Walking can save PR partitioners from mental illness.

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Figures from the PRCA have demonstrated that more than 30% of people who work in the PR industry have experienced depression or been diagnosed with mental illness (PRCA). Additionally, 45% of the respondents claims that they are under more pressure compared to a year ago.

Since the PR industry can be regarded as one of the most competitive fields, it is imaginable to have a heavy workload with the stress from either clients or managers. Based on the result given by PRCA as well, it states that over half of PR professions think that it is unacceptable to have mental health problems. So how can a PR person can survive from this fierce competition? The answer is very simple, Just walking!

In general, many believe that exercising can contribute to release the stress and keep healthy at the same time efficiently.

According to research of 176 students and adults conducted by Stanford University, it can be found that the creative output of a person can be  improved by 60% more than the average while they were walking no matter if it is indoors or outdoors. For instance, both the previous CEO of Apple, Steven jobs and the co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is pointed out to prefer to hold a walking meeting  rather than just sitting in the room. However, holding a meeting on the move may be suitable for one-on-one situation such as a job interviews or a little discuss with colleagues.

Next time when you are struggling with coming up with a good idea, why not just leave the table and go for a walk. Maybe it can help you boost your creativity and make you more productive. After all, PR is a sort of job that requires a lot of creative efforts.

Behind the photos : Who is affected ?

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Today, a heartbreaking news hit the headlines in almost every newspaper worldwide. Germanwings airbus A320 crashed in France, killing 150 people on board.This sad news reminded me of another air crash tragedy which happened last month in my home town,Taiwan.

There is no denying that photographic contents of newspapers can bring more impact than that of text. Consequently, it is imperative for the media in terms of using images to shape events for the general public as well as affectees.


As I read through the article reported by The guardian, I started to realise that there is a huge difference in the way of western and eastern media generate visual content in the newspapers respectively.

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In Taiwan, in order to make the stories more narrative and draw more attention from the public, journalists tend to provide a lot of harrowing pictures or even to record interviews with the families from the victims so as to demonstrate the story more realistically. Indeed, offering many terrifying visuals will attracted the attention from the public and get more people involved, yet it makes me wonder is it necessarily a good way to portray stories?

_81897250_memorial_afpMedia in the western countries, on the other hand, are more aware of the importance of framing news photography especially in disaster situations. They focus more on the accident itself rather than revealing the grief from those who are suffering. In this way, it can not only show the respect to the victims and their families but also prevent the audiences especially children to be influenced harmfully.

As a PR person, it is very important to think twice about how to use visuals properly to support your campaigns. Be aware of not only how to serve the interest for your audiences but also take affectees such as victims into consideration.

Speaking out for voiceless animals in the Fashion.

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The preeminent leader of Indian independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi, once said “ The moral progress of a nation and its greatness should be judged by the way it treats its animals.” There is no denying that animals have become increasingly important in our society, as more and more people stand out for their own lives to fight for the right equality for animals.

I personally believe that animal should have the right to not be treated as a property or even sacrificed for human desires. Below is an influential campaign that I watched a few years ago, it is quiet straight forward and powerful to make the audience feel the fear of being abused. The producer used the idea of changing the role of people into animals that are suffering because of human activities.

When the earth was beast rule.

「TAKE OFF YOUR FUR. PUT ON YOUR HUMANITY.」

This video was made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world’s largest animal rights organisation and was founded in  1980. They devote themselves to protecting animals from factory farms, clothing, entertainments and animal laboratories.

brigitte-bardot-with-sealWith the increasing demand for leather and animal skins in the market, it is believed that there are over 30 million animals are killed in the name of fashion. In 1977, Bridgette Bardot, a French actress and fashion model who was regarded as the first celebrity to advocate against animal skins. The campaign she took part in was organised by Greenpeace to prevent seals from being killed for their skins. Yet it was not until the mid eighties that people started to be increasingly aware of the use of animal hides. 

PETApinkFURad72-500x380Currently, PETA keeps running the campaign ‘ Rather go naked than wear fur ‘ cooperating with P!nk to support animal rights. There are still many celebrities such as Keltie Knight and Wendy Williams who work jointly with the organisation to keep animals away from exploitation. Through using celebrities endorsement, it is expected to spread the impact continuously to the public especially in cities such as London or Paris which have always been associated as renowned cities with their prosperous fashion industry.

Is a PR degree essential for your PR career ?

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When it comes to taking a PR course , many would argue that it is a waste of time. Partly, working in the PR industry is more about gaining communication skills and building up social capital through real-life situations. According to the requirements from a PR manager recruitment ad online (Reed) , it can be found that the company  cares more about your relevant work experiences rather than a PR certification. Additionally ,Gerry Hopkinson, the head of Unity PR , claims that ‘PR is not brain surgery and there is a danger we can teach students PR but by the time they graduate, things will have moved on’ (PR WEEK). Therefore , it seems that having applicable working experiences is relatively beneficial compared to PR degrees in terms of joining the PR industry.   

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However, do people necessarily not benefit from a PR education ? It is believed that attending a PR course can help people to obtain basic knowledge regarding PR such as theories as well as codes of conduct. As Julia Hobsbawm, founder of Editorial Intelligence and professor of PR at the London College of Communications, states that PR professions with an academic qualification tend to have a greater research skill which is vital for supporting practice. Furthermore, for those who don’t have a background related to PR , taking PR degrees provides a quick method to understanding the PR industry.

In my opinion , PR courses are not essential but can be helpful to a certain degree. It is like learning how to drive , some people learn from going on the road by themselves while others take driving lessons. No matter what techniques you are going to use to help you acknowledge PR profession , it is more about the individual , learning how to think critically and keep up with the trends are the things that count.

Social media has helped put the public back into public relations ?

dadcbfde8c3a5aff85a3819a51c23188Nowadays, social media plays a vital role for brand communication and conversation. According to the infographics provided by We are social , it can be found that there are more than 2 billion active users of social media each month. Among various social media platforms, Facebook is believed to be favoured by the majority of organisations and has a larger groups of users than another other channels.

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      In particular, many organisations especially from business field has invested in online media to build up a platform to improve their  relationship with their customers. For instance, Starbucks has turned the online feedback into something concrete so as to improve their service for the public, in stores. Studies have shown that up to 85% of customers want to share their ideas and insights for improvements, but half of them don’t feel encouraged to speak up and share. It seems that online channels offer an opportunity for the public to give the opinions back. However, does social media necessarily allow the customers to have a two-way conversation with the organisation itself ?

      To be honest, from my point of view, social media are still appealing to one-way publicity driven communication. Namely, organisations hardly reply to messages on the platform, they just share specific contents that are beneficial for their sales or reputations rather than actively giving a repose to the individual. Also, there is still a inequity between individuals and organisations especially for political situations in the virtual world. Once there are comments that is harmful towards the organisation, they are the ones who have the power to control the situation and delete the messages. The true two-way communication has to be a mutual dialogue not just an opinion that is lead by only one side.

Is caused-related marketing worth trying?

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Caused-related marketing (CRM) can be defined as a promotional strategy that refers to a company collaborating with a nonprofit organisation to tackle a social or environmental issue and gains profits mutually. CRM itself is not all about philanthropy, it is more like a sort of investment that is expected to generate revenue in return.

The term was first introduced by American Express in a campaign that aims to restore the State of Liberty. Namely, The company donated a portion of money from each use of its American Express card which contributed to a 28% increasing use of the transaction activity and donated approximately $2 million totally (Financial Times).

A recent study conducted by 2,000 people shows that 81% of the customers appear to buy products that have associate with a cause and 85% of them would have a more positive image of a company that teams up with a not-for-profit organisation to address social problems (Here you can find more information). It is believed that having a partnership with a charity offers an opportunity for the public to purchase and give away at the same time.

So far, it seems to me that no matter what our role are, the company, the charity or the consumers, we can all benefit from CRM. Yet, there are still some problems behind CRM.

From a business point of view, the cost to carry out a CRM programme has experience a dramatic increase from zero to $1.3 billions in the last two decades and it is expected to continually go up in the future. Accordingly, it seems that CRM is no longer a cost-efficient PR strategy for a company. In addition, once a charity has a partnership with a company, they will change their role from a not-for-profit to a for-profit sector which may result in being questioned by the public about their initiative. As for the customer, think about these questions before acting this kind of charitable purchasing: Did the energy used to create the CRM products destroy another acre of rain forest, and therefore hasten the endangerment of yet another species and the warming of the planet?

A campaign for hearts and minds : Kleenex Kiss

When there is a promotional video popping up on my screen, I usually skip it except for the one  recent advertisement called Kleenex Kiss which drew my attention successfully. The video is about the real-time reactions and emotions of those receiving the messages unexpectedly via a pop-up billboard, with hidden cameras placed in public locations.

Kleenex Kiss – I Love You

The brand, Kleenex, is the biggest tissue brand in the UK. Their latest campaign, Kleenex Kiss, is carried out to motivate their customers to kiss the brand’s tissue then hand it over to a loved one including friends and families. This idea is based on the insight that turning the action of giving someone a tissue into a tangible symbol of love and care.

In particular, the company also built a mircowebsite that allows their customer to upload their video online. Additionally, the company released a new design for their pack and box along with the visual representation of kiss : X, to correspond with their new campaign and to remind their customers that Kleenex ’s tissue is a product that is full of love and care.

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Kleenex kiss has succeeded in drawing attention from the public as well as driving traffic to their own social media platforms.The reason why I think this campaign is successful is simply because they use an emotional connection with the audience, linking the idea of love with their products.

The term, Emotional branding, is used within marketing communication that refers to the practice of building brands that appeal directly to a consumer’s emotional state, needs and aspirations. Namely, the emotional marketing begins with a feeling then the product’s features demonstrate it which reflects profoundly on Kleenex’s latest campaign. For a PR person, maybe it will be a good starting point to give priority to customer’s emotions in the first place when it comes to creating a new campaign to make a good impression on them.