Category Archives: Topic of the Week

Videos Gone Viral

Ten years ago, if you wanted to get famous, you had to meet one of a few qualifications. You had to have: A. an unsurpassable singing voice that could serenade the souls of angels B. the ability to make the opposite sex scream at the top of their lungs with your sexy pop dancing skills, or C. a daddy who owns a world famous hotel company.

But now in the age of the Internet, celebrity status can be accomplished overnight. We have seen proof of this again and again, through stars like Antoine Dodson (see video imbedded below) and David (from David after dentist). These average joes became a YouTube sensation when their home videos went viral.

What make a video viral? The mass consumption of a video in a short period of time makes a video viral, ultimately resulting and fame and sometimes even fortune for the parties involved.

I have included some of my favorite viral videos here, and I’ve given brief explanations of why I think they have been so popular. I have noticed that viral videos typically fit into one of a few themes; they are either hysterical, shocking, or just super cute.

Why do you think these videos have launched their characters to superstardom?

The Bed Intruder Song

The Bed Intruder Song has over 79,000,000 views! I think this video has taken off because of its humor.  This is the perfect example of a funny viral video that has taken off because of its comical nature.

Chubby Cuppy Cake Boy

This little boy is precious, and his video has become viral because of how down right adorable it is!

JK Wedding Dance Entrance

This video was brought to my attention by one of my friends who is getting married soon- as you can imagine, she wants to duplicate this type of wedding. This video has almost 65,000,000 views, and I think its popularity is caused by shock value and how cool it is!

Viral videos make life interesting! They give us something to talk about, and in a world where social medias are becoming more and more dominant, I wouldnt be surprised if we see a huge boom in viral videos for advertisement strategy!


Guest Blogger: Melissa Rodriugez

As a dedicated J.Crew shopper, I have developed a great deal of brand loyalty to the preppy clothing line. I came across this post written by my dear friend Melissa Rodriguez and was interested to hear peoples controversial responses to what I thought was a fun and lighthearted ad!

Outrage Over Ad Blown to Ridiculous Proportions

Over the weekend J.Crew updated their online catalogue and included a feature on how their president and creative director Jenna Lyons spends the weekend with her son. The first slide included the mother and son duo looking at each other playfully and lovingly while the mother held her sons foot- that happened to have neon pink toenails. Copy on the ad included “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

Obviously this is just way too much for anyone to handle. The notion that mundane things such as colors can be characterized as male or female is absurd. If that were the case, how would anyone characterize beige, yellow, or red?

Keith Ablow called the ad, “a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.” While Erin Brown from the Media Research Center called it, “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”

Seriously? The boy in the picture is five years old. Children aren’t born knowing things are “bad” or “good,” or considered “straight” or “gay.” Children just know what they like.  Often children want to participate in creative activities, such as painting- nails or otherwise, because they think it’s fun. Boys see their sisters and mothers painting their nails and they simply want to be included.

There seems to be an extremely confused train of thought happening that stipulates that the things you are exposed to as a child dictate one’s gender identity and sexual orientation. Shouldn’t children also have the right to express themselves in anyway they want? There have been many instances in which little boys want to do or wear something that is traditionally female and their mothers let them, often with backlash towards the mother. As long as no one is getting hurt, what is the harm in letting them do as they please?

“Many people feel that it is their role to police gender and tell them what correct behavior is for boys and girls,” said Dr. Jack Drescher, child psychologist, to ABC news. “The idea that a parent is indulging a child’s interest in unconventional gender behavior does something to the child has no scientific basis.”

Openly gay pop sensation Adam Lambert tweeted about the ad after a Twitter usertagged him in a post with a link to the article saying, “I bet that’s how it all started for @adamlambert.” Lambert addressed the issue by tweeting, “Gender confusion? I don’t think it’s that deep- children should have full freedom of expression. It’s everyone else who’s confused.”

J.Crew declined to comment calling this a “non-issue.” Which is exactly what it is. It’s simply a photo of a little boy spending a weekend with his hard working, stylish mom.

John Stewart said it best, “Here’s what I see: ‘Oh, honey, you want to paint your nails pink? Okay, let’s do it.’ Because do you have any idea how long a weekend is with children? Everybody gets bored; you’ll do anything to fill the time. And if you take them to a face-painting booth, it doesn’t make them cats.”

Guest Blogger: Joe Citro

This week, I wanted to share an awesome post by my class mate and good personal friend, Joe Citro. Joe is a senior advertising major and he will be completing his undergraduate career by graduating next week! This post, about the consequences of social media in making everything available to the public, provides rules to follow to make sure your business or image isn’t stained by an “off the record” comment. Good post, Joe! The original blog can be found here.

Secrets Don’t Make Friends

The world we live in is always moving and there is little room for privacy. Off the record used to be an idea that if you were not around camera’s or those in the media field you can say what you want without being criticized for it publicly.

Today people can easily hear everything you say. Through social media one bad impression of a person or company can be posted online and hundreds of impressions will be made by there friends and family that view there page consistently.

There are 5 simple rules cited by Gil Rudawsky:

1) “Off the record” is not considered off the record anymore

2) Never say anything to a reporter that would make you look bad

3)Temper your comments in public places

4)After you are done speaking to a reporter, make sure they are not continuing to listen, through an open mic or otherwise

5) Finally, it’s best to keep to simple—and noncontroversial—topics, especially during sound checks

These rules are essential to follow for not only politicians and celebrities but ourselves as well. When we walk to class we hear people say ridiculous things, now they are off the record, but we will always remember or at least have an idea of what was said. After all there really are no places for secrets anymoree because one wrong word or phrase can put you in a terrible situation.

Social Media Bookmarking and Diigo


I have recently created an account with Diigo, a social book-marking site that I’m sure will prove to be a resourceful forum for me in the near future. I have attached a link to my Diigo account, which includes a variety of social bookmarks like my favorite blogs, important social media sites, and pages that I have stumbled across and found interesting.

This site in the short time that I have had it has already provided me the opportunities to bookmark some really interesting sites that I have come across. I have also used to site to bookmark some of my old favorites to make them all readily available in one location.

To visit my Diigo click: here!

Diigo provides a unique opportunity for people to share the social media sites that they find the most intriguing. This resource can be especially useful for students, especially those working in groups. Recently, I have been working on a research proposal for my qualitative research class, and although we have not yet utilized Diigo, I think my group members will be open to the idea of sharing links on Diigo.

Say I am researching our topic, and I find some really great academic articles that are really relevant to our thesis and would be really useful for my group mates. All I have to do is bookmark the article and my peers can access the article from anywhere by simply signing onto my Diigo and opening my bookmark. So simple, right?

Diigo’s benefits can also reach far past the classroom. Pre-professional organizations like Florida Public Relations Association and AdFed can create Diigo accounts to share professional articles amongst themselves and learn as much a they can from each other. If an organization was having a guest speaker come, Diigo would be a good way for them to share that speakers work so they can all become familiar with the speaker before his arrival.

Sites like Diigo can be utilized by people in all walks of life, especially PR professionals and students! Hopefully social bookmarking sites like this will catch on and become more popular!


Daniel Tosh has always been one of my favorite comedians. I religiously tuned into his show, Tosh.0,  every week, and even dropped an ungodly amount of money to see his tour live when it came to Tampa last year.

Tosh’s comedy thrives off of being offensive and vulgar, and it appeals to my generation; it has clearly made him one of the most successful comedians of today. But when does a line get drawn between what is appropriate for television broadcast and what is strictly too offensive to be socially acceptable.

I was curled on the couch watching Tosh.0 with my boyfriend this week when a seriously disturbing segment of the show was aired. Not only did I have to leave the room, but I have no desire to watch the show any time in the near future because of this one clip. The portion of the show called “web redemption” is a segment in which Tosh brings in a viral video superstar and gives them a chance to redeem themselves on air for their stupidity or clumsiness. The segment has featured famous YouTube stars, including the bed intruder song phenomenon Antoine Dodson and National Anthem butcher Natalie.

The web redemption I was offended by was for a politician who had a tantrum on his campaign tour and became a popular YouTube target. The segment featured an interview with Phil Davidson and proceeded with a shot of Davidson and Tosh in the back of a convertible, spoofing off of the Kennedy motorcade. The scene then showed Davidson’s head exploding, making fun of the devastating Presidential assassination.

I was so offended by this and thought that there was a huge issue with making fun of such a national tragedy. The Kennedy assassination happened almost 50 years ago, yes. But, I still don’t find it to be a laughing matter.

The first amendment grants us the right to free press, but I think that there should be considerations made by producers to ensure that viewers are not being lost due to poor public relations. Where should public relations people step in? I love the Tosh.0 show and I am sure that I will give it a second chance, but I hope that Daniel Tosh, who is still my favorite comedian, will proceed with caution when making jokes about national tragedies and devastating events like the Kennedy assassination.


PROpenMic: A PR Student’s Most Valuable Resource

I have recently subscribed to PROpenMic for my Social Media for Public Relations course, but I think that this site will prove to be very helpful to me not only as a PR student but even as I move into a career in PR.

PR OpenMic is a forum for students, as well as public relations professors and even actively working PR professionals to network with a common interest; PR. It provides a social networking opportunity similar to Facebook and LinkedIn, but unlike these sites, it provides its account holders with the opportunity to utilize others and learn the exciting and helpful things that others in the PR field have to offer.

The benefits of PROpenMic can be invaluable to students in particular because it offers the ability to “friend” some of the most successful professionals in the field. The creator of the site, Robert French, has blossomed the account to the resourceful and awesome PR forum that it is today and within only a few years, the site has managed to gain almost 7,000 members.

The site even features a “Jobs and Internships” section where employment-seeking members can explore potential job opportunities. Building a positive social media presence, I have found, plays a huge role in landing a decent PR job after graduation. My professor, Barbara Nixon, gave my class a lecture on social media presence and since then I have been very conscious about the things I have posted.

PROpenMic is a phenomenal resource for students to use to not only build up their social media presence, but to learn as much as they can from the brilliant minds in the field of PR that have made themselves accessible through this site.

Podcasts in Education

In my time as an undergraduate PR student, I have learned multitudes of resourceful and relevant information from my professors that will be practical for me to utilize in a career setting in the near future. My professors have utilized engaged learning to ensure that I am getting the most out of my undergraduate education, and I will go into the workplace confident and prepared for a successful career. But in a generation where podcasts and webinars are so easily accessible, there really is no limit to the amount of information one can absorb not only as a student, but even after graduation and on into the corporate world.

A study done at The University of Southern Mississippi called the Pilot Project studied student aptitude in regards to podcasting and how podcasts can be used in the classroom. The study found that statistically, students were interested in “accessing instructional materials” by podcast. 79% of students were in fact in favor of the use of podcasts in educational endeavors. The slideshow below offers more of the Pilot Project’s findings:

My generation is no longer limited to the material we learn from our college faculty alone, but we can now venture out into the minds of public relations professionals everywhere with the click of a mouse. Podcasts can play an integral role in the process of preparing for a career in PR. Resourceful podcasts can be found in almost any subject area, and are free to listen to for anyone.

SocialMediaTrader* references that according to In-Stat, almost 275 million people will have access to a portable media player in 2011. That is an overwhelming number of potential listeners and to think that such a multitude of people could have access to a your podcast is definitely an incentive to share your knowledge with the world. Not only are you enlightening the minds of others with your unique perspective on public relations ideas, but creating a prepared and professional podcast presence can help build your identity and credibility as a social media and public relations professional. The benefits of podcasting are applicable to everyone, and can develop the way educators teach the young minds of today and tomorrow.

Foursquare and PR: Friends or Foes?


A smart phone equipped with the Foursquare app is a business owners dream, especially for local business owners who acquire the bulk of their customer traffic from word of mouth and recommendations. Foursquare gives smart phone users the ability to “check-in” anywhere they currently are, including restaurants, stores, even friend’s houses and college buildings.

What’s the point, you ask? Depending on the business, many companies give free merchandise and products to the “Mayor” of their location. A foursquare user secures Mayor status by being the person with the most check-ins at a certain location within the past 60 days. Companies that give away “Foursquare Freebies” include Chili’s (free chips and salsa), American Eagle (discounts on clothing purchases), and even Dominoes (free pizza to select participants).

Now where does PR play into all of this? Really, it’s all about PR! Foursquare, which can be linked to Facebook and Twitter, is a technological method of spreading company awareness by word of mouth. I, for example, was completely unaware that a Yogurt Mountain (one of my favorite frozen yogurt destinations) was built in Lakeland until I saw that one of my Facebook friends had checked in there on my news feed. Had I not seen this check-in, who knows how long it would have been until I knew about Yogurt Mountain’s Lakeland location.

Trends on Foursquare can also be effective attention getters, and seeing that multiple friends have checked-in to a similar destination makes social media consumers want to try the place everyone’s talking about. Many social media consumers are typically pretty trendy people, and often times it is this demographic that is eager to try new and hip places. Foursquare puts businesses on the trend map and simultaneously gives companies the chance to make their customers feel significant by validating the importance of their patronage. It’s an ideal PR tool for all types of businesses. Social media experts have even made articles available on how to utilize Foursquare to benefit your business. Kyle Lacy in his article, “5 Ways to Use Foursquare for Business” gives a brief summary and how a business can capitalize on Foursquare to maximize benefits.

Foursquare can be dangerous however if you make your check-ins accessible to anyone and everyone. Giving strangers the ability to know your every move can be risky, especially when checking-in to your home. However, when used responsibly, the app is a fun and resourceful way to recommend your favorite businesses to friends and other social media acquaintances.

Social Media and Businesses: BFFs.

I have grown up in a technologically sophisticated decade, and the world of social media has boomed within my generation. Finding an undergrad student without a Facebook these days can be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack.

Even though social media sites have millions and millions of members, some business are still scared of social media presence and its power. But in a time where a “like” on Facebook can hold as much weight as a verbal recommendation, companies need to jump on the social media bandwagon and utilize social media to spread awareness of their brand.

Social media is free! This makes sites like Twitter and Facebook ideal for businesses ranging from huge corporations to small local businesses. Customers want to feel valued by companies, so they are looking to have dialogue.

Panera Bread is a company that stands out to me for how perfectly they use social media to their advantage. On their media site, the accept praise from satisfied customers, but also take and address any constructive criticism dissatisfied customers may have posted. Just simply responding to these unhappy customers can be the difference between that customer trying your product again or spreading their bad experience to countless amounts of friends.

There is truly no way to know how much reach someone has in the social media world, which makes each user just as valuable as the other. Companies using social media sites put themselves on the same level as the customer, which can be perceived by customers as unsurpassable customer service. Companies and the social media networks should certainly be “friends”. Social media, if used properly, can be a method of connecting with your customers on a personal level and making them feel valued. Valued customers are happy customers and happy customers are returning customers.

Not only does social media presence function to establish a relationship with customers, but it also provides the opportunity to reward valued customers by “tweeting” promotions or distributing printable coupons that will bring customer traffic into your business. Some companies will offer promotions if you “re-tweet” something and I have even received gift cards for watching short promotional videos.

Businesses cant shy away from the groundswell, the have to embrace it!

Imported From Detroit

Every year, countless Americans glue themselves to the nearest TV set to bear witness to the biggest annual sporting event in the U.S.

The Super Bowl hype is instilled in the hearts of all football fans, regardless of whether their own teams are playing on the most prestigious gridiron of all time. This pre-game excitement, however, is not just in anticipation of the pigskin passing and the touchdown celebration, but it also comes from the annual tradition of hilarious and creative advertisements.

This season, one particular Super Bowl advertisement resonated with me because of its impacting nature and its appeal to my particular generation. The ad was for Chrysler and it featured rapper and recording artist Marshal Mathers, commonly known as Eminem.

This ad features the most brilliant and well put together copy I have ever heard by far. It is powerful and draws in viewers to make them feel what its like to be in Detriot. I have never been to the steel city, but watching this commercial provided me with a feeling like I had been there before.

The cinematography of this ad is very well done, and I thought the camera angles gave it a unique, movie like feel.

What I believe to be the most original thing about this ad was its ability to appeal to my generation. Chrysler is a luxury vehicle that sells primarily to an older audience. What this ad is trying to do, I think, is to take a car that is normally not driven by the 20-35 year old market, and make it appeal to that specific target audience. The copy writers accomplish this by including Eminem, who has been a platinum artist for the majority of the last decade, and establishing a connection between the rapper and the Chrysler 300.

Because this commercial gives my generation the ability to correlate between Chrysler and the fresh and hip artist Eminem, I think that the advertisers will achieve their goal of establishing the brand to be a luxury car for drivers of all ages. I loved this ad and I hope that it will up the anti for Super Bowl advertisements to come.