Do you like my granola?

So, you have this amazing idea or product or service or event or whatever you desperately need get out to the masses, but you’re not sure how to get it out there. What are your options? What’s the best avenue to take? It’s hard to say.   You could go running down a busy street streaking in the nude yelling at the top of your lungs, but come on, do you really want to be arrested for indecent exposure?  So, what are you to do?  How do you get out there?

Welcome to the wonderful world of pitching your idea and building relationships!

I SUCK!

Failed image

First off, 99% percent of people are not brilliant right out of the gate. Before you learn to crawl, you have to scrap along on the floor as a baby (hopefully not catching some crazy disease), and then after the crawling you eventually make it to the walking stage. It’s all a step-by-step process. Literally.   Before you become great at riding a bike, you have to fall off it half a million times or accidentally ride it into a fat tree or square into a street lamp pole. Yes, I’ve been there with a street lamp.  And it hurts!

Either way, in my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to work from a growth mindset (meaning you suck at it now, but you’ll get better), opposed to a fixed mindset (either you have it or you don’t). Bad fixed mindset, bad! With enough practice you’ll get there or at least somewhere 🙂

YOU’RE MY NEW BFF!

BFF image

We’re a social species; well I assume most of us are. We like to sit down over a cup of coffee, or a bottle of booze and chitchat, find out what’s new. It takes time to build a half decent relationship with someone.   And it might not hurt to aim a little higher then the half decent relationship level.

Get to know the person a little. Say “hi”, ask how their day is going, ask about them in general, put them at ease and in a comfort zone. Don’t’ talk about yourself all day. Be real, not fake.

The point is, I’d wager a pretty good guess that many people aren’t a big fan of simply being used for someone else’s personal gain. When the person who has some clout knows you and actually doesn’t mind being around you, it could be a little easier to get your foot in the door and have them give you a few minutes of their time for you to pitch your next big idea.

MIND NUMBING!

No passion image

Not everything you do or encounter in life will get your jollies going, making you jump up for joy and shout out to the world. We all have had moments in life bored out of our gorge thinking “damn, I’d rather throw myself down a flight of stairs”.  Not that I recommend it, because unless you have a high pain tolerance, there’s a good chance it will hurt like a son of a b&%#!

Sometimes we walk through life like a weird zombie that actually has a beating heart. But, sometimes an idea will explode in your head like a stick of dynamite going off and before you can take another breath your jollies are jumping for joy. Welcome to the world of passion baby!

Now feed off that passion, take your idea and go pitch it to the world (or at least to anyone who is willing to listen beyond your grandma).  You’ll probably need more then grandma on your side to get your idea out there.

DAMN, I HIT REPEAT!

Repetition image

Finally, be a little creative with your pitch, put some effort into things and be a bit of a wordsmith with your writing. If your big game plan is to send a pitch to ten different individuals in the media, at least try to put some thought into it. Evidently, sending the exact same written pitch, word for word, verbatim for verbatim, to various media people doesn’t hit the ball out of the park many times. Someone won’t be your BFF anytime soon.

No, make it a touch more personal. Throw a little extra effort into each pitch, give it a little bit of flavor, a touch of pizazz. Let that creative mind flow.

And one last thing, if you pitch to the media, at least give them a bit of a hint of what you’d like from them. Do you want them to cover your story; do you want them to mention you in the news and what for? Give the media some direction.

Giving a big tub of granola to a media contact and saying nothing else can leave the contact asking, “What do you want me to do with the dang granola?  What do you really want?”  Well, I guess he or she could eat it.  Oh, and then maybe he or she could digest it. Yeah, that sounds kind of cool.

PITCH ME!
So, now I’ll ask you folks out there to take on a quick challenge.  In one or two sentences give me your best creative sales pitch.  Give someone a reason to pay attention.  Be creative and have some fun!
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PR Issues TOW 4 – Non-Profit Corporate What?

non-profit imagecorporate image

Sources:

http://www.philanthrofest.com

http://www.jaunehibiscus.wordpress.com

What would be more challenging, doing PR for a corporate or for a non-profit? Interesting question.

To tell you the truth, I’m not a hundred percent sure. I’m brand new to the PR scene and I haven’t had the opportunity to hammer away at either of those two sectors.

At this moment in time as I write my final blog for my Case Studies and Issues in PR class I’m going to step into the ring and go into the corner of the non-profit sector. Of course I could be wrong here and about to get my head knocked off.

Let’s be honest, the world of non-profit doesn’t have wads of cash to throw around. There is no heavy paycheck to be earned in this prizefight. You have to be inventive in this sector. There may be some money in existence, but I would think you have to make it stretch and make every cent count for something. The concept of dropping money here, there and everywhere isn’t an option for the non-profit peeps. Because simply put, many of these organizations just don’t have wallets over flowing with cash. It’s just not the way the game is played.

I feel, due to the lack of finances with non-profit organizations, that having a little more creativity becomes that more important. Hopefully the ability to think out side the box and be a little more inventive can help garner more earned media. Non-profit organizations don’t have high-end resources to fall back on. That doesn’t mean they are hopeless, it just means they have to make the best with what they have and they need to think a little differently with how they present themselves.

Many non-profit organizations are in existence to support positive, meaningful causes, causes that could maybe pull on people’s heartstrings a little.

It’s not always easy to garner good PR that gets the general population to notice you and with non-profits it’s hard to stand against the big sports world and large behemoth organizations. It’s the David and Goliath situation. But, bring it on you good old chap! Sometimes, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned festive boxing session!

COMMENT 4

Carol Lindsay blog – “Death of a Salesman”

Interesting blog.

It would be a difficult decision and predicament to have to fire the founder and CEO of his own company. I would think it might be somewhat like walking on eggshells before the big decision to follow through with the actual firing.

Most of us will never really know what all went on behind closed doors up until the firing of George Zimmer. Both sides will have their perspective and story to tell. As for who is right and who is wrong, who really knows? I sure don’t

It is a major decision to fire a head honcho from a company, but I assume if it has to absolutely be done for the betterment of a company or organization is must be done if it is actually really for that reason. That’s my opinion.

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PR Issue TOW 3 – A Good Old Fashioned Door Smashing and Phone Retrieval

apple logo image

Source: www.forbes.com

Hearing about a journalist’s door being bashed down by the police to retrieve an IPhone prototype was a little crazy to hear about to say the least. For me, it was also an example of how far out of control a situation can become.

I thought the point of PR was to not add fuel to the fire, to handle a situation that has the potential to rapidly get out of control and try to calm things down before it becomes a crisis? Or is that just my crazy mind thinking wacky thoughts shifting into overdrive again? Maybe I’ve had one too many beers. Wait a second…I don’t even really drink.

No one can say Apple isn’t a powerhouse, a Goliath among tech companies worth billions of dollars that has spread their products across the globe everywhere and anywhere. They’re the big guy, the big old daddy of them all, they’re the rich uncle someone goes after to plead to and hopefully score some extra cash.

But with power comes responsibility. Now, I’m not saying the IPhone prototype wasn’t Apple’s property, it was. Heck, they build the damn thing! But, do we really need to have the police smashing down people’s doors after the individual had said that he’d place it back in Apple’s hands no problem.

“Hey Apple, here’s your phone, let me just get it to you. Damn guys, you just broke down my brand new Home Depot door!”

I have no idea if the above line of dialogue was what the guy had actually said when he arrived home, but I had to think of something. Who knows, maybe he did actually say that. Ooooooo…..

I’m just saying, next time can we try to be a little more diplomatic with losing a prototype situation? Because, these kind of events where the big guy comes crashing down upon the little guy just doesn’t look good in the public’s eyes sometimes. Remember in the inspirational movies the people cheer for the underdog, the little guy to break free and win it all. We like to cheer for the little guy. It makes use feel all warm and excited inside.

So, please Apple, no more smashing in people’s doors. You make a nice, sophisticated product to put out to the masses. Can we stick to that for now?

Thank you and come again.

smashing door image

Source: www.rollonfriday.com

Comment 03:

In Sickness or In Health? by Carol Lindsey

Your blog caught my attention Carol. I totally agree with this message. I really do believe how you take care of yourself in your younger years can play a major part on how your future looks, healthy or not healthy.

The human body was build to move. If someone chooses to be inactive it starts to effect the entire body overtime. You become stiff and sore, your muscles start to weaken. As you age after a certain point you begin to lose muscle mass. But, if you get active again and work those muscles you can build strength again. You can even improve your flexibility at any age.

Personally, I believe in quality of life not so much quantity. Honestly, I have no real urge to spend my last ten to twenty years of life broken down and in constant daily pain and discomfort.

So, get up and get moving!

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Case Studies and Issues in PR TOW 2 – BWP Movie Marketing Campaign & Comment 2

What can I say I’m a movie buff. I’ve watched a lot of movies and by a lot I man a lot. I’ve probably spent way too many hours sitting on a couch watching a movie embrace the screen of my television.

In the late 1990’s a small movie made on a budget of only $22,000 emerged that went on to gross more than $248 million at the box office. And that movie holds the title of The Blair Witch Project. And I admit, I did go and see it in the theatre with a few of my friends, so we all contributed to that massive box office success.

But what was a big difference about his movie was its marketing campaign before the movie was released into the theatres. So, here goes the story of what happened with this inventive campaign.

Around six months before the movie screened at Sundance in January 1998 the filmmakers launched a website that gave some details around their story. The website told the story that three film students entered the Maryland woods to make a documentary about a local legend focused around a witch and failed to return. Police began searching, but in the end could only find a bag filled with tapes and videos that formed the basis of the The Blair Witch Project.

After the filmmakers sold the movie to Artisan Entertainment for distribution and continued to update the website adding bogus details about the missing three film students. Artisan also joined into the low-key promotional campaign in the end spending around $25 million on the campaign. The general public began believing the promotional campaign and that these three films students had actually disappeared for real.

When the film was released into theatres the marketing campaign had worked and people fled to watch the movie in droves to see what happened to these three film students. After the film was released and was rolling in the big bucks it came out that the marketing campaign behind the movie was just a hoax, but a hoax that no doubt worked wonders. Not just any movie can make over $200 million dollars in the box office alone.

It has been said the movie came along at the right time in the web’s history allowing for such an effective marketing promotional campaign. Remember this was in the days before YouTube and social media. In the late 90’s the Internet allowed us to share information, but not at the speed, pace and efficiency that it does now. The filmmakers and studio were able to create factious backstory that could be spread around, but not be destroyed be the sharing of social media that is so instantaneous.

All in all, The Blair Witch Project campaign came out at the right time and the right place.

And one other note, sorry, but The Blair Witch Project 2 just didn’t hold up in my opinion. It was a dismal and disappointing sequel. I’m just saying.

Comment 2 blog

Persuasion, The Magic Exposed

It was an interesting blog. It can be scary how fast people, especially if they know what they are doing, can get information on you finding out about your life. Sometimes it can be hard to decide what to put and what not to put on the web regarding your life.

To me the campaign can target everyone and anyone, even businesses and organizations. Many of us put things online and post information, even businesses and organizations. You start to wonder what you should and shouldn’t put. You never know what could come back to haunt you. Your life online could add difficulty to your life down the road and you wouldn’t even know what you may be setting yourself up for.

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PR Case Studies TOW 01 – Staying Focused While Keeping an Ear to the Ground

A company needs to defend its viewpoint and its brand. If it doesn’t the company could suffer from the wrong public image and in the world of social media misinformation can run rampant. Rumors, lies and tall tales can easily and quickly spread. If a company doesn’t take a stance to defend itself the organization can begin to lose control of its image in the eyes of the public. Once this happens and if the company can’t regain any control things can fall into a downward spiral only becoming worse.

On the other side of the coin, an organization needs to be able to see and respect other people’s concerns as it defends its image hence environmental scanning. To simply just ignore others concerns could lead an organization into a brick wall. And again in the world of social media and the speedy transfer of information in this digital age it very, very easy for others to voice their concerns and opinions to a worldwide audience. And at times these concerns and opinions voiced on-line can hold a lot of weight and affect other’s perspectives and viewpoints.

When an organization creates a strategic communications plan it needs to take into account what others are saying, positive and negative. This information could prove vital in creating an efficient and effective communications plan. This doesn’t mean that an organization needs to bow over every ones opinions and thoughts, but it should at the very least be willing to take a bit of time to hear what people are saying. You never know, this information could prove invaluable.

Having the willingness to listen to others concerns outside your organization could help build trust with your organization’s key stakeholders. And relationships are built upon a foundation of trust. By presenting outside concerns to stakeholders and showing them that you are really listening helps prove that the organization is actually listening and not trying to pull “the wool over their eyes” so to speak.

Respecting others concerns outside of the organization can only lead to being a helping hand.

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PR Fundamentals Final Project Campaign – “Driven by Equality”

SITUATION ANALYSIS

Situation analysis diagram

Image source: http://www.depositphotos.com

Due to rider complaints and extra needed revenue, city transit has opposed a $1 fee increase for passengers carrying large parcels, knapsacks, suitcases, duffel bags and baby transporters that would inconvenience a vast majority of regular everyday transit users.

Some riders have complained that this extra baggage takes up space and makes the rush hour transit rides crowded and uncomfortable. City transit has latched onto these complaints and can implement an additional cost to gather extra revenue.

Parents with children, students and anyone else carrying bulky baggage are being discriminated against and sidelined.

If city transit needs extra funds transit needs to get the money from another method.

Everyone using city transit during peak times needs to come to an understanding so no one is signaled out. Frustrated transit users need to see these transit users with baby transporters, etc. not as an annoyance, but a regular everyday transit user.

 OBJECTIVES

objectives

Image source: http://www.itc-internationals.net

An ultimate goal is to make sure transit does not enforce the extra $1 fee and create awareness and understanding in the right parties.

The PR campaign is meant to change annoyed bus riders perspectives and to create awareness city regarding increasing fees is not the best procedure. It is to show that increasing fees for specific riders is discriminatory and hurts city transit’s image.

Over the course of the next few months the campaign should also try to create a certain level of understanding and tolerance in transit riders who are frustrated with crowded bus transportation.

 AUDIENCE

audience

Image source: http://www.film.vic.gov.au

Allies:

Parents with toddlers.

Students with knapsacks.

Any transit riders who need to carry larger cumbersome baggage with them.

These individuals are the ones facing the fare increase and other rider’s discontent.   They deserve the right to use public transit carrying their baggage with them.

Neutrals:

People who don’t use public transit.

People who don’t have or feel there is an issue with riders carrying cumbersome baggage with them.

These individuals have no investment in the issue. It doesn’t bother them.

Adversaries:

Main adversary, city transit officials who want to deal with rider complaints and are in desperate need of additional revenue.

Individuals frustrated with bus congestion and riders with bulky carry on getting in the way.

Riders bringing bulky carry on when using public transit directly affect these adversaries.

STRATEGY

'Strategy' highlighted in green

Image source: http://www.ronnehringlabs.com

Media relations and social media channels will be made use of to create a stance on the issue.

City transit officials as well as frustrated transit riders need to realize that charging an increased fee to certain individuals is an unfair practice.   These riders with baby transporters, luggage and other baggage are human just like anyone using public transit and are simply trying to get through their day. They’re not verbally offending or physically abusing any of the other riders.

KEY MESSAGES

key messages

Image source: http://www.mpf.com

Like everyone else, many of these parents, students and others with bulky carry on pay city taxes, which are invested into public transit. They have every right to be treated fairly and equally.

These individuals use public transit for convenience and to save money versus driving a vehicle on a regular basis. To charge additional fees could pursued them to ignore public transit and resort to driving their own vehicles. This would only hinder city transit’s finances and is not environmentally friendly.

There is nothing in the Winnipeg transit by-law that states not being able to carry on a baby transporter, duffle bag, etc. These individuals are doing nothing wrong.

It is public transit. All the fares, rules and guidelines should be equal to everyone riding the bus.

These individuals with baby transporters, duffle bags, etc. are just trying to live their lives and get through the day. They’re human like everyone else.

If transit needs additional finances then it would be wiser to gradually increase the fares across the board for everyone riding the bus resulting in the chance of garnering greater overall income.

TACTICS

tactics

Image source: http://www.anuwfc.org.au

Get media coverage where the protestors can report their stance and how the increase would effect their lives. Focus on the human aspect. Approach all the major media channels CBC, CTV, Global, Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg Sun and the Metro.

Create local awareness of the issue using an on-line medium.   Push the perspective that parents need their baby transporters with them, that hard working students need their knapsacks and duffle bags with them.  These transit users are just trying to function in their everyday lives. They’re not breaking the law.

Turn a positive into a negative. Many parents, students and others carrying items with them use the bus during rush hour. These individuals invest a fair amount of money into city transit. Provide statistics about how many students take city transit during rush hour and peak times. Talk to people who use the public transit with bulky carry on seeing how often they use city transit as a regular mode of transportation. This information can be given to the city transit officials.

Remind city transit and others that the more people take the bus for transportation the less time and number of vehicles is spent on the road. This is being better for the environment and city air quality.

Create “Fare Ride” website revolving around the suggested fair increase issue at www.fareride.ca   Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram on-line platforms creating buzz and interest about the issue having them connect to the “Fare Ride” main website.   Create a series of short You Tube videos of regular transit riders expressing how city transit helps improve their day and how a fare increase would affect the relationship between city transit and these individuals.

Re-iterate the fact that Winnipeg is trying to change regarding discrimination and that by doing the bus fare increase we’re promoting discrimination.

TIMETABLE AND BUDGET

timetable

Image source: http://www.calendarpedia.co.uk

To be determined.

MEASUREMENT

measurement

Image source: http://www.stevton.com

Main evaluation is if the fare increase happens or not. If the fare increase is avoided then the PR campaign has gone well.

As the campaign progresses allow regular bus riders to go on the “Fare Ride” website and voice their honest opinion and about how they still feel about the issue.

Set up a website where people can give their honest feedback and opinion on how they feel about the over-crowding and if transit should still increase the fare by a dollar. Getting people’s continual feedback will help construct the Driven by Equality campaign making changes to strategy and tactics if needed.

Media reports will be followed and tracked on-line to see what is being reported and how the media is covering the issue.

Attention will be paid to city transit to see if rides are still complaining about over crowding.

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Topic of the Week 4 – “Re-branding Winnipeg”

Winnipeg image

Image source: http://www.forum.skyscraperpage.com

When the Maclean’s article hit the newsstands stating, right on it’s front cover, that Winnipeg was the most racist city in the country it was an eye-opener to say the least.  Some would agree with the article and others would not.  I feel it came down to how you as an individual viewed the city around you connected with your own personal views and opinions.  But either way Winnipeg was suddenly spread across the country via national news labeled the most racist city in the country.  There were racism issues at hand that needed to be addressed and Winnipeg needed to take action.

A PR campaign was kicked into gear by the whole city with the aim to alter Winnipeg’s image, create awareness of the issues at hand, transform people’s opinions and views, while also trying to bring together the variety of ethnic backgrounds through tolerance and understanding.  This was the strategy. The goal ultimately for the strategy to be constructed around was to give Winnipeg a face-lift and to show the city in a new light, one vastly different then the one Maclean’s magazine spoke of.

Enter the world of tactics.  No strategy or objective can be achieved without the wonderful world of tactics.

Tactic image

Image source: http://www.shutterstock.com

The city of Winnipeg needed to make its move and various methods were utilized.  Tactics ranged from having indigenous women and men posing in one photo not smiling and looking sketchy to another photo of the individuals sharing a warm, friendly smile.  These before and after photos were then posted around the city showing that these individuals were human and everyday people no different then you or I.  In -40 celsius students marched outside against racism at the provincial legislature.  Mayor Brian Bowman admitted there were issues instead of sweeping the news article under the rug ignoring the various facts.   A north end football team chose to tackle the racism issue with a new T-shirt campaign.  The University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba called out to fight against racism.  A “React to Racism Challenge” website was launched spreading ideas of how to fight racism by people submitting responses on the website at http://enter.reacttoracism.ca/

All of these methods are tactics designed to focus on one common strategy leading to one common goal. Strategy is tactics and vice-versa. It all comes together as a unified whole.

Peace out brothers and sisters!

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