in months. When I finally landed the perfect internship, I was excited but nervous. What do I do now? What do I do when I get there? How do I plan?
With five weeks to go before I leave for Washington D.C., I need to figure out my clothing situation, housing, food and transportation while I am simultaneously studying for finals, scheduling fall classes and balancing extracurricular activities. I want to be the best intern, but how do I do that?
I decided to look into what other interns have done to navigate a cross-country internship experience. Here are five tips to plan for a summer internship adventure:
Make sure you calculate the amount of money you are going to be making and how much housing costs. In D.C. housing takes a large chunk out of my paycheck. Make sure to account for taxes and budget for food, coffee and transportation as well. Wally is an excellent app to help plan and track your expenses and set savings goals. Budgeting is crucial so you can have some leftover money to explore a new city.
2. Work Hard
Now that you have landed the internship, show them why they chose you. You have learned various skills in school that will help you, but a lot of what you will be doing you will be learn on the job. Make sure to come in early and stay late, show them how much you want this internship and how great of an employee you would be. You never know who they know and how it will help you find a job when you graduate.
3. Soak it up
Your supervisors will have a wealth of knowledge to learn from, so take the opportunity to soak it up. You are in the “real world” and have the chance to test out your chosen field, see what you like and see what you don’t like. I am taking a journal with me to write down some of the fun things that happen so that when I am looking for a job next year I have something to reference to help me decide what type of place I want to work.
4. Be positive
Employers notice. Make sure you always take the tasks you are given with a smile on your face. Do every task with a positive attitude and always go the extra mile. This will make your experience a lot more fun, and it will make your relationship with your supervisors better.
You have a full staff of people doing the job you want to do one day. Take the opportunity to network. Spend time getting to know the other interns because one day they could be working somewhere where you want to work or vice versa. Make a goal to take one person out to coffee per week and get to know them. Learn about their track and how they got to the company. Ask for feedback and learn from the advice they give you.
Remember, you are an intern and you are not expected to know everything. Be excited! This is going to be an amazing summer of learning and experiencing new things. They chose you for a reason. Congratulations, and good luck at your internship.
By Kate Miller
Breaking news: Most students attending college right now are not millennials, even though older people still categorize us as millennials. According to The Huffington Post, if you were born in 1995 or later you are part of “Gen Z.” Sorry to all of the thirty somethings who still want to relate to college kids. A “millennial” is a person who is or becomes a young adult in the year 2000.
Although many of us thought we were millennials up until recently, there are some key differences between us and “true millennials.”
Since our generation grew up with technology, Gen Zer’s relate closer with internet users across the world than the generations above. We are considered the first to be fully global: meaning we think, relate and interact with a global mindset. Ask yourself if you could go a week without your device or even a day? Huffington Post found 40 percent of Gen Z self-identifies as “digital device addicts.” This is contributing to the change in strategic marketing strategies across the board.
Think about how many TV ads Starbucks put out about the new unicorn frappuccino. I have yet to see one. There very well could be, but Starbucks is targeting “Gen-zennials” a Ketchum term for the cohort of 16-24 year olds in between generations. This Starbucks campaign is meant to be instagrammed.
We are a generation that has device dependency that leaves little time for TV consumption, and little interest for traditional advertising and news consumption causing brands to have to change their strategy. When marketing products, keep in mind that times have changed and Gen Z relates to diversity and responds to visuals. If you are starting a campaign, make sure to tailor it to social media and make sure it is sharable.
Generational hipsters were born social and started developing a brand for themselves from a young age. Myspace, Tumblr, Musically, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, Weheartit, Vine etc.; 92 percent of Gen Z has a digital footprint. Local coffee shops, #exploregon and thrifting have become a generational norm. Gen Z looks for uniqueness in their brand and what they consume. They are focused on being different, embracing globalization and diversity.
Being unique is trendy. This is creating even more need for PR professionals to target messaging to specific groups due to the expansive individuality and diversity of this generation. Take a look at Lynda.com and Facebook blueprint. In order to strategically target Gen Z, it is becoming essential to understand your target market and to use paid media as an advantage for your brand.
Due to the constant speed of social media, especially on channels like Snapchat and Vine, Gen Z is developing a shorter attention span. There is an instant gratification expectation. We are reshaping the way PR professionals are setting up campaigns because when we are doing five things at once there is a lack of observation and attention to detail that PR professionals pride themselves in. It takes a visual appeal to grab the attention of a Gen Z. But this should not dismiss the work ethic of Gen Z and the way they are reshaping the classroom and workplace in PR.
Gen Z has created a shift within the work and play boundaries, multitasking is increasing productivity for offices, and making work environments more desirable due to the blurred lines. This requires PR professionals to step up their game and target audiences in a compelling and relatable way. When creating messaging keep it short and sweet because your messaging is getting read in between a scroll.
Because Gen Z was immersed in technology growing up, they are thinking entrepreneurially. Gen Z likes independence, they are self-starters and 72 percent of teens in Gen Z desire to start their own business one day. A lot of what has shaped Gen Z is growing up in the recession in 2008 which is apparent in how much they value experiences and how frugal they are with their money.
Gen Z is not seeing the value in higher education like previous generations and employers are predicting more young adults go straight into the workforce. The cost versus gain to of school does not seem to be paying off in comparison to the loans Gen Zer’s will be paying off long after.
Gen Z values efficiency and knowledge is included. If there is a way for them to learn something in a more affordable, timely manner that is less traditional, they will most likely take that route. When targeting this audience taking an approach like Starbucks’ unicorn drink, five days only, for a drink most consumers wouldn’t traditionally purchase, not only makes Gen Z want to consume because of the uniqueness, but the limited time increases value for Gen Zer’s.
Gen Z expects brands to be loyal to them instead of the other way around. They want to feel appreciated. If they do not feel valued and appreciated they will take their loyalty somewhere else. Because Gen Z has grown up in a culture of innovation and technological advancements, they now expect this level of innovation instead of being amazed by how incredibly advanced technology truly is. As a PR person, sharing the values of the brand and how much you value your customers through messaging is crucial.
Gen Z is changing the PR and marketing world dramatically, causing us to be more strategic and technological when running campaigns. As a Gen Zer, I am sure some of these findings are relatable. Keep in mind now more than ever the importance of targeting.
By Erica Freeze
Broadening your professional network is essential for a smooth transition into the professional world. Your time in college is crucial for connecting with professionals and exploring possible career paths. So how do you meet potential employers? Here are four ways to get your foot in the door:
Join a career building group on-campus:
Student organizations across the country provide students with a variety of ways to network and meet new people. There are several on-campus clubs that can help broaden your professional network which includes: The International Business and Economics Club, Independent Society of Campus Journalists, UO Toastmasters, the American Institute of Architecture Students, and PRSSA. Many of these clubs bring in professionals to their meetings who give advice on how to succeed in a specific career path. The UO PRSSA chapter invites PR professionals bi-weekly to present at chapter meetings. These meetings can help you network and discover potential firms you might be interested in applying to after graduation.
Utilize the Career Center through the Professional Network:
As an enrolled student, you have access to a professional network through the Career Center. To gain access, you must complete an online networking workshop and quiz, and the login to your Duck Connect account. The Professional Network consists of UO alumni, parents, and friends committed to supporting you in exploring different career paths and preparing you for the working world. Browse various profiles and reach out to those who have a career that interests you in the professional network. If you gain a contact, ask if you can receive an onsite tour or set up a job shadow. This network is a great resource for engagement because all professionals in the network have agreed to share their time and professional expertise with UO students.
Connect with your instructor:
Many of your instructors have great connections in a variety of industries. Your instructors want to get to know you and help you succeed. Get to know your professors and see what realm of public relations each one specializes in. If they have similar interests to yours, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. They also still keep in touch with past students who have entered the public relations industry and can connect you with them. Instructors will often invite professionals into the classroom as well, so feel free to ask questions in class!
Set up an informational interview:
Before reaching out to a professional, look into a company you are interested in and research who they are, what they do and what they support. Once you have some knowledge about the company, ask the professional if they are willing to speak with you. Schedule a time that works for both of you, and be prepared to ask questions about their daily life at the company, any projects they are working on and the office environment. Remember that informational interviews are different from job interviews and that they do not guarantee a job.
Connect with professionals on LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is a wonderful resource for connecting with employers. If you don’t have a LinkedIn it is definitely time for you to set one up! Take the time to tailor your profile to show potential employers who you are. Many companies are on LinkedIn and you can narrow your searches by location, industry or job openings. LinkedIn is a great way to follow the employees at the companies you are interested in. You can message professionals on the platform and inquire about informational interviews or ask simple questions.
These are just a few ways to broaden your network. What are your tips and tricks for meeting potential employers?
By Lily Gordon
Goodwill is where you go to piece together a Marty McFly costume for under $20. Or where Macklemore gets his Velour jumpsuit and house slippers. Or maybe even where your aunt goes to snag some great gag gift. But in all of these scenarios, Goodwill is a place. It is a brick and mortar business. People go to Goodwill.
Well, that’s about to change all in the name of Goodwill’s mission:
“To enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.”
That mission cannot be achieved without one simple thing, profits. More than 100 Goodwill stores have taken to the internet with the sole hope of boosting sales. The website, shopgoodwill.com, allows the retailer to sell items, typically higher priced merchandise such as jewelry, in an online auction similar to that of eBay. Going online has majorly payed off thus far. The Portland, Oregon Goodwill sites see more than a million dollars in online profits per month.
Goodwill’s move to an online shop demonstrates a clear understanding of millennials, one of the company’s top target markets. However, the non-profit has done a poor job of creating awareness about the online store. The Goodwill Industries Twitter actively promotes campaigns, interacts with customers and reiterates the company’s mission, but fails to mention shopgoodwill.com.
Whether or not shopgoodwill.com will ever become more successful than Goodwill brick and mortar stores is still up in the air. Clothes are a staple of the non-profit. When 20-somethings get excited about thrift shopping, scavenging clothing racks for great finds is typically what comes to mind. The fact is, however, clothing simply does not re-sell well online. That is something Goodwill’s public relations team will have to tackle if they intend to make shopgoodwill.com into the next generation’s idea of thrifting.
This is an exciting time for Goodwill’s PR teams across the United States and Canada. Despite the company’s blunders in the initial stages of its e-commerce appearance, it doesn’t mean it’s too late to shine. They haven’t done anything wrong— they just haven’t really done anything yet. It’s time for Goodwill to prove to millennials that thrift shopping is just as cool on a laptop as it is in a store.