Teaching PR On-Line for Northwestern State University

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Does the "Evergreen" Foundation Favor Logging?

This is also from PR Watch.

The question here is whether the Evergreen Foundation---which sounds very ecological and (Well) "green" is actually a front group funded by the logging industry. It seems rather disingenuous, IMHO.


The Executive Director of the Evergreen Foundation, James Peterson, argues in a Wall Street Journal opinion article that the decline of the spotted owl in the U.S. Pacific Northwest is not due to logging in old-growth forests. Peterson, who has been given a string of awards by various logging industry groups, referred to an unspecified "privately funded" study which "infers an inverse relationship between harvesting and owls." This, he argues, justifies "a long-term thinning program," an oblique reference to the Bush administration's Orwellian-sounding Healthy Forests Initiative, a program to log national forests. The Evergreen Foundation says it works to "restore public confidence in forestry." The foundation's website states that funders include logging and logging equipment companies, including Boise Cascade, Potlatch, Westvaco, Mead, Caterpillar and Timberjack. The foundation's logging industry funding, however, wasn't mentioned in Peterson's Wall Street Journal article.

Wal-Mart Hires Bloggers for PR Campaign

This is from PR Watch, a group that monitors PR practice.
It shows how Wal-Mart is actually paying people to post seemingly friendly posts for them, even though in fact Wal-Mart has these people on the payroll. If this is true, it seems as though this could fall under the heading of unethical front groups.


Wal-Mart "began working with bloggers in late 2005 'as part of our overall effort to tell our story,' said Mona Williams, a company spokeswoman." Heading the blogger outreach is Marshall Manson, of the PR firm Edelman. Manson contacted bloggers who "wrote postings that either endorsed the retailer or challenged its critics." He emailed one, "I'd like to drop you the occasional update ... and an occasional nugget that you won't hear about in the M.S.M.," or mainstream media. But "some bloggers have posted information from Wal-Mart, at times word for word, without revealing where it came from," reports the New York Times. Manson warned bloggers they might be "ripped" if someone noticed "nearly identical posts" copied from his emails. Wal-Mart's also opposing state bills that require large companies to spend a minimum percentage of payroll costs on health insurance. Wal-Mart claims, "These bills ... do nothing to take people off America's uninsured list," reports PR Week.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Public Relations to Market the Turino Olympics

This is from www.turino2006.org

The Olympic trademark carries an inheritance, a legacy of values that, try as they may, individual disciplines can never achieve. This trademark is immediately recognised and appreciated by 93% of the world’s population.

This is how Nevio Devidé, TOROC’s marketing director, describes the project on which he is working alongside Lorenzo Giorgetti, licensing manager.How does the licensing programme work?

TOROC holds exclusive rights for use of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games trademark, the trademark of the Italian Olympic teams that will also be used at the Athens Summer Games and the trademark of the Paralympic Games. We shall grant licenses to use this trademark on products in specific categories that are considered to be most consistent with the Olympic values and the image of Torino that we wish to convey. These include items that are traditionally linked with Olympic events, such as the mascot, pins, clothing and accessories and others that are more specifically related to the Winter Olympics, such as mountain and trekking accessories, backpacks.

The programme will also benefit from specific public relations activities and side-line forms of communication that, over the next few years, will make the Torino 2006 trademark one of the best-known brands in Italy. This is certainly a unique opportunity, also from a commercial point of view.

How do businesses go about applying for one or more licenses?

Licensees will be selected through private tender. They will be selected on the basis of economic criteria, but the quality of manufactured products, the soundness of the company and the environmental compatibility of the products they offer will also be taken into consideration. The www.torino2006.org website will include a section dedicated to the licensing programme and companies that are interested can contact us at the licensing@torino2006.it e-mail address, which is already operational.

Who will purchase ‘Olympic products’?
This programme covers a very wide target group: first and foremost it targets the sportsmen and women and everyone who has anything to do with the Games, especially spectators. It also addresses the local market, collectors, tourists and more generally all those who wish to associate themselves with the Olympic values. Profits from sales will be used to fund the organisation of the Games, in view of the fact that TOROC is a private non-profit-making foundation, and to support the Italian Olympic teams.

Where will licensed products be sold?

In addition to the licensees’ normal channels, TOROC is in the process of selecting partners to implement others. We plan to set up Olympic brand stores at airports, in Torino and at competition venues, following the examples of Sidney and Athens. Products will also be sold online through a site that can be accessed from the TOROC website».When will we be able to buy Torino 2006 products?

We have just signed an agreement with Swatch, one of the Olympic TOP Partners and licensed to manufacture watches. Pins produced by the only active licensee, Trofè, will be on sale from December. The Norwegian company, which manufactured the pins for the Lillehammer, Sydney and Athens Games, is currently represented at local level by the newly-established subsidiary in Torino. As regards the other categories, the selection process will commence as soon as we receive the go-ahead from the IOC. We shall have the first prototypes by spring 2003. We are working to a tight schedule but hope to complete the process by next autumn. Then sales will start.

What is the ultimate goal?

To promote the values of the Olympic Movement, but also those specific to the 2006 edition and the region that hosts the Games. These values are expressed very well by the ‘Celebrate Humanity’ commercials broadcast by the IOC this year. The message is clear: the Olympics celebrate fundamental human values such as multiculturalism, friendship, participation and fair play. The licensing programme will provide the graphic design and symbolic description for these values. Our mission, and that of all licensees, is to make sure that these attributes are recognisable in licensed products

Super Bowl Advertisers Did Best When They Used PR

This is from www.bulldogreporter.com

Post-Game Good News for PR: Proof That Media Outreach Helps Brands Super-Size Super Bowl Ad Dollars

Super Bowl advertisers who maximized investments did so by leveraging PR to drive media coverage

by Gary Getto, Vice President, VMS

The winners of Super Bowl XXXIX were the marketers who knew how to leverage their advertising investment. Advertisers like Ford, Pepsi, and Budweiser generated incremental consumer reach with news coverage that equaled or exceeded the value of their Super Bowl ad cost.

On the day after this year’s Big Game, it’s looking like this year’s Super Bowl advertisers are likely to rack up even more impressive figures.

Once upon a time, advertisers were looking for ways to simply reach consumers. But reach is no longer enough. Smart marketers are searching for better ways to engage customers, break through the clutter and generate impact. They’re beginning to learn that integration of broadcast, print, events, promotion and PR is more effective than a solo advertising approach. As a baseline for measuring the impact of this year’s Super Bowl, we measured last year’s campaigns.

For example, we looked at the amount of publicity that was generated for Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.

Discussion about Super Bowl ads generated over 2.4 billion impressions—and had a value of over $25 million. This data was derived from Lexis-Nexis. The real impact was probably double these figures.

Super Bowl ads generated over 2,500 news stories.

Controversial advertisers like GoDaddy were near the top of the heap in terms of numbers of news stories generated. But advertisers like Ford, Pepsi and Budweiser learned how to leverage their Super Bowl media investment. These advertisers generated news coverage that had a higher value than the cost of a Super Bowl ad.

Of 40+ advertisers evaluated, 13 generated more than 100 million news impressions, which reduces the cost-per-impression of their Super Bowl investment by half.

So what does this mean to PR practitioners? For starters, as more and more advertisers look to develop ways to create engagement with their customers, the tools PR practitioners use to direct this effort will need to change and improve. As PR professionals, we will want to better understand how news coverage impacts and catalyzes this process.

We’ll follow-up in a week or two with a repeat of this analysis for 2006. I fully expect to see even higher levels of news engagement than last year. Stay tuned.

Glad Trash Bags Sponsors PR at Mardi Gras

This is from www.adage.com

Will Be Featured in TV, Print Ads for New Orleans Event

February 08, 2006

By Jack Neff

CINCINNATI-- The top-billed corporate sponsor for the first post-Katrina Mardi Gras in New Orleans couldn’t be more fitting: Glad trash bags. With a very big cleanup still on its hands and thousands of visitors on the way, New Orleans has signed Glad as lead sponsor for this year’s Mardi Gras. Glad, a joint venture between Clorox Co. and 20% owner Procter & Gamble Co., will be featured in TV and print advertising for the event, which will go on as planned, focused heavily around the largely recovered French Quarter as the city struggles to recover five months after Hurricane Katrina struck.

Glad also is in talks with Eli Manning, quarterback of the New York Giants, to participate in its marketing and public-relations efforts around Mardi Gras, according to people familiar with the matter. Like two top executives of the Glad business -- including Beth Springer, president of the unit -- Mr. Manning is a native of New Orleans, where his father was for years quarterback for the Saints.

’There’s a lot of trash’“Since this is the first major tourist event for people to come back to the region, we want to make sure the city can pull off the event as they want and that it’s clean before, during and after,” said David Friedler, marketing director for Glad trash bags and also a New Orleans native. “We think we’ll be pretty visible. … I’ve been to plenty of Mardi Gras. There’s a lot of trash.”

Glad already has donated 1.2 million ForceFlex trash bags to the Gulf Coast cleanup through the Clorox Foundation and donated another 100,000 as part of the sponsorship. Glad also will sponsor a pre-Mardi-Gras “Katrina Krew” cleanup Feb. 23 to tidy up the French Quarter in advance of the celebration as well as work with the New Orleans Sanitation department during the event, using as a staging area the Ernest Morial Convention Center central to much of the post-Katrina humanitarian crisis. Glad, moreover, also will host a post-event cleanup March 4.
During the parades and other festivities, Glad will be handing out samples of ForceFlex trash bags. “In the days of media fragmentation, when it’s harder to reach your consumer, we’re always looking for new ways to reach our target consumer in a relevant way,” Mr. Friedler said. “This gives us a great way to support an important revitalization effort and put our bags in the hands of consumers.”

Mr. Friedler isn’t sure how many people will show up for Mardi Gras this year, given the publicity balanced against the potential for an outpouring of national sympathy for the beleaguered city. Based on booking activity at homes of his relatives, however, he believes turnout could be robust. “I know all the houses of my aunts and uncles are going to be filled,” he said, “but that’s the only data I’ve got.”

Independent media-buying club MediaBuys handled the deal for New Orleans. Clorox is working with Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Weber Shandwick on the public relations effort surrounding its sponsorship.

PR Campaign of the Education Industry Association

This is from cnn.com

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Schools are blocking huge numbers of poor children from getting free tutoring, civil rights advocates and private tutoring companies said Thursday.In a Capitol meeting sponsored by House and Senate education leaders of both parties, tutoring providers pointed to what they called an unkept federal promise.

Low-income parents are supposed to get a free tutor for any child who goes to a school that gets federal poverty aid but has not made steady progress for three straight years.

Parents get to pick the tutor they want from a state list.But that pledge of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law is often not being met."There are millions of eligible students who are not getting services," said Jeff Cohen, president of Catapult Learning, which is providing tutoring to roughly 50,000 children this year. "We have got to correct that. At its face value, it's wrong."The low numbers of tutored students are not because of a lack of interest, but because some schools make getting help nearly impossible for parents, tutoring advocates said.

The Education Industry Association, a lobbying group for more than 800 corporate and individual members who provide services, organized the meeting. The tutoring provision is a lucrative opportunity for the industry as the doors to more schools open.In its new PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN, the industry lobbying group plans to spotlight districts that have embraced tutoring -- and expose ones that deny access.The Education Department has also sought to publicize school systems that have been successful in enrolling students.
No Messages

Friday, February 10, 2006

PR Shock at NASA

If you have a moment, please try to learn more about George C. Deutsch, a NASA public affairs professional who recently resigned.

According to CNN and other new sources, Deutsch alledgedly tried to limit reporters access to climate change scientist James Hansen. Deutsch also alledgely tried to make sure a webdesigner at NASA inserted the word "theory" with any mention of the "Big Bang."

Said NASA administrator Michael Griffin, "The Job of the Office of Public Affairs.... is to convey the work done at NASA to our stakeholders....It is not the job of public affairs officers to alter, filter out, or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA technical staff."

Deutsch attend Texas A&M University but did not graduate from the university.

PR Nightmares at NASA

This news story comes from CNN. It shows how not acting properly or ethically in PR can get you in trouble--Ric

NASA appointee resigns in wake of public affairs row

Thursday, February 9, 2006

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- A NASA political appointee who worked in the space agency's public relations department submitted his resignation after reportedly restricting access to a noted NASA climate scientist.

NASA spokesman Dean Acosta confirmed Wednesday that George C. Deutsch had resigned late Tuesday, but would say little more. Deutsch, 24, was appointed in February 2005.

The New York Times reported that Deutsch tried to limit reporters' access to Jim Hansen, a noted NASA climate scientist, and insisted that a Web designer insert the word "theory" before any mention of the Big Bang.

"George attracted attention because some of the things he demanded were so outrageous," Hansen wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

NASA also said it was reviewing the practices of its public affairs office.

Administrator Michael Griffin sent an e-mail to the agency's workers on Saturday in which he discussed scientific openness and the role of the agency's public affairs office.

"The job of the Office of Public Affairs, at every level in NASA, is to convey the work done at NASA to our stakeholders in an intelligible way," Griffin wrote. "It is not the job of public affairs officers to alter, filter or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA's technical staff."

Hansen, a scientist who has studied climate change almost three decades, said he wanted to speak as a private citizen on the subject.

"The risks of global warming have not received the attention they deserve," Hansen wrote.

Efforts to reach Deutsch by telephone in Washington and Texas were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mediated PR

I have a great deal of interest in exploring how the use of blogs, websites, and other technology has the effect of "mediating" public relations. Several scholars have suggested that the web, especially, has changed the way PR is practiced. The gist is that the public no longer has to go through established media (i.e., newspapers, network TV) to get the information they seek. Instead, they can go directly on the web and view information the organization has published Or they can search and find unsubstanitated claims made by unofficial groups that may support or criticize the stand of your organization. In other words, computing advances have changed PR practice from "pushing" stories To the media. Now, with computer mediated approaches, the public can request or "pull" what they want to learn from us.
Any ideas or thoughts?

PR & The Super Bowl

I am especially interested in learning if any of you have ideas about which advertisements in this year's Super Bowl may be integrated with full-fledged PR campaigns.
I know that the Dove ads---with the theme of encouraging "Real Beauty" in young women--were well-linked with PR efforts.
If you know of other ads that were tied into PR efforts, I would like to learn more.

Friday, January 13, 2006

How this Blog will be used

Hi Students!

I want to clarify how this blog will be used with Blackboard.

Blackboard IS the official website for the class. It will contain all of the official assignments, due dates, etc.

I will use the blog to post additional items of interest. I may even comment on PR news and events. I will try to guide the class and provide insights and more detailed information.

The bottom line is---When you want to see which assigments are due and want to take tests and submit work, do that with Blackboard. If you want extra ideas from me about the class, visit the blog as a supplemental tool.


Important News for Students of JOUR 3060

Hi Students of JOUR 3060!

First, I apologize! I could not log in to Blogger for a few days. That's why there wasn't more updated information on this blog.

* Provide me with background about yourself and Why you are taking my class (You get Extra Credit for this)
* Write a reaction to the journal article
* Take the quiz
* Write and complete the case study

If you have Any questions, please drop me a line at jensenri@nsula.edu or rwjensen@ag.tamu.edu

I will check both emails Regularly!



Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Importance of Good Writing

A note to my students at NSULA.

Many studies show that Good WRITING is one of the skills that employers are looking for in Public Relations students. If you don't believe me, look up the article by Marie Hardin in Public Relations Review, Vol. 30: 357-364.

Therefore, throughout this class I will be grading your work in part based on how well it is written. The things I will look most closely at are proper spellling, punctuation, and choice of words.

I'll let each of you retain your own personal writing style, but let's work together to make sure that all your assignments are well-written.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


A book students might want to consider reviewing for my class is "Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk about Your Stuff" by Mark Hughes. The book is an easy and entertaining read. It is supported by white papers and supporting materials on its great website

The Buzzmarkeing book is all about how to obtain more publicity for your organization using public relations methods. It is a very engaging book and one that I highly recommend.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Example-How to do a PR Campaign for 3060

Dr. Jensen's Example of How to Develop the PR campaign

Identify the Topic for the Campaign

I volunteer for a local genealogy library that has great resources but very few customers. Our primary problem is that the number of patrons is so small that our library might be closed, even though we are a not-for-profit.

Identify Research that Needs to be Done

We need to answer the following questions:

· Does the library fill a unique niche in the community?

· Are there enough people in the community with an interest in this topic to justify our being open?

· Are others offering similar services?

· How much to people in the community know about the library?

· What can we do to increase visibility of the library?

· Are there certain key publics that we wan to target to get more people to the library?

Actions that Need to be Taken

  • Identify key constituents
  • Identify organizations that are our allies (that will work with us)
  • Identify specific publics that we can target who might like to use the library
  • Lay out the framework for a communications plan
  • Identify the overall goal and specific measurable objectives that need to be met to determine if the PR campaign is succeeding and if the library is viable

Describe Communications Needs

Identify if the following communications (among others) may be needed

· WWW site

· Brochure

· E-mail news list

· Press Releases

· Logos

· Slogans

· Determine if we have the personnel to develop some of these communications and, if not, how these will be produced

Note: I will require that each student develop and submit at least one of these items to me (i.e., a logo, a slogan, a web design, etc.).

Evaluation Measures

Identify how the success of the PR campaign will be evaluated:

Outcomes that relate to the overall viability of the library

· Did the campaign increase traffic to the library?

· Did we build linkages and relationships between the library and organizations and individuals who want to work with us?

· Did we identify unique services the library provides that are unique in the community (not provided by others)

Identify the success of news coverage

· Mentions in the mass media

o News clips

o Placements of spokespeople in interviews

· Increase in website hits

· Numbers of people signed up for the email list server

How to develop the PR Case Study for Jour 3060

How to Develop the Public Relations Case Study for Principles of Public Relations (JOUR 3060)

Over the course of the semester, each student will be required to develop a very basic Public Relations campaign for an issue of their choosing.
The idea is that each of you will use the principles taught in the class to go through some of the processes you will use if you were developing an actual PR effort.
I will be very wide open about how each of you may develop your campaigns. For example, you might want to focus on developing a slogan or a PowerPoint slide presentation. On the other hand, you might choose to emphasize topics related to research or evaluation. Ultimately, what I have at the conclusion of this process is a product that you might feel comfortable giving to a public relations client.
Here is a brief overview of how the process will work
By January 28-Each student will Identify the Issue they will develop a PR campaign about and briefly describes the idea behind the campaign.
By February 14-Each student will briefly Describe the Research that needs to be done for their campaign. This can be as simple as describing what types of research you might want to do (if you had sufficient resources) or you can do some very basic research about your cause.
By March 11-Each student briefly will present the Actions that Need to be Taken they will consider or undertake for their PR campaign. Students can either talk about some of the actions they would take or perhaps could do some of them.
By March 18-Each student will briefly Describe Communications Needs they may wish to develop for their campaign.
By April 1- Students will briefly discuss how they will Evaluate the success of their PR campaign.

How the PR 3060 Class Will Be Run

On Saturday of each week:
* the PowerPoint slides will be posted for the upcoming chapter
* Journal articles will be posted for the upcoming chapter. You will choose 1 of these to write a reaction paper about
* The case study assignment for the upcoming chapter will be posted
On Wednesday from Noon to 1 PM each week (unless otherwise noted)
* I will have a live chat with the students about the assignments and the upcoming quiz
On Wednesday from Noon to 1 PM each week (unless otherwise noted)
* I will have a live chat with the students about the assignments and the upcoming quiz
* This includes the quiz, the reaction paper & the case study
Students are always welcome to email me at rwjensen@ag.tamu.edu

I will try to answer each email personally.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Advice for Students Considering Taking My Class

Students considering taking PR 3060 at NSULA from Ric Jensen need to be aware that this class will require them to submit work every week.
If you do not keep up with these weekly assignments, it will hurt your grade and will likely reduce your chances of succeeding in this class.
My expectations are that students will do the following each and every week:
* Take a scored quiz on Blackboard
* Read a journal article and write a 2-page paper that briefly summarizes the article. In the paper, students will need to tell me how they react to the article (if they agreed with it or not and/or how they think the article affects PR practice)
* Write a 2-page paper where you react to a case study
These weekly assignments will not be difficult. I've put examples about how to write a reaction to a journal article and how to respond to a case study on the Blackboard site. I will soon post an example of how to develop a PR campaign.
Before each weekly quiz, I'll give you my PowerPoint slides. I will also have a Blackboard chat where we can discuss items covered in the chapter and I'll try to answer your questions.
In exchange for this weekly work, there will be only 1 major exam for the class--the final. The final will consist of questions asked during the weekly quizzes.
Students will also be required to develop, over the course of a semester, a brief and basic PR campaign.
Finally, students can choose to write a book review for extra credit.
I've also created a web blog where I will discuss many of the current issues that will be presented in class. It's basic right now but you can view it at http://www.ricjensen.blogspot.com
In sum, if you want a great experience in PR, please consider taking my class! The course load is reasonable and I will work with you via email and web chats.
But, if you don't want to keep up with homework each and every week, you might want to think about whether this class is really for you!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Great book for PR & non-profits

I just got a copy of a pretty good for PR people working with non-profits, including universities and government. The book is The Media Relations Handbook for Agencies, Associations, Nonprofits and Congress. It is very easy to read and has some great practical advice. Read about it here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

PR and the Spin on Iraq

The Los Angeles Times reported recently that the US government may be paying the mass media in Iraq to place stories that favor the American point of view in that country. The article raises interesting ethical dilemmas for PR professions. You can view it here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Here's another good resource for students

The Bulldog Reporter, http://www.bulldogreporter.com/dailydog/

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

PR web links that might interest students

Students may want to make regular visits to these websites:

The Poynter Institute, http://www.poynter.org
The Editors Web Log, http://www.editorsweblog.org
PR Watch, http://www.prwatch.org/cmd/prwatch.html

Ric Jensen's Blog

This blog is meant to provide students in the Principles of Public Relations class at Northwestern State University with updated news about the Public Relations field that will assist them as they think about PR issue and create their own campaigns.