Tuesday, September 29, 2009

health care reform.


The Senate seems to be having a hard time coming to terms with Obama's health care plan. It is obvious that the nation is very divided on this issue. Working as Obama's PR practitioners must be very difficult at the moment. However, if I were Obama's PR Agent I would develop a positioning framework sheet that entails the pros of the health care plan. I would get testimonials from various average, everyday citizens who are for the health care plan. I think the reason most Republicans are against this plan is because they make above average income & don't understand what it's like to have to struggle for money. The positioning framework sheet would provide statistics about the poverty in the US and how the health care plan could begin to fix this problem.
Another thing I would do is conduct surveys to Republican households to see what they would like to see changed in Obama's health care plan. I would then take the top 5 complaints about the plan & see if there was a way the President would be able to accomodate these wishes. By doing so, we would have a happier America and less polarized government.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The 21st Century PR Agent

"PR pros specializing in healthcare, politics, and finance can no longer rely on a simple relationship-based model for successful media placements. Facing the realities representative of a new administration, the shifting media landscape, and a down economy, they must reevaluate their messages, key contacts, and outreach tactics....'In years past, you'd just hire a lobbyist,' he says. 'Now, (we need) ... a public relations strategy to reach key Washington outlets such as Politico and The Hill. (We) know that members of the (political) staff read these publications.'... Alternative outlets, such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, late-night TV programs, and Facebook, also reach this audience."

 I found this while reading on LexisNexis & it really made me think for a minute about what I would do as a PR Agent for a Congressman. The face of PR is rapidly changing due to growing technology. PR MUST be a two-way communication network in order for it to be successful.
If I were currently working as a PR Agent for one of the Democratic candidates running for mayor in Cache Valley, one of the things I would do to create publicity would be to start a facebook group. In this group, I would outline the overall beliefs & goals of the politician & what the politician is promising the citizens of Logan & the surrounding cities.
Next, I would publish in the Utah Statesman as well as the Herald Journal a story about the politician: where he/she is from, what they are willing to do as a possible leader of the county. If the citizens got to know the politician on a more personal level they are more willing to respond to his/her attempts to gain publicity.
Finally, I would create a budget entailing where all of the campaign donations were going so that the candidate can know exactly where his/her money is going. I would spend the majority of the money on giving out flyers, booklets, and planning fun events for the citizens to attend.
While I'm not currently a PR agent or political consultant, this is my dream after college. By closely following the political processes here in Logan I am hoping to gain some experience for after I graduate so that I can know where & what I want to do as a political consultant in today's technological world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Four Publics

"Another misuse of public relations is to over-adjust to the needs of one public while ignoring the others. All companies have at least four constituent publics: shareholders, customers, employees and the community in which they do business. A business should receive input from all four and make careful adjustments when they are required. Too often, the needs of the last three are sacrificed to create a false impression for shareholders. However, customers and employees fare better than members of the community who are usually ignored until they file lawsuits or press city officials or legislators for action."

I was reading on lexisnexis & discovered this article discussing the importance of Public Relations to incorporate ALL publics in as they plan & implement goals. When someone thinks of PR, they tend to think of people who simply talk to shareholders & convince them to buy shares within that company. However, it is much more than this. PR Agents must remember to include customers, employees & the company in their planning.
In my opinion, it might be easy to forget about the EMPLOYEES while practicing PR. Some agents might get so caught up in the people outside of the business that they forget about the people within the business. It is just as important to maintain good relationships with the employees of a certain company as well as the people whom you want business from.
Public Relations is a HUGE task that encorporates marketing, journalism & good communication skills all in one. As I continue my quest in discovering Public Relations I am finding it is not a job for everyone!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Polarized Politics

By simply looking at the front page of any newspaper, the polarization of the two main parties in America is immediately obvious. Turn on Fox News & you'll find that Obama is a Socialist Muslim; turn on CNN & discover that Bush is a secret terrorist with a low IQ. The Boston Globe published an article addressing the polarization of liberals and conservatives last May and said, "in a time of hyper-partisan politics, President Obama is swimming against the tide. From the reactionary talk-show hosts to incendiary bloggers and Hollywood sneerers, from MoveOn.org to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, from the Bush-is-Hitler paranoiacs to the Obama-is-a-fascist fanatics, both sides have done their share to contribute to the acrimony."
It is obvious that in this day & age, being in politics must be HARD. Not only this, but being a Public Relations practitioner in politics is probably even worse. To be in this field you have to have a hard head & not be the type who gets your feelings hurt easily. It's a brutal world but it offers a lot of rewards.
If I were currently working in the PR field for President Obama, there would be a few things I would do to help the administration. I would issue informative brochures laying out the exact steps of his health care plan. His ideas for health care haven't received the warm welcome he was expecting, and I believe this is because most people only know the general idea of what he has in mind. If they knew the basics; if they knew that every person has a right to health care & that it would not be considered "socialized medicine," perhaps they would give it a better chance.

I would also put together several speeches and press releases for the President. Dealing with the media is the best way to get the correct information to American citizens & to decrease the polarization in the public. To do this, Obama must rely on PR practitioners to set up press conferences, assist in writing informative speeches and press releases, and handle the media's questions. By supplying the media with positive, informative answers, they are more likely to report positively about the changes President Obama plans to implement.
President Obama is in no way, shape or form a "socialist" or "Robin Hood." He simply believes that every person has a right to a doctor if they are sick or injured. As far as I'm concerned, that is not too much to ask.
Above all, as a PR practioner for the President I would survey citizens of the country to find out what specific questions, problems or concerns they have with his current health care proposal. If the President had a better idea of what questions those who are opposing the plan were, he would be better able to answer them and perhaps mend a few errors along the way.
Perhaps with these ideas, as well as others, the polarization in Congress and in the country would decrease. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone just got along for a change?
PS, just a personal opinion... I don't think Obama went "too far" by calling Kanye West a jackass. In fact, it was somewhat humorous. Some people don't understand that it's okay for a President to have a sense of humor. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

guest bloggers wanted!

Are you interested in being a guest blogger on my site?
Email me at laur.gardner@hotmail.com & we can collaborate! I'm looking for writers, DIYers, and college students to represent themselves on my blog, but I'm open to all sorts of writers! Let me know if you're interested!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

about this blog.

we live in a beautiful world.
this blog is an attempt to focus on that beauty as well as the simple life of a college girl in a smallish town.
i've been blogging since 2008 & currently freelance for several other blogs. check out my most recent work:
The Signpost

also be sure to check out my twitter account.

1. Where do you live?
-I'm a college student living in Ogden, UT with my boyfriend & kitty cat. We live in an adorable cottage that I hope to show you soon (see above!)
2. What do you do at Fox 13? What does freelancing mean?
I get asked this question a lot, both in comments, emails & in person a lot of the time. I freelance as an associate producer for Fox 13. An associate producer assists the executive producer in writing the day's news stories & organizing those stories into the newscasts you see every day.  While the show is live, the associate producer coordinates live shots with the reporters & photogs. So in other words, I am that tiny voice in the reporter's ears letting them know when they are on camera, checking their audio, feeding their tape, etc etc. It's a busy, exciting job that I absolutely love!
Freelancing means that I haven't signed a contract with Fox 13. So I can potentially work for any other stations. I also have less hours, which is perfect since I also work at Starbucks and go to school.
3. How do you balance two jobs & full-time school?
It's not easy, that's for damn sure. But I find that I am the most productive when I make lists. It may seem like I have a ton to do, but if I just tackle three or four big things a day, it seems to all work out well.
4. What religion are you?
I'm surprised by how often I am asked this question, but it's a common one. My family is Mormon & I was raised in the religion. However, I left the church at age 20 to pursue a sort of "religious self-discovery."
I've pursued several different religions & ideas, trying them out for myself. Over the past couple years I've realized that I'm not one for organized religion... I don't believe that who goes to church the most will get in to heaven.
While I'm still working to define who I am spiritually, the religion I've felt the most attracted to is Buddhism.
5. Where do you buy most of your records? Do you have any advice for someone just starting a collection?
Visit thrift stores as often as you can! I find the DI has good picks nearly every single time I go there. There are many small boutiques and record stores in Salt Lake City, & I'm sure where you live too. Collecting records is such a fun hobby!


Thanks for visiting my blog!
This blog started out as a "have-to-do" for one of my Communications classes. In the past couple years I've picked up a few followers and started blogging just-for-fun.

I blog about a lot of things, but mostly I'd say this blog is a collection of things I love: family, friends, music, politics and photography.

ABOUT  ME-Born & raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Even though I moved to Utah when I was 9, I've always loved the Midwest.
-I grew up with 2 awesome older half-brothers & an awesome little sister. We moved out to Utah and kept the Cornhusker tradition going! I had a great childhood thanks to these guys as well as my AMAZING parents.

-I also have two much younger sisters, Rachel & Kylie, who absolutely complete my family. They are the sweetest little girls!
-I am a Communications student at WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY in Ogden, Utah. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with my major yet, but thanks to the awesome job I got this summer I have a lot of time to decide.
-I currently work two part-time jobs as well as school full-time. I work at Starbucks & I absolutely love it! The people I get to surround myself with are amazing.

-I also freelance for Fox 13 News as an associate producer. It is an amazing experience! I've received a lot of emails about how the news works, & also what an "associate producer" even does, so I'll try to address those questions in an upcoming post.
-In my spare time, which is practically nonexistent, I love the outdoors. I enjoy anything that requires being outside! I also love collecting records, which is one thing you'll notice me blog about a. lot. Records are so fun! I also enjoy reading & often post books I recommend on the blog.

If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me an email at laur.gardner@hotmail.com
I'm currently working on an FAQ Page :)