Relating to PR

Here we are, the last and final topic of the week for Case Studies and Issues in PR. I can’t believe how quickly five weeks has passed, and that I am heading into my final five weeks of school. Once done, I am ready and excited to embark on my new career in Public Relations. It only seems appropriate that the final Topic of the Week asks us to discuss what aspect of Public Relations interested me the most, and how I think my career will be informed by my new knowledge of Public Relations.

Communication Appreciation

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I would like to start out by saying that I LOVE PR! I have always fancied myself a communicator, but never fully thought that it was something I could do as a career. Throughout this year I have learned about so many aspects of PR, and more importantly, that PR is what I am meant to be doing. I would have to say that what interested me the most about PR is public speaking. I know what you’re thinking: “Public speaking?!?!? Are you nuts?!?”  Yes, loyal reader, I might just be….  All jokes aside, this year has given me many opportunities to try new things and focus on my strengths. I found that what I really thrived at was giving a presentation, or hosting an event. I loved going on TV and representing a cause, or having a mic in my hand feeling the pressure to perform. If I could I would bottle that feeling and sell it on the black market. It’s good sh*t.


Moving up and on

I think that this year has been a chance for me to put some tools in my hypothetical toolbox of life. I am not an expert in PR; however, I have a much better understanding of what I am heading into, and how to cope with my upcoming career change. One of the most important things I have learned is the need to research and have an overall understanding of what is going on with the people I am trying to communicate with. Although I am apt to focus on strategy and tactics, this year has taught me that all good strategies come from a solid foundation of research and understanding the audience I am trying to target.

And that, my friends, is pretty much it. I’d like to thank you for reading, and if you’re interested, invite you to read my upcoming blog called, “Like. Love. Marriage.” This blog will chronicle my journey through the wedding planning process and more importantly, my journey into “wife-dom.”

Until then, take care.



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Comment #4

Well, the time has arrived. I am about to submit my last and final comment for Case Studies and Issues in PR. I must admit that in the beginning I was mortified at the thought of commenting to people’s article and finding my voice in and amongst the melee of opinions. However, 8 comments later and I feel like I have gained to confidence to take a stand on an issue and share my opinion. This week I commented on an article from PR Daily in regards to a competition held by a local radio station on who is the “hottest journalist.” One of the things that drives me crazy is the objectification of women in the media. So with that being said, my response to the article is as follows:

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 11.03.44 AM *Note: My fears became a reality with my final comment. I had people respond unfavorably to my comment and a slight debate ensued. I’m not sure if I handled it right, but was trying to stay true to myself and my opinions and not be pushed around by others. Click here to see how I responded.

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A “Bliss-ful” moment for Hershey’s PR

This week in Case Studies and Issues in PR we have been asked to discuss our favourite case, why it interested us, and what I have learnt from the campaign. So, without further ado, I present to you a sweet campaign put together by Hershey’s….

Now here’s a party I can get behind…
hersheys_bliss_logo In April 2008, Hershey’s was preparing to launch their new Hershey’s Bliss chocolate. With not much new to say about chocolate, Hershey’s had to come up with a creative way to get people talking about their product. With targeting female chocolate lovers in mind, Hershey’s decided to host 10,000 chocolate parties for girlfriends nationwide. JSH&A communications company used word-of-mouth, mainstream and social media to get the word out about how all of us chocolate loving females can all share in the bliss of cellulite by hosting a chocolate party. If you were one of the lucky ladies to be chosen, Hershey’s would send you package of Hershey’s products, coupons and party ideas to share with your  closest 10 girlfriends. In the end, they were able to create 150,000 unpaid brand ambassadors who promoted the product with pleasure after their parties were held.

A Moment of Bliss

This campaign stuck out to me, as it was something that was speaking right to me. Not only do I enjoy a morsel of chocolate or two from time to time (more like shamefully eating a whole chocolate bar in my closet), but I also LOVE my girlfriends. Combine that with an opportunity to throw and party, and Hershey’s has hit the dimple on the butt cheek! Although I can imagine the coordination of 10,000 parties in one weekend might come with some challenges, I couldn’t be more impressed and inspired by their creativity.

If this campaign teaches me one thing, it is that word-of-mouth advertising still remains the most efficient way to get your message across. In a time where their customer base is so big, Hershey’s was able to break down the message in a way that spoke to the everyday person, and made them feel part of this blissful chocolate experience. I am once again reminded that I am much more likely to listen to a friend’s recommendation than an advertisement any day of the week. The Hershey’s Bliss campaign proved how important word-of-mouth advertising is as they generated more than 142.5 million impressions, 15,390 blog posts, as well as an additional 10 million impressions based on word-of-mouth advertising alone. Well done Hershey’s. My second chin thanks you.

How do you think Hershey’s did with their PR campaign?

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Comment #3

I know what you’re thinking: “what exciting comment is Carley going to make this week?” Have no fear ominous reader, I have yet again regaled the internet with some more of my musings. This week I commented on an article from PR Daily titled 14 Essentials for PR Newbies. Although I found the list quite comprehensive, I thought of one more tip that could be added:

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Occupy-ing the Silence: A PR perspective of Occupy Wall Street


Well, hello 99%. Welcome to a brief discussion on Occupy Wall Street. Today I will be sharing my thoughts on what could have been done from a PR perspective in order to keep the initial momentum of the movement going.

In case you are part of the apathetic portion of the 99%, Occupy Wall Street  is a leaderless movement that takes a stand against the “greed and corruption of the 1%”. Occupy Wall Street encourages the 99% to take a stand against this inequity by taking part in protests, standing up for our right to occupy spaces safely, and protect ourselves from the far-reaching power of major banks and multinational corporations.  Amazing, right?!?

As one of the 99% (we’re a big group!), I must admit that when the Occupy Movement occurred in September 2011, I got swept up in the excitement, as well as the ideology behind the cause. The general momentum of Occupy was helped along by Manhattan PR Firm Workhouse, who provided some much needed clarity and communications about what was going on.It was exciting to see a group of people trying to tackle the corruption that occurs within major banks and corporations. Combine that with the catchy messaging of “We are the 99%,” and I’m sold. The slogan does a great job at grabbing people’s attention and showing you that you are not alone. “We are the 99%” denotes that there is no segregation based on sex, race or age; instead, it gives people a platform to take a stand against financial inequities that exist in our “free market.” It turns out that this free market of ours comes at quite the cost….

So…Are we still Occupying?  12347490-confused-young-businesswoman-shrugs-her-shoulders-in-a-clueless-gesture

No one can argue that Occupy Wall Street generated a lot of noise and media attention. I still remember walking by the Legislative Building in Winnipeg and seeing people camping outside, rain or shine. The momentum was palpable and people were revved up for change; however, almost 2 years later the revolution seems to have lost it’s horsepower, and is in more of an idle position. Now, I would not classify myself as a political activist, nor have I rallied for large scale change. I have never slept outside as a form of solidarity for a cause, nor have I passionately picketed on the front lines. However, as one of the 99%, I was waiting for the actual movement or change that would result from all the ruckus and noise. It seemed as though the movement lacked a definitive direction, or strategy as to how this 99% of people were going to “overthrow” this 1%. As we saw with Kony 2012, momentum is only the first part of a good campaign. Once people lazily lift their head from their computers, they need a call to action strong and clear enough to make the change occur. Communication plays such an important role when trying to affect change that you literally need to spell it out for people. Furthermore, I’m not sure if the 99% can agree on how this change is going to occur. I have seen a group of 5 people melt down because they were unable to agree on things. Statistically, it doesn’t look good.

In the end, the real issue with the management of Occupy, is that there is no management at all. One of the fundamental ideologies of Occupy is that it is a “leaderless resistance movement.” To me, leaderless implies that there is no one taking control. In order to communicate to 99% of people effectively, the message has to be clear, concise, and consistent.

What would it take to convince you to take part in a movement?

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Comment #2

Another week, another comment. This week I decided to comment on an article from PR Daily titled, The two worst media disasters in June. In the article, Brad discussed both US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, as well as Chef Paula Dean. Here is my response to the article:

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Topic of the Week #1

Well, here we are, Case Studies and Issues in PR. This week I have been asked to answer three questions that discuss public opinion and persuasion, so without further ado, let’s get down to business.

1.What has made you change your opinion of a public figure, organization or brand. Please give one example.

The first person that comes to mind when I think of public opinion is Lance Armstrong. I have never seen someone fall from grace the way he has, and he is a wonderful example of what NOT to do in PR. Lance Armstrong, winner of 7 Tour de France titles, made a “shocking” confession in January 2013 on the Oprah Winfrey Show, that he was in fact doping during most of his professional career. I can’t think of a better way to give your image a shine then to go on the Oprah Winfrey show. However, what was meant to be a “tell all” turned out to be a “tell on,” as Lance didn’t really take responsibility the way I thought he should have after over a decade of bull-faced lies. Of course everyone makes mistakes. But, it was the way that Lance vehemently denied the allegations, and bullied people into a corner that I find most off putting about the whole thing. Lance Armstrong went from being someone that people looked up to and adored to being stripped of his Tour de France titles, and stepping down from his Live Strong Foundation. Lance Armstrong is learning the hard way a lesson that we as PR professionals know to be true: honesty is the best policy.

2. What factors have influenced your decision to do or not do something. Please give one example.

To do, or not to do: that is the question. In regards to persuasion and what works for me, I need a clear call to action and an easy way to take said action. When first reading this question I thought of a book I read many years ago called Alan Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking. At the time I was a pack a day smoker, and looking to quit, but had no idea how. I had heard from a few friends (gotta love word of mouth advertising) of this book and thought I would give it a try. I figured I had nothing to lose. So, with cigarette in hand I started reading this book that actually recommended I smoked until I finished reading the book. The magical thing about this book is the constant messaging that continues over the 150 pages. Alan Carr takes every lie smokers tell to themselves (I need a smoke to relax, I love smoking after meals, I’ll quit next week) and breaks it down into small readable chapters with one consistent message, “There is nothing good about smoking.” At the end of the book the call to action is very clear — Have your last smoke and then never have one again. I know it seems pretty obvious that this is how to quit smoking, but the way he discusses the addiction of smoking and calls you to quit is powerful. I stopped smoking the day I finished the book, and haven’t picked up the nasty habit again (except for that year when I lived in Europe, but hey, everyone’s doing it….)

3. What has made you think differently about an issue. Please give one example.

The Dove Beauty Evolution Campaign was something of an “AHA” moment for me. I still remember the first time I watched the video of a model being retouched and photoshopped as she gets put on a billboard for all to see and admire. Although I knew that photoshopping happened, I didn’t realize to what magnitude. It brought tears to my eyes when I realized that I was comparing myself to a standard of beauty that wasn’t realistic. As someone who has been brought up in a world of celebrities, supermodels, and billboards, it took a long time to be more gentle on myself and re-evaluate what my own standard of beauty was. The Dove Beauty campaign struck a chord in me that still resonates to this day. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I couldn’t be more grateful that Dove started this very important conversation.


…and that, my friends, is the end of another exciting addition of “Topic of the Week.” Stay tuned next week where I will be discussing another topic in the fine art of PR. Until then, I will leave you with this thought:

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”
― Sam Levenson


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Comment #4

Today I was reading PR Daily and I saw a post in regards to Walmart and a social media snafu. The article was titled, “Walmart Briefly Posts Profane, Mysterious Facebook Status.” Now, the article itself wasn’t overly interesting, or worth comment; however, I was blown away by the fact that Walmart had already commented on the article in order to clarify their misstep and smooth things over. I thought this would be a great time to try and reach out to someone outside of my circle, and try to attain an inside source for our assignments due later on in the course. Here is my response to the article:

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Comment #3

Today, I decided to respond to journalistics blog post on “What led you to PR?”  Now, I know that I might not be “contributing to the PR conversation” with this one, but it struck a cord in me. At a point where I am feeling quite stressed and overwhelmed, I thought it might be nice to remind myself why I am on this path.  I justified responding to this blog because I thought that even if one person read  my comment and found themselves in a similar situation, I might be able to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here is my response to the blog:

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Here I sit, one short day away from completing another course and being one step closer to my PR diploma. In what seems like a blink of an eye and an eternity all at the same time, these past 6 weeks in PR Fundamentals II have been full of lessons that I will take with me well beyond the end of this program. I have been asked to reflect on my three key learnings in the PR Fundamentals II class, so here they are:

Get off your computer and get out there!

In a world where tweets and status updates are more frequent than a call to your mom, it is easy to become entranced with the online world. Everything is at our fingertips from research, to a possible husband—so why get out from behind your screen?!? Our teacher has reminded us that there is a world of people out there waiting to give their opinions and let us know what they are looking for. Although internet research is helpful, there is nothing quite as insightful as having a face to face conversation with someone, and getting a good understanding of what appeals to them. This leads quite nicely into my next teachable…..


Ahhhh the task we all love to avoid. Research is something I have been doing for many years, but I am reminded again at the importance of starting all communication plans with thorough research. I am definitely one of those people who loves getting into the tactics and strategies, so I need to remind myself that I cannot base campaigns on personal feelings. I need to get out there, pound the pavement (see above teachable) and understand what the target audience is looking for. Furthermore, it is essential to understand the needs and the tone of the company to make sure you are aligned with their organization.

Group work can be fun when you are with the right group of people

Group work: The bain of any PACE student’s existence. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good collaboration. However, when you put 25 communicators in one room for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 13 months, things are bound to go awry. With more group projects than I have dates with my boyfriend, there comes a point where you never want to do another group project in your life. With that being said, I am invigorated after this group project. Maybe not physically invigorated per-se, but I have drank the kool-aid and I am back on board for group projects. Why, you ask? Because I have just had the opportunity to work with 4 inspiring women who reminded me how good it is to collaborate with positive, supportive, and accountable individuals. Yes, it was hard work. No, we didn’t always agree on ideas. However, it was the way we interacted and supported each other that made it such a positive experience. If any of you are reading this: THANK YOU. I have appreciated this experience more than I can express.


Working on the CMHR project has been very insightful in regards to PR process. The thing that has struck me the most is how many times we had to come back to the drawing board in regards to our strategy, messaging, and tactics. It really is a process! There were countless times where we felt like we had hit the nail right on the head with our ideas. However, we would then come back the next day  and have to change everything because when we sat back and critically thought about our ideas, we realized they didn’t quite fit.

So, here we are, one day until our first real pitch with an actual organization. To be honest, I have no idea whether the CMHR will like what we have come up with, or if they are going to think we are a bunch of unqualified students. At this stage it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have got our first real glimpse into what we are heading into and have a better understanding of what it means to be an effective team player.

Lastly, a very important lesson from an industry professional….

Just Breathe.

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