NY through my rose colored glasses with a PR twist, and a splash of London/Trini flair!

With Hurricane Sandy forcing me to be housebound, I took a little trip down memory lane before cabin fever set in.

Think back to the days before social media. Tweeting was something Tweety Bird did in cartoons. If I wanted to update my status I would phone a friend from my landline. My cellphone didn’t have a camera for documenting my new nail polish; you had to check that out at school the next day. You get the idea: no Facebook, no Twitter , no Instagram. Now yesterday, imagine the comical image of me charging my phone every 60 seconds, just incase the power went out. With no access to my beloved social media, I would feel utterly disconnected from the world and my online community, and that is unimaginable!

Before you rush me to the nearest support group for social media addiction, you might like to know that I am not alone. Studies have shown social networking is ranked as the most popular content category for worldwide engagement. People want to connect with others; it drives some of our most basic emotions as humans. Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow us to connect faster than ever before. One in every five minutes is spent on social networking sites globally (wowser!). We can find others who share our interests and passions with a quick click on our iPad or laptop. Is this the traditional method used to discover if someone shares our views? No. However, it has quickly become the most popular way to do it, and I think there is no going back.

­Now that we have almost everyone engaged in social media, or addicted like I am, we need to make sure we are using it to the best of our capability. We owe it to our online communities to make it worth something. Can we drown out the white noise and make sure that users are really hearing what is being said? If we can master that technique, through appealing content, there will be no need for questions on whether social media is here to stay.

Social media, when done wrong, may be compared to teen sex – awkward and disappointing. But, when done right, it is like free falling from a plane. The rush is unbelievable and there is no going back!

Source: http://previewnetworks.com/blog/social-media-stay-10/


Moment of truth: I am not the most active social media community member. I am the neighbor you want to borrow sugar from, but when you knock I am never home. In my defense, I focus more on Facebook and Twitter, leaving some of my communities lacking my full attention. However, there is one community where I love to be a voyeur – ­­­I never post, but I am fixated on seeing what my community conjured up on any given day. This particular subscription never disappoints! If I want to look through the looking glass YouTube is where I go and “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” is what I see.

Like caffeine for the sleep deprived, “Awkward Black Girl” has been awakening viewers to true entertainment since its debut in February 2011. Issa Rae both produces and stars as J, an awkward girl addressing genuine frustrations with co-workers and love interests who place her in uncomfortable situations. This may not sound like a unique concept for a show, but what motivated me to join, and keeps me coming back, is this new angle. Black women in entertainment have been said to be “sassy” or “angry’’ but I love this show because I can relate to just being an awkward black girl trying to navigate life one day at a time.

Once a month, J shines a light on another tricky situation, and her quirky way of dealing with each challenge. YouTube is the perfect platform for this show. Our once little, but now huge community, can comment on each new video and listen to hundreds of people discuss how great it is someone understands how they feel. Another perk is to see interviews and new ventures Issa takes on during her rise to fame. “Awkward Black Girl” has built a YouTube community like none other over the last two years. Now I hate to complain, but when you get a web series this great, once a month feels like an eternity! I can’t help it; I’m an impatient virtual neighbor!

I don’t post on YouTube ever; I don’t think I am “crazy, sexy, cool” enough for anyone to want to listen to me on that platform, even though I am a little awkward at times. But this site does feed my voyeuristic fetish. I will stick to blogging and let the future video superstars keep me entertained.

Source: http://www.vulture.com/2011/12/issa-rae-on-the-mis-adventures-of-awkward-black-girl-and-creating-the-black-liz-lemon.html

Going “viral” is a term people like to throw around as if it is easily attainable. Most PR professionals cringe when their client says, “I want to go viral!” In reality only a few campaigns actually get that digital honor. So how do companies achieve this accolade? Let’s look at a successful campaign that employs all of the right strategies and tactics to go viral and is still talked about today.

If you want to get people talking you have to do something that has never been done before and that is exactly what Dove did with the “Campaign for Real Beauty”. They took on the HUGE task of finding out what women really think about themselves, and surprise surprise, only 2% thought they were beautiful (shocking!). Dove set out to change society’s definition of beauty and it exceeded their wildest expectations. By challenging its audience to redefine its perception of beauty a new ideology was born; no matter what age, size or color you are there is something unique about all of us. The crowd went wild! Dove started a conversation with women around the world and their brand was no longer just about soap, it was synonymous with “real beauty”.

How did Dove get it right?

  • Each ad broke the mold. I don’t know about you, but looking at an airbrushed woman the size of my leg used to have me skipping some meals. They encouraged viewers to look beyond the stereotypical ideals.
  • The Dove brand has a reputation for delivering on their word: “it won’t dry your skin”. Their brand has always been considered authentic and genuine through the years and it is this that allowed them to have an honest conversation with consumers.
  • The ads were easy to send and directed viewers to http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com, where the conversation about real beauty continued.
  • Commercials aired during big events such as the Super Bowl in 2006.
  • The Dove Evolution ad on YouTube received over 25 million views. That is a marketing revolution in my opinion.

Dove ultimately wanted to be more than just a bar of soap, and this campaign going viral opened the door for them to launch a whole new range of products. When a consumer thinks of Dove they link it to beauty in its simplest form: the beauty that is reflected back at you everyday.

I use Dove now and airbrushed models don’t faze me anymore. Why? Because my beauty is real beauty and I am happy just the way I am!

Source: http://psucomm473.blogspot.com/2007/03/dove-campaign-for-real-beauty-case.html

We all know what PR is… or do we? PRSA’s definition states “Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” The key here is communication; the plan is to identify and understand what the public wants and challenge them to question their beliefs. Social media has provided an extensive platform for us to have a “conversation” with the public we are servicing. As a result, PR is always changing and evolving because communications is not a static industry, and media relations has a new dimension unlike years past.

PR professionals can now receive and supply information quickly due to social media. Media relations is no longer just about dealing with reporters and news stations, now we have to engage millions of “journalists” out on the streets because they are relentlessly blogging, tweeting and youtubing! With millions of active users on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, this has now become the perfect place for us to harness the flow of information to suit our needs. BUT, let this be a warning, both the good and the bad can be projected so it is our job to manage what is seen. If media relations is the boat, and social media is the sea, PR is the captain of the ship.

If we look at the more “traditional’ tools used by PR professionals (such as putting together media relations kits, press releases and events), social media has made it so much easier to engage the public. Campaigns can now take off for a client like never before. A great example of this is Go Red for Women. Their short film brought awareness to women about the dangers of heart disease. The video has over one million hits, and this is classified as a success for the client. Journalists are becoming more dependent on social media as a source of information too, and like them we need to focus on how this will make our jobs easier in the long run.

I am all for traditional methods getting us to where we are today, but PR needs to evolve with the pubic to maintain a consistent and up-to-date conversation that is vital to the direction a client may need to move in. So if Twitter or Facebook tells me whether you love or hate what I am endorsing, then I will be fully engaged. Don’t you agree?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

How many times have you checked your phone today? Let me be more specific, how many times have you accessed your Facebook account, viewed your Twitter feed, laughed at your Instagram photos or read your emails?  Towards the end of 2011 81 billion minutes were spent on social networks and blogs*. Digital communication has been on the rise for the last 10 years, and has changed the way we communicate with each other for better or worse.

Before someone picks up a newspaper or turns on the TV, they rush to their mobile device, tablet or web pages to keep their finger on the pulse. With over 274 million Americans accessing the Internet*, information flows so quickly that we have adjusted how we communicate. With apps like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many more, everyone is trying to communicate much faster to a larger audience. Companies can now reach a larger demographic of consumers to market their products; customers no longer need to walk into a store, see a commercial, or open a paper.

Let me give you a quick example. 30 years ago if a fire broke out in the Empire State Building at 6pm, an eyewitness would give a reporter a “tip” over the phone. That reporter would rush to the scene, get as much information as they could from police and firefighters, interview eye witnesses and rush back to the office hoping they got there in time to include the piece before the paper went to press. Flash forward to present day, you and I can tweet a picture to our local news station who can use it on air in a matter of moments. Media outlets now have millions of reporters and journalists walking the streets and providing stories, without having them on their payroll. That same story is posted on the newspapers website in 15 minutes and 30 minutes later it’s trending on twitter, (complete with uploaded interviews with the victims). In this day and age we want information now and sometimes that isn’t even fast enough!

So I ask you, why call when you can Facebook? Why wait for letters when you can email? Want to save a buck? There is an app for that! Information moves at lightening speed. If I can communicate with you on Gchat even as I write this blog, why would I want to go back when the light at the end of this high-speed tunnel is only getting brighter?