I’m a Celebrity, get me in the media!

peta-go-nakedThere is always going to be a very fine line between what is wrong and what is right. What you may think is completely acceptable may be the complete opposite of someone else. For me at uni, this may be the constant battle I have with one particular housemate (you know who you are!) about turning the kettle off at the mains.. But in public relations I feel this is one the most important, yet hardest tasks. You never know how the public may perceive a person, stunt, story or even product, all of which you hope will gain you coverage.

With ‘I’m A Celeb’ looming just around the corner I feel it is more than fitting to look at the role they have in PR. Today the influence celebrities have on our lives is astounding. If you read The Mail (its not my particular choice of paper I must add) the stories featured are plastered with celebrities and what they are up to. Celebrities are one of the best ways to gain an organisation coverage. If a celebrity is present, it is more than likely their social media followers and the press will know about it…therefore great for that organisation.  However, this has limitations.

Looking back at what I was saying earlier about wrongs and rights, celebrities receive both good and bad receptions, depending on how a particular person perceives them.  For example, Lana Durham. Some of us love her and her controversial views, some of us hate her. I mean hate is a strong word, but we are all VERY quick to judge those in the public eye. So it is important to ensure the celebrity you choose will do justice for your brand.

Lastly.. it is SO important that the celebrity also adopts the same views as your brands supporters. I’m sure we can all remember Naomi Campbell stripping off for the ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign and then being pictured in fur coats shortly after.
In my eyes the perfect celebrity for almost everything is Emma Watson and I’m sure you can guess why?

The Capturing of Our Lives

Yesterday whilst catching up on Pretty Little Liars one of the characters stated…
Twitter is the new Facebook, Snapchat is the new Twitter and Periscope is the new Snapchat. So today, I joined Periscope.
Whether I will use it to document my life through video, that’s another story. But what Emily said really got me thinking. We have become a society obsessed with documenting our lives, and it seems that video is the new way to interact socially.
For those of you who don’t know (like myself an hour ago)… Periscope is an app made by Twitter for users to view the world through the eyes of someone else in the form of video sharing.
When I first downloaded Snapchat a couple of years ago, I cringed as I took my first selfie to send to my friends… now, I will happily pout in public to ‘share’ with them what I doing. Even in the most mundane of times we have become a society obsessed with sharing what we do online. Is it really that interesting that your friend put the cereal in the fridge? Apparently to us, it is!  Vloggers have become celebrities, and my friends have 1001 screenshots of me with Sudocrem on my spots.
Ellen Helsper (An Associate Professor in media and communications) stated, “Telling stories about out lives is a basic human instinct.” This has ranged from novels, reality TV , statuses and now to video sharing.
The first video to appear on Youtube was called ‘me at the zoo,‘ and is a perfect example of someone documenting their life, just as we now do on Snapchat, and will increasingly start to do on Periscope. The Guardian reported that Periscope had over 10m users within its first 4 months, so somebody must be using it.
To me it seems the younger generation are the drive behind the increase in video sharing. My 12 year old cousin uploads minutes worth of video to her Snapchat story each day , and her biggest crush is Joe Snuggs- a famous vlogger. I personally still have a crush on Tom Hardy and prefer to use Snapchat more directly to my closer friends. As this generation grow up I predict Periscope and other video sharing platforms will continue grow as we search for more ways to share. It won’t be long before ‘vlogger’ is a word in the dictionary, and my post isn’t covered in small wiggly red lines.
I’m sure you will agree consumer is now casting themselves.

The PRogression of PR

The role Public Relations has dramatically changed due to web 2.0. PR has adapted alongside the digital media landscape, taking a role which was fundamentally known for burying bad press and putting a spin on stories, to a profession which constantly battles the influence of the internet. The relationship brands have with the public has become more accessible than ever. With a role changing so dramatically over the last 10 years, what does this mean for the future of PR?

The digital revolution has already seen the convergence of communication teams to reach target market effectively. Hallam (2013) highlighted “There is a lot of crossover between the public relations, marketing and search functions in terms of content creation.” Marketing, public relations and advertising teams are working together to ensure the content they create makes an impact on the audience. However, just because content reaches an audience, participation and interaction is key to measure success. It is essential to for individuals to respond to measure the success.

When asked about the future Oliver Jones, Head of comms and sustainability at, Aggregate Industries commented,

“We won’t be communicating in words by 2030 – it’ll be video content, dictated messages and emails will be read out to you by the chip in your ear…”

One of the most effective ways that communication teams have reached target audiences has been through videos. You have probably noticed that your Facebook newsfeed has seen an increase in videos your friends have shared, liked or been tagged in. One reason for this is because videos require minimal attention and are much more relatable than a piece of text. The PR industry has recognised this, and is increasingly creating videos alongside other communication teams in hope they will go viral. Videos are particularly interesting in measuring success, as it requires audiences to interact it further through hashtags and comments to encourage a response.

Oliver Jones went on to state PR will continue to grow.

“There’s no doubt that the importance of PR (as well as internal comms) will have increased across all organisations..”

Brands are more aware than ever of the publics opinion due to the freedom you can have on the internet. Anyone can now voice opinions publically thanks to the online age. Our digital presence has given audiences the confidence when behind a screen to damage a brands reputation- Something that would require a lot of effort prior to the freedom of the internet. This means the skills of a PR will continue to grow as businesses and individuals become aware of how valuable positive PR can be.  Brands are now more at risk of damaging their reputation through social media, because of this I predict we will see an increase in employing PR practitioners to help maintain a positive relationship in the future.

References:

J, Harrington (2015) PR Week. The Future of PR: Watch PRWeek’s 30 under 30 give their predictions for 2030. Available from:
http://www.prweek.com/article/1367229/future-pr-watch-prweeks-30-30-give-predictions-2030 [Accessed 10 January]

Hallam, J (2013) The Social Media Manifesto, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

 

The Importance of Data in the PR World

Thanks to the internet, data about almost everything is available. As society we no longer research into something by rooting through books. We use google. Can you imagine not being able to google something? I wonder how many times when someone has asked you a question your response has been ‘Google it.’ The power of Google means we now have access anything at our fingertips (well wherever there is 3G/Wi-Fi) … and Google has access to us (creepy, but great for PR). Anything we type into the search engine is recorded, meaning Google knows everything about us too.

Stella Bayles highlights the importance of search engine optimisation in her recent book Public Relations Digital Resolution. Bayles addresses how Google makes suggestions when you begin typing in the search bar as a consequence of what the public want. For example, you may type in ‘how can I’ and Google will assume what you may want to do based on other peoples searches. Answerthepublic.com is a tool Bayles praises as it helps practioners understand what the public want from particular searches. This can help brands uncover the questions the public has about them.

“It is the ability to gather, analyse and interpret this data that brings about ground-breaking opportunities for PR practitioners.” (Collister 2013: 297). Google helps us find what we may be searching for and this is key for in public relations. In PR it is essential to create content that is relevant to the public, and search engine optimisation is one of the simplest ways to do this.
A big name in PR, Stephen Waddington (2014) agrees that data is key, “Public relations practitioners need to use tools to deliver insights from data relevant to their publics.”
My PR Stack highlights tools which can be used to deliver insights into the ways the public think. I found some tools particularly useful in understanding data and how it can be used to a PR’s advantage:

Brandwatch- This is a tool that is beneficial in analysing social media by helping to monitor what is said about a brand. The tool gathers data by accessing various platforms on social media, blogs and webpages to deliver the insights of the public. Brandwatch is beneficial to PR as it means any content that is created can be driven by what the public needs.

Blunod and Lissted- These tools help to visualise social networks by enabling us to identity where brands are being discussed and how influential accounts may be to an audience. This is key for PR as it is helps us to target content at powerful indiviuals or buisnesses. These tools are effective as it helps to ensure the most significant people are used for content marketing. A tweet may receive millions of retweets, making the user influential. However, it is important to ensure to create content matches your brand motivation to get the correct response.

Buzzsumo- One of the key features of this tool helps to identify where the content is being shared. From this PR’s can see which social media platforms are most influential to a particular topic, meaning content they create can be tailored to that particular site.

The internet has an incredible amount of data on it, so it is important to consider what the public want. The best PR creates content that combines both the brand and publics motivation, benefitting the brand.

References –

Balyes, S. (2015) Public Relations Digital Resolution [online]. : Coverage Book. [Accessed 10 January 2015].

Waddington, S. (2015) MY #PRSTACK [online]. 1st ed.[Accessed 10 January 2015].

Waddinton, S (2014) Cited in, Bailey R.B (2015) Metrics and Measurement lecture. Digital Communication Management Module. [online] Accessed from my lecture notes.

Collister, S (2013), Share This Too, The Public Relations Power of “Big Data” Section, Brown and Waddington, Wiley & Sons, Page 297

How not to do Social Media

The digital age has meant information about ourselves has become increasingly more accessible. Our presence on social media allows people on the other side of the world to know the tiniest detail about you, it might be that freckle you have on the left side of your top lip, or it may be your opinion on Kim Kardashians new hair colour. Either way, we share content and this is no different in public relations.
When it comes to posting something about ourselves many of us don’t think, we just tweet/post/share/like without thinking of the consequence. However, I have learnt the content you create can impact you both positively and negatively.
Public relations teams now work on social media to build relationships with an audience. Whatever is posted can be criticised so it is fundamental to create content that will be shared positively, for me trying to establish a career in PR, I aim for my social media presence to get noticed by practioners in the industry. This develops networks which are essential in the world of public relations. PR is about building relationships. Bailey (2015) advised that, “If the role is to develop relationships with people who matter to the organisation, then you should use all channels.”
Companies now have social media accounts to help gain trust and communicate with the public. This may be in response to a complaint or to promote something. Social media now means we have even more access than ever to communicate with the public. However, this also brings the issue of how easy it is for the public to respond. The public now have the power to publically voice their opinions for the rest of the social networking world to see.

‘Creating social media guidelines does not guarantee that there will never be a social media mishap at your organisation. For the most part, organisations need to trust their employees and believe that the guidelines will help steer them in the right direction.’ (Griffiths 2012)

Back in 2012 Waitrose experienced a twitter backlash, which got their hashtag ‘Waitrose reasons’ trending for the wrong reasons. Waitrose originally put the tweet out to encourage users to praise the brand presenting it in a positive light. However, users on twitter used it as an opportunity to ridicule Waitrose’s middle class target market by posting derogatory tweets. The tweets using the hashtag meant #Waitrosereasons trended for the wrong reasons on twitter.
waitrose reasons

@amoozebouch tweeted, “I shop at Waitrose because it makes me feel important and i absolutely detest being surrounded by poor people,” which received over 120 retweets. This example of public relations going wrong on social media, then went onto be reported in the news by The Mail and The Telegraph, shaming Waitrose further. Although the tweets were humorous, this shows the power a social media audience can have.
Social media has completely changed the way companies now approach an audience. Content that is created must be sharable to impact the public. However, this must be done strategically otherwise companies and individuals are at risk of being ridiculed.
References
Image credit to google images
Bailey R.(2015) Digital Communication Management lecture series. Digital Communication Management Module. [online] Accessed from my lecture notes.
Griffiths, G (2012) Social Media Guidelines: Creating Freedom Within a Framework, in Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals, Wiley

 

The Coming of the Online Age

The way markets are now communicated with has vastly changed since the online age was born. In 1999 The Clutrain Manifesto predicted that “Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves.” Today, we see companies battle against a smarter market who now have the power to filter what they are exposed to. Because of this, the communication to an audience has become more than just conversations, but transactions and relationships too.
Businesses and companies have now adopted a digital way of thinking to reach an audience as the Clutrain manifesto predicted. Markets are no longer being bombarded with billboards and news paper articles about the success of businesses.They are being catered for to create a positive relationship.
Shirky (2008) states, “The distinction between broadcast and communications used to be clear.” It is expected that in order for a business to successfully communicate with an audience, public relations, advertising and marketing teams must work together online to reach a target audience effectively.
Looking back 10 years a PR’s role consisted of endless emailing and calling for press releases that presented companies or individuals in a positive light. Now the role fundamentally lies on how they are portrayed on social media. Communication teams are expected to use social media as a platform to communicate with the market digitally.
Some of the best campaigning is based online. Success is now based on likes, shares and retweets which establish how far the ‘conversation’ has gone.
Campaigns have become more creative to draw in the audience  effectively on social media. We now view social media presence as a key communication tool for audiences to gain a better understanding of a business. Audiences are increasingly seeking for reasons to trust companies however, with the power of the media it is easy to find ways not to.  Companies now no longer rely on how many people read an newspaper article. They strategically plan to interact with as many people as possible by creating something interactive.
Grand Prix Winner, #LIKEAGIRL was recognised for its effectiveness in terms of the emotional connection it made with the consumer. Although it was made to create a positive relationship between the public and Always, its presence on social media was the reason behind its success. The video that encouraged viewers to stop using the phrase ‘like a girl,’ negatively went viral in June 2014. This was due to the emotional connection it made with its target audience. The video stemmed the hashtag, like a girl to trend worldwide. Audiences began using the hashtag for personal examples of sexism and powerful messages, making Always campaign trend on social media. As a result of this 76% of girls stated they no longer saw the phrase like a girl negatively. This campaign was successful as it created an emotional relationship with the audience by effectively marketing the brand as one that you could trust and relate to.
Social media has completely changed the way markets are reached if the content can spark conversation. Digitally communicating with an audience is now recognised as the most efficient and effective way to reach markets.

Referencing
Locke, C and Weinberger, D (1999) The Cluetrain Manifesto. Availible from: http://www.cluetrain.com [Accessed 05 January]
Shirky, C (2008) Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. London : Allen Lane