This week we read articles and blog posts about "PR 2.0" and storytelling used in PR.
PR 2.0 refers to the revolution that PR has experienced. With things like social media and the need to have a plan for PR campaigns, public relations is becoming more integrated with marketing, as discussed on the discussion board this week. Having goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics separate and defining them well is key to a good PR campaign. It is important to know the difference between each of these parts of a PR plan and how exactly to arrive at them. The first blog post we read, Outputs, Outtakes, Outcomes…Oh, my!, explained this very clearly. It is also better to have some sort of measurable unit to make "success" easier to "measure." This comes in during the objectives part of a PR plan. Having a measurable unit also helps the company succeed by having something more concrete to aim for.
In the Public Relations Princess blog, the author mentions what she believes is the "PR student's online bible," so of course I decided I should check it out. This took me to a blog by a PR professor at George Southern called Public Relations Matters. It's a pretty interesting blog basically covering whatever this professor is covering in her class (and sometimes a little extra). And, of course, the most recent post just happens to be about Facebook and Twitter.
Like comments on blogs, having customer feedback is a great PR approach to websites. Things like reviews give a personal touch to the ratings of a company which increases the credibility and trust in a company. It also allows companies to hear what customers really think (though usually it is only strongly opinionated, good or bad, that reply), making it a cheap and relatively effective way for companies to hear how to improve their goods or services and for potential customers to hear about the goods or services. Stories, however, are even better. In many ways they can be more effective than reviews because stories are more likely to stick in your mind. Stories can also turn into something big. This is seen with the Jared campaign for Subway. Subway took one story about a guy who lost weight eating its sandwiches and turned it into a huge years-long campaign. The website alone includes his story, his statistics, the diet he followed, press releases, and "friends of Jared," or other people who were inspired by Jared to lose weight with Subway sandwiches. I personally am not even sure if I had even heard of Subway (or at least, considered it a viable choice for fast food) before this campaign. So, as personal experience goes, I'd say it was pretty effective.
I also found the part about a company as a community very interesting---and completely true. I know, and I'm sure everyone has felt this way before, that when I feel as if I am part of a group, I will work harder to improve the group. An example that fits me personally is Clemson University. People who feel they are part of the "Clemson Family" are more likely to want to improve the university and are more likely to stick around and finish all four years here. It's why there are so many campaigns, like One Clemson, aimed toward freshmen and transfers so they feel as if they belong at Clemson. A university without programs like these would probably not have as high of a retention rate. "Family" spirit is essential in other types of organizations too.