Coming ‘Round the Bend

My students’ blogs are really hitting their strides. It’s about to be Week 7 in our 10-week term, and their blogs are showing it. The writing is more focused, more on point… students are seeing the PR angles in their topics, and developing a sense of voice and pace. At the start of the term blogging intimidates some of them, but now many say it’s actually not so bad (and even fun). A large piece of Strategic Writing & Communication is for students to develop a personal brand related to PR through blogging, social media and other class assignments. Some of it’s personal and some of it’s for hypothetical clients. All of it helps them differentiate themselves to future employers. In fact, in Ragan’s 4 Ways Students Can Land PR Internships, three of the four ways are things students in J452 practice: gain practical knowledge even when you don’t have experience, give cover letters your best efforts and know the industry. And I’d argue it teaches them how to do the fourth – do your homework – as well. See, J452 students, I wasn’t kidding: The whole class will help you get ahead.

So here’s this week’s insPiRation. Get to it!

Typewriter displayed at UO's Psychology Department

Typewriter displayed at UO’s Psychology Department

No One Wants to Go to DiBlasio’s Birthday Party (The New York Post)
What should PR pros do when an event itself creates bad PR? How do events planned long in advance fit strategically when conditions change?

Clean Air Agency Informs Through Content Curation (Ragan)
What makes the Northwest Clean Air Agency’s brand journalism strategy so smart? What can other environmental governmental agencies learn from it?

Race… Ad & PR…Fashion…
Old Navy Ad Features Interracial Family, Internet Responds in Worst Way, Best Way (The Oregonian)
John McCain’s Son to the ‘Ignorant Racists’ Criticizing an Old Navy Ad With an Interracial Couple: “Eat It” (The Washington Post)
How would you respond (if at all) if you worked for Old Navy’s PR team? Does this help or hurt Old Navy’s brand?

Race…TV & Cinema…
#Broadway So Diverse (Mashable)
What can Hollywood learn from Broadway? How should Broadway capitalize on this to attract new audiences and build its brand?

Women in Tech Band Together to Track Diversity, After Hours (The New York Times)
How is this group trying to raise awareness, change attitudes and spark action? How does Silicon Valley’s lack of diversity hurt its PR efforts with internal and external audiences?

Instagram’s New Business Profiles Spotted in the Wild (Mashable)
How will these changes to Instagram change PR?

Tech… sports…
Inside NBC Sports’ Snapchat Plans for the Kentucky Derby (Digiday)
Discuss how using Snapchat will change coverage of the Kentucky Derby. What new audiences is NBC Sports trying to reach?

College sports… sports…
Why We’re Leaving the Football Arms Race (Inside Higher Ed)
How do you think this move will help or hurt the University of Idaho with its constituents? What do you think of Chuck Staben’s communication?

Fashion… Ad & PR…
Gap Baffles NASA Fans by Featuring Space Shuttle in Ad About 1969 (Ad Week)
Why is it important to get your facts right in today’s social media universe/world? Do you think Gap is covering a flub or just made a mistake? Why is it important to make sure your images and words make sense when put together?

Fashion… aviation….
Women Pilots at Qantas No Longer Have to Wear Uniforms Made for Men (Mashable)
Why do you think Qantas told this story to Vogue Australia? How might this play with female travelers and future Qantas pilots? How can fashion be part of a brand’s PR efforts?

Study Concludes That Inequality Between Economy and First Class Leads to “Air Rage” (Discover)
How might airlines respond to this news? In today’s world, is first class a good PR idea or not?

Women’s fitness..
Breast and Body Changes Are Driving Girls Out of Sports (The New York Times)
According to a new study, teenage girls begin to drop out of sports as they develop breasts (surprise). But what is (really) new, is that doctors say something should be done to inform girls about breast health and development, including design school-based programs to teach girls about sports bras. How might you approach this if you were in charge of PR for this effort? What is interesting from a PR standpoint about how girls said they wanted to receive information?

6 Ways Yogi Jessamyn Stanley is Making the Yoga World Rethink the Word ‘Fat‘ (Well +Good)
Jessamyn Stanley Gets Really Real About Yoga Stereotypes and the Word “Fat’ (Shape Magazine)
How is this “Instagram sensation” changing the conversation about women’s fitness? Would this have been possible before social media? How and why do fitness brands ignore a huge part of their audience?

Is Your Nonprofit Blog Missing Your Organization’s Best Stories? (Pritchard Communications)
No, I didn’t pay Mac Pritchard to write this. Seriously, how can nonprofits use blogs to their advantage? What other ideas do you have? What have you learned from blogging this term that you think would help nonprofits tell their stories?

Travel… Beverage… Wine.. (Beyond PR)
The Press Release Must-Have to Reach Food and Travel Influencers (Beyond PR)
What do you think about these ideas? How might a winery, craft brewery, coffee shop or adventure travel company use some of these tips to engage audiences?


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