Blog 9: The Last Dance

Describe the experience of creating materials for a "real world" client. What are your main takeaways (positive or negative) from this opportunity?

This was not the first time nor will it be the last time working with a real client. I was actually super excited to have the Steamboat Classic as a client because I have always heard positive things about this historic racing event as a Peoria native. However, it left me feeling disappointed and stressed because I really did have high expectations with this client. During my time working on this project, I immediately learned how crucially important communication is with the client especially when I need urgent information to get things done quickly to beat deadlines. There would be times I would be left frustrated in the dark because the client would not respond back (like helllooo? I’m not a mindreader ???) Though on the bright side, it taught me that persistence and patience is a virtue. I have always been the kind of person who never bothered emailing someone twice because I found it rude. I always had more of the “they’ll get back to me soon” mindset. However, this semester has really taught me that double emails works! Funny story about that, actually. I sent an email to my client weeks ago and I was ghosted. I sent them the SAME email again and they responded back five minutes later! Talk about god tier persistence right there!!!


 How can well-written public relations materials (press releases, feature stories, brochures, etc.) aid in building and/or maintaining positive relationships between the organization and the audience? Do the different writing styles of these pieces play a role in those relationships? 

Having well-written public relations material in general should be common sense. Comparing good grammar in a press release or a feature story is like wearing nice clothes to a job interview or proofreading a paper before turning it in to your professor. Pretty common sense, right? Not only does this represent the company you are writing for, but it also represents yourself and your credibility to your audience. People are more likely to trust a well written article than an article that has typos everywhere left and right. In today’s media, grammar and spelling mistakes can represent unprofessionalism and carelessness in work. Even if a press release or story is on a short deadline, it does not excuse poor work. If a piece of work is filled with misprints, it can be a huge distraction which can lead to confusion. 

Although press releases and feature stories should continue to maintain good grammar and no misspellings, they can vary in tone and structure. Press releases are more straight to the point with the 6 W’s and 1 H (Who, What, When, Why, Where and How) and a couple of key highlights, whether it’s a quote or something uniquely substantial that would make a press release stick out. However a feature story could make for a more relaxed and casual approach, it could even be described as a documentary in words.


Describe an example of a particular organization that we discussed in class that you feel utilized social media in a productive, beneficial way with regard to positive public relations. Draw on discussions of current media events that you have previously blogged about to address this. 

The Get Well Soon, Lydia was a campaign done by Bradley University utilized great social media content to provide positive public relation content. This event was definitely something (and hopefully) will never happen again. Even though it was a pretty bad situation for our founder and her statue, Bradley decided to shed some light out of the unfortunate event and have fun with it. Not only did faculty, staff and students get involved on social media show off pictures of themselves with the Lydia statue but other organizations (like the Peoria Zoo and Illinois State) showed their creative “get well soon” support to Lydia during her recovery by taking pictures with their own statues holding signs with positive messages on them. This also ties back with Lydia being voted number one on the Groundbreaking Women in Illinois History. It shows that not only is Bradley University a well-respected university among faculty, staff and students but it shows that we take pride in our founder Lydia and Bradley would not be here today without her.