Public Relations for Non-Profits
39 views | +0 today
Follow
Public Relations for Non-Profits
Bringing in the good we wish to see in the world
Curated by Jeri Sitze
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Salvation Army Uses Crisis Communications Strategies in Anti-Gay Allegations

Salvation Army Uses Crisis Communications Strategies in Anti-Gay Allegations | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"The Salvation Army is forced to put on their crisis communications thinking caps after a volunteer urges the public to boycott donations to the nonprofit organization."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

For any nonprofit organization across the world today, it is more challenging than ever to gain the public’s attention, as well as persuade them to donate their precious money and possessions for the good of your cause. It is particularly challenging, however, when gossip and false rumors suddenly emerge around your organization, especially when the chatter is regarding one of the most highly debated controversial discussions throughout America.

 

In December 2012, during the Salvation Army’s busiest period of the year with all the Christmas donations and red kettle bell ringing, the nonprofit experienced an unsettling, foul rumor referring to their views on gay marriage. A disgruntled volunteer publicized throughout Facebook claiming that the organization uses their donations to oppose gay rights. True or untrue, the Salvation Army now had to react quickly and appropriately to diminish the crisis.

 

As our textbook mentions, even in the best of times, individuals will question one’s motives (Guth & Marsh, pg. 300). During the prodromal stage in which the Salvation Army sensed feelings of tension and animosity from its donors after allegations emerged, the organization had their credible and reliable lieutenant colonel speak on their behalf. I believe he did an exceptional job handling the situation, assuring the public that this is not an untypical instance. He also spoke remarkably to clarify the Salvation Army’s values, their stance regarding sexuality views, and additionally addressed the places in which the money gets distributed.

 

Recognizing that the disputes of same-sex marriage equality is an extremely hot topic that has been deliberated both currently and for several previous years, the Salvation Army acknowledged the significance of addressing stakeholder needs regarding the rumors by directing their messages to effectively meet the needs of their audience (Guth & Marsh, pg. 300). Instead of instantly responding with pure denial, they discussed how they do not question their employees’ sexual preferences. In addition, they stated that although there may have been previous instances of discrimination within their massive organization of 60,000 employees and 3.5 million volunteers, there is a possibility of discrimination within any largely occupied organization.

 

With strenuous economic times, individuals are both reluctant and hesitant to dispersing their money frivolously. Because of this, I think it says a lot about the charitable movements and good services the Salvation Army provides. While the Salvation Army is technically a church, I think it creates an even larger challenge for them to compete against other nonprofits. For example, the Salvation Army is a Christian denominational church that follows the mainstream Methodist theology. With hundreds of religious views encompassing the world, the Salvation Army faces the challenging issue of not only demonstrating its views to the public in an appropriate, impartial manner, they also must persuade individuals that may not share similar beliefs to be active donors and volunteers to their organization.


It is simple for individuals opposing the Salvation Army to spread false, vicious accusations about their charity; however, the simplicity is not symmetrical for the nonprofit organization. Nevertheless, the Salvation Army does an outstanding job of staying true to their values. Our textbook highlights the prominence of sticking to your values, especially throughout a crisis. Because the Salvation Army annually experiences false accusations regarding discrimination, they have learned not to succumb to individuals’ desperate attempts at attention as well as preserved their ability to maintain the public’s attention around the relevant, beneficial campaigns they continually advocate.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Likes, Retweets, Shares, and Favorites-Slacktivism or Activism?

Likes, Retweets, Shares, and Favorites-Slacktivism or Activism? | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"With the drastic surge of technology and the accessibility of "liking" and "tweeting" to support a cause, nonprofit organizations and social media users are skeptical of the ability to save lives through social media."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

If you are skeptical of the typical, overused “Like us on Facebook to win, enter, stay up to date, receive discounts, receive coupons, or win other types of prizes,” you are not the only one. UNICEF Sweden is now introducing the concept of “slacktivism”-the practice of raising awareness to social causes through "liking" items on Facebook, changing your profile picture, or retweeting photos on Twitter.

 

With the rapid expansion of social media in the world, there has been a heightened disagreement regarding whether social media helps or hinders exposure in social causes, which has become increasingly important to the motivations of nonprofit organization advocates.

 

UNICEF’s “Likes Don’t Save Lives” campaign states that it takes more than a retweet of an underprivileged child to improve the countries in poverty and to vaccinate children; they believe it takes monetary values to make a change. In their campaign, they clearly explain that they do not oppose social media usage; however, they recognize that it is the physical money that can be used to vaccinate children and alleviate poverty.

 

From a public relations standpoint, I believe UNICEF is undermining social media’s potential to create awareness of their cause. For example, many recent studies have discovered that social media sites are primary sources for individuals to obtain current and local news stories as well as international trending topics. Although a like or hashtag is not directly raising money, it is still raising awareness, informing users about the cause, and encouraging users to support the cause through social change.

 

As is true in developing relationships with any other public, organizations must be true to their values when engaged in media relations (Guth & Marsh, pg. 120). UNICEF has supported this by developing their own project of using communication technologies to execute change. Their most recent appeal to entice its audience is through the UNICEF Tap Challenge. Through the task, UNICEF has developed a method of straying away from communication technologies such as social media and cellular devices by assuring individuals that every minute they refrain from using their cellular device, their sponsors will donate $1 to the ongoing project.

 

Although informing the public is a way to utilize social media for the betterment of a cause, there is no such thing as a single recipe or road map to better media relations (Guth & Marsh, pg. 119). However, as an audience becomes more informed through social media, they are likely to seek appropriate routes for change. With media saturation, comes a high-stakes competition for the attention of viewers, readers, and listeners (Guth & Marsh, pg. 114). After taking multiple public relations courses, I have learned that social media is full of prosperous communication opportunities to organize individuals, influence contributions, and create a world of publicity for significant causes. When used appropriately, activists can be more operative in their campaigns and businesses can be more efficient when dealing with clients. There are always ups and downs with every new technological innovation, but the accessibility of social media to raise awareness for a needy cause or promote a campaign to the world, undoubtedly has the potential to be successful.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Freezin' for a Reason

Freezin' for a Reason | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"A community unites in an effort to save a five-month-old boy, meanwhile attracting individuals across the nation to "plunge" into the cause."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

Landon was just an innocent four-month-old baby when the monumental health burdens suddenly took a toll on his physical state as well as his family’s emotional and financial strength. After Landon’s nonstop vomiting, a medical team discovered a tumor on his left kidney. After removal of the tumor, the doctors soon discovered a brain tumor. However, the complications persisted when Landon’s heart stopped through the surgery to remove his brain tumor.

 

Landon is slowly progressing, but the hefty medical bills, follow-up chemotherapy sessions, MRIs, and CT scans are a continual reminder of life’s stresses when one’s health is not up-to-par. However, public relations and its faithful specialists have taught us that when the going gets tough, the community gets going.

 

One of the key elements I have learned thus far from case studies is the significance of relying on others’ resources and assistance in situations of hardships. When several publics sharing common interests combine resources to increase their numbers and political clout, they become coalitions (Guth & Marsh, pg. 142). In this article, a Missouri community united their resources and combined together to host a polar plunge to help Landon’s family with the financial burdens. As coalitions, their primary interest was not only to help Landon’s family, they also wanted to increase awareness for cancer patients through an engaging, entertaining movement that unites the community to reach a common goal.

 

Chapter seven emphasizes the complexity involved when implementing strategic choices to involve the community. Of the multiple key considerations encouraged in chapter seven when partaking in community relations, I believe the Missouri community addressed two important elements that helped them to eventually gain national attention.

 

They first defined organizational priorities by addressing publics and issues that most affect their ability to achieve their goals (Guth & Marsh, 145). They accomplished this by acknowledging that their primary effort was to help Landon’s family. They clearly established that in order to host a successful “plunge” event, they must incorporate social media as extensively as possible. For example, prior to their dive into the water, each contributor is encouraged to record themselves challenging three other people to also complete the polar plunge, with financial pledges for those who participate in the fundraiser. According to the article, their mission was a success, raising more than $30,000, which was an extremely large amount considering it was less than a week after the fundraiser hit social media.

 

Next, the community was extremely tactical with picking their partners carefully. If the presence, credibility, and resources of the potential partner improve the ability to deliver strategic messages to targeted publics, bring them on board (Guth & Marsh, 145). I believe the community did an extremely creative job at executing this. They developed a Facebook page that attracted 11,700 members within a few short days, with the intention of targeting renowned, famous people to partake in the cause. The Kansas City Chiefs football team super fan, “X-Factor,” accepted the challenge and took a dive for the community. He then dared the professional baseball and football athletes of Kansas City to also participate in the effort for Landon. In addition, a YouTube video shows a U.S. Representative participated as well, encouraging both Missouri and national Republican leaders to also fund the cause.

 

I enjoy this article because it truly highlights the greatness of public relations as well as emphasizes the benefits of using social media. While coorientation is a factor that is present throughout the practice of PR, it is especially important in the area of community relations (Guth & Marsh, pg. 141). PR is undoubtedly a practice of collaboration and relying on the helpful resources of others to achieve one’s own success. With the rapid expansion of social media, individuals in the PR field must capitalize on each beneficial aspect of social mediums as well as its network of dependable contacts.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Winning the Gold in Stray Rescue

Winning the Gold in Stray Rescue | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"Sochi challenges athletes to compete against the toughest competition in the world. Among the challenges to win the gold, athletes find themselves fighting to "win" humane society awareness."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

Most people agree that the Olympic Games bring out the best in us-our love for sports, competition, entertainment, and pride for our country. However, for the “animal loving athletes” traveling to Sochi, Russia to compete in their games, winning the gold medal was not the only thing on their minds.

 

David Backes, captain and center for the St. Louis Blues hockey team, previously competed in the 2010 Olympics, winning a silver medal for the men’s USA ice hockey team. Although he devotes a lot of his life and career to hockey, Backes has established another honorable reputation for himself as an avid animal lover and humane society supporter. Backes and his wife, Kelly, dedicate their lives off-season to their humane society they recently constructed in St. Charles, MO as well as their non-profit organization, “Athletes for Animals,” that was established in 2012.

 

“Athletes for Animals” is a team of professional athletes with a mutual passion for animal safety, security, and rescue. Their goal is to educate individuals about proper pet ownership, promote animal adoption awareness, and raise awareness and funds toward the pet adoption cause. As a professional athlete, Backes easily obtains media attention and recognition for his philanthropic work; thus making his society a highly well-known, successful organization. However, Backes’s international venture for the games gave him an unexpected realization in the differences in cultural consciousness concerning animal wellness that could potentially affect the way in which nonprofit organizations promote their causes cross-culturally.

 

Disturbed by the hundreds of dogs roaming the streets of Sochi, Backes and his wife made it their mission for “Athletes for Animals” to save and treat these animals by sending them back to the United States; however, having a successful nonprofit that succeeds worldwide means knowing how to communicate effectively with others of varying cultures. Our culture influences how we approach problems and how we participate in groups and in communities (Guth & Marsh, pg. 216). “Athletes for Animals” discovered there was a deficiency in the awareness for animal shelters and safety, and most Russian residents do not have the same passionate, “man’s best friend” outlook concerning dogs as pets. For example, the Russian culture views it as humanely acceptable to exterminate hundreds of dogs every day. They are also highly unlikely to vaccinate dogs that are fortunate enough to be saved.

 

The roles individuals play in decision-making vary widely from culture to culture (Guth & Marsh, pg. 219). Being a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing animals, it was essential for Athletes for Animals to break the cultural barriers by communicating their attitudes and beliefs with citizens of Russia on animal rights. As a prospective PR professional aiming to enter the nonprofit world, I gained a lot of insight relating to the hidden struggles and barriers nonprofit organizations face. For example, as a United States citizen, I have always lived in an individualistic society in which most things come easy, and we set high standards and expectations for social behavior. Many smaller, less educated countries, however, do not have a realistic outlook on human and animal rights; thus making it our job as nonprofit PR professionals to enhance and improve their education and lifestyles. Although Backes did not win the gold, his charitable efforts gave pets a forever home and owners a forever friend. By familiarizing ourselves with external communication in the nonprofit world, American established organizations, like Animals for Athletes, can extend the power of nonprofit public relations across the world.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"The gloves are off after the Susan G. Komen foundation announced its decision to cut funding ties with Planned Parenthood. With millions outraged, the world renowned breast cancer society is forced to take action to save its longstanding reputation from quick destruction."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

What happens when one of the most beloved organizations which has always been dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of women enters a state of utter chaos, turmoil, and crisis? Here’s an even more complex question: what happens when two cherished, female devoted organizations battle head-to-head in an ongoing public relations crisis? Yep, you guessed it…it gets messy, the public takes sides, social media gets involved, and reputations get tainted.

 

The backlash arose when the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the world’s most renowned breast cancer awareness society, made the decision to cut off ties with Planned Parenthood. Prior to the split, Komen donated $600,000 to Planned Parenthood every year in addition to providing mammograms and screenings to low-income women. Outbursts of support rolled in for Planned Parenthood as Susan G. Komen began to sink in hot water.

 

The public became outraged with the decision, taking it to social media: “What a terrible, terrible policy. Your group should be ashamed.” “I have always been a big supporter... I am appalled at your position regarding Planned Parenthood!!! I will no longer support you unless you reverse your decision!” “Thanks a bunch for throwing low-income under the bus in order to ‘prioritize’ the political ideology of some of your upper management.” In addition to public outburst, Planned Parenthood made statements about the deficit in funding they will face without the support of Susan G. Komen.

 

It was time for the Susan G. Komen foundation to act fast. They began using several of William Benoit’s image restoration strategies. First, simple denial (we simply did not do it) and transcendence (the act should be understood in a different context) was implemented into the reaction (BP Case Study, pg. 194). Nancy G. Brinker, Susan G. Komen founder and CEO, announced on their website and through a YouTube video denial that political concerns factored in its choice to end funding to Planned Parenthood. She assured that the decision to cut them off was made after she began a review of the organization’s grants and standards two years prior. Using mortification (asking for forgiveness) and bolstering (our good characteristics outweigh any error,) the foundation made continued attempts to repair itself (BP Case Study, pg. 194). They made a public apology addressing those who were disappointed but also made an effort to remind the audience of the numerous lives and their diligent work to create awareness among society.

 

What’s next? Planned Parenthood fights back. They decide to make a public post on their homepage addressing the issue as well as assuring the audience that Susan G. Komen is put at fault:

“We believe that women of all economic levels need access to breast health screenings, referrals, and education. We’re determined to make sure that Komen’s decision doesn’t jeopardize these women’s access to health care. Please make a contribution today to help us defend access to care and continue to protect and promote women's health."

 

I believe Planned Parenthood’s strategic use of wording and timing acquired more public support. By the next day, Planned Parenthood earned $400,000 from more than 6,000 donors. It is safe to say Planned Parenthood won this battle crisis while Susan G. Komen was forced to slowly but surely improve its tarnished image. This case was a simple reminder of the crucial use of strategic wording, good timing, including social media at appropriate times, and being mindful of the audience when discussing trendy issues such as cancer and abortion clinics. As a prospective PR professional, this story is a true wake up call. A reputation as honorable as the Susan G. Komen Foundation that took years to construct can be demolished within seconds of a statement.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

The Bravest Superhero of All

The Bravest Superhero of All | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"Miles Scott, a five-year-old patient in remission after battling leukemia, has proven that anyone, regardless of age or health status, has the ability to be a true superhero."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

With his black cape, superhero mask, and batmobile, of course, the batkid is in action! Miles Scott, a five-year-old patient who is in remission after battling leukemia, has attracted social media users and news viewers across the country with the credit of the Make a Wish foundation. Miles does not have the ordinary story of a young boy who grew up going to kindergarten like normal. He has battled leukemia since he was 18 months old; however, the Make a Wish foundation, surrounding community, and the nation who fell in love with his story was determined to provide the boy with a fulfilling superhero experience he ultimately deserved and would never forget. 


Successful community relations often hinges on a willingness to step outside your comfort zone to explore new cultures and ideas (Guth & Marsh, pg. 139). For Make a Wish and the people of San Francisco, converting their city into Gothem City would undoubtedly be a transformation, but the citizens were more than eager to alter their town to exceed the wish of the little boy. For example, the city gave the batkid an opportunity to “rescue” a damsel in agony from cable car tracks, he “captured” the Riddler as he was robbing a bank, and saved the San Francisco Giants mascot, Lou Seal, from the Penguin's authorities. The scenes were strategically set up by the gracious community to make Miles feel like a true superhero that defeated evil.

 

One of the first challenges in developing a community relations program is to define its stakeholders; traditional community stakeholders include public officials, educators, bankers, labor leaders, and neighborhood leaders (Guth & Marsh, pg. 142). The San Francisco community and Make a Wish did an excellent job of not only identifying its stakeholders but also using each stakeholder’s fullest potential to execute the brilliant PR operation for Miles. Between police officers, city hall workers, the San Francisco mayor, government officials, and thousands of volunteers, they were able to successfully create a realistic, superhero scene representative of batman movies.

 

Also included in the community mix are media, including both mass circulation media and specialized media (Guth & Marsh, pg. 142). I believe one of the most heartwarming elements of this case was the implementation of print media. In place of the San Francisco Chronicle, they created an extraordinary version titled “Gotham City Chronicle” print edition to recognize and honor Miles’s heroism and sent over a thousand copies to the public at Union Square. Miles’s pictures and four stories dominated the paper, which sparked public interest and created awareness of the good that the city was doing.

 

However, the spotlight on Miles did not end with the community. Because San Francisco was able to successfully define Make a Wish’s priorities by addressing the publics and issues that most affect its ability to achieve its goals, the efforts went viral (Guth & Marsh, pg. 145). President Obama, the First Lady, Nancy Pelosi, and Ben Affleck each tweeted to honor the batkid’s bravery.

 

After reading chapter seven of the textbook and spending several weeks in our case studies class, I have learned the significance of ensuring that when developing an effective community relations program, organizations must be true to themselves (Guth & Marsh, pg. 145). The effort by thousands of individuals displays the inner goodness of public relations. By recognizing your values, staying true to your community, and encouraging fulfilling relationships among other communities, PR specialists can develop amazing campaigns that touch the hearts of millions of people and create an everlasting memory for a deserving, precious child.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Pancreatic Cancer Action's Campaign Takes Awareness to a Whole New Level

Pancreatic Cancer Action's Campaign Takes Awareness to a Whole New Level | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"Pancreatic Cancer Action has created an advertising campaign that may seem brilliantly executed for some, but to others, its startling, over-the-top message is both unjust and ruthless to those battling other serious diseases."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

“Wishing I had a different cancer”-do we consider this a unique, outstanding way to provoke thought and awareness about pancreatic cancer, or a method of igniting rage and disgust for the audience?

 

Cancer, diseases, and any health related topic is always a sensitive subject for most, and for public relations employees in the nonprofit world, it is one of the most challenging areas for individuals to convey both appropriate and effective messages. Undoubtedly, nonprofit organizations encounter more obstacles than any other PR organization, corporation, or agency when attempting to execute a creative, fitting message that incites thought and escalates awareness for their cause while meeting the expectations of their budget. Because of this, the Pancreatic Cancer Action developed an extreme campaign to “provoke thought and initiate discussion.” However, for most audiences, their “I wish I had breast cancer” campaign ignited fury as well as put them at the center of a public relations crisis in the nonprofit world.

 

According to pancan.org, for every 100 diagnosed, only six patients will survive after three years, making pancreatic cancer’s 3 percent survival rate the lowest relative survival rate of all major cancers. What is the dilemma? When the United Kingdom charity Pancreatic Cancer Action portrayed a young woman in an advertisement wishing she had other cancers, all with larger survival rates, other nonprofit health organizations were furious. Many organizations acknowledged that while Pancreatic Cancer Action’s intentions were favorable, they felt belittled. One representative from a breast cancer organization commented that no man or woman has ever felt “fortunate” to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and another viewer with cervical cancer commented, “Shame on you for making cancer a contest.”

 

Scholars of communication have examined the role of PR in crisis situations at various stages of crisis response, from preparation through the conclusion of the post crisis period (BP Case Study, pg. 194). Through the chaos and uproar, Pancreatic Cancer Action Chief Executive, Ali Stunt, explained the motivation behind the controversial advertisement and acknowledged that it was intended to stimulate discussion. She only used one of Benoit’s 14 image restoration strategies for this case, transcendence, to explain that the act should be understood in a different context (BP Case Study, pg. 194). I thought her response to the ad’s initial reactions was both assuring and well-thought-out. She ensured that the organization did extensive research on the outcome of the public’s reaction prior to implementing the campaign. She also mentioned that as a current pancreatic cancer patient, she herself felt it was not unreasonable to wish for a different cancer that had a more favorable survival outcome. In addition, I thought it was very noble of her to not surrender to the media and public by acknowledging any fault or error.

 

After reading about her clarification, I believe their intention behind the blunt message was not to fully minimize the severity of any other cancer but to maximize the brutality of pancreatic cancer. It is never a good situation for any organization’s reputation to be on the line, especially a nonprofit organization that is responsible for maintaining its own image as well as in charge of promoting the significance of an important cause, such as pancreatic cancer. However, just as we have noted with Miley, Kanye, and Bieber, if individuals want to thrive in the world of PR, they must develop striking campaigns that spark discussion, debate, and controversy among the public, media, and stakeholders in order to be renowned and successful.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Walking with a Cause

Walking with a Cause | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"The popular footwear brand, Vans, is teaming up with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to create awareness of animal respect and rescue."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

Spring is here which means puppy and kitten love is in the air. Last month, skateboarding shoe line, Vans Shoes, made the philanthropic decision to partner with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.)

 

Primarily recognized for its skateboarding styles and trends, Vans Shoes is a company that thrives on the consumption of hipsters, punks, teenagers, or ordinary individuals in the youth category who simply enjoy the look and comfort of their shoe. Although Vans does not particularly target toward the “elderly crazy cat woman,” or the “blue-collar construction worker who spends his free time with his three 130 pound Great Danes,” they are now shifting their market with its latest line.

 

First, Vans created two styles for both dog and cat lovers. The first is a high-top, suede center design for dog lovers. Big dogs, medium-sized dogs, and small dogs of various breeds are featured throughout the sneaker. Next, Vans made sure to include cat lovers, of course. The second sneaker pattern is filled with cats, cats, and more cats. Like the first shoe, the design features numerous breeds, colors, shapes, and sizes.

 

The process of integrated marketing communications (IMC) is formed when the strategies of public relations, advertising, marketing, and sales join in a coordinated communications campaign (Guth & Marsh, pg. 169). Through IMC, Vans is currently striving to build stronger relationships with its current consumers as well as expand its associations to target a vast audience to support dogs and cats through the ASPCA. In IMC, public relations joins aspects of marketing to build relationships with consumers, but public relations is not part of marketing (Guth & Marsh, pg. 169). Ultimately, Vans is facing the heavy task of creating, refining, and promoting their product through marketing, as well as building relationships with untypical audiences so their product sales can be contributed to charity.

 

Another trend worth considering is the expansion of e-commerce, the purchasing of goods and services through the internet (Guth & Marsh, pg. 168). Companies, like Vans, take full advantage of the vast benefits of internet advertising and online showcasing of products. Vans has company web posts introducing their new line of shoes, hats, backpacks and T's with animal themed prints.

 

Finally, our textbook mentions multiple tactics used by public relations practitioners to integrate campaigns to consumers including the implementation of special events. Special events not only gain the media’s notice but also can appeal directly to participating consumers (Guth & Marsh, 170). Vans featured a press release on the ASPCA website presenting their special pet adoption event held at the House of Vans. It highlighted that it will feature adoptable animals from the ASPCA Adoption Center and will include food, gifts, and a photo booth to help appeal to its audience of animal rescue advocates.

 

The ultimate goal of the partnership is for the renowned shoe company to raise awareness about the various animal rescue and cruelty issues that are extremely neglected throughout the world. What a better way to do that by marketing a unique product through a popular shoe company? According to chapter eight in “The Adventures of Public Relations,” consumer expenditures total to approximately $8 trillion dollars annually (Guth & Marsh, pg. 165). Undoubtedly, using public relations to assist in marketing your latest product and construct relationships with an expanded audience for a worthy cause can lead to success, if executed wisely.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Social Media Brings Light to Famine and Drought Hardships

Social Media Brings Light to Famine and Drought Hardships | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"Media relations personnel uses technology to help others see challenges faced across the world through the lens of social media, resulting in over 1 million dollar donations to Somali crisis victims."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

Technology and media are everywhere: our bedrooms, vehicles, classrooms, workplaces, restaurants, you name it…it’s there. Technology brings out the good, bad, and the ugly of us, and we often hear of the typical horror or success story of media use. Ultimately, the use of technology to improve our organizations is a process of creating strategic messages to target our audience at the suitable time in the appropriate context. Although this strategy is a challenge and difficult to pull off, if it is executed effectively, it can be a tremendous gain for the success and reputation of your organization.

 

Mindy Mizell is a world vision director of media who was assigned to cover the famine and drought crisis suffered in Africa last year. Many philanthropists, like Mizell, make it their ultimate goal to obtain publicity and gain attention of worldwide people by highlighting the poverties endured by underprivileged, famished families in dirt poor countries. We see this continual effort time and time again and realize that there is an issue regarding hunger, but then we move on with our selfish, egocentric American lives assuring ourselves that our iPhone is more important than starving children.

 

However, Mizell’s thought-out, strategic media plan raised both attention and donations for a nonprofit organization. Because Mizell was employed by a nonprofit organization, she was limited on the technology she was able to use in Africa. However, her efforts proved that for nonprofit organizations who have very limited budgets, delivering the right message with the right media can be a successful PR effort.

 

While research about the needs of the reporter’s audience is an important aspect of the critical thinking that goes into developing media relations strategies, so is the knowledge of the technical and timing challenges facing journalists operating in different media (Guth & Marsh, pg. 116). During her time in Africa, Mizell accomplished several tactics of reaching the audience:

 

 • World Vision’s Emergency Responders Facebook page was for its aid workers deployed to the Horn of Africa, to upload social media content directly from the front lines.

 

• The blog served as a one-stop shop for accessing many other blogs, vlogs, and videos that were provided.

 

• This real-time interview with a Somali child in a refugee camp was shared on Facebook and Twitter.

 

• These videos were sent directly to churches, urging donors to contribute to the response effort.

 

So an ordinary philanthropist reached out by using social media and blogs…what is the big hype? Well, as a prospective PR professional eager to work in nonprofit someday, the amount of publicity she generated was a huge deal. Public relations practitioners face constant pressure to show that the fruits of their labors are of measurable value to the organization’s bottom line (Guth & Marsh, pg. 137). Mizell rose to this challenge by creating videos that were disturbing, alarming, and depressing. Without a doubt, that is what alerts attention through anyone’s Twitter feed. Through the simple use of a flip cam, her videos revealed the harsh, shocking realities of families in Africa, thus attaining worldwide attention to take action. She did a fascinating job of gaining the audience’s attention by telling a story. Although I was fully aware that these hardships were faced across the world, I still felt captivated and obligated to make a difference. I believe Mizell did an incredible job of depicting what PR is all about-giving a voice to the voiceless through the strategic role of communication.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jeri Sitze
Scoop.it!

Party with a Purpose

Party with a Purpose | Public Relations for Non-Profits | Scoop.it

"Hosting a Super Bowl party? Become a true champion with your party guests by teaming up with St. Jude to give back to children in need."

Jeri Sitze's insight:

Super Bowl Sunday: A day most consider to be a national holiday. A day where America gathers together to cherish and celebrate what matters most to them-football, food, get-togethers, commercials, and most of all, seeing their favorite team win what is considered to be the greatest title in sports. Needless to say, the Super Bowl is “super” for a reason, and it holds near and dear to America’s hearts.

 

In the midst of all the festivities and celebration, St. Jude has capitalized on a great public relations opportunity allowing Americans to develop awareness of St. Jude’s powerful, ongoing mission to help ill children around the world, as well as give back to children battling cancers and other deadly diseases. St. Jude’s “Game Day Give Back” allows fans who are hosting parties to give back by creating “teams” who contribute donations throughout the big game.

 

As we established in the first week of class, public relations relies on creating a message and targeting that message based on the values and interests of the audience. For non-profit organizations like St. Jude, it is often difficult to deliver an effective message that touches the hearts of the audience, especially on popular game days such as the Super Bowl where the audience is bombarded with more comical, amusing television advertisements right before their eyes.

 

However, St. Jude overcomes this challenge by strategically cultivating a powerful campaign through channels the audience finds appropriate and credible. First, St. Jude capitalizes on controlled channels, such as advertising, in which the practitioner determines the form, timing, and placement of the message (Guth & Marsh, pg. 4). Although using controlled channels can often be expensive publicity, St. Jude’s public relations and social media team minimize the costs by creating their own YouTube videos that propel audiences by using moving messages that tug at viewers’ emotions and values. St. Jude also utilizes third-party endorsements in which credibility results from positive statements made by others about the organization (Guth & Marsh, pg. 4). Influential celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams, Shaun White, and Sofia Vergara work immensely to endorse the good of St. Jude. In addition to these prominent figures, St. Jude tactically used legendary Super Bowl champion and television personality, Michael Strahan, to consistently promote their Game Day Give Back campaign. Clearly, using Strahan who is now co-host of LIVE with Kelly and Michael and host of Fox NFL Sunday was a brilliant way to entice football fans to the campaign.

 

Lastly, St. Jude’s practice of public relations fell under the two-way asymmetrical model. In this role, practitioners actively engage in persuasion. Their goal is to bring target publics around to a certain way of thinking through advocacy (Guth & Marsh, pg. 7). St. Jude persuades prospective participants by assuring them that they will save lives, help families, and make a difference. In return they provide contributors with party ideas, patients’ favorite game day recipes, and other resources.

 

Help tackle cancer. Be the host with the most. Give back to St. Jude on this game day. You will be a winner no matter what.

more...
No comment yet.