Posted by: stuartbond | December 2, 2009

Ten Lessons Learned in PRCA3339

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Posted by: stuartbond | November 30, 2009

Speaking of Market Segmentation…..

I have recently discussed four generations and a few of their defining characteristics as described by Professor Linda Morton of the University of Oklahoma, but I think it is just as important to look at the age old battle of Men vs. Women.  In Morton’s Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics 2nd Edition text book, I have found characteristics by gender.

 This is extremely useful because you will definitely be working with and targeting both of these genders quite frequently.  Your message will need to comply with the characteristics, lifestyles, attitudes, and values of either the male or female.  I chose to post a few of Morton’s suggestions because I believe practitioners often overlook such male and female characteristics when producing a piece of work, I am just as guilty!

 According to Morton, and ladies you will like this….Women make up almost half of the workforce with 7.7 million working in professional jobs and another 3.2 million owning their own businesses.  Okay guys, women are a force to be reckoned with!  Morton states that women are more likely to seek advice and turn to males and females for help, tailor your message to this characteristic.  Women of all ages consider money more in their decisions than men do and fare better financially compared to men, we have some work to do fellahs!

 Men have a few tricks of their own and are the best (Don’t tell my girlfriend I said that!).  Men fall into a few different categories but with a wide range of earned salaries.  Practitioners beware, not all men are the same. 

 Men and women are dynamic characters that undergo change through time and experience.  Morton has listed some female and male characteristics but I just don’t believe they do justice.  It all comes down to the practitioner.  Identify the sex you will be targeting and find some of their characteristics based on demographics.  It’s okay, do some research.  I believe it is necessary for each practitioner to bear in mind that one female is not the same as another just as one man is not the same as another.  Catering your message to your intended gender is difficult but must not be overlooked.  I believe the practitioner can start with their client to better understand their audiences’ characteristics stemming from gender and beyond.  Also, I think it just as important to put aside any biases or pre-conceived notions about a gender before beginning any piece or campaign.  

 Check out Author Linda P. Morton’s book for more characteristics and market segmentation tips.  

Check out this blog post at PROpenMic.  I found some cool statitics regarding gender in the PR realm http://www.propenmic.org/profiles/blogs/men-are-from-mars

Posted by: stuartbond | November 30, 2009

PR Publications Through the Generations!

 Any public relations, marketing, advertising, or any creative professional for that matter will be tasked with applying the right message to an intended audience.  But what do we do when there are many different audiences with their own ticks and perks?   Fortunately, Professor Linda P. Morton of the University of Oklahoma and author of the Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics 2nd Edition text book provides a few generation characteristics to keep in mind.  The following four generations and their characteristics are not to be ignored when designing a message or work aimed at them.

 1)      World War II Generation (all the way to 1946)

  • These members have become active problem solvers and can adapt to major historical and economic changes.
  • Morton suggests these members live simple lives where fewer women worked.
  • This generation also tends to be frugal
  • Just 17% of this generation holds a college degree

 2)      Baby Boomers (1946-1965)

  • Typically have fewer children
  • Expressive
  • Morton suggests this group is socially-active and work-dominated

 3)      Generation X (1966-1978)

  • Ambitious and independent
  • Distrustful of the media
  • Frequently shop online
  • Well educated

 4)      Generation Y (1977-1994)

  • Risk averse and value oriented
  • Mistrustful of mass media
  • Respond to loud and quick visuals with humor and emotion that represents their own lifestyle

 There are more characteristics of these generations, as suggested by Morton, but I would like to take the time to remind all readers and practitioners the need to recognize any and all important factors relating to any audience.  For a piece or campaign to be successful, the practitioner must know who he or she is attempting to reach.  Research may need to be done in order to be successful.  I suggest digging deep and taking the time to learn about your audience before attempting to appeal to them.  

 I suggest Morton’s book to any practitioner ready to employ his or her own creative side.  For more tips to help you breakdown your publics, visit Morton’s site at

http://www.strategicmarketsegmentation.com/

Posted by: stuartbond | November 20, 2009

Brochures are a Dynamic Process

After making my very own homemade-from-scratch brochure for my publications class, I have learned the techniques and key strokes it takes to design a tri-fold brochure for a client.  Brochure design goes well beyond just using the software and your mouse to make an appealing product; there are elements to keep in mind.

One of the biggest elements to keep in mind is your audience.  Who will be reading or holding your brochure?  A practitioner, in any field, making a brochure must always keep their brochure’s intended audience in the forefront while making their brochure.  While making my brochure this past week, I found myself constantly asking questions such as: What fonts and font colors should I use to get my brochure’s message through to my audience?  How should I shape my layout to fit my audience?  and What is my brochure trying to do, what message am I trying to send, what does my client expect?

It is also important to keep your client in mind!  While designing my brochure, I made sure to keep my client’s intentions in mind.  Making a brochure can be fun as well as challenging; however, do not allow such distractions to cloud your task.  Just like tailoring your message to your audience, you must also tailor your message back to your client’s wishes, mission, or goals.  You may have the most appealing brochure on the planet but none of it matters when your message is not correct.

Fortunately, I have found a site for those new to making brochures, just as I was last week.  This website can help spark new and creative ideas for when you get a creative thinking brain lock.  Use this website for design templates and design ideas as well.  http://www.allgraphicdesign.com/graphicdesignarticles/brochuresgraphicdesign/brochureprintingideas.html

Posted by: stuartbond | November 20, 2009

Link with me at PROpenMic!

PROpenMic is the facebook of public relations students and practitioners.  I have recently joined but already found it to be a very useful tool.  I have located job openings and craeted my own page to launch from.  Invite me to link with you so we can share our findings.  Search for me by name or use my email, stuart_t_bond@georgiasouthern.edu to add me.  I am always looking to exchange information with fellow students and practitioners!  My PROpenMic profile can be found at http://www.propenmic.org/profile/StuartBond.

Posted by: stuartbond | October 26, 2009

“The Language of the Image”…well worth your time.

No one public relations practitioner, journalist, or photographer knows all there is to know about their specific field.  This is why I believe the need for continuing one’s education is well worth one’s own time and effort.  Rather volunteering to continue education or being instructed to do so, the pay off is well worth the time.  I was shown an online course to teach “newbies” the tricks of the trade of photography as well as to serve as a reminder or continuing education tool to such practitioners.  I am one such “newbie” but completed the course with new and valuable information.

The course taught me the various elements of a successful photo.  From describing the elements of light, emotion, placement, and mood, I was given a professional lesson that will prove useful.  I learned how to dissect a photo to evaluate its success or reasons for failure.  I left the course knowing how many elements incorporate just one photo.  For instance, did you know that the lighting, or lack thereof, greatly affects the photo’s mood, emotion, and transition?  I also learned how much a photo can either tell a story, substantiate a story, or add to a story by providing real-time emotion.

What did surprise me exactly how many elements a practitioner must keep in mind to successfully snap an effective photo.  After taking the course, I was surprised to learn the difficulty a successful photographer faces.  What was most surprising, to me, was the idea that photographers also have options.  They can play around with the various elements to sculpt and capture a successful image.

I would like to learn more about how I can physically learn to incorporate these elements into my own photography.  I would also like to learn more about how I can incorporate what was taught in the course into my own public relations experience.

I recommend this course to students or active practitioners because there is no substitute for continuing one’s education.  Attached is the link to the free course.  This is an excellent way to improve your practices!

http://www.newsu.org/

Posted by: stuartbond | October 19, 2009

How can I add a link to my WordPress blog?

Adding a link to your WordPress blog is a sure way to add diversity, credibility, and uniqueness to your blog.  A link can be used to substantiate statements, guide readers to other pages, or to provide further information about a specific subject area or event.

                   

Adding a link to your WordPress blog is simple!

 

Here are the quick and easy steps!

 

1)      Log onto your WordPress account

2)      On the upper task bar, select your My Dashboard option

3)      On the left hand side of the “my dashboard” screen is an options menu, to manage and add to your blog.  Select the Links option

4)      The following screen displays any previous added links and their corresponding categories for management. At the top of your screen, just underneath the search bar, find and select the New Link option.  This is where the user will customize his or her new link.

 

The add new link screen allows the user to associate a name to a link’s URL to make the link more appealing to the author’s viewers.  The “description” option allows the author to give a short description of the link’s content when a curser hovers over the URL.  The “categories” option allows bloggers to assign a URL to an established category, all categories are shown.  The “target” option allows the user to select how the link will open once selected.  The “link relationship” option allows the user to accredit the link to another author or relation on geographic, demographic, or personal terms allowing for the sharing and referencing of information.

 

Adding a link to any blog is important to each author as a link can support, explain, or help persuade the author’s point of view, statements, or arguments.  Links provide more body to a link and allow the author’s blog to expand to other information via the World Wide Web.

Posted by: stuartbond | September 28, 2009

Typography: What is it and why should I be concerned?

Typography is important to any public relations, marketing, advertising, or desktop publishing practitioner for a number of reasons.  Before becoming an avid student of public relations, I thought nothing of the matter while typing or designing as I did not understand the importance of a font.  There are sizes and styles to be aware of when designing any piece from a business card to a brochure and beyond.  Some fonts are more conservative while many go outside of the box to serve a specific purpose.  Practitioners need bare in mind these factors as they are responsible for accurately representing their organization.  It would be wise for a designer to match their font style to their organization. Designers should keep in mind the attitudes and characteristics of both their organization and the publics they are attempting to reach; more conservative organizations and publics will favor more conservative fonts.  There is also a common and criterion when selecting your font.  How easy the font to read is, how well the font visually reinforces the key message, and how well the font matches your letterhead are all questions to ask when designing a piece.  I have a few pointers to follow when designing a couple common pieces.  When selecting a font for a business card one should use smaller sized fonts and easier styles as to avoid confusion or crowding.  Brochure fonts should emphasize the message and design of the brochure, more whacky and visually appealing brochures can utilize larger and/or more extreme font sizes and styles. 

There are a number of fonts for any designer to find online to better suit their publication, organization, or audience.  Visit http://www.dafont.com/ to select a font unique to your publication.  I suggest this website as the downloadable instructions are guided just as you would download and install any program online or via CD.

Posted by: stuartbond | September 21, 2009

Segmenting Your Publics/How I do it!

When tasked with correctly segmenting the public or publics that comprise my client, The Bulloch County Alcohol and Drug Council, a whirlwind of confusion was first felt.  Segmenting a public or even a market is no always an easy task.  There are numerous issues one must keep in mind when attempting to even target their audience.  Practitioners must choose the correct lines of which to follow when segmenting their public.  In my case, my client has numerous publics.  My client has asked me to reach out to the “community”.  The term community comprises a many different publics.  I will have to reach out to children, adults, administrators, public and private sponsors.  I have chosen to segment the above publics by their characteristics.  Though I have not finish an accurate break down of each public’s characteristics, I will draw from what I already know.  I believe this is essential to any practitioner before beginning their own research.  Drawing upon what you already know about all publics serves as a springboard and brainstorm cache from which you begin segmentation.  Each market or public has their own niche in the community with their own set of characteristics that define them.  For instance, I know the children will be more responsive to electronic attempts at their attention as this age group is very tech-savvy.  Likewise, I know the seniors will prefer a much more conservative approach to gaining their trust and attention.  So, what I suggest, and how I will segment my client’s publics, is to target them using their specific defining characteristics and attitudes.  

I have listed the URL to the Business Resource Sofware, Inc.‘s webpage that I use when attempting to identify and segment any public.  I suggest this resource as it defines segmenting factors to keep in mind when practicing.

http://www.businessplans.org/Segment.html

Posted by: stuartbond | September 14, 2009

Robin Williams CRAP acronym and proximity

Author Robin Williams has set the stone in terms of correct and proper design to be utilized by public relations practitioners and desktop publishers.  Williams’ C.R.A.P. acronym stands for contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.  Each subject is an essential piece of the pie to keep in mind when creating any design.  I will focus on proximity.  Proximity is the strategic placement of texts, graphics, or other bodies on any design platform.  Proximity is important to keep in mind as too much proximity can cause confusion, overcrowding, or strain on a piece.  A focal point is necessary while creating a piece and proximity plays a large role.  Where the eyes fix on a piece can and may be determined by proximity of texts, graphics, and other bodies.  Proximity can ease the appearance and “user friendly” aspect of a piece or cause an undesired result as the important information may be passed up due to poor design proximity.

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