December 2017 Print

President's Report

Although most of us are still trying to get our last-minute Christmas shopping in before the big day, the public relations and advertising pundits of the world have already begun sizing up 2018.

So here are 3 top issues that bloggers and trendsters say we should watch in the coming year:

1)      We live in a polarizing time, to say the least.  Political developments daily inspire ranting and a constant air of negativity.  Look for brands to try to counter that negativity with what they hope will be perceived positive messages.  For example, Burger King’s “Bullying Jr.” ad has been a hit.  Take a look at how your company can stand out, but standing up for something positive.

2)      Pure media relations tactics are losing their effectiveness.  That’s because newsrooms continue to thin out.  With more full-time journalists losing their jobs, getting your client covered by traditional media or trade media will be more and more difficult.  Plus, more journalists are being pushed to get “clicks” and “shares” of their stories, so that means they have to resort to tying their coverage to what’s trending, rather than what’s substantive.

3)      Ad and digital agencies are getting better at pushing products with earned media on social platforms and through press coverage of trendy activities.  It will be important that public relations professionals fight for their piece of the pie, so ad agencies don’t control the social media scene. Be out front on the earned media effort.

Delia A. Taylor, APR

President, PRAL Baton Rouge Chapter

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Calendar of Events

What happens after a few drinks may or may not become a scandal. So, join us to ring in the holidays as we take PRAL over to the Hayride Scandal … where the drinks are free, where every room has a story and where every scoundrel hopes to keep his or her secrets.

The PRAL Annual Holiday Party is set for

Thursday, December 14 at the Hayride Scandal

The good times begin at 5:30 p.m., and your first two drinks are on us! 

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Member Spotlight

Casey Rayborn Hicks

Public Information Director

East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office

Casey Rayborn Hicks became the Public Information Director for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office in December of 2007. She serves as spokesperson for the office and oversees all community relations efforts, including the D.A.R.E. program, Crime Victim’s Assistance and Neighborhood Watch. In addition to community and media relations, she produces the office’s monthly newsletter, assistant produces the monthly television show and coordinates various outreach efforts. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from LSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. She served for several years as the Public Information Officer and Multimedia Archives Director for Louisiana Secretary of State before earning her Master’s Degree from LSU in Mass Communication in Public Relations. During her time at LSU she served as Community/Faculty Partner Liaison for the Center for Community Engagement Learning and Leadership. She has also served as an adjunct professor for LSU’s Manship College of Mass Communication teaching Media and Public Relations Writing. She specializes in public relations and political communication, particularly in public information and law enforcement. She also has extensive training in crisis communication, writing and media relations. In addition to her work at the Sheriff’s Office, she serves on the Crime Stoppers board and the I CARE Advisory Board, is a member of many professional organizations including Public Relations Association of Louisiana, Women in Media, National Information Officers Association, Press Club, The Greater Baton Rouge Literacy Coalition, and others. Women in Media presented her with the Award of Excellence in Public Relations in 2009 and the Public Relations Association of Louisiana named her the 2009 Practitioner of the Year.


What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in public relations and how did you overcome it?

I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced in public relations, particularly for law enforcement, has been to work to ensure that we are proactive, not reactive, and that we have two-way communication that allows for a dialogue with the community.


You have $1,000,000 that you must spend on yourself.  What are your first three purchases?

Oh wow, that’s hard. It would probably be an elk hunting trip, property and a trip to Italy.


In a bizarre accident, you’ve been blessed with a super power of your choice?

Invisibility       Ability to Fly        Super Strength      X-ray Vision      Mind Reading 

Invisibility. I think you can learn a lot by observing people.


What’s your most useful skill?

The ability to adapt. I think I can adapt to many environments and circumstances. Dealing with a communication crisis is an extreme adaption in which I think I perform my best.


What personal quality do you value the most about yourself?

I think I always try to see the best in people and circumstances. Sometimes it may be a weakness, but I think it is the best approach to life.


What one or more things would you suggest to improve PRAL?

It’s already perfect :-)


Your house is on fire—what items do you go back in for?

Computer hard drives with pictures of my kids.I also have a tray of a few sentimental things- dried flowers, pictures my daughter drew for me, a rock from the field of my first deer and turkey and other things that can’t be replaced.


You can have a five hour conversation with any person, living or dead.  Who?

Probably my grandfather. He died about 14 years ago and we were very close.


Picnic, tailgate or friends over for dinner?



Where do you hope to be in ten years and what will you be doing?

I hope I’m still able to work in the public relations field in a way that contributes to the betterment of our community through meaningful dialogue. I would love to teach full time one day!


Greatest accomplishment?

Hopefully to raise kind and happy children.


What’s your favorite app? 

Amazon :-)

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