Vote Biscuit The Cat!

24 11 2008

This is a PR case study for the John Ancrum Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals (JASPCA) in Charleston, SC.  This case study along with others is located at the Rawle Murdy website.  Rawle Murdy is a marketing communications firm in Charleston, SC.

The case study on the website shows the situation, insights, strategy and results, and then gives examples of print, OOH, Broadcast, and interactive examples of advertisements. 

Basically the situation is that many people in Charleston don’t know that JASPCA exists and if they do they think of it as a run down business.  After spending $11 million on a top of the line facility JASPCA asked Rawle Murdy to help them get people to come to the animal center.  I would say this campaign’s goals are awareness and action.  People need to be more aware that the facility exists and is working hard to save animals.  Also, JASPCA hope that this will motivate people to take action and actually come to their facility to adopt animals.

The first strategy was to give JASPCA a new name, the Charleston Animal Society, that not only reflects its mission, but is easier for the public to remember. 

The next strategy that Rawle Murdy enacted was a campaign to raise awareness about the Charleston Animal Society.  They created a campaign that mimicked the 2008 presidential elections.  The election was for the next president of the Charleston Animal Society.  The candidates are Biscuit the cat and Spike the dog.  Through this “pretend” election people became more aware of the society and what they do.  They also used the candidates to raise awareness about adoption, spading and neutering animals, and animal health.  I think this is very creative and it definitely got my attention.  There even was an article in Post and Courier about the winner of the presidential election, Spike wins presidency by a whisker.

This is an example of a pseudo event created for positive coverage and to raise awareness about the new Charleston Animal Society Facility.

Principles of Crisis Communication

18 11 2008
  1. DO NOT LIE!!!  This is the most important rule of crisis communication.  Public Relations’ first responsibility is to the publics and the people, therefore do not lie to them.  Also, lying usually backfires and causes more bad PR for the organization.
  2. Apologize and rectify the problem.  If the crisis involves a particular individual of the organization, have that individual take responsibility.  Do not put blame on the organization if the blame is on the  individual.
  3. Communicate clearly, quickly and choose your words very carefully.  That is why PR exists, to communicate to the publics.  Some words are very emotionally loaded and therefore, you need to choose words carefully.
  4. Don’t blow something out of proportion.  If something is an isolated incident, keep it isolated.  But dont underplay a crisis.
  5. Try to solve the crisis at first sign.  Don’t let something escalate; be alert and monitor the crisis.

PR practitioners need to ask themselevs what is best in the long-run.  This is the difference between long-term PR and “one night stand PR” (according to Dr. V.). One Night stand PR is giving PR in general a bad name and reputation.  A crisis needs to be dealt with carefully and the strategies need to be analyzed in the long run.

Comment on “A Love Song to Live On”

17 11 2008

I posted a comment on the blog Palmetto PR Divas.

Comment on “what does blogging teach?”

16 11 2008

I posted a comment on the PRinciples post, “What does blogging teach?”

Comment on “A Perfect Blend”

16 11 2008

I posted a comment on Cara Mitchell’s blog post, A Perfect Blend.

Pimp your blog

11 11 2008

I started to browse through in between classes and realized that I had been reading her posts for over 30 minutes!  I did not even realize how fast the time went by.  I think that part of the reason was Cheryl’s unique writing style and also the design of the blog.  Her blog looks AMAZING!  Check it out.  She not only entertains you with her truthfulness, but offers pictures to also keep your attention. 

Of the blog posts I read, I highly recommend The BS Nature of Interviews and The first rule of Twitter.  I really liked these posts because they talked about topics that have been discussd in Dr. V’s PR class and in Clemson PRSSA member meetings.  The BS nature of Interviews really relates to what was said by guest speakers at the first Clemson PRSSA meeting (see live blog post for more info).  Some of the advice I was given was be yourself and show a positive attitude.  After all, you are not expected to know everything, but you are expected to be willing to learn.  I feel like if you market yourself as yourself and instead of a piece of paper, you will have a more lasting impression.  After all, connections and networking matters.  Do you want to be remembered as just another application for a job or a person who made connections with the interviewer? Honestly, the interviewer will remember you and not the piece of paper.

The point of this blog post is to tell you to be yourself.  Be yourself online, in real life, at interviews, at your future job, etc.  Cheryl mentioned that she has a hard time marketing herself in interviews, but really if she would be herself like she does on her blog, she wouldn’t have a problem.  Check out and you may want to consider to pimp your blog!

Good PR

5 11 2008

As I waited in line for 2 1/2 hours to vote yesterday, I heard that with an “I voted!” sticker you would receive a free cup of coffee from Starbucks.  I decided to research this a little further and found the following commercial. 

I though this was an excellent example of good PR.  Not only is Starbucks encouraging people to vote, but it is creating relationships with millions of people.  Starbucks is sharing the message that they care about our country and the people of it.  They want people to be rewarded for voting and encourage people to care. 

After further research I found that Starbucks also is on twitter.  I read through some of their recent tweets and discovered that they were also promoting their vote campaign through twitter.  Starbucks had someone tweet on their behalf and actually had conversations with people.  I was extremely impressed to see the engagement with people instead of promoting themselves simply by tweeting advertising statements.  Starbucks understands that people want to have conversations on twitter not receive spam.  I think the PR team at Starbucks is doing an excellent job of engaging in meaningful conversations and forming relationships with its publics.