Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Social Media Club of Cache Valley – Press Release

                                    Contact Information:
Preston Parker, President

Social Media Club of Cache Valley
851 N. Main St., Logan UT 84321

Social Media Club of Cache Valley

January 27, 2010

The Social Media Club of Cache Valley is an offspring of the Salt Lake City chapter of the Social Media Club. The National Social Media Club is headquartered in San Francisco. The Cache Valley chapter of the SMC began in August 2009. Starting out with only 7 board members, the SMCCV now has 40 to 60 active members that attend their monthly guest speaker meetings and tri-monthly "Tweet-ups".

According to President Preston Parker, "The Social Media Club is an incredible opportunity for those involved in social media to meet, socialize, and learn from one another, because it provides an atmosphere for social media users from all different walks of life to connect."

To learn more about the SMCCV contact our media agent.

Elise Frederickson

Friday, January 22, 2010

Smooth move, United.

In March 2008, Dave Carroll and his musician buddies were headed out on their weeklong tour of Nebraska. Not long after they boarded their plane they heard a woman shouting about the United Airlines employees throwing guitars. As Dave and his band members looked out the window, they discovered two of their guitars had been tossed carelessly. Dave got the attention of a flight attendant who pawned his concerns off on someone else.

Upon retrieving his luggage, Dave found his $3500 guitar broken in pieces. He talked with a number of United Airlines employees who offered him no assistance. When he returned home after the tour, he spoke with a representative from Air Canada, United Airline's partner company, who acknowledged the damage and opened a claim for him. Air Canada quickly denied the claim and redirected him back to United Airlines for assistance.

Things like this went on for another 9 months. His claims were denied and he was repeatedly told to speak to someone else. His last request was for a travel voucher for $1200 which would cover the cost of the guitar repair. That request was also denied. In his final email to the United Airlines representative he was in contact with, Dave informed her that he was a country singer and that he'd write 3 songs about United Airlines and about his experience with them.

Two of the three videos have been posted on Youtube. The first one receiving over 7, 400,000 views since posted in July of last year. The video had over 150,000 hits in its first day. Because of this Youtube video, United Airlines' stock fell by nearly ten percent and they lost approximately $180 million.

In my opinion, as well as the opinions of many who viewed the video and commented on the Youtube page, United Airlines would have been much better off had they simply given Dave compensation for the damages to his guitar.

This story illustrates how huge social media truly is. The video was posted and spread like wildfire. This is the only publicity that Dave's story got at the beginning and it severely damaged United Airlines' reputation within a matter of hours. To this day, the story is still damaging the airlines' reputation. I performed a search on Twitter for "united breaks guitars" and found four posts about the video/story in the last three hours.

Another thing I discovered while researching this story was that while it's easy to find news articles and posts about Dave's side of the story, the United Airline's company hasn't posted much to improve their reputation. They did offer Dave the compensation he'd asked for prior if he'd take the video off Youtube, which he turned down, but there hasn't been much of an effort beyond that.

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. The impact of things that are posted through social media is a huge one. Companies and corporations should be careful about what they post and what is posted about them through social media the same way they are cautious about the information shared about them in traditional news media. Public relations representatives need to have an in-depth knowledge of how to use social media.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Letter to cousin- What is PR?

Dear Ashley,

Last time I talked with you, you expressed an interest in learning about public relations. Simply put, public relations is the art of establishing a positive relationship between an institution and the public. Both large and small corporations have public relations professionals working for and promoting them.

Public relations is often compared to marketing, and while they are similar, they do have some key differences. Marketing is more about promoting a product or service, while public relations is more about promoting the organization itself. Advertising is also compared with public relations on occasion. The difference there is that advertising is controlled media that is paid for. Public relations differs from advertising because PR professionals provide information such as press releases and media kits to create uncontrolled media content.

When we were talking, you also asked me what public relations professionals write about. I mentioned earlier both press releases and media kits. PR professionals also write things like speeches, public service announcements, newsletters, brochures, and annual reports. It is important for public relations professionals to know how to write well because these are all professional publications. Therefore, bad writing could very well equal bad PR.

Public relations is a rapidly growing profession. Social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are becoming a huge part of Public Relations. These websites are bringing new forms of writing into the public relations profession. Now public service announcements are being simplified and turned into status updates or "tweets". As the world becomes more connected, the public relations profession grows.

I hope that I was able to all your questions.


Elise Frederickson