I can’t believe I’m halfway done with my internship at Bravo Group. This has been the most educational and useful internship experience I have ever had. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve learned so much about the public relations field that it can’t be compared to what I’ve learned in college or from any other internships.
I wrote a media advisory that went out to newspapers and TV stations, called their newsrooms for follow-ups and even landed our client in the news. I attended a news conference in the main rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol and got lost multiple times. I delivered one-pagers to members of the House and Senate for a client. I created a massive social media plan. I attended internal and external client meetings and networked with industry professionals.
Lately, I participated in an office wide lunch and learn. We munched on salad, pizza, sandwiches, chips and cookies while we watched a movie about the marketing and advertising industry. Called “The Naked Brand,” the movie highlights how the public no longer believes in advertising and is skeptical of everything companies say. Most important, the film brings to light how companies need to adapt to be more transparent to the public.
“The definition of advertising is changing,” said Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour. “It’s no longer built by ‘those who spend the most money win.’ It’s built by those who have the best product.” Advances in technology, such as product-comparison websites and online product reviews, are turning the tables in favor of the public.
These days, it’s common for people to check online reviews before buying something to see what people really think of the product. How many times have you placed a product in your cart, then glanced at the reviews only to see a one-star rating? You probably didn’t buy the product, which translates to a loss in sales. This is what is forcing companies to be more accountable and transparent.
Corporations can no longer tell people that their products are great. This form of advertising worked for decades, but the proliferation of technology is forcing companies to actually make their products and companies great.
Some places are capitalizing on this opportunity by showing their audiences how great a working environment they foster at their companies or launching campaigns that inspire people to give back to their communities.
However, not all companies are getting the memo. Some spend thousands on advertising to make their products look great, but in reality their messages don’t resonate with the audience. “You would think, knowing that people are talking about their products online, companies would make better products,” said Amy Krajeski, a product reviewer who’s been read over 1 million times.
Maybe this will serve as a lesson to those who are behind the times. Instead of creating commercials and social media posts that tell the audience a product is great, companies should encourage people to share why it’s a great product. With the nature of sharing information today, this is the direction advertising will be heading.
Alexandra Blessing | Fall PR Bravo Group Intern, Harrisburg