Female Influence on the Public Relations Industry: Guest Post by Kristin Impallaria

As society continues to progress, the PR industry becomes more well known. Public relations is a profession that is refreshingly different from others, because of its female dominate approach. Nearly 80 percent of the PR industry is comprised of women. This profession gives women the opportunity to earn leadership roles over men, and excel in many aspects of the industry based off of female qualities and importance.

Women are more likely to be unsurpassed in the industry than men for many reasons. Women aren’t afraid to express themselves and their opinion of a topic or issue at hand in great detail. This skill can be used as a great advantage when gaining the attention and support of people, while working in a PR industry.

PR daily’s article Are Women Better Communicators than Men? Sarah Skerik, the vice president of social at PR Newswire, says that women possess empathy, and empathy is key in the PR industry.

“The best communicators, in my opinion, are people who have a lot of empathy for their audience, and can deliver what their audience needs,” she said.

For Skerik, this means being aware of body language and adjusting how you’re communicating accordingly.

“This can mean shifting from a highly analytical, ‘just the facts’ delivery in a meeting with your CEO to considering the potential emotional responses of online audiences as when planning a digital communications campaign,” she explained.

“Are women better at this than men? Possibly. But it seems to me that empathy is more crucial to communication effectiveness than a tendency toward chattiness.”

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (Pria) also published an article titled Women in PR: Why they win with similar content on empathy, along with much more information on female dominance in PR.

One reason being, that women are better than men at sharing power. Instead feeling the need to be in charge, women are content with working together as a team, and sharing the role and responsibility of empowerment. Women notice hard work and dedication and like to acknowledge hard work, as well as be acknowledged when appropriate.

Another reason women are more successful in the industry is conversation. Women are more likely to ask in-depth questions, and dig deeper into a topic than men, who prefer to cut to the chase. Women enjoy speaking and listening, and tend to use these skills to their advantage. One-way women use their positive skills, is with networking. Women make networking a key tool when working in the PR industry. They use it to gain more of an understanding of a topic, and to help them stay updated on their information. The Internet is a powerful thing, and could be used by the PR industry to communicate faster and better to others, than any other resource. Using this tool frequently is of extreme value in the PR profession.

There are many noticeable differences between men and women. But there is one difference in particular that contributes towards women’s success in the profession. The difference is the use of creativity. For women, the sky is the limit. Women don’t face a challenge, when it comes to being creative. Women have the ability to come up with new ideas at any time. The mind of a woman has no limitations or constraints. For women, the world of opportunity is endless.

PR daily’s 12 Things PR Women can’t live without explains a lot about a woman working in the PR industry.

The World of Automotive Public Relations: Guest Post by Christopher Davis

Have you ever wondered why there are so many car advertisements on television? Or why car manufacturers so readily put their name on everything they can, as well as at least five times on their own products? There is no question that the automotive industry in the United States is an ever-growing business. With over 10 major brands being produced here, it is a small wonder that advertising has gone crazy over cars. But what is behind that advertising though? The answer is public relations, and it plays a significant role in the automotive industry.  

Many people have the common misconception that the only way to sell cars is through advertising. While advertising is a large part of selling cars, public relations play an even bigger role in the process. The most important thing that an automaker needs to consider when designing a car is what the customer wants and what they will actually buy. This can consist of anything from conducting focus groups to sending out surveys and even as simple as asking what people want.

Recently, Vauxhall, a British manufacturer of cars, held a campaign where people came in and specifically made suggestions about what they wanted to see in their new Astra, one of the company’s best selling cars. Aside from all the silly examples, including an option to turn the car into a submarine, the engineers designed a car that they thought would please the majority of these requests. Happily enough, their plan worked and their new car is having record sales as well as receiving great reviews from automotive journalists.

I recently took part in a focus group for Volkswagen. I had been the owner of one of their Rabbit models, from 2007, and in 2009 I was asked if I would like to give my opinion about the new model. I happily agreed and spent a day talking about what I liked about my car and what could be improved. At the end of this day, Volkswagen showcased some prototypes of their new model for my fellow focus group members to sit in. Funnily enough, two years later I purchased one of these models because I was so impressed with their efforts and their new design.

While any public relations firm may have been able to pull off this event, there are many firms that specialize in the transportation aspect public relations. The top ten ranked in the country are as follows: (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11062281.htm)

1- Kurman Communications, Inc.
2- Eisbrenner Public Relations
3- Global Communicators, LLC
4- CooperKatz & Company, Inc.
5- Edelman
6- Bianchi Public Relations, Inc.
7- JMPR Public Relations, Inc.
8- Citizen Paine
9- Jackson Spalding
10- The Harrell Group

Automotive public relations, while exciting, can sometimes be unexpected. Unless one’s public relations firm is on retainer for a particular car manufacturer, the chance to work with cars may be few and far between. While this may be the case, the field of automobile manufacturing is expanding and growing every so who knows what will be possible in five years. The only thing left to do is to keep driving and to hope that one will be able to represent such manufacturers in the future.

The Importance of Nonprofit Public Relations: Guest Post by Elizabeth Yacus

Nonprofit public relations, or not-for-profit, make up a broad area of public relations. In the United States, there are 1.8 million groups recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), according to GuideStar, which is an organization that gathers information of nonprofits(Think, Wilcox). The main purpose of nonprofits is to serve the public’s interests. This means that a strong relationship should be held with the public and truly know how to help and better the audience.

To establish a nonprofit organization, the Foundation Center described 12 tasks you will need to accomplish as part of the process establishing a nonprofit organization:

File the certificate of incorporation
Select individuals to serve on the board of directors
Develop vision and mission statements
Establish bylaws and board policies
Obtain an employer identification number (EIN)
Open a bank account and establish check signing procedures
File for federal tax exemption
Follow state and local nonprofit regulations
Find office space and obtain office equipment
Recruit staff and prepare a personnel manual
Establish a payroll system and procure necessary insurance coverage
Develop an overall fundraising plan

The importance of fundraising is something that nonprofits depend on and is a highly developed technique in organizations. The National Council of Nonprofits explained that many fundraising strategies focus on businesses and consultants that help nonprofits identify and cultivate individual donor prospects. One way to be successful in fundraising is to stay informed about the major issues that shape fundraising.

As of April 3, 2013, top 10 nonprofit organizations are as followed:

National Public Radio- NPR
United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF)
Smithsonian Institute
World Food Program USA
American Cancer Society
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Feeding America
Save the Children

Sports PR: Crisis Management: Guest Post by Molly Grosso

A crisis is considered any situation that is threatening or could threaten to harm people or property, seriously interrupt business, damage reputation and/or negatively impact the bottom line.

Crisis management may be one of the most difficult areas of public relations. Crisis situations are never planned which is why this area is complicated. No matter how much planning is done every situation is different. Along with being a difficult area, crisis management is also one of the most important. How the crisis team can handle themselves during the crisis will actually make or break the company and/or organizations credibility. 

Crisis situations are going to happen regardless, but what the most important thing is how the organization will react. For crisis management there is a plan of action that every public relations practitioner must abide by to ensure that all the bases are covered. The six components to responding to a crisis according to Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice:

1.     Have a designated spokesperson.
2.     Gather all facts and verify them.
3.     Set up a media center.
4.     Do not release names of dead or injured until relatives are notified.
5.     Respond to all media inquiries, but if you don’t know the answer, say so.
6.     Do not speculate.

A recent crisis that has seemed to hit the sports spotlight is the issue with concussions. Concussions have been getting a lot of play lately because many older athletes have been getting diagnosed with medical issues predominantly from concussions. Not only is this crisis affecting the NFL but also has made its way to college football. The crisis continues to grow because no one is exactly sure on how to handle the situation.

Sports crisis management isn’t much different from the normal crisis management, but there tend to be more image issues over anything else. Sure, businesses have their images but with sports it’s all about keeping the good image to keep the fans coming back. The fan base is the biggest thing in sports, the way they idolize the teams and players is the main factor that generates success for these organizations.

Not every person or company is perfect; there is always room for incidents to occur. That is what public relations practitioners are there for, to help with the crisis. As said before crisis management is one of the most important areas of public relations. With sports, even though it is not much different, the PR team deals with a bigger scope because of the players, coaches, team owners, and associations including the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, National Football League, and the Major League Baseball. There should never be a reason that a crisis could not be taken care of with all of the steps that are out there and published for those that need to be educated on them.

Working in the Sports PR World: Guest Post by Lindsey Goodwin

Sports Public Relations is one of the highest growing fields of public relations. Sports PR experts usually do any different things including writing newspaper stories and press releases, booking appearances in all forms, booking interviews, creating and implementing PR campaigns. They are responsible for responding to media and public information request, especially in a crisis PR situation/damage control. (http://bgsportspr.com/services/pr/)

There are many different cons about working in the Sports PR world, including:

1.     It is one of the highest growing fields in public relations. Even with it being the highest growing field, careers in sports PR are very limited, especially in professional sports. There are only 30 Major League Baseball teams, 30 National Basketball teams, 32 National Football teams and 30 National Hockey teams, which means there are only 122 single positions that can be filled in the highest level of sports.
2.     Long days. Sports Public Relations experts often work many hours, often 7 days a week especially during their sports seasons, respectively.
3.     Pay. According to www.SimplyHired.com, the average Sports PR salary is $36,000. Salaries can vary with company, location, industry, experience and benefits.

But, with cons, there are always pros to working in the Sports PR field:

1.     Team Jobs Only Account for 6% of Sports PR Market. According to Sports Careers founder, Mark Tudi, “Team jobs make up only six percent of the jobs within the entire industry.”
2.     Different Opportunities. There are many opportunities outside of specific sport PR jobs, including ESPN, Fox Sports, Nike, and Dicks Sporting Goods. These companies are always looking for new ways to promote their brand and they all have a PR department to help them. Also, one of the biggest Sports PR opportunities is a Social Media Coordinator. According to ESPN’s Sports Business Reporter and Business Correspondent Darren Rovell, “..social media coordinator is the best job that will open up on sports teams.”
3.     Good outweighs to Bad. Yes, there are long hours and very little pay, but according to Adam Siepiola, assistant athletic director for media and external relations at Adelphi University, the good and fun outweighs the bad, especially since Sports PR is fun and different, and he Siepiola gets to travel to places he probably never would have had he been in a different field.

The biggest advice from many different professionals about the Sports PR field is:
1.     Know the Lingo
2.     Know Different Sports Your Comfort Zone
3.     Use Social Media for Possible Resources
4.     Know the Field

5.     Be Passionate about the Field