Just trying to RELATE…

PR Connection: Toiling Tiger and Reckless Roethlisberger – PR and Pro Athletes

Posted in Assignments,Social Media by meshae on April 20, 2010

As a sports fanatic, I do my best to keep up with current sports happenings and the athletes that keep the industry buzzing.

Lately, two athletes from two different arenas come to mind, golfing great Tiger Wood and NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

With the 2010 Master’s Tournament only a few weeks passed, the media jumped after Woods announced his return to competition. I tuned in to some of the Master’s coverage and sure enough there was “more than enough” coverage on Woods. Tweets were posted the whole week that acknowledged the massive amount of information being shared about the blemished golfer, his wife and his current “situation.”

After sharing his adultery with the world, Woods faced some pretty tough audiences and arguably lowered himself to the “just another pro-athlete” status. I’m sure most would agree that prior to his “accident” over the 2009 Thanksgiving holidays; his image was spotless compared to his athletic colleagues. Since last November, Woods and his entourage have been toiling to reclaim his position as one of the world’s most respectable athletes. Is it possible?

The question has been asked before, but why is it that we scrutinize the personal lives of professional athletes?

Before you attempt to answer that, let’s move to Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger. After a March visit to small-town Georgia in 2010, the QB found himself in the spotlight…a not-so-good one might I add.

According to the Associated Press, Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a college student in Milledgeville, GA. Fortunately for him, charges were dropped after an investigation was completed; however NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t let Roethlisberger go without consequence.

Because of the athlete’s irresponsible behavior, Goodell suspended him for six games this upcoming season. Some may ask “why,” especially considering that the charges were dropped. However, from a PR perspective, Goodell’s decision is one of merit. The suspension shows that the NFL will not tolerate the reckless, negligent behavior of its athletes and that league values its reputation.

I chose to discuss these two athletes because unlike, former Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick and Tennessee Titans’ Adam “Pacman” Jones, Woods nor Roethlisberger committed a crime. Although some might argue their wrongs were no different, the consequences administered were indeed.

Turning my focus back to public relations, I can’t help, but discuss the aforementioned “scrutiny” that “we,” society place upon professional athletes, as well as other public figures. It is important for public relations specialists working in the sports industry to recognize this “scrutiny” and be aware of its challenge.

Our job is to keep the images of clients and organizations we represent clean. When issues arise, we must be swift to the scene and remedy the situation. Though other professional industries face scrutiny, in my opinion those who venture to the wide world of sports face the greatest of it.


“Who’s that girl on the field?” – Sports and PR Podcast

Posted in Assignments,Social Media by meshae on April 1, 2010


For my Social Media class, my professor, Barbara Nixon asked us to create a podcast that related to some form of PR.

Because I am a big sports fanatic, I decided to do mine on Sports and Public Relations.

I’ve provided a link to the podcast, as well as an outline for the podcast below. Listen in and enjoy!

Tune in at: http://meshae.podbean.com/

Outline of Episode 1: “Who’s that girl on the field?”


  • MeShae Hankerson, Senior Public Relations major
  • Today’s topic – “Public Relations in Sports”
  • Aspiring Sport PR Professionals

Why Public Relations is important in sports:

  • Sports has an international reach
  • Touches all aspects and areas of Public Relations
  • Crisis management, event planning, community relations, and media relations

What do Sports PR Professionals do?:

  • Everything
  • The job is 24 hours and 7 days a week.
  • Important to have a new media background and interest in communication.

Advice to current and aspiring Sports PR professionals:

  • Visit Brian Gleason’s blog and read “3 Items for the Sports PR person to keep handy” – http://prinsportsblog.com/
  • Network. Network. Network.

Trade Book Review: Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody

Posted in Assignments,Social Media by meshae on March 11, 2010

What did I say?

Posted in Assignments,PR Praticum,Social Media by meshae on March 9, 2010
Tags: ,

Here are the links to my comments on my classmates’ blogs:

Week 8: T.O.W.- How to make your Business POP with PODcasting!

Posted in Social Media by meshae on March 6, 2010

I must admit that until recently, I had no idea what podcasting was.

So for those of you who are/were like me, allow me to explain…

A podcast is basically a group of digital files that can either be downloaded or streamed from the web. They can be video or audio.

One of the coolest things about podcasts is how accessible they are. Not only can you find and watch them via the Internet, you can also download them and watch or listen to them anytime you want on your PC, laptop, smart phones and even your iPod.

From a business perspective, podcasts are simple, easy outlets for FREE advertisement. Wait! Did I mention that they are FREE?

That means your business could record a message to your clients/customers for no immediate cost. Podcasts allow you to basically say whatever you want for however long you want.

From a PR perspective, I suggest being consistent and starting a series. Plan a time each week that your business will air a podcast. It could be about new campaigns, products or philanthropies that the business wants to promote. A podcast series promotes your business as well as brand loyalty. Your customers will eventually look forward to your podcasts.

Another cool thing about podcasts is that they can work for large business as well as small ones. Owning a business can be somewhat dehumanizing, but podcasts allow you as a business owner to reach your customers in a more “down-to-earth” way. Podcasts are  a way to reach your publics on a different level. And with “podcatching” technologies, like iTunes, your customers can subscribe to your podcasts and “catch” them whenever they want.

If you’re looking to start utilizing podcasts in your business, check out this short video from PodGrunt:


Good luck and happy “casting”!

Week 7: T.O.W – Let’s PLAY Foursquare!

Posted in Social Media by meshae on March 5, 2010

I remember playing Foursquare when I was younger.

Welcome to the adult version of Foursquare.

How many times have you heard the words, “It’s all about location”?

Well the creators of one of social media’s newest outlets, Foursquare, have taken the phrase to a different level.

According to the website, Foursquare allows its users to “check-in” with their friends. The idea of the site is to share your favorite places to eat, hang out or grab a cup of coffee with others.

For businesses, the site means free advertising.

Imagine if every time you went somewhere new to eat, you announced it to your friends so that they could try it out. And with Foursquare you can announce it via Twitter and other social networks. Now all of your followers and friends and see where you’re eating and how great it is. That’s load of free publicity for that establishment.

Foursquare allows users to share their experiences, which is something we all do anyway. Whether good or bad, Foursquare is a way to make your good experiences more public and help others avoid bad ones.

I am not one to try “that new restaurant that just opened around the corner.” With Foursquare, I can see what people are saying and decide whether or not it’s worth a try.

And being the skeptic that I am, I worry that Foursquare could potentially be breeding ground for “stalkers.” Eek!

Making my location public has always worried me. The site has a lot of potential and is growing rapidly, but I still worry that users will soon abuse its capabilities.

All I can do is hope that people understand the purpose of websites, like Foursquare and Twitter, and behave accordingly.

If you’re still not sold on how YOU can use Foursquare, check out this video from Co-founder Dennis Crowley.

Good Luck!

Week 2: T.O.W.-The Haitian Disaster from a PR point of view

Posted in Assignments,Social Media by meshae on February 9, 2010

On January 12, 2010, the world was taken by storm as one of its poorest countries suffered what many would consider one of the worst disasters in history. After almost two weeks, the Haitian disaster continues to make headlines in newspapers and breaking news on television. In some way or another, we’ve all witnessed the countless efforts of humanity to run to the rescue of the Haitian people.

The American Red Cross, known for its international philanthropic work, was quick to use social media to rally support for their efforts in the Haitian disaster.

By sending a quick text message, supporters all over the world could donate to the Red Cross’s Haiti Relief Fund. Long gone are the days of collection buckets. Shortly after the news hit the airwaves, large amounts of money were already being collected.

Not only were text messages used, but social networks were also. Sites like Twitter allowed account holders to add “twibbons” to their avatars, commemorating the lives of those killed in the earthquake.

As a society, we were able to see the true power of social media through this disaster. I, myself, was able to get complete coverage on what was going on and how to get involved through Twitter.

With social media, the world became one big “family” of sorts and was able to aid those in need. As a communications professional, I am proud to see the positive side of social media finally unveiled on a global level.