Archive for the ‘Reading Notes’ Category

Chapter 20   1 comment

Chapter 20, the final chapter.  It is a little bitter sweet to be honest, I have grown so used to reading through everything that Seitel had to say about public relations, and now it is all but over. However, even in his final chapter, Seitel continued to show his characteristic sense of humor, followed by a plethora of real world examples.

I absolutely loved the last survey that he included.  For any that may have forgotten or taken the same infatuation that I did, basically 97 of the top public relation specialists in the country and determined the seven most significant factors to success in public relations.  Seitel states:

” 1. Diveristy ofexperience 2. Performance 3. Communication skills

4. Relationship Building 5. Proactivity and Passion 6. Teamliness

7. Intangibles” (405-411). 

I think that this is probably the most helpful part of this entire book, I mean what could be better than the advice from 97 of the most esteemed professionals in the field?  Seeing that list really gave me a realistic thought that I could actually become a successful public relations professional.

While I loved the list of traits survey, I thought that the three consecutive pages of Position Descriptions was a little overkill.  It is great to have that kind of exposure to the real working world, but I felt as if it were too much information just thrown at the reader.  I feel like Seitel could have used a little more creativity by perhaps adding comments directly onto the page, or highlighting certain parts that distinguished the different levels of work.  While he later acknowledges the key points and differences from the entry level employee and the more distinguished senior manager, I feel like it would have been more effective and interactive had he spruced up the bland descriptions.

For whatever reason I just thought of the idea to check out Frasier Seitel online, just to see what kind of credentials he has.  Not to say that I thought that he was wrong, or posing as an imposter, but I thought it would be interesting to see what he has achieved himself.  A quick wikipedia search later, I found that Seitel has a very impressive track record indeed, and he currently resides as the President of the Emerald Partners, a successful communications management firm founded in 1992.

Thanks for the lesson Mr. Seitel, it has been a pleasure learning from you.


Fraser P. Seitel, public relations extraordinaire


Posted June 28, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 5   Leave a comment

Just as chapter 19 provided an in depth look at one of the darkest parts of being a public relations professional, chapter 5 thoroughly examines the more day to day operations of what it means to work in Public Relations.  This chapter was full of information from the expectations and responsibilities from a public relations professional, all the way to how much money they make per year, ( and I can’t say that six figures a year is too bad).  It is unlikely that anybody would be working for a company that finds itself in a catastrophe too often, because they would probably go out of business.  Needless to say, it is nice to know the more normal functions that the job entails.

I loved the section that stated out the basic needs/responsibilities needed to succeed in the public relations world.  Listed on page 90-91, Seitel provides his reader audience with a great look at a realistic job description.  While the list boasts 16 different aspects of work, many of those items listed consist of “managing relations”.  I think that it would be a wonderful opportunity to actually pursue Public Relations as a career.  The fact that many of the listed responsibilities require coordinating skills between multiple parties sounds like it would be such an interesting and fun job.  There would be no monotony that so many Americans experience everyday with their own cubicle, 9-5 jobs.

By regulating nearly every fasset of communication that is associated with the specific company, you would essentially be the hero of the company.  Obviously the CEO will still be making the most statements on the news and such, but many times it falls on the shoulders of the public relations specialist to handle the press as well as the public.  This would give the specialist a certain amount of authority and power like few jobs yield.  Not to say that I am motivated and driven by power, but the acknowledgement of a job well done is what I look for the most.  I think that it would be such an incredible way to work, constantly communicating with multiple sources, planning events and fundraisers, arranging photo spreads for the company website, there is so much to do that there would be little to no opportunity to become bored!

Posted June 28, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 19   Leave a comment

“Reality is perception” what an incredible quote.  I haven’t come across a single quote that has better summed up Public Relations yet.  This is essentially the cornerstone behind the importance of Public Relations.  While most of this book has been devoted to different aspects and methods of the Public Relations field, catastrophe is really where the field proved it’s worth.  Starting with Rockefeller all those years ago, the noble and much needed art of Public Relations has shown time and time again that it is the best way to maintain the specific image that any organization/company would want to employ.

I think that Seitel’s section on Issues Management and Crisis Management were incredibly well thought out.  This kind of advice can be applied to just about any kind of trouble that an individual may find themselves in.  I know that I’ve had issues with the way that I was perceived in the past and I have successfully used these techniques to solve the problem.  While I didn’t know the exact guidelines then, the way that Seitel lays out his guidelines in such an innate and simple manner that anybody could figure them out.

I think that the examples section in this chapter was even more helpful than normal.  It is easy to read passages that outline the correct way to respond to a crisis, but you can really apply that kind of knowledge when you have real examples to work with.  Take into consideration the Duke Lacrosse fiasco of 2006, and how everybody involved from the student athletes to the University itself was left scrambling for cover in wave of crushing accusations.  While the charges were ultimately dropped, the courts didn’t end the suffering for another full year.  Those poor students were rapped up in something that required cellphone research, DNA testing, arrests, suspension, let alone the entire lacrosse team lost it’s eligibility for an entire athletic season.

The three players that were falsely accused

While everything was ultimately fixed, the enitre situation gave testament to the dizzying rate at which disaster can sink in.  First the university is punishing you, then the team gets involved, then the press begins blowing everything way out of proportion (causing national coverage on many instances), elected politicians are offering their own opinions on what happened, and you are suddenly completely taken out of what it means to be a college student, desperately struggling to preserve what little remains of your reputation and image.

Through great lawyers, and even better Public Relations professionals, Duke was able to ultimately restore it’s credibility and reputation.  It also helped that the NCAA granted another year of eligibility to all of the players that lost a season due to the suspension, which lead to an NCAA championship in 2010 (with the last of the 5th year seniors that were on the 2006 team).



Posted June 27, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 18   Leave a comment

This was in my opinion the best chapter so far.  I haven’t ever given much thought to the Internet, probably because it has been around for the majority of my life.  However, this chapter has really turned me on to how much the Internet has changed life as we know it.  There are so few things that really can say that.  When you look back to history some of the biggest developments in culture can be attributed to things like Television or the nuclear bomb.

After reading this chapter, I began to reflect on my own usage of the Internet.  My biggest chunk of Internet usage would be Facebook, shocking I know.  I would estimate that I spend about three hours a day total with Facebook on average.  Followed by Facebook would be information obtaining.  That sounds a little vague, but usually it is to look up sports statistics, models of cars, finding and downloading new music, and online shopping.  When I think of how revoltionary this invention truly is, I can’t help but think that I might be wasting it’s potential.

However, after reading the chapter I realize that I am not wasting this glorious portal of communication, but I am utilizing it to the fullest.  When I have a need for information, whether that is for a homework assignment, what time a movie is playing, streaming the latest greatest song in the world, it doesn’t matter!  I have the neccesary tools to find everything and more that I want on the web.  That is the whole purpose of the Internet, to be able to find information at a rapid pace, and then to share what you’ve found with the rest of the online community.

The way that clothing retailers, athletes, corporations, politicians, celebrities, and just about everybody else has embraced the Internet, and created their own online identities, it gives credit to the way that we use the Internet.  Just about every web page that you visit has at least three different advertisements hovering the edge of the window.

We all remember how much of a presence Obama had on the Internet in 2008

What I like the best is the way that technicians have designed the Internet to remember what you search, while it does foreshadow an Orwellian nightmare… I think that we are a long way from that (at least another 20 years at the rate we are going now haha), but when websites like Pandora remember your favorite type of music, and then make a new suggestion based off of your likes, or just how Netflix makes recommendations based off of what you view, it just shows the brilliancy behind the Internet.

An innovative way to watch and stream movies, Netflix has changed the way that people watch movies

Posted June 27, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 17   Leave a comment

Advertising is everywhere.  Just as Seitel says in his chapter on “Integrated Marketing Communications”, there is no place that is not worth advertising on.  While you may have a handful of truly ridiculous places (like permanent tattoos on your own body for a sponsor), there is an undeniable flow of rampant advertising that has become synonymous with American consumerism.  While anybody that has access to a newspaper, Internet, or a television (which is pretty much anybody) can tell you how many adverts clutter that specific form of media, it is interesting to read Seitel’s chapter on advertising.

What makes things interesting is that Seitel takes on a new prespective when relaying information to his readers.  As a student, I have no idea why a professional firm would make the decisions that they do, or why they spend so much money on one style of publicity.  Hence why Seitel’s chapter is informative and exciting.  With such sections as ‘Product Publicity’ and ‘Building a Brand’ the reader has an opportunity to understand just how certain companies like Nike or McDonalds have become such huge corporations that they are today.

The Nike swoosh

There is no denying that businesses have firmly established a connection between their products and our perceived way of life.  As Seitel says in the conclusion of his chapter, that as long as exectutives are seeing profits as a result of advertising, there will continue to be advertisements everywhere.  Just think of New York City, Times Square is literally a giant advertisement!  There are signs for companies, broadway shows, restaurants, you name it and it is there!



Posted June 27, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 9   Leave a comment

Reading about the decline of the printed newspaper is tragic.  Living among this heart-wrenching affair is what I would imagine it would be like to watch the dinosaur’s begin to disappear.  At my house we have a subscription to the Los Angeles Times, the USA Today, and the Orange County Register.  I have been surrounded by news papers my entire life, and I have grown not only accustomed to, but fond of the clutter that only three read-through newspapers can bring to any kitchen table.  Being a college student has unfortunately made me part of the statistic of Americans who don’t read a newspaper on a daily basis, but I don’t have my own street address so I think that I am okay for now.

As disheartening as it may be to witness the decline of the printed word, it does make sense.  While Seitel points out that many newspaper editors have noticed that while print circulation has gone down, online subscription has skyrocketed.  That is probably the case, but I would imagine that many more people have discarded their papers in favor of the search engine.  I personally have taken up to perusing through either CNN or Fox news, locating stories that interest me, and then I Google the rest of the story.

This additional emphasis on the Internet provides just about everybody that operates a blog, manages an online column, or real reporters with more importance than ever before.   The way that Google decides which search hit comes up first is through site traffic, so if there is a popular blogger that has bolstered a small army of followers (think Perez Hilton) then suddenly his or her opinion becomes valued and taken seriously.  As disgusting as it is that some foul, obnoxious, superficial creature like Perez can obtain a “respectable” reputation (the quotations are only for him there are plenty of others that have done a great job), it just highlights the kind of power that reporters hold now.  As a public relations professional, one would need to be able to forge a working-friendly relationship with nearly anybody that presented a column.  I feel like that would almost be like working at Disney Land, where employees are forbidden to frown!

Sorry to do this to y'all but it just proves my point even more

Posted June 22, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes

Chapter 14   Leave a comment

This chapter seemed like a culmination of what Seitel has been talking about in his other chapters.  As we have moved on with our semester, the topics have become more and more diversified, discussing the way that businesses must be more aware of their local populations and cultures, to the different needs of citizens from their governments, and now to the different uses of public relations in different countries around the world.  I especially like the tie in to the theory that the world is now a global village to the use of public relations.

The Internet has made the world a global village

I love the way that Seitel goes around the globe to highlight specific regions and countries and explain how public relations has made a difference, or how it is being used in that place.  In particular the way that Seitel used big business to show the developing trend of Public Relations was fascinating.  The example of the McDonalds owner in Indonesia that posted a sign that stated that the owner was an indigenous Muslim Indonesian was very thoughtful.  I think that it is interesting to see how even though companies like KFC and McDonalds are American, the owners of branches throughout the world are of the local population.

It seems interesting that Public Relations is one of the most used methods to connect the world.  The way that recent trends have been developing is that wherever big business goes, public relations follows.  You would think that people would naturally be more receptive to the specific cultural needs and traditions when launching into international business, but I guess that is not the case.  However, I think that as long as there are careful and thoughtful public relations professionals to stand behind business executives and politicians, than the world should be able to get along alright.


Posted June 22, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes