Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Media Coverage Report #3

Minneapolis Parks and Rec Close Outdoor Skating Rinks Due To Warm Weather, Local, Jan 27

This article explains how local skating rinks are shutting down due to warm weather. Across Minnesota, several trucks have already fallen through the ice.

This article is important for our client because our client has merchandise that depends on season. This is showing that perhaps retail in places such as Minnesota should consider switching over from winter gear to gear related with warmer activities.

Mid-Winter Warmth Blanketing the Dakotas, Breaking Records, Associated Press, Jan 27

This article explains how record warm temperatures are hitting the dakotas. While a blizzard is slamming hte north east, the Dakotas are experiencing weather that is too warm, forcing them to shut down their local ice skating rinks.

This article is important for our client because our client has merchandise that depends on season. Furthermore, our client should take into consideration the previous article. It seems that the climate and season is having a pattern of changing and perhaps they should consider re-branding and re-marketing for certain areas of climate change.

Watch Skrillex's 90-minute-Set for X-Games in Aspen, Ryan Middleton, Jan 26

This article states that Skrillex played a 90-minute set for the winter X games in Aspen. It explains how Skrillex was hired in hopes to court 18-25 year olds to the X-games this year

This is good research for our client, REI, because it shows how these winter sports are targeting their audiences. The winter X games, focusing on snowboarding and skiing, is targeting 18-25 year olds and more specifically those interested in Electric Dance Music (EDM). This could influence marketing tactics or branding for our client, as the each set for the X-games included EDM and rap artists.

NHL Announces 2016 Outdoor Games in Boston, Minnesota, and Denver. Greg Whyshnyski, Jan 24

This article explains that information about the 2016 outdoor games has been leaked, and that the NFL decided to formally announce where their hockey games would be held.

This is useful for our client in regards to confirmation on planning the location of their marketing campaigns. This informs REI that they should look to potentially opening retail opportunities or advertising opportunities in the areas of Boston, Minnesota, and Denver.

Outdoor Recreation in Washington Generates $21.6 Billion Each Year, Jeffrey Mayor - Jan 24

This article explains the effect outdoor recreation has on Washington's economy. Essentially, the money that is raked in from outdoor activities is spent on in-state travel, out-of-state travel, and parks & reacreation fees.

This article is useful to our client because it informs them of what demographics are coming to where (in-state and out-of-state to Washington), what they are coming for (parks & recreation), and when that time is activated. In this article, it is argued that the time period for making the most money is summer.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chapter 5 / Chapter 6

Chapter Five

To make public relations effective, research is the first step.  There are four steps to this process (Research, Planning, Communication, and Measurement), however Chapter five covers research, its function, and the importance of said function.
Research in the public relations realm is all about gathering information that is reliable and rightfully accessible.  Public Relations affiliates gather research for a wide spread of different projects.  Because the nature of the projects are so different, research is therein used in a multitude of different ways. For example, research is used to: gain credibility with management, define what audience the organization is marketing for, come up with a strategy, test messages, help the organization stay in touch with their audiences, crisis management, competition monitoring, influence the public opinion, generate publicity, or to measure success.
In order to assess what type of research needs to be done for certain projects, people in PR positions have a list of questions that they ask, which include: what the problem is, what kind of information is needed based on that problem, how will the research be used, what specifically should be researched (is that public of private?), should the organization hire within the organization or outside the organization to do research, how will the data be reported, how soon does the organization need the data, and finally how much it will cost.
There are three different types of research that the chapter lists: secondary, qualitative, and quantitative. Secondary research is the analysis of data that is otherwise collected by a party that is not the organization. For example, this can range anywhere from an archive of files to data from news articles to online searches to books. Qualitative research defines the analysis of behavior tendencies in an audience. This includes the perceptions of their audience. Usually, these are conducted in surveys to their audiences, and are useful for assessing how effective an organizations messages are. Quantitative research relies on hard evidence to define an organization’s success. This means that they use numbers to explore the success of sales. For example, analyzing who bought what can define a demographic.

Chapter Six

Chapter six describes program planning, and cleverly puts “before you start any serious action in public relations, you must have a plan.” Which also ironically is the motto for any college student aspiring to graduate and get a job, however they generally do not actually create a plan.
The chapter describes a couple approaches to planning, which include an analysis of research. These analyses include: client/employer objectives, audience/publics, audience objectives, media channels, media channel objectives, communication strategies, essence of the message, and nonverbal support. Essentially, an analysis of the entire satiation is needed before going into a plan.
The book also provides a model for strategic planning. This model breaks down the planning process into four categories: facts, goals, audience, and key message. Facts define what trends are happening, what significant characteristics of the product stand out, and who the competitors are. Goals describe the managerial objectives, the role of public relations, and the sources of new business. Audience defines the organization’s target audience, their current, and desired mindset. The key message is the main point of the plan.

The chapter then describes the basic elements to a successful plan: situation, objectives, audience, strategy, tactics, calendar/timetable, budget, and evaluation.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Media Coverage Report #2

New Southern Resident Orca Calf Is a Girl - Jan. 9th, 

This article explains how there is a new resident Orca Calf in the PNW.

This is beneficial information for REI in the PNW because of the information that this endangered species has a new and accessible offspring. With many pictures already, this article could boost travel to San Juan Islands along with kayaking and picture exploring activities.

Outdoor Retailer Show have generated nearly $500 billion in SLC Spending - Jan. 20th,  Brett Prettyman

This article summarizes the outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City. A coveted event, this market displays all the up and coming gear for winter activities.

This event is important to our client, REI, because it highlights not only the next big things to be sold to our audiences, but also how our audiences will react to them based on who is interested in what. It could potentially be important to keep an eye on this event and try to gain ways into the event for coming years.

Future of Outdoor Retailer Show - Jan. 21, Brady McCombs

This article came out hours after the previous one mentioned. It explains how the managers of the Outdoor Retailer Show had made a commitment in 1996 to keep the show in Salt Lake City, however now that commitment is about to expire.

This information could be beneficial to REI because of our ability to attend said convention. Further, it could be a possible opportunity to create a partnership in accordance with hosting the event.

Trex Unveils New Waterproof Outdoor Storage Collection - Jan. 20, Zack Equity Research

This article explains how Trex - an out door company - has unveiled a new line of "storage collection" cabinets. What this means is that they have unveiled a sort of water-proof and sustainable home addition / supplement.

This could potentially be beneficial to REI because our client may need to reconsider their products. Currently, REI is aimed toward outdoor activities, but perhaps because of this information they could think about directing their aim toward outdoor home supplements.

Outdoor Fun At Your Doorstep: Winter Edition - Jan. 20th, Office of Public Affairs, SLC

This article explains how the winter months could turn into a time of stuffy indoor workouts for some, but rather gives alternatives in a fun image for work outs in the winter snow.

This could potentially be beneficial to REI because of what the company is trying to focus on this season for its audience. The graphic focuses on eight different outdoor activities that SLC has chosen as the most "popular" and "Calorie burning" snow activities. Perhaps REI can shift their product advertisement and target audience toward these activities?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Chapter 3 / Chapter 12

            Chapter Three describes the ethics of decision making. One of the most poignant and common skill a PR professional can provide is their ability to make quick decisions. As chapters one and two describe what PR professionals make decisions about and their evolution, chapter three describes the ethics of said decisions.
            This chapter classifies all decision making in three different ways: absolute, existential, and situational. The chapter coins these terms as “belief systems, most of which are pulled from popular ideas of philosophers such as Kant, Mill, and Aristotle. Although they can apply to all decision making, it is important to consider these belief systems when working in a team in a Public Relations role.
            The Absolute belief system describes a system where there is a “right” and “wrong” answer. This decision describes perhaps what we might consider the “TV-PR-Person,” meaning a character who makes decisions on the fly with the utmost confidence; a powerhouse. The absolutist makes an absolute choice.
            The existentialist believes in a middle ground between decisions. Being a seemingly ineffective decision maker, the existential belief system coins a system where there are answers in what is practical and logical. Consequently, these decisions find themselves in the middle of the absolutists’ “right” and “wrong” values.
            The situational belief system is the “nicest” way of making a decision. Situationalists believe that decisions should only do what is good and cause no harm. Though this belief system is nice, it is obvious that its approach to benefit the masses could potentially be dangerous for a client.
            With these belief systems laid out, the chapter then describes a test for ethics in decision making which regards these four elements: truth, fairness, building connections, and benefit. All of these elements end up being a synthesis of the previously laid out belief systems, which is somewhat ironic because the philosopher’s those belief systems are based off of would definitely disagree with each other in said synthesis.
            Despite the general “code of ethics” in professional decision making, the chapter describes that every PR organization has its own code of ethics for belief systems.

Chapter Twelve covers how law works in public relations. The chapter begins by warning that public relations professionals should be weary of the law in regards to their work. These warnings are then described to all be in relation to legal situations such as permissions and copy rights. More specifically, the chapter points out copyright law, trade mark, libel, and invasion of privacy.
Copyright law is the idea that when something is created, it can obtain a copyright. This copyright allows for said creation to only be recreated and redistributed by the original artist or creator. Therefore, public relations professionals should be weary of taking images created from others and using them in ads as they would be illegally redistributing them.
Trademark is a little different. Instead of a copyright that protects the redistribution of a certain material, trademark protects a companies brand. For example, certain sayings or logos that represent a company could potentially be a trademark.

Libel and invasion of privacy have to do with acts committed against copyright and trademark to a company, or more specifically the penalties public relations professional can commit. Libel is enacted when a false statement is made of against or for any organization. Invasion of privacy is a false act that can be committed when information that has been specifically guarded is released. This is usually enacted when the information comes from that of a high qualifying person such as a politician or official.

Chapter 9 / Chapter 11 / Supplemental Reading

Chapter nine describes public opinion and how that functions in a mass society. The chapter gives a couple different variations of the definition “Public Opinion,” including a collective expression of many individuals’ opinion or people who have a collective interest in something. The chapter describes how public opinions are usually formed and change, describing how public opinion can only react to events, and moreover how usually large events shape public opinions.
The most significant form of opinion creation, however, is the ever-prestigious “opinion leader.” An opinion leader is generally someone who is knowledageable about an issue, but the book lists a couple different attributes of opinion leaders including: more informed than the average person, huge consumer of media, good organizers, and usually the first to be on a new idea. For example, this accurately describes pre-teen girls on twitter in 2007, which were made fun of for creating twitter accounts. In the prime time of tweets these now-teen girls have the upper hand; who is laughing now? Although these twitter account holders may be early to jump the gun on twitter and knowledgeable about that platform, they are simply “informal” opinion leaders as they have influence on their pears. This is in contrast to a “formal opinion leader” who is generally knowledgeable about issues and is an elected official.
            After depicting the type of people that create a consumer basis for opinions, the book describes the sociology of how these opinions work. The book describes several theories including the media-dependency theory, conflict theory, and agenda setting theory.
            Media dependency theory describes how media can only input about a certain subject and influence what they want the mass public to think, rather than completely control it.
            Conflict theory explains how conflict about an opinion can actually create a consensus about a certain issue.
            Agenda setting theory describes how media sets the stage for what issues they want the public to think about. Again, this is not to say that media can directly control public into thinking anything specific, just influence it. 

Chapter 11 describes the importance of acknowledging every audience that exists. Though the book focuses on some key demographics in America, it also describes how the digital revolution has forced Public Relations to take an international stance to their demographic view of an audience.
The chapter describes how different generations are affected by the evolution of technology, and how that evolution affects Public Relations. Creepily enough, the book also describes how “generation Y” will end up spending 23 years of their life online – which sort of hints that everyone in my immediate friend group is going to turn into a cyborg. In contrast, the “baby boomer” generation is listed as a highly multi-cultural generation (because of immigration from World War II) that has a track record for being large consumers. On what seems like a side note, the book mentions that “emerging” groups include religion, homosexuals, disabled, and women.
The chapter describes how each of these groups has a specific buying power. It then goes on to describe how this buying power may relate to a PR professional. For example, a team may be coordinated toward a certain demographic by considering how each demographic uses language, understands cultural back ground, and have an ability to represent an audience.

The reading on canvas is entitled "Supplemental Reading: Agenda Setting, Priming, and Framing Revisited."This reading describes how construction of a reality by large masses can affect how we set our “agendas” or essentially plans to affect said audiences.
The reading describes this by giving a sort of flow chart starting with Agenda Building. Agenda building is considered a dependent variable on how the audience reacts. It creates agenda setting and therein sets the stage for priming.
Priming essentially describes how certain opinions are judged by the mass media – more specifically, this reading describes these opinions set toward respected officials such as presidents, leaders, or political figures.

            Framing is described a sort of “background information” to all agendas and priming. Framing is classified as the “central story” or idea that an agenda or opinion came from. Frame setting is not to be confused with agenda setting – frame setting is an independent variable where one would pose an issue that actually happens and it would get a reaction, where as agenda setting would influence a certain issue.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Media Coverage Report #1

Solange and Her Hubby Were About That Camping Life For New Years by Stacy Ann-Ellis, Vibe Magazine, 1/1/14

This article explains Solange's (Beyonce's sister) New Year's celebration in the mountains. The article summarizes that the "less is more."

REI could benefit from this article by gaining a new target audience. Generally, our audience has been those specifically interested in the outdoors while this article may evoke interest in those whose focus in pop-culture - we may think about advertising and preparing to sell to a target audience of girls 16-23.

New Report Looks Into US Outdoor Sporting Goods Market Trends Opportunities to 2019 Market Reports, WhaTeck Premium Legacy, 1/07/15

This article summarizes the rise of specific sporting goods and activities in the coming years and provides links to the data and projections collected. There are a handful of specific activities chosen that are directly compared to sales from specific companies.

The article provides a list of competitors and their projections for sales in the next five years. This is useful for REI because the products we sell directly correlate with all the sporting and outdoor activities listed in this article.

Stevens Pass Ski Resort Finally Re-Opens, by Stephanie Klein, edited by mynorthwest.com, 1/8/15

This article explains that Stevens Pass Ski Resort has re-opened after a longer-than-normal off season. The resort is open now with "springtime" conditions and is expecting more snowfall this weekend.

Stevens Pass is one of the closest ski resorts to Seattle, so the Seattle REI location may be seeing an influx of customers. It is also important to note that the ski season usually opens sometime in November or mid-december - any sales or deals that REI may usually have at this point should be re-considered because of the length of this ski season in regards to customer demand.

Outdoor Tech's CES 2015 Lineup Aims To Please The Rugged Tech Enthusiast, by Les Shu, digital trends, 1/12/15

This article summarizes the new "top" gadgets shown at the Outdoor Tech's 2015 Convention. These items include a portable and durable bluetooth speaker, powerful battery, and headphones that outfit snowboarding helmets.

Our company could benefit from these articles because it shows how our audiences are evolving based on what technicians are creating. Further, it shows what REI should potentially invest in for the future in order to spark interest in our current and potential customers.

Indoor Rock Climbing Gym Set To Open in Overland Park, by Joyce Smith, edited by The Kansas City Star, 1/13/15

This article explains that Elsa Baker, owner of The Cave Bouldering gym has recently taken on a partner since the growing popularity of one of the only indoor bouldering gyms in the Kansas City Area. Apex Climbing gym is set to open at 7200 W. 106th st. - with larger accommodations than The Cave Bouldering Gym.

Our REI location in Kansas City is 6281 W. 136th st., this is just ten minutes away from the new Apex Climbing Gym - whereas The Cave Bouldering gym was about an hour away. This is a great opportunity for our Kansas city location to take advantage of a sweeping bouldering fad that is newly concentrated just ten minutes away from our location.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Chapter 2

            The second chatper of “Public Relations,” focuses on the history of public relations – as it is titled as its “evolution. The chapter introduces itself with some example of early forms of stunts that could potentially be public relations; Greeks carving messages on stones to demoralize the Ionian Fleet, Alexander the Great boasting and publicizing his war victories, etc. Though no form of public relation career was set and used for these historic figures, many different uses of public relations manifested such as launching books, propaganda, and even staging public events (or as the previous chapter coined: special events). A poignant idea of the speed of information flow was made with relating todays ability to blog and share information with Martin Luther’s “95 Theses,” an act that would launch protestant reformation. This was made possible because the printing press sped up the speed of information delivery just as internet has done today.
            In the evolution of Public Relations, the book pegs P.T. Barnum as a significant character for his idea of planning events that would happen simply for the purpose of being reported. In short, P.T. Barnum planned staged events and semi-preposterous claims in order to promote ticket sales and media coverage of the shows he was representing. Barnum was coined as one of America’s “first media celebrities,” for his actions.
            Relating more to my Jesuit education experience, Ida B. Wells received an exposé in this chapter. Coincidentally, I wrote many essays in a history class focusing on Wells my freshman year of undergrad; she wrote exposés about herself, the African American experience, and the cruelties that came with it. Some articles failed and some skyrocketed to fame. Ida was a founder of the NAACP and landed herself a place in history and this book.
            The chapter goes on to highlight many different significant characters that were relevant in the evolution of Public Relations, and finally sums up the last fifty years of PR. The book pegs 1950 – 2000 the “coming of age” for public relations. This is because of a booming economy after World War II. A booming economy meant more functions in all institutions: government, non-profit and because our country is founding on capitalism, corporations. Therefore, many new public relations opportunities were created.
            With the rise of public relations as a career comes the analysis of who is participating in said career. Statistically, the book explains that since the 1970’s women have began to dominate the public relations career as opposed to the men that were scattered in its evolution. The chapter then bullet points some questionable reasons why women dominate the field including: “women are perceived to have better listening skills,” “women can work form home,” and “women are better at writing and giving presentations because of liberal arts colleges.” After this explanation the chapter decimates the female gender’s claim to fame in this field, pointing out that males still predominately outrank females in executive rank.

            Looking toward the future, the chapter predicts how PR will evolve with the roles of new technology. The world, though still physically the same, is becoming a socially smaller space. Therefore, the future of public relations is going to have to adhere to a multicultural world with every diverse person imaginable. Our demand for rapid information will cause the need to information transparency. Ultimately, these factors will call for an “expanded role for public relations.”