Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Internship announcement

Public Relations Intern Needed

MCA Public Relations, a Dallas-based boutique public relations agency specializing in local, regional and national media relations, community relations and special events, is currently seeking an intern to support assistant account executives. Responsibilities vary, but may include: assisting with researching editorial calendars; developing media lists; developing end-of-the-month reports; assisting with the compilation of the daily clips; and providing assistance to public relations staff on specific events. Candidates must have the ability to work independently, quickly and under pressure and must also have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Public Relations, Marketing or Communications degree preferred. Hours are flexible. Please send resume to jenna (at) and visit our Web site for more information about the company (

Public Relations
5952 Royal Lane, Suite 158
Dallas, Texas 75230

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Case research assignment

We'll be researching the SF Zoo incident from last year, with the goal of finding enough information to use to write a case study. We won't actually be writing the case study, but will take care of that through several in-class exercises. But first, you'll be building a timeline, working together, and pulling together resources so that you could write it up on your own.

You'll need enough information to construct a timeline for both the incident and the communication/PR effort after the incident. Think about the four-part PR process and how it might fit some of the actions that you can discern in news accounts. List definitive actions taken by the zoo during the crisis, and then list initiatives, public statements, and marketing activities after the zoo reopens for business. Use this list to begin thinking about how these actions fit either the utilitarian or communitarian models.

We'll discuss the due date that's on your syllabus. The five-page assignment requires excellent sourcing, a case narrative, a timeline, and list(s) of activities, marketing initiatives, and public statements. Timelines and lists should be single-spaced; narrative should be double-spaced. You'll also need to add an additional page of analysis after our class discussion about the research you've uncovered.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Copyright, Obama art, and the Associated Press

Check out this story, as a preview of our discussion on copyright issues late this semester:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Studying the Roma people

Here are two links to information about the Roma people, sometimes referred to as "gypsies." The first link is from the European Roma Rights Centre, with a blog posting from a civil rights worker in the Balkans, who was from the UK. The second link is a generalized history and description of this ethnic/cultural group and the ways it has been persecuted for centuries across the globe. Many Roma people were killed in Germany's concentration camps during World War II, and while they are no longer rounded up, they are still segregated in schools and in neighborhoods across several European nations.

Our discussion Monday should be interesting: Nann Goplerud will talk about the ways that she has covered the Roma community here in Texas; Koji Fuse will talk about descendants of a feudal class that is still identified and discriminated against in Japan called the buraku; and Pat Spencer will discuss her master's thesis work on journalism in India and the way reporters handle caste/class issues there.

Of course, our visiting Hungarian journalists will talk about their experiences in covering and advocating for this community.

More articles about reaching out to minority communities here in the States

These may be found at and the main article today is about Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Top brands in social media

Check out this article, and its link to, about the top brands in social media. We'll talk about the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to measuring social media:

Phelps and endorsements

Endorsements are key to Michael Phelps' future; here's a good analysis of the kind of impact his use of marijuana could have on his endorsement activity. Please note the apology he made, in style and tone, which goes a long way in putting this incident behind him:

Analysis of risk communication

An article about risk communication, which may be of interest to students who work on final projects involving this type of PR activity. It concerns the public's right to know information about the activities of chemical plants and other businesses which handle dangerous materials.