What Do You Know… About PR


The world of marketing communications is constantly flowing at a rapid rate. Because of this it is difficult for a person, brand, or even idea to stay relevant and connected to the masses. Essentially, public relations is relating to the public. Yeah that does sound pretty redundant, but it’s the truth. Despite being romanticized on television or in movies the portrayals usually do emphasize how stressful the job can be. It is through that medium that I gained most of my insight on public relations before being exposed to it. To me it seemed as though public relations is purely crisis communications.  Kristen Wiig in The Martian or the character Seth Grayson from House of Cards and many others seem to engage in only crisis communications or media relations on a daily basis; this is not the case. They also never have a crisis management plan, which is extremely important according to W. Timothy Combs on page 5 of Ongoing Crisis Communication: Planning, Managing, and Responding. There are many more facets to the field. Described by PRSA, Public Relations Society of America, as being “about influencing, engaging and building a relationship with key stakeholders across a myriad of platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization.”

Believe it or not, a person working in public relations will do more than engage in crisis communications, despite the strangely frequent need for it on television. It is my belief that any website with a .gov is a decently credible source, but who knows anymore with this administration. Either way, I will cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their comprehensive list of duties for a Public Relations Specialist. The first job listed is writing of press releases and the gathering of information for media. A public relations specialist will have a close relationship with the news media. This tends to be a primary medium for a PR message. However, there will be dozens of other press releases being thrown at a news outlet. Therefore, it would be our job to compile a news letter that catches someone’s attention and is worth their time to include in their slot. On top of this the media may ask questions or need more information. That is why we do our research and gather our facts and information.

Public relations can be, and usually is, crucial to a brand’s success. Similar to advertising in the way that the main goal is to reach out to target markets and engage with them. However, it is different in that public relations is about the relations part. It is a unique form of marketing communications because the goal is to build a relationship with masses of people. This is the part of the work that intrigues me. To create an almost interpersonal relationship between the general public and a client is no easy task, but it is something that I would love to be a part of. Without communication like this companies and brands could become the next airliner disaster, if you know what I’m saying. Public relations is necessary no matter what others may say. A PR specialist can avert a crisis, get your name out there, and create that bond between your audience.



All About PR. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://www.prsa.org/all-about-pr/

Ongoing Crisis Communication. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CkkXBAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=crisis%2Bcommunication&ots=NHua3hlm7j&sig=f-fC0I85-VzC5R2yH-yTsktRpBU#v=onepage&q=crisis%20communication&f=false

Summary. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-2


Google Analytics and Me

Before this fall, I had never heard of personal branding. This changed drastically ever since I became an Advertising and Public Relations major at Grand Valley. Personal branding is crucial in this field, as knowing your brand and selling your brand to build your network is a huge part of APR. For me, my personal brand is built around how social I am in my life and my interest in all forms of media, hence the name of this blog, and my desire to become a PR professional. Media and the way people reach an audience is ever changing today, and it is up to me to stay informed with current trends to stay in the know.

As stated previously, I am an Advertising and Public Relations major, although, I have yet to declare an emphasis. I will most likely choose public relations as it is an atmosphere that I can see myself thriving in. My social nature makes public relation conducive to my growth as a person. However, it is nigh impossible to know exactly where one will end up in life. Therefore, it is necessary to become adequate in all aspects of the APR field. This will not only increase my knowledge of both sides, but, I will also become a more versatile employee. This versatility would be beneficial in developing my brand. Media is almost a living creature. It is so alive in the sense that it moves and changes, it talks to us and we talk back. With so much feedback, it becomes difficult to keep track of who is saying what and how to respond.

This is where Google Analytics comes in. This system acts as a translator between and advertiser and their target market. It is extremely user friendly and easy for advertisers and businesses to use. Imagine Google Analytics as the middle man. You have a website for a business that sells let’s say shoes. Now, what use is a website if you have no idea whether it works or not? This system allows you to respond to your customers that come to your website. Google Analytics provides you and your business with comprehensives data about what your customers are doing on your website.

Clark, E. K. (n.d.). [Screenshot of Test Score]. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
To do this, Google uses Javascript, a form of source code, to track who is coming to your website and what they are doing there. This code lets Google find out where in the world your customers are coming from, what campaigns are working, and how customers use your site. It can even know where on your website that potential customers lose interest. You learn what pages of your website are not performing well and then take action to fix the problem.

Google offers another service known as AdWords that helps users form ad campaigns. AdWords can be useful to make your business known and bring people to your page. This service can provide data about your ads in regards to their click through rate, page quality, and how you get your ads out to the public. This can be extremely useful, however, with Analytics the two become powerhouses for a business.

So this may leave readers asking, “what if I prefer public relations over advertising?” Well, Analytics doesn’t have to be just for the advertisers. Think about it this way, you are helping a political campaign as a PR pro and your candidate needs someone to reach the community through their website. Here, Analytics can be used to show what portion of the candidates website is being focused on. There is a page on this hypothetical candidate’s website that regards their stance on environmental protection. Google Analytics can tell you that this page is getting the most clicks and is performing very well. Now you, the PR pro, can tell your candidate to focus on this issue to reach the community and boost their reputation with the people.

So, maybe my life does take a turn towards advertising. Maybe it stays on the track of public relations. Either way, Google Analytics will help me further my career and my brand as a PR professional who can reach others through the use of new technologies and media. This is why I became Google Analytics certified.

Clark, E. K. (n.d.). [Screenshot of Passed Certification]. Retrieved December 14, 2016.

Business Branding: InDesign

Clark, E. K. (2016, November 14). [InDesign Screenshot].
Developing a personal brand is a staple in today’s professional realm. Everyone has a brand, whether they are aware of it or not. The way one presents themselves, their skills, and their attributes are all things that become a part of a brand. A title can bolster the credibility and validity of someone’s brand. Creating a business card is the perfect way to make your brand known and tangible by having it on a solid card. Many positions in the work force recommend or even require the person to have a business card. So why not get an early start and brand yourself through a business card right now? That is exactly what we did in CAP 105 at Grand Valley State University.

Clark, E. K. (2016, November 14). [Business Card Front].
We were asked to create a business card of our own through the use of Adobe InDesign. With this card, your personal brand is supposed to be shown somehow. If I am to be honest, InDesign is not the most user friendly program. After some playing around with shapes, text, and the many other tools available, I was able to begin working on my business card. The first thing I did was incorporate my favorite color, orange. I put two columns of the color on either side of the card to frame the card. Furthermore, the color orange has a certain character to it. It is a “warm” color on the color spectrum, which I believe represents how I can also be considered “warm” and friendly. Moving on from the color, a business card is just modern art without some form of text or information printed on it. Most importantly, I put my name in the middle of the card, using the largest font size. With the name established, I continued to supply more information about my brand and who I am. “Public Relations Major” and “Spanish Minor” are the most prevalent titles I would apply to myself, currently. This also helps build my brand as a social person by showing that I am studying in the School of Communications and also pursuing the study of a foreign language. Next, I provided another title that established my credibility as a social person. For the past two years and three months I have been a sales associate at Banana Republic Factory Store. This position requires a lot of communication between coworkers and also customers, furthering my established brand as a social person.

Clark, E. K. (2016, November 14). [Business Card Back].
Lastly, what is the point of having a business card if the recipients have no way of contacting you? I tackled this on the back of my business card where I listed my phone number, email, and Twitter handle. The last way  to contact me may be slightly unorthodox for a business card, however, it does build my social brand even more. Therefore, with my card, my brand is visible and recognizable.