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So I have taken a brief hiatus from writting here because I have been writing a 16 page paper for my public relations class. The purpose of this paper was to develop a PR Plan for promoting awareness in college students about global warming. Unlike my past experience of promoting products, global warming took on a different angles. The plan starts by explaining the four-step model of a campaign: research, planning, implementation, and evaluation. It continues to compare the campaigns for global warming with similar campaigns that have been conducted to promote awareness: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the American Petroleum Institute. Next, it explains the role that research plays in promoting awareness and the effects it will have on this segment of the population. The next part is the publicity part, where 6 traditional media outlets are targeted, and specific journalists with specific beats are mentioned. Finally, a new media perspective is used to show how the college students will be reached (blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, etc.). The last component is a pitch letter to one the journalists in the fourth part. To complete the paper is my four page bibliography highlighting my research.
I found this paper extremely interesting to write, not just because of its relevancy to my future career, but because of the different angles that are necessary to be taken to reach an audience. Instead of convincing a journalist to write a feature article about a product, you have to convince a journalist about the importance of a cause. Whereas certain publications would not be interested in a cause but only in products or accessories, other publications thrive off of promoting awareness on important issues. Additionally, instead of presenting journalists with a sample of a product, you have to think of something more creative to encourage journalists to write about this issue. Though my experience has always centered around media kits with samples, this different perspective proved to be extremely interesting as well.
A sample from the paper (showing my interest of this different aspect of PR): Even though many people believe that public relations campaigns are only used to promote a product, they are also used to raise awareness for causes. From global warming to oil drilling to animal testing, there are many concerns that do not need to be sold to the public, but that need greater attentiveness. Public relations campaigns may not always be credited for these efforts because many times they are more subtle than product placements or promotions. However, at the heart of the campaign lies a public relations professional.