Professional Public Relations Part 1. Case Selection for Chapter 7 Friends, For your third case study, choose one of the two following cases and answer

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Part 1. Case Selection for Chapter 7


For your third case study, choose one of the two following cases and answer the associated questions below each overview. Details for each of the cases are in Chapter 7.  It is essential to read each case before answering the questions! 


Case 7-1 Stop Oil Speculation Now


In June 2008, the U.S. airline industry was in crisis. Record-high fuel prices endangered the industry’s future. Economic analysis indicated that unregulated speculation added as much as $30 to $60 to a barrel of oil. Airlines were desperate to reduce these costs. Unfortunately, neither Congress nor the American public was knowledgeable about speculation or the lack of transparency in the complex commodities futures markets. The Air Transport Association (ATA), the premier trade group of the principal U.S. airlines, enlisted Xenophon Strategies and 720 Strategies to develop a public affairs campaign to help lower fuel prices. ATA hoped to accomplish this by exposing unregulated oil speculation and influencing the Congressional energy debate. Two weeks of intense strategic planning resulted in the creation of a multi-industry campaign called Stop Oil Speculation Now (SOS Now), which consisted of 85 businesses, associations, and labor groups united in support of lower energy prices. The coalition included representatives from agriculture, aviation, trucking, mass transit, travel, and energy industries. The coalition used multiple communications components including earned media, coalition building, Web outreach, and grassroots advocacy to reach its target audiences. By August, more than 50 percent of Americans blamed speculators for the energy crisis, up from only six percent in May, according to a Gallup poll. This public outrage helped pop the oil price bubble, saving coalition members billions of dollars in fuel, and reducing pump prices nationwide.


Research (choose one)

· Discuss the use of Gallup/Roper polls to gauge public awareness in an issue?

· Why was oil speculation a potential issue that could rally public support for legislation?


Objectives (answer all)

· Discuss the value of coalition building.

· Discuss the value of activating “frequent flyers.”

· Discuss the value of “threats of regulatory action” for a campaign.


Programming (answer one)

· Discuss the value of using surveys on an issue as news pegs.

· Discuss the importance of the website.

· If students received an “open letter from 12 industry CEOs,” how would they perceive the importance/persuasive power of the letter?

· What grassroots groups did the campaign expect to activate?

· Discuss the message strategy used in the media kit and news releases.


Evaluation (answer one)

· The campaign generated resulted in investors/speculators pulling out of the oil market and reducing oil prices by 35 percent.

· Discuss the groundswell of moving the public awareness needle from a pre-campaign 6 percent to 50 percent after the campaign.

· What were the legislative votes on the issue?



Case 7-2 Two Hospitals for Williamsburg


Riverside Health System wanted to build a 40-bed hospital to serve the residents of the Williamsburg, VA, area. Any new hospital construction in Virginia must receive state approval in the form of a Certificate of Public Need (COPN) from the State Health Commissioner. The approval process demands that the applicant satisfy 21 criteria, covering a range of requirements from financial and service plans to those of Criterion 21, which says the application must “In the case of proposed health services or facilities, (show) the extent to which a proposed service or facility will increase citizen accessibility, demonstrate documented community support and introduce institutional competition into a health planning region.” Riverside attempted to gain COPN approval in 2005 and 2006. Both efforts failed. In 2008, it launched a third campaign to gain approval, spurred by the new importance given to demonstrated public support by the “21st Criterion,” as the regulation came to be known. The company filed its application for COPN approval in June of 2008. In July, it launched a public relations campaign to build public support for DOCTORS HOSPITAL OF WILLIAMSBURG. In October, the state’s COPN Division staff recommended approval. In February of 2009, the state health commissioner gave the green light to Riverside’s application, citing the outpouring of community support as a major reason for her approval.


Research (answer one)

· Which of the five surveys provided the most useful information for the campaign?

· How was the research helpful in formulating messages?

· Have students identify the message that would have resonated best with their own family.

· How would secondary research be conducted for this campaign?


Objectives (answer one)

· Show how the specific objectives each provided support for the overarching goal: win state approval for the new hospital.

· Discuss the importance of physician support for the initiative.


Programming (answer one)

· For public policy decisions, what is the value in “igniting passion” for a cause?

· List other potential target audiences that could have been useful for this campaign.

· How were the messages of “access,” “competition” and “choice” useful for the campaign?

· Discuss the value of the “Write a Letter” rally.

· How important was a media relations campaign to support the efforts?

· Analyze the relative merit of the various public relations channels in influencing the target audiences.


Evaluation (answer one)

· Discuss the merits of having 2,200 positive letters and only 29 letters of opposition. [Is it only “volume” that counts?]

· If people applauded during the public hearing, was that a measure of support that generates votes?

· Analyze the relative merits of the endorsements on the State Health Commission.

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