Friday, November 21, 2014

11/20/14 Class Recap by Malcolm Barbour

Bernadine Karunaratne, the president of U.S. Government Consulting Services at Korn Ferry, fielded questions regarding her experiences in talent management, firm management, resume building, and tenure at American University as an international student.

Additional notes from her talks follow:

Current work mission
·      Her Leadership and consulting department is currently helping CEOs build the right team, harvesting talent, developing personal talent, create the right succession path, does scientific work with human beings

Early life and tenure at American University
·      Grew up in the area and came from Sri Lanka
·      Was aware of brand while at American- international students had their own brand, while at AU.
·      After graduation she had to face the decision of having to leave the country or immediately get a job in the states due to the F-1 visa status.
·      Worked as a student in the registrar’s office and was sponsored by her first boss. Got MBA in Kogod. Met her husband in SIS.
·      Offers a huge diversity practice within Korn Ferry and understands the person from the inside out.
·      Diversity is a shifting brand that goes to thought, opinion, instead of skin color and racial makeup, called inclusion.
Personal Branding
·      Appearance
·      Customer service-customer connectedness
·      Loyalty
·      Trust
·      Integrity 
·      Commitment to excellence
·      Brand is comprised of people who were ambassadors of the brand.
·      You become the brand, you add to the brand
·      Will not tolerate lack of ethics and integrity
·      Make sure your value system is the same as the big brand.
·      You are the president of your own board and you will have trusted people within the table of your own board.
·      Interviewed and hired her
·      The Gallup brand included itself in world research, which greatly appealed to Bernadine.
·      Later she said did her homework on the company itself and was with Gallup for 15 years

If you could go back in time
·      Would surround herself with the best people
·      Stick to your strengths and do not fix yourself
·      Focus on what you do remarkably well
·      Develop a deeper pursuit of excellence
·      Said she needed to be more confident in who she is.
·      Had a very thick accent. The negative feedback really helped her. Really got good at presenting by working with a coach and working with getting clear with an audience.
·      Stay close to who you are.

Managing Egos
·      Ego is good when managed
·      The need of humility
·      Self awareness
·      Executive presence

Process of consulting OPM
·      Talent assessment
·      Coaching (based on where are you trying to go in a corporation)
·      Change management work (Change the organization and the people in a organization)

The Global Focus
·      Went to Abu Dhabi and was the keynote speaker. at a conference regarding U.S. Government background and knowledge on how to engage a workforce. 
·      The conversations detailed how to motivate people on the job, how to engage people, the local traditions have to be safeguarded.
·      Think about the whole world and not just think about a vertical silo. Made her want to work in an office that works globally, and taking all of want you want in account. 

Internships and Resumes
·      Stretch yourself and learn a hell of a lot from work. Ask yourself what do you want out of an internship?
·      Put things that are relevant on your resume. Display on your resume, who the company would be getting if they decide to hire you.
·      Make sure it’s perfectly written and presented.
·      This is the final piece of paper that can describe your brand. Your story!
·      Customize your resume for every job you apply for. Be specific and targeted
·      Network
·      Make sure people know you rather than you knowing people

Common pitfalls of the interview process
·      Not prepared--- Do your homework
·      Ask Questions
·      Do not be in receiving mode
·      Engage that stranger
·      Challenge on norm of the company
·      Provocative questioning --- (respectfully)
·      Be cool under pressure when asked a tough question
·      Surprise them and don’t be surprised 

Homework for class

·      Finish all Eliminating Wordiness Exercise Problems

·      Write two different broadcast leads for bear homer
Ø  Throwaway lead
Ø  One that tells what happened in present tense

·      Write the broadcast Busdicker story (Include the ashes in the clarinet in lead)

·      Glamor Inc. Press Release DUE AT 5:00 p.m. ON SUNDAY
Ø  Will be judged on News/ PR judgment, headline, sentence structure, organization, headline, formatting, AP style

Friday, November 14, 2014

11/14/14 Class Recap

By Shayna Cook

Communications Director Danielle Davis
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Danielle Davis spoke to the class and fielded questions about her role as communications director of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. During her presentation, she also outlined what she looks for in hiring interns each year. Most important, she said, are enthusiasm and excellent communication and writing skills.

Additional notes from her talk follow:

     - Board of Directors
     - 11 full time staff
     - Not government funded; all from private sponsors
          - Safway, Capital One, Big Bus, DowntownDC, TCMA, Sucampo, etc. 
Spring Focus
     - Enhancing the natural environment
     - Showcasing arts and culture
     - Building community spirit 

     - Headliner events
     - Family days
     - Opening ceremony
     - Pink tie party
     - Parade
     - Kites

Year-Round Planning
     - Developing programs and working with partners, securing sponsors
     - Celebrities and “wows"
     - "Celebrating our natural world"
               —> all goes into a cohesive message track 

Public Relations Methods
     - Social media
          - Timing: Saturday night is the best for Facebook 
     - Pink blossom stickers
     - Press Releases
     - Fliers
     - News/Broadcast
     - Apps
           - Free festival app for pushing messages, maps, newsfeed, etc. 

Print/Broadcast Stories —> Press Releases
     Press Releases
          - Factual, straightforward, most important information is up front, 
          - Failure to maintain print relationships isn’t helpful
               - even quick notes are beneficial 
Buzz Factor
    - Launch Event for 2015
     - Vocal Competition
     - Debut of Garden Gnome (plays into garden theme)
            - I totally volunteer to do the live-action character for this
            - Diversity issue 
     - Anacostia River Project
Audience- Everyone
          - It’s a problem
             - Family events versus pink tie
               - Politicizing? Not really
          - Missing the 18-20 college demographic 
     - It happens
          - Usually feel good
     - Trash left on Nat’l Mall 
Crisis Management
     - Weather: plans A, B, C, and D for depending on the weather 
     - Bloomtime: Re-focus on events 
     - Fee means they are included in all fliers and publicity 
     - Gaining sponsorship: exposure to sheer amount of people, media opportunities, etc. 

PR Agencies
     - Multiple clients
     - Account teams (managing strategy, plans, etc.)
          - trickles down to staff doing day to day things, maintaining media lists, etc.
     - Building a brand inspiring a look and feel for the festival (summarizing it)
     - Look changes every year 

     - Targeting audience
     - Maintaining a focused brand 
     - Delegating inquiries
          - company with FAQ
          - festival email 
     - Diversification of experiences 
     - Advertising DC in the Springtime for tourists— community outreach/building balanced with tourism 
     - Marketing/PR not too separated 
          - advertising: pick and choose on an event by event basis 
     - Relevancy 
          - Using partnerships for new events
     - Mass appeal versus targeted audience 
     - City-wide impact; positive versus negative

Biggest Challenge: Timing of each thing; events, publications, etc. 

Interviewing Interns?
     - Looking for someone who is a good writer
     - Enthusiasm, being interested, goes a long way (having an idea of the position that you want)

4 weekends, 24 days, 1.5 million people, 45% outside of DC, 55% DC-metro area
15m dollar value
2.9b unique pageviews
178m tv audience
45m Times Square impressions
37m print circulation
54k facebook likes
7,830 twitter followers
1m b#bikeinbloom impressions

PR versus Journalism versus Advertising
     - different goals
     - different media focuses

PR Format
     - Immediate release versus embargo: embargo date is when it can be used 
     - Headlines: short, active verb (makes it a headline not a title)
     - Tense needs to be consistent
     - Do not capitalize prepositions, do not exceed one line

Friday, November 7, 2014

11/6 Class Recap by Jialin Li

2nd Clip from Broadcast News with Holly Hunter and William Hurt


Pass your story to another partner to write down:

3 things that are working

3 things that can be improved

(in accordance with good broadcast writing)


Boswirth story lead critique

Lead written by our professor:

A forty-year-old man is facing multiple charges tonight after eating his breathalyzer results.
A forty-year-old man bit off more than he could chew today by eating the results of his breathalyzer test.

Pay attention to tense, conciseness, attribution, and
balance the funny tone appropriately,


We watched a clip from Broadcast News, a movie that looks at the danger of broadcast reporters focusing too much on entertainment instead of news.

We followed with a talk about the differences between broadcast journalism and print in terms of the reporting job.

Culver said he considers himself an entertainer.

Rivalry between print and broadcast journalism

Print has more in-depth stories, while broadcast journalists are forced to cover multiple stories at the same time.

IV. We wrote another Stefanie Ferguson story based on the following development:

Stefanie was arrested (today) at a small town called Oroville in Washington state near the U.S.-Canada Border. She was with her boyfriend, Karl Magnuson. “All we wanted was to be together,” she told reporters as she was led off in handcuffs. Magnuson later told reporters he broke up with Stefanie. “I can’t have a girlfriend who’s stuck in jail for two years,” he said.

Write a broadcast story on this latest development that includes any necessary background so that story makes sense to viewers. Include all interesting details from previous version. Deadline: 10:30 p.m.

Read Chapter 15 Writing for Public Relations
Come up with two questions about PR or the festival that you will ask in class. (We will have the guest speaker next week)
Review this blog post and the stories professor returns to you.