Insight into the world of CCPR

As I finish my second semester in the Corporate Communications and Public Relations program and look back on what I thought at the beginning , I can see major changes in myself and what I had expected.

After graduating from Brock University I was extremely nervous to enter a post-grad program, especially in Toronto. A few weeks into the program, I knew I had made the right decision to pursue a career in public relations. I was intimidated by some of the qualifications that individuals in our class brought to the table, but throughout the semester I was surprised at how much knowledge I gained in so little time. I entered the program wanting to go into government relations because of my background in Canadian studies, but I came to realize that this was not what I was passionate about. 

After having to interview a communicator and attending the Safehaven Gala for volunteering experience, I was given the opportunity to see inside the world of non-profit.  For my interviewing a communicator assignment, I chose to interview someone that was in a field that I wasn’t attracted too and it was a good choice. I got to meet and discuss topics with the event and fundraising coordinator of Safehaven and fell in love with what the company was doing.  She made it clear to me that working for a non-profit organization was the best decision she had made. I was extremely grateful for the assignment because it opened my eyes to new possibilities. I wasn’t at all attracted to what non-profit had to offer when I first entered this program, but I realized after meeting with my communicator it was because I really had no idea what the organizations did.

I had a similar experience when we visited Evergreen Brick Works for our media plan assignment. I had been to Evergreen before because of volunteer work, but I never really took the time to see what exactly the organization, especially the communications team, was doing to help improve Toronto. During the visit, I was exposed to all Evergreen had to offer, from what they were doing with water conservation to kids and families.

It was trips like these that changed my mind and made me want to work in the non-profit sector. Similarly, our event “It’s Your Moment” changed my mind.

Attending event management class was what I feared the most when coming into this program, but it turned out to be the most beneficial learning experience this semester. My team put together a jewelry fashion show with beauty vendors with proceeds going to Look Good Feel Better. Putting together such an elaborate first event changed my opinion of event management. I was intimated at first, coming from a background of just essay writing, but this experience taught me a lot. I enjoy working in a team environment most of the time and this certain project was the test. With four other personalities to work with, each of us quickly took our roles in the group to get the job done. It was challenging at times, but the process was what we would be doing in our placements and our jobs so I knew to take it one step at a time.

With our event being so successful, I was pushed more into wanting to work in the non-profit sector of public relations and shaped my thinking of my future career. Our accomplishments shocked me, starting with a zero budget and being able to accomplish all that we did was truly amazing.

Similar to the event project, every class has some sort of team work involved. Being in groups for different projects allowed me to take on different roles throughout the semester. I found myself being a leader and a listener at times. This really taught me how to be an effective communicator you have to be willing and able to take on different roles in group projects.

I also had the opportunity to expand my experience with all social media platforms. I thought having my own Twitter and Facebook was enough, but I quickly found out there is so much more out there for companies to be using.

Starting this blog let me express myself in a way I never thought possible. Thanks to CCPR I have gained so much knowledge into the wonderful world of PR and as I set out into the “real” world I will never forget what I have learned.

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Ford facing black lash over new Figo model ads

This weekend was hell for Ford Motor Co.’s public relations team. After receiving news that disturbing mockup print ads for the company’s Figo model were circulating the internet, it was all hands on deck.

The ads depicted women tied and gagged in the trunk of the car. One ad displays former Italian Prime Minister driving the car with three women tied up in the trunk.

“Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot,” read the tagline.

Employees at the firm that had created the ads posted them to a website to show off their creativity. Ford states that these ads were NOT commissioned by the company OR approved.

This is a public relations nightmare to say the least, but Ford did all it could to respond quickly and gracefully and really what else can be done?

Ford’s statement

“We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened,” the company said in a statement. “The posters are contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford and our agency partners. Together with our partners, we are reviewing approval and oversight processes to help ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”

The company clearly states to the public that they are sorry for the actions of the company. They don’t place the blame, but rather they take control of the situation and explain how these ads are contrary to their standards of professionalism and similar to their agency partners.

But, Ford did make a mistake. Although they issued a public statement, the company had not issued an apology on its website or any social media platform. This becomes an issue because this is where the public goes for an inside look. They want a personal apology and what’s more personal than a company’s Twitter or Facebook page?

Nothing.

A lot can be learned from Ford’s mistake. They did react in a decent time and they did release a statement taking the blame but they missed a crucial part of the process – social media.

Ford could have issued an apology on their Twitter, I mean, it is only 140 characters.

Follow this issue : http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/25/ford-facing-backlash-after-ads-featuring-berlusconi-with-women-bound-in-trunk-of-his-car/

Check out what others think on the company’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ford

The Power of Pinterest- Building Your Brand

I am always on Pinterest. Any free second I have I am adding new styles to my fashion board, great recipes and even cute pictures of dogs. So, you could say I know first-hand how addicting Pinterest really is.

It was not until recently that I realized how much branding power Pinterest really has. I am constantly seeing pins from makeup companies promoting their new foundation to Apple endorsing their new iPhone 5 cases.

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The power of Pinterest has grown, but really, what is the fascination?  Why is pinning pictures to a virtual board about what is cool and stylish so fascinating to the public and companies?  To me, Pinterest is a great place to organize your favourite things easily. It’s an easy way to find great ideas and recipes right at your fingertips. But the question is, how did this social network gain so many followers so quickly and how have brands successful promoted themselves on this network.

Here are 4 ways to attract the attention of people like myself and to spread the word about a new products.

1. Spend the time

Like Twitter and Facebook, a company needs to be invested with its audience. Once you take the time to build key relationships, your brand will become more noticed/pinned, making it easier for consumers to start a conversation on other social networks.

2. Make sure your business is right for Pinterest.

As I have mentioned, as an active pinner I am constantly looking for new fashion trends and recipes. Most of the boards I am following are caters to individuals like myself. So, it is important for a company to be the right fit with Pinterest. Sometimes this means being creative with your brand and not just throwing pictures of things that are sold.

3. Promote more than products.

Playing off of the idea of a brand being creative, it is important for a company to use Pinterest in any way they can. This may mean promoting more than just a product itself. Posting ideas, tips and interesting facts about other companies that work well with your brand is an easy way to keep pinners pinning.

4. Connect your Pinterest to other social feeds.

Last but certainly not least, for a company to be successful, they need to make sure they are linking their pins to their website, Twitter or Facebook feed. Pinterest is a great place for a brand to give consumers a small piece of information, leaving them to want more. This is why it is important for companies to be linking their accounts to their social feeds. If a consumer sees what they like on Pinterest, it is a guarantee that once they explore a company website, they will find more of what they like.

Pinning is a great and easy way for a brand to get well known and a great place for known brands to get more traffic.

Read more on how a brand can successful use Pinterest:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-tips-for-using-pinterest-for-business/