Coming To An End (but not really)

All good things usually come to an end eventually. Just like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in 2005.

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In Public Relations, an end is a very typically a great thing. You did your job; you fixed something, created something, told someone’s story, increased your company’s brand or visibility — you did something great for someone else.

That’s what public relations is about at the end of the day: doing something good for someone else to make the world (or a brand) a better place. It’s about communicating that good deed with everyone, but especially a specific audience who will really appreciate the work you’re doing.

As another quarter of school comes to an end, it allows me to reflect on how I’ve changed and grown as a person this term.

I never thought blogging was something I’d ever enjoy, but yet I’ve fallen in love with it. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and allowed my personal brand to grow and come together — right in the midst of applying for summer internships (yay!). But that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that I’ve found a new craft that allows me to communicate better with my audience and allows me to share my personality, ideas and stories with people who I may not have every communicated with otherwise.

This term has taught me that there is no limit to your dreams. There is nothing you cannot do. People have more faith in you than you think, so you should have faith in you, too. And good things come to an end, but be confident in the fact that you gave it your all, stayed true to yourself and shared the good you did with the world.

This is not goodbye. Stay tuned for future posts!

It’s All About the Networking

If there’s anything you need to know about entertainment public relations, it’s that IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NETWORKING.

Networking is your key to getting into the industry and thriving once you do.

As a public relations professional in the entertainment industry, you must be adverse to every single type of public relations. Media relations, press releases, fact sheets, damage control, blogging, communications, etc — it’s all crucial knowledge to making it big in the industry. But another skill you must have is being social. That doesn’t mean partying with all the big names and celebrities every night; it means sparking up a conversation and making connections with everyone who’s anyone.

Example: You’re shopping at Whole Foods in NYC. You turn down the frozen aisle and see Samantha Jones walking towards you (it’s obvious by her strikingly scandalous outfit and pumps). You know Samantha’s name doesn’t have the best reputation in the PR industry, but you do know that she knows EVERYONE. The smart move here is to introduce yourself — there might be a chance she invites you to the book reveal party she planned for her BFF Carrie tonight where you could meet every big name in the PR and Publishing businesses.

^^ That is networking: Making connections to make more connections in the future.

My advice for you:

Save up all the money you can and move to Los Angeles. Work for free for any entertainment public relations firm you can get your foot in the door at. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Get to know everyone who works there and everyone they know and everyone they know. By the time you run out of money, you’re destined to know someone who works at the Entertainment PR firm across the street who’s looking for a new entry level PR person. You’re welcome.

In the words of Samantha Jones, “I don’t believe in the Republican party or the Democratic party, I just believe in parties.”

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Here is a link to five essential steps for successful PR networking so you don’t end up like Samantha.

5 Essential Steps For Successful PR Networking

 

The Oscars: And The Winner Is…

If you watched the Academy Awards this year, you may have realized that everyone wanted to make a statement. Whether it be regarding sexual assault, global warming or race, everyone got their two cents in.

What was successful and what went terribly wrong?

#OscarsSoWhite started the conversation about the race in the awards show far before the Oscars started. The conversation of race has been rapid due to recent campaigns like Black Lives Matter. Instead of #OscarsSoWhite turning into an effective conversation, Chris Rock, the host for the night, decided to pin the jokes on certain celebrities. An opportunity for a public relations campaign to start a much-needed conversation and address the elephant in the room turned into the butt of the joke for the whole evening — not successful.

Here is more information on the controversy.

On a brighter note, Leonardo Dicaprio FINALLY won his first Oscar after countless nominations. When he stepped up the make the long-awaited acceptance speech, he used his time to make light of global warming. Although this was appreciated by most, I personally was disappointed. Everyone who follows the star knows global warming is close to his heart, but it may have just been taken a little too far. I don’t know about you, but I wanted a heartfelt celebration and not to be talked at about yet another issue of the night.

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But my favorite moment of the night, and in my opinion the most successful PR move of the night, was Lady Gaga and Vice President Joe Biden’s call to action around the issue of sexual assault — especially in light of Kesha’s denial to make music without her abuser, a music producer on her contract at Sony. With Biden’s powerful message and Lady Gaga’s incredibly inspiring performance, the message couldn’t have been more successfully executed.

The platform was perfect. Gaga performed the Oscar nominated song, ‘Til It Happens to You’ from The Hunting Ground, a movie that addresses sexual assault on college campuses. Gaga is a survivor of sexual assault herself and the 50 men and women survivors that joined her on stage made for the most impactful moment of the night. The timing also couldn’t have been better — Kesha’s sexual assault case has been taking over the national news and social media platforms the last few weeks. Undeniably and well-deserved, they both received standing ovations for the powerful message and performance.

Joe Biden’s speech can be watched here.

Lady Gaga’s life-changing performance can be seen here.

 

PR Has A Rape Problem

Yes, you read the headline right. Public relations has a rape problem, made obvious by 2015’s biggest campaign disaster. The question is, how did these campaigns get published in the first place?

Here are a few examples:

No means no, Bud Light.

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Here is Bud Light’s formal apology.

Bloomingdales suggested date-raping your best friend.

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Vanderbilt Football just made the college rape culture even worse than it already was.

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Here’s a call to action for all you public relations professionals:

Think about your campaigns before they go viral for the wrong reason.

10 Most Influential Musicians

The Grammy Awards last weekend sparked a lot of gossip, drama and debate — who are today’s biggest artists? Who has the biggest influence on society?

Well here’s the Grammy’s list of the 1o most influential artists of the moment:

10. LL Cool J.

9. Lady Gaga. She killed it at the Superbowl this year, so it’s no surprise she made the cut. She also is very opinionated and loud about her concern for social issues. Intel even sponsored a powerful tribute to the late David Bowie by Lady Gaga, which showed the company and Gaga’s influential impact.

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8. Tori Kelly. 

7. Bruno Mars. 

6. Kendrick Lamar. 

5. Adele. Adele released her album 25 this year which took over the music charts. Her song “Hello” has become iconic. Even the pitchiness and technical issues during her Grammy performance didn’t affect this artist’s star power.

4. Skrillex. 

3. Taylor Swift. Taylor had a record year. Not only did she walk away from the Grammy Awards with Album of the Year, but she became the first female to win AOTY two times.

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2. Justin Bieber. Justin had a record year, as well. His new album Purpose: The Movement has been on the charts for months now with several number one hits. He’s turned his life around with his new album, and the world has finally noticed him in a more “adult” light. He also walked away with his first Grammy this year — congrats Justin!

1. Kanye West. Despite the artist’s decision not to attend the Grammy’s, he’s still number one. Kanye’s exposed the good, bad and the ugly this year. He recently was asked to tweet more, so he did, sharing that he was $53 million in debt. But he just dropped a HUGE album the day before the Grammy’s, The Life of Pablo, which has led some to call him the modern-day, American Mozart. He also married Kim Kardashian, a name known to most these days thanks to her families immense influence on the entertainment industry. He also announced that he would boycott the 2017 Grammy Awards unless he is guaranteed “Album of the Year.” Kanye’s publicity and fame have put him in the number one spot.

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Here are the best and worst moments of this year’s Grammy Awards according to Rolling Stone, featuring many of the artists above.

Who do you think is the most influential on this list?

Why PR Loves Valentines Day

What is PR’s favorite holiday?

It’s Valentines Day, the only day of the year solely dedicated to love.

So “Why,” you might ask. Valentines Day is one of the only holiday’s that isn’t sensitive towards a certain race, religion, or tragic event. There’s also a lot of opportunity in the word love.

Most brands can relate back to love. Valentines Day is about relationships, sex, marriage, gifts, economics (it’s a HUGE consumer holiday), loneliness (if you happen to be alone on V-Day), rom-com’s, etc. Just about any company or PR professional can make a bridge between the client and this holiday.

Who else loves Valentines Day?

Journalists. It’s the perfect time to pitch to journalists because they know V-Day comes with lots of opportunities for them to write good stories. Valentines Day is about profit, so magazines and newspapers often make more money during Valentine’s Day when companies and consumerism are thriving.

So if you’re smart this Valentines Day, take advantage of everyone’s gushy hearts and wallets and get pitching — it’s the perfect opportunity for any brand.

Here is a list of the 18 best, worst and weirdest Valentine’s Day PR stunts. What do you think are the best, worst or weirdest Valentine’s Day PR stunts you’ve seen?

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The New PR Secret You Need to Know About

Clothing designers and stores, make-up brands, accessories, food companies… What are their public relations secrets in today’s day and age of social media?

Instagram. Several big brand names are paying Instagram models and celebrities big bucks to sport their brand with a tag and shout-out.

These Instagram accounts have anywhere from 100,000 to 50 million followers. What better way to target your audience by having their fave celeb or Insta model endorsing their product? Insta-publicity and Insta-buys.

 

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But how much are companies REALLY paying to promote their brand?

There’s three different types of models… and they’re getting paid very different amounts:

  1. Essena O’Neill-type Instagram Models: These models usually have 100,000 to 500,000 followers. They’re typically normal people who have a prime selfie game and hot bodies, but usually that’s about it as far as social media goes. It takes hard work to get to this point in an Instagram career: grueling photo shoots with the perfect makeup, hair, outfit, clothing with the perfect caption, location and hashtags — all produced on their own time. So with all this hard work, how much do they get paid and what products are they promoting?Typically they’re getting paid $400-$2,000 to post photos with workout or cleansing products (i.e., Protein World or Teami) or photos of them wearing certain clothing brands.

    (Background Story: Essena O’Neill was the 18-year-old Instagram model who came out and said how fake and posed these paid posts are with a viral YouTube video. She went back and edited all her captions to display how much she got paid for each one and how many attempts it took to capture each photo. She recently deleted her account completely.)

  2. The Actual Models — Miranda Kerr, Karlie Kloss, Candice Swanepoel: These models are usually promoting brands they actually model for… but every so often, they’ll get paid about $25,000 to $50,000 to feature a brand or company on their social channel. The don’t get paid as much because they don’t need the money. Modeling for these brands in magazine ads and on billboards is actually their job. Why would they get caught up in mediocre modeling on Instagram?”
  3. The Social Media Queens (AKA Taylor Swift’s Clique)  — Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne: They are the REAL deal. They are real models yes… Just like Miranda, Kloss and Swanepol. But they know how to work their followers and take advantage of every post. They are the queens of social media hierarchy. They have millions of followers. A typical paycheck for a shout out on their social channels? $125,000 to $300,000, maybe more. The trick for these ladies is that the work is being done for them… and they get the big pay check. And in addition, they’re getting 9.6 times the average salary of a millennial woman so they can literally Instagram for a living.

*Fun fact: Kendall, Gigi and Cara can literally purchase each of the following things with ONE paid Instagram post:

  • 462 Pairs of Christian Louboutin Pumps
  • 400 iPhone 6S Pluses with 16 GB
  • 10,344 Kylie Lip Kits
  • 12 Houses in Detroit
  • 22,455 Uber Rides
  • 12 Semesters of Tuition at NYU
  • 127,659 In-N-Out Cheeseburgers

(Thanks Elle Magazine for the fun facts!)

So… what does this have to do with PR again? Well it is PR, essentially.

It’s more like advertising in the fact that you are paying for publicity, but its more like PR in the fact that you’re not actually hiring these models for a professional photoshoot. They’re doing all the work on their own and essentially acting as your brand ambassador.

The first key to success is which models to pitch your brand to. Successfully pitching the models is the second key to success.

The argument is still open, though. Is paying Instagram models really public relations? What’s your opinion?