Public Relations with an Investor Relations Twist

By Danny Cavanaugh

I’ve always considered myself to be an adequate writer, however I knew I never wanted to be a journalist. I have all the respect in the world for journalists, but I always told my parents at a young age that I was going to be a business man.

So, how could I get involved in the world of business with a PR major? The answer is Investor Relations.

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Now you may be wondering, Investor Relations? What the hell is that?

IR is simply the ability to take a company’s financials and then tell the story of the company through those financials. In other words, tell employees, customers, shareholders and investors how the company is doing in order for them to invest in the company.

Although it may be a difficult path to get into IR, this is my ultimate career goal. Sure, I’m not an accounting major or a financial analyst, however I believe I can achieve an abundance of success through my PR background, along with the business minor I’ve obtained at CWU.

Besides, I’ve always been good with talking to people and I have common sense.. for the most part. So, why not set the bar high right?

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With that said, IR professionals have a wide range of duties including: releasing earnings reports to the public and SEC, leading financial analyst briefings and handling the PR side of a financial crisis.

Now, I may have only taken a couple accounting classes, but I know I have the potential and the skills to succeed within this type of career. Overall, there are many career paths you can take with a Public Relations degree.

But you see, my goal is to work on the business side of PR.. Investor Relations.

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Ellensburg’s Historic Golf Course

By Danny Cavanaugh

Ah, yes golf.. the world’s most difficult and frustrating sport in the world. However, I may be biased since I’m not very good at the game. Sure it can be challenging, but it’s fun to play.

I know many Central Washington University students who play the game, however they didn’t realize there was a course only a few miles away from campus in Ellensburg, Wash.

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The Ellensburg Golf Course is a fantastic nine-hole course located on the other side of I90 (opposite from CWU). It provides locals an affordable option to enjoy a morning, afternoon or evening of golf with friends and family.

Struggle with your game? No problem! EGC has a practice putting green and a driving range to help figure out your mechanics.

Personally I’ve been to multiple golf courses around the state and EGC is a wonderful place to visit. For the college student looking to do something fun while on a budget, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon drinking a beer.. or two with some friends.

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Owner of the Ellensburg Golf Course, Frank Crimp III

Although the golf course is only nine holes, you can still play a full 18. You might ask, “well Danny that’s no fun playing the same holes again.” Well, have you thought about your score on the back nine? The opportunity for a better score on the back nine is greater because of the previous practice on the front nine.

So, whether you’re visiting Ellensburg, a college student or a local trying to work on your golf game, EGC is a great place to get a round of golf in.

Next time you’re thinking about something to do on a nice day, head to the golf course with some friends, buy a couple beers and enjoy the worlds most frustrating game!

 

They Won Fair and Square

By Danny Cavanaugh

Since the Patriots are yet again in the super bowl, why not bring up a sore subject for many New England fans… deflategate!

That’s right, I said it. The controversial deflating of footballs during the AFC championship between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in 2015.

Talk about a PR nightmare! Hours upon hours of court proceedings, with one side winning, then the other side appealing. If I was a part of the PR staff for the patriots, or the NFL I would lose all of my hair.

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Talk about crisis PR in a nutshell. With the NFL (among others) investigating your franchise, as a PR professional you have to find a way to bring light to the situation and deflect the negativity away from your organization.

Easier said than done? I think so.

It’s easy for people in this situation to call the patriots “cheaters” because of their track record. If this was the patriots first trip to the super bowl, would people have blown this way out of proportion? That’s the million dollar question.

We all know that when you win, over and over again, people either love you or they hate you. Just look at the New York Yankees, you hardly ever hear “eh they’re alright, I don’t mind them.”

Thus, this is a great example of crisis PR. So, what would you do?

I would find out the truth behind the situation. I would research if the weather played in any part of decreasing the psi within the footballs. Also, you must protect your brand the best you can.

We would have to tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, and move on. After all, who wants to be in court two seasons later for something they thought was past them.

This just goes to show how important PR really is. It’s important to keep the integrity of your organization, as well as explain to the public was is going on behind closed doors.

Inauguration Day Drama

By Danny Cavanaugh

It’s no secret that President Trump isn’t the most popular president of all time. But, is it just me or does it seem like the presidency has been based on a popularity contest, rather than on policies to improve America?

On Inauguration Day, (Jan. 20,2017) it was reported that a smaller crowd (in comparison to former President, Barack Obama’s turnout) had come to support the new president. Press Secretary Sean Spicer shortly thereafter was accused of spinning the truth about the actual turnout.

Of course this was a mistake by Spicer, but I don’t think he was knowingly trying to “spin” the truth. I agree with Beki Winchel when she states, “PR pros should think twice about how they present details of a recent event or an executive’s move that has elicited backlash,” prdaily.com.

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It’s interesting to me how a man’s failure to elaborate and tell the whole story can have such backlash. Now, rather than focusing on President Trump’s first actions as president, we see the media talking about that “popularity contest” with the turnout for Mr. Trump’s inauguration.

With that said, PR pros can learn a lot from this situation. The availability and access to information via social media can cause a crisis in a matter of seconds.

So, how do we avoid these crises?

Answer: tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, and move on.

This leads back to my initial point, give Spicer a break! The man is human and he simply forgot to elaborate on what the turnout was.

At least Spicer was able to see the mistake he made, and create a statement about his lack of communication and specification on the matter.

As a society we need to stop nit picking every little thing somebody says, it isn’t healthy. As we have seen, Spicer meant that the turnout was the largest in years with people tuning in via web, television, and social media (along with in person).

PR pros should be warned from this. Somebody is always looking to fact check what you are saying. Be careful, and remember to tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, move on, and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”

The Bird is in the Hudson

By Danny Cavanaugh

Throughout our lives, we all have certain crisis’ that we must go through. Whether your a female deciding what clothes to pick out for that “special” date, or you’ve experienced an unfortunate car crash, which resulted in legal obligations and hospital bills, a crisis of some magnitude is inevitable in our futures.

After watching the movie Sully, I came to a realization that the airline (U.S. Airways) had a major crisis on their hands. On January 15, 2009, one of their planes had to perform an emergency landing in the Hudson river, after a flock of birds took out both engines of the aircraft, according to airwaysmag.com.

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The man seen above is Sully who was brave enough, and experienced enough to make the decision to land the plane in the Hudson.

So, what crisis? After all, every soul on board was saved, how can there be a crisis? As we know, people often look for the negative story, “if it bleeds it reads.” so even though lives were saved, a plane was still in the Hudson.

Crisis Communications:

I can only imagine the shock and sense of urgency that the PR crisis team must have felt for U.S. Airways. An immediate response was necessary for their employees, shareholders, stakeholders, and the public. However, several questions had to be answered.

What caused the accident? Were there any alternative landing spots? Who or what is responsible for this incident?

These are just a few of the questions that needed to be answered. Can you imagine if there were any fatalities on board? Would consumers lack confidence in flying with U.S. Airways if that were the case?

With that said, PR professionals know to tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, and move on when it comes to a crisis.

Fortunately enough, Mr. Sully was able to perform the emergency landing in heroic fashion, with only a few injuries to passengers and crew.

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Tom Hanks- scene from the movie after passengers were safely rescued. 

Thus, is there a proper way to handle a crisis? Do people botch critical moments in crisis communications?

The answer to these two questions is yes. The proper way to handle a crisis is to remain calm, tell the truth, and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, as we saw with John Edwards destroying his own personal PR (the most important PR of all), but that’s for another post.

Citations:

Auxier, Eric. (2016). The New “Sully” Movie: How Accurate. Airways. Retrieved from                            https://airwaysmag.com/capnaux/new-sully-movie-how-accurate/

Warner, Bros (Producer). Eastwood, Clint (Director). September 9, 2016. Sully (Motion picture). USA: Warner Bros.

 

 

Public Relations at its Core

By Danny Cavanaugh

To be honest, I never heard of PR until I looked at a college catalog. So, the first time I saw the name, I thought it was a joke. I’m thinking, “just another degree you can’t do anything with.” However, as I dug deeper, I realized I was wrong.

So, what is this phenomenon called PR? According to prsa.org, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Now, what does that mean? Essentially the goal of PR is to build a relationship between an organization (corporate, non-profit, firm) and the people within that organization’s society.

In other words, PR is important in portraying a positive representation of an organization. Yes, it is important to be a competent writer in this profession, however the relationships you build and maintain are essential, and in my opinion the most important aspect.

Here are just a few options you can pursue with a degree in Public Relations.

Career Paths:

  • Public Relations specialist
  • Public relations Manager
  • Public Relations Director
  • Investor Relations
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media Relations

Although there are several career paths in this field, there seems to be several misconceptions regarding PR professionals. First of all, they’re known for spinning the truth, secondly they’re called sleaze balls.

With that said, are these representations true? Maybe to some extent. However, we know there can always be a “few bad eggs.”

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Whether you think a PR professional is a spin doctor or not, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is how rapidly the field is growing. PR professionals are needed now more than ever. The increase in technology, and social media has caused a frenzy for organizations and their reputations.

From writing press releases, to working on a company’s social media strategy, PR professionals will be seeking to improve relationships with their organizations and their communities.

I’m glad I was able to stumble up this often misconstrued and misunderstood field. After all, there is a lot you can do with a degree in Public Relations.

Citations:

Copyright 2009-17. In Public Relations Society of America online. Retrieved from.https://www.prsa.org/aboutprsa/publicrelationsdefined/#.WH2wo8MrLnA