Friday, June 27, 2008

Give the Community a Voice — Real Public Relations

Today was a great experience! I feel as though I really learned a WHOLE lot about doing good public relations today from the event I was involved in and also just from talking with the firm's VP about various clients and PR strategies. I'm confident I couldn't be learning from anyone better than the people I'm working with right now. They obviously know what they are doing because they have some great clients (and quite a few of them).

I shadowed today on a public information meeting regarding a local project that there is potential for some opposition against. I'd prefer not to go into too much detail. But the good news is, the law and a lot of public support is on our client's side, and what I learned internship-wise today is that it is very important to get that public support (it is, after all, public relations). It may sound cliché, but winning hearts and minds is really what it's all about. Basically, a good way a PR practitioner can help a client do this is by encouraging the formation of a public advisory committee. By allowing representatives from the community to have a say, it is easier for a client to be honest with the community, to include them in decisions, to keep them updated and to explain how they plan to address problems when they arise before the community begins generating negative media and/or harboring negative feelings toward the client.

Part of my responsibility today was to take good notes and basically do the same thing I would do were I a journalist covering the event. I'll use this information to piece together a news release about the meeting, of course.

Interestingly enough, I ran into a friend today I hadn't seen in a while (who also happens to be the publisher of a magazine I write for). We had a good chat about some good opportunities in the future I may be able to participate in, growing up in West Virginia, Morgan Spurlock, and — of course — Hokie football season's inevitable return and the need for football stories in the magazine.

I also worked on writing/editing some Web content for a local law firm today, basically writing some introductory material for some case briefs and then breaking them down into Web-worthy snippets to put online for the site's redesign that we're doing.

Some personal projects I'm working on is learning to code Facebook applications so I can perhaps market the blog a little better, plus I may be using some social media to promote for a client next month. Here are some links I found between yesterday and today:

Writer's Guild not happy about all this, and perhaps you shouldn't be either. The Washington Post goes a little more in depth about the topic.

Do you really know who you're listening to concerning politics?

I say this in all seriousness... this war has gone TOO FAR when fellow graduate students are killed. What's weird to me is that BAE Systems also supplied the civilians who trained us on our new equipment transition from Abrams tanks to Bradley fighting vehicles. In related news, my last drill is supposed to be next month, though I don't separate until October. Maybe I'll actually get paid by then. They are two months behind on paying me — ever think maybe that's one of the many reasons why I'm not re-enlisting, geniuses?

I have a feeling mostly my male, gun-owning (See? I'm not completely liberal!) readers will enjoy this site I stumbled across (OK, a buddy sent the link to me today).

Word on the street is that Blizzard Entertainment may announce Diablo III very soon. I'd keep checking their Web site the next few days or so if you're interested in those sorts of computer games (namely hack 'n' slash RPGs).

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