Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Media Coverage Report #8

America's National Parks: The South / Sarra Sedhi - March 9

This article is a photo summary of America's national parks in the south. This article is written and published side by side with the centennial of the national parks service creation. The article's intention is to inform people about parks in America in places such as The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, Mammoth Cave, and Tennessee.

This article could be beneficial for our client because it gives great information to our audience about what parks they may be interested in. Even though it's not endorsed by REI, this article could be a great resource for us to direct our audience to. Moreover, it could also be a great resource for our employees or team members to check out.

The Pro Snowboarder's Workout / By Equinox - March 9

This article published in Yahoo! Health explains steps and guides to maintain and curate a perfect snowboarder's workout and physicality. They use a professional (Kelly Clark, three time Olympic medalist) to focus on certain skills.

This could be a great resource for REI because they might consider using a similar spokesperson or idea in order to promote snowboarding and therein their snowboarding gear. With such a warm season for the Northwest in regards to this activity, it may be a good idea to promote the health benefits of snowboarding, piggy backing on the idea of this article.

Snowboarding Takes A Slide In Popularity: Experts Unfazed / Lisa Rathke - March 9

This article attempts to sum up the last ski season. Taking information from ski resort and retail industries, the author pinpoints that sales have gone down at least 28 percent from 2003-2013, with a huge boom preceding that time period in the 1990s to early 200's. This year, the lack of snow and warm whether has not helped.

This article is useful for our client because it's important market research. Our client, though probably already aware of the changing whether from previous market research, should be aware that snowboarding is not only affected negatively by warm whether but also its phases of age. In this article, it pegs snowboarding as having already passed through a "maturity" phase - meaning sales will probably only continue to drop in retail locations as interest wanes.

New Hiking Movies May Overcrowd Appalachian Trail; Registration Sought / March 9 - Ad Crable

This article explained how recent movies like "Wild" and "A Walk In The Woods," have launched a large interest in outdoors activity; specifically hiking. These movies focus on the Appalachian trail, therefore the registration for such trails has been filling up unusually fast.

This is good information for our client because it's good to know that more business is potentially coming to REI. Moreover, it's good audience research to know that a certain type of person responds positively to movies such as the ones listed.

Canoeing and Kayaking Around The World: Readers' Travel Tips / Curated by The Guardian - March 5

This article has five curated locations across the world dubbed as the best locations to go kayaking or canoeing. Each location gives information to websites and information for viewers to learn more.

This could potentially be beneficial for our client because they might need to be knowledgeable about potential questions our audience members may ask. If they're being informed about these locations, perhaps our team members can be informed about what sort of gear is necessary for specific areas.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chapter 16 / Chapter 18 / Chapter 21

Chapter 16

Chapter 16 covers meetings and events. This chapter is pretty basic, in that everything it describes is exactly what you would think. It first goes on to describe what a meeting is and what the basic things a person should do before they have a meeting, including things such as: wiring (literally seeing if the wiring works), meeting identification (if people can find where it is), lighting (if the lighting is good), charts (literally if people can read the charts), and screens (if people can read the screens). Once you have taken five minutes to see if the meeting space you chose isn’t on fire, you’re ready to have a meeting.
            Past the basic “meeting place requirements,” the chapter explains types of meeting such as open houses and tours. These must include convenient times and places, have parking available, consider restroom occupancy, guests, and safety. Facilitators should also consider emergency procedures for these specific places.

Chapter 18

            Chapter 18 covers entertainment, sports, and tourism. These are multi-billion dollar companies that generate huge business and tourism. Though large amounts of PR professionals were needed to cover and facilitate advertising and planning for such events in the past, now with new ways of media usage, the PR professional team has increased. Tactics include events such as: movies, concerts, sporting events, travel, stunts, and more.
            Usually for large events, advertising is down slowly. This is called a “drip by drip” tactic, where information is released at a steady pace as the event approaches. For example, an event could be planned for March of next year. In April, the event would show up on the sponsored area’s calendars, yet advertisement probably wouldn’t happen till December of next year.

Chapter 21

Chapter 21 covers nonprofit, health, and educational organizations. Covered in the previous week’s reading, this chapter now focuses on the tactics best used by PR professionals who are in this specific organization. These specific tactics include: lobbying, litigation, mass demonstrations, boycotts, reconciliation, publicity, creation of events, use of services, creation of educational metarials, and news letters.
            Lobying,as described in the previous chapter before, is the act of persuading government officials toward a certain stance on a pseicic issue. This is done at the local and state government levels. For example, a lobbyist could take an official out to lunch and attempt to talk about their desired issue.
            Litigation is the  act of filing law suits seeking court rulings in favor to t their projects – or these filings could be to block competitive projects.
            Mass demonstrations are essentially self explanatory – large gatherings in support for a cause.
            Boycotts are like mass demonstrations, only they have more effect. Sometimes these effects last for years but other have little evidence of success.
            Reconciliation is the act of covering your mistakes and then improving on your original form to make it look like an organization is doing better than it ever has.
            Publicity is having news media provide accessible channels for audience members to view information about your organization.
            Creation of events is pretty self explanatory. This is the creation of certain events to attract crowds and make news.
            Use of services increases overall public awareness – this encourages the public and families to use the organization’s services as well.
            Creation of education materials requires public relations representatives to spend their time preparing educational, help book, or otherwise tutorial-like materials to educate the public.
            News letters are used to help post bulletins to the public, either monthly or quarterly.


Chapter 19 / Chapter 20

Chapter 19

Chapter 19 goes over politics and government and Public Relation’s involvement in such affairs. The chapter defines what PR organizations are involved with government. It defines PR professional’s roles to actively promote their services, orchestrate fundraising, help develop long range plans and visions, implement campaigns that address social issues, assist with smooth daily operations or crisis management, and spread news of success or crises. Essentially, all these actions involve public relation officials to spread information of governmental policies and/or changes.
            The chapter then dissects different types of government starting from federal and going to local. The chapter starts at federal describing its use of communication. Federal agencies employ PR processionals to help embed journalists, recruit, and a plethora of other policy-promoting techniques.  In the united states, federal agencies are not allowed to persuade public.
            State agencies are then briefly mentioned by the chapter. The state agencies are briefly made up to look like agencies that hire public relations professionals to change the image of their state to
            The chapter then steps down a notch to describe local government’s use of communication. The local government, as stated by the reading, has multiple departments. All of which hire specialist to deploy information to citizens about the services they provide. These communication teams also work to make the city look smarter and sharper – these tactics can include sign design, public meeting coordination, etc.
            Lobbying is also a profession that PR professionals can go into. Lobbying is the act of influencing a political issue – lobbyists are hired to influence political officials to see into and pay interest to specific issues. The chapter defines lobbying as a “formal process” closely aligned with corporate and organizational governmental relations.  In the united states, lobbying represents the interest of business, education, religion, local, national, and government pursuits.

Chapter 20

            Chapter 20 covers public relations on a global scale. This chapter also highlights the fact that PR has evolved so heavily with the invention of internet, that it’s easy more accessible for PR professionals to have access to jobs that relate to high developed functions in the industrialized nations of the world. However, PR jobs have more opportunities in countries that are multiparty political systems, relatively free press, considerable private ownership of business and industry, have large scale urbanization plans, and relatively high per capita income levels.
            The chapter lists some key countries that have high need for people seeking PR jobs in global relations. The chapter first starts with Brazil – being the largest South American nation, it has a matured business market and has a high need for PR professionals. Jumping over to the Middle East, Dubai is becoming a popular destination for many global PR firms. Countries in this area, however, have a low literacy rate. Turkey also has a large economy and modern communication infrastructure. I particularly liked this case study because my close friend recently went back to Turkey after studying there for about five years. She’s now going on a global reputation internship.

            The chapter then defines some language and cultural differences including: Power distance (how tolerant a society is), individualism (pits loyalty to one’s self against loyalty to a larger group), uncertainty avoidance (measures how well a society tolerates ambiguity), masculinity / femininity (contrasts competitiveness with compassion and nurturing), and long term versus short term orientation (measuring society’s willingness to consider the tradition of the past).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Media Coverage Report #7

REI Employee Paralyzed Riding Faulty REI Brand Bicycle - Levi Pulkkinen / Feb 19th

This article spotlights a former REI information technology employee named James Osborne. Osborne was riding on his REI brand bike five years ago when it fell a part beneath him, paralyzing him for life.

This could be a potential crisis for REI. If not handled correctly, REI could have a bad name not only with their products but with the way they deal with individuals with disabilities.

National Park Service to Give Fourth Graders Free Admission - Michele Richinick / Feb 20

This article explains President Obama's new mission to grant 4th graders free admission to over 2,000 national parks services over the U.S. This initiative is called the "Every Kid In A Park" initiative.

This could be useful to REI because our client may want to start branding to a new audience - parents and kids. With the ability to get kids into parks easier, parents may be more keen to take family vacations because it will be costing them less. This could inform REI's future campaigns.

USC Ski and Snowboard soars in Redbull Competition - Malorie McCall / Feb 23rd

This article describes a ski and snowboard competition which pits eight collegians against each other in an extreme snow sport competition.

This could be a potential opportunity for REI to team up with redbull. A large audience for REI's consumers are college students interested in extreme sports such as included in the festival Red Bull is putting on here.

5 Months of Appelachain Trail Challenges, Changes Hiker - Dessisilava Yonkova / Feb 23rd

This article published by USA today spotlights a hiker's experience hiking the Applachian Trail for five months. The spotlight includes his trial and tribulations, including his worse point of survival to the highlights of the trail.

This could potentially be an opportunity for REI. REI could consider teaming up with someone to do a spotlight on a hiking trip, and include product placement with REI's brand or brands that are affiliated with REI.

National Parks Services Map Shows The Loudest and Quietest Places in the US - Natasha Geiling / Feb 23

This article is a spotlight of the National Parks Service's recent distribution of a map that shows the loudest and quietest places in the US. The map represents 1.5 million hours of sound data collected from 546 parks.

This could be a potential opportunity for REI to expand their locations. Based on this map, REI could potentally evaluate where to target their products or even their new stores. It could be useful for REI to inform their employees where their audiences are going to hike.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chapter 10 / Supplemental Readings

Chapter 10

Chapter ten revolves around conflict management. The chapter begins by describing the key components for conflict management-  these components are strategic, managements, competition, and conflict. The strategic component defines the purpose of achieving certain objectives. The management component defines planned action. The competition component defines competitors who are aiming toward the same goal. The conflict component defines a sharp disagreement or opposition that results in a threat from another competitor.
            Then, the chapter describes the factors that these components can be made up of. The chapter splits these factors into two categories: external and internal. The definitions being pretty obvious because of their name, the chapter lists some examples. Eternal factors include: external threats, political environment, and public opinion / characteristic. Internal factors include: internal threats, corporation characteristics, management’s characteristics, and personality characteristics.
            After defining the key components and what make the components of conflict management, the chapter then goes into the use of conflict management. The chapter describes this use as a life cycle. The cycle has a six step process: environmental scanning, risk communication, conflict positioning, crisis communication, conflict resolution, and reputation management. Environmental scanning is the analysis of current affairs. Risk communication is the analyzing of dangers and threats, which could include organizations or environmental factors. Conflict positioning is the ability to place your organization in a favorable position for public viewing. Crisis communication is the understanding of a crisis plan if one should ever occur. Conflict resolution is the ability to turn a conflict around and make it beneficial for a company. Finally, reputation management is the research used to learn about the organizations reputation.
            The chapter then describes some basic steps for managing crises or predicting them – which all seemed pretty redundant and like common sense. It then provided some strategies for addressing conflict, which seemed like something that could potentially be useful in class. These included: Attack the accuser, denial, making excuses, demanding justification, ingratiation (changing something to appease to the public involved) corrective action (steps taken to repair actions that are done) or a complete apology (however, we were instructed that this should almost never be used). In order to address these strategies, it is necessary to know the foundations of an organizations reputation: economic performance, social responsiveness, and the ability to deliver valuable outcomes to stakeholders.  The chapter also pinpoints some other minor strategies to recover reputation, which include reviewing policies, hiring other that make the organization look good, and improve governance structure.

Supplemental Reading

Chapter 1

This reading covered crisis communications and pegged this communication into four different categories: media relations (building positive relations with the media) community relations (building positive relations with leaders), employee relations (building positive relations with staff) and consumer relations (building positive relations with customers). There are several different tactics to each relation, ranging from pitch letters, media tours, open houses, emails, and return policies.  The chapter also provides crises prevention tips for each of these categories, that include following up on past crises or reducing the amount of hazards that happen.

Chapter 2

This chapter goes beyond crises communication and focuses on crisis communication theory. IT pegs two different significant theories: diffusion theory and apologia theory. Diffusion theory involves a five-step process of awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. Apologia theory involves a three-step process of redefinition, dissociation, and conciliation. Both of which involve similar steps, yet different qualities and success rates.

Chapter 3

This chapter goes over the steps to communicating a process. It defines six steps that are pretty much self-explanatory. These steps include: keep the old customers, attract new customers, market new services and products, handle complaints swiftly, educate customers, and organize out reach programs.

Chapter 4

This chapter ascribes tasks to when a crisis happens.  The results of a crisis may put an organization out of business, loses image, or is seen more favorably than before. There are four stages to a crisis: breaking the news, details become available, analysis of what happened, and remembrances.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Media Coverage Report #6

Poler Stuff Connects Outdoor Culture and Action Sports - Tim Newcomb / Feb 17

This article showcases Poler Stuff's new product. This product combines innovation, utility, and fashion with a sleeping bag that can also act as a jacket. The sleeping bag is designed to be appropriately warm for campers and is aimed at outdoor audiences.

This is good information for REI because it's beneficial to know what new products are out there. Additionally, this lets REI know what companies are trying to be innovative in their products - perhaps Poler Stuff's could provide REI with a new opportunity for partnership.

Apple Pay Will Be Supported By The National Park Service - Brandon Russell / Feb 13

This article explains how Apple Pay is now being supported by the National Parks Services. Apple Pay is an application that allows users to connect and transfer money from bank accounts to bank accounts. Now, Apple Pay will allow passes from National Parks Services to be valid via smart phones.

This is potentially beneficial to our client because it opens up an entirely new opportunity for partnership with REI. Apple is a large company that focuses on computer software - but now they're reaching over into outdoor activity territory, this could potentially be a good partnership opportunity for REI.

Miraval Launches Spring Hiking Week March 23-28 - Craig Oliver / Feb 16

This article explains how Miraval is launching a sprink hiking week, starting the 23rd of March and ending the 28th. This week provides guests with a list of hikes that are ranked for difficulty.

This could be a potential opportunity for REI. Our client could potentially team up with Miravel Resort in order to back this even. Further, REI could potentially host an event of their own like a hiking week, providing their customers with detailed lists of local hikes.

Tiny Munising Gets Big Boost From Ice Climbing Festival - Amanda Monthei / Feb 11

This article explains how the small town of Munising gets huge attention during an ice climbing festival.

This could potentially be an opportunity for REI because the article pinpoints a large boom in interest of ice climbing in a specific area. REI could potentially partner with some organization in Munising to get thier products bought or their name out there.

VIDEO: Sea Lion Pup Hitches Ride With Family While Kayaking - Fox Websdesk / Feb 17

This video shows a sea lion pup catching a ride with a kayaking family. The video ended up going viral and reaching thousands of people.

This could potentially be a good marketing opportunity for REI. REI could consider using viral videos with cute animals in the outdoors to advertise, or advertising by attempting to create viral videos with cute animals in them while using their products in the videos.

Chapter 13 / Supplemental Readings

Chapter 13

                Chapter 13 covers the internet and social media in regards to public relations workers. This chapter serves as a sort of addendum to previously established PR functions, such as printing, effectiveness, cost effectiveness, speed of information, or format.
                Since the introduction of the internet as a format of media relations, PR professionals have gained the ability to communicate faster and at lower budget. For example, the internet now allows PR professionals to update any information that could potentially be wrong within seconds, as opposed to reprinting materials such as newspapers or brochures.  Further, the internet created a new format of media interaction – now allowing the audience to interact with each other in a way they never had been able to before.  As the internet develops as a tool for advertising, it’s becoming easier to target niche audiences and markets with tools such as targeted marketing based on search history.
                The chapter then evolves from the establishment of the internet to the establishment of smartphones. Smartphones also increased the ability of PR professionals because of its accessibility to the audience. Smartphones allow PR professionals to interact with audience members and gain specific information from them. This can be done using apps. The most popular apps in the smartphone realm include: e-mail, web, facebook, games, news, and social media formats. Further, this chapter goes on to explore the importance of twitter.
                The chapter sets out guidelines for twitter etiquette. As a twitter user who joined before the media platform gained headway, I found this funny. The chapter decided that tweets should avoid bullets, a plethora of tweets in a row, and boring messages. I agree with all of these attributes and use them in my twitter use, as well.

New Rules – Chapter 1

This chapter of the supplemental reading starts off with an anecdote revolving around the purchasing of a new car. The author was kicking around the idea of purchasing a new vehicle, but when he went online to observe the options from major companies, he felt barraged by messages that seemed to be created in focus groups and lab studies. Rather, the author found that audience-based media platforms were better for the casual car purchaser.
                Then, the chapter goes on to clarify that the web has increased the number of formats and options that organizations can have. Before the web “organizations had only two significant options for attracting attention: buy expensive advertising or get third-party ink from the media.” The web has opened up new rules and new abilities to target niche audiences.

New Rules – Chapter 2

                This chapter started off with the author telling a story of how his wife responded to a twitter follower’s tweet revolving around a hotel in the arctic. Because of this tweet, the author and his wife decided to book the hotel that was previously mentioned. This is a great segue into how the “new rules” of PR mesh into this audience interactive experience.
                The chapter then explains the evolution of these rules. It starts off with the creation of the “printing press,” which the author describes as “freeing” for people, as a mass amount of information was able to be communicated to a lot of people at once.

                Marketing is the focus of the latter half of the chapter. The marketing theories explained focus on the theory of the “Long Tail,” which explains how marketing for the web can focus on targeting audience members to specific products that they may not even know they needed or wanted. These audiences are called “undeserved audiences,” and the method is widely used by Amazon.