Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University


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Three Quotes for the Young PR Professional

We all need some inspiration and advice when it comes to figuring out our career paths. Quotes give you a guide, something easy to remember and helpful to live by. Here are some of my favorite quotes for the young PR professional to know:

“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.” – Jean Louis Gassee

This quote is as close as you’ll get to an accurate depiction of public relations. In public relations, we don’t pay for promotions, advertisements or others to say they’re good. We need to work our butts off to make sure people BELIEVE we are good, and tell others we are good. It’s about building a relationship with your clients, making sure there is a mutual trust. If you can get someone else to talk positively on behalf of your company, then you know you’re on the right track.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet

Strategy, strategy, strategy! When performing tasks, especially those with high media exposure, make sure your actions are done with strategy. It is never good to “wing” it in the public relations field.  Check out what happens when you don’t think it through before acting.

digiorno

A simple social media blunder: DiGiorno Pizza tried to jump on the #Hashtag bandwagon, but didn’t understand what the hashtag meant before posting it. In reality, the #WhyIStayed hashtag was to discuss powerful stories of domestic violence… not something worth joking about with pizza.

They didn’t take time to think this one through. Urbanurban outfitters Outfitters released a “Vintage” on-of-a-kind Kent State sweatshirt that had a clear reference to the 1970 killing of four students protesting the Vietnam War by the Army National Guard. Urban outfitters later apologized on twitter saying, “Was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such.”

 

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling

cigs

Comparing cigarettes to terrorist attacks may not be the best analogy.

As PR professionals we are constantly writing. Press releases, newsletters, tweets, grants, speeches, you name it! With all of this experience under our belt, we can accidentally get in the “robotic” flow of writing, not paying attention to how each word may resonate with the audience. It is important to pick and choose your words carefully when going into the public eye. Be cautious of derogatory words, slurs or negative connotations. We need to know our audience, and we need to be aware of triggers within that audience. Pick words that will make your audience rally behind

whales

PETA didn’t think through their body-shaming advertisement before it was plastered over a huge billboard.

your cause instead of fight against it. Practicing and testing out your work before releasing it for everyone to see and hear is the best way to avoid a PR discriminatory disaster. Also, keep in mind how the audience may take your words verses what you actually mean. If you answer a question with “no comment’ you may actually not know the answer to something, whereas the audience may take it as you’re hiding something. Think before write, and rewrite before you speak.

 

As you navigate through the PR industry it is important to have quotes like this to keep you in check. No matter how much experience or fancy titles you’ve had, everyone is susceptible to mistakes. By having go-to quotes to live by in your profession can ensure you’re doing public relations the RIGHT way, being a positive influencer between an organization and its audiences.

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A Day in the Life: Working at Flash Communications

Flash

What better way to gain real-world experience in the field of public relations than interning through the University Communications and Marketing Department? As a Flash Communications intern, you can quickly enhance your writing, interviewing and time management skills.

At Flash Communications, we primarily write public relations stories or briefs about anything positive, exciting or new happening at any one of the Kent campuses. Flash communications is under the University Communications and Marketing department and is headed by Professor Luke Armour. Every week you’re working on new stories, upcoming events or accomplishments in the Kent Community.

Different roles you may hold are social media management, assisting in event staffing or an assistant coordinator. Working at Flash Communications also allows you to work with professionals like Eric Mansfield and Emily Vincent, giving you a chance to see them in action with their real-world duties. The office environment continues to be exciting and refreshing, allowing you to write stories on different topics in short period of time.

Since we all have a different class schedule, you’re able to work with different interns throughout the week. Every day here is different – one day you may be working on contacting sources or interviewing for a story, writing social media posts or in the office compiling stories for the weekly faculty and staff e-newsletter, E-Inside.

Carly Evans, a junior public relations major, joined Flash Communications this past spring after hearing about the position from a Kent State staff member.

“It’s really cool getting to meet different people all across campus,” Evans says. “You get to know so many faces and personalities around campus.”

Holly Disch, junior public relations major, is in her second semester at Flash Communications and says one of the highlights working here was a jazz story she did last semester on a professor, Bobby Selvaggio, who is an amazing sax artist.

“I got to interview him while also interviewing famous jazz artists because I needed to incorporate more than one source into the story,” Disch says.

Gael Reyes, one of our assistant coordinators here at Flash Communications, says her position has allowed her to gain great experience and build her portfolio.

“It’s an environment that allows me to grow as a student and as a professional,” Reyes says.

Disch says her one of her favorite parts of working here is getting the chance to collaborate with other amazing PR students.

Reyes advises students who are interested in working at Flash Communications to do your research before going into the interview.

“Have a good idea of what we do here at Flash,” Reyes said. “Also, have a solid understanding of PR basics.”

Interested in applying? Send your resume and a list of completed and scheduled JMC classes to Professor Luke Armour at Larmour1@kent.edu by April 21,, 2017.


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PR In the News: Oscars in la la Land

It’s the movie industry’s biggest social event of the year: the Oscars. Movie stars line the red carpet in some of the most unique and glamorous outfits money can buy. The 89th celebration, lasting nearly four hours, was going smoothly until it came time to announce Best Picture, when presenters gave the Oscar to “La La Land”, when, to the Academy’s horror, the winner was actually “Moonlight.”

Viewers debated if the presenters were in a la la land of their own, confused about how such a major mishap could occur.

The two presenters, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, were apparently handed the wrong card backstage. Beatty opened the card, read it and paused for a moment, seeming confused. He then handed the card to Dunaway who announced “La La Land” as the winner. It wasn’t until after the cast and producers were on stage accepting that they corrected the mistake, announcing “Moonlight” as the actual winner.

Immediately this mistake took social media by storm. Twitter began to blow up with posts comparing this mistake to Steve Harvey’s last year when he announced the wrong Miss Universe winner. In light of the joke, Miss Universe tweeted “Have your people call our people – we know what to do #Oscars #MissUniverse”. Following this, Steve Harvey even tweeted “Call me Warren Beatty. I can help you get through this! #Oscars”. Users continued to caption meme’s relating to Steve Harvey.

Other posts compared the mistake to the 2016 election, including tweets “wishing this is what happened with the election.” Users turned the jokes political by bringing up the popular vote issue from the election.

PwC, the accounting and consulting firm that handles the ballot counting process for the Academy Awards, took more than two minutes to take action to correct their mistake during the show.

According to ABC News, PwC had no other option but to be up-front and explain what happened to minimize damage to their reputation and brand. The company tweeted a statement apologizing to Beatty, Dunaway, all of “La La Land” and “Moonlight” several hours after the show ended.

Do you think the company took enough action for damage control? Or should they have stepped up more? Time will tell, but, in my opinion, I think the company could have provided more than a tweet to apologize to viewers and the people affected on-stage. Possibly by apologizing for the mistake themselves while it was happening on live T.V. would have served them better and appealed to viewers emotions better.

The Academy has since released a statement, apologizing to the cast and crew of both movies. The Academy shared the statement on its website and social media.