Equal Pay Day and Driving Progress

This year has been nothing short of a venti-sized espresso of tyranny against women, schools, the poor and immigrants. Fortunately, Twitter reminds all of us social media users, through its “trending topics,” about how happy we can be that equal pay day is celebrated once a year and it’s wonderful. Thanks, Twitter! [Inserts Kanye quote]

I’m going to let you finish but…. why isn’t America doing it? The Washington Post found that  women earn slightly over 3/4  of what men earn and Forbes found that that’s the case for doing the same job…. AS OF 2016. In my opinion, it seems like an opportunity for a half-hearted publicity stunt, for brands and outlets to hashtag #equalpayday in an effort to draw attention to the problem, but how are you going to prevent it from being a 2017 or 2018 recurring statistic?

Audi says it’s making moves. During this year’s Super Bowl, the auto manufacturer seized an opportunity to make a national commitment to give equal pay for equal work. Airing this basic rights commercial in  the midst of a tense political climate, is a big deal.

This commercial isn’t to have women flock to Audi for a job, but to encourage other companies to step the hell up, and of course to inform women who may be interested in luxury car hunting know – “we got your back, ladies,” cough cough. Audi declared it doesn’t need the government to be inspired to change, it made a public promise to – brilliant. Being that Audi didn’t unveil this on an out-of-nowhere social media holiday, but more so on a national platform, makes it an impactful moment to encourage a mass audience of over 111 million viewers, to think about who the women are in their families and be active in their professional advancement one way or another.

 

 

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A New York Gem

My favorite place on the eastern seaboard is Bryant Park. Located a few blocks from Times Square on Avenue of the Americas, Bryant Park, the backyard of the New York Public Library (the lot as a whole is my favorite), is the most peaceful place. During the summer they have a wide range of free and social activities  that manage to occur without disturbing the peace. I encourage you to bring a book and a snack because one could stay here for hours.

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What is the purpose of journalism?

I consider myself a writer. I’ve written for two college newspapers, and two degrees in communication. To me writing is almost like breathing, the same way running is almost like breathing to a runner.  So here I am staring 2017 in the eye, with a fresh scent of a 2016 trauma, trying to physically digest what exactly is journalism?

The American Press Institute says the purpose of journalism (journalists/news reporters) is to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best decisions about their lives, communities, and governments.

However, the fact that Donald J. Trump received over $4 billion in media coverage for a performance, versus the american people receiving necessary information to needed in one of the most critical elections of future, broke my heart and my dreams.

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.” -Denzel Washington

“In our society, now it’s just first — who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true. Just say it, sell it.”

 

Social Media in the San Francisco tech scene

Last month I had the pleasure of being the Social Media Coordinator for DeveloperWeek San Francisco, a tech exhibition produced by DevNetwork and it was suuuper fun.

If you ever have the opportunity to produce an event that’s not you or your gf’s wedding, do it. Event producing is riveting on all levels… the good kind of stress if you will.

I arrived in San Francisco during the first leg of DeveloperWeek’s Hackathon where coders from the bay area get into teams to build an application or service

IBM devweek

using an open source platform from a specific company. The companies sponsor a prize (usually money) for the best use of their platform. It’s intense but the creativity and individuality that perseveres through the challenge is impressive.

The most fun took place at the following Tuesday at DeveloperWeek   on San Francisco’s Embarcadero at PIER 27. It is possibly one of the best venues to throw an event, especially with this kind of crowd. It’s on the water, lots of room to walk around and more than a fair amount of power outlets. The coastal ambience combined with tech savvy professionals gave way to tons of positive exchanges at DeveloperWeek. Interacting with data companies like SmartBear, AeroSpike, Dice Tech Jobs, Cloud Elements, Built.io, Sabre, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft’s powered OneNoteDev, and IBM’s BlueMix crew, was genuinely an honor and a pleasure. Each company’s representative was more than willing to showcase and explain in ‘layman’s’ terms what their unique service offers to the dataverse, not to mention they also hooked me up with tons of tech swag!

While I loved stocking up on t-shirts, glasses cleaning cloths, sunglasses, USB ports and even hot sauce, the interactive Robotics Expo was a big highlight.

Aldebaran designed Nao, a robot that’s be fun to be around (Gangnam’ Style), responds to basic commands, and helps kids learn how to code. And don’t worry, if Nao falls over, which happened in the process of fist bumping of a 7 year-old, Nao gets back up without any assistance. I mean, what is this new friend living amongst us? Whoever he is, he’s smart and can dance, that’s for sure.  https://www.youtube.com/watchv=7G5Q0iwPZWw&w=420&h=315

Also in the Robotics Expo was this really cool interactive 3-D video game looking thing called a haptic device from Force Motion. It’s a joystick setup that allows you to physically feel through a computer. For example the joystick was “a ball” bouncing on surface (or material) similar to a 3-inch layer of jelly grout sealant. You moved the joystick up and down as weighted vibrations pulse on your hand. Taking it a step further, the rep, François, instructed me to push the ball through this surface. Timid and reluctant, I had to apply more force to the ball through the layer. It felt weird bro, but it was really intriguing. –Imagine sitting at a computer, looking at a big latex birthday balloon and squeezing an arcade style joystick until POOF the balloon pops! No loud noise, no latex pieces, just the sensation in your hands. Super creepy but accurate.

The DeveloperWeek conference had a lot of highlights, especially with Hackathon and the inclusion of @GirlDevOrg. From a PR perspective, the companies that were active on social were even more pleasant in person and for an amateur tech lover there were tons of engaging activities. For the advanced level techie, coder, data evangelist, API engineer, the talks and workshops with the industry’s most innovative companies, I’m surewas equally rewarding.

Overall, being the social media manager for a San Francisco’s largest tech event series was completely unforgettable and remarkably engaging.

As always, I have PR advice that is applicable to any business. Whether you are a corporate giant or new startup, make sure your social media coordinator is present at your events. Having your PR rep or social media manager take the time to talk to exhibitors and try the gadgets, or software creates a much more personal and credible experience with your digital audience. Your rep shouldn’t be intimidated to look silly wearing VR goggles or playing the raffle games. Relying solely on preloaded content on scheduling platforms, isn’t going to create an optimizing experience for all of the stakeholders. Your rep should be knowledgeable about industry trends and topics, and be open to following your online community back. Boost social strategy with face-to-face conversations.

Fleishman Hillard attended San Francisco DeveloperWeek and ranked its tweets in order of hashtag popularity. Take a look!

Fleishman Hilard Trend alert DevWeek15(source)

PR 101: Pine Brothers Cough Drops

In the media and marketing industry so many organizations and people want to make it go viral. Whether it’s a meme, a video or a Facebook response, everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame to be visible, catchy and long lasting. Having your media go viral amplifies your product, message and or general likability, further computing into sales and fans.

During the 2014 American Music Awards, Pine Brothers Cough Drops succeeded in making a commercial go viral by partnering with hip hop artist Waka Flocka Flame. The commercial features Flocka in a smokey room talking about how to clear a sore throat.

While the video is funny, suggestive and virtually planned at the appropriate time, I don’t think Pine Brothers was ready.  Disclaimer: I have not tried these cough drops. Reclaimer: I will because of their video. But back to the point, everyone wants this, viral content, the 75% visibility and interest boost, but very few are ready due to one simple task, one very overlooked key piece to the puzzle- a functioning website with accurate links.

Being the tweetaholic I am, i went to tag Pine Brothers in a congratulating tweet and realized their @handle wasn’t there. Being the PR branding aficionado I am, I went to the website to ensure accuracy. I found that the “Twitter” link goes nowhere. The morning after the AMAs, Pine Brothers in trending, notably on Facebook. Pine Brothers trend

If I don’t know Pine Brothers’ Twitter handle, Gawker, Vibe Magazine and Billboard don’t know it, and that’s the kind of publicity brands want- hysterical viral content covered by major media publications. Granted with the right social strategy Pine Brothers can recover and make itself visible on Twitter, but for now the noise is low.

I commend Pine Brothers Cough Drops on their humorous, shareable, courageous, and unique commercial. It did what is was supposed to do. We’re in. (How soft are these softish cough drops?)

From a PR girl, Pine Brothers is far from the only one to have a disengaging website. Inconsistent, low engaging, poor functioning websites are as common as pigeons. At least five of my clients have had glitchy websites and I’m 100% certain I will encounter 50 more glitchy websites within 6 months. Most importantly, it’s not just one person’s fault. Every employee and executive should be held responsible. Why pay for sponsored or spotlighted content only to take a less hands on approach on the back end. If you don’t care about your website, why should your consumers? In the digital era websites are the new black and hyperlinking is easier then buying coffee. It’s not hard but the issue is vastly overlooked. It’s ok nothing to pull your hair out over, but it’s really important. It’s PR 101 -get your website together.

And if you’re thinking about trying to get into the viral media fad, be ready on social.

Examples of viral media: meme, video and Twitter response

Keira Knightley Poses Topless Protesting Photoshopped Breasts

Recently, more and more celebrities have spoken out against being photoshopped. In 2004, Keira Knightly’s breast were photoshopped to appear bigger than what they are in real life. “Most movies reflect only what middle-aged white men want and identify with” said Knightly in an interview with Net-A-Porter.

Keira Knightly also says that she has turned down roles because she thought she was being asked to do things male actors are never asked to do—specifically gratuitous sex and violence. (Time)

In 2014, Knightly set the record straight about her body by proudly being photographed topless for Interview Mag “because it does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are.”

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image by Patrick Demarchelier

TIME

Keira Knightley recently posed topless in Interview Magazine as her own personal protest against photoshopping. Knightley told The Timesshe demanded the (not safe for work) photos be unedited so people could see what she really looked like.

“I’ve had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it’s paparazzi photographers or for film posters,” Knightley said. “That [shoot] was one of the ones where I said: ‘OK, I’m fine doing the topless shot so long as you don’t make them any bigger or retouch.’ Because it does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are.”

(READ: Keira Knightley and 7 Other Celebs Who Protested Photoshop and Won)

Knightley’s figure was controversially distorted on the poster for King Arthur in 2004: Her breasts were edited to look bigger than they are in real life. Though the studio bore the…

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5 Things You Need to Enter the Job Force

You’re looking for a simple and functional way to make the leap into the career industry. Perhaps your only source of media is Facebook, and maybe Instagram. This is not going to work. Five distinguishing and basic steps you can take to polish up your pro act is…

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is incredibly easy to make and the most important step in establishing yourself as someone who is interested in finding a career and networking.

2. A Decent E-Mail Address

You need to have one, maybe even two. If you’ve had your current e-mail address for over 10 years, it’s time to use one that resembles something mature and isn’t accumulated with spam. I strongly do not recommend using your school e-mail for e-mails that are not academic. I suggest some configuration or your name @ Gmail, Yahoo or AOL.

3. A Profile Picture

You can do it.

Choose an appropriate picture with your face that has substantial lighting. It’s not cool to be faceless, you appear sketchy to say the least. Entering the workforce means you’re ready to be noticed, especially as yourself.

4. Content

Whether you upload your resume, get Tumblr, make a Twitter account, or focus on YouTube- pick an outlet to get comfortable with and build it. When the internet was young, I started with Blogspot. If you’re ready to grab life by the horns I highly recommend starting with WordPress. (small tip: don’t be afraid to upgrade to a better color scheme or domain for appx $30)

5. Read the News

Not to be confused with watching the news, talking politics, or just reading what’s trending on Facebook. Read real news, some way, somehow. If you don’t have a twitter, get Feedly. Feedly is a great news aggregate that allows you to choose sources of news and media. You can opt to view a short summary without scrolling through a whole story. Also, don’t just focus on fashion and sports, even if that’s your main go-to. Try to incorporate a little variety. In the professional field, reading the news will help you seem aware, involved and mature. Because you’re well read, you can participate in conversations, if you want. If you don’t read the news, you won’t be able to participate in conversation because you can’t, you’re uniformed.

 start-before-youre-ready

Best of luck!

A night with the cast of ‘Jackass 3-D’

A college reporter’s account of the press screening of Jackass 3-D and the one event that made introduced me to the world of entertainment press.

Viewpoints Online

By Meaghan Cunningham / Asst. Inscape Editor

By Meaghan Cunningham / Asst. Inscape Editor

Through Oct. 8 and 9, Paramount Pictures allowed college press an amazing opportunity to attend the “Jackass 3D” pre-screening and interview the stars of the film.

The crew reunited for their 10 year anniversary to make “Jackass” in 3-D.

The all star cast includes: Bam Margera, Johnny Knoxville, Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, Preston Lacy, Dave England, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Ehren McGhehy and the director Jeff Tremaine along with multiple guest stars.

On Oct. 8, I attended the press pre-screening of the movie at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

At the showing, the audience was provided with complimentary soda and popcorn.

As the theatre quickly filled up everyone was given the option to sit in the regular theater seat or a “D-Box” motion seat. I took the “D-Box” seat and enjoyed the action as if…

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Push For Pizza Is Your App For Food Delivery

And BOOM! So easy teens can do it. I find it ever challenging to decide on apps nowadays. With an iPhone, space may be the equivalent to the holy grail, especially if you’re a music addict. However, app creation and innovation is really relevant. Teenagers, used EVERYONE’s kyptonite, pizza, and combined it with the last thing adults don’t want to do, drive. As a PR aficionado, It’s important to note that these kids didn’t just create an app. They created an app, partnered with a driving service. These days everyone has a bright idea to create an APP or unique service but PR tip 101: Partnering with another service will significantly increase your opportunity for press and success.

Kudos to you Push For Pizza!

Pride

The popular fast food chain, Burger King climbed to the top of Facebook’s Trending column when news of its proud whopper hit San Francisco.

Burger King’s message of love and support is monumental because it was easy and effective. From speculation, I’d say the cost of the whopper wrapper along with any accompanying condiments is less than .05% of all the money they made in that one day. Whopper wrappers = cheap, and cheap means far reach.

Hell, they won my vote and I don’t even eat red meat but next time I happen to pass through good ‘ol BK, i’m going to order. I’m down to order apple sticks or even chicken strips from the king himself.

The magnitude of the BK ‘We’re All The Same on The Inside’ campaign is huge.  In this case you have my favorite form of public relations,  visible grassroots souvenirs. Burger King took the rainbow, the icon of Gay Pride and good things and put it in hands of paraders. WHO DOESN’T WANT A FLAG AT A PARADE?? (insert mic drop)

Burger King took an (1) inexpensive approach, (2) an iconic social symbol and (3) added a clear message, “We are all the same on the inside” and (4) distributed it to a meaningful audience, during the widely popular San Francisco Gay Pride Parade 2014, going from local to nation in hours. I’m not saying you have to tear up like me, but as a public relations critic, this was one of helluva move!

Props to you, Burger King Public Relations!

Best Tips from the 36 Rules of Social Media

          SocialMediaEngagement101

As a public relations and consumer engagement semi-pro afficionado, I’ve found everything in this graphic to be 99.9% accurate. I don’t agree with number 30. I have personally seen a VERY large scale social media campaign/contest that has resulted in consistent engagement from that brand’s fans over several months. The campaign also increase page likes by about 33%. The majority of this post is spot on and every marketing, PR professional and business owner should be aware of the advice given in the photo.

My top 3 favorite tips from this post are:

18. “Don’t make people do X,Y and Z. Stick with X.”

(it’s 1000% dis-engaging and no one likes it.)

1. “If all you do is respond to complaints, that’s all people will send you.”

27. “Don’t use ads to prop up boring content, use ads to accelerate successful content.”

If you have social media advice or pointers, always feel free to share! 🙂

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The Oscars 2014

Everyone is buzzing about the Academy Awards, or the interchangeable title, the Oscars 2014. There’s talk of pizza, Pharrell Williams and Arby’s, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, and who could forget the lovely Ellen DeGeneres.

The webisphere is also buzzing about the Mexican born Kenyan native Lupita Nyong’o. Last night she won Best Supporting Actress in “12 Years A Slave.” Her emotional touch in her acceptance speech along with her undeniable Cinderella-like radience stood out.  Nyong’o’s grace and encouraging words landed her not only an academy award moment, but a aura that has resonated with African Americans and her peers . 

86th Annual Academy Awards - Show

Another outstanding and buzz-worthy moment from the Oscars is Pharrell Williams and Arby’s tweets. I’m not a red meat consumer per se however, Arby’s and Wendy’s have caught my “brands who stand out” creative eye.

Altogether, the Oscars or the Academy Awards, (your choice), were so tasteful and elegant. “Gravity,” won more awards than necessary but i’ll be honest I haven’t seen it, but more than 4 awards is pushing it in my book. However, with so much effortless fun happening, the Oscars were truly a joy to watch and experience.

For the twitterverse, Ellen to posting a selfie, although technically I feel it’s 1/2 Bradley Copper’s, the Oscars were able to make their more than viral social media moment that more intimate.

Ellen's Selfie

For me, Steve McQueen also winning the award for best picture helps connect the whole “dream big” theme that was so recurring Sunday night. While the biggest award winners of the Oscars are probably not a secret, if you haven’t watched them and have the ability to do so, do it. They’re a little more colorful this time around.

STEVEmcqueen

“As you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.” –Jared Leto