Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Name for Strategic Communication

Gabbey Albright

It might be easy to recall a few big names in news journalism. But what about the other side of journalism? The strategic communication side.

The strategic communication specialists tend to be more of a behind-the-scenes role. Even though they do a tremendous amount of every brand that we know, their names aren't as prevalent.

Pulling a Strategic Communicator From Behind the Scenes

To get a better understanding of what it takes to become a public relation specialist, Ohio University's PRSSA brought in someone who helps lead one of the most successful agencies in America.

Brett Pulley is the Executive Vice President at Weber Shandwick. This is one of the world's largest PR companies. They employ over 4,000 people in 79 cities.

Weber Shandwick Work

One example of the work that his company does that Pulley shared was with the company Barbie. Over generations, Barbie had developed a negative connotation with being an unrealistic goal for young girls and women to meet. It was time for rebranding. With the help from their PR specialists, Barbie created three new Barbie shapes and seven different skin tones. Weber Shandwick created a video as a part of the campaign that went viral. The video also included the fact that unlike a regular doll which encourages girls to prepare for motherhood, the Barbie doll has had multiple different careers that encourage girls to become whatever they want to be.The positive feedback from this brand-revamp was extensive. It was undeniably a PR success.

Advice from Pulley

Something that Pulley noted multiple times through his presentation was the importance for strategic communicators to be well-versed storytellers. As communicators, one must be the best there is. If a strategic communicator cannot take a message and relay is clearly and effectively they aren't doing their job. He also mentions that writers can only be as good as the information that they gather and the content that they distribute.

When it came to the question and answer portion of the presentation, many students were curious about how it was to work within the professional world with strict deadlines. Although the students seemed anxious, Pulley insisted that they deadlines only encouraged his brain power and quickened his creative process. The message here was that deadlines and creativity can work hand in hand.

Another key point which students were inquiring about was advice about how to land a job in public relations. To this, Pulley simply spoke about the importance of networking. Although he wasn't fond of the word networking, he encouraged that it is important to get one’s name within the industry and to continue to create relationships within it. Additionally, it is essential to maintain these relationships and remain relevant in the person’s mind.

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