identify a contemporary ‘corporate reputation’ issue and, upon completing a literature review, deconstruct the content and effectiveness of PR message strategies of a real-life organisation, across a range of media channels using a rhetorical analysis approach.
Appendix: Assignment structure and guideline
• Add logo or picture of the company/brand
• Add a creative title
Purpose/establish the importance of research
Establish a contemporary ‘corporate reputation’ issue/crisis
Findings (write at the end)
Practical implications (write at the end)
Structure of your assignment
Analysis the current situation
PEST, SWOT, competitor analysis (Indirect and direct), marketing mix (Ps: People, Product, Price, Promotion, Place, Process and Physical Evidence), or any related to the issues/gaps/crisis
To identify a contemporary ‘corporate reputation’ issue and, upon completing a literature review, deconstruct the content and effectiveness of PR message strategies of a real-life organisation, across a range of media channels using a rhetorical analysis approach (E.g., audience, purpose, medium, context).
Ability to write a Press Release dealing with a prescribed PR situation. You are require to write a one to one-and-a-half page (A4) press release. Your press release must be followed below.
Your press release should follow the approach and style guidelines discussed in class and in tutorials in the weeks leading up to the hand-in date. Marks are not given for precisely following rules (since practice varies) but for writing a press release which is fit for purpose overall. You should bear in mind:
Your press release should fill the page (and may be up to one-and-a-half pages, including editor’s notes). Points should be grouped together into relatively short paragraphs, broadly following one or combining more than one of the templates used in class.
The writing style should be clear and succinct.
The document must be checked and corrected; it should convey a credible, authoritative impression of the organisation.
What you take to be the ‘headline’ (or most newsworthy) message line should come first, to attract attention and interest. You should arrange your various points in a suitable order and weigh up what the most important and positive points are. You present each point in your own words.
Any given situation provides enough material for more than just one possible press release. So you have to choose what angle or angles to emphasise, and what sort of story to create. But remember that your aim is to improve the reputation of the organisation in question (so that it is seen in a way that it is likely to wish to be seen), not to damage it or to make it unhelpfully controversial, etc.
You should take special care in deciding how to present any points that you don’t particularly wish to draw attention to, but which you feel it would be unwise to omit altogether. They may be referred to obliquely, or clearly implied but not stated, etc.
To make the press release realistic, you are free to embellish the information with relevant extra details (e.g. places, amounts, dates and names, bits of background). But only do this where such points are needed. In assessing your work, some latitude will be given as regards this additional, made-up material – so long as you don’t undermine the scenario as given by inventing details or facts that fundamentally conflict with the situation as given
Writing a press release
The following 15 points are things to remember, not the order of elements to include
1. Press releases traditionally follow the so-called SOLAADS format. That is, information appears in the following order:
Subject – Organisation – Location – Advantages – Applications – Details – Source
(In some cases, you won’t have information under all these headings)
2. Decide your story angle: it must be timely and newsworthy. Write the release using ‘inverted pyramid’ structure: most important information first. Check that you answer ‘who, what, when, where, why’ questions. (Also, the ‘how’ question.)
3. Keep headline short and snappy: simple, less than 10 words. If necessary, add sub-heading to include supporting details
4. Never use past tense: present tense creates impression that content is up-to-date
5. First paragraph: main facts; must include name of company and whatever product/service/event you’re announcing.
6. Remaining paragraphs should provide supporting information, in descending order of importance. Relate most exciting and newsworthy aspects of product/service first. Provide references (= footnotes) for facts and figures. Don’t express personal opinions, except in the quotes. Draw conclusions from your facts and statistics; don’t add extra, personal opinion.
7. Include quote from senior person at company and/or other relevant ‘newsmakers’. Couple of sentences only. You may need to be proactive in getting this quote.
8. Write in third person: not “I”, “you”, “we” or “us” bus “it”, “he/she” and “they”.
9. Avoid acronyms and abbreviations
10 Use simple, concise language
11. Don’t make unsupported claims
12. Avoid puffery (i.e. exaggerated self-praise)
13. Provide Notes to Editors as appendix: background information on company
14. Contact details: name and details of your appointed contact person
15. State whether you have photos available. Don’t attach them.
Press Release layout
Design an effective PR message strategy for a Corporate/Brand
The following table provides an overview of the assessment requirements.
Description of Coursework Students will be required to identify a contemporary ‘corporate reputation’ issue and, upon completing a literature review, deconstruct the content and effectiveness of PR message strategies of a real-life organisation, across a range of media channels using a rhetorical analysis approach. From a detailed and critical analysis of your ‘client’, prepare a viable content and effective PR message strategies and tactics to address the research objectives, as well as enhance their corporate/brand image and reputation. You may wish to keep a diary of your progress and any meetings with your client to include topics/issues discussed; reflections on what has been learned; problems encountered and how these were resolved, etc. This diary will be of use in evaluating the project and your learning experience.
A short summary of your corporate/brand, the business opportunity, products/services, USP, marketing objectives, and the way to achieve them through their corporate PR.
STEP 1: SITUATION ANALYSIS/BACKGROUND
Company and Stakeholders’ Communication Background
I. Domain Name(s), Corporate/Brand Name(s) (if different), and URL
II. Business Scope – briefly describe the scope of your internet business (local, national, regional or global)
III. Description of Products and Services (clear list of the products and/or services that you will sell and how these are presented electronically to the audience)
IV. Statement of your corporate/brand’s Unique Advantage or Difference or Unique Value Proposition (USP/UVP) (1 sentence) and Competitive Advantages (Current and proposed)
V. Explanation of Revenue Model(s) – brief description of ways in which your corporate/brand will generate revenue, including banner, affiliate programs, selling content offline, etc. These are just your preliminary ideas. That is, you do not need to map out a detailed revenue platform.
Industry/Market Review and Analysis
I. Provide an overview of the current state of your industry/market. Use at least seven sources for your research, three of which must be found on-line.
II. Provide an outline of all your key stakeholders and provide the platform they use.
III. Provide an outline of all your key competitors and provide a competitive analysis of three of your major competitors, and the social media strategies they use. Once you have assessed your competitors based on criteria chosen provide a brief summary of their main strengths and weaknesses and then suggest gaps left by competitors for you to fill.
IV. Provide an analysis of your target market (s) and how you are planning to target this market with the use of paid, owned, and earned corporate/brand communication.
V. Describe your target market(s) fully, using as many criteria as possible
VI. Carefully describe your customers’ key needs and benefits sought when using your social media site
VII. If your target market is divided into distinct segments, state what they are and how you plan to adjust any element of your marketing strategy to reach these different segments (in this section or in STEP 3).
VIII. State your company/web site/products brand values and positioning strategy. These are the values you will then build your PR strategy plan along.
STEP 2: SETTING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
I. Set your marketing objectives for the plan:
II. You should have at least five objectives. At least 2/3 of your objectives must be measurable. Follow the SMART guidelines – quantitative objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and set within a specific Timeframe. The qualitative objectives can be develop brand awareness.
i. **Your objectives must include increasing revenue
III. Provide a measurement strategy to assess how well you are meeting your objectives during and after launch. A measurement strategy will include a detailed list of WHAT will be measured, HOW these criteria will be measured (using technology, questionnaires, etc) and HOW OFTEN elements will be measured or assessed.
IV. Identify all professional services you will use to build, maintain, and market your web site. Justify why you have chosen these companies.
V. Identify all marketing tasks that will be done in-house, by you.
STEP 3: STRATEGIES AND TACTICS TO ACHIEVE YOUR OBJECTIVES
1. Site Design and Usability Factors
I. For already existing sites assess the current design and usability and state how these factors could be improved. Refer to our lectures for more information for what to assess. Provide a picture of the current corporate/brand communication such as home page and a mock-up drawing of changes you would make for a new paid, owned, and earned corporate/brand communication, provide a mock up drawing or actual view of the new proposed corporate/brand communication
II. Decide what you want to add to the site in terms of content, features, and functionality. Discuss and Justify based on your objectives, positioning strategy, USP and target market.
III. Create a tool or method for assessing design and usability state how you will monitor the ongoing design and usability, using professional services where necessary
2. Getting Customers Attention – Driving Traffic to the Site: Search Engine Optimisation
I. Provide a list of the search engines, directories, portals in which you plan to be listed. Justify choice
II. Outline your search engine, listing and monitoring and optimisation strategies. (In other words, how will you ensure that you continue to get top rankings and what methods will you use to ensure and monitor. Also, how often will you monitor your web site search engine positions.) If using professional services, provide name of chosen service, rationale for using, and costs.
3. Getting Customers Interest, Desire and Action – Driving Traffic to the Site
I. Re-state your target markets, brand values and positioning strategy and those objectives to be achieved by your PR communications strategy (Use an Integrated Communications Strategy Model)
II. Outline, justify and cost all online PR strategies to be used (e.g.: Linking Strategies, Banners, E-mail Marketing, etc)
a. Explain what you will do (e.g.: E-mail Marketing Campaigns – 4 times yearly)
b. Justify why you have chosen to do it. (demonstrate that you understand the benefits of this type of PR method)
c. Demonstrate how it contributes to your brand values and positioning strategy, how it benefits your target markets, and what objectives it will help to achieve.
d. Provide basic cost for this type of service
e. State when or how often it will be done.
f. If using a professional service, state which one.
g. Show how this method will be integrated with all others
You must include on-line, e-mail marketing, public relations, and collaborative programs (eg: contra deals, co-branding, linking, associates, affiliates, web rings, etc.) You will need to choose two other methods and justify your choice. Provide the following:
a. Mock-up of banner ad (drawing)
b. Mock-up of web page where you will get customers to sign up for your e-mail.
c. Copy of your first e-mail letter
d. List of all companies you plan to collaborate with in the first year
4. Generating Revenue
Outline all additional strategies that you will use to generate revenue for your site. If already described above, just provide a summary in this section.
STEP 4: CUSTOMER SERVICE, RELATIONSHIP AND LOYALTY PLAN
I. Briefly outline your customer service and customer relationship management (CRM) strategy.
II. State your strategy for providing excellent customer service.
III. Outline your strategy for generating customer loyalty (e.g.: one-on-one strategies, personalisation, interactive dialogue, rewards, etc)
IV. Discuss any CRM technology to be used.
STEP 5: TIME LINE FOR PR STRATEGIES
I. Using a one year chart, show when each type of PR will be done.
II. Some forms of PR will be done more than once over the year (eg: Banners, Email Marketing)
III. Some forms of PR may be done in relation to specific objectives or specific offers (demonstrate)
STEP 6: THE FUTURE
I. Provide a brief discussion of what new technologies and features you may add to your web-site in the future as they become widely available. Justify.
II. Provide a brief discussion of the options you plan to pursue in the five years after launch