Sarah Wilson's PR Blog

November 9, 2009

Guest Speaker – Richard Bailey

Filed under: International PR — swilso37 @ 12:25 pm

On Thursday, November 5, Richard Bailey spoke to our international public relations class. I found him very informative; however, due to technical problems on Skype, our talk with Mr. Bailey was cut short. I felt that I needed some questions answered since he has great knowledge on the public relations and the industry, so I figured I would look him up write him the questions that I needed answered. Richard Bailey was kind enough to post the questions I had on his blog with his answers which I also posted here.

1. What do you do to keep current on PR trends?

I’m a member of our professional body (the CIPR); I read books on and around the subject; I blog about PR and read PR blogs; I talk to practitioners and students; I teach practitioners who are studying for a PR qualification; I attend conferences; I’m a member of PROpenMic.

If I had to pick just one of these, books are still be best way to gain a deeper understanding of a subject.

2. How has PR changed since you entered the industry?

The principles haven’t changed in 20 years – but the practice has changed a lot (though it still has some way to go). Looking back, for many years I didn’t do public relations – I simply did media relations (and most of that was press relations).

PR has changed as the media landscape has evolved, most notably with the emergence of social media.

But as Sir Martin Sorrell suggested, there are other factors too: the internationalisation of business, the importance of internal communications (‘change management’); the agenda around legitimacy and corporate responsibility; the rise of activism.

In summary, looking back I’d say I provided an important tactical tool to my clients. Yet public relations advisers are today in a position to provide key strategic advice.

3. Do you believe that marketing and advertising are encroaching into public relations (eg through relationship marketing)? If yes, please give an example.

This question is hugely significant to people who work in public relations and to public relations academics – since the future of the discipline is at stake. But I suspect it’s of less interest to clients.

There is no question in my mind that certain promotional techniques have been losing effectiveness in our short-attention-span economy. Public relations – either through editorial endorsement or through other forms of third party recommendation – has been a beneficiary from the relative decline of advertising. Yet marketing is not standing still and relationship marketing, viral marketing, word of mouth marketing, social marketing, cause-related marketing etc are all ways in which marketing is seeking to colonise part of the space historically occupied by public relations.

I suggest you need to separate out the purpose for which PR is being used. If it’s being used to promote sales, then this is a marketing function and PR needs to find its niche in the marketing mix (the traditional exclusive domain of marketing PR has been media relations, as discussed earlier).

If the purpose of PR is to ensure the organisation’s social legitimacy (and thus its long-term survival and success), then I view this as the domain of public relations (or corporate communications), not of marketing. Your question asks about case studies – and clearly there’s a need for these to demonstrate to others that public relations can play this more strategic role. Among academics, Charles Fombrun has done most to articulate the field of corporate reputation management and to provide tools for measuring corporate reputation.

The case study I would have talked to you about yesterday, had there been time, is a contradictory one. It’s the award-winning PR campaign for Queensland Tourism (‘The Best Job in the World’). It’s contradictory because the winning team is a Australian advertising agency, CumminsNitro. PR may be a powerful tool, but there’s nothing to stop others learning some lessons.

4. What three tips would you give to someone just starting in PR?

One. Start with your own public relations. Join networks and put energy into your chosen networks. Look to get known and take note of your Google search rankings.

Two. It’s good to be open-minded and capable of learning – but you’ll get hired for being passionate and expert. So look for a sector to specialise in. (As Weber Shandwick’s Colin Byrne tells graduates, it’s better to know everything about something than something about everything).

Three. Be curious and keep learning. Don’t be afraid to ask!

I am very thankful for the information Richard Bailey shared.

About Richard Bailey


In the 1980s Bailey wrote about business and technology for a magazine based in London and New York. In the 1990s he worked in PR management specializing technology. In the 2000s he has been focusing on PR education and training.

For more information on Richard Bailey, visit his blog:

To see the post where Richard Bailey answered my questions, visit:


October 26, 2009

Poynter NewsU course “The Language of the Image”

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:15 am

What I learned in taking “The Language of the Image” course from Poynter NewsU was the numerous types of photographs/photography there are. There is a lot more than you think to the the technique in photography. I never knew that there was such a large amount of thought when it comes to analyzing the pictures. While taking the quiz after reviewing all the different terms in the course, I realized that I may be able to point out an interesting picture, however, I do not have the eye for naming the different elements and techniques in the photograph.

What surprised me in this course was the different types of portraits. I would have never known that there were different types until this course. I wish this course was more interactive though. I did not like the overall set-up of the course. However, it was free, so that was a huge bonus.

What I would like to know more about is how the photographer sees the elements before he/she captures the moment. Does he/she even know that the picture displays all those graphics, elements or techniques? I need to know more from a photographers point of view!

October 1, 2009

Personal Interview with non-U.S. Citizen

Filed under: International PR — swilso37 @ 9:25 am

On Tuesday, September 29, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tayo Olayinka, a Georgia Southern student who is from Nigeria. During our interview I asked a series of questions about the Nigerian culture and how public relations is viewed in her home country. Tayo was quick to tell me that it has been five years since she has been back home in Nigeria. The series of questions that I asked Tayo are:

  • How does the media operate in Nigeria?
  • What is your view on global business?
  • What has surprised you most about the cultural differences between America and Nigeria?
  • Is public relations a profession that you are familiar with in Nigeria?
  • What advice do you have for an American seeking employment in Nigeria?
  • What are the biggest challenges you have faced in America because of your cultural differences?
  • How different is public relations in Nigeria?
  • What is the differentiation between advertisement and publicity in Nigeria? Are there any differences at all?
  • Should the Nigerian culture be considered when practitioners from the U.S. want to run a campaign in Nigeria? Why?
  • In your opinion on global public relations, does societal culture overpower organizational culture?
  • What can be done to improve Nigeria’s education and/or awareness of public relations? 

During my interview with Tayo, I learned a great deal about the Nigerian culture and their public relations system. The media in Nigeria is government owned which puts the breaks on the development of public relations in Nigeria. Tayo also informed me that cultural background is far more important in Nigeria than to most U.S. citizens. According to Tayo, Nigeria is more of a collectivism country than an individualistic. However, she can see a change with the younger generations of Nigeria, they have more individualistic characteristics than the older generations. If a PR practitioner from the U.S. was thinking of running a campaign in Nigeria, the American practitioner would need to have a deep understanding of Nigeria’s cultural background in order to have success. When Tayo was living in Nigeria, she was not familiar with public relations, but after moving to the U.S., she knows more, and is even majoring in public relations at Georgia Southern University. Tayo told me that after researching the Internet, she now knows that there is PR in Nigeria, it is still in much need of development though. She also believed that knowledge in global business is important because being educated beyond your country’s borders is extremely beneficial. Tayo said that there is not enough educated practitioners in Nigeria right now. She believes that if the government will improve, so will Nigeria’s public relations. Tayo stated that the main problem right now is from the people running the country, and if well educated PR practitioners moved back to Nigeria after getting an education, awareness on public relations would be created and the government would hopefully understand the importance of public relations and how they could use it to help them.

September 28, 2009

Guest Speaker – Dr. Sun-A-Lee

Filed under: International PR — swilso37 @ 5:58 pm

Dr. Sun-A-Lee gave a lecture to my international public relations class on Thursday, September 24. The topic of her discussion was culture on global scale. Dr. Sun-A-Lee’s speech was extrememly interesting. She showed shocking statistics about different cultures. She also dispalyed some global demographics.

Dr. Sun-A-Lee is from from South Korea and moved to America in her early twenties. She taught us about some typical stereotypes that people from American may have about her because of the fact she is from South Korea. She told us that a stereotype does not have to be bad or negative, because a stereotypes are about viewing and assuming characteristics of a society as a whole (i.e. everyone has that same characteristic in that society) rather than judging that person on their individual characteristcs. Not everyone within a culture displays the same characteristics. I found many of her points very interesting. Dr. Sun-A-Lee’s discussion was a great success in our class and will be recalled for many future topics in the class.


Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:40 am

One of the major elements in brochure printing and design is the typography.  Typography is referred to as “design” and is defined as being the art of laying out copy on a page, including font selection, graphics and overall design.You need to have a good combination of font styles in your brochure so that it will work well with the style, theme, and images in your brochure. Good font combinations make the brochure more appealing to the eye for the reader/viewer.

The font type should be readable by people of any age. Some font sizes are beautiful but can be difficult to read by someone with impaired vision. The best font types are Times New Roman, Arial, Comic Sans and Bookman Old Style. These are the most popular and easiest to read.

The font size should not be too small or too large. Most fonts for headings and subheadings are size 14 (MS Word) and the rest of the text is typically size 12 or 10. A font that is too big makes your brochure gaudy and as though there was not enough information to fill the space. A font that is too small will be difficult to read.

A great website for beginners to download free fonts for designing their brochure and/or business cards is… Here are some basic directions on installing fonts onto your computer:

September 21, 2009

Segmenting Publics for Save-A-Life, Inc

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:23 am

Save-A-Life, Inc

In order to segment the public correctly for Save-A-Life, Inc, one must understand what Save-A-Life, Inc is about. Save-A-Life, Inc. is an all volunteer non-profit animal welfare organization. It was created to prevent overpopulation of companion animals through low cost spaying and neutering. Save-A-Life, Inc. took the leadership role in the Savannah area for this overpopulation problem by selling spay and neuter vouchers that are accepted by numerous vets throughout the Savannah and surrounding areas. Save-A-Life also provides foster care, necessary medical treatment for foster animals, and a placement assistant program to find the homeless animals a companion for a lifetime.

Segmenting for Save-A-Life can be done by demographics which refer to facts such as age, gender, race, family size, income, education, occupation, and geographic information. Almost all of these facts represent the target public for Save-A-Life. People of all ages, males and females, family sizes, incomes, etc… can be targeted by Save-A-Life. Pet owners are obviously who needs to be targeted, and there can be no dominant characteristic when trying to know the demographics of Save-A-Life’s target except the fact that Save-A-Life is dedicated to Savannah and the surrounding areas.

Some psychographics, which refer to personality and other psychological characteristics, can be illustrated for Save-A-Life’s target public. Since Save-A-Life is a non-profit organization for animals, the target is animal lovers and/ or pet owners. The typical psychographic for the animal lover and pet owner are loving and caring, sometimes single or widowed because they are lonely.

Sociographics refer to the groups that public members belong to, as well as other sociological characteristics. There are those animal lovers that just need unconditional loyalty and affection. That kind of loyalty cannot usually be found in human friends. They are those people that love animals because they see the innocence about them which is immediately appealing to almost everyone. Those types of animal lovers like the fact that animals do not have the minds to discriminate. They love their owners no matter who they are, what they do, or how they act.

My brochure design for Save-A-Life will be impacted by the target public because I am going to need to use certain design elements when it comes to creating it. The brochure needs to have a emotional feel, making people feel sympathy for the animals. It will have quotes and shocking statistics that can often be found in the ASPCA advertisements which feature Sarah McLauchlan. Those commercials brought in the most donations ever seen by a non-profit organization. Using emotional appeals is a great method for many non-profit organizations to use when designing brochures, ads, etc…



September 14, 2009

CRAP – Repetition

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:34 am


Repetition or consistency means that you should repeat some aspect of the design throughout the document. You can thank of repetition as the visual key that ties your piece together or unifies it. If you design particular components a certain way in one area, mantain the design you created for other areas in order to produce consistency. Consistency is an important element when creating any kind of graphic design assignments. Consistency aids the production of your design and makes it more pleasing the eye. Repetition can also control the reader’s/observer’s eyes and helps keep their attention on the piece as long as possible. Important elements to keep in mind are graphics, font style, and font size. Attempt to be consistent with those elements while producing your piece.

If there is a relation between two points, the style should repeat for a consistent feel. Repetition means keeping design for similar themes consistent, making it more cohesive and professional. Repetition can help communicate your points when people only want to skim the message that you want to communicate. It reinforces communication and ultimately helps the reader understand. Just remember to repeat things in a consistent manner and don’t overdo it. You want to make your repetition readable and effective.

Reference: Robin Williams.

September 2, 2009

My 1st Blog!

Filed under: Uncategorized — swilso37 @ 3:32 pm


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