Category Archives: PR Connections

The Cove: A Bloody Nightmare

Although I had heard about the horrifying documentary, I hadn’t watched The Cove until today in my Marine Biology class, and I have to say, the video lived up to its reputation for being hellish and simply shocking.

The 2 hour documentary is filmed primarily in Taiji, Japan, and is focused on a small area in the town where dolphins are mass mudered for no apparent reason. Japanese representative argue that the dolphins are used for a food source, but America scientists, and Japanese scientists alike, have determined that dolphin meat is hazardous for consumption, containing 2,000ppm of mercury.

The film is surly disturbing, but I think that everyone should see it. It certainly isn’t a family movie night pick, but if the video is seen enough, maybe there will be enough of an uprise to make a difference and begin trying to protect these innocent animals.

Paul McCartney: Dead? No. PR Genius? Yes.

Paul McCartney of the Beatles is known for a few things. His dreamy hair, his incredible songwriting partnership with John Lennon, and his psychedelic pop style are all contributing factors in McCartney’s superstardom. But perharps we are overlooking one thing. Has anyone other than me noticed his genius PR and marketing capabilities?

In 1969, a rumor sparked and swept the nations with the conspiracy that Paul McCartney had been killed in a 1966 car accident. Fans were tipped off by clues in album art, suspicious lyrics indicating that McCartney had died, even eerie sounds of a voice (supposedly John Lennon) making statements about McCartneys death between tracks on their records!

Now, is Paul McCartney dead? Probably not. It was really just a huge hoax that was popular in the 60’s and early 70’s, but it got people buying Beatles’ albums, and thats where McCartney has proven himself to be a marketing whiz. McCartney wasn’t dead, but he certainly wasn’t opposed to the idea of letting fans think that for awhile to increase sales!

People haven’t really thought this through yet, but hopefully sometime soon, pop culture enthusiasts realize the incredible role Paul McCartney played in his bands PR promotion. Other groups have followed suit- The Grateful Dead for example! McCartney isn’t just capable of music that soothes the soul… he has proven that!

BP: Still F-ing Up, A Year Later

It has been a year now since the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and although there has been a substantial improvement made to the affected ares, what has happened to the image of BP?

Even though a year has passed, people haven’t forgotten about the big whoopise-daisy that caused the Gulf of Mexico to fill with toxic oil and kill a huge population of marine animals and plants. I recently read a print article similar to this one from the Huffington Post,  stating that a new outrage has come about from the accident that took place a year ago.

The spill is allegedly causing hundreds of dolphin deaths off the coast of Florida, outraging nature lovers and animal protection activists everywhere. These activists have even pressured the U.S. government to press charges on BP to compensate for the mass dolphin murders.

This is a PR nightmare for BP. If it wasn’t bad enough that their brand has been under constant criticism for a year now, they are now responsible for killing dolphins, brining more bad press to their name. They just cant catch a break, can they?

From Spectators to Spect-haters

I was recently at my boyfriend’s lacrosse game when I took notice to a unique group of human beings in attendance. It was hard for anyone to not notice them, really. A group of students from the opposing school showed up to the game to support their team, thats kosher, right? That was the same reason we were there, to support our team. But the situation became a bit more hostile when these fans became uncontrollably obnoxious and down right rude.

It a little healthy competition and important part of athletics? Sure. But where is the line drawn for what is appropriate and what is just not okay? This group of supporters would have been welcomed gladly, but their obscenities and personal jabs at the opposing players created a tension that was unnecessary and uncomfortable for everyone else involved.

15 minutes into the game, people who had begun their spectating as neutral bystanders were actively cheering for our team, just to try and counteract the rude and degrading remarks that were coming from the inappropriate fan base. They had even been using the programs provided to shout out the names of our players paired with obscenities and rude names.

This is not very good PR for that lacrosse team, or the college itself for that matter. Their ill-behaved fan base established a bad name for their entire institution, which goes to show that these days, whether its an official representative of your company or  not, anyone can represent your name: in a positive or negative light!

The Cluetrain Manifesto

With the revolution of the Internet, and the sudden boom of social media popularity, the way consumers and companies communicate with and about each other is changing rapidly a drastically.

The Cluetrain Manifesto is a phenomenal resource for companies looking to utilize the Internet and Intranets to benefit their organization, and the book acts as a how-to for establishing yourself in the “newly-connected marketplace”.

David Weinberger, Doc Searls, Chris Locke, and Rick Levine wrote the book in a group effort to provide companies with advice on how to remain viable in a changing online marketplace. They accomplish this goal by offering 95 Theses about: what changes in the marketplace are taking place, how to adapt to these changes, approaches companies can take to respond to the change, and anticipations for how the new marketplace will continue to become newer. A summary of the theses can be found in the slideshare presentation below:

I believe that this book is a great read for anyone with a business, small or large, because its essential that companies understand how to establish a credible voice online. I learned from reading this book that information available in the marketplace is assigned more value than information coming directly from a company. Consequently, businesses must embrace the new marketplace and grown in it, or they risk becoming obsolete.

Sheen Madness

Anyone who has tuned into a radio show or television program lately has heard the news of the devastating downward spiral that actor Charlie Sheen has been suffering through.

We can’t get enough Charlie. Broadcasters and celebrity coverage agencies, like TMZ (whose cover page even features Sheen), have all hopped on the Charlie Sheen publicity train and we haven’t really heard much that doesn’t involve Sheen and his drug consuming, tantrum throwing antics. But is Sheen really the most interesting thing going on right now, or is he just a victim of the “celebrity crazy-guy trend” that popular gossip columnists seem to be creating?

I have noticed that when the media gets hooked on a celebrity, they never drop it until there is another celebrity screw-up to transfer their attention to. We have gone from Paris Hilton, to Lindsay Lohan, to Mel Gibson, and now we are onto Charlie Sheen. When is it going to get old? Videos like the one below are sweeping the  Internet, displaying a Sheen freak out. Entertaining? Absolutely. But how is this negative publicity going to effect the famous actor’s career?

We are wasting valuable media space for gossip about which celebrities are doing drugs and who is sleeping with who, when it could be utilized in a far more efficient manner. Two and a Half Men, a popular sitcom featuring Sheen and a dynamic cast of comedians, has recently been taken off the air due to the erratic behavior of Charlie Sheen, which was probably the contributing factor as to why this celebrity disaster is so heavily publicized. But, clearly the need for PR professionals in Hollywood is an urgent matter since targeted celebrities are so incapable of damage control.

Celebrities are in the limelight, all the time. Having a PR professional at hand to counteract damaging TMZ footage and gossip columns can be the difference between being a respected member of the industry, or the laughing stock of all of Tinseltown.

Hollywood is always victimizing someone, who will be next?

 

CrunchIsCalling Has People Talking

It has become obvious to anyone who is involved in the social medias that companies are starting to understand the power of the groundswell. Not only have all varieties of companies established an online presence for themselves, but many of them have also been exploring creative ways to energize their product by utilizing the social medias.

Wheat Thins has come up with a fresh and innovative advertising campaign, CrunchIsCalling, that ties in Twitter with the use of their product. The commercials that I have embedded in this post are from the campaign and display the creative strategy that is sure to be duplicated by other companies in the near future.

In these commercials, Wheat Thins has incorporated Twitter into their advertisements. The ads feature a crew from Wheat Thins reading tweets about their product, than going out, finding these tweeters, and giving them a palate of Wheat Thins.

Now, why is this effective? Because when people see this commercial it makes them start tweeting about Wheat Thins, hopeful that they might be one of the lucky ones chosen to receive a visit from the Wheat Thins crew. Wheat Thins has found a way to get people to talk about their product on social media sites. This cant be considered anything other than sheer genius on the creative director’s behalves.

Another element that adds to the commercial’s effectiveness can be seen in the second embedded video, which is that the company took the initiative to respond to a tweet that read, “Hey @CrunchIsCalling I think the Wheat Thins commercials are UBER FAKE. How do they find people off their tweets?” Because this tweet had a negative connotation, the Wheat Thins CrunchIsCalling crew paid the tweeter a visit to prove the authenticity of their candid visits.

I think this is an incredible way to energize your product and the communities that use your product and get people talking about your product on social media sites. Bravo, Wheat Thins!