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Micaela

CAP 220 Reflection

My first blog touches on how I was unsure exactly what public relations (PR) was. This class helped answer that question and beyond. It was beneficial to learn in real life by given a real client and working with them as a professional PR practitioner would. Our client this semester was Laker Traditions and it started by the client coming in to discuss the organization as well as their problem. As a class, we came up with a common goal for our campaigns. From there, we split off individually to do research and come up with strategies and tactics to help the Laker Traditions organization.

In this class, I learned research is a major part of public relations. Before implementing any kind of tactics, it’s important to research the company as well as the company’s audience. With proper research, there are reasons to think up certain tactics and have theories to why they should be successful. If a tactic is thrown out but has no correlation to relating to the company or audience, it most likely will not be effective. Our class was able to do this first hand by doing secondary research that could be beneficial to the Laker Traditions organization. My research included how to get better to care about your organization, fundraising, and social media use. Understanding those topics is what lead me to think of what strategies could help our goal of raises awareness of Laker Traditions’ event of Battle of the Valleys. To gain insight regarding the audience and their habits and/or preferences, primary research was done including a focus group and a survey. The focus group is what was mainly beneficial for thinking of tactics. Open-ended questions help engage in conversation with the target audience which is relevant since the public relations process focuses on two-way communication. This class helped gain real world experience of working for a client and getting to understand their audience and what tactics will be beneficial through the research we did. The class also taught us about planning a timeline, budget, and evaluation.

Evaluation is another key to PR. The evaluation process is important to know if strategies and tactics are effective. Some results are immediate such as impressions on social media, but others take longer such as measuring opinion, attitude and/or behavior changes. Social media is another aspect of PR. Having a voice and a brand personality can be beneficial for an audience to connect to a brand. This is also another way to touch on the idea of two-way communication. Social media gives companies a direct chance to communicate with their customers and see what people are talking about to further benefit their own company. Social media is also a place where a lot of people can get together to get upset over a brand when it comes to controversy. When a company faces controversy, it is most likely to spread extremely faster on social media and become a bigger crisis.

This class taught us about crisis management and the four stages: proactive, strategic, reactive, and recovery. Although, the brand may be getting negative attention, sometimes publicity is better than nothing: either positive or negative. With knowledge from this class, I understand the four stages of crisis management and am able to implement them if necessary to maintain the reputation of brand’s image.

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Evaluation of PR Effectiveness

In public relations, there is a lot of research and planning involved before implanting a strategy. In order to know the effectiveness of those objectives, strategies, and tactics, evaluation has to take place. “The evaluation step in a public relations program is essential. It permits the practitioner to assess the effectiveness of the effort, demonstrate that effectiveness to management, and plan for future efforts. It also gives an opportunity to adjust tactics while the campaign is in progress. All this means that competent evaluation demonstrates the value of public relations to management” (2017).

“Dozier and Repper (1992: 186) argue that a distinction needs to be drawn between research designed to analyse the situation at the beginning of the planning process and research designed to evaluate the planning, implementation and impact of the programme. However, they them- selves blur this distinction by stressing that the first type of research acts as the benchmark for programme evaluation. In short, a research- based culture is an evaluative culture and vice versa” (Watson & Noble, 2007 p 17).

Although, not everyone agrees on the term evaluation in regards to public relations. “The term evaluation is a broad one and this breadth gives the potential for confusion. Cutlip, Center and Broom (2006: 364) both illustrate the scope of evaluation and argue that evaluation is a research-based activity: ‘The process of evaluating program planning, implementation, and impact is called “evaluation research” (Watson & Noble 2007 p 17).’

“Interest in measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of an organization’s communications effectiveness has grown in importance in recent years. In the business sector, CEOs are more and more demanding of their public relations and public affairs subordinates that they “justify” their existence and be accountable for their various programs and activities” (Lindenmann 2006).

The process of evaluation has four major components: Setting specific measurable communications goals and objectives, measuring communications outputs, measuring communications outtakes and outcomes, and measuring institutional outcomes (Lindenmann 2006).

Evaluation is impossible without setting goals (Watson & Noble 2007). Our Fundamentals of Public Relations course at Grand Valley State University has a client of an on-campus organization called Laker Traditions. The client came and presented to us about their current situation and together as a class we came up with a goal. The goal is used for the whole class, but each student does their own research to make their own campaign plan book. After both secondary and primary research, objectives were laid out to guide strategies and then tactics that go with the strategy. Then a timeline was made to decide what months were used for planning, execution, and evaluation. Evaluation is important to reflect on the effectiveness of the tactics. For example, using social media is easy to evaluate how users responded. From number of followers, likes, shares/retweets and responses. These impressions are an example of a short-term or immediate results called outputs (Lindenmann 2006).

“Interest in measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of an organization’s communications effectiveness has grown in importance in recent years. In the business sector, CEOs are more and more demanding of their public relations and public affairs subordinates that they “justify” their existence and be accountable for their various programs and activities (Lindenmann 2006).

The third component about measuring communications outtakes and outcome and this is one of the most important, testing whether messages actually were received by the target audience. Such as if they paid attention, understood the messaged, and retained them in any way. Communication is also evaluated to see if any opinion, attitude and/or behavior changes on the part of those targeted audiences to whom the messages were directed (Lindenmann 2006).

Working on a campaign targeted at a specific audience would be a waste of time if none of them paid attention to it or remembered it, or worse not even understood it. The evaluation process is important to know if strategies and tactics are effective. Some results are immediate such as impressions on social media, but others take longer such as measuring opinion, attitude and/or behavior changes.

References

Evaluating Public Relations Effectiveness. (2017). In Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice. Retrieved April 8, 2017, from http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072424028/student_view0/part2/chapter8/index.html

Lindenmann, W, K. (2006). Public Relations Research for Planning and Evaluation. Institute for Public Relations.

Watson, T. & Noble, P., (2007). Evaluating Public Relations: A Best Practice Guide to Public Relations Planning, Research and Evaluation. Chartered Institute for Public Relations. London & Philadelphia: Kogan Page.

Social Media + PR =

“Today, PR is more about people and relationships, and PR professionals must focus on two-way communication and mutual understanding because monologue has changed to dialogue, and bloggers are gaining recognition as industry authorities, earning the same respect and reach as traditional media. The industry will continue its quest to understand the online environment and how best to integrate online tools with traditional PR” (Komodromos 2014).

Public relations (PR) is known for being a two way communication process. PR is more than forcing information and statements onto people, but understanding audiences and how to connect and reach out to them. A way this can be done is through social media. Social media can be used to relay messages and build relationships (Komodromos 2014). Social media gives companies a chance to build a personality and this can attract users that connect with the personality and want to follow the company. Despite what the company is offering, followers can be drawn in by personality first then look into what is being offered. Social media is a way to gain followers for its personality which then spreads awareness. Being present on social media can alert the public of updates from the company such as events or promotions or even just content to entertain its followers.

“The goal of PR today should be to understand the communities of people organizations want to reach, analyze their profiles and engage with them in conversations to gain trust and commitments. PR practitioners feel positive about the potential of social media tools, and as suggested, these applications enable them to communicate directly with their audiences, deliver their core messages and share their own content in their communities effectively” (Komodromos 2014).

Content can be anything from videos, blogs, photos to relate to the company. These types of content are put on social media of the brand profile in hopes to be shared and further gain awareness for the brand. “The brand profile is an owned medium that creates an avenue for consumers to interact with the brand and the brand content, with the aim to garner earned media such as likes, shares, and reactions (Antheunis, Van Kaam, Liebrecht & Van Noort 2016). Social media as a strategy works because it’s easily measureable. When content is posted, the company can track the views and impressions to see what’s working and what’s not. Sometimes with PR it’s hard to measure tactics, but social media is something that’s easily measured by looking at analytics.

In the study Public relations, ethics, and social media: A cross-national study of PR practitioners, 46.15% of respondents agreed with the statement that “social media have improved PR practitioners’ control over the distribution of messages on behalf of the organizations they serve” (Toledano 2016). 58.83% agreed that “Social media provides PR with an opportunity to elevate its status within the organization and inspire management’s socially responsible and ethical decisions (Tolendano 2016).

This study also brought up ethical issues with the use of social media. Two of the biggest ethical debates were “Is it ok for PR practitioners to write comments on social media without a disclaimer about the sponsor that paid them to do it” and “It is ok for PR practitioners to write comments on social media without identifying their real identity” (Toledano 2016). Endorsement and transparency are two big concepts in PR. Endorsements are a form of promotional but sometimes there is the ethical issue of endorsers not truly using the products themselves, but just being paid to post the product all over their social media. Endorsers should want to be transparent with their followers and truly suggest products they actually use. Transparency is also important when it comes to the second ethical debate is posting as a fake or anonymous identity on social media. Some users may hide on social media and talk negatively about a company but that is just a factor that may occur and hopefully the official company accounts social media posts will make up for the minor negative comments from negative internet users.

References

Antheunis, M., Van Kaam, J., Liebrecht, C.,  Van Noort, C. (2016). Content marketing on social network sites. A study on brand-related social media behavior and its motives. Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 44(4). p 366-367.

Komodromos, M. (2014). A study of PR practitioners’ use of social media in Cyprus. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship. 9(2).

Toledano, M. (2015). Public relations, ethics, and social media: A cross-national study of PR practitioners. Public relations review. 42(1).

Celebrity Relations with Public Relations

Celebrities can be used as a promotional tactic in public relations (PR).  “Celebrity promotion is an industry deploying considerable resources and generating widespread coverage across multimedia and promotional texts” (Davis 2013). Celebrities can relate to promotional needs when organizations hire celebrities for endorsements. The celebrity is given free products to wear in their film, sporting event, on the red carpet, or even just in social media posts. The celebrity agrees to a contract and appear in advertisements of the product (Davis 2013). “Voluntarily, they offer their images in support of interest group campaigns” (Sireau 2009).

These images of celebrities promote organizations and reinforce celebrity images over multiple outlets. “Celebrity promotion is no longer accidental or dependent on charismatic, able individuals. It is a promotional industry itself” (Davis 2013).

“In this day and age, the success of an event goes hand in hand with good publicity. However, most people still think of PR as a press release or air time on electronic media. Public Relations has so much more scope and one of the areas we want people to look at is Celebrity PR. This is one reason why we are partnering with events such as this to promote this aspect. The other reason is that we want to be involved with the younger generation because as an organization that believes in the youth, we want to be an integral part of their lives” (Daily News 2016).

Although celebrities can be used as a tactic within PR, celebrities also need PR themselves. Many strategies within public relations are able to help celebrities when it comes to their overall image.

Public relations help celebrities mainly when it comes to crisis communication. Something minor such as a negative comment ranging to intense actions that require jail time. “The PR rep has to know how to respond to media inquiries and calm down the public, while also coming up with strategies to get the celebrity positive media coverage that overshadows the bad” (Dwilson 2017). Other than crisis communication, celebrities need public relations professionals to organize appearances for them. The goal of appearances will be to create positive images for the celebrity such as scheduling interviews, red carpet appearances, movie premieres, anything to get their name and face out there. “The PR representative should be constantly working new angles and making new contacts who can help get the celebrity’s name attached to worthwhile causes and special events” (Dwilson 2017). Another job for the PR professional is to watch the internet. They need to be on the lookout for inaccurate quotes from the celebrity or pictures used without copyright and even removing false headlines (Dwilson 2017). Lastly, PR aids the celebrity with social media. Celebrities multiple social media accounts would be in the hands of the PR professional. “The PR representative may be in charge of making tweets for the celebrity, handling sponsored tweets that can pay thousands of dollars or even more and posting appropriate photos on Facebook. The representative might even post funny videos on YouTube that can go viral and bring in extra publicity for the client” (Dwilson 2017).

Celebrities can be used to as a tactic of PR to promote companies and/or products with endorsements, but the favor is returned when celebrities need publicists. Celebrities can help out with promotion, but celebrities need public relations professionals themselves. The PR professional can help make them look good in the eye of the public and be there to pick up the pieces when something goes wrong in the headlines. There are many ways to put the image back together such as appearances and interviews to clear the air, social media to bring up other positive things the celebrity is up to such as helping the environment or something else beneficial to the world. Social media can also hope for that funny video to go viral (Dwilson 2017).

 

References

Daily News (2016). Promoting Celebrity PR. Infotrac Newsstand. Colombo, Sri Lanka. SyndiGate Media Inc.

Davis, A. (2013). Promotional Cultures: The rise and spread of advertising, public relations, marketing and branding. Pages (116-126). Malden, MA. Polity Press.

Dwilson, S. D., (2017). What Does a Celebrity’s Public Relations Representative Do? Chron. New York, NY.  Hearst Newspapers, LLC.

Sireau (2009) as cited in (Davis 2013).

Cup Crisis

“A crisis is the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectations of stakeholders related to health, safety, environmental, and economic issues can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes” (Coombs 2015, p 3). A crisis can scare people away from an organization. Even if it is something minor, if the public is upset and word-of-mouth is travelling, consumers will associate negative views towards a brand and potentially stop shopping there. Controversy stirred up on social media when Starbucks announced their holiday cups in late October of 2015 (Wattles 2015). Starbucks is a coffee company that started in 1971 and their mission is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” (Starbucks 2017). Following that mission, their core values include creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome. Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other. Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect. Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results. We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity (Starbucks 2017). With these values of wanting everyone to feel welcome and connect humanity with dignity and respect, how could this company cause controversy with the public?

In 2015, Starbucks announced their holiday cups to have a two-toned red design. In the past the company have had Christmas themed cups, but for the 2015 design they didn’t want to just celebrate Christmas. The Christian community was upset and felt Starbucks didn’t believe in Christmas. Joshua Feuerstein, a former pastor who calls himself a “social media personality,” encouraged customers to say “Merry Christmas” instead of their names in order to “trick” baristas into writing the phrase on the cup. He said to use “#MerryChristmasStarbucks” to post photos online. When the cups rolled out in late October, Starbucks vice president Jeffrey Fields said the company “wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories” (Wattles 2015). Although, Starbucks had good intentions, they still managed to offend part of the public and this was a crisis for the company.

According to the conflict management life cycle, the Starbucks cup design started in the proactive stage. “The proactive phase of the conflict management lie cycle includes activities and thought process that can prevent a conflict from arising or getting out of hand” (Wilcox, Cameron, Reber & Shin, 2013, p 171). Starbucks removed the former Christmas designed cups to have a more religion neutral design to include all consumers. Starbucks was proactive by trying to avoid conflict, of other religions getting upset for not being included. Although, they ended up offended Christians who were used to the Christmas themed cup designs. The next stage is strategic, this is where the crisis management plan is created (Wilcox, Cameron, Reber & Shin, 2013, p 172). Starbucks didn’t mean to offend anyone, they actually meant to do the opposite by including everyone. The strategy that would make the most sense would be releasing a statement explaining their intentions for their crisis management plan.  The reactive phase involves crisis communication and implementing the crisis management plan (Wilcox, Cameron, Reber & Shin, 2013, p 172). Starbucks communicated to the public about the crisis with a statement following Feuerstein’s video, “Starbucks said in a statement Sunday that it tries “to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity.” The cup is meant to be a “blank canvas” that encourages “customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way,” Starbucks said” (Wattles 2015). The final step of the cycle is recovery, “The aftermath of a crisis or a high-profile, heated conflict with a public, an organization employs strategies to bolster or repair its reputation. The 2015 design for Starbucks’ holiday cups were solid red to be used as a blank canvas for its consumers to decorate their cup how they see fit. Starbucks recovery included using consumers designs as official Starbucks designs for the 2016 holiday cups. Starbucks posted a video advertisement on YouTube with the statement, “The 2016 Starbucks Red Cups have launched in all our stores worldwide for the Holidays. Last year we asked for our community to share what the Holiday Season means to them with Red Cup art and designs. This year we are celebrating this creativity by showcasing 10 of these Red Cup designs on our holiday cups.”

Angering the public it could lead to boycotts of the company. At the time “President-elect Donald Trump weighed in last year, urging a boycott of Starbucks because the coffee chain’s holiday cup lacked any seasonal imagery” (O’Malley, 2016, p 3). Although, this is conflicting because not all people in the country celebrate Christmas. Excluding a religious group from advertisements may result in turning those potential consumers away from the company. “That’s not to say that businesses and their employees aren’t celebrating. “Nobody is denying the holiday of Christmas exists,” human resource expert Caren Goldberg, an associate professor of management at Bowie State University in Maryland, says. “It’s just accepting that other holidays do exist, too” (O’Malley, 2016, p 4). Overall, the crisis wasn’t too damaging to Starbucks. The company gained more recognition and even with the upset Christians movement of #MerryChristmasStarbucks, they were still purchasing the product. “The stakes are high and the terrain can be perilous, especially for retailers trying to avoid offending customers or triggering boycotts during their most profitable time of year. On the other hand, there may be opportunity: The fuss over Starbucks’ cup reaped the company a public relations bonanza that prompted envy from marketing experts who said that, even amid the criticism, public awareness of the brand was heightened (O’Malley, 2016 p 3).”

References

Coombs, Timothy, W. (2015). Ongoing Crisis Communication: Planning, Managing, and Responding. Sage Publications.

O’Malley, Sharon. (2016) The business of Christmas. Sage Business Researcher. Sage Publishing.

Starbucks Coffee. (2016, Nov 9). Starbucks Red Cups Now in Stores. [Video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXJ21HtXr1U

Starbucks Corporation. (2017). Our Company. Starbucks.com

Wattles, Jackie. (2015). Starbucks’ red cups stir up controversy. CNN Money. 

Wilcox, D. L., Cameron G. T., Rebe, B. H., & Shin, J. (2013). Book. Think Public Relations.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson Education, Inc..

 

 

Research Relations

Research is an important part of public relations because it is used throughout the whole process of a campaign. Research is used in the beginning to analyze the client’s current situation. From there, a strategy is formed and the goals and objectives are identified (Watson & Noble, 2007, p. 60). Research is used again at the end in order to follow up on the results of the strategy and if the goal was obtained.

Researching your client is a big part of PR. Knowing what the client stands for and what their about will help the PR practitioner come up with a strategy specific to the company so it fits their mission. Researching the client is important but so is researching the public, and understanding the company’s target audience.

“Research makes communication two-way by collecting information from publics rather than one-way, which is a simple dissemination of information” (Bowen, Rawlins & Martin, 2017).

Understanding your audience is two-way communication. Knowing what they want and what they believe in is important when communicating with them. Throwing information at them would be a form of one-way communication. Other fields may have this form of communication; Here is the one outcome so take it or leave it. PR practitioners understand that the publics needs are important, hence the name “public relations.” This form of two-way communication is beneficial for both parties, both needs are understood and a strategy will be put in place to benefit most of the target audience as possible. This technique goes back to the strategy of PR. Everything is done for a reason because of research understanding certain crowds. When strategy is done for a reason it’s because of research that has been done. PR professionals aren’t just guessing what will work for certain companies or test out a campaign they thought of 3 years ago and try it on a random company. Research is also crucial for showing the results of a campaign in numbers and how effective the strategy was (Bowen, Rawlins & Martin, 2017).

“Research shows readers that public relations practitioners have always relied on research to provide evidence of the effectiveness of their activities. […] without a research plan, practitioners cannot accurately monitor, track, measure, or evaluate their public relations programs” (Brunner 2003, p. 1). After a client reaches out to a PR firm with a problem, they hope the professionals can aid the company. PR professionals can use research to learn more about the company and its audience. After the strategy takes place, the company expects results. The best way to test if the results of a campaign it through more research! PR practitioners can research data to evaluate how effective their strategy was. In a case with social media, analytics can be tracked to see if engagements with the company has increased.

“Without research, public relations would not be a true management function. It would not be strategic or a part of executive strategic planning, but would regress to the days of simple press agentry, following hunches and instinct to create publicity. As a true management function, public relations uses research to identify issues and engage in problem solving, to prevent and manage crises, to make organizations responsive and responsible to their publics, to create better organizational policy, and to build and maintain long-term relationships with publics. A thorough knowledge of research methods and extensive analyses of data also allow public relations practitioners a seat in the dominant coalition and a way to illustrate the value and worth of their activities. In this manner, research is the strategic foundation of modern public relations management” (Bowen, Rawlins & Martin 2017).

References

Bowen, S. A., Rawlins, B., and Martin, T. (2017). 8.1 Importance of Research in Public Relations Management. Mastering Public Relations 1.0. Washington, DC. Flat World Education, Inc.

Brunner, Brigitta. (2003). The importance of research to public relations. The review of communication. (3)4. p.1 – 1. National Communication Association.

Watson, T., & Noble, P. (2007). Evaluating Public Relations: A Best Practice Guide to Public Relations. Chartered Institue of Public Relations. Kogan Page. p. 60.

 

Beginning to Understand PR

Public relations (PR) helps better a company’s reputation/overall image. Or at least that’s my understanding of it. This is my first class focused completely on public relations. In previous classes that have a small section PR, I’ve learned that techniques are used to help better communicate information about a company. These techniques make PR useful and they include social media, special events and endorsements. Social media can be used to get messages out to the public. These messages could put a personality to the company and reach out to the community and gain brand awareness. Special events encourage community engagement. A fun event can positively associate to a company and this can help the company have a better public image. Endorsements or partnerships can also be good for a company. Celebrity endorsements can bring awareness to a brand by reaching a different crowd of the celebrity following. Partnerships can be good for brand image. For example, Dawn soap supporting wildlife. When buying dish soap, people might put Dawn in their cart to feel good about benefiting their wildlife foundation.

These are a couple elements I am aware of when it comes to public relations, but this is also only a small part of PR. I researched more and found other activities include publicity, press releases, advertising, events management, crisis management, media relations and more. While researching, there are many different variations on what public relations really is.“Public relations is a field more often characterized by what it does than what it is. Ask a practitioner to define the field and the likely response is a listing of the activities that are included under the rubric of public relations” (Bruning & Ledingham 2000, p. xi). All of the activities of PR fall under the communications category. PR specialists need strong communication skills both written and verbal to send out clear and detailed information for their client. Messages can be as serious as a press release or simple as a social media post.A huge part of public relations is representing a client.

“Public relations scholars and practitioners, for example, want to solve problems as defining the contribution that communication make to an organization, segmenting and targeting publics, isolating the effects of communication function, understanding the roles and behaviors of public relations practitioners, identifying and magazine issues, using communication to increase the satisfaction of employees, learning how public relations interacts with marketing, or defining how organizations should participate in the public affairs of a system of government” (Grunig, 1992, p. 7).

Learning more about what public relations excites me for this fundamentals of PR course. The class represents a real life public relations scenario of having a client and help solve their problem. Prior to this, I had a vague understanding of what exactly public relations was. The quote from Grunig showed me a big part of PR that I seemed to be missing. I was unaware of such major factors of the field such as solving a client’s problems and the crucial communication skills needed for success. PR helps companies be understood by the public and this has to be done in not only a strategic way, but a way that makes sense. This communication to the public can create mutual understanding. From there, a positive relation can be established (du Plessis, 2000). Researching through a few books to explore the meaning of public relations gave me a better understanding of the field. What makes a student truly understand something is being hands on with it. I’m excited to learn more about what public relations is in this course, but also how to go about PR strategies and activities for a client to solve their problem.

 

References

du Plessi, D., (2000). Introduction to Public Relations and Advertising. Juta Education (Pyt) Ltd. Lansdowne, Cape Town.

Grunig, J. E., (1992). Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management.  Lawerence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Mahwah, NJ.

Ledingham, J. A., & Bruning, S. D., (2000). Public Relations as Relationship Management. Lawerence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Mahwah, NJ

Google Analytics Certification

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Petrucci, Micaela. “Screenshot.” 10 December 2016. 

My main interests include music, pop culture, sports, and art. This leads to a whole industry of entertainment and events geared specifically to the things I love. At Grand Valley State University I’m studying advertising and public relations and hope to relate my studies to the entertainment world.

There are many jobs available where I can intertwine my passions which I learned through an assignment of finding potential careers that involve technology. Most of the jobs that interested me involve social media, digital marketing or advertising sales to specific companies I follow. These companies range from planning/hosting concerts and music festivals, record labels, sports teams, television companies or even local venues, radio stations and sports teams.

Social media is a strength of mine and my technology in advertising and public relations course helped increase those skills learning about scheduling tweets through TweetDeck or targetting specifc users. Targeting specifc users is another key thing we learned relating to SEO and SEM. Search Engine Optimization is the relevance of certain websites and what gets them to appear after search enginge results. Using the website BrandYourself.com I was able to go through and confirm which search engine results were me and what wasn’t. This way, I should come up first when my name is searched rather than other people who share my name. Search Engine Marketing is when ads come up on the side of websites. These ads are from websites that use cookies and remember certain users that visited their site. With knowledge of SEO and SEM I hope to help out my future company. This was something I thought was very intersting in class and hope to learn more about it. One entertainment company I researched for the technology careers assignment has a specific job opening for a “Marketing Manager, SEM.

Marketing is a skill the companies I follow are always looking for. I plan to minor in marketing so after graduation I can apply to these marketing jobs as well as advertising and PR. I found a marketing internship with my name all over it for an entertainment company. I hope skills from this class will help me stand out in the application process.

Other internships that I plan to apply for involve “social media” somewhere in the title. As I mentioned before, social media is a skill we learned about in this technology course. Tracking social media views can be done through Twitter analytics, you can view how many impressions certain tweets got including how many people actually opened the attached image/link. Even bigger than Twitter Analytics is Google Analytics which can track users activity on the web, not just on one website/app such as Twitter. Google Analytics happens through Google Partners.

Google Partners is Google’s program for advertising agencies, digital marketing professionals, and other online consultants. When you sign up for Partners, you’ll get access to a range of benefits, including special events and trainings, industry research, certifications, and more.”

Becoming certified with Google Analytics would be extremley beneficial to me with the field I want to get into. So, I learned all the courses and took the exam to make it happen!

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Petrucci, Micaela. “Assessment.” 10 December 2016.

Google Partners site says they’re for advertising agencies and digital marketing professionals which are both options of where I want to be in the future. I’m excited to have this certification to further enrich my learning and stand out amongst my peers.

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Petrucci, Micaela. “Certification.” 10 December 2016. 

I was also very excited to add my first certification to my LinkedIn page!

Networking with GVSU Ad Club

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Petrucci, Micaela. “Ad Club.” 6 December 2016.

On Tuesday, December 6th, GVSU Advertising Club hosted one of their biweekly meetings. The meeting had special guests Pamela Patton and Todd Morris who are the president and vice president of American Advertising Federation West Michigan.

Grand Valley State University’s Ad Club allows students to attend their first meeting for free, which I took advantage of to see what the club is all about.

Ad Club is a great way to network with other students at GVSU but also the two professionals that joined the meeting. Todd Morris was one of the professionals on the panel at Career Compass, which  I attended earlier in the school year, so it was interesting to hear him speak and get to know him more.

Todd Morris is the vice president of marketing at Adtegrity and also vice president of American Advertising Federation of West Michigan. He informed students about the 2017 American Advertising Awards also known as the ADDYs. Morris shared with the club background information about the ADDYs followed by eligibility requirements and how to enter.

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Petrucci, Micaela. “Todd Morris.” 6 December 2016.

The ADDYs are taking place at a bigger venue this year filled with many potential networking connections, both students and professionals. The event is intended for original and creative work. The gala is put on to celebrate and view all the hard work submitted.

For those looking to get involved but aren’t ready to submit work, volunteer opportunities are available leading up to the event. After volunteering 10 hours, those workers are then granted free admission to the gala that is normally a student rate of $60. Getting involved with the ADDYs competition can help make yourself known within the community.

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Petrucci, Micaela. “Selfie.” 6 December 2016. 

What’s next? I ended up really enjoying the enviornment of Ad Club and am looking into joining next semester. I learned that both Todd Morris and Pamela Patton are advertising professionals in the area that are willing to work with GVSU students since their appearance at Ad Club. From there, I added the two as connections on LinkedIn to keep up with them as well as further information on the ADDYs.

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