December 2012 Archives

Steppenwolf Theater

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Steppenwolf Theater, a historic non-profit theater in Chicago, is truly a place of passion.

The Communications team sat with us at Steppenwolf and explained some of the challenges, and rewards of their jobs.

They believe one of the hardest challenges they face is their financial budget for the year. They want to spread the word about the amazing work and talent performing at the theater, however a small budget for communications hinders their ability to do so.

One thing was for sure, the employees at Steppenwolf are obsessed. They all came from art, or theater backgrounds and found themselves behind the scenes at Steppenwolf. They all raved about how their positions allow them to be a part of something they love in a new capacity. They pride themselves of advancing the mission of the theater.

AKIRA Clothing

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Jon Cotay from AKIRA Clothing was a hoot, but had very insightful ideas about maintaining connections.

Fashion is another world, and John highlighted the fast paced, cruel and fake world he loves and works in. The clothing store was started a few years back by Jon and his two friends from college. They have brought the small boutique into the big bad fashion world as an icon and are on top of the trendsetting list.

Jon is a supertalker and genuinely loves people and what he does. His biggest piece of advice was to maintain out networks. Every couple of months Jon goes through his entire list of contacts and sends an e-mail or text asking them how they are, and giving them an update about his own life.

His advice for undergrads looking to get into fashion is to have energy and be willing to do the 'dirty' work to show your appreciation and drive.

Starcom Media Vest

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Starcom surprised many members of PRSSA who are not familiar with media buying agencies.

Starcom is divided between Strategy and Activation teams. Now let me explain.

The Strategy team is made up of professionals who focus on working directly with their client to find out exactly which audience the company wants to reach. It is then their responsibility to research demographics relevant to their clients product.

Activation teams work with their vendor partners to purchase the ad space necessary for the individual clients.

The company has a great structure for professional growth. They offer unified training to each employee no matter how long or what title they have within the company.

Their current opportunities for undergraduates and recent graduates are posted here on their website. They are looking for media associates who can show examples of leadership and multitasking abilities.

The White Sox Stadium

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PRSSA started the day at The U.S. Cellular White Sox Stadium and met the brilliant Lou Hernandez. Lou has been with the White Sox since 2006 and is currently the Director of PR for the Major League Baseball team.

Hearing from Lou was one of the most insightful, and inspirational moments of the day as he highlighted what it takes to make it in Sports, and PR in general.

The White Sox Communications department is divided up between PR, Community Relations and Mass Communications.

PR takes on the role of making sure all stories about tickets, game days, fans, players, and crisis are accurately portrayed in the media. They also focus on the charitable, and philanthropic endeavors the team has its name on.

Community Relations are responsible for all player appearances in the community as well as community involvement events.

The Mass Communications division oversees the social media, design, website, programs and newsletters produced by the White Sox.

PRSSA Goes to Chicago

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The University of Minnesota's Chapter of PRSSA has traveled to Chicago for the past three years to give their members an awesome opportunity. Each trip allows for twenty to forty members to tour some major PR agencies, sports arena's, non-profits, and boutique agencies in the city of Chicago.

Chicago is less than an hour away by plane and offers a wonderful blend of big city New York and Midwestern Minneapolis. For students looking to start their careers outside of the Twin Cities, the connections made on the Chicago Tours are extremely valuable.

This year the Chapter made stops at The White Sox Stadium, Starcom MediaVest Group, AKIRA Clothing and Steppenwolf Theater.

Our Demographic is Changing, So Should our Research

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US Latinos are becoming a large part of our nations population and it's important that our researchers take note, and create their studies accordingly. has noted how the US Latinos have innovated the way we see and use qualitative research.
Check it out.

Don't Believe Everything You Read

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So let's talk validity.

How do you really know if what researchers are saying is true, or just fluff? It's important to do your own research after reading an article. Find out who wrote the article, and where they got their information. If the author keeps saying "The study showed xyz." It's important to find out WHY the study showed that. Does the author even know, or are they just writing a summary of the conclusion?

I'm not saying the article or study isn't credible, but it doesn't help readers to become more knowledgeable. It just helps them read meaningless stats and analysis. The method is very important and some articles just leave it out completely.

Read this article and let me know what you think of the language the author uses.

What's on My Aspirin?

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A new study released this week shows that a high percent of the population may not be aspirin resistant like they once thought. While notable doctors have guessed that anywhere between 5-40 percent of the American population was resistant to the pain reliever, the study from the University of Pennsylvania shows it's the coating on the pill that changes the way the drug enters the body for some.
It seems this study was done with a pool of healthy adults who were screened for their ability to resist aspirin. Another caveat? Well, Bayer, the famous aspirin company, funded most of this new study. So the response noting none of the 400 healthy adults were resistant seems well worth the money.

Click on this link for more details.

Data Company Sells for Big Money

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The value of a good data company is much more than the average person might think. Recently Clear Story Data was purchased by an investment group formed by Google Ventures and others for $9 million.

The growth of the company database, and the need for large amounts of data by companies make the sale well worth it. Google can use the information for much more than targeting ads, and will see a great return of Investment.
Here's the article to read more.

Murder linked to a disease?

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This study shows a link between those who murdered in Newark, NJ and looked at them like an infectious disease.

While the study may have been extensive, it does not seem quite conclusive. They looked at murders that occured between 1982 and 2007 which totaled over 2,000. They looked at the time and location of each murder and used a software to calculate the data. I'm just not sure the use of the software can always be trusted.

Click this link to LISTEN to the story, and read more.

Bad Research at its Finest

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A study in the journal SLEEP says there is a link between insomnia and respiratory issues. They studied men and women as they slept and noticed they woke on average 30 times and suffered minor respiratory problem. Seems legit.

Well let's look a little deeper. The study used 20 people, and had no control group. Enough said, I'm not buying it.

Hard Hits lead to Brain Disease

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Football Sunday at my house is full of guys cheering and wincing as they watch their fantasy teams be destroyed week after week. But what happens to those players after the game has ended? There's no denying those linebackers take quite a beating, but is it worth it? This new study shows even more support to those who say routinely being hit may lead to brain disease.
The study itself used 68 men and 17 women ranging from ages 17-98. Most of the participants were athletes from all different levels, high school to pro, and retired. The study classified the athletes on a four-tiered system ranging from headaches and loss of attention all the way to dementia and aggression.

Surveys and Cell Phone Providers

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The holiday commercial season is upon us and cell phones may be on the top of everyone's Christmas List. So who truly is the best carrier? Verizon and AT&T are known for their mudslinging advertisements on who has the best service, so how do you decide? Thankfully the Consumer Reports National Research Center has released the results of a national survey of cell phone users. A random sample of 63,523 of Consumer Reports 7 million members shows almost each carrier has it's pros and cons!
Check out this article to read more about the results.

Do Researchers Owe Society?

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I would say the answer is yes. This article posted by asks the question that if the professionals are so good at many different ways to understand the perceptions of brands and public, should they use their power for good?

When they have every opportunity to use facts and figures to say whatever they want, I think it is imperative for research companies to conduct ethical and truthful studies for the betterment of our society.

What do you think?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the previous archive.

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