Doing My Homework

December 19, 2016

By Karen Kacir

I want to be able to have an informed conversation about anything.  While I know I’m never going to be fluent in all disciplines, I’ve always wanted to know at least a little about as many things as I could.

This made interning at Curley & Pynn this semester a real treat.  While no one in PR doubts the importance of research, I could tell this team took it to the next level.  Even before I applied to the internship program, I was impressed with the firm’s emphasis on using solid research to inform strategic direction.

Interning here, I made some progress toward my goal of knowing at least a little about a lot.  Over the past three months, I’ve researched and written about subjects I never thought I’d touch, from fuel cells to financial technology.

It was always gratifying to know that the hours I dedicated to each research project didn’t disappear into thin air.  Some of what I dug up was the basis for stories slated to appear in the next issue of florida.HIGH.TECH, the Florida High Tech Corridor’s annual magazine.  Some of it went into reports used to shape decisions made at executive levels.  Regardless of what the final product looked like or where it ended up, I’ve had a lot of fun being involved in the process.

And while I’m never going to develop super-cool, Back-to-the-Future-inspired solar energy filaments, it’s good to know that — if the subject ever comes up at the dinner table — I won’t be completely lost.

Editor’s note:

We’ve had the opportunity to work with many very talented college students over the years through our internship program, and several of those interns have gone on to work with us as full-time specialists.  We would have loved for our most recent intern, Karen Kacir, to be the latest to join our team, but she has other plans for her future … a Peace Corps teaching assignment in Colombia.  Before Karen left us to make her impact on the world, she drafted one last Taking Aim post to discuss the impact our internship had on her world.  Best of luck, Karen!

Fool me once . . .

June 18, 2009

by Elizabeth Buccianti

While we hear so many accounts of backlash from PR and advertising campaigns where marketers didn’t do their homework, American Girl is a shining example of a company that experienced an onslaught of criticism from a product launch and completely retooled the process to deter similar repercussions with subsequent products. 

American Girl produces historical-based characters with an accompanying book series and doll and The New York Times recently reported on the painstaking efforts and years of research and development that went into creating the brand’s newest character Rebecca, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants living in Manhattan in 1914.

In 1993 when American Girl released the character Addy, an African-American girl who was a slave at the start of the book series, critics unleashed a wave of attacks.  Learning from its mistakes, the company spent years creating Rebecca’s background drawing upon historical researchers, focus groups, and religious leaders. 

As a result, Rebecca received a stamp of approval from Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, and as described by The New York Times, an individual that is “not easy to impress.”  In fact, the article reports that Mr. Foxman couldn’t find anything wrong with Rebecca’s appearance or her novels.  He goes on to say “It’s not offensive. It’s sensitive. How about that?”

I can’t say enough about the importance of taking time for due diligence before the start of a project.  At the core of every Curley & Pynn project you will find a solid foundation of research.  It’s one of the keystones to our firm’s unique strategy-driven approach to public relations and what allows us to develop programs with the greatest amount of impact for our clients.

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