Paul Walker and Measurement

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Can we take a moment to talk about Paul Walker? Perhaps you know him best as Brian O’Conner, the loveable speed demon who raced onto the big screen for the Fast and Furious franchise. The same Paul Walker that stole Dominic Toretto’s heart and became the #1 crush of all teenage girls anywhere. Now, to some, this might be all they know about this hunk of a man but what they don’t realize is that there is so much more.

Before his untimely death in 2013, Paul Walker started a successful non-profit organization called Reach Out WorldWide. Reach Out WorldWide, or ROWW for short, was created to bring relief to disaster struck areas. The aspect that makes this organization so special is that it only accepts medical professionals into its first response ranks.

I first found out about ROWW during my PR strategies class. Since then, I’ve kept up with the company and felt a sense of pride for what it stands for. I’m not going to lie, part of that comes from my love of Paul Walker.

Anyway, I did my final project over ROWW so I had to learn the ins and outs of his company. I also had to come up with strategies and tactics for how it could improve. My project was pretty cut and dry (you can still find it on YouTube if you are interested). Even though I talked quiet a bit about what they could do in the future, I didn’t exactly add how they could measure the impact of what I suggested online.

Today I’m here to right that wrong.

As noted in earlier blog posts, this world we live in is a digital one. Everything we do revolves around our digital footprint. It is only appropriate that companies and organizations, including ROWW, should be concerned about theirs. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, can help them measure just that.

Need to know how many people clicked on your website? Want to see who is watching your promotional videos and for how long? Curious about how effective your marketing campaigns are? KPI’s can tell you!

If Reach Out WorldWide would simply take the time to look into their KPIs they could find a whole treasure chest of specialized information! For example, one of my goals was to gain awareness. Lets say ROWW was to create a nation wide digital campaign with an emphasis on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Their KPIs could tell them how many visitors they received after the campaign started. They would also be able to tell which links the audience used to get to their website or social media account.

It is crazy to think that EVERYTHING we do online can be tracked and with that information, organizations like ROWW can do amazing things. With measurement like these, Paul Walker’s dream can be a reality that keeps growing year after year.

Have a second to spare? Go check out ROWW website! Just click here.

Lets Toss a Coin

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The Internet is a funny thing. It makes everything seem so vast yet it fits in the palm of our hand. It allows us to connect with people around the world but can also isolates us from the people sitting right across the room. It opens doors while also shutting us out.

Our generation views access to the Internet as a right. We associate it with creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The funny thing is, our generation also has a way of finding the short cuts in life. Now this is a generalization, of course, but it allows us to see both sides of the same coin. On one side we have creation; on the other side, we have falsification.

The discussion about how this coin turns has been around since the Internet first became available to the public. The question of whether “borrowing” something is just as bad a stealing something has been at the forefront of those conversations. Everybody seems to have an opinion on this subject. Some agree, like myself. Others believe that there is no harm in it.

As a public relations major I have seen both sides of this coin. I have to see the effort and commitment on one side and I have to see how it affects those individuals when the coin flips over. To me, what we create online belongs to us just as much as something physical would. When an individual writes a book or creates a piece of art, it is considered undoubtedly theirs. Just because we can now do this in digital form doesn’t make it any different.

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Sure, people can share it; they can like it, comment on it and even screen shot it ,but they can never own it like you could. Congress has long debated over where ownership begins and ends. Perhaps this isn’t a strict black and white situation but it is one coin toss that can always land heads up as long as people do the right thing. Every day we choose what side of the coin we want to be on, I hope you always choose the right one.

MTV and the #VMAs

In today’s world, businesses must exist online in order to survive. Websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (to name a few) have become the meeting halls of our society. Everything from breaking news to 500 baby pictures are shared and disseminated to the World Wide Web in an instant. As of right now there is no better example of this power than MTV’s Video Music Awards or “VMAs”. I personally didn’t have the opportunity to watch them this year due my internet/cable provider but I still know everything that happened during the two-hour show. How is that possible you ask? That, my dear friend, is the power of social media. I wasn’t there; I didn’t watch it but because of my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds I might as well have.

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Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week you will know a lot when down during this year’s VMAs. Kanye announced he was running for president in the year 2020, Justin Bieber cried and the feud between Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus hit a climax. From my view from my computer screen, it was an entertaining show to say the least! That was partly because of MTV’s amazing job of monitoring their social media channels.

They had only a handful of hashtags that were both specific enough to guide their audience but broad enough that they didn’t limit the public’s interaction. MTV also did a great job with connecting with the participants because hashtags. For example, I primarily stayed on #VMA and no matter how long I scrolled I always found a reply or retweet by MTV’s account.

They also sought to be a news source rather than a news provider. What I mean by this is: MTV chose to put out all of their information immediately rather than hold on to it to create lengthy editorial articles later on. Fans were already posting the information anyway so they had to keep up by doing small information blasts instead of publishing the whole thing later on.

MTV also had their other social media channels being run by popular celebrities. For example, Vanessa Hudgens took over the company’s Periscope account and connected with all of her fans. Other celebrities joined in the fun as well by posting on their personal social media accounts using the hashtags.

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Overall, I was impressed by what MTV did on social media. They monitored and engaged in such a way that I knew exactly what was going on without tuning in. Before this year’s VMAs, MTV already had a reputation for being “hip and modern” in todays culture. Since they had such a positive and interactive social media presence this year I believe that reputation has only grown.

Five Things I learned in PR Strategy

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Public Relations Strategy is a class that every PR major will undoubtedly have to take during their time at Texas Tech, as well they should considering it can single-handily make or break their future career. I took it the spring of my first year of college and, for me, it served as a wakeup call. It was my first “big kid” class with “big kid” projects and the very real possibility of a “big kid” failure. With that being said, I loved this class.

The thing about PR Strategy, or PR in general, is that YOU have to decide if you succeed or fail. There isn’t some magic formula that can figure it out for you. Your guts and your brain have to critically think about the problem and come up with the best solution. You must decide how and when to move forward. That, within itself, is very powerful.

I have compiled a list of my top five things I learned from that class. Now, don’t judge me! Some of them are really rudimentary, but I am a firm believer that it’s the little things in life that have the greatest impact.

  1. In this class, I learned in very clear detail how to write PR objectives and tactics. Nothing can make or break a Public Relation campaign like these simple statements.
  2. We got to learned which strategies would work in relevant situations! Remember those Ocean Spray commercials with the two guys standing in a field of cranberries? Well, back in my PR Strategy days those were the bee’s knees! We spend half of the class one day coming up with all sorts of strategies for them to use to increase their awareness. It was a humorous learning environment.
  3. Speaking of commercials- I’ve always been fascinated by the thought process behind them. Like, why did they choose to use that actor and say that message? In this class we got to learn about all the different persuasion strategies that companies use to persuade us to buy their product or idea.
  4. We also learned how these strategies could backfire. There is something very comforting in knowing that things can go wrong at any point and being completely prepared for it. Part of Public Relations is planning for any outcome, even the one you least expect.
  5. Last but not least, I learned to trust my instinct. There are dozens of strategies that can be used at any time, but it is the PR practitioner’s job to decide which one fits best. It is true that each strategy comes with its own set of pros and cons yet there is no definite answer. I learned that I can make those decisions as long as I trust myself and pay attention to all t