Senior Spotlight: Ashley Bushala
For the third Mentor-Mentee social, Illinois State University’s PRSSA Chapter attended the Bloomington Thunder vs. Fayetteville FireAntz hockey game on Jan. 24. The night began at Treasurer Ryan Smart’s apartment, before heading to the arena. Faceoff began at 7:05 p.m., and it was nothing but action from there on out.
All attendees were able to focus on the game while still enjoying each other’s company. Since President Hailey Lanier, National Liaison Shelby Ray and member Lily Sherer were the only “townies,” the rest of the group had never been to a game at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in downtown Bloomington.
What most of the members really enjoyed was the entertainment at intermission. With tons of kids from local schools in attendance for a competition, the action never stopped. Principals from Sugar Creek and Towanda Elementary schools were there for a shootout against one another. To see the kids light up and cheer for their principals was not only entertaining but also cute and inspiring. I think we can all agree that the kids gave these hockey players something to play for. After all, the kids are the ones who scream the most.
The game resumed in the third period tied 1-1. Only 20 minutes left in the game and it was head-to-head. All attendees were completely intrigued. The Thunder hit a slap shot right into the corner of the net to score and go up 2-1 with six minutes left. Hoping the Thunder would not beat them, the FireAntz came right back with a goal to tie a couple minutes later.
Time was winding down and the buzzer went off in regulation with a score of 2-2 putting the game in overtime. After 60 minutes of play, the Thunder and FireAntz skated for 10 more minutes to finish the game. It wasn’t long till one of the Thunder players snuck in to get the puck and put it in the back of the net! The Thunder won the game by a score of 3-2 in overtime.
Members had an enjoyable time getting to socialize with their peers while watching the Thunder grab a win!
By Ryan Smart
SnoreStop Ad is Hardly a Snore
A billboard that debuted in Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 28 is stirring up major controversy. The ad is for SnoreStop, a company that makes nasal sprays, oral sprays and pills to help stop snoring. It features a couple and is intended to promote the product as a way for couples to sleep soundly together.
The ad, which features the phrase “#betogether” and the slogan “SnoreStop, keeping you together,” depicts a Caucasian United States soldier and a Muslim woman embracing. The man and woman featured are in fact a real couple, yet viewers of the ad are claiming it is “a slap to the face of our military” and “racist.”
“We wanted to find locations that would grab people’s attention. SnoreStop is a product for couples, and we want to show couples that you normally don’t see in advertising,” said Melody Davermark, spokeswoman for SnoreStop.
Personally, I do not think the ad is racist at all, but it has certainly turned some heads. The SnoreStop ad never suggests that the Muslim woman is a “terrorist” or even “anti-American,” but placing a Muslim woman next to a man in uniform has caused many to take a second look.
According to SnoreStop, the attention the ad is gaining was the initial goal. They wanted to catch the attention of the public by featuring a couple that audiences are not used to seeing. By stepping outside the norm, SnoreStop generated much buzz and prompted conversation about breaking stereotypes. The company is planning to expand the campaign to an additional 20 cities in the near future.
By Becca Williams
As a Svenska flicka (Swedish girl), I have always appreciated how Sweden has a culture that prides itself on being distinct from other European countries. So I was not surprised when Sweden recently announced that it was working on rebranding itself as a country. I mean hey, you can brand products, people and organizations—so why not brand an entire country!
Sweden wanted to rebrand its image to increase awareness about its tourism, government, lifestyle, history, education system, traditions, culture and nature. This rebranding was centralized around revamping its website. The rebranding of Sweden’s website Sweden.se included:
The website is also publicly funded with four organizations supporting it: the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Government Offices; including the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications, Business Sweden and VisitSweden.
After navigating through the website, it was not only easy to use but also very visually stimulating. It has a blog-like structure where website viewers can click on a topic headline that then directs them to an in-depth article about the topic. Some of the topics include “10 Things That Make Sweden Family-Friendly,” “Eight Reasons Why Sweden Rocks” and “Classic Swedish Foods.”
Sweden had the perfect idea to brand itself as a country, and it surely did it right. Sweden adapted the old-school, serious country and tourism website to a more innovative, informative hub. It serves as a great model for other countries to follow if they want to update their image.
Well done, Sweden! Or should I say, bra gjort sverige!
Think back to your childhood for a moment. Shuffle through those rusty brain files, and remember those Crayola 8-Pack markers, or if you were lucky, that 10-Pack. It’s coloring time!
The most cliché and unoriginal question ever posed to kids is arguably, “What’s your favorite color?” in that sickeningly sweet voice. Unfortunately, a child’s answer is not usually expected to be profound or insightful.
However, from a very young age, my favorite color was green, and I could identify exactly why. It was almost a process of elimination. I would doodle rainbows with my Crayola markers on a piece of white printer paper, one by one. Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Purple.
But let me tell you, if the color green was not on that piece of paper, something was terribly wrong. Visually, the picture appeared incomplete.
I was acutely aware of the fact that if green was missing, the page was simply an eyesore. On the contrary, if any other color was missing besides green, it was not visually disturbing to me at all.
Green had become my indispensable color. Naturally, it was from this realization that I decided it must also be my “favorite.”
So how does this relate to Starbucks’ public relations? The answer is just as simple. Starbucks wants to become indispensable to our daily lives.
Starbucks has been branding itself as a luxury that we can now enjoy in the comfort of our own homes. All we need is a Keurig or a Verismo, and a bunch of cute little coffee pods.
Starbucks is a client of the world’s largest public relations firm, Edelman. Public relations professionals at Edelman have succeeded in getting the public’s image of Starbucks to be one we cannot imagine a world without. So much so, Starbucks is practically on every street corner, and now it has even made its way into our homes.
Invasive, much? Exactly.
Starbucks has been trying to integrate its products into our everyday lives and make us believe its products are simply essential.
The wording in this picture says it all:
Starbucks is like the green in my rainbow. I can have a study session without Starbucks, but will I doze off? Yes. I can have a cup o’ Joe with a friend at Denny’s, but is it as fun? No. We like the experience of Starbucks and they know it. They created it.
Green is the glue that sticks the rainbow together, just as Starbucks is the glue keeping society together. (Or so they want us to perceive.)
Perhaps the most ironic part of this comparison between Starbucks and the role green plays in the rainbow is that Starbucks’ logo is also….green. If we see a logo with a green circle we can almost all guess that it is a Starbucks sign. Starbucks is iconic for its touch of green: green straws, green aprons, and green logo.
This company has branded itself as an integral part of society by functioning as a solution to your physical need for caffeine every day, and your social need for a meeting place. Even interviews and business meetings are conducted at Starbucks.
Starbucks is also like a rainbow because it is consistent with its products. You know the color order in a rainbow is always the same. You also know that a caramel macchiato is a caramel macchiato, whether you’re at a Starbucks in Chicago or in Tokyo.
I also think it is interesting that Starbucks repeatedly participates in current events. The most recently notable examples of this was when the company started a petition to end the U.S. government shutdown and when the CEO of Starbucks announced that guns are not welcome in their stores.
Not only is Starbucks trying to evolve its identity as relevant and timely, it is also a statement that Starbucks is important enough to our culture that it can comment about the news agenda without people saying, “Why would we care what this company thinks?”
By Lily Sherer
Patagonia is Anti-Black Friday
Outdoor apparel company, Patagonia, recently launched a campaign that encouraged customers to not buy any new Patagonia products on Black Friday.
One picture from the campaign reads, "Don't Buy This Jacket." At first glance, this truly gets one's attention. Secondly, this prompts a question in the viewer’s mind. Why not?
According to Yahoo, “This initiative is coming to life in 15 of its retail locations in cities around the country. Starting at 4 p.m. on Black Friday, customers can bring old, beat-up Patagonia gear to one of those 15 stores to get their stuff repaired for free by professional.” Customers can also enjoy food, beer and live music while watching screenings of the company’s new “Worn Wear” short film, which follows a champion skier, surfer and other outdoor enthusiasts in their well-loved Patagonia gear.
The event almost sounds like a fun tailgating party. Who wouldn't be excited about something so innovative?
This campaign probably won't rake in the sales on Black Friday, but it will solidify strong brand loyalty among its niche market. This market believes in environmental sustainability and quality products that last a long time. Patagonia also believes in the philosophy of fixing what is broken instead of trashing it in favor of buying something new.
Supporters of this philosophy will rally behind Patagonia fervently since they feel alienated from consumerist culture, especially during the Black Friday promotional chaos.
Patagonia's public relations professionals used this campaign to take advantage of the opportunity to send an alternative message about Black Friday than every other retailer. This is exemplary public relations and has gained a great deal of media coverage.
Older generations are some of the target publics of this campaign because they grew up in a time when products were designed to last and fixing broken items was valued. Millennials are also a target public because many care about the health of the environment and have been educated about the damages of global consumerism.
With almost three million views on YouTube, the "Story of Stuff" is one example of information causing Millennials to care about this issue.-Fix the ending to make it more conclusive.
By Lily Sherer
Journalists and reporters have received mixed messages from the Russian authorities and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on whether or not they will be allowed to use social media on their phones at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Vasily Konov, head of Russian R-Sport news agency, first shared the unfortunate news. Any Olympic-related photographs on social media must be obtained using professional equipment and only by those using proper accreditation. If journalists are seen using their smartphones to capture and share the action, they will be stripped of their accreditation.
The IOC disregarded Konov’s message, and spokesman Mark Adams told USA Today that social media would be welcomed at the games.
“Accredited media may freely utilize social media platforms or websites for bona fide reporting purposes. Photos taken by accredited photographers may be published for editorial purposes on social media platforms or websites in accordance with the Photographers Undertaking,” said Adams.
Videos, however, have been and will continue to be banned, which means no Vine or Instagram videos.
If the rumors are true that journalists are banned from using social media, then it is safe to assume that spectators will face similar restrictions. Although spectators will most likely be allowed to carry their smartphones and tablets around, all images of the Winter Olympics are technically owned by the IOC. Posting the Olympic symbol (the five interlaced rings) for consumer use is not allowed, which means no one should be tweeting pictures of it. Using the word “Olympic” and any Olympic-related words comes with strict rules and high consequences.
This is a big step back in time for a popular event to be without social media. Fans will have to turn to the Olympics’ official website for “close, but not quite real-time” updates.
Social media has become a crucial part of the lives of individuals, as well as companies. It is where a person can seek information and get immediate answers. Social media has reinvented the way consumers receive news as it is happening, including the results of the Olympic games.
Only time will tell if the lack of social media at the 2014 Olympics has a significant impact, but right now it seems like that is a pretty safe bet to make.
By Ali Seys
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.