Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PR Profiling in the News Media

I recently came across a great Public Relations practitioner’s journal article from PR Journal, published by the Public Relations Society of America. The title of the article is “Influence of the Gender of Reporters, News Topics, and Circulation Size on Framing of Public Relations.”

The study itself explored how external news factors influenced media framing of public relations by analyzing daily newspapers’ news content dedicated to depictions of public relations. The gender of reporters, news topics, and circulation size of newspapers significantly predicted how the newspapers framed public relations.

In their research, a neutral frame was dominant. When negative and positive frames were compared, male reporters took more negative approaches than female reporters, and female reporters took favorable stances toward public relations. Both negative and positive frames of public relations were more frequently present in hard news than in soft news. Large newspapers emphasized a negative frame toward public relations, and small newspapers highlighted a positive frame.

Especially in PR crisis management, it is critical that practitioners heed these frames and apply them to handling media relations.

As a whole, this concept is relative to all Public Relations practitioners; PR departments, PR firms and small businesses. This knowledge is particularly an important informational tool that applies to small business managers in order to relate to their employees on how do deal with the media in situations where there maybe little or no PR department within the business.

Ultimately, how the media views your company of business is typically how the public will see you. Remember: "Perception is Reality!"

Lim, Jeongsub and Bae, Jiyang, "Influence of the Gender of Reporters, News Topics, and Circulation Size on Framing of Public Relations," PR Journal Vol. 3, number 1, winter 2008

Monday, April 20, 2009

Capture the Moment: Find the Moment

Beginning April 22, "Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs," the largest and most comprehensive display of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever shown in the United States, formally opened at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics (my place of work) at the University of Mississippi.

The exhibit features 138 images drawn from each year's winning entries from 1941 up to and including the award-winning 2009 photographs. Without a doubt, compelling images in the exhibit touch the heart strings in a very profound way.

The FREEDOM FORUM's Newseum developed the traveling exhibit and its sister exhibit at the Newseum with the help of Business of Entertainment, Inc., New York, with Cyma Rubin as curator. The exhibition at the Overby Center will be on display through July 3 and I highly encourage individuals to see this amazing tribute to the human condition.

To raise awareness for the exhibit, we decided to do a Society of Professional Journalists sponsored scavenger hunt for students viewing the exhibit. To complement the exhibit we titled the event "Capture the Moment: Find the Moment."

Participants in the hunt were given a list of 10 Pulitzer photographers who's pictures were on display in the exhibit. After accurately finding the matching titles for all 10 photographers, participants would have to return the list, signed by the Farley Hall receptionist. To help from participant miss-use of the list we developed four different lists: one by Grafton Pritchartt (Vice President), Janna Jones (Webmaster), Dr. Wickham (faculty advisor), and myself.

In the end, SPJ had a great participant response with more than 30 entries. We gave winners either a Big Bad Breakfast $25 gift certificate, free McAlister's cookies or other local prizes from the Oxford area.
Above Photo: The flyer I designed for the Pulitzer exhibit's promotion.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The World Will Have Its Skeptics

The following is a list of quotes from my Marketing Principles text book. It comes from chapter 11, "Product Concepts."

The chapter covered five adopter categories in acceptance of new innovations in order of adoption. The first were the Innovators (2.5%), followed by Early Adopters (13.5%), Early Majority (34%), Late Majority (34%), and finally the Laggards (16%). Some of the greatest ideas have always had their skeptics. This list covers just a few of the quotes by closed minded reasoning later trumped by success. Enjoy!

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
- Western Union internal memo, 1876

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."
- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corporation)

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
-H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."
- Banker's response to Debbie Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
- Decca Recording Company rejecting the Beatles, 1962