As I get closer to entering the real world I’ve started to think about what I would do if I were representing a client that said or did something they shouldn’t. I always see situations from a public relation position and critique what was done during the damage control time period. Media Bistro decided to list the top seven ways to totally destroy your reputation on Twitter and I also think that the rules can apply to most social media sites. The list what not to do consists of:
- Tweet while you’re drunk
- Use an auto-responder
- Repeat your tweets
- Sell, sell, sell
- Say whatever the *@&# you want
- Whine about no having enough followers
- Steal other people’s tweets
Although this list might seem obvious to most people, the amount of companies and celebrities that break these rules are shocking to me. I think that if I was working with an customer who enjoys tweeting, I would want them to use Twitter and Facebook to express themselves and interact with their audience, but be aware of these rules. I think a lot can go wrong when it is poorly used but also can be avoided very easily. Learning from others mistakes in this situation is very helpful. Demi Lovato, Disney Channel star, went into rehab for an eating disorder last year. After being released people were tweeting rude and hateful things regarding her weight gain and she tweeted a response to the horrible comments. Then later her response back was taken off her Twitter. I think that her public relations agent made her take this down because when you are in the public negative comments come with the territory. The lesson that I learned from this situation is taking the high road is always the best route to take. I can’t imagine having people say horrible things about me and not respond, but not dropping down to the level of others sitting behind a computer screen is essential. Developing a thick skin is an important lesson to teach and show a client how to use social media benefit their career and not hurt them.
The point of this blog is for me to talk about sports, fashion and the combination of both and after the super bowl this year the perfect storm for both of these topics collided. On Sunday Feb. 5 the New England Patriots played the New York Giants in a rematch of the 2008 game. Most women around the world know of Tom Brady, not for his ability on the football field, but for his dashing good looks. He is also known for marrying one of the most beautiful women in the world, Gisele Bundchen. This couple brings the sports and fashion world together because they are both at the top of their industry. Bundchen is one of the highest paid models in the world and Brady is on of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today.
The public relations nightmare hit this power couple after the game when Bundchen was being filmed walking out of the stadium and her infamous quote was said, “I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times. My husband cannot f—king control the ball and catch the ball at the same time.” This story was on Ragan’s PR Daily blog as number eight on the worst media disaster of February. The issue that people had with Bundchen comment was the blame she had put on the other people for the loss, when football is a team sport. Although she is entitled to her own opinion, but the time and place that she decided to say this was inappropriate. I can’t imagine what its like to have cameras following you and yelling questions at you, but it’s important to keep calm and not give the paparazzi the reaction they want.
If you say the name Cam Newton on the University of Oregon campus, you will not be well received. Everyone has the same flash back to the 2011 BCS championship game where the Ducks lost. There is still a bitter taste in the mouths of the students here on campus because of the heart breaking loss. In Eugene the focus has been on the controversy surrounding Newton and his family during his final college season and not his talent on the football field. He won the Heisman Trophy, a national championship for the Auburn Tigers, and was the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Gatorade has decided to focus on his outstanding rookie performance with the North Carolina Panthers. On Feb. 1 Gatorade announced a multi-year partnership with Cam Newton. Sports Business Digest reported, “Working with Gatorade fulfills a childhood dream of mine,” said Newton. “I have used Gatorade since I started playing football and Gatorade products have been an important part of my training and competition regimen for as long as I can remember. As I look to improve my game, what I put in my body is extremely important. Gatorade provides me the opportunity to work with the world’s leading scientists who can help me gain a competitive edge and play at my best.”
Although, in the small town of Eugene, OR. Gatorade sales won’t increase due to the addition of Cam Newton, he has been well received everywhere else in the country. He is considered a hero in Alabama and well-respected football player in the south. Gatorade is very selective in who they pick to represent its company and are known for have the most elite players endorse its brand. Newton is joining Payton and Eli Manning, who are the only other NFL endorsers. This shows how much faith Gatorade has in Newton because both other individuals embodying its brand are super bowl winners.
By now, almost everyone has heard about the TOMS. In 2006, Blake Mycoskie was traveling in Argentina when he realized the amount of children who don’t own a pair of shoes. He decided to create TOMS Shoes based on the idea that for every pair of shoes that is purchased a pair of shoes is given to a child in need. Most companies would do a Public Relations campaign like this after it was an established corporation that made a lot of money. TOMS was built backwards, and showed the world that giving back is possible starting from day one.
- Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, didn’t decided to give back to improve its social responsibility or to “look good” to the public. TOMS core values were set day one, which is “giving is what fuels us. Giving is our future.” TOMS is a company that counter acts brands that sustain poor child labor laws by creating positive lifestyle for children in poverty. I think that this company is revolutionary because of the idea that giving is part of its success not because of it.
- Not just any store can sell TOMS products. Nordstrom, PacSun and other boutiques have to go through a screening process in order to have the opportunity to sell its creations. I think that this is an essential principal that TOMS stays true to because it shows that it is not just about the money. Most start up companies are willing to do anything to get its product in a store, but TOMS has standards.
- TOMS also believes in expanding its business. This past summer sunglasses were added to the brand with the promise to save and restore eyesight. After Mycoskie was constantly ask, “What’s next?” he decided that sight was the next issue to cackle. Now every time sunglasses are purchased someone in Nepal is getting their sight back.
Jimmy Choo’s first social media campaign wasn’t done through the traditional outlets like Facebook or Twitter; instead it was done on Foursquare. How did this work? A pair of Jimmy Choo’s new trainer shoes was check into some of the most elite and stylish places in London, if you could track them down and catch them while still checked in at a venue, then they are yours. This idea was revolutionary because for the first time an object could check into a place. Before this only people could check into places.
The case study by the Digital Buzz blog explains that Jimmy Choo wanted to increase positive mentions on the Internet and that is why the campaign was done through Foursquare. I think that this was a great idea that more fashion brands should participate in because it’s interactive. This campaign was done in London, so only people in that specific area could participate. I think that it would be beneficial to do another Foursquare scavenger hunt because its fun, interactive and unique. Most fashion campaigns are done by advertisements, but Jimmy Choo decided to step away from traditional ways of communicating, took a risk and did something new.
Over all I think that the campaign was a good idea, but can improve some aspects of the campaign if they decide to do it again. Next time they need to do the treasure hunt in more than one place. To reach more of its audience more location should be included. I also think that they need to make it clear that who ever finds the shoe the custom has to be able to afford the shoe. Jimmy Choo shoes are some of the most expensive shoes on the market. Only an elite group could afford to buy a pair because on average shoes cost about $900. The campaign should have made it clear that when you find where the new trainers shoe was hiding, the customer still had to pay for it in order to win the contest.
Oscar Sunday isn’t just about honoring the best actors of the year; it’s all about the dresses. Stylists work with their clients for months to plan for this day. When I was little I only watched to look at the clothes and didn’t even care about what movie won best film. The dresses are an essential part of the night because of how many people will see images from the night for weeks and even years after the show.
Every person that steps onto the red carpet is asked the same question, “Who are you wearing?” The answer to this question can make or break a designers career. Most of the times new designers don’t get the chance to show case their work on this level, but when they do, it can change their lives forever. Every year after the Oscars, shows like Fashion Police, Extra, and Entertainment Tonight have worst and best dress list. Magazines and newspapers also debate the best dress of the night and what star should hire a new stylist. Every designer wants to be represented at this event because of the millions of views that turn into the show. What an actress is wearing sets the tone for the night and says a lot about her personal style. Every designer wants to get the change to be a part of this night because of the amount of pictures that are being taken.
This is one of the best ways to have your name be heard and communicate your vision as a designer. By having an actress like Cameron Diaz or Angelina Jolie be seen all night in one of your dresses is the best way to get your name be heard by millions. Every interviewer is asking the same question and having an A list celebrity talk about how they decided to wear your design is better then any advertisement money can buy.
Most women who love clothes won’t ever have the opportunity to sit front row at a Marc Jacobs show during fashion week. New York, LA and Milan fashion weeks are extreme exclusive and almost impossible to see live, even for those who are high up in the industry. Last year Burberry wanted to changed this, and they did by tweeting pictures during the show and Lauren Indvik just released an article announcing this will happen again this year. This allows customers to feel like they are actually there watching the collection in person.
I think that this idea is genius public relations move because Burberry is the only company doing something like this and it allows its audience to see the collection before going into stores. Most people only see pictures from runways in magazines weeks after the show took place. By allowing its audience to see the show through a live stream on its website Burberry is reaching millions of more people, and not just those sitting under the white tent.
Some fashion experts might say that exclusiveness of the shows is what makes them so interesting, but I disagree. For designers like Marc Jacobs, Burberry and Michael Kors real people who don’t have the resources to attend a fashion show are able to buy their clothes.
As I mentioned last week, you can’t bring up sports, the NBA or Harvard with out hearing the name Jeremy Lin. He has proved himself as the underdog story of the decade and that hard work does pay off. ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports news, has constantly been covering this story for the past month. Everyone wants to know Lin’s background and how he could be dominating the NBA, when a month ago no one even knew who he was.
Then, on Saturday morning, the ESPN website had the horrible radical slur was up for the world to see for about 30 minutes. Sports analyst, Anthony Federico for ESPN mistakenly said the racial slur that was heard across the country. In a time when most people like to think that our country has overcome prejudice and racial stereotypes, comments like this sparks emotion and debate. The controversy behind the statement goes beyond finding out if it was incorrectly said and or why was it said. After the statement was said on air, ESPN issued an apology saying that the writer was fired and the analyst who said it was suspended.
As Dwayne Flichum explains in his article, “Sports Heroes: Building Brand Through Performance,” its amazing for the NBA to have such a positive role model like Lin dominating the league. In the past we have seen more negative stories about profession athletes, so when someone like Lin comes around it’s extremely sad unfortunate that racial slurs are connected to his name, instead of his character and athletic ability.
I don’t think that it matters if he meant to say it or not. The bottom line is that a derogatory term was used and ESPN was put in a lose-lose situation. If he wasn’t fired then the company is seen as a racist organization and when he was some saw, some saw that as an over reaction. I also think that its sad that race is even a topic of discussion when talking about Lin. I think that ESPN should focus more on his abilities on the basketball court, more so than anything else.
I’m constantly learning in classes how to promote companies, non-profit organizations, and people and how to communicate for them. When I’m coming up with strategies for others it’s fun and exciting to endorse a good cause. The more I learn about Public Relations, I realize that activities I do in class directly relate to what I should do for myself in the interviewing process. After reading other blogs about public relations I thought about how I need to market myself and applied what I learned from Mickie Kennedy’s list of what not to do.
Social media is such a huge part of a PR plan today and essential to most campaigns. As I head into the real world I’m constantly think about what I need to do to get a job. I question if there are things I do that hurt my chances of getting hired, so one of the first things I did was “clean” up my Facebook. What does this mean? I look down any picture that I wouldn’t want to be on the front page of a newspaper. This is the same advice I would give to any client, and I wanted to take my own advice. I think that any company and or person entering the real world should use the Internet to their advantage, not a platform for negative images. I know the importance of transparency in this business, so I don’t want to hide information, but instead only do things I’m proud of. I’m relatively new to Twitter and Pinterest and use these tools to show potential employers why they should hire me.
Events are also popular strategies that PR practitioners use to support a cause, and I compare an event to an interview. An interview is my time to show and communicate my story. I want to use my portfolio as a tool to explain my path through the school of journalism at the University of Oregon. I feel like I have a variety of material that I want to explain what I have learned during the last four years. I also want to use this time to tell my story about sports and how it has influenced my life. As important as my education is to me, I think that my experience with sports is equality as significant to what I can bring to sports industry PR.
I have to admit that one of the first times I heard the term “PR” used was in the first season of MTV’s hit series “The Hills,” when one of the main characters, Heidi, works for Bolthouse Production, a top public relations event planning firm in Los Angeles. Heidi’s job consisted of going to partying at nightclubs, planning events, and meeting famous people. Although this might sound appealing to most girls my age, this LA life style didn’t interest me. After entering into my junior year at the University of Oregon I was pleasantly surprised that Public Relations today could not be more different then the glamour life style portrayed on MTV.
I think that in theory working with celebrities sounds appealing to people because of how society idealizes the rich and famous life style. Who wouldn’t want to help a celebrity communicate with their audience, right? Well as I learn more about the Public Relations the less glamorous I realize it is. Working with celebrities isn’t as wonderful as it might seem on shows like Entourage or Kell on Earth when you think about Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, and Michael Vick, whom all of which are now know for being PR nightmares. The more horror stories I hear, the more I learn that Heidi was never doing PR in the first place.
Now, when I think of companies and people I look up to I stay away from MTV and turn to companies like Edelman, WCG, or Waggener Edstrom who tell the truth, tell it first, and tell a story fast. Companies who are transparent in its findings and care about both the stakeholders and the audiences, equally, are places and people I hope to work for.
Regan’s PR Daily’s article “Glamour? Ha! The realities of entertainment and fashion PR,” also describes the beautiful PR scene as bogus and gives ten tips to how to succeed in the actual world of PR today.