Kelly Ripa-Team Player

kelly and michael
Photo via CNN Money

By: Meredith Erikson

Today, Kelly Ripa returned to “Live!” after a week-long absence. She left because she had found out that her co-host, Michael Strahan, was leaving to be on “Good Morning America” only an hour before the announcement was made. Strahan is scheduled to begin making appearances on the show as soon as Friday, May 13, and will officially become a permanent co-anchor in September. This situation has aspects of “good” and “bad” PR.

First of all, Ripa has been a part of ABC for 26 years. It’s a place she calls her second home. Even though she mentioned in her monologue today that she had received apologies from the crew at ABC, the situation still looks bad for the parent company. Just as Ripa said, it’s about respect in the workplace, something ABC seemed to have disregarded. ABC looks as though they disrespected and embarrassed Ripa. ABC had to scramble to find temporary hosts during Ripa’s leave, which I’m sure only heightened the tension. There is also speculation that Ripa and Strahan have conflict. Gossip shows such as “E! News,” aired pictures of what seemed like tension and distance between the two. The situation doesn’t make Strahan’s image look so hot either because people are believing that he betrayed Ripa.

Ripa, on the other hand, seemed strong and loyal. She said that “Live!” remains a top priority for her and her executives. She made sure to mention her fans, viewers, producers and crew. She didn’t forget to congratulate Strahan for going to “Good Morning America” either. According to the New York Times, she claims the situation created “a much greater conversation about communication and consideration, and most importantly, respect in the workplace.” She was honest but also funny and witty in her monologue which charmed the audience. The situation is sure to have some follow-up conversation, especially with the curiosity of who the new host will be, but for now I believe things will be back to normal on “Live!



Lowry, B. (2016, April 26). ABC’s Kelly Ripa diss shows how audiences rally around their stars. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from

Washkuch, F. (2016, April 26). The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Tuesday morning, 4.26.2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from

Koblin, J. (2016, April 26). Kelly Ripa Returns to ABC Show; Michael Strahan to Leave Early. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from






The World of Entertainment PR

Photo via Newsusauk

By: Meredith Erikson

I was having trouble describing what I wanted my public relations career to be like. However, I’ve always known that I wanted to do something in the entertainment industry. Ever since I was a kid, entertainment has been a huge deal in my family. With a brother who works in film in Los Angeles, movies and music are a constant topic of discussion for us. When a guest speaker came to my crisis communications class, I was finally able to put in words what exactly I want to do with my public relations abilities.

Sarah Badran is a University of North Texas alumni who specializes in entertainment PR and brand management. She’s done everything from coordinating events, celebrity appearances, coordinating photo shoots, launch events and album release events.

Sarah explained what it takes to be successful in entertainment PR. You must know the landscape of where you’re working. Dallas is still a place I’m not entirely familiar with, but I know how much it will benefit me when I really get to know the city. You must constantly be ahead of everybody. Branding yourself will make you stand out and be ahead of everyone else. There will be long hours in the entertainment world but it’s crucial to stay on top of your duties. Strategic planning is really what helped her become successful, especially by having a creative edge to it. The most important skill she noted though was research. The more knowledge you have about aspects of the entertainment world, your clients and your location, the more people are going to want to hire you.

The services she offers include being an event planner, social media manger, brand management, content creation, live streaming, media relations, launches and newsletters. She’s done some pretty impressive things such as working the VMA’s, the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show, landed the client TRU DEF and been on Good Morning Texas.

Sarah told us about all the perks of being in entertainment such as the fun atmosphere, being able to express your creativity and meeting amazing people. I still took consideration of the negative side of the job like it being a 24-hour job, having to babysit clients and having to take critique. Despite the negatives, I still aspire to have a career like hers someday and hopefully get to go to Yeezy Season 4. 🙂


Benoit’s Image Restoration

Recently, my crisis communications class has been investigating the Wounded Warrior Project crisis. To further analyze the scandal, I decided to use Benoit’s Image Restoration Strategy.

An investigation done by CBS News found that the Wounded Warrior Project only used 60 percent of its donations towards its cause. It was found that the rest of the money was being spent on lavish hotel rooms, fine dining and drinking, and other extravagant parties and expenses. I indeed spotted examples of image restoration in this scandal, but not necessarily in a way that benefited the organization’s reputation. In Benoit’s first step of denial, there is what’s called “simple denial”. On the WWP’s website, they made a statement that the claims that CBS News made about them were false. They shifted the blame by saying that they didn’t do anything wrong and that CBS was just exaggerating things. They also shifted the blame by notifying supporters of “fraud alert” they had received to distract from the controversy.

In Benoit’s second step of “evade responsibility,” there is provocation, defeasibility, accident and good intentions. In this step the WWP decided to focus on their good intentions. In their interview with CBS, they decided to repeatedly say “it’s the best use of donor dollars to ensure we are providing programs and services to our warriors and families at the highest quality.” However, this was a very vague response. They were trying to claim that they had good intentions but they weren’t doing a good job at it. It was the only response they could come up with,

In step three, to avoid offensiveness, they tried to reduce the credibility of the accuser (CBS News) by posting a video on their social media called “What CBS News didn’t show you.” They also tweeted that they demanded a retraction from CBS News of the false statements they had claimed. This just looked like they were trying to play the victim and that CBS was in the wrong for making these statements.

In the fourth step for corrective action, they decided to hire a crisis communications team. A bit late, but at least they got one. They also made a statement on their website that said they promised a “thorough and financial review.” The biggest news however, is that they dismissed their CEO Steve Nardizzi and their COO Al Giordano. It was the right move so they could start a new way of organization for their nonprofit.

For mortification, they never directly apologized. Overall, the Wounded Warrior Project did not defend their image successfully. If they had sounded sincerer, proactive and apologetic they could have had a different, more positive outcome. They were not acting ethically because they chose an action that made them lose trust with their supporters and donors. They weren’t using their donations in the way that they were intended to be used, and they lied about the spending. They didn’t have respect for their clients nor the public. To relate this to consequentialism, their actions were judged by their consequences. They decided to spend their donation money lavishly, which resulted in an unethical outcome. They did not foresee the consequences of their actions.




Gardner, L. (2016, February 04). Wounded Warrior Project board hires PR firm. Retrieved April 16, 2016, from

Reid, C. (2016, January 26). Wounded Warrior Project accused of wasting donation money. Retrieved April 16, 2016, from

Forrest, R. (2016, January 27). Sage. Retrieved April 16, 2016, from

Newswire, P. (2016, February 1). Wounded Warrior Project Board of Directors Issues Statement. Retrieved April 16, 2016, from

#WWPFacts. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2016, from



By: Meredith Erikson

Photo via

The first blog I ever wrote about was my excitement for traveling to Japan this summer. I discussed what their Public Relations world is like. Now that the trip is getting closer, I’ve began preparing for the academic part of the trip. Among the places we will be visiting, my group is assigned three places to research before we go. I wanted to tackle Japan Today because I wanted to learn about an original Japanese publication.

Japan Today is an online newspaper based in Tokyo. Launched in 2000, Japan Today publishes wire articles, press releases, opinion and contract pieces. The publication is printed in English which I found convenient and interesting. It has several categories including national, crime, entertainment, politics, business, technology, sports and world. It has both a Twitter and a Facebook page. They publish original content that includes interviews with celebrities and business executives and translated pop culture articles that come from cherished Japanese newspapers and magazines. As a public relations major, I couldn’t help but to appreciate their goal statement, “our goal is to build our resources and content to allow readers to further understand important events and issues in Japan and the world.”

Other publications out group was assigned to focus on were The Wall Street Journal and Asahi Shimbum. The Asahi Shimbum is a daily newspaper they have in Japan. It focuses on Japanese and Asian news and life, whereas The Wall Street Journal focuses on international news. According to Japan Policy Research Institute, “Japanese newspapers boasts the world’s greatest circulation in absolute numbers: 72 million versus 59 million daily in the United States, according to the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association.” I’m excited to learn about the similarities and differences between Japanese media and American media. I’m curious about the best practices that I will learn in Japan and whether or not they’ll help advance my PR skills.


Jameson, S. (n.d.). JPRI Working Paper No. 40. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from

JapanToday. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2016, from


Celebrity Endorsements-Good? Bad?

By:Meredith Erikson

Celebrity Endorsements
Photo via Choice or Life

When a celebrity decides they want to publicly endorse a candidate, they are creating a personal image that is subject to be speculated. Celebrity endorsements have become quite influential in today’s popular culture. But some argue whether or not it’s helping voters become engaged in the political process or if it’s just giving them an easy way out in deciding who they’re going to vote for. There is no question however, to whether or not the celebrity-candidate relationship is an approach of Public Relations.

There are definite ways in which a celebrity endorsement for a candidate has proven to be successful Public Relations. When a well-liked, politically active celebrity endorses a candidate, it brings awareness to that candidate’s platform. People are likely to pay attention to whoever their favorite celebrity is voting for, so they’ll become informed on that candidate’s political views. For example, I’m a huge Sarah Silverman fan. After seeing her consistent advocacy for Bernie Sanders, I began paying more attention to him. This doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily vote for him just because she likes him, but I’ll certainly listen to what she has to say about him and take interest. In a way, she’s also using Public Relations tactics to help him have his voice heard. She’s using social media hashtags, uploading advocacy videos and becoming a spokesperson for him. A lot of celebrities use their social media accounts to promote who they’re voting for. This type of situation can be good Public Relations for both the celebrity and the candidate.

On the other hand, if the public has a negative view of an endorser, it could hurt the candidate’s image. Ideally, candidates want to have endorsers with scandal-free backgrounds, good public images and a pretty strong knowledge of politics. Celebrities such as Dennis Rodman and Tila Tequila who support Donald Trump, who don’t particularity have the cleanest background, may be diminishing the candidate’s credibility. According to a blog on PRowl Public Relations, “the credibility of a celebrity can be reflective upon the candidate.” The support from controversial celebrities may even be a reason to vote against a candidate for some. Sometimes, a celebrity’s support can be insincere. Ka Vang from Minnesota Women’s Press believes that “the relationship between the celebrity and candidate is not always a sincere one.” Typically, rich celebrities can’t relate to the issues of a working-class American. This can hurt the candidate’s image and may call for some new Public Relations strategies.





Graeff, C. (2012, October 27). PRowl Public Relations: Celebrity Political Endorsements: A Hindrance or Help to Presidential Candidates? Retrieved April 05, 2016, from

Vang, K. (n.d.). Commentary – Minnesota Women’s Press – St. Paul, MN. Retrieved April 07, 2016, from