What do you do when the PR Agent is in trouble?


20150927_122941HELLO MY FELLOW BLOGGING BUDDIES!!!!

Let me start off by apologizing for not blogging ANYTHING for the last FIVE MONTHS. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it has been five, long months since I blogged a sentence. What can I say? The life of a young 20 something year old graduate student is a busy one.

I wanted to update you all about my current career and academic goals. I am proud to say that I am 80 % complete with my Master’s degree. I only have two more classes to complete in the spring of next year.  I would estimate that I would graduate around June or July of 2016. But let me give you all a little background story on how I came to this point. I graduated from my Alma Mater, the University of Alabama, in December 2012. For the next two years, until May 2014, I have tried to enter into every available Master’s program that I qualified for at my Alma Mater.  Needless to say, I cried many tears, emailed a lot of people, prayed many prayers and spent a lot of money trying to get into my top-pick graduate program. After I got denied entrance for that particular program for the umpteenth time, I decided to search for other Communication graduate programs.  While I was searching for online graduate programs (especially in state programs) and an idea popped into my head. I decided to research Troy University’s graduate programs.  Needless to say, I liked what the program offered. After filling out all of the paper work and contacting all necessary personnel-I was accepted into the program! In late May of 2014, I was a Trojan and it felt GRRREEEEAATT!!!! When I tell you that this program is AWESOME, I mean that it is AWE-SOME.   I will be sad when everything is said and done but I am grateful for this chance to be a part of a program I enjoy.

As of right now, I plan to pursue my PhD in Communications as soon as I graduate from Troy University.  I am currently looking into some programs, including the University of Alabama’s PhD program (ROLL TIDE ROLL). Now, do you remember when I was telling you all how I was a Public Relations Coordinator for a small business? Oh yeah, it was the ‘best’ four months of my life [insert giggle here].  But all jokes aside, that job was a true eye-opener for me. Aside from being a Public Relations Coordinator for this small business, but I was as a part of Media HQ for the 50th Selma to Montgomery Jubilee Bridge Crossing event (AKA #Selma50 for short). For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the annual Jubilee Bridge Crossing event-it’s held around the first weekend in March in my hometown of Selma, AL. This event is held to commemorate the Selma to Montgomery March and Bloody Sunday that occurred on March 7th, 1965.  During the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, I was able to meet people from CBS, BET, The Chicago Tribune and other blog/media outlets. I was media personnel for this event as well.  I was the PR Coordinator during my time of doing this blog.  I was able to put into action what I have learned as a Trojan Graduate Student. It was amazing. I was able to dabble in the wonderful world of PR. So, when I was blogging about being a PR Agent, I wasn’t saying all of those things to ‘save face’ and make the grade. I was ACTUALLY a PR Agent you all. After I resigned from this job (long after #Selma50 concluded) I begin to develop my professional Facebook Page to brand myself as a PR-Person-For-Hire. THAT. DID. NOT. GO .AS .PLANNED.  Crazy how life works out, isn’t it?

IMG_20150305_110944

(Me with Ms. Santita Jackson of the Santita Jackson show and daughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson)


I have tried my hand at other possible career options-acting, singing and blogging.  I am going to be kind enough to spare you all the various details of what happened and save them for another blog entry. What I trying to say is that during this time, I have tried to do a little bit of everything.  I am only 24 years old (well, I will be on Oct. 28th) and I am still getting to know who I am and what I want to do for the rest of my life. My ideals are constantly changing. I am re-evaluating everything.  I want to take time to figure out what I love to do AND I want to make a good, long, and enjoyable career out of it.  Right now, I plan to enter into the educational field.  It is a steady career field and there is always a need for new Communication Studies professors. If all goes well, I maybe teaching YOU really soon. If things do not pan out like how I want them, just know that I am not afraid to go back to the drawing board.

So, what do you do when the PR Agent-who is used to saving other people-is in trouble herself? She readjusts her cape and goes to rescue herself.  LIKE. THE. BOSS. SHE .IS. And like I have mentioned in my previous blogs, you just might see me on your TV screen, the big screen or in Ebony Magazine one day. Never stop dreaming, my little blogger friends.

Until next time,

-Shenika( You Already Know Who I Am-I am THE Ms. Communicator)

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See ya’ later….(for now)

Before we get into this next blog post, allow me to say a big HELLO to all of my fellow bloggers and followers. I want to take this time to let you all know how much I appreciate each of you that take time to read this blog. Now,guessing by that title, I am sure that you all have come to a few conclusions. One of those conclusions might be that this is my ninth and LAST blog for my Leadership and Media Strategies graduate course. Another conclusion could be that after this blog, I probably won’t be blogging as much as I did within the past nine week. Unfortunately, both of those conclusions are true. As I have stated before, after this class is over, I will continue blogging(albeit, it will not be as frequent).

WHEW! Now that I have gotten all mushy and things…

It is time for more….pressing matters.

Since this is my last blog for this wonderful graduate course I have been taking, I wanted to give you all a quick recap. I did not want to jump into new material because this blog will be extremely short. This graduate course has taught me so much. As a strategic communication professional, I have learned that it is important to always have a plan in mind. A vision is very important to have in this field. Along with have an amazing vision, you must also have equally amazing leadership. As I have expressed in a previous blog, without either one, the other(vision or leadership) will utterly fail. Aside from having a plan, leadership and a vision for you communication project, PR campaign or business, you must also have a passion for what you are doing.  Whatever your goal is, whether it is to revolutionize emerging media, compile an amazing communication project, or brand a public figure or celebrity, remember these things:

1. Always develop a Crisis Communication Plan. Believe me when I say that it will save you ALOT of heartache, tears and embarrassment. Never rush into any type of communication-based project of business without a CCP.

2. Let you work ethic speak  for itself. Enough said.

3. Develop your brand. You brand is what you will be known by. If you carry yourself well, your brand will reflect that. If your branding skills reflect that, then you will attract clients. Needless to say, your clients will look as flawless as you do. 😉

4. Have fun with it…just as I have had fun blogging this 🙂

à tout à l’heure(see you later), my professional blogger friends. I’ll be back. 😉

-Shenika(Forever THE Ms. Communicator)  

Here is a link to my other blog. You’re welcome : https://godsgiftfemalelamb.wordpress.com/

 

Got a measuring stick?

Hi you all! IT IS WEEK EIGHT OF MY GRADUATE COURSE! I am so excited that I am almost done with this class which means that I am HALF-WAY DONE with my graduate program. I am another step closer to graduating with my Masters of Science in Strategic Communication. But alas, that means that my time with you all is coming to an end. After this blog post, I will have one more to do and IT’S A WRAP! I am sure you all are wondering why I am talking in all caps. There is no particular reason except that I just want to shake things up a little bit.

-Are you awake?

Good, very nice.

Let’s get into this blog post shall we?

This week in my graduate course we discussed the topic of measuring. That is right, you read that correctly. We are talking about measurement. As a strategic communication professional, there are two things I have learned: 1.)  Always have a plan. 2.) Measure your findings and reevaluate said plan if needed. In order to create a blog, website or PR campaign, you need a sturdy plan. On last week, I discussed the importance of having a plan for a company to survive. This week, I will be discussing how to measure the findings of  a PR campaign launched from said companies. During this blog post, there are two words that I will use repeatedly. One of those words is ‘tangible’ . There other word is ‘intangible’. I know you all know the meaning of those words, but  they take on a different meaning in the strategic communication world. Tangible means the tangible findings of a PR campaign. These findings are either quantitative or qualitative results that a company has gathered after launching their campaign, website or communication project. Web logistics and results from website surveys are examples of tangible findings. Tangible findings can show a company what did and did not work well within their campaign. The results from said campaign are needed for the company’s success. If those results were never measured, that company would be in dire straights. Now, onto our next word…intangible. That is right, ladies and gentlemen, you guessed it! Intangibles or intangible findings are those results of a PR campaign you cannot readily measure or see…but they exist. These types of results may be a bit difficult to find or prove, but it can be done. Certain surveys, if formatted  correctly , can measure types of attitudes toward a company’s campaign or communication project. Thoughts, feelings, new ideas are forms of intangibles. I do believe that intangibles, such as word of mouth, can be generated to tangible results. A prime example of that could be if you told your friend about this new musical artist’s Facebook page. You begin to tell your friends how great his/her music is. By word of mouth, you have intrigued your friends enough to check out this artist’s official Facebook Page. It is because of that artist’s PR promotion that generated Facebook hits. That is one way that intangibles(word of mouth) can generate tangible(Facebook hits or ‘likes’) results.

I am sure that you all are wondering how you can find results of a PR campaign. I am happy that you asked, my communication professional. According to http://www.marchpr.com/, here are a lists of ways you can measure the results of a PR campaign:

1. Web Traffic

PR firms have become content creators and publishers. They’re marketers and advertisers, too. That’s why one of the most important ways to measure overall ROI from PR efforts is blog or web traffic. If PR firms can point out that traffic to the website or blog has gone up since working with a client, that’s a success.

2. Referrals

A “referral” is any link that sends people to a website. PR firms that are helping clients with websites and blogs can track this metric using Google Analytics. Referrals are key to revealing the success of PR coverage – if there are links back to the client’s website in an online article in the media, referrals will show exactly how many people are clicking that link and being driven to the site from the article.

3. Social Media Shares

Social shares indicate how many people are engaging with PR coverage. In fact, social media is a great baseline to measure how well a message has resonated with the target audience. Not everyone is going to click a link back to the company website, but that doesn’t mean they’ll forget about the company mentioned in a compelling article. […]

4. Press Release Engagement

Wire services like BusinessWire can offer a lot of information about the performance of press releases, tracking social media engagement, real-time media monitoring, viewership numbers and more. […]We’ve talked about how press releases can be used for content marketing. By tracking each link on a release with Bit.ly links, you can measure how many people are being driven to the company website, marketing collateral and more.

5. Outputs & Outcomes

In PR terminology, an output is a piece of coverage. Every PR firm pretty much already supplies clients with the number of articles that have been generated as a result of outreach. Meanwhile, an “outcome” is effectively a lead that has been generated by a PR campaign. Fewer firms offer the capability to measure and track outcomes in detail. While most of that information often falls to the client’s marketing department, there are ways PR can help with the lead generation process ( http://www.marchpr.com/blog/pr/2014/04/ways-measure-digital-pr-campaign/ ).

As always, I will leave the link to that online article below. That particular article dealt with monitoring digital PR campaigns, but the rules are just the same.  I have learned that it is not enough to ONLY have a great PR/Communication plan. It is equally as important to assess the results of said plan or communication project after it has been put into action.  The results will let you know what innovative ideas need to come into play to ensure the next communication plan will be a success OR to continue with the great ideas you currently have. I hope you all enjoyed this blog post, just as I have enjoyed writing it.

P.S-HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all of the world’s mothers and mothers- to -be. Let you mothers’ know how much you love them(just as I was able to do today). 🙂

-Shenika(THE Bonus Avenger…uh Justice League Member or THE Ms. Communicator)

Link to article: http://www.marchpr.com/blog/pr/2014/04/ways-measure-digital-pr-campaign/

*The image above is in no way affiliated or owned by the “Ms. Communicator” WordPress blog or “SRW Ent.” and is strictly used for visual purposes.*

We’ve got a CRISIS over here!

Hello you all. This is week seven in my Leadership and Media Strategies graduate course. I cannot believe that I am almost done with this class. It seems as though I just started writing these blog entries yesterday! With all of that being said, as you all know, I have two more blog entries to do and I will be done with my graduate course.  Once my graduate course is over, I will still post blog entries as regularly as I can.

Now, on to the good stuff.

This week in my Leadership and Media Strategies class we are discussing the topic of crisis management. I took a PR course that discussed the importance of companies having crisis communication plans. Crisis management deals with leadership, PR, communication and stress/workplace negotiation communication. I have taken other classes that dealt with workplace negotiation and organizational communication and it is very ironic that those themes are reemerging in this class. Crisis management is just that-managing or preventing a crisis. When crisis happens, you need to have a plan in motion to neutralize its damaging impact. A crisis is an unfortunate event that can occur naturally, internally or externally. Some crisis are foreseeable and others are not. Some crisis that occur within a business setting are the direct result of an un-examined problem within the very confines of said business. No matter how a crisis occurs or who is to blame for said crisis, it must be dealt with in a timely manner.  If a leader of a company, industry, or business wait too long to address a crisis or issue-it can be too late.  According to an online article by http://guides.wsj.com(originally written by WSJ columnist Bill Georgecrisis management has a few steps:

Lesson 1: Leaders must face reality.Reality starts with the person in charge. Leaders need to look themselves in the mirror and recognize their role in creating the problems. Then they should gather their teams together and gain agreement about the root causes. Widespread recognition of reality is the crucial step before problems can be solved. Attempting to find short-term fixes that address the symptoms of the crisis only ensures the organization will wind up back in the same predicament.

Lesson 2: No matter how bad things are, they will get worse. Faced with bad news, many leaders cannot believe that things could really be so grim. Consequently, they try to convince the bearers of bad news that things aren’t so bad, and swift action can make problems go away.

Lesson 3: Build a mountain of cash, and get to the highest hill. In good times leaders worry more about earnings per share and revenue growth than they do about their balance sheets. In a crisis, cash is king. Forget about earnings-per-share and all those stock market measures. The question is, “Does your organization have sufficient cash to survive the most dire circumstances?”

Lesson 4: Get the world off your shoulders. In a crisis, many leaders act like Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They go into isolation, and think they can solve the problem themselves. In reality, leaders must have the help of all their people to devise solutions and to implement them. This means bringing people into their confidence, asking them for help and ideas, and gaining their commitment to painful corrective actions(http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/how-to-lead-in-a-crisis/).

There are several other steps listed in that article, as always, I shall leave the link to this insightful online article at the end of the blog post. All of these steps are lessons that CEOs and leaders of business have learned about the dos and dont’s of crisis communication management. It is imperative that EVERY business, big or small, has a crisis communication plan in effect. Crisis and mishaps will happen not matter what. That is life for you. If businesses, industries or companies do not have a crisis communication plan equipped for all potential types of crisis, it will destroy said industries. If you are not prepared to endure public backlash due to a scandal, it will break the employers  and employees alike.  In order for a company to endure and handle an unpleasant situation, a team of communication specialist in order to assess and deal with the situation at hand. PR Agents are best suited to handle the company’s public image and can manage the company’s social media pages. Communication specialist, especially those that deal with negotiation and workplace harmony, can assist with the damage done to the company internally.

Every crisis communication plan needs to have pre-approved and pre-made press release statement. If a scandal rocks a company and its supporters to the core, then a press conference is definitely needed. All leaders need a back-up team that will be able to pick up the slack. Leaders need to know that they can depend on other people within the company to help him/her handle the scandal.  The public image of a company is in jeopardy whenever a scandal emerges. The fans or public supporters of a particular company will definitely have more than their fair share of opinions about the scandal, incident, or crisis. The most common place for the public to vent their frustration is on social media. According to www.udmercy.edu(I will leave the link to this article below) has a list of ways for companies to handle social media backlash from their public supporters. One very important tips would be this:

Let the people vent. If you have messed up, you need to take your medicine. If you are a consultant hired by a brand, stand your ground. Warn the leadership ahead of time that this is going to hurt, but they have to remember why they hired you. If it’s your own company, take a deep breath. It’s hard to see people talk negatively about your company, but you need to let them talk in a civil manner. Try to de-personalize the situation and remember they’re not talking about you. Note: if the event does revolve around you, hire someone else to monitor the conversations. Let your filters do the work and if something slips through that violates your posting policy, revert to number four above. It really helps to have a triage response plan that defines ahead of time what and who you will engage.Whatever you do, don’t engage a mad negative poster online. In your posting policy, invite everyone to contact you offline where you will be glad to continue any conversation. Answer valid questions, don’t engage ranting commenters(http://www.udmercy.edu/mpa/ecug/files/5%20Tips%20for%20Handling%20Negative%20Social%20Media%20Comments%20on%20Facebook.pdf)

It’s a lengthy tip, but it is a valuable one. 😉

-Shenika(THE Crisis Manager aka THE Ms. Communicator )

**The image above is in no way affiliated or owned by the “Ms. Communicator” WordPress blog or “SRW Ent.” and is strictly used for visual purposes.*

1. Link to article one: http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/how-to-lead-in-a-crisis/

2. Link to article two: http://www.udmercy.edu/mpa/ecug

Where Can You Place Me?

Hello all!

Its week 6 and since I am burning the candle at both ends, we are going to jump into this thing..

…right now

…like, cannon-ball into a big community pool style

..like a Boss!

In my graduate course we are discussing advertisements, placement ads and what that means for strategic communication professional like myself. In this new world of smart phones and apps, the advertisement community has been a chameleon and have adapted to all changes. I believe that the advertisement industry is a leading fore-runner for others who are in the strategic communication realm? I am sure you are wondering why I made that statement. As I am apart of Troy’s highly advanced Strategic Communication graduate program, I am instructed to learn about the world of PR and advertisement. Believe it or not, PR and Advertisement industries are often lumped together as one entity, when they are clearly two separate industries. This reason for this, you may ask? Both industries need each. But this is a little side-conversation and a preface to the real topic at hand: placement, advertising and emerging media.

I have done some research on this subject for this particular blog and I have discovered that world of advertisement has changed drastically and as a strategic communication professional, I need to learn how to dissect that industry and utilize it for my PR career. It sounds a little cut-throat, but it is not. I am in communication and we make everything very ‘cut and dry’. 😉 All jokes aside, ad placements are scattered across the internet and they actually serve a purpose. They may seem very annoying and useless, but it is the way that major business can reach millions of potential customers. I know you have heard placement ads on the radio and those ads are either paid  for by the company or other sponsors. Sometimes, living in a world of ads can be very over-whelming. It is a way for business to make more money and gain more notoriety. If you are in that sort of industry, there is nothing wrong with that. It is you job to generate your business’s income. But have you every thought of why you hear the same ads over and over again? Have you ever seen placements ads for a product that is based on your internet searches. And here you are thinking that this is just a coincidence! As you know, the internet tracks all of your searches, whether you are in incognito mode or not. According to what you type in search engines, like Google, placement ads begin to show up just based on what you recently researched. The best way to describe it would be to liken it to “Friends you may know” on Facebook. Have you ever seen that side bar on Facebook(before they revamped the layout) that would have a list of people you MAY know BASED on how many people you ‘friended’? Most of these people are mutual friends of your friends on Facebook. In my case, some of those people I DID know, USED to know or went to school with. Needless to say, if we were not close in High School, I am probably not going to add you on Facebook, unless I have a change of heart. I know that was a LONG example, but now do you see my point? I am sure you probably think that the “Friends you may know” sidebar on Facebook was useless and very irritating. This is the same way that placement ads work, just on a larger scale. These ads are not meant to annoy you, but to notify you of seemingly important information that may peek your interest-all based on what YOU just searched the internet for. Awesome, is it not? But of course, there is another side to this.

I am sure many of you all are thinking: this girl likes to post two sides of the same argument. And I must say that I like to do so. I am a strategic communicator and it’s my job to make you thing while simultaneously prepping your public image(Free-lance  PR person,anyone?). It is a tough job, but I enjoy it. And plus, someone has to do it-so it might as well be me! All kidding aside, placement ads have a larger affect on the consumers’ mind more than we think. I could really use all the knowledge I have about cognitive dissonance, the third person affect and how ads are designed use repetition in order for you to have the information sealed into your subconscious. It sounds scary, but…ok, it’s scary. It is also very fascinating. These ads that you hear on the radio, see on TV and those that ‘pop’ while you are browsing the internet can be placed in the category of media content. Now, this whole subject dives deep into the world of Mass Communication and Media. The purpose for these ads are to engage in their audience. There are experiments that are conducted and focus groups are used when a company wants to place a new product on the market. Once the researchers at those companies have complied the data needed in order to launch their product-that’s where people like you and I come in. The PR team of that company goes to WORK devising ways to introduce this product to the masses. Then BAM! You are bombarded with placement ads on all forms of media. If the public receives this product wells, that business can take a collective sigh of relief. If not, it is back to the drawing board-Bring in the PR people!

Wow, that was a lot of information, wasn’t it? Let us all ‘woo-sah’ together. 😉

As you can see, alot goes into this industry and at the rate it is going, there will be no stopping anytime soon. I decided to dissect the world of mass communication and simply take about advertisement and placements ads since it is a small, but integral part of strategic communication.

Hope you all enjoyed the ride. 🙂

-Shenika(THE Ms. Communicator)

*The image above is in no way affiliated or owned by the “Ms. Communicator” WordPress blog or “SRW Ent.” and is strictly used for visual purposes.*

Vision Board for the Communication Specialist

Hi you all! It is THE Ms. Communicator and I am here to blog for Week 5 for my graudate course. I must say that these blogs are very informative and intensify as the semester continues.

During Week 5 of my graduate course, my professor-Dr. Steve Padgett, asked all us what our vision as strategic communication professionals would be. Needless to say, I can up with a short, but descriptive list. I mentioned in my previous blog post that I have a “thing” for lists. I suppose that discussion board Dr. Padgett assigned his students confirmed that. 😀 Vision, leadership and management all come into play when becoming a strategic communication professional. In order to use the information I shared with you all during the course of this blog, all three of those attributes are needed. I want you all to think about your own specific goals that you have for yourself. In this blog post, I will issue you all a homework assignment. I know that some of you may not be happy about this, but hey, I still have to do homework for graduate school. Trust me, it is not going to hurt you a bit. 😉 For your blogger homework assignment or challenge, I want you all to write down you plans on how you can achieve your vision. You can write it in a journal, write a blog and tag my blog in it or you can post in the comment section below. With all of that being said, vision is needed in order to achieve any goal that you have set up for yourself. All strategic communication professionals, PR Agents, Journalists, and those in the Communication career field need a vision. You vision is what you plan to accomplish for yourself, employees, industry, business or company. Leaders and managers in the communication arena need a vision to propel their industries forward.  But what is vision without excellent leadership or proper management? I am glad you asked that pivotal question, my blogger friend. 🙂

Leadership and management are synonymous with each other, or so I thought before I did some research on the subject. According to John P. Kotter article on hbr.org, leadership and management are not the same and they never will be. Let’s see why Dr. Kotter believes that to be true:

“Mistake #1: People use the terms “management” and “leadership” interchangeably. This shows that they don’t see the crucial difference between the two and the vital functions that each role plays.

Mistake #2: People use the term “leadership” to refer to the people at the very top of hierarchies. They then call the people in the layers below them in the organization “management.” And then all the rest are workers, specialists, and individual contributors. This is also a mistake and very misleading.

Mistake #3: People often think of “leadership” in terms of personality characteristics, usually as something they call charisma. Since few people have great charisma, this leads logically to the conclusion that few people can provide leadership, which gets us into increasing trouble.(https://hbr.org/2013/01/management-is-still-not-leadership.html)

Management and leadership are completely different. I personally and professionally believe that one cannot exist without the other. As Dr. Kotter mentioned in his online article, alot of people equate personal attributes, such as charisma, as an excellent catalyst for leadership. Many people also believe that management holds the same weight and context as someone in leadership. Both of these terms refer to different things. Although these words and title are uniquely different, both are needed in order to propel a vision forward. If their is no proper leadership to push a vision, the vision will fail. If there is no management to continue to see the vision succeed, the vision will still fail. If there is not properly leadership or management, a vision is meaningless. All are needed in order for someone like me and you to succeed in the world of communication.

Now that I have explained why we need vision, leadership, and management; it’s time for me to give you proper definitions of these terms, courtesy of Dr. Kotter.

“Leadership is entirely different. It is associated with taking an organization into the future, finding opportunities that are coming at it faster and faster and successfully exploiting those opportunities. Leadership is about vision, about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, about producing useful change. Leadership is not about attributes, it’s about behavior(https://hbr.org/2013/01/management-is-still-not-leadership.html).”

“Management is a set of well-known processes, like planning, budgeting, structuring jobs, staffing jobs, measuring performance and problem-solving, which help an organization to predictably do what it knows how to do well. Management helps you to produce products and services as you have promised, of consistent quality, on budget, day after day, week after week(https://hbr.org/2013/01/management-is-still-not-leadership.html).”

By using these words and titles in proper context, you will be able to fully see the role they play in becoming a strategic communication professional. I am going to do something completely different in this blog, but it is based on my class discussion post I did for this week. Ok, here goes: I am going to share something personal with you all. I am sure some of you are say something along the lines of “well, doesn’t she do that anyway?”. Well, I do share little tidbits about myself in every blog, but this is something else. I want to share with you all my vision as a PR agent. As I have stated in the class discussion board, I want to own a PR/Entertainment firm. I want to be a powerful force in the PR, Media and Entertainment world. My agenda would be to produce positive entertainment as well as manage up and coming talent .  As you can imagine, I needed proper leadership and management to make my vision a reality. As of right now, I am branding myself as a PR person for-hire. I am continuing my education in the communication field. I am networking with those in my field to receive the proper leadership I need as well as a few pointers about the industry. I will management each step I take to make sure I am headed in the right path. All of this will take diligence, humility and knowledge. Sooner or later, you will see your blogger buddy on your TV screen, on the big screen and concerts halls across the world. Hey, this is a vision worth achieving. 😉

-Shenika(THE Gospel Entertainer aka THE Ms. Communicator)

*The image above is in no way affiliated or owned by the “Ms. Communicator” WordPress blog or “SRW Ent and is strictly used for visual purposes.*

Strategic Communication: The Internal and External Frontier

Hi you guys. Guess what today is? Well, it is Sunday, but besides that, this day concludes Week 4 in my Leadership and Media Strategies class. This means that I am half through this semester and it also means that I will be with you guys for another 5 blog posts. The end of this semester is rapidly approach as well as this blog intro. Want to learn more about internal and external strategic communication processes? Well, of course you do, otherwise you would not be reading this blog post. Since I have an outstanding YES from you all out there in cyber land, I want you all to follow me as I lead you into the wonderful word of Strategic Communication: The Internal and External Frontier. Watch your step. 😉

In order for any business, firm, agency, school or industry to survive, it needs to have an internal and external fixtures to ensure that it will survive the times. As  strategic communication professionals, it is our job to help said businesses run seamlessly behind the scenes and in front of an audience. Judging by that analogy I just threw at you guys, I am sure that you all can tell I have a strong and I mean a STRONG background in the performing arts. What can I say, I love entertaining you all. 🙂  But, as usual, I digress. Strategic communication tactics are needed in external and internal groups to maintain the status of businesses, industries and universities.

Internal communication composes of the communication processes that are involved in the inner workings of business and sectors. This inner working system is made of up employees, supervisors, CEO’s, etc. In order for all of those groups to work together, internal communication must be on point. An environment that fosters creativity and critical listening skills is a must. External communication mainly deals with the business or sector and the public. The form of communication that flows from a business to the public must be an honest and respectful one. The business knows it needs the public to survive. The public needs to know that the business is there to make their life easier or to sustain them. In times of scandal, the public must be appeased and external communication comes into play. I am sure you can recall a public scandal or recall with a certain company. As I am here writing this blog for you all, those companies are appeasing the public right now(all the while covering their tracks to ensure that this mess-up does not occur again). That company’s PR team is putting in long hours to come up with a public apology that is laced with valuable information on how that recall, scandal or misinformation slipped by them. External communication  is needed to ensure that the company’s first thought during a highly emotional time is to protect the company while protecting the publif. While the company is appeasing the public, it is soothing its own bruised ego. External communication is really emotional and informational, so forgive me if my inner counselor/psychologist emerges. She has been locked in there WAY too long. 😀

Internal and external communication is vital to a group, sector or company’s survival. In order for both internal and external communication to be effective, Dr. John A. Kline has a few tips on how that can be possible.

According to Dr. Kline’s online article(the link will be posted below)reducing misunderstanding within internal communication can happen with these steps:

 Encourage Feedback:

1. Tell subordinates you want feedback. Encourage them to give you both good and bad news. Welcome disagreement on issues. Then, make certain you positively reinforce rather than punish them for such information.

2. Identify areas in which you want feedback. Don’t encourage indiscriminate feedback consisting of idle talk of personal gripes about others in the organization. Do communicate your desire for feedback on issues and areas that can help the organization.

 Listen Effectively: 

Prepare to listen. Effective listening requires physical and mental preparation. Put aside papers, books, and other materials that may distract you. Have the secretary hold your calls. Avoid unnecessary interruptions. Be ready to catch the speaker’s opening remarks. The rest of the message often builds on the opening statement.

2. Listen for ideas, not just for facts. Concentration exclusively on the facts often causes leaders to miss main ideas. Facts may be interesting in their own right, but the reason facts are given is usually to develop a generalization from them.

Reduce Communication Misunderstanding:

1.The quality, intelligibility, and variety of the voice all affect understanding. Quality refers to the overall impression the voice makes on others. Listeners often infer from the voice whether the speaker is happy, sad, fearful, or confident. Intelligibility or understandability depends on such things as articulation, pronunciation, and grammatical correctness. Variety is the spice of speaking. Rate, volume, force, pitch, and emphasis are all factors of variety that influence understanding.

It seems as though that I am always giving you all lists of thing to learn, I mean, am I right? Lists are actually a formal way that some people, such as myself , learn different things. I memorize things as “task lists”. It sounds strange, but it is effective. I am a Public Relations Coordinator for a small business and believe me when I say that lists helped me in my career. Now, as I was saying earlier, internal communication needs to flow smoothly among different compartments within a business. External communication is a result of internal communication. Those tips can also refer on how to limit misunderstandings in external communication as well. External communication cannot exist without internal communication  and vice versa.  A group of energetic and creative people are needed in order to put in work to ensure that both ends of communication are running smoothly. I keep bringing this up, but as you can tell by my blog posts, PR and Strategic Communication professional are really needed in this day and age. We make branding better for businesses and companies. Its a win-win when internal and external communication flow together.

-Shenika(THE Ms. Communicator)

*A link to Dr. Kilne’s article: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au-24/au24-289.htm

Super PR Agent to the RESCUE!


Hello all!!

It’s week 3 in my Leadership and Media class and this week’s topic is all about PR agents and how they can help promote a business, company, or government sector.

Let’s begin, shall we?

As you all know,  one of my career goals is to become a PR agent and to have a PR agency. I love the world of Public Relations especially when it pertains to the world of media and entertainment. During this week, I researched the role of a PR team. I did alot of reading that discussed how PR is still needed in today’s society. Many people think that all PR people do is answer telephone calls and manage social media pages for a company. As a Public Relations Coordinator for a small business, I can tell you that we do a lot more than that. It is our main goal to make our companies and employers look good to the public. It is out job to make the public feel good about the products that said company is selling to their clients. We have to make everyone look their best and mediate any problem that arises. We are modern-day superheroes, and the world needs us. Ok, I know that sounded a little corny, but you will see what I mean as we go along this blog post.

According to http://www.poynter.org/, the jobs of PR people and journalists are to:

  • “Know your audience. The reader is no longer your primary target. In PR, it’s a combination of client, employer and a variety of new audiences that can shift daily. Your storytelling skills will be invaluable, but so will your ability to change directions at a moment’s notice.

  • Understand the short- and long-term business implications of your work. If you work at a PR agency, you will be making hundreds of decisions a day on behalf of clients. Not every decision will be grand, but each will impact the client’s business. A mistake in an article you write may lead to a correction in the next day’s paper; a mistake in a new business pitch could cost your employer hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Know, respect and appreciate PR’s ethics code. Like journalism, our profession is based on stringent ethical standards. We expect every professional to uphold those standards.”

That article’s main focus was to differentiate the role of a Journalist and Publicist, but both professionals go by the same rules. We are all playing the same game, just on different teams.  Another article I read stated that PR is not a dying art form. As I stated above, we are heavily needed in today’s society. There are companies that need PR people to ensure that their company’s well-being and public persona remains in tact. Do you know what happens to companies without PR teams or that have terrible publicity? Well, I do not know either. It it likely that they have faded into oblivion which was caused by a terrible scandal.

During this week’s discussion, my classmates and I were stating different ways that companies can utilize strategic communication professionals such as ourselves, in order to improve their established image. Needless to say, my classmates and I came up with TONS and TONS and TONS of solutions for that one question. Another question we were discussing was this: how can companies use online platforms to further their business? Here are a few of my tips that coincide with the quoted article above:

1. Develop professional social media pages: Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn are all greats social media pages that are used to promote people and their business.

2. Designate a set PR Team: Get a good group of creative PR people to manage those pages and your image. You may think that you can do the work yourself, but it will be a huge task. Trust me, you will need them to do that you cannot do. They will see things that you will not. They will come up with innovative ways to promote your business.

3. FILTER: I am not just talking about those filters that help our selfies look their best on Instagram. I am taking about filtering out all unneeded and mostly negative info that can sneak its way on your social media page. It can and will happen. And when it does, STOP IT! Negative social media posts by a companies’ employees or one viral YouTube video concerning said employees or company will cause a CEO’s hard work to crumble like a foil house. Trust me when I say, I have seen some pretty bad statuses and videos about companies via their employees. It is not a good look for anyone involved.

According to http://cdn2.hubspot.net/ “People have always said good – and bad – things about brands, and now that social media has risen in popularity, it means people have another platform to talk about your company and products/services. The major difference, however, is in the viral nature of this platform. When someone mentions your brand in social media, there is much more potential for other people to notice, and it‟s monumentally easier for conversations to spread much more quickly and easily. In addition, these conversations have the potential to reach a much larger audience than ever before. If your company is not participating in social media today, it‟s missing an opportunity to spread its message and missing valuable – and even damaging – conversations that could be taking place about your brand.”

There is a place for PR in this world and it is now involving social media. As strategic communication professionals, our job is to stay one step away of our competition and to dominate the social media playing field-with all fairness of course. Just don’t “accidentally” knock someone’s tooth out while playing this aggressive game, ok? If you do that, you will be all good in my book. All joking aside, PR is needed and wanted. We must filter out the bad, be honest with the public and represent those companies we work for to the fullest. And of course you must look good at all times. As the saying goes, “a PR agent’s work is never done, darling.” 😉

-Shenika(THE Strategic Communication Professionalist aka THE Ms. Communicator.)

*The image above is no-way affiliated with or own by this blog or SRW Ent.

*Link to quoted article #1 : http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/142682/why-journalists-dont-always-make-the-best-pr-pros/

*Link to quoted article #2: http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/53/docs/hubspot_social_media_pr_ebook.pdf

Let me speak my opinion in your ear….


Hello all of my blogger buddies! It is so good to be back and blogging with you all. As you probably guessed it, it is week 2 in my Leadership and Media class. This week’s discussion is about opinion leaders, the public and the every-evolving social media platform.

I am sure you all are looking at the title of this blog and thinking “Where is this girl going with this?” I promise you, this title and my course topic have a strong connection to each. How many of you all in blogger-land remember the 90s rapper Craig Mack and his song “Flava in Ya’ Ear?” I was young when that song was released, but the intro and chorus of that song just get me every time. Craig Mack wanted one song to spit his flavor in your ear (translated: he wanted to show you all his exceptional taste and well developed musical skills). Although I cannot rap(but I can belt out a note), I still wanted to take a page out of Craig Mack’s book and be able to show you all my developed blogging skills and to have a social media platform to state my various professional opinions.  Now that I have gotten all of this out of the way, I would like to ask you to keep all hands and feet inside the ride as I begin to “speak my opinion in your ear.” It may be considered a bumpy ride with a lot of twists and turns but I promise that the landing will be smooth sailing. Are you ready?

This millennial is such a wondrous and adventurous time in the world of technology and media. Things have certainly changed since I was a little girl in the 90s.  As I have mentioned before, I am a professional blogger and I think that I have such an important task to do. I can influence so many people with one blog post, just as many of you can and have done the same. Anyone, from a college professional to a stay-at-home mom can reach millions of lives through the use of social media platforms.   In this day and age, anyone can become a public figure, a public leader or an opinion leader through the use of social media. I follow some of the most influential people on Facebook and Twitter and a large number of those people have risen to prominence because of the message that they post to social media. The other half of those people already had a public following that has risen to exponential heights since joining social media sites. The thing I will be talking about in this blog is the power that social media holds for public figures and opinion leaders.

People of great influence can affect change in any environment they are in. Now, imagine that environment was in the cyber world. Your favorite celebrity, pastor or political figure can tell you to donate money to a certain cause and you may even begin to feel a “pull” to do so. Their influence is strong and it only magnifies on social media. Those opinion leaders know that and so does the public. There are PR teams that help those opinion leaders appear as their best selves in person and on social media. It is easier for anyone to become an opinion leader through the use of social media. As long as you have a voice and an opinion (and you post those opinions on the right social media platform), your following will come. It is such an amazing thing that communities and social causes are finding their voice and getting the public attention they need in order to raise awareness for a certain issue.  In fact, YOU can look at yourself as an opinion leader. When people read your blog, you have captured their attention and they are looking for a message through the posts of your blog.  Let me tell you all a little secret about myself, I love superheroes. Now that I have admitted that on social media, you all will not think it would be strange if I decide to go “Ultimate Spider-man” on you all. You all know Peter Parker’s famous quote: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’. That was not too strange, was it?  The point I am trying to make is that you hold a lot of weight when placing your opinion on social media sites. There are people that will take your words as undeniable truth and run with it! That is wonderful, but as you know, in the world of cyber-space that can be considered a good thing or a terrible mistake.

It is important that all public leaders know the value of their words, especially when they are plastered on Facebook or Instagram. Time and time again we have seen the likes of a famous person saying something completely out of line. That one thoughtless post becomes something like an international scandal that will eventually die down within a few weeks. That one post can hinder that particular politician’s career. That one indecent picture can cause Ms. America, Ms. Universal or Ms. USA to lose her title and her crown. It is important that we as up and coming opinion leaders think very carefully about what we post in cyber-space.  Whatever we post on social media will outlive that movement in which we felt the need to post that picture, that status or that tweet.  Words in cyberspace can cause entire empires to fall within an amount of seconds, minutes or hours. Opinion leaders are often under a great deal of scrutiny because of what they express on their social media sites. This generation can reach out to millions of people via Twitter and Facebook, but they can use words to tear down those same millions. It is important to always use wisdom when you are an opinion leader or public figure.  As you become a public figure, remember to engage in causes you believe in, engage with your fan-base, and always enjoy what you do.

-Shenika(The #1 Public Figure aka THE Ms. Communicator)

*The image above is no-way affiliated with or own by this blog or SRW Ent.

I’m BACK…Let’s play ‘Follow the Leader”!

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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen….

Guess….

Who’s

BACK!

I am so happy to be re-starting my professional blog for COM 6610 class! I have missed doing this professional blog and being able to talk about all types of subjects dealing with media, communication and everything else in between. The first week of my COM 6610 Leadership and Media Strategies class has already started and thus, this is my first blog post for this course. I will post weekly blog posts for this class, so expect to see nine blog posts for me. After the class is over, I will take the blog over from there. Now that I got all of the housekeeping matters over with, let’s get into, shall we?

As I have stated before, this is the first week of my COM 6610 course. During this first week, the class had to discuss the topic of the “Asset-Light Generation” and the “Diffusion of Innovation Theory”.  Allow me to break down the meaning of each of these terms.  The Diffusion of Innovation Theory is a process where the general public decides to follow new trends, or innovations, and deems them as suitable, knowledgeable, or helpful. There are exactly five steps that are involved in this theory:

  • Knowledge
  • Persuasion
  • Decision
  • Implementation
  • Confirmation

Each of these five steps helps you decide on whether to partake or follow behind a new innovation.  I am sure that each of you can think of at least one person who refuses to follow trends or is always the last person to get ‘hip’ to stuff. By the way, you can add me to that list of late-comers. I am little late when it comes to new music, trends, fashion and social media. Trust me, once I find out about stuff, I become an instant expert! One thing that I learned is that those late-comers are referred to as the ‘late majority’ within the confines of the Diffusion of Innovation Theory.  The innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and the laggards are different classifications of groups that are involved with the Diffusion of Innovation Theory.

This is a very expansive theory and as I continue to write this blog, it will continue to get more expansive.  I know you are thinking, ‘what about the Asset Light Generation that she mentioned earlier?’ Well, my new media advanced friend, you asked that question at the right moment. The Asset Light Generation is the Millennial generation. It is my generation. This term refers to the 20-something with a smart phone in one hand and a tablet in the other.  Basically, it is this tech savvy new generation that are the new innovators of this time.  I am sure you are wondering how the Diffusion of Innovations Theory and the Asset Light Generation are similar to each other.  Like I mentioned before, the Asset Light Generation is this world’s new innovators. Everywhere you turn, it is another social media site that popped up. The iPhone 5 has become outdated and by the time you decide to purchase the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, 8, 9 and 10 have already been mass produced. It is a different world than it was thirty years ago. About 30 years ago, the scholars of old could not have even dreamed that one day the majority of college students will be taking online courses, let alone going to school online for their degrees. We all are following the Asset Light Generation as they take us “to infinity and beyond”. If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I am a huge Disney fan and if you are not watching, I will sneak a movie line or two past you. ;-D All jokes aside, every generation is playing ‘follow the leader” right behind the Asset Light Generation. This generation is setting up new technologies to better the world around us. Newer, bigger, brighter, and better things are happening because of the fresh innovative ideas that are pouring from the minds of that generation.  The Diffusion of Innovations Theory comes into play every time the Asset Light Generation decides to test-drive their innovations out on the public. You solely decide whether to be a part of the new trends or to distance yourself far, far, and I meant FAR away from them. This is where those 5 different groups come into play. You will always have your inventors of new trends (the innovators), those that immediately follow them (the early adopters), the general public that is getting ‘hip’ to said trends (the early majority), those that fall behind on trends (late majority) and those that refuse to follow those trends (the laggards).  Each of you that is reading this blog know where you stand within those five groups. As I mentioned earlier, I consider myself to be part of the late majority group. It is not that I do not know the latest songs or missed out on the latest fashion craze. The reason I place myself in that category is the simple fact that I choose to ignore certain trends. Some trends I have been seeing in fashion, technology, media and music I like. Some of those trends I do not want to emulate.  For a 23 year graduate student, I am pretty old school, aren’t I? ;-D

I enjoyed learning, reading and researching the Diffusion of Innovations Theory. Whether you realize it or not, this theory is being used every day. Every new trend that comes around goes through those five steps that I mentioned earlier on in this blog. This is how trends are considered to be either timeless or just a ‘flash in a pan.’ As someone who wants to pursue a career in PR/Media and Entertainment, I will be able to use this theory. I will tuck this away in my arsenal of academic knowledge. I will be able to utilize this theory in any situation I find myself in. Let’s just say, I enjoy having the upper hand when it comes to trends, innovations, and technology. 😉

-Shenika(THE Ms. Communicator…she’s baaaccckkk!)

*Author’s note: The image above does not belong to the Ms. Communicator blog.*