Goodbye. (For Now)

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I say it almost every week following midterms “I can’t believe its already (insert week here) of the term.” And I’ll say it here one last time, I can’t believe we’re in week nine of the term. Where has the time gone? Will it ever slow down? Probably not.

After a weekend full of food, laughter and relaxation it seems unfair to have to get back to work, but here I am.

This week I want to keep it short, and first and foremost say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog. I applaud those with a full time career and family who not only blog, but do it well. As much fun as it can be, it is also one of the most time consuming tasks I’ve ever taken on. I truly aspire to be you one day.

Secondly, I’d like to say that this will not be the end of my blog. Though my posts will be less frequent, I plan to continue posting when I find something PR related I get excited about. And I will of course share my experiences with the 2016 music festival season as they unfold.

Lastly, I want to leave you with a suggestion. A dear friend of mine has started a blog, and I think its worth reading. If we’re getting technical, you could say this is my way of “publicizing”his budding hobby as a vegan blogger. I know he has inspired me in many ways to chase my dreams and take care of this one body that I have. So, if you guys are interested in hearing about how a Eugene transport is living the vegan life in Brooklyn, NY, I encourage all of you to take a look here. Even if you could care less about veganism, Zack is one of the most interesting people I know. His blog is sure to please. And did I mention he’s an amazing photographer, too?

 

May the Force be with Your Social Media Campaign

As I’ve mentioned many times before in this blog (if not in every post) social media is an extremely important tool. It’s not going to go away any time soon. So, while it is here, we might as well take advantage of it in every way possible.

Social media campaigns are some of my favorite to read up on, and are quite possibly some of the hardest to measure.  Procter & Gamble recently set out to see if they could measure a successful social media campaign on one of the most difficult platforms to measure, Snapchat.

With the Star Wars: The Force Awakens release just around the corner there’s been an explosion of brands creating Star Wars themed products. COVERGIRL announced months ago that they would be jumping on that bandwagon, releasing a collection exclusively available at Ulta. So, Procter & Gamble teamed up with Snapchat to offer customers in 868 Ulta stores a special COVERGIRL Star Wars collection filter.

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The idea was to target users in the store in the hopes that they would take pictures with the filter and send it to their friends. Thus marketing to inside and outside sources. The smartest part was that they didn’t allow the filter in every Ulta store. P & G will get stats on ad views and filter uses and compare sales of the collection in the store with the filter compared to those without.

Did P & G just provide the stepping stones for brands to measure return on investment with Snapchat? And are social media campaigns worth this much work?

 

No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?

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There is nothing like a good, old fashion celebrity feud to get you interested in pop culture. If not interested, at least involved. Real or fake, the act of pitting two infamous people against each other makes for great entertainment. Not to mention the amount of exposure that each celebrity gets. I think its nearly impossible to avoid hearing what celebs are fighting these days as it gets plastered over the internet. Even more so when we’re able to track it in real time via Twitter.

I think my two personal favorites from this year were the Meek Mill vs. Drake beef and the Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus squabble. Both fights–which started on Twitter–went so far as Nicki calling out VMA host Miley during her acceptance speech for Best Hip Hop Video and Meek and Drake writing diss songs about one another. Talk about drama.

These two examples prove there are celebs in control of their own social media accounts. These are also two great examples of maybe why they should’t be. At least not 100 percent of the time.

And that brings me to two pop stars that are queens both on and off the stage: Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. Katy Perry’s Twitter following and T-Swift’s Instagram stardom are nothing to joke about. They have taken social media platforms by storm as they are two of the most popular accounts out there.

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After perusing all of their social media accounts myself, it seems likely that they are both in control, or involved in most of what gets posted, too.

In a recent Forbes article the two were put against each other to find out who is the top dog of social media. As mentioned in the article, it’s hard to say for certain who wins. They each have very different and yet distinct followings.

I have yet to ever hear of the two having it out with each other in real life. Which may come as a shock considering how many run ins T-Swift has had with other celebs. Is it only a matter of time before their publicists decide they should stir the pot? Or was this Forbes article said attempt?

Does Social Media Work for Everyone?

I think that it is almost impossible to own a business or be a thought leader and not have a presence on social media. I have experienced so many opportunities I would not have otherwise if I didn’t have Twitter. I have come across more brands via Instagram and Facebook than I would not have if I didn’t use the apps religiously. When I need to know the most recent news, I turn to social media. I mean really, are there any successful brands, artists, musicians etc. not using social media?

Social media rules everything around me. I need it for work and school and every second of boredom in between. It’s what keeps me up to date on new trends and what’s happening in the news. Most importantly, though, I use it to stay in touch with what is happening in music. I know about songs, tour dates, festival dates, and album releases before most because of Twitter. And I appreciate the artists that use social media as more than just a marketing tool.

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Musicians are more than aware that social media is changing the music industry. However, many of them refuse to use it to their advantage. So I did some digging and thought I would share 15 Reasons Twitter Rocks for Musicians.

As a soon-to-be public relations professional, it seems foolish not to take advantage of every communication outlet possible. Maybe in that sense I am biased. Though, I would like to believe those without a social media presence have not found the joy in it yet. I know there are others out there like me, so I want to know, what is it that makes social media enjoyable for you?

Can We Change the World through Social Media?

I couldn’t believe the news when I heard SeaWorld is ending it’s theatrical orca show. Could it really be true? Was the Blackfish documentary truly successful in bringing about change?

I remember after the documentary came out, social media was ablaze with hate for the organization. CNN’s Twitter campaign for the airing was genius to say the least. The network encouraged viewers to join the conversation through the #blackfish, and boy did they. There were around 67,673 tweets with the hashtag seen by 7.3 million people.

To put it simply, people were pissed at SeaWorld and still are. No one can forget the stunt pulled by Jackass star Steve-O in 2014 or the more recent event in Los Angeles. He was so angry after watching Blackfish, he was willing to pull outrageous stunts in protest of the organization and get himself sentenced to prison.

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The organization attempted a to make a comeback with their own Twitter campaign and commercial. They realized social media is extremely influential, and wanted to take advantage of it. They encouraged people to ask them questions in regard to their practices using the #AskSeaWorld. It seemed so simple. Create a hashtag, encourage conversation and make amends with those that are angry at you. The attempt backfired, however, as angry activists used the #AskSeaWorld to stab even harder at the organization.

As SeaWorld is finally making some changes in its practices I can’t help but think that Blackfish and its Twitter campaign are to blame. SeaWorld is certainly feeling the pressure as its stock prices and ticket sales have plummeted. People of the world are much more aware of what is happening around them and social media is at the forefront for making that possible. I’m curious, do we all truly want to make this world a better place, or are we only attempting to feel a part of the movement online?

Visual Communicators

I can say with confidence that I am the most indecisive person in the world. I will think for days, sometimes even weeks before I make any kind of serious decision.

Take for instance deciding on my major. Most people will be surprised to hear that I am in my sixth year of college. Yes, that’s right, six years and still no bachelors degree. It’s unfortunate really, but I, like many other college students, was unsure of what I wanted to do post graduation. It took me longer than most to figure out what I was truly interested in and how to make a career out of it.

Then this term I took a weekend class with instructor Steven Asbury and for a moment thought I had made the wrong decision. What I learned in this class was simple, how to use InDesign for public relations. I loved every second of it. I can say with pride that I am a typography nerd now. How had I never considered design as a major?!

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Thankfully for me, PR professionals can be designers too. And there is nothing I love and despise more than creating an infographic.

Done well, infographics will take otherwise boring statistics and turn them into visually appealing, easy to understand stories. As simple as that may sound, infographics take a bit of time and some serious attention to detail. It is more than slapping statistics and well designed icons on to a piece of paper.

If you’re like me and love design, but are afraid of creating an infographic that stinks take a look at these tips.

And can I just geek out for a moment and say how genuinely sad I am to be missing the Visual Communications and Infographics Summit for Corporate Communicators in New York this week? Sign me up the next time Ragan brings this to Portland.

How do you like them apples?

You know what really grinds my gears? Brand loyalty. Surprising to hear, I know. To put it bluntly, I think brand loyalty is a load of crap. A load of crap that works like a charm.

I know this all sounds really confusing, but let me explain.

It all began Thursday night on a trip to San Francisco. My friends and I went to a club called Public Works to see world renowned DJ Carl Cox. I thought I was being smart on this trip only bringing my debit card, ID, and cell phone in a clutch. It’s easy to carry, doesn’t get in the way and holds all the little things I need to get me through the night.

Little did I know that someone was watching my every move that night, waiting for the moment of weakness that would come the second I set that clutch down. The night ended and as I turned to grab my bag, panic shook me to the core. It was gone and there was no way I could get it back. So I thought, anyway.

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I was shocked when coat check told me the bag had been turned in and reported as “lost.” What wasn’t surprising was all the important items– cell phone, ID, and debit card– were gone. Of course I burst into tears. Here I am in a big city for the weekend with no way to contact my friends or pay for a meal.

Fast forward to arriving back in Oregon and I had to get my hands on a new phone. It’s not even a matter of want. I needed a new phone. And not just any phone, I had to have an iPhone. I’ve been a loyal iPhone customer for five years now and I genuinely cannot image having anything else. I have become so reliant on having a smart phone that I know and understand, I refuse to buy anything else. Even if the competitor phones have way more to offer me.

Going through this situation got me thinking about not only my loyalty to Apple, but every Apple customers loyalty. Did you know that Apple has a 90 percent brand retention rate? That’s huge. And I can’t help but stare at my shiny new iPhone 6s asking, why?

According to an article done by Beta News back in April, Apple’s brand loyalty comes from two factors.

  1. It is a company of firsts, that doesn’t claim to be original.
  2. It designs products with the intention to be better. If they can’t make it better, they don’t do it.

I’m not sure if I believe this is why I come running back to Apple every time I need a new phone. Though it makes me feel better about my decision. Did I mention this is the second time my phone has been stolen in a six month period, and my third iPhone purchase in a year? If only Apple offered some sort of frequent flyer card…

Life in the fast lane.

We’re all slightly addicted to social media. Don’t try to deny it, just accept it and move on. I accepted my addiction years ago when I dug myself deep into what we call “EDM Twitter.” Back then it was a safe haven for those of us heavily involved in the electronic music scene. It was a place where we made connections, shared new music with one another and made plans to meet at upcoming festivals. I became friends with many of these people in real life and remain friends with them today. I’ve had conversations with some of the worlds biggest DJs and have been granted access to meeting a few of them too.

The EDM Twitter community has changed drastically since then. All of us have become ruthless dance music snobs, unforgiving to those who show appreciation for what EDM represents today. I guess you could say the curse of knowledge has got the best of us. Nonetheless, my interest in social media has continued to grow.

I’ve thought since my early days in EDM Twitter land “There must be some way that I can do what I’m doing now, and get paid to do it.” Technically I can through a social media managing position. However, managing professional social media accounts isn’t as simple as tweeting out new music and having a conversation about the recent TomorrowWorld PR crisis.

In fact, the work that goes into being a social media manager is daunting. Yes, daunting. From the crack of dawn till the clock strikes midnight there isn’t a single second that social media managers aren’t social media-ing. This infographic may not be visually appealing, but I think its busy look is a direct representation of just how demanding social media managing is.

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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rethinking my path of choice. I adore social media for all of the opportunities its brought me. I appreciate it even more because of the connections I’ve made. It scares me a little bit to think that a job like this may burn me out and take away from my personal enjoyment. Am I truly ready to walk down the professional path of social media? Stay tuned to find out.

The bee sting of etiquette.

I think most of us can agree that celebrities (and higher ups) live the most lavish and luxurious lives possible. Their key to fame unlocks the door to every adventure us common folk wish we could be taking. Although in the same respect, I imagine they dream of once having the privacy we take for granted every day. The truth of the matter is they are in the public eye 24-hours a day, seven days a week. They are no different than us anatomically speaking, but unlike you and I they have a very expensive brand to uphold.

No one will ever forget the Kanye West and Taylor Swift incident that happened back in 2009. West had to deal with immediate backlash from that, and that video lives on in Internet infamy. Though that incident didn’t take place behind the comfort of a computer or phone screen, its consequences reign no differently than if it had.

3919527310_39f8e977cc_oTake for instance gospel singer and winner of Sunday Best season three, LeAndria Johnson. Not too long ago she drunkenly took to Periscope where she ranted and cursed to viewers for nearly ten minutes. Many in the Christian community were outraged by her actions and made their disapproval known immediately. And to add fuel to the fire, she was not the least bit apologetic. Stating that being in the comfort of her home and not a club made the circumstances different, and that she was just “keeping it real.”

Then there is the case of renowned Lithuanian DJ Ten Walls. At the peak of festival season–and shortly after the supreme court decision to legalize gay marriage–he drunkenly took to Facebook expressing his dislike for same sex relations. Fans went absolutely insane over what he said, so much so that he was dropped from every major festival he was scheduled to play this year. To make matters worse? It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that he publicly apologized.

Reading about these incidences got me to think about the rules of social media, and how we could all benefit from keeping our drunk–and sometimes sober–thoughts to ourselves. I urge you the next time you decide to take to social media to please remember:

You are what you share. Your posts are what make your brand yours. Have a voice, speak about topics relevant to you, but keep it civil and try your hardest to be politically correct. And whatever you do, don’t overshare.

Be accountable. Social media is public and anything you put on the Internet is there forever. If you make a mistake, apologize. People love hearing “I’m sorry” and even more they love to see that you’re sorry.

We’re laughing at you, and that’s okay.

4003140232_bb9c55fc5a_oSince as far back as I can remember late night television has always been a favorite of mine. Yes, even as a small child without a single understanding of relevant pop culture I loved late night TV. Though my parents would only allow me to join them in watching Jon Stewart or Jay Leno in the summer, it quickly became the activity I looked forward to most.

I thank my parents for never being sticklers when it came to what I was exposed to on television. I believe their liberal take on what I should and shouldn’t be able to watch has helped me in having such an open mind. Not to mention I’m an avid late night TV watcher today (Fallon over Kimmel any day though).

What is so interesting to me now, as an adult, is that my reasons for watching late night talk shows has seldom changed. Although now I may understand the witty, sarcastic jokes, I am still most excited because my favorite celebrities are making an appearance.

What is it about interviews done on late night TV that is so special in comparison to day time? And why is it just as, if not more important for celebrities to be doing them? Here are the two answers I came up with:

Relevancy. The landscape of late night TV has changed drastically over the last two years with long run hosts like Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jon Stewart stepping down. With that has come new, younger, lighthearted hosts with intelligence on how to reel in younger generations (my generation) via the Internet. In order for celebrities to stay on top, they have to stay relevant. And in order to stay relevant, they have to be in touch with what is trending now. Considering late night talk shows happen five nights a week, they are clearly staying in touch with what is happening now.

Marketability. The point of celebs coming on to shows like these is to promote albums, movies, TV shows even political campaigns. Although they spend a lot of time doing interviews for magazines, day time TV etc. nothing pales in comparison to late night. Hosts like the Jimmy’s and Colbert have a background in comedy. This means that although the questions they ask may be planned–and I believe that they are– the interaction that follows is always guaranteed to be awkwardly funny. What better way to market yourself than to entice your audience, or potential audience with a few laughs?

In a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Z discussed topics reminiscent to his upbringing, boasted about his upcoming Tidal concert and his association with the streaming service. He even let Kimmel embarrass him with an old rap clip which he courteously laughed off.  In the end, he invited Kimmel and the entire audience to his concert happening that night. This is such an excellent case for how he used relatability  and Kimmel’s humor to remain relevant and marketable. Be sure to check it out.