All posts by rachelbibbs

About rachelbibbs

I am currently a student at Indiana State University. I am studying Communications with a minor in Spanish. I am a junior, and I plan on graduating in the Fall of 2015. My hobbies are singing, working out, and spending time with my family and friends.

Social Media is Taking Over!

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Photo Cred: compfight.com

Over the years, technology has found numerous ways to get news out to the public, and in today’s society, social media is probably the biggest outlet thus far to be able to get news out to people. Many people who have social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, probably wouldn’t think that they would be getting as much news as they do, but they are! In an article from the PewResearch Center by Monica Anderson, she answered five questions that discussed how social media is reshaping news, and one of the questions was, “How do social media sites stack up on news?” Her response was, “When you take into account both the total reach of a site (the share of Americans who use it) and the proportion of users who get news on the site, Facebook is the obvious (http://www.journalism.org/2013/11/14/news-use-across-social-media-platforms/) news powerhouse among the social media sites. Roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use the site, and half of those users get news there — amounting to 30% of the general population.” She also went on to say that after Facebook, YouTube holds the next biggest pathway to news with about half of Americans using it, and a fifth of them getting news from it. Twitter comes third with 16% of Americans using it and half of them get news from there, and with only 3% of Americans using Reddit, they still receive a good amount of news from it.

All in all, social media is, in a sense, becoming the biggest outlet for news in today’s society. Most people tend to lean more towards social media for news, rather than the usual news outlets, such as Fox 59 and ABC news. With our generation today, social media is prominent because not only do Americans have these different pages, but with all of the news that gets surfaced on them, Americans have no choice but to see it. So although social media is taking over, it just might be something good for Americans to use for news.

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As The Semester Comes to An End…

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Image Credit: Compfight via yokopakumayoko 

Throughout my time being in this Intro to PR class, I have learned so many things that I didn’t think would be easy at all to learn. I honestly thought this class was going to be so hard when we discussed the syllabus on the first day, but after Prof. Mullen explaining to a certain degree, it really wasn’t that bad! Most times, I go into my classes on the first day, thinking the absolute worse, thinking that its going to be hard and pretty much saying, “This isn’t going to work!” It was different with this class though when we started actually getting to work! When we first started talking about doing press releases, I got super nervous because I don’t think I had ever heard of a press release until I got to this PR class. When Prof. Mullen explained it, I was still nervous on doing it, but once I did it on my own, it wasn’t that bad. The main thing that I enjoyed about this class is that not only did I learn a lot in it, but every time we had a new chapter, Prof. Mullen explained it so well in my opinion. Most times when it comes to Powerpoints, I can’t really pay attention because I get distracted or bored easily, but in this class, there was never a dull moment! I think that’s what I liked most, along with the hands on experience as well with us having to create new social media networks. I thought that was a great idea because even though I don’t have inappropriate things on my social media networks that I had previously, I still felt like it would be more professional if I created new ones with only professionals on it and that only professionals can see also. I had never had a LinkedIn before, but when I first made it, I thought that this was too much for me to do, but once I got the hang of it, it became a lot easier to connect with people, so forth and so on. All of the things I learned in this class has helped me tremendously, and I’m really glad I ended up taking this class and sticking with it as well.

#WTFF

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Image Credit: John R. Coughlin via Google

Companies have tried many different ways to promote their businesses, and when Twitter was created, another invention was created as well, and that’s Hash tagging! Hash tagging has not only been a positive promotion for companies, but a negative promotion for companies as well. One company in particular would be Burger King. Burger King decided to come up with a new and healthier item on their menu, which were fries. Now, when I read about this, the first thing that came to my mind was, “How can you make fries healthier?” because in my mind, they’re just unhealthy period! Apparently, Burger King came up with a new way to make them healthier though. What they did was cut out about 70 calories within the fries and about 90 calories out of the large fry also, and what better way to promote these healthier fries than to create a hash tag on Twitter saying #WTFF. This is where they went wrong. The hash tag #WTFF for Burger King stood for “What the French Fry,” but little did they know that there was already another saying that people used that stood for #WTFF. The #WTFF that people were already using stood for, “What the F*king F*k.” People not only were using it when they were tweeting about something that they were frustrated about, but they also began bashing Burger King with their own hash tag! One tweet said, “#WTFF is a terrible hashtag. Whoever came up with it should be punished by having to eat Burger King.” Although Twitter can be a great way to promote your company, you still have to make sure that you are ready for whatever may come along with that idea, or in this case, hash tag. The PR teams from these different companies just have to be very cautious when it comes to brainstorming and thinking of different ideas when it comes to promoting the company. With more research, I think that Burger King could have prevented this type of hashtag fail from occurring. Although TV commercials are somewhat old school, I think that they can still portray the message that they want in order to persuade people to buy their product.

Noo Taco Bell Noooo!!!!

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Image Credit: Evan Swigart via Google

While searching through the Internet trying to find a company than has been through a crisis, I stumbled across Taco Bell. Now, as I began to search Taco Bell as a whole, I noticed that Taco Bell has had numerous occasions where they haven’t done the best job with making sure they pick the right people for their company. There had been many accounts where Taco Bell has had to rebuild their reputation, and one incident really stood out to me that grossed me out the most. Earlier sometime this year in Fort Wayne, IN an employee, by the name of Cameron Jankowski, from Taco Bell thought that it would be a good idea to urinate on the food and also, post pictures of him in the act on Twitter. This incident caused a lot of uproar for Taco Bell, and I’m sure also caused a lot of frustration for the company since this wasn’t the only incident that occurred dealing with someone doing nasty things to the food. The way this was found out was from Indiana’s NewsCenter who ended up bringing the Twitter posts to the attention of the health department and Taco Bell also. After they found out about the employee, Taco Bell officials said that he was suspended and will be fired from his job. Mindy Waldron, an administrator with the Allen County Health Department, was able to corroborate Jankowski’s location at the restaurant and also the location inside the restaurant as to where the incident occurred. After this incident occurred, Taco Bell is now saying that any employees that being working there will be given mandatory training. Along with the newcomers of Taco Bell, they also said that the already hired staff will be retrained as well. Taco Bell went to extreme measures to make sure that they gain their good reputation back by also deep cleaning the facility and also possibly shutting down the facility in order to ensure the safety of its food. Amy Kavanaugh, another associate with Taco Bell, released a statement saying, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and team members. We have strict food handling procedures and zero tolerance for any violations. As soon as we learned of the situation, we immediately investigated and found the photo was an ill-conceived prank and the food was never served to customers. We find this prank absolutely unacceptable, and we plan to terminate anyone involved and work with authorities to pursue legal action.” While Taco Bell is trying to rebuild their reputation, from my own opinion, I think that they are doing a very good job with dealing with the incident.

5 Tips On Making An Effective Press Release

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Image Credit: Mike Bailey-Gates via Compfight 

Going into my Intro to PR class, I had no idea about press releases or how to do them. I honestly wasn’t for sure on what they actually were either, until it was explained to me what exactly a press release is. So once I found out what a press release was, I decided to research some tips on making an effective press release because some of the press releases that we have read in class were quite, well, not so good. So with that being said, this assignment that was assigned to us really can help me and hopefully help others on how to write an effective press release. The website that I found gave 10 tips, but I will only be doing the first five tips.

Tip 1: Incorporate the most important information at the beginning. When writing a press release, make sure that the most important information is put at the beginning, that way people actually know what the situation is about. Sometimes you could start off with a life story or also add ground breaking facts as well to draw the people in to what they are reading before it begins.

Tip 2: Write the release in the perspective of your audience. For example, pretend as if you are one of the people reading your release. By doing this, it will help you to understand the pieces of information that may interest you, and in doing so, would interest your readers also. This could also help your readers to relate to your viewpoint.

Tip 3: Do not put in too many facts or promotional taglines to your release. In order to get your facts across and points, you must do it in a respectful and presentable manner. It is important that you make a press release that is respectful towards your readers, and with that being said, when trying to describe certain products, you should be giving concise and simple messages.

Tip 4: Offer to donate to a worthy cause.You could have a very effective press release if you off to donate to a certain worthy cause. The reason why this is important is because people like to see different companies or individuals helping others. So with that being said, you could receive a lot of free promotion and it could also boost your image if you make a donation to a specific cause.

Tip 5: Relate your services or products to a national or local news event. You can relate current national or local issues that are affecting people, such as unemployment rates or also the energy crisis. With this, if you are able to give any type of solution in any way, this could bring you publicity.

Starbucks in China Did What!?

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Image Credit via Compfight

 

Unfortunately, Starbucks Bank of China Tower made a very bad decision that is probably costing the company a lot of money, not just controversy. It was said that Starbucks Bank of China Tower has been using toilet water to brew their coffee! The Starbucks Bank of China Tower doesn’t have faucets or other water outlets of its own, so with that being said, employees go to a public toilet, pushing water tanks there to fill them up, and them walk back with them to brew it with their coffee. The public toilet is about 230 feet from the Starbucks Bank of China branch. The way this was found out was by local media,  Apple Daily, who released a video taken by a hidden camera showing Starbucks employees doing such acts previously stated. After the video was released, Starbucks Bank of China Tower began to get a lot of backlash. When the spokesman for the branch was interviewed about the situation, he admitted to using the toilet water for brewing their coffee. Local sanitation officers didn’t agree with what Starbucks was doing, therefore putting a foot forward saying that the branch’s method and source of water for their coffee blends were most definitely disobeying sanitation rules and regulations. They also stated that the branch should be sanctioned immediately. “No matter how often it is cleaned, there will always be a certain amount of various bacteria in the restroom, so serving customers food or drink made with water from there is simply unacceptable,” the head of Hong Kong Food and Beverages stated according to a reprimand statement that was issued. From this point on, Starbucks Bank of China Tower tried to fix what they messed up. After this whole ordeal, the branch began to receive a lot of backlash from this incident, causing many people to leave mean comments and so forth on their Facebook page, and much more. Once the branch saw this happening, they took action immediately. The branch announced that they would stop getting water from the toilet and instead create a budget for bottled purified water to use and make their coffee with.

My PR Professional: Brittany Malon

Brittany (Klinedinst) MalonImage Credit via LinkedIn

I had the pleasure of working with Brittany Malon for my interview with a PR professional. She works as a Communications Coordinator for Pendleton Vet. Clinic. Brittany has mostly done advertising, event planning, and also website and social media work. She was able to give me so much insight as to how to succeed in this career field. I asked her six questions out of the 14 questions we were able to pick from.

Question 1: What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

Brittany answered that by having a lot of friends in the industry, you seem to be able to help one another out with the job. She also says that when she sees an opportunity, she jumps on it right away because there is always someone else wanting that position you may have.

Question 2: What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

Brittany simply said how rapidly the market changes! She feels that she has to stay up on everything, especially social media networks because of how fast the market is changing.

Question 3: How important is writing in your career?

Brittany said that 95% of what she does is writing! That’s pretty much majority of what she does! Examples of that would be communication letters and also blogs.

Question 4: What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1. Networking- Get to know a lot of people, that way when the time comes, “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours!”

2. Never quit your education- In this industry you are always learning new things each and every day. In order to keep up, you need that foundation, which is your education.

3. Have a “thick skin”- Not everybody is going to like your ideas. With that being said, you have to gain some sort of patience and also that “thick skin” in order to help you not to give up just because somebody might not agree with you or not like your ideas.

Question 5: Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?

Brittany said that her education definitely gave her an idea of what she did and did not like to do. It gave her a better feel of what she wanted to do, and it also helped her cut through the crap!

Question 6: What has surprised you the most about working in PR?

Brittany said how hard it is because of how everything is constantly changing. She said that it’s tough to survive in a fast pace environment as well.

This interview was very insightful for me as a student having a concentration in PR because I know that I am one of those people who get somewhat upset if somebody doesn’t agree with me or like my ideas. After speaking with Brittany and getting to know about her background, helped me know that I can do this as well! Education is key in this industry, so with that I know that if I work hard, I will be able to do the things that I want to do, and also succeed.

How to Become a Great Blogger

Image Credit: Gerry Moran via Marketingthink.com

As I was wondering on what I could say about blogging, I looked up a great article that was able to sum up pretty much everything that I needed to know about blogging. First off, in order to be a good blogger, one must make sure they have a title for their post. Most times in order to catch the reader’s eye, I think that it should be a title that is catchy, to draw that reader in. Second, when creating the blog, make sure that you get straight to the point in the very first paragraph. You don’t want to bore your reader by beating around the bush most of the blog and then finally tell them what they actually wanted to know towards the end of the article.Third, after you’ve stated the main point within the first paragraph, make sure that you follow that paragraph with sidenotes of points about the main idea from that first paragraph.

Another part to becoming a good blogger, is the writing style of the blog. When writing a blog, it should be informal, and also friendly. Usually it’s always good to use first person, and reference from your own experiences. I know that from my blogging experience, I’m pretty much new to all of this, so I thought that this article was very helpful to me in a sense. Another big thing that I found out from reading the article was to be polite, honest, and respectful of other people’s cultures and opinions. I found this to be very important because you can’t force your own beliefs on someone else. It just doesn’t work like that.