Archive for the ‘PR Connections’ Category

PR Connection: Cpt. Richard Phillips

April 28, 2009

Earlier this month, an American boat captain was pilotting a shit off the east coast of Africa when he was taken over by modern-day pirates.  Captain Richard Phillips obliged with the pirates every request, but still had his life threatened.  This was until American troops took over the ship and rescued the captain.  His face has been all over the television and magazines for weeks now, something that is completely alien to an ordinary boat captain.  During the NBA playoffs, he was given an honorary jersey and a plaque before a game in Boston, in primetime on national television.  All of this media exposure is new for Cpt. Phillips and it could be overwhelming, and it is the responsibility of the public relations teams for the organizations who is hosting him for that particular event to make sure that he is comfortable with whatever he is asked to do.  Communication skills are essential in this and the person must be sincere when they are talking to him.  He is in a completely new environment and he is more than welcome to any friendly face that is willing help offer some help.  He has performed well with every opportunity that he has been given, which only increases his celebrity.  Several other people have done similar things like this, the airline pilot that safely landed a Boeing 747 in the Hudson River, saving the lives of every passenger that was aboard.  He was given the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game, much the same as Cpt. Phillips, giving them the hero status that they deserve.

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PR Connection: Swine Flu

April 28, 2009

As the swine flu epidemic begins to sweep across the North American continent, people are beginning to get into a frenzy because they do not even know what the disease does. Watching Sportscenter last week, soccer games where played in 100,000 seat stadiums with not a soul in attendance. There are pictures all over the internet of people walking through the streets of Mexico City, which only causes more of a ruckus. The job of controlling this world wide panic falls on the public relations teams of the various health organizations and countries who are involved and affected. They have been doing a good job so far to try and get the details of the disease and to calm the public that not everyone is at risk. They have made it clear that the disease is not passed on through food, so that alone calmed millions. This is a classic case of crisis control, trying to keep under control the reaction to some unexpected, unfortunate event. This case is unusually hard to handle because it crosses both national and language barriers. The message that they are trying to get across has to be given in multiple languages, and also considering various cultural values that are being affected. They have to make sure not to step on anybody’s “toes” when they make press releases, while at the same time making sure that they put out all of the necessary information that the audience needs to here to make sure that they take the proper precautions to keep themselves and their families safe.

PR in the NBA

April 27, 2009

basketballWatching the NBA playoffs, I am amazed at all of the public relations that aer going on in the arenas. The entire fan base is clad in the teams colors, usually coordinated so everyone matches. Of course, the fans do not do this on their own, someone must be in charge of this. The atmosphere is so intense in the building, with music, chants and cheers going on at all times, according the the action on the court. There is a team in charge of all of these things, as well as so many thngs that are going on around the clock that are hidden from us. Every person that walks through the doors of the stadium or tunes in on the television expects to be entertained and sport is unique in this aspect because they only have one chance to get it right, and if it does not go off exactly as planned the entire world will see. The only product that the business (team) has to offer is the game, and this is something that only the players and coach can control. This makes the act of selling the product that much more difficult, because the product cannot be changed according to the fans’ (consumers) wants. Yet everytime you tune into a game or are in attendance, the game is exactly as you would expect, delivering on every aspect that you were hoping for. All of this credit should be attributed to the PR teams of the various teams and of the NBA itself. They work in a stress filled environment and perform under the pressure day in and day out. This is the type of career that I dream of having.

NFL Draft: A PR Creation

April 26, 2009

footballThe beast that is the NFL draft is a thing that has been builded and molded into what it is today through many years of public relations. When ESPN (http://espn.go.com/) began to cover the draft over twenty years ago, it was nothing more than a stuffy conference room filled with old executives, picking players no one has ever heard of. Thoday it has turned into some much more than that; it is built up for months, with mock drafts coming out the second that the season ends. Hours upon hours are dedicated to the draft, ginving air time to tens of eperts and former players giving their reasons as to why certain players should go to certain teams. The draft itself has become an event, with die hard fans packing Radio City Music Hall, decked out in thier full tema game, complete with face paint and all. All of these things can be credited the the public relations team of the NFL. They took a mundane event into the most exciting thing of the offseason, drawing attention to their organization year round, despite the fact the the actual season is only about six months. They filled the building with people who seem as though as their lives hang in the balance to give the telecast a feel of excitement, despite the fact that the first round alone lasted three and a half hours. There are alot of things that can be taken from this as far as public relations are concerned, but the thing that I most got out of it was them turning a conference room into a football haven. They took some of the responsibility of adding excitement off their own shoulders and put it on the shoulders of the fans, who thrive at this. The PR team took advantage of their available resources and is it to their advantage, and creating one of the biggest days for one of the biggest companies in the world