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Sunday | March 11, 2007

Blog Post #6 Illinois Electric Bills Skyrocket up to 170% Situation: The electric heat ten year price freeze expired on January 1 and Ameren and ComEd’s customers were told to expect their electric heating bill to increase between 2255%. But some Ameren customers are paying on average up to 170% more than before the termination of the price freeze and now Ameren is under state investigation from regulators and lawmakers because of the soaring electric rates. Objective: Informational- Ameren can explain the electric rate anomalies to consumers as well as update them on the state legislative hearings. Then, Ameren will engage in public open dialogue with regulators to find a solution to the rate increase. Motivational- Enact the proposed eight point relief plan that includes rebates for the biggest electricity users. Also, willingly cooperate with the state legislators on the results of the hearings. Audience: Ameren customers, ComEd customers, state regulators and legislators, Illinois electricity users with increased heating bills, the Illinois Commerce Commission members. Strategy: Use news reports on both local and national news stations, newspapers, consumer reports, news websites, and news blogs to inform the public of the situation, the state legislative hearings, and the results of the investigation to combat negative press. Tactics: Use news reports on CNN, Fox News, local stations as well as headlines on their corresponding websites. Reach NPR to include the report. Include interviews of customers to include their understanding of the commission investigation and how they are overcoming their skepticism regarding the electricity rebates and relief plan. Calendar: Inform and motivate the public as soon as possible. Work positively and cooperatively with the state regulators and the Illinois Commerce Commission in their investigation. Take full responsibility for the results of the legislative hearings then take steps upon the results to give rebates and enact eight point relief plan. Make a timeline for the plan available to consumers online and detail how it will affect them, especially those who warrant reimbursement. Evaluation: Check blogs and commentaries on the reports of the investigation and legislative hearings. Continually check the blogs and commentaries after promoting the resolutions and planning the eight point relief plan and selective rebates. Check up with Ameren customers who get a rebate and also those who did not get one and gauge their attitudes towards the company through surveys and interviews. NASCAR Rocked by Cheating Scandal Situation: Michael Waltrip apologized for his team’s role in NASCAR’s biggest cheating scandal when his team was penalized for failing inspection as a fuel additive was found in his race car, his crew chief and team director were suspended indefinitely, and he was docked 100 points in the qualifying race. Objective: Informational- Michael Waltrip assumes responsibility for the cheating scandal and publicly apologizes while explaining the negative situation. NASCAR informs the public about cheating penalties and attempts to aggressively punish offenders. Toyota distances itself from scandal.

Motivational- Michael Waltrip apologizes and then performs in the qualifying race and works with NASCAR officials to investigate the team’s actions for using the fuel additive. NASCAR punishes the offenders appropriately to demonstrate their intolerance for corruption. Audience: NASCAR fans, NASCAR officials, other teams and their directors and crew leaders, Michael Waltrip’s competition, Toyota officials, Toyota customers. Strategy: Use news reports on both local and national news stations, newspapers, consumer reports, news websites, and news blogs to inform the public of the cheating scandal, including NASCAR’s response. Tactics: Use news reports on ESPN, sports shows, CNN, Fox News, local stations as well as headlines on their corresponding websites. Interview Michael Waltrip’s family to build support of his plight. Interview NASCAR fans disillusioned with cheating scandal, but remaining enthusiastic about the race. Calendar: Inform and motivate the public as soon as possible. Michael Waltrip should participate in the qualifying race then with NASCAR officials to determine those in his team responsible for the fuel additive and make the results known to the public. Pay off the fines cheerfully. Evaluation: Check sports and racing blogs and commentaries on the reports of the scandal as well as Michael Waltrip’s success at the race. Continually check the blogs and commentaries after punishing the offenders. Interview NASCAR fans for their understanding of the accountability of cheating in the race. Check sales reports for NASCAR as well as Toyota. Posted by publicrelations23 at 21:29 | Permanent Link | Comments (0)

Sunday | March 04, 2007
Blog Post #5 Peanut Butter May Contain Salmonella Situation: Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter have been recalled due to reports that Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter manufactured at a plant in south Georgia were contaminated with salmonella. Objective: Informational- Tell the public about the salmonella outbreak, including the number of cases, where the outbreaks occurred, what signs and symptoms one would show, how to seek medical help, and how to get a refund for the peanut butter if it is infected. Motivational- Tell the public that they can send in their peanut butter lid to get a refund on the product, free from contamination. Work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage consumers to check their peanut butter and themselves for symptoms. Tell the public about investigations to determine the cause of contamination. Audience: Consumers of peanut butter, especially those brand loyal to Peter Pan or Great Value, the elderly, parents of infants, those with weakened immune systems, hypochondriacs. Strategy: Use news reports on both local and national news stations, newspapers, consumer reports, news websites, signs in retail and grocery stores selling the products to inform the public of the outbreak and combat negative press.

Tactics: Use news reports on CNN, Fox News, local stations as well as headlines on their corresponding websites. Put consumer alert articles in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and filter to local newspaper outlets. Reach NPR to include the report. Include interviews of consumers (especially parents) who have peanut butter, but did not get infected and their beliefs on future peanut butter purchases to give a human face to the issue. Calendar: Inform and motivate the public as soon as possible. Take full responsibility for the contamination, including promises of investigations into the matter. Develop new strategy for peanut butter producing facilities to make products free from contamination and let the public know those steps. Evaluation: Check sales reports in the upcoming months as well as blogs and commentaries on the reports of the outbreak. Continually check the blogs and commentaries after promoting the resolutions and planning materials to clean and change the plant facilities. Check up with those contaminated upon their return of health. Rats Everywhere Situation: A New York City KFC-Taco Bell restaurant passed a health department inspection the day before video footage caught a dozen rats scampering across its floors. Objective: Informational- Inform the public about the mistakes made both on the part of the health inspector for failing to meet the standards of sanitation and also the KFC TacoBell restaurant for allowing conditions to become so poor as to be infested with rodents. Motivational- Explain the health inspection process to the public, especially addressing the issue of where the inspector in questions failed to meet the standards of the inspection. Also Yum Brands can explain to the public how the company and the franchise owner are shutting down the restaurant and addressing the rat problem. Audience: consumers who frequent fast food restaurants, especially Taco Bell and its close cousins, KFC and Pizza Hut, parents with children who frequent fast food restaurants, health and sanitation professionals, New Yorkers who live in the area in question. Strategy: Use television reports on both local and national news, use websites, use blogs and commentaries to address the issue and combat the negative press on the part of the Health Department and Taco Bell. Tactics: Put news reports on news television shows Dateline, 20/20, and Good Morning America that will address the issue with coverage from both sides to alleviate some of the blame and build the story of how the problem will be solved by both sides, put ways in which both sides are addressing the issue on the websites for those shows and update them, in depth articles in USA Today and Wall Street Journal. Address the problem in the forum of chat rooms to gain insight from consumers. Calendar: Take steps to look into the problem immediately, close down the restaurant until leadership changes in both the Health Department and the KFC Taco-Bell restaurant, post online how the steps implemented in the change have positively impacted the sanitation of the Taco Bell as well as the inspection process by the Health Department, follow up with the news coverage on news television shows. Evaluation: Watch Taco Bell sales, read blogs and commentaries about the problem in upcoming months after Tactics are implemented. Use polls and surveys online to gauge consumer reaction in a few months after the story dies down.

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