Fall #5

I have a black thumb when it comes to design. That why when my students create persuasive infographics it’s always one of my favorite parts of the term. Students always go beyond what they thought they were capable of with this assignment, including the ones, like me who would rather vomit than arrange something.

One of my all-time favorite student infographics was from the first term I taught, created by Kimberly Chin (UO ’14), now an account manager for the Oregon Media Group (The Oregonian | OregonLive) in Portland. It’s simple, arresting and unusually leads with the call to action.


Last spring, some strong student examples included two about the environment –  Keala Verigan’s on e-waste and Sarah Arnell’s on textile waste – and Haley Dowell’s on racial disparities in the U.S. prison population and one on movie ratings.

I can’t wait to see what students come up with this term.

Just for fun: Can you identify the design theme of each of the typewriter infographics in this post?

And here’s your (non-infographic) insPiRation:

Foreign policy…
Why do Diplomats Use This Alien WhatsApp Emoji for Vladimir Putin? (The Guardian)
Beyond the sheer “whoa” factor in this article, what does this trend mean for diplomacy communication? Can you see other ways diplomats could use social media to build consensus and support for their messages? Is there something seamy about this or is this just another example of technology changing communication?

Fans’ Favorite Live Sports Requirement? Bandwidth (CNN)
How could sports teams capitalize on these findings to improve their relationship with their publics?

Cosmetics & Skin Care…
Women Doing Their Makeup on the Train Are ‘Ugly,’ Says Japanese Commercial (The Washington Post)
How did an awareness campaign about train etiquette by Tokyu Corp. go so wrong? Do you think the company did its audience research? Since people may have no choice but to ride Tokyo’s trains to work, does the damage to the company’s brand matter?

Ad & PR…Lifestyle…
IKEA Strategy Ditches the Dream Home for the Daily Grind (The New York Times)
The articles says society will like IKEA’s new inclusive message – what do you think? Should brands’s PR and ad strategies evolve to fit the zeitgeist? Will IKEA’s brand be penalized for a lack of consistency or embraced by audiences?

Connections to a Cause: The Millennial Way of Charity (The New York Times)
What do the trends discussed in this article mean for nonprofits’ PR efforts? Specifically, how does this statement – “Millennials expect transparency, sophisticated storytelling and technical savvy from their charitable organizations” – either dovetail or not align with PR trends today? How can PR professionals use awareness, attitude and action to square with the fact that “millennials tend to view their gifts, financial or otherwise, as a lifestyle choice on par with work and consumer spending”?

Courtesy of Pinterest

Courtesy of Pinterest

Branding lessons from Beyoncé (Ragan)
What lessons can all PR practitioners take from the Queen Bey? Why are some musicians more PR savvy than others and does it matter?

How Female Fans Made ‘Star Wars’ Their Own (The New York Times)
Women have been an integral part of Star Wars fandom since the start, but how is social media changing things? Will Lucasfilms embrace its female audience? Can female audiences effect change in male-dominated industries thanks to social media? How does this build on the controversy over a lack of Rey dolls?

Jeremy Clarkson and James May of ‘The Grand Tour’ on Why Millennials Aren’t Into Cars (Mashable)
Do you agree with their assessment? Based on what they said, how can auto brands reach out to engage Millennials?

Courtesy of Michael Sandberg's Data Visualization Blog

Courtesy of Michael Sandberg’s Data Visualization Blog

Volkswagen Parts Ways With the Historian Who Chronicled Its Nazi Past (The New York Times)
As a PR practitioner, would you have recommended that Volkswagen handled this differently? Could Volkswagen benefit from radical transparency? How does the emissions scandal play into issues of public trust for Volkswagen?

Courtesy of infographicsite.com

Courtesy of infographicsite.com

Hey, Looks Like Americans Are Finally Eating More Fish (NPR)
So the numbers are up, which is good for our collective health. But note the end of the story which discusses how confusing messages about seafood’s sustainability and health risks have limited the gains in fish consumption. If you were advising the National Fisheries Institute or USDA, what PR strategies and tactics might your recommend to capitalize on this uptick in fish consumption? How can PR pros help get more Americans to eat the “magic number of 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week”?

Food… Fashion…
Neiman Marcus Sells Collard Greens for $66, and the Internet Mockery Explodes (The Washington Post)
I’m not sure who is buying food from Neiman Marcus, let alone $66 collard greens. So why is a fashion retailer wading into food sales? What audiences is it trying to reach – and how did this backfire? Or will it really have any effect – are the people who buy $66 collard greens online hip to issues of cultural appropriation? What should PR practitioners think about when it comes to food and audiences’ identities?






























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