How Do You Measure a Year in the Life?

What are some ways that a PR practitioner can measure the effectiveness of a campaign? Also, discuss the importance of measurement.

A Public Relations practitioner can measure the effectiveness of a campaign in various ways. One is if it is a product that they are representing, then they can look at test studies of how many people used the product, how many people enjoyed it, and how many people bought it or would by it again. Was there any complaints with the products? Any safety hazarrds or is it only selling with a select group of people? Are you aiming at your demographic successfully? All of these can be measured with test studies and the amount being sold. Another way is if the person is a public relations representative for a celebrity, actor/actress, or just someone in the public eye, they could measure their success rate if the person is up for awards, or book deals, higher television ratings, or they are staying out of the gossip monger’s radar. If you are representing someone who is falling out of bars and clubs as much as they are falling into court, then you have a problem because it’d be pretty hard to spin that into a more positive image. If the person you are representing is spread across the front of tabloids with big print screaming “SCANDAL!” you’re probably not in good shape. All one has to do is look around to see if they are succeeding or not. Get in touch with the people who are on the receiving end of all the information, scour the message boards, hear what people are saying.

The importance of measurement is to show how well you are doing at your job. As a Public Relations practitioner, you are smack-dab in the middle of the media. You need to be aware of how you are contributing to it and if you are successful or not at doing so. How are you able to do your job if you do not constantly measure to see how far you’ve come?

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PR Department VS PR Firm

As a young, wide-eyed, naive individual ready to break out into the big world of public relations, I have the world at my feet. The options available to me are astounding. So which would be more beneficial? Should I begin my career in a Public Relations Firm or a Public Relations Department? Well lets examine the positive and negatives of each.

Jumping right into a PR Firm could be beneficial because of the unlimited access to various contacts. One is able to network on a greater scale while working at a firm, for they are handling multiple companies images. Resources would be made available to me and I would be able to build up a certain credibility. However, because I am dealing with multiple companies, I am unable to solely devote my time and energy to one, thus limiting the overall quality of my work.

If I were to start out in a Public Relations Department of one company, I would have the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of that one specific company. Everyone just has to learn everything about a single company and not have to dig up any new information about multiple companies which could prove detrimental to the image of the company. We would all have the same specific goal in mind and we could spend all the time needed investing in the image of that one company. My resources and networking opportunities would be severely limited while working in a Public Relations Department but I think that is something that could be overlooked.

Overall, I believe it would be more beneficial to start out working in the Public Relations Department of a company. It’s a good way to know the ropes and become familiar with various ways to handle situations while not being spread thin across multiple companies and making mistakes therein.

Public Relations Through History – Old Hollywood

If I could travel back in time and be a public relation’s rep in any era, I think I would really enjoy doing PR for the old hollywood stars. Back in the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, the big names were always made out to be perfect angels, when in reality, that wasn’t always the case. For example, Joan Crawford was a huge sensation with over 100 films under her belt. The media showed a side of her that was compassionate, a philanthropist, an excellent mother, and a superb actress. While the latter is evident in her films and awards, we found out later from her daughter, Christina Crawford, that she was a terrible mother and a strong-headed woman who faked perfection for the cameras.

Joan Crawford and her four children: Christina, Christopher, Cindy and Cathy circa 1955.

I would’ve loved to be a PR rep for Joan Crawford just because I think it would be fun to be in on the secret. Here, I would be promoting this ideal woman/homemaker/mother image, when in reality she was a monster. Back in those days, it wasn’t too hard to present a person in a positive light. Tabloids and gossip mongers were not as intricate a part of a celebrity’s career as they are today.

Much like the Mommie Dearest scandal, Rock Hudson’s homosexuality was not fully discovered until well into the ’80s, when he announced that he had contracted AIDS. Again, it would be fascinating to me to be a PR rep in old hollywood, know of certain things that could cause a crisis, and make sure to cover any loose ends to make people think otherwise.

It’s probably very small-minded of me but sometimes I enjoy secrets staying hidden and making people believe false information. It brings me a little joy to know about things and to cover them up from public consumption. At the same time, however, I think the public should be aware of who they are giving their money to when the go see a show.

I think a lot of the scandals back then, were not completely dealt with, and that was just something society accepted. I would’ve liked to have been able to expand on what was going on at the time and try to reveal the truth to the public. For example, Marilyn Monroe’s death raised so many unanswered questions. So many conspiracy theories are still in question today. I definitely believe that the government was involved, especially since Marilyn’s maid was asked to leave the country shortly after her death.

Overall, I think I’d enjoy working as a public relation’s representative for an old hollywood star. I believe back then people didn’t look for the worst in people to feed off of and celebrities didn’t get their start by leaking sex tapes. They were able to show off their talent and not be hindered by what people may think was going on in their private life.

What is Public Relations?

When someone says the words, “public relations,” some may immediately picture a party atmosphere with lots of networking as well as a lot of schmoozing involved. To me, public relations is almost as important as the company itself. How the public views or receives a company can make the difference between that company succeeding and flourishing or failing and floundering.   We live in an instant gratification, soundbite society. One word of bad press, and our mind’s made up. A publicist’s has to be extremely skilled now a days in order to keep a person or a company afloat.  In order to achieve this, the publicist must have thorough knowledge of what the company’s clients want and expect from them and their immediate concerns. Not only does PR have to respond to the public itself, but they also need to cultivate a relationship with the press. They have to be able to answer the hard-hitting questions in a truthful way that will benefit the company as well as it’s consumers. There is a heavier importance put on the relationship with members of the media because the press is where everyday people go to find out the latest news. Often many people will follow or read a specific news source, so if they deem a person or a company not worthwhile, people will take notice and that will affect the business in question. But PR is not there just to dismiss a company or the person being represented. It is also there to provide feedback to the company. Public relations is like the life line that connects a person or a company to it’s consumers. If the company’s clients are unhappy with a certain aspect, public relations will be able to inform the company who will then be able to change things accordingly.