United Crisis

United Airlines

 

It is no secret that the video that exploded online of a man being drug off a United Airlines plane has caused a lot of debate. From the first moment it aired, via Facebook, the video has sparked heated debates on many social platforms. It has spread like a virus among United Airline’s consumers. Now their stock is down 800 million dollars–all due to one video on a social media platform.

This scandal has gripped United, and not even a month after a previous legging fueled scandal–another social media fueled debate. United has proven that their biggest enemy right now, other than themselves, is social media.

United has not made a very good presence these past few months, and it seems daily the Internet creates new memes about United. The social sphere is alive with trending hashtags and memes about the failures of the company. United has made an enemy out of social media–and the Internet will never forget.

So can United pull out of this slump and recover? Or is this scandal too much to handle? A possible answer may lie in the very nature of United Airlines. So far they have proven to be arrogant, careless, and unsympathetic to their customers. If this attitude is not changed, no PR genius will ever be able to salvage the steaming pile that is United Airlines.

 

 

I-85: A Disaster on Social Media

Recently a section of I-85 burst into a 40 foot wall of fire, and eventually collapsed. It is now the talk of Georgia. What makes this disaster so interesting, despite the fact that it’s a wall of fire and collapsed rubble–is that the whole thing evolved on social media.

Atlanta travelers rushed from their cars, smart phones in hand, and began filming. Facebook lives went up, pictures went up–the whole disaster unfolded across the world via social media.

Now it is the City of Atlanta’s turn. Their response has been quick, but is it quick enough? Since this disaster unfolded over social media, it must now be addressed on the same plain. The battle to restore confidence in the roadways must be fought on social media. Social media is also where most complaints and questions will be put forth.

We will see how the City of Atlanta responds to this disaster, and whether their crisis plan includes social media. Only time will tell if Atlanta can respond to the outpouring of attention.

Atlantans React to I-85

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http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a8971202/chinese-feminist-weibo-account-suspended/

There are many feminist social media accounts online these days, what makes them newsworthy is when they are shut down. Currently, China has suspended access to the Feminist Voices social media sites after the FV called for a militant like struggle for feminism.

The band has caused outrage across the world as millions of women rally to have access to the sites restored.

The interesting part is how Donald Trump comes in. The tweet that caused the outrage called for action against Trump’s aggressive policies and often racist remarks. This tweet was what sparked China’s ban of the sites.

As a social media student, the idea of banning a certain site or type of social media seems foreign. It’s hard to comprehend a country with enough power to block access to a feminist site. It’s rather frightening.

The initial tweet was not a crisis for the Chinese government nor Donald Trump. It was an annoyance at the most. But the way the Chinese government chose to respond was what created the now blooming crisis. Blocking access to a civilian social media sited used by many is a foolish move. The best option on how to handle such sites and comments is to simply ignore and not engage. The public has a right to say what they wish to say, and a government lowering themselves to fighting over social media is foolish.

 

Koman, T. (2017, February 23). Chinese Feminist Social Media Account Suspended After Criticizing Trump. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a8971202/chinese-feminist-weibo-account-suspended/

 

Our Parents and Social Media

As discussed in this article by The New York Times, our generation was the first to grow up with Facebook. We were the first to try this daring new medium of socialization. Since then, we have branched into various other social platforms, some of us leaving Facebook long behind. We are the Millenials, the social and tech savvy ones. We are the ones who can figure out new phones, apps, and games the quickest.

We have become accustomed to this false superiority. We joke about our parents still typing, www. into the search bar of Google. We laugh as our professors forget how to turn a playing YouTube video off, and we shudder when our grandmother leaves comments on our Facebook pictures. We understand that our “Mimaw” loves us, but she doesn’t always have to say so in the comment section of every picture. Nothing ruins a cute game day picture quicker than a poorly spelled “Mimaw loves you” in the comment section.

 

We millenials have grown comfortable in the conclusion that our mental superiority has made us social media kings and queens. However, as this article shows, the gap between our parents and us is shorter than we think. Our parents have taken on social media just as we have, and they are now surpassing us in usage! They have created these accounts for the same reason we did. Socialization.

 

Our parents and grandparents have created these accounts to be social with their communities. They can keep up with old friends, family members, and occasionally spy on that annoying woman from church. Yet we as the tech savvy generation still live in a bubble where we consider our parents “idiots” with social media.

 

Our bubble is going to have to burst at some point. No longer can we sit on our phone and pretend we live in a shiny new world that our parents do not inhabit. We have to eventually stop viewing our parents as dark age figures and allow them to take their proper place in the new, social world.

 

The PR Today and the PR of Yesterday

Gone are the days of hype and spin. The era of Edward Bernays is gone, and now are the days of open transparency and mass communication.

The father of modern PR, Bernays, had some very good ideas about PR, but his strategies often relied heavily on manipulation and spin. Not exactly something that works well in the 21st century.

Later in this life Bernays did admit the faulty of his ways, and change a few of his strategies to work better in the new age, but for the most part–the old ways of PR were dead.

After the rise of the internet, PR became more about transparency than hype. Information is readily available to everyone, so it is highly unlikely that a false story can exist in it’s full falsehood for long without some blogger calling attention to it. From film to politics the PR industry has had to adapt.

Survival isn’t about raising money or altering public opinion anymore–it’s about transparency. If an organization is transparent and honest with it’s consumers–it has a much better chance of survival than one that is secretive and remote.

While I’m pretty sure Bernays would have had a fit at the idea of full transparency in a organization, now we accept it as a natural way of life.

We as PR professionals must change the view of our field. We have to prove to the world that while our previous PR professionals were sometimes anything but honest–we are much different. We are a new breed.

 

The Relationship Between PR and the Media

Love/Hate relationship seems to be an overly simplified version of the relationship between the media and PR professionals. But it’s a very good visual for it none the less.

PR professionals have to work delicately with the media to keep a good relationship. Sometimes it’s easier than other times, and sometimes it’s harder.

As I have worked in PR, I have worked on both ends of the spectrum. Working as a PR publicist, and working as a media gatekeeper. I’ve had to balance myself between maintaining good relationships with my media peers, while not letting them push me around.

The hardest thing I’ve had to deal with is when media outlets want free tickets to events. If it is just a single reporter we can often give media credentials without problem. However, it if a reporter and his family then there is a bit more of a difficulty.

However, as a whole the relationship is mutually beneficial. We both need the other to survive, so we might as well make the best out of the situation.

In my own experience, I can stress that it’s important to have a good working relationship with your media peers. While they may annoy you or stress you, focus on the long term goal of working with them. Placeholder Image

Communication is Power

Why is communication power? What makes it so?

From the persuasive communication of Adolf Hitler, to the soothing messages of Mother Teresa, communication has the power to uplift or destroy. It conveys emotions, messages, manipulation, and actions to others.

Communication is like a loaded gun, ready for us to fire at any given moment. It’s dangerous, but at the same time it’s also nurturing. It all depends on how we humans use this ability.

Whether it is used for good or bad, there is a lot of power behind communication. The very fact that it can be used for good and evil gives it power all on it’s own. But the fact that communication has the ability to alter or change the actions of another person, makes it even more dangerous.

With communication we can persuade, manipulate, and insult other people. Through communication some of the darkest thoughts of human beings have come into reality.

Through communication we unleash our fury.

So while communication is just one of the many tools we humans use, it is by far the most powerful .

 

What Makes News?

What makes news? What is newsworthy? We as PR students will have to take journalism sooner or later…I’ve had to do it a bit sooner. But during these classes we learn what makes stories newsworthy. Some of the most basic news values are, not to quote my journalism professor directly:

Impact

Conflict

Unusual

Prominence

Proximity

Time

Currency

Human Interest

If a story contains one or more of these values then it is newsworthy. If it impacts a great number of people–200 American Schools May Close: That’s News. If it is unusual–Georgia Southern’s Afro Duck Rips off Professor’s Toupe: It’s News Worthy. So on and so forth the values go.

But to answer the question: Should Celebrity News be News?

The Answer is YES

Celebrity news fits into several of the news values. Prominence because they are will known people who are prominent in today’s society. Human Interest: Because we are nosy people who like to see other people succeed or fail. Unusual: Because let’s face it, celebs lead unusual lives that none of us have really ever seen before. Taylor Swift’s boyfriends and cat obsession, Kim K’s 72 day long marriage, Miley’s whole life really. It’s a drama that we can’t stop watching.

 

So yes, celebrities not only fit one of the values, they fit many. So therefore, they are news. Lucky for the PR agents promoting them right?

Sincerely,

Rebecca

Who is Rebecca

HI Guys!

My name is Rebecca Blount (very soon to be Rebecca Wilson) I’m a 22 year old PR major with a minor in marketing. I work currently as a Promotions and Marketing Assistant and Social Media Manager for Cumulus Broadcasting Savannah. I’m the Vice President of Public Relations at Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society, and I’m heavily involved in many volunteer and charity groups such as Saint Jude and the Bomber Girls (A charity group that helps retired US Vets. I’m a choir member at my church, a member of three honors societies, and surprisingly trained zip-line operator.

I’m a soon to be Corgi momma, and already I own two fat orange cat. The Evil One and the Sweet One.

My goals for this class are to simply learn as much as possible! I want to be the best I can be in my writing. I will admit though, that switching between this class and my journalism class is a bit challenging. Two totally separate forms of writing. But I manage.

I study public relations because I have a passion for working with people. I was first drawn to PR in my early years of college, but it took me a while to finally decide on it. Tells you something when you go from an education major to a business major to a PR major. I understand the business side of PR as well as the communication side. I am now beginning to explore the marketing side as well. I hope to use my PR degree from the amazing Georgia Southern University to become a Promotions Director in Myrtle Beach S.C. or move into corporate  at Cumulus. With a degree from GSU and good GPA what can stop me?

Yours Truly,

Rebecca Blount