The NBA: Where PR happens

20 03 2008

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By now, you probably know that I’m a huge NBA fanatic…

Reading some headlines, I came across a bit of news that’s a good example of how PR is more than just working with the media to get a press release out.

The New Orleans Hornets recently launched a new website to promote their star PG, Chris Paul, as the MVP this year. I don’t think he has a chance, frankly…Kobe is the MVP this year (and yes, I know I’m biased). But I like the PR implications here. First, you have to ask yourself, who is the public here? The fans don’t vote for the MVP, the NBA writers do, and the last few years, the choice certainly hasn’t been influenced by public opinion (Steve Nash 2 years in a row and then Dirk Nowitzki were anything but consensus public picks.) So the “public” here isn’t the traditional public you’d think of…but the NBA writers.  Second, you have to love the creativity here. Promoting someone within the organization (albeit a superstar NBA player) through an online campaign that’s sure to get some buzz (oops, I think I already did that).

But we don’t stop there, folks. The fan may not be the main audience here, but they’re certainly “activating” the fan…inviting them to post videos explaining why Paul should be the MVP. Viral video is emerging as one of PR’s biggest “weapons,” and this is yet another example.

So, you kill 2 birds with one stone here…you try to influence a particular strategic public (the NBA writers) AND you get another key public (the fan) involved as well.

My hat goes off to the Hornets here….even if Paul doesn’t win the MVP (that honor will go to Kobe).

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Smith Paper selected as Top Student Paper in Montreal

11 03 2008

Montreal, Canada. This May, I’ll be presenting a paper on PR and Marketing at the International Communication Association conference in Montreal. The paper, entitled,
Creating Recognition for Employee Recognition: A Case Study on Marketing Persuasion, Public Relations, and Branding, was selected as one of the top student papers submitted to ICA. 

Yes, I’m fairly excited about the accomplishment, especially since it was the first paper I completed in my Ph.D. program about a year and a half ago.

The paper outlines O.C. Tanner’s extensive integrated communications program that emphasizes PR as education, and I like to think it has the potential to add to the growing understanding of the role of PR in marketing communications….or at least, it seems ICA to thinks so.