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Still Guilty in the Eyes of Many

Last summer on August 25 2020, 17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse, fatally shot two men and
wounded another in Kenosha, Wisconsin during a Black Lives Matter protest that had turned
violent. Following the shooting, Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with two counts of first
degree intended homicide, first degree reckless homicide, and two charges of first degree
reckless endangerment of safety. Due to the politicism of the Black Lives Matter Movement and
the controversy of the second amendment, this case (combined with Rittenhouse’s age and the
conservative hysteria surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement) caused much debate
among the American people regarding the validity of the BLM movement and the dangers of
current gun laws. Many have argued that Rittenhouse acted in self defense, while others point
to how a 17 year old boy elected to bring a rifle to a crowded and chaotic location, while also
lawfully possessing and openly carrying an automatic firearm.


This past week Rittenhouse was found to be not guilty on all charges, and almost immediately
afterward started a PR campaign to paint a different picture of who he is as a person.
Rittenhouse has appeared in an upcoming documentary on FOX, and hosted by Tucker Carlson,
about his case and personal views on the situation. In the short clip that has been released so
far, Rittenhouse firmly states that he is “not racist” and “supports BLM movement”.


Regardless of politics, Rittenhouse will always be known as the person that killed two people in
Kenosha during the chaos. His public relations campaign may try to argue that of his lawyer:
that he was purely acting to defend himself; however this reputation will follow him for the rest of
his life. Although he was acquitted from these charges he is still viewed as guilty in the eyes of
many. Rittenhouse’s PR team will not be able to reverse the damage that has already been
done by the politicism of his case and the controversy regarding the second amendment. Had
Rittenhouse had committed another crime (not murder) and had access to a public relations team prior to the start of the possible controversy, they would have been able to control the
narrative sooner, thus softening the blow in the public eye when a verdict was reached.
However, because the case involves violent death, some of which was captured on video, and
maintained a prominent spot in national headlines for over a year, Rittenhouse will never be
able to shake his reputation, no matter the outcome of the trial. His name will always be
synonymous with getting away with murder and will remain guilty by carrying the title of his own
last name.

What it’s Like as PR Student Working for a Student Run Agency

When I first heard that we were going to be working with real clients, I was
definitely a little intimidated since I am certainly not a PR professional. However, as
soon as I was told who our client was and what exactly we would be doing for them, it
was pure excitement! Working for a student run agency is like working for a professional
PR agency, but with training wheels. It’s overwhelming at first glimpse but you always
have your peers and professor there to help guide you and learn alongside you, which
is always reassuring to know.

Experience
Although the semester goes quickly, there is so much that gets squeezed in that short
amount of time that allows students to leave with an abundance of new knowledge and
really impressive experience. Being a part of a student run agency is a huge resume
booster and really gives students the upper hand. At the end of the semester, all of the
analytics and work done get compiled for students to put straight into their resume. Just
after one semester with 1853 Communications, my resume was already so much
stronger and it helped me when securing an internship.


Guidance for the Future
With experience, comes guidance. Working for a student run agency has really assisted
in guiding me to know where exactly I want to go after graduating. Since the agency
covers such a wide variety of public relations content, I have gotten to test the waters of
the many areas within PR. These areas include event planning, social media,
marketing, crisis communications and more. Personally, I have fallen in love with event
planning thanks to 1853 Communications and the two events I have helped plan and
execute through it.

It’s Fun!
The best part about working for a student run agency is that it is FUN! Every week I get
genuinely excited about going to class and checking off items on our team’s agenda.
Working for our student run PR agency has been a rewarding experience for two
semesters in a row and I would recommend anyone in the Communications department
to join the team as well! Seeing the gratitude from your client is truly a wonderful feeling.

Halloween & Social Media Engagement

Halloween has just passed and the night for trick or treating and night time parties are behind us. Whether you stayed in to binge scary movies with your friends or family, or maybe you got invited to the best Halloween party in the city, we can all agree that the best part of Halloween is judging everyone’s costumes. Specifically, celebrity costumes.

In a PR perspective, having a celebrity client present an eye-opening costume brings in positive traction to their social media, a source of relevance if they were out of the spotlight for a minute. I’ll be listing some of my favorite celebrity costumes for this year, but I wanna focus on Cardi B’s costume and the attention the designer for the dress has garnered.

Now although a lot of celebrities like to wear multiple costumes up until Halloween, mostly for a professional photo shoot to post on Instagram, Cardi’s unofficial costume for the year has grabbed me by the neck. With nearly five million likes in a day, Cardi’s Morticia Addams costume has drawn appreciation to the designer of the outfit, Natalia Fedner. Her portfolio is already full of A-list celebrities such as Beyonce and the Kardashians, but brand awareness is always a must have when it comes to Instagram.

Now, as for my favorite celebrity costumes for Halloween 2021:

Hailey Baldwin as Britney Spears

Hailey’s dedication to Britney Spears comes in perfect timing as Britney has recently earned her freedom from the conservatorship from her family. The outfits are gorgeous and accurate while the photos are near perfection. 9/10

Megan Thee Stallion as Cruella de Vil

This look was definitely on the more simpler side, but the two-toned bangs with dalmatian spots is a trendsetter. 8/10

Doja Cat as Sara Bellum from “The Powerpuff Girls”

There are not enough words in the world to describe how much I love this costume. Sara Bellum is such an amazing character to dress up as and Doja Cat really pulled this off. 10/10

Chloe Bailey as Betty Boop

I honestly haven’t seen many Betty Boop costumes over the years, but I really appreciate how well Chloe recreated this look. It gives such a homage considering Betty Boop was originally based on an African-American singer. 9/10

Hayley Kiyoko as Kang Sae-byeok from “Squid Game”

Was there really going to be a Halloween this year if someone didn’t recreate the “Squid Game” look? I didn’t think so too, and that’s why singer Hayley did a fantastic job puling this off.

How to Get Good PR This Holiday Season

Black Friday is right around the corner. A day of capitalistic greed disguised under mountains of markdowns. A day of traffic jams and long wait times. A day that has overshadowed it’s neighboring holiday, Thanksgiving, so much that Black “Friday” starts on a Thursday. 

As someone who has worked in retail for almost 3 years, with my 4th Black Friday coming up, I can personally tell you the hell that Black Friday can be for workers like myself. Each year I find myself having to show up for work earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving as retailers decide to push the Black Friday agenda to be sooner. There’s the obvious physical demand for the job: headaches and sore feet/hands. There’s also the emotional: wanting to spend Thanksgiving dinner with your family but instead are stuck being berated by a Karen for the register crashing or our sales not being good enough. We’re trying our best, people!

 In an article by Transformation Marketing, the Bean Team writes about how Mall of America has actually stepped back from opening on Thanksgiving and let their workers rest with family. From a Public Relations standpoint, this was huge. The Bean Team mentions that
“fans of the closure have taken to Twitter to show their support for the mall, and many are hoping for other businesses to follow suit”. 

Generation Z is really big on respecting workers. It’s a trend to have the mindset of “hey, don’t be a jerk to your minimum wage waiter at Applebees”. It’s interesting to see how big businesses are responding to this new wave of thinking. One might think that Mall of America was analyzing this trend to be receptive to the newer generation, which is an insanely good PR stunt if that was so. Although, they may have also closed because no one was shopping that early on the holiday so it wasn’t profitable, but hey! Who’s to say.

From a brand perspective, Black Friday is the time to get your PR out there! There are countless articles on how to effectively use PR and social media to boost your Black Friday sales, as it is a perfect opportunity to showcase your products. No one will use your awesome deal if you don’t tell them about it.

Black Friday and PR go hand in hand. Whether it be applause for not overworking your staff or promoting your own brand, public relations is quite evident in both. 

How J. Cole Has Finally Begun to Embrace Social Media

Not known for being on social media as often as his other musical counterparts, Grammy-award winning rapper J. Cole has used the year 2021 to connect with his fans more often than he has ever done before. Whether it be through his Twitter account or on Instagram, Cole has almost made as many announcements online this year alone as he has in the last couple of years all together. About a decade ago, Cole and his production team were known for their “Dollar and a Dream” tours, where they promote $1 dollar concerts through word of mouth across several cities worldwide, but things are way different now. Much of this can be attributed to the changing times that society has undergone with the global pandemic as a result of COVID-19, but more than that, it appears that Cole has truly begun to embrace his ability to have a big platform to keep fans updated on his future endeavors.

It started with his first post of the year on January 21st, where he humorously admits in his tweet that he “forgot how to use Twitter”, before going on to promote his new signature sneakers with popular shoe company Puma. After this announcement, Cole again took his usual hiatus from social media. Four months later, however, he shocked fans with the announcement of a new album on the way titled, “The Off-Season.” Right away, this sent fans across all platforms into a frenzy waiting for the album to be released, and in the meantime, Cole would stay active on Twitter giving continuous updates on the album and promoting his latest sneakers.

After the release of the album, he would send links on his account to his newest music videos and to where fans could purchase tickets to see him on tour. This led to more social media outlets other being used by Cole, including YouTube and the website of his music label, Dreamville.com. In fact, he has used YouTube to release his newest song, “Heaven’s EP”, and the song is only able to be listened to on there and no other streaming services. Besides this, he has continued to be online selling merchandise and promoting other artists on his label.

Recently, Cole postponed his Philadelphia concert from its previously scheduled date on September 29th to October 27th. He announced the sudden news to fans on his personal Instagram account, stating that logistical issues were the cause of the rescheduling. He stated, “While the show is amazing, we didn’t account for the fact that it takes way longer to load [the lights] into the house, so we’re experiencing delays in opening the doors to get people in.”

Ultimately, J. Cole is another artist that has taken advantage of this new social media era to display his work on a variety of platforms. Although it took him a little longer to accept than other rappers, he has fully utilized how it keeps his fans in the know of his otherwise private lifestyle.

other rappers, he has fully utilized how it keeps his fans in the know of his otherwise private lifestyle

PR + Campaign = SUCCESS! (The PR Professional Formula)

A PR campaign is the most valuable tool a business can use to increase brand awareness or profits for years to come, even after the campaign is over. If effectively done a PR campaign will leave an impression on the target audience that will influence their attitudes and behaviors about a particular product, service, or person. However, if the campaign misses the mark or is a total flop it can harm a company or brand. It is harder to change negative opinions about a company once the damage is done, so this powerful marketing and branding tool should only be used by professionals.

Although I am not a successful PR professional yet, with emphasis on YET, I am on my way to pursuing a promising career in Public Relations. Last semester I took an Introduction course to PR, where I had to develop and pitch a mock PR campaign idea to a potential client. The PowerPoint presentation was presented to the students in the class, who served as the company. I had to follow a strict outline using the RACE process (Research, Action, Communication, and Evaluation) while staying within the allotted time frame. This detail was especially important, it made me aware of how planning and practicing are key when pitching ideas. This project required me to use written and oral communication along with public speaking skills such as voice control, volume, and pace. Overall, this exercise and the material we covered in the course helped to shape my career aspirations of wanting to be a PR professional.

This semester I am excited to be a part of 1853 Communications, a student PR firm at Arcadia University. I am getting firsthand experience and working with a diverse team, which I really appreciate because of the different ideas and viewpoints. At the beginning of this semester, we have dived right in by designing logos, budget planning and met with a client to discuss a PR campaign. Now we are in the process of developing and planning an awareness campaign for a non-profit organization, “For Pete’s Sake” (FPS). FPS is a cancer respite foundation that provides adult cancer patients (24-55 years old) and their families “a break from cancer” at one of their respite locations. This plan is still in the developing stages, but we have been covering a lot of ground in a collaborative group, smaller teams as well as being assigned an independent task to complete. This practicum is the perfect follow-up to the course I took last semester (Intro to Public Relations) because it picked up right where I left off. I am getting the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I learned about the PR field while being able to improve on my skill set. I recommend taking a practicum in a related field of study along with an internship. The experience is different with a practicum course and an internship. Both courses are beneficial and will help build your resume along with providing a great start on your career path, combined they will give you an advantage in the work field.

I am looking forward to executing our PR campaign and it is a success, and YES, I am claiming it as a success already, failure is not an option. This along with the other projects we do will add to our portfolios but pulling off a successful PR campaign that will bring awareness to a great cause is a huge self-accomplishment for all of us at 1853 Communications. No matter where we end up in life, we will always remember this PR campaign as paving the way to becoming successful Public Relations professionals.

The UFC’s Successful PR Tactics During the Pandemic

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is one of the fastest growing sports in the industry currently. Through the pandemic the UFC transformed from targeting a niche sporting audience to becoming a mainstream sport, and an industry leader in PR tactics. So how was the UFC able to pull off this rapid increase in attention and revenue?

On May, 9th, 2020 The UFC hosted the first major United States sporting event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. UFC President Dana White was unrelenting in his pursuit of bringing back sports during this global tragedy. He saw an opportunity with the lack of sports media during that time, and took advantage of the circumstances by continuing to host fight cards with extensive COVID protocols. As a result of this PR tactic, White and the UFC had the entire sports industry completely focused on their organization, as it was the only source of current sports media coverage.

White’s diligent efforts during the pandemic helped the UFC begin many major partnerships with Industry conglomerates. A few of the UFC’s current partners include: ESPN, Draft-Kings, Monster Energy, Modelo, and Harley-Davidson.

Although hosting events during a deficit in sports content was a huge factor in the organization’s industry growth, their PR strategies before and after this event are a major factor in what made their organization successful. The UFC has one of the best, if not most consistent PR teams in the industry, and their strengths shined during the pandemic, as they had the opportunity to not be outshined by larger sports organizations.

The UFC uses social media as one of their main PR tactics. Their Instagram has 28.9 million followers, their Twitter has 8.7 million followers, their Youtube has 12.3 million subscribers, and their Facebook has over 28 million page likes. So it’s safe to say that their social media has a pretty strong outreach.

The organization uses their social media to post content that advertises their fighters, upcoming fight cards, announcements, and incorporates advertisements into their content. They have an extremely consistent and engaging social media presence that effectively keeps fans coming back to their pages.

Arguably one of their most successful PR strategies is their utilization of “hype videos” for each fight card they are advertising. The purpose of these videos is to get fans excited enough about a fight card that they are willing to pay for it, especially in the cases of Pay-Per-View events.

The UFC targets their PR strategies to convince fans to invest in two financial avenues. First is to encourage fans to purchase an ESPN+ subscription. This subscription gives subscribers access to the weekly “Fight Night” cards for $6.99 a month. The second avenue is using their PR to encourage fans to purchase their Pay-Per-View events (having an ESPN+ subscription does provide a discount for these events, but you still need to pay a one time fee of $69.99).

Their PR tactics, and social media content to “hype” fights get fans so excited that they are willing to spend money to be able to watch different fighters each week. The promotion videos are not only fun and exciting to watch, they are extremely persuasive in convincing fans that this is a once in a lifetime event, and they can’t miss it. The use of their social media and “hype videos”, even before the pandemic, has allowed the organization to build its brand up to this point.

The UFC’s social media also allowed the organization to showcase the strengths of their event management team. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is not a sport like basketball, where teams have a season schedule that is predetermined months before they start playing. MMA matchmaking is ever changing, as schedules depend on injuries, weight-classes, wins/losses, championships, etc. Hosting an event during the pandemic was not an easy feat, but hosting weekly events, especially given the burden of constantly changing fighter schedules and availability, is even more unheard of. The UFC has been able to pull off incredible event management for years, the pandemic just gave them an opportunity to showcase their strengths with the sports industry’s full attention. They continue to set the standard for how effective and efficient organizations need to be with how they schedule and promote events.

Whether or not you believe the UFC hosting events during a global pandemic is ethical, the success of their PR strategies by finding opportunity during the rapid decline of sport content was business savvy. Their PR and event management teams had a chance to shine, and they definitely took full advantage of the opportunity.

Looking Back On A Challenging Year

As the Arcadia community looks back on one year of being fully online, it is important to hold onto silver linings. One year ago, April 5th, 2020, students and faculty were meant to return to campus to finish out the school year in person and what we once believed would be a two-week spring break, has turned into a year of hardship as we navigate living through the pandemic. 

Looking back on this year of online schooling can be quite sad and hard to comprehend, especially after believing that we would only be online for two weeks last April. Students should know that counseling with wonderful staff is available to all and can be very beneficial to reckoning with living as a college student through a pandemic. Counseling is currently available through phone and zoom sessions; to learn more, visit this link or call 215-572-2967. And if all goes according to plan, in person sessions will be offered next semester! 

Students have been frustrated, grief-stricken, and disappointed during this past year, but they have also been incredibly resilient, hard-working, and determined. Arcadia students have displayed incredible adaptability this past year, let’s take a look at some of their accomplishments:

  • 1853 Communications, Arcadia’s student-run Public Relations firm, just completed their first ever virtual campaign in partner with Donate Life to raise awareness about organ donation. 
  • Arcadia’s theatre department proved its adaptability by putting on its first ever virtual productions which were fantastic. 
  • Seniors have been working tirelessly and are finishing up their theses online with the assistance of our dedicated faculty and they’re looking great so far.

Last year, we watched as the class of 2020 graduated with a diploma in the mail and now we are gearing up to hold smaller, department-based, commencement ceremonies on our beloved Haber Green this May. 

As the Arcadia community plans for the upcoming academic year we are so excited to see everyone back on campus and to recreate campus life in a cautious, yet fun and interactive way. As we can see, one year can change a lot! With the vaccine rolling out and “more than 500 Arcadia community members received their first COVID vaccine dose, administered on campus by Rite Aid pharmacists on April 8 in the Great Room” to students and staff, hope is definitely on the horizon. 

Earth Day

Earth Day is drawing near! Thursday, April 22nd is a day dedicated to supporting environmental protection. More than 1 billion individuals celebrate this significant holiday, involving over 190+ countries. In schools around the nation, teachers will start the day by announcing the significance and history of Earth Day before diving into fun projects that celebrate environmentalism and sustainability. Here we will do the same, starting with a brief history of this holiday and including some at-home ways to help you become more sustainable in honor of Mother Earth!

History

According to earthday.org, the first Earth Day was on April 22nd of 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin recognized the ignorance Americans had when it came to pollution. Americans were oblivious to the fact that they were “consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles”. At the time there was an anti-war movement and Nelson decided to use that to push a teach-in day (April 22nd) about conservation on college campuses. This event quickly snowballed, capturing the attention of the media and the official name became Earth Day. It became so popular that earthday.org also states that “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders”. This sparked a revolution in environmentalist-focused laws around America and people began to celebrate Earth Day around the world in 1990. Now, it is a widely honored day that people take part in every year!

At-Home Sustainability

Below are some fun ways that YOU can celebrate being sustainable this Earth Day, as well as everyday of your life! Although it is important to note that the growing climate crisis is due to big corporations and their non-eco friendly practices, any small step an individual makes to grow towards sustainability gets a big hug from Mother Earth. 

  • Save! And! Reuse! Amazon! Boxes!!!!!
  • Upcycle your clothes! There is a whole community on TikTok dedicated to this!
  • Opt in for No Receipts when shopping, as it saves paper
  • Have an exact meal plan going to the grocery store, so you don’t end up wasting food
  • Grow your own herbs!
  • Take showers instead of baths, but still make them short! A standard shower head uses 2.5 gallons of water in a single minute- imagine it as gallons of milk wasted! 
  • Use reusable make up cloths
  • Cut up old t-shirts as rags instead of donating them, Goodwill throws a lot of donated items away
  • Keep plants in your home as a method of air purification!

St. Patrick’s Day and Public Relations

Questioning Origins of St. Patrick’s Day Themes

Leprechauns, rainbows, parades, and beer are now some key factors in the modern St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. As much as we spend every March 17 blindly celebrating the holiday with these themes, have you ever stopped to think where all of these St. Patrick’s day themes came from? By looking back at the holiday’s history, one can ultimately find that public relations are the culprit for turning the originally Irish-Catholic holiday into the drunk green parades we now know and love.

Looking Back at the creation of St Patrick’s Day 

St. Patrick’s day was first recognized by the Vatican in 1631 as those in Ireland had celebrated the “religious feast day that commemorates the death of St. Patrick,” the nation’s patron saint credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, who died in the fifth century (Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise). “For most Irish people at home, the day remained primarily religious into the 20th century,” and did not even become “a public holiday in Ireland until 1904”.  

However, it was during this time in the 1900s that the holiday began to transform. During the 1920s – 1950s, the religious holiday was more somber with morning mass, a military parade, and closed bars. In the 1960s, the holiday began to become more exciting when celebratory parades began to replace the traditional military parades leading to the beginning of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival in 1966. The festival in Dublin, Ireland is more familiar to what we know now, including a “four-day event of music, treasure hunts, performances, and of course, on the day itself, a two-hour parade” that draws up to half a million people.

St. Patrick’s Day Traveling to the United States

Immigrants in the United States wanted to find a way to celebrate their pride “The first recorded celebrations of March 17 [in the United States] took place in Boston in 1737,” but it was not until 1766 when “the tradition of parading began amongst Irish Catholic members of the British Army in New York”. At the end of the civil war as more Irish immigrants came to the United States, and as the St. Patrick’s Day Festival began to surge in popularity in Ireland during the late 1960’s, Irish immigrants began to carry over their celebrations to the United States. This celebration was not only a tradition they carried from Ireland, but also a way to celebrate their culture as they were often stereotyped while in the United States. 

Public Relations Using Holiday for Profit

In the 20th century, marketing and public relations firms began to take advantage of the annual festival taking place in the United States. Companies’ event planners could plan out promotional events surrounding the annual festival. Some examples of this you might see today are parades, bar crawls, concerts, and game nights. Public relations workers took it even further and began to create season product lines involving anything that was the color green. Seasonal clothing, foods, drinks, and alcohol are all some of the ways that marketers began to use the holiday to their advantage for promotional purposes. The main marketing actions that solidify the event as a national holiday rather than a yearly festival are the greeting cards that began to become mass produced throughout the nation during March. Ultimately, the timing, unique colors, and entertaining events associated with Saint Patrick’s day on March 17 all tied perfectly together to create a joyous, cultural celebration just as the weather begins to become nicer out leading up to spring. 

The Strength of the Holiday

With the help of marketers and public relations professionals, St. Patrick’s day was able to stand the test of time on a national level. Beginning in the 1600s and a quiet religious holiday, festivals and marketers have transformed the holiday into the entertaining and joyous holiday we all know today. Although the original intent of public relations professionals may have been to profit off of the festivals, their actions lead to the continuous celebration of Ireland’s culture on a national level centuries after its origin in the 1600s.

All historical facts and statistics are outsourced from the “TIME” article “How America Invented St. Patrick’s Day” written by Zócalo Public Square on March 15, 2015. Zócalo Public Square is a magazine of ideas from Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise.

Source link: https://time.com/3744055/america-invented-st-patricks-day/

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