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Ok, so I graduate this semester, that is, if everything goes as planned. I have had some really awesome professors in my long, lovely list of professors. I started out at Anoka-Ramsey Community college. So, I’m going to start out with my three favorite professors there, and they are my favorites for different reasons- but they all left a positive mark on my educational path. These are in no particular order by the way.

Thomas Hanson

He is a sociology professor, and if I remember correctly, his sociology class is my very first college class ever. I loved it. I knew as a freshmen that I wanted more of it, it is my minor. He made class interesting, he could have made it boring but he told stories about himself and he really truly made the class interesting. I took another class with him, ‘Sociology of Relationships, Family, and Marriage.’ Again- super interesting class, learned a lot and retained it. Read some great books, the kind of books you get assigned to read that you actually want to read. His classes changed my perceptions about death, social class, and  of course- society.

Tesha Christensen

I took JOUR2121 with her, here at SCSCU its COMM 241 Media Writing. Anyways, this class was an eye opener. It was my introduction to AP Style, I thought I was a great fantastic writer.. and than I took her class and I realized I needed to step up my game. It was a great introduction of what I had in store for me here at SCSU and I didnt even know it. I was so annoyed about the class at the time, and now I realized that I learned a lot. Her assignments, her blog and her comments helped me to become a better writer, and it showed me the door to Mass Comm that I was so mystified about before.

Christina Sonnek

She was my math teacher. I am not good at math. I’ll admit I took her twice, the first time I took her class I got a D so I had to retake her class. She was very understanding, very helpful, she helped me to understand math better. She made my arch-nemesis (algebra) not look so scary. She was also very nice.

So, than onto my lovely professors here at SCSU. Now that I’ve given a ‘Rate my Professors.com’ review of professors at AR. Also, these people are not in any particular order. I’ll also admit, kind of embarassing, I wanted to go to SCSU since I was a junior in high school (I dont know why exactly, maybe cause my uncles went here) so for me, getting into the mass comm program and being here was just really exciting for me. I’m sure that is not how it is for everyone. I just look at this school in a whole different perspective.

Peter Pryztula

Ok, hardest and most rewarding classes I have taken here at SCSU were with this guy. Principles and Theories of Public Relations was crazy hard and I was at the edge of my seat wondering if I would pass BUT- I learned so much. I dont think its possible for anyone who has taken that class to walk away saying, ‘I didnt learn a thing.” His project was hard, but again so rewarding to finish it and Peter is very helpful through all steps of the project. All you have to do is schedule an appointment and he will help you very much. I am pretty sure I would have never passed had I never gone to his office.

Steve Philion

He teaches sociology, I took social theory with him. He is also my minor advisor. His class was also pretty hard, the final paper is like, a minnimum of 12 pages about social theorists. Not easy- trust me! One day he came to class and spoke chinese for ten minutes.. plus he was only wearing one sock we were all like, ‘uhh what?’ He did it to talk about social norms. Pretty interesting guy in my opinion, also very down to earth. He had this awesome policy that you could email him your paper to get help on it up until like, a week before the deadline. Of course, I never did that but, that is an awesome policy.

Lisa Heinrich

Ok, I’ll admit.. maybe I am just biased because I am taking 2 of her classes at once this semester and I am highly interested in the topics. But, Lisa is great. She is so down to earth understanding, and helpful. All of that said, she is still looking for good writing. I have learned a lot from her comments on my papers, she is also helping me to be a better writer. Our field trip to mpls was also awesome, and I took so much out of it. She makes class interesting.

So, there you have it! Of course there are other great professors I have taken but these are just my greatest hits professors.

 

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According to an article I recently read PR Reps get no respect. And this I know, is true. The article discusses why it is hard and why it gets no respect.

According to the article, PR gets no respect because:

No scale-can’t decide how successful a PR campaign is. (When is it unsuccessful?)

Bad rep with journalists- PR reps overloaded them with information

and last- You can’t put lipstick on a pig- if something looks bad the public perceives it as bad.

But, social media, the article explains, is helping to bring it back by:

More human communication

Scale PR to influencers and you can promote articles

Public relations now has meaningful data to influence big decisions  by tracking mentions through social media, you can figure out how to make your company look better.

I think that this article is very cynical, I think that PR can be successful and while I see the points this author makes, I think that good PR basically doesn’t look like PR at all. I would assert that good PR just looks like corporate responsibility.

I also, don’t like the idea that I am getting into a profession that is disrespected. That part really bothers me because, I think PR is a great communication tool.

I know that PR is still either negatively viewed or misunderstood often times, when I explain that I am a PR major most of my family says, “and what will you do with a PR degree?” and I say, “hopefully PR.” Woe is me. I know things will change for PR professionals in the future, and it will be a more respected, and understood career as it evolves.

So, I read this article asking what would you do if you saw something bad or unethical in your company? Would you report it? Would you keep your mouth shut? The article mentions people at Penn State who knew of what was happening but rather than say anything and create bad PR for their company- they chose to say nothing at all.

I thought I’d take a stab at this question, because the answer seems so clear- but in reality it is not.

I’d obviously like to say that yes, absolutely, I would go straight to higher-ups in the company or the police if I saw something illegal. But- in the Penn State case, the President said nothing knowing that saying something would create a disaster. It may seem bad to say, but I can see his point. It is easy to not take the moral high-road. It is easy to just.. think its not as bad as it was, to not think about it etc. In the Penn State case- while I do see his point, I think if he had reported it first- he may have made himself look a lot better and created a better image for himself. Sounds selfish- but with him not being the one to say something it makes the whole scenario look that much worse.

The article brings up the points also- what if your agency or company was over billing a client? What if your manager was lying about the success of a campaign? In these scenarios, I think I would try and say something to a boss or manager or maybe HR. I would probably keep it as internal as possible and try to resolve the issue as quietly as possible. If the issue was not resolved I may do more, and continue to say something and maybe I would look elsewhere for employment.

Because I am so close to graduation, I know that I need to start thinking about these questions and realizing that these kinds of things can and may happen. For now, however the most ethical question I have to ask myself is whether or not to cut someone off or not. (Hint: The answer is usually yes)

Link to the blog article I got this from: If you see something, do you always say something?

For my blog today, I wanted to comment on Lance Armstrong and how he decided to step down from LiveStrong.

Lance Armstrong is facing a PR disaster. I actually feel sorry for the guy because, he is going to be remembered for doping rather than all of the good he has accomplished. I think it was wise of him to step down from LiveStrong because that way their image won’t be tarnished by his actions.

However,  have read articles about how his teammates were also doping. So, his titles are going to be taken away but who will they give them to? I pose this question because, it sounds like more people were doping than just Lance Armstrong- the second and third place winners were too. So, where will they have to go then? They cheated too, just not as well. And who, aside from the few reports, is talking about his teammates doping?

Lets remember that he is a cancer survivor, and he has donated millions of dollars to charity before we hang him out to dry for using steroids. Lets also remember that he created charity companies as well.

I hope his publicity team can handle this quickly and effectively because it would be a shame for everyone to remember him as the guy who was doping rather than the guy who started a tremendously effective charity. I do applaud his PR team for responding quickly and giving the whole story rather than shy away. It is bad that he lied about it and denied the allegations and than was found guilty later, but I am going to assume here that he didn’t think he would get caught.

So- lets remember Lance Armstrong as an athlete and a contributor to charitable donations rather than a terrible cheating doper. I cannot imagine the wrath that his twitter followers are giving him!

I decided to critique a case study called,”SearsKilledMyDog.com: The Anatomy of a Social Media Nightmare Averted – A Case Study”  I chose this case study because, it caught my eye. “Searskilledmydog.com” That is a pretty strong website name- how can you not be curious about it?

What happened in the case study was that this couple bought a freezer from their local Sears, when the freezer was delivered the delivery man hit the couples dog, Toot, and it was fatally injured. The couple went to Sears and basically Sears said, “Sorry about your loss it’s not our responsibility though.”

So, the couple made the website, “SearsKilledMyDog.com” and within two days of posting their story Sears found out about the story and dealt with it. The case study explains that the local Sears did nothing wrong and that Sears PR people did right And, based on the authors examples of what Sears did right:

  • The team made their best effort to understand the problem with what they knew at the time.
  • A course of action was decided, and then immediately implemented.
  • Senior management reached out to Peggy and David, asked what they could do to make it right, and then went beyond the customer’s expectation

I agree, Sears PR did do a great job. They did everything as they should and the couple ended up taking the website down by their own choice.

My critique about this case study is that this ‘social media nightmare’ could have been avoided altogether if the local Sears would have dealt with the couple better after the situation happened. You don’t tell a grieving couple that they shouldn’t have let their dog out (although of course they shouldn’t have). Perhaps internal communications could have been better in this situation, with a more straightforward plan if a crisis does occur. Obviously I wouldn’t expect them to have something like that written in the books but the PR team knew what to do right- why didn’t the local store know?

I did really like that they handled it quickly, they didn’t ask the couple to take down the website, and that they didn’t try and hide what happened or shy away from solving the problem.

For my Comm 438 Class, Public Relations Cases and Campaigns, we are doing a group PR project for the NorthStar Commuter Rail. It is an exciting project that, I think will look nice on a resume. So, I am going to explain the whole trip from the very beginning, because I want to document it, and also because it will help me to remember better for my project.

7:00 am: Woke up, got ready and left the house by 7:30 to make it on the NorthStar Rail Fridley station by 7:52 am. The Fridley station was empty and for our trip there was only 4 people including our instructor, Lisa Heinrich.

8:10am: Made it to the Twins stadium by 8:10, we had an awesome awesome exclusive tour of the Twins Stadium with the communications director, Chris Iles. Here are some pics:

This picture was taken from the press box at the Twins Stadium, that is Anthony LaPanta down there!

This is the room where they do the press conferences from

10:00am: We all got together as a class and got coffee, and decided what to do from there, half the class stayed back and played pool at Brothers, and some of us had lunch with Lisa and got lost in the skyways. We definitely felt like tourists touring the big city, because we could not find our way through those skyways.

1:30pm: After finding our way through the skyways, doing a little shopping, and having some lunch at Keys Cafe half of the class went to another PR firm, Russel Herder. We met with Brian Herder, the creative director and he showed us the place. It was a quick trip, because at 2 we were going to Carmichael Lynch Spong. We hopped in a cab, and made it there by 2:05

2:05pm: We met with a lady at Carmichael Lynch Spong, a PR and Advertising agency with offices here in MN and in New York, and she gave us a tour of the building. This is in the front entry way at Carmichael Lynch Spong

So is Bigfoot. Carmichael Lynch Spong does the advertising for Jack Links and they wanted to incorporate all of their clients in some way to their building, so this is their homage to Jack Links.

After the tour, we met with the president of Carmichael Lynch Spong, Doug Spong for about an hour and talked about all kinds of things from job hunts, to bad PR. It was really neat.

3:57 pm: Back on the lightrail and headed back to Fridley MN. It would have been a $3 trip, but the kind folks at the NorthStar Commuter Rail gave us free tickets, which we didnt know we had to put our voucher in on the trip up so, I still have 1. Oops.. learning curve right?

4:10 pm: Back to Fridley, made it right on time!

All in all it was a very interesting and exciting day because we got to  meet top executives at PR firms, and see what really goes on at PR Firms, it really just makes me that much more excited to graduate in December and gives me that much more drive. It was good to really ride the rail so we can get a sense of what it is really like to be able to do our project. I am excited to get started on it, which sounds completely crazy- but these PR classes just make me excited for my major. Totally nerdy- I know.

-Meagan

Hello, I had no idea what to blog about, I was thinking- oh first presedential debates maybe that.. But, I am not going to be watching them- lets be honest.

However, I did find this awesome website from Jack Links that has Barrack Obameat and Meat Romney and that is all I cam going to say – you gotta check it out! And, ironically enough, it is made by Carmichael Lynch Spong which is the PR Agency I will be touring tomorrow with my COMM 438 classmates. So, I had to post it. Sorry to direct you only to the website

Jack Links Meatheads

If you will be watching the debates- enjoy! And then giggle at these meat heads..
Meagan

Vote Sasquatch!

I saw this video linked in a tweet

I thought it was very clever and funny. It is basically Jennifer Aniston poking fun at herself. Later on in the day I saw this Tweet

The PRNews blogger basically said that there are a zillion other important things going on and said that celebrities are the Americans number one weakness yet he complements Smart Water and Jennifer Aniston for poking fun at herself. So, in my blog I just wanted to answer the tweet in a few more than 140 characters by saying that I do not think that the video was tacky, I thought it was funny and gutsy of Jennifer Aniston to do. I applaud SmartWater for their creativity and I think that this Ad works because, while it is fake and made up, it is still a giant A-List celebrity poking fun at our fascination with her in a creative, amusing way.

And with that, I just wanted to share 1 more very cool Tweet I saw. It’s not school related at all but, still touching and worth sharing anyway.

-Meagan

For my first real blog post, I am going to discuss an article that I read for another class. This was actually quite an interesting article so I wanted to discuss my opinion on it, plus it is relevant to this week.

So, yesterday was the anniversary of 9/11. The article I read was an analysis of how the media, and in particular, TV helped us to ‘return to normal’ after 9/11. The author was a lot more cynical than I am and thought that they replayed the footage to much and she thought that most people weren’t hearing the whole story. I partially agree, but mostly disagree as I think that TV returning to normal really did help a nation who was completely rocked feel OK about being happy again. In the week after 9/11 it was like the whole world was on pause, with no planes in the air, no news about anything else going on besides what was happening in New York, and no one wanting to move on from the tragedy. There was obvious reason for that of course. But, when TV finally decided to be funny again and talk about other things, I believe that it was the first step to what our ‘new normal’ would look like. I think the media was mostly very respectful to the victims and the NY on the whole. The coverage of 9/11 is a whole other topic.

But, I think that TV was used for good after 9/11 to help a mourning nation realize that we will be OK and that we are stronger than the enemy. TV coming back and dealing with 9/11 on TV shows such as Oprah and West Wing just helped us to really sort of, get back on our feet and realize that it will be OK to start the healing process.

I also wanted to post a link to my previous blog, it was for a journalism class I took at another college. Its kind of AP style 101, but I still like to look back at it sometimes because it was a pretty interesting class:

http://megsgotablog.blogspot.com/

Have a good night 🙂

Meagan

Fancy new blog! Woo!

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