Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Candy or Pills – Can You Tell the Difference?

November 11, 2013

ImPRessions Cardinal Health Account Implements HallOUween Campaign

Bongs, lines and cans – all common forms of drug distribution that college students are familiar with. But what about small orange bottles? You know the kind; they may sit in your parents’ medicine cabinet and can easily be picked up at any local pharmacy. Most people don’t realize that legal prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal narcotics. This is the issue that the ImPRessions Cardinal Health account deals with here on campus. We inform the student population on the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

page-0A few weeks before Halloween, the Cardinal account was having its weekly meeting when the subject of new poster designs came up. The team started to brainstorm some really great ideas for future campaigns. This brainstorm made me think of something called a “pill party”. I had heard of these parties in the media, where teens raid their parents’, grandparents’ or friends’ medicine cabinets and dump the contents of the containers they find into a bowl at the beginning of the party. The attendees then proceed to grab handfuls from the bowl and pop the pills like candy. Obviously this is a perfect example of prescription drug abuse and it inspired my concept for the Cardinal Halloween campaign.

Once I proposed the idea of comparing the consumption of pills to candy in the spirit of Halloween, the team loved it! We did an eye-popping search of images of pills and candy. This search made us realize that there are so many types of pills that look like candy and make it easier for teens to casually take them. We hoped that by placing a picture of colorful candy next to a picture of colorful pills, it would help students to realize that prescription pills can easily be mistaken for something much more innocent.

We emblazoned half the posters with the tag line “Can You Tell the Difference?” and half with “Trip or Treat”. I was so honored to have the opportunity to design these posters and put an image to my idea. It was such a thrill to see one hanging in the CVS window.

In the end, this spur of the moment campaign was very successful. The posters helped grow awareness of prescription drug abuse during the famous Ohio University Halloween block party during the week of October 20-26. These fliers were distributed to all 42 residence halls, the Campus Care pharmacy, the local CVS pharmacy and also placed in the most heavily trafficked academic buildings on campus. Cardinal Health liked the campaign so much that next year we will be consulting with universities all over Ohio to help them implement a similar campaign.

-Sarah Rachul is a sophomore studying strategic communication with specializations in sports management and visual communication. Follow her at @Sarah_PD_Rachul.

Making Your Press Release Go the Extra Mile

July 23, 2013 2 Comments

Extra MileWriting press releases are certainly not the most glamorous thing you’ll do as a PR professional, but they are essential. Whether you’re working for an agency, doing PR for a particular company or working for a non-profit, you’re destined to write a press release, or 10, or 50. A press release is an important step towards a successful public relations campaign. Follow these tips to make your press release stand out.

1.  Write a killer headline

If you don’t have a catchy, appealing headline your press release probably won’t be read in today’s cluttered media space. Where should you look for headline ideas? The New York Times? Brilliant scientists who work for NASA? Actually, turn to copy writers for gossip and entertainment magazines. Why? They have about three seconds and a few words to attract your attention in the grocery checkout line. So, think back to the last time you picked up a magazine waiting in line at the store. What made you pick it up? Use that same attention-drawing technique to write a headline for your press release that will make your reader stop and actually read it.

2. Bring the heat early

In the same way that you zone out within the first couple minutes of your grandma telling you an in-depth story about her mom’s infamous apple pie, your reader tends to lose interest after the first sentence. That is, if your headline was good enough. Reporters are busy so tell them what they NEED to know within the first sentence. Include important points within the first paragraph.

3. Personalize it with good quotes

Quotes are like mini-stories that add a human element to your press release. Including a quote that reflects the significance of your product or event can tug on the reader’s emotions and leave them wanting to know more. If your quote is good enough, they might actually use it directly in their story. Be careful not to include too many quotes or extremely lengthy quotes. Make sure your chosen quote means something and isn’t just a filler.

4. Include hard numbers

Quotes can support your reader’s emotions but including hard numbers is what they really want to see. Support your argument with statistics, percentages and trends that will make your product or event look good. Don’t use colorful language that will confuse the reader and cloud the most important information. Make your argument, state the facts and back them up with numbers.

5. Know your reader

You wouldn’t want to pitch the new McDonald’s double decker cheeseburger to Shape Magazine. Make sure you know your target audience. Do some research and tailor each press release you send out to that particular media outlet. What do they value? What types of stories have they already published? What is their writing style? Being more specific with your audience will garner better results.

Follow these helpful and easy tips the next time you need to write a stand-out press release!

-Carly Damman is a senior studying strategic communications. Find her at @CarlyDamman.

 

 

 

Inside a Nonprofit Campaign

July 21, 2013 2 Comments

Non ProfitI’ve done PR for a nonprofit for the past two years and in my opinion, the main difference between a nonprofit campaign and a brand campaign is that you aren’t selling a product. In the nonprofit world, the main goal of a campaign is to help fulfill the mission.

When you are creating a campaign for a brand you are focusing on selling that product or products, while representing the company’s message. You would focus on outreach, social media, brand awareness, product awareness, media coverage and customer satisfaction. With a nonprofit campaign your main focuses are community outreach, social media, mission/brand awareness and media coverage. Depending on your campaign, another focus for a nonprofit would be donations because nonprofits run mostly on donations and grants.

The mentalities of both types of campaigns also differ. A nonprofit’s campaign really is about making a change and fulfilling the nonprofit’s mission. The mentality of brand campaigns is making an impression on someone to buy the product. I have created two campaigns for the nonprofit I work for and both keep in mind the mission of the nonprofit. If I was working for a retailer, the mission of the company would always be present but not the main focus of each campaign. You’re selling products and the message behind them, not just the message like you would with a nonprofit campaign.

Deadlines are also different in the nonprofit world. Work need to be done but the expectation of waiting longer for things to be completed is normal, such as how waiting for approval, grant or donation money, etc. slows down the process. It takes longer for a nonprofit campaign to take off, especially if the non-profit is newer. Whereas a brand campaign has strict deadlines and those deadlines must be followed. It’s make or break for brand campaigns.

Nonprofit campaigns always strive to make change, brand campaigns strive to make impressions. The two are different but both relate to each other in strategy and tactics. A nonprofit’s campaign will always fill your heart with emotion, while a brand campaign will easily empty your pockets.

-Kelly Hayes is a junior strategic communications major with a specialization in German and a Global Leadership Certificate. Follow her at @kmshayes.

 

 

Take a Bite Out of…Your Picnic Table?

July 2, 2013 2 Comments

Do you love chocolate? And PR?table

Then Cadbury’s recent PR campaign featuring a REAL chocolate picnic table will be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The 60 kilogram chocolate picnic table made its appearance at Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire, England to celebrate National Picnic Week that took place from June 17-23.

The Cadbury bench was completely edible and supported a family of four. Who needs to pack a picnic when you can just eat the table?

You might ask yourself how the table survived without melting in the hot, summer temperatures. It was actually covered in a glaze to prevent damage from the elements and lasted the entire week without melting!

Although tasty, it wasn’t the comfiest table in the world. Prudence Staite, founder of Food is Art and creator of the table, tested it out herself.

She remarked, “The bobbly nature of the Picnic bar, due to its combination of milk chocolate, peanuts and puffed rice, meant I had to sit on a padded cushion!”

The bench was constructed using 400 Cadbury chocolate bars and stacked on top of the bench were Cadbury Picnic Bars handed out to visitors of the wildlife park. Picnic bars are one of Cadbury’s oldest and most-loved bars filled with nuts, wafer, rice crisps, chocolate and caramel.

Cadbury used Facebook and Twitter posts to create buzz about the chocolate bench and has since been covered by The Sun, Huffington Post and The Daily Star.

Why was this simple PR campaign so successful?

#1 Cadbury recognized a national week in order to bring recognition to its brand…easy PR win. When trying to leverage your client’s brand through PR, make sure you’re aware of current events and news, even those wacky holidays. Take advantage of well known events that the public already knows about and then relate your brand to it in a creative way!

#2 Snapping a few fun photos of the bench created great shareable content.Cadbury used a photo shoot with the chocolate bench to create buzz on social networks. It saw several retweets on Twitter and over 100 shares on Facebook. It’s true: A picture can be worth a thousand words.

#3 Who doesn’t love chocolate? I haven’t heard many people say, “I hate chocolate”. Cadbury successfully appealed to a wide chocolate-loving audience while also promoting its forgotten picnic bars.

Like Cadbury Dairy Milk on Facebook or follow @DairyMilk on Twitter to learn more about its PR campaigns!

-Carly Damman is a senior studying strategic communications. Tell her what you think about the campaign @CarlyDamman.

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