PR Figures it Out

When it comes to Public Relations, companies always want to see the ROI or Return on Investment. They want to know what was earned; whether in terms of money, people, or likes. Public Relations agencies offer solutions to problems, and although the majority of the time their solution comes through and proves to be successful, the company still will ask what the Return on Investment was. It’s kinda like, hey buddy, your company is still afloat due to our crisis management… that isn’t enough ROI for you?  Sigh.

What they really want to know are the outputs and more importantly the outcomes. The outputs are your basic forms of measurement; essentially what you did and how you did doing it. With online public relations tactics, this is where Google Analytics comes in handy. It gathers the outputs and displays them nicely for you. You can see what you did, how long it took, how many people saw it, how long they stayed on the website, where they went next, etc. For events or other personable public relations tactics, outcomes include things like attendance numbers and positive reviews.

You can’t just rely on outputs for measurement in public relations because you want what comes from those outputs. Sure outcomes are great and seeing the amount of people that went to your website is helpful, but what you really want are the outcomes. The outcomes are the big picture results. Did you change their behavior or attitudes? (Wight, 2013). What about their purchasing habits? For example, with the SheFit Ultimate Bra, an output would be how many bras were sold. An outcome would be something like did the consumer choose the SheFit bra over their usual Nike bra?

People always want to see the outcomes, companies are all about seeing the numbers. But what is more important than the numbers are what comes from those numbers. It’s not always just about the sale or the amount of money earned, it’s about if you’re going to continue on that trend. Outputs are things like the amount of Facebook likes or a new positive review. Outcome, what matters more, comes from these outputs. For example, if someone sees that new positive review and feels reassured and then they turn around and make a purchase (Waldron, 2017). Yes the fact that there was a new review is great, but what’s even better is that loyalty you just earned from a new customer. They then are going to turn around and possibly tell friends or family about their new purchase aka your brand and might even write another positive review. These are the big picture things.

You can’t just rely on the outputs because the outcomes are much more important. Many executives in the companies want to see the results or the Return on Investment. They want to see how their money was spent and if it was effective. This is where tools to show the outputs come in handy so you can demonstrate to the CEO that there were so many visits to the company website and how people’s attitudes were about the company with questionnaire results (Mason, 2017).

 

Mason, R. (2017, April 24). Measuring PR’s Value. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from http://apps.prsa.org/intelligence/businesscase/measurementresources/measuringvalueofpublicrelations

Waldron, K. (2017, March 21). How to Measure PR Success in 2017 – Ogilvy Public Relations. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://www.ogilvypr.com.au/news/article/measure-pr-success-2017

Wight, M. K. (2013, February 20). For Best PR Results, Follow the 3 O’s of Metrics: Outputs, Outtakes & Outcomes. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from http://www.prnewsonline.com/for-best-pr-results-follow-the-3-os-of-metrics-outputs-outtakes-outcomes/

 

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A Superhero named PR

My preconceptions of PR before entering this class were that Public Relations makes up everything about a person, organization, or a company. I thought that it’s a huge part of your brand and it’s essentially everything you communicate; whether verbally or nonverbally. After entering this class, I learned that Public Relations is so much more. It’s more of a communication process that works on building relationships between organizations and the public (PRSA). I wasn’t necessarily wrong with my preconceptions of PR, it technically is a large part of your brand and how that brand communicates. It’s kinda like a helping hand. I imagine a cartoon man, (dressed in a white-and-blue checkered shirt tucked into khakis, with hipster glasses, Converse, and a skinny black tie) reaching out to a business man (who is hunched over his desk stressed, massaging the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger (like this) while his other hand grips his glass of whiskey) saying, “I’m here to help, sir.”

I think PR is so special because it fixes problems. Steve Barrett of PR Week stated, “The value that PR brings to the table is undisputed.” He goes on by stating that Public Relations addresses two of the most “necessary and challenging” aspects of a business, which include crisis management and social media (Berg). In every business there is going to be some sort of crisis, and in this day and age it’s probably going to be on social media, but PR is there to pick up the business, dust it off, and send it on its way back to success again. It is extremely helpful because most people do not handle a crisis or a negative Facebook comment well but PR specializes in it (we don’t want Joe Schmo on the company Facebook page addressing negative reviews with his colorful language that’s for sure).

Public opinion is super crucial for businesses everywhere and PR can make or break the public’s opinion on whatever your business is going through. The Father of Public Relations himself said, “Perhaps the most significant social, political, and industrial fact about the present century is the increased attention which is paid to public opinion” (Bernays). PR is such a useful construct because any business, no matter what that business is, would not be successful without its public opinion. If the public has no interest or negative opinions in a business then it will not be successful – that is until Public Relations comes along and manages this crisis. (“It’s handled,” – Olivia Pope (Rhimes)).

 

Berg, K. T. (2017, January 18). Trends in Public Relations: Exploring the Role of Ethics as it Relates to Social Media and Crisis Communication. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23736992.2016.1260992

Bernays, E. L. (2004). Crystallizing public opinion. New York: Kessinger Pub.

PRSA. (2017, April 24). About Public Relations. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from http://apps.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/publicrelationsdefined/

Rhimes, S. (Producer). (2012). Scandal [Television Series]. ABC Studios / ShondaLand.

PR: Pretty Resourceful

My preliminary definition of PR described my preconceptions of how public relations covers all aspects of a person, an organization, a company, etc. I defined it as essentially your brand, how you portray yourself, how you handle situations, and really how you communicate with others whether verbally or nonverbally. PR is special and incredibly useful because it not only crafts and preserves the public image for the business, it also shapes the way the public identifies and relates the business (Bureau). This is incredibly useful for people and companies all over, as they want their public image to be the best it can be. A recent article published by AdAge stressed the importance and influence PR has and how the business world is changing with it. It states that PR is working from the very beginning of a campaign rather than after the creative is finished as it used to be (Stein). It’s also special because celebrities use it! PR includes a lot of useful information and practical skills when it comes to the branding and marketing aspect of a person or business.

 

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Public Relations Specialists,  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm (visited September 05, 2017).

 

Stein., L. (2016, January 11). How Public Relations Is Earning Its Place in 2016. Retrieved September 05, 2017, from http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/public-relations-earning-place/302060/

Certified Narcoleptic Certified in Google Analytics

Guess what I just did? Became Google Analytics Certified! That’s right, this girl can check that off the to-do list and add another bullet on the resume. (Insert sassy girl flipping hair emoji here)

 

google analytics
Schaefer, R. (23, April 2017). Google Analytics Certification [Screenshot]. Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/partners/#p_certification_html;cert=3

 

So Google Analytics is this huge thing that can track and report website data, aka it tells you how people find and use your website and what your return on investment is. In today’s day and age the Internet is HUGE and is home to millions of websites; including those popular social media sites everyone is addicted to, so being able to track what is going on is imperative. Basically a tracking code is installed in your web pages and you can measure the dimensions (data attributes) and metrics (quantitate number of dimensions). You then can find out so much information from looking into the acquisition, behavior, conversions, audience, and real time traffic.

The acquisition is how your customers get to your website, the behavior is what your customers do on your website, the conversions are the goals, ecommerce, multi-channel funnel, and attribution where you can see the actions and purchases of your customers. The audience section is all about your customers, their demographics, their viewing device, and their location. The real time traffic allows you to see what your customers are doing on your site at that given time. Google Analytics is amazing for problem solving because of these different tools; you can find out what the problem is and then go about solving it.

So now that you know what Google Analytics can do you have to become certified with it. To do this you have to watch a million videos and take good notes so you can pass the 70 question test with at least an 80%. And you really have to know your stuff because there’s only 90 minutes to take it so that’s only a little over a minute for each question! But guess what? I passed with a 90%! (on my second try lol)

 

analytics
Schaefer, R. (23 April, 2017). Google Analytics Score [Screenshot]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/partners/#p_analyticscertification

 

 

Living with Narcolepsy is incredibly difficult and I’ve had to work harder than anything to just get through the simplest of tasks. To experience how I feel on a daily basis, a non-narcoleptic would have to go 72 hours without sleeping. When you are sleep deprived your cognitive functions are impacted, you experience memory loss, and much more as described on this site. So I obviously deal with this on a day-to-day basis but many people don’t know what Narcolepsy is and even if they do, they don’t actually know what all it entails or how it feels.

This puts a huge damper on everything and anything I do, and it makes it that much harder. I try to remain positive and light-hearted and make the best of situations but it’s difficult when I feel the way I do and especially since others don’t understand. Just trying to remain with the crowd is a struggle, thus I fall into the masses when it comes to finding a job or internship, turning in an assignment, or whatever I may be doing. Being certified in Google Analytics and knowing how to use and implement this technology is a huge advantage for me though!

Not everyone has the knowledge or certification of Google Analytics but I now do! I can bring these skills and knowledge to my next job or internship and it will help both my personal brand and my career. I may struggle with things due to my chronic disease, but I prove that I am determined to overcome difficulties; like becoming certified with Google Analytics. I also can bring this to my career in communications and advertising and it will help an immense amount. Being able to track and report website data; whether my future personal small business or for the future company I work for, will be helpful in seeing what does work well and what doesn’t for the customers on the websites.

It also is super helpful because of the research aspect. I will be able to see certain websites and social media pages, find out lots of information about who my customers are and how they think and act while they are online. This will help a ton in the Advertising world because learning about the target audience is incredibly important in regards to advertising or promoting a product. Overall, being certified with Google Analytics sets me apart and sets me up for my future career!

 

Career Center Networking

On Friday, April 21st, I went to the Career Center and met with Lisa Knapp. Grand Valley’s Career Center is so helpful for students (and for alumni!) in so many ways; just look at their website! I knew I needed to get help with my resume since it hadn’t been updated in a while so I set up an appointment and went!

Lisa was as awesome as Professor Peavey said she was! Not only did she help with the formatting and the content of my resume, she also suggested creating a cover letter! I got lots of great feedback, which I took detailed notes on of course, along with a booklet on Writing Resumes and Cover Letters! Networking with Lisa Knapp provided me with a ton of insight on the professional world.

She suggested lots of improvements for my resume and my job interviewing skills. She also told me to make more use of my LinkedIn account that way I can network with other students and professionals. Another really cool way Lisa helped me was explaining how to disclose my chronic illness (Narcolepsy) to a future employer. This was incredibly helpful because I was 100% unsure how to do this before talking with her.

I loved being able to create a personal relationship with this intelligent mentor and I am excited to meet with her again in the future. I know I am going to return back to her with my updated resume and cover letter to see how I did! It’s very comforting knowing that I am able to network with the Career Center during my time at Grand Valley and past the date of graduation.

 

career center
Schaefer, R. Lisa and Rylee Career Center Meeting [Selfie]. Retrieved from Android’s images.

Focus Group Networking

On March 24th at 11 a.m., my group and I held a focus group in Grand Valley’s library. We had already completed the secondary research on product placement and we were then working on collecting primary research for our Research in Advertising class. One really good way to collect primary research is to hold a focus group. We began compiling questions, projective techniques, and video clips to use throughout our focus group which we held that Friday.

Six members attended and when the focus group began we made casual conversation with everyone, asking their names and majors, trying to lighten the mood and get them more relaxed. The focus group members answered questions, used third party projections (discussed how others thought or felt), viewed video clips of product placement, and then rated them using Emoji Associations (relating their emotions or thoughts with one of the five emoji’s).

My friend Simone was the Moderator of the group (kind of like the leader), Alex and myself recorded notes, and Ally worked the video clips and PowerPoint. The focus group ran smoothly and really provided a lot of insight towards product placement that we did not necessarily have before conducting this primary research. We got real feedback to our questions, got to witness their non-verbal language and cues, and found out what people think of product placement.

It was very interesting to hold a focus group and to engage in this sort of casual networking. I am more experienced with more business formal networking like attending a career fair. Since everyone was casual and didn’t feel under pressure I believe our feedback was genuine and not forced or fake. I really liked how everyone was between the ages of 19 and 24, it definitely provided a more comfortable scene for everyone.

focus-group.jpg
Schaefer, R. (2017, March 24). Welcome to CAP 115 Focus Group [Simone and Rylee]. Retrieved from Android Images.

 

 

TweetDeck for Narcoleptics

So I recently found out about this super cool website called TweetDeck where you log in with your Twitter account and you can do all sorts of things with your tweets including scheduling them for a future date or time! How cool is that?! Especially for me, other people with Narcolepsy, and people who forget things easily! Now we can just login, type something up, and tweet it at a later time instead of forgetting!

It’s really cool for companies or business Twitter accounts because you can use multiple accounts and can schedule tweets promoting future events that your company is putting on! It’s also a cool site because you can do everything that you do on your normal Twitter on this site as well, such as accessing your home-page, activity, messages, and notifications! Normally I use my Twitter for tweeting about something funny because I think I’m hilarious and for complaining about Narcolepsy, school, and life. I’m probably going to start using it more often to make sure that I am staying up to date and current with my Twitter activity!

 

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Schaefer, R. (April 21, 2017). TweetDeck Scheduled Posts [Screenshot]. Retrieved from https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/#
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Schaefer, R. (April 21, 2017). TweetDeck Scheduled Posts [Screenshot]. Retrieved from https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/#