Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Tiffany Theory

Recently, I came across an article that talked about the Tiffany Theory. This theory is useful to many of the projects I have worked on and can be used in every aspect of PR.

The Tiffany Theory:
   What do you think of when you imagine Tiffany's? A little blue box? It's a symbol of value...or perceived value. Tiffany's jewelry has a much higher perceived value when it is in the blue box (and white ribbon) than if it had a plain box. 
   Much of successful PR is gift-wrapping. You take the challenge of a plain message and present it in a way that is exciting, where the value is seems to be higher. In public relations, perception is reality. The way the public views your story or company depends on how you present it. Wrap it well. The better it is wrapped, the straighter the edges, the larger the bow, the more correct and polished it is, the better your story or presentation is to the audience. 
   This doesn't mean lie. Lying is never allowed, it is not ethical and it will always be caught. This is simply a way to stand out, show the importance and passion in what you're presenting, and gain attention. We are trying to bring the public to the conclusion we are trying to promote. 
Conclusion: When you receive blue box it means that jewelry is expensive and valuable. 
Truth: Tiffany's isn't nearly as expensive as some other jewelry stores.

How can this be simply implemented to every day work?
   This week I have been working on a write-up for Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. This is a plain, boring, five-page write-up to nominate the Chairman of the Board for the Chairman of the Year 2011 national award. The award sheet says it can be e-mailed or mailed to the address given and needs to include certain written materials. Looking at last years copy, I was bored. I absolutely did not want to do this job, it looked dreadful. Why did it look so bad? It was plain paper, black and white ink, with five pages worth of text. I had to do it, and if I am going to do something like this, it was time to get out the wrapping paper out. Last years obviously didn't win, this one will...or at least stand out in the pile. The text didn't change much, the material was much the same as last year's, just re-worded. The presentation looked like it was for the President of the United States. Suddenly a little pagination, design elements, color, charts and pictures made the perceived value higher. This write-up will stand out among the other nominations, and the presentation looks like our hospital must be more professional; therefore, we must have better leadership. The CEO wrote me a personal thank you note. It's Tiffany. I just put wrapped that boring write-up in Tiffany's paper and suddenly it is much better than the rest.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

When PR Gets Dangerous- The slaying of a Hollywood publicist

   National headlines are flooded with news about the slaying of Ronni Chasen, one of the most popular publicists in Hollywood."Everybody's running around town with their mouths dropped open. We're all a little shell-shocked," said publicist Howard Bragman."To lose somebody so suddenly -- and the way she was taken -- that's not the kind of thing you'd expect to see in this community," he added. "A publicist? I've had unhappy clients, but she's the last one you'd expect this to happen to. P.R. is generally not a dangerous job."
   Chasen was representing clients at the premiere for the highly anticipated film "Burlesque" the night her life was taken. No one knew this would be this would be her last red carpet. Chasen was shot multiple times as she drove home along Sunset Boulevard to her Hollywood condo in the popular Beverly Hills flat, where Lucille Ball and other stars once lived. Chasen was found in her car after she had crashed into a utility pole in her neighborhood.
   Modeling herself after old Hollywood press agents, Chasen has successfully campaigned for seven Oscar wins for Best Picture, including "Slumdog Millionaire", "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Hurt Locker." She also campaigned for Grammy awards in six different categories including Alanis Morisette's "Jagged Little Pill" for Album of the Year. Chasen has run her own boutique PR firm in Hollywood for the past 20 years.
   There are no suspects or clues, and no one can imagine a client who would be angry enough to do this. It seems that people are thinking it is a client, and no one has mentioned anything about it being a random crime, but so far, that is what it seems to be. 
   What if I am wrong and this is an angry client? When does it get dangerous to represent a client? What could have happened that was worth taking a life? Right now publicists are shocked and on their toes, this doesn't happen in the PR world much. I am anxious to see how this crime unfolds, and I am sure it will be a learning experience for publicists are public relations practitioners everywhere.

CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/11/17/slain.publicist.ronni.chasen/index.html?hpt=C1

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who wants a rewarding job?

   This morning I came across this blog about non-profit public relations. As a student with a major in public relations and a minor in non-profit marketing, this especially appealed to me. When thinking about job searching, I always try to make a list of careers that would make me EXCITED to go to work. Not many people can say they are excited about work, but I would like to be one of them. There are two things that would make me excited: 1. Working with a big name company with fun connections  2. Working for a non-profit where I know I will make an impact in someone's life by the work I do each day.

   While reading this blog, I realized that non-profit PR has all of the normal responsibilities of regular PR, just with an extra challenge. In her entry-level job, she still gets to manage interviews, conduct social media, strategize, be creative and monitor what's going on in the media, all while helping others succeed through her career. Non-Profit PR, I'm looking for you this May.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Power of a Picture

All pictures are worth 1,000 words, but some have captured history in one single photograph. There is something about photography that is intriguing. Images can stay in a mind for a lifetime and can perfectly depict a time frame. 
"George W. Bush calls Katrina photo huge mistake" came up on the front page of Yahoo.com today. It is an article about the infamous picture of George W. looking out the window of Air Force One at the damage Hurricane Katrina had left in New Orleans. The picture was consistently used to portray the lack of effort and responsibility by the Bush Administration after the destruction. George W. Bush talks about how one picture can ruin an image for a lifetime...

How important is a picture? How powerful can one photograph be? Take a look at some of my favorite pictures in history...

School segregation at Little Rock High School.

The first atomic bomb at Hiroshima, it killed approximately 80,000 people.

The personality of one of the smartest men to ever live-Albert Einstein.

The kiss to end World War II. This was taken in Times Square, but what isn't seen in this picture is that the soldier was walking through town kissing every girl he could, and this particular nurse slapped him after the famous kiss.

The most controversial photo of 9/11. The newspaper that ran it called it "a symbol of the 9/11 reactions." The picture only ran once in America because of the controversy and anger it sparked. 

Lunch while building the GE skyscraper in New York-1932.

The Great Depression. This picture changed opinions about migrants across America after Florence, the woman pictured, sold her tent (her last possession) to feed her seven children for the day.

A vulture watches a starving child in Sudan-1993. Haunted by the horrific images in Sudan, Kevin Carter, the photographer, committed suicide in 1994 after winning an award for this picture.