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. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Media Coverage Report #5

New Film To Showcase Michigan Ice Climbing - Eric Lemke / February 10th


This article showcases a film called "The Michigan Ice Film," produced by small film company Clear & Cold Cinema. The film showcases the National Recreation area in Munising, Michigan - a town with a population of 2,500.

This article could potentially be a great advertisement opportunity for REI. Our company could potentially see this as an opportunity and ask to feature some gear in the feature. Further, this film could also influence a boost in audience recognition of ice climbing and may start a trend of climbing with new audiences, which may be something REI should keep on their radar.

Cascade Designs Moving a Fifth of its jobs to Nevada - Angela Gonzales / February 10th


This article explains how locally based Seattle company, "Cascade Designs,"is moving a fifth of its jobs to Nevada. Being a manufacturer of many outdoor products such as tents, jackets, and covers, Cascade Design's spokeman Martin Maisonpierre stated that the company was running out of space and money to keep manufacturing in Seattle - especially with the new minimum wage requirement.

This article is useful to our company because it signifies a potential threat and opportunity. This situation could be a threat to our company because businesses around us are getting shut down, and perhaps REI should look into worrying about the same thing happening to them. It could be a potential opportunity because REI could benefit from gained business from other small businesses leaving the area.

Washington Trails Get Year-Round Attention - Christian Conahan / February 10th


This article summarizes how the Washington Trails Association has teamed up with volunteers to work on trails year round. The association is working on mainting and creating old and new trails.

This article is useful for our company because it shows the accessibility of trails around Washington. It could potentially be useful internally. With direct communication to potential customers and audiences, REI representatives may need to be immediately knowledgeable about trails around Washington.

Could WA's Proposed ban on Orca Captures end Marine Parks Forever? - Cat DiStasio / February 9th


This article explains how Washington State lawmakers are now discussing the implemtnation of blocking the ability to capture Orca Whales for entertainment. This would send a "dramatic" message to marine water parks such as Sea World and ultimately end in their doom.

This could potentially be useful to our client to let us know the status of environment in which we are selling our products. Many WA state parks include Orca Whale habitats - and it could be a potential opportunity for our staff to interact directly with our audience.

Miles Daisher Does Speed Snow-Yaking - Josh Sampiero / February 9th


This article show cases Miles Dashier, a named "Red Bull Air Force" member. Usually, Dashier launches his kayak out of planes and lands it into bodies of water. However this article shows Dashier launching his kayak into the snow for "three sports in one" cleverly named "snow-yaking."

This particular article could be useful to our company to locate sources of endorsement. In regards to spokespeople for media campaigns, Dashier (who is also affiliated with Red Bull which is a great partner opportunity) could be a great fit for certain extreme events REI may think of putting on in the future.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Chapter 14 / Chapter 15

Chapter 14
         Chapter Fourteen is titled “Preparing Materials for Mass Media.” This chapter focuses on exactly what the title reads: preparing press release materials for the media. Specifically, this chapter focuses on materials as “news releases.” The chapter defines news releases as useful for many reasons, including the fact that in modern times most reporters and editors spend time processing information rather than gathering it. Also, barely any PR or communications business rarely has enough staff to cover a single event in its entirety. The chapter firstly describes some old-style forms of press communication that are still used today.
            Among some of the “old style” press communications are: basic news releases, press releases, media kits, and pitch letters. The chapter then describes a basic “news release.”  News Releases must be: accurate, informative, and written in a journalistic style – as in it must be concise. News Releases include many different forms – such as press release. This is a statement issued to specific newspapers in order to give information to said enterprise. Press releases can sometimes include photos. The chapter also describes a “media kit.” This kit usually contains a traditional story, a fact sheet, a feature story, and possibly photos. Pitch letters are essentially how a pitch is delivered to a client. These depend on creativity and research.
            Most, if not all of these “old style” press communications are still used today but are heavily impacted by the presence of social media. Further, the audience changing from local or regional to global and “mass media,” has affected the way we communicate in a press format.

Chapter 15

Though “Radio and Television” seem to be outdated forms of communication, these media outlets still crawl along even with the undying presence of the internet and social media.  Hence why there is a whole chapter dedicated to Radio and Television.
Both forms of television and radio can have different elements that affect their message. For example: product placement and special guests. Product placement is used in television, film, and radio in order to boost awareness for a companies product or item. Special guests can be used to persuade audience’s ethos, and potentially increase the effectiveness of their message.
This chapter also covers different forms that radio and television can be used to provide press releases. For radio, these include RMTs, PSAs, and ANRs. RMT’s stand for Radio Media Tours, and it involves a radio spokesperson conducting interviews with other radio productions countrywide. PSA’s stand for public service announcements; quite simply they are unpaid service announcement that serve government programs. ANRs are audio news releases. These are different than public service announcements because they are written and targeted to specific audiences.
Television press releases include: SMTs, PSAs, and VNRs. SMTs are similar to RMTs, in that a spokesperson can conduct one on one interviews broadcast to the public. PSAs differ here in that public service announcements in television include images, which may affect the overall message of the announcement. VNRs stand for video news releases. This process happens by production companies receiving “B-roll” footage so that they can produce a story from the footage.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Media Coverage Report #4

WTF Is Up With The Bike Plan? - Zack Fields, Jan 30th.


This article explains that a long-proposed (since 2007) bike plan in Anchorage Alaska is finally going into effect. This plan, named "The Bicycle Plan" envisions over 571 miles of new bicycle lanes, tracks, and trails.

This could potentially be useful to REI because of our homefront location in the Pacific Northwest. In the Anchorage area, where we have one REI situated downtown, we could potentially look into re-vamping our merchandise or campaigns to correlate with that of the bike plan.

14 Outdoor Companies Pledge to Boost Women's Leadership - Jan Lee, Jan 29th


This article summarizes that the Outdoor Industries Women's Coalition has announced a new goal to increase involvement of participation of women in leadership roles. Though REI has also signed on to support this goal, other companies such as Burton, CamelBak, and Fuji Sports have signed as well.

This article is useful to REI because it shows how new social standards are being focused on responsibility to gender representation. From this article, we can see that women in leadership roles are demanded in the professional outdoor industry; this may inform how we advertise to our customers as well. Further, we can gather information about partners and competitors who have also signed with this goal.

Meet The New Hot Shot Of The Hunting World - Lauren Effron, Feb 2nd


This article states that the Eva Shockey is the new face of the hunting world. After movies such as The Hunger Games, this article claims that women are now becoming the new face of the hunting world that was traditionally male-centric. Shockey is the second woman to ever "grace the cover" of the Field and Stream magazine in its 120 year span.

Along with the pledge to boost women's leadership in the outdoor industry, this article is useful because it shows how our audience is changing. With a cover on Field and Stream magazine, we can gather that other reporters are targeting audiences toward women. This may be good information to consider focusing our audience in different areas with hunting products.

Best Women's Winter Cycling Jerseys - Kirsten Legen, Jan 31st


This article lists the Gore Power 2.0 Thermo Jersey, the Bontrager RXL Thermal Jersey, and the Rapha Woman's Souplesse Jacket as the top three winter cycling jerseys of the season. The article lists prices and compares each product to each other with a review from a biking-focused website.

This article is helpful to our client because it helps REI see what our audience thinks of different products out there. Not only does it compare the different products and shows us what the audience (in this case, expert and researched bikers) thinks are the better products, but it shows us the specific comparison and what our audience could be looking for in a biking jersey.

President Obama's 2016 Budget Requests 3 Billion For National Park Service - Feb 2nd


This article states that President Obama released is annual budget request, which requested $3 billion for National Parks Services for the 2016 Fiscal year that usually called for about $450 million. This is to prepare for the National Parks Services Centennial Celebration in 2016.

This article is helpful for REI's projection into the 2016 year. With the Centennial in mind and Parks Services receiving extra money from the government, REI can potentially predict more audience members turning to outdoor goods to celebrate the Centennial. REI could potentially think of teaming up with some of these parks, or even think of creating new ad campaigns targeting those who wish to visit the parks.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chapter 7 / Chapter 8

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 goes in depth on communication and dissects it for its elements and objectives. The chapter first states the requirements in order to be an effective communicator. Those requirements are the knowledge of the following: 1. What constitutes communication and how people receive messages. 2. How people process information and change their perceptions, and 3. What kinds of media and communication tools are the most appropriate for a particular message.
The chapter then goes on to describe Media as a tool for public relations affiliates. In this description, it pegs five possible objectives for communication: message exposure, accurate dissemination of the message, acceptance of the message, attitude change, and change in overt behavior.  
The chapter then pairs off five elements of communication, pegging a sort of cycle of communication. These elements are that communication has a sender, a message, a channel, a receiver and feedback.  Focusing on the receiver, the chapter then explains the difference between passive audiences and active audience. The difference between the two is that passive audiences are audiences that receive messages better with slogans or photos. Active audiences are those who have former interest in what the message is.
The chapter then defines some different ways of receiving the messages. It points out that the more people you have receiving a message the harder it is to communicate that message. Communicators may also need to tailor their messages to certain audience depending on the recipient. To understand the message, communicators should avoid jargon and use clear language. For an audience to believe a message they must act on a certain level of involvement. Extensive repetition is necessary to remember the message. Lastly, acting on the message depends on awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption.

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 focuses on the evaluation stage in the process of the program plan in Public Relations. In its definition, evaluation is “the measurement of results against objectives.” In order to proceed with an evaluation, objectives must first exist.

The book then lists and describes six ways to evaluate objectives. The first is measurement of production. Measurement of production is the evaluation of an employees output. The second evaluation is measurement of message exposure. This is essentially a measurement of how the message is created and what types of factors are used in the message. For example, this would be calculating how many key messages are in the original message, or how much coverage the message had. The second form of evaluation is measurement of audience awareness. This is the evaluation of how well received the audience is with the message. The fourth measurement of evaluation is audience attitudes. This is the evaluation of an audience’s opinion on a message. The fifth measurement form is measurement of audience action. This is a measurement of how the audience acted after the message was received. The sixth form of evaluation is measurement of media exposure. This form varies in its nature. These evaluations could be assessed via hits on the internet, media impressions, systematic tracking, or other forms of media tracking.