Chris Rock For the Win: Oscars 2016

I think Chris Rock just became a hero.

Here it is the biggest night in Hollywood, glitz, glam and the truths of #OscarsSoWhite, then consequently #HollywoodSoWhite, has gained national attention and social momentum. In the crux of the hype? The host.

After a particularly painful past few years of people of color being subjects of violent police brutality and judicial injustice and two weeks after Beyonce’s (pro-black not anti-police) Super Bowl performance; a black Chris Rock is given the mic to open a legendary televised all-white award ceremony, in a predominantly all-white room and address the concerns of a famous and non-famous mourning black community WHILE hosting a program that at the end of the day needs to make its ratings. Chris Rock had a huge responsibility on his shoulders this Oscars around.

The articles were out, “The Oscars place all hope on Chris” etc. etc. etc.

CR Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 10.55.19 PM.pngChris Rock screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 10.55.45 PM.png(Google Screenshots taken 02.28.17)

My thoughts? -What the hell are they hoping for? The damage is done, the secret’s out. “You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” as my professor says.

To top it off, out of all people? Chris Rock. Gag me.

Admittedly, Kevin Hart would be a worst host for this, but they couldn’t get someone else?

John Legend has a soon-to-be-dad glow so that’s a no go. Will Smith, well with Jada somewhat leading the celebrity Oscar boycott, Will’s probably not a good idea.…. Who else? Common brings a little too much of something, wonderful man – but he’s has an air that white Hollywood might not be feeling. Bernie Mac, rest his soul, may have been a great option.

Ok ok ok… The Academy needed someone strong, serious, and seasoned but really funny – Chris Rock FTW. However, he doesn’t really pull me to the screen. I like him, he’s a go-with-the-script kind of guy. Animated but not that bold.

Then I read a tweet, or the tweet read me?


Wow, that’s it. Granted, Chris Rock’s unusual semi-silence and ABC’s constant repeat promo lead me to believe there may be something more in-store but it just didn’t occur to me that that’s what every one of us (the hurting, the uncertain, those seeking light) wanted. I wanted him to address the elephant in the room. So at 20:28 I tuned in to The Oscars. “Lights, camera, action” and five, four, three, two…..” It was like I could feel the jitters of Chris Rock’s gut as the pre-roll sizzle reel ended.

Out walks Chris.

click link and scroll down –

I felt saved. I felt vindicated in a sense that Chris Rock made that opening work in ways no one else ever would. He had poise, delivery, personality, humor, and history. But most importantly, he was able to communicate to his peers and The Academy emotion and a call to action.

On the behalf of  The Academy, pinning all hope on Chris Rock, is weak and unrealistic. Take some responsibility for the decisions that were made to exclude minorities in this production. Clearly this has been thought out over the course of six decades.

However, I look forward to the changes that have been promised. Tonight’s intro was a moment I felt a part of and I thank Chris Rock for making that happen and making it real. Oscars 2017 be ready.

***Disclaimer: I wish I could embed the video but The Oscars made the video private or n/a on YouTube (so you have to watch in on their site with their advertisements and WordPress doesn’t allow for embeded codes from other sites***




Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

On Oct 12, 2015 it is to my great knowledge that Indigenous Peoples Day is taking momentum. Complex Magazine reports that “Portland, OR – Lawrence, KS – St. Paul, MN – Bexar County, TX – Anadarko, OK – Olympia, WA – Alpena, MI and Carrboro, NC” have all joined in the new celebration of Natives, instead of celebrating the man who is single handedly responsible for their genocide.

Sarah Adams Cornell, a Native American advocate, pleaded to Oklahoma City Council early September- “the fact that our country, our state and our city celebrate this holiday [Columbus Day] around this man who murdered and enslaved and raped indigenous people and decimated an entire population, is something I’ve struggled with for a long time.”

You’re not alone, Sarah.

Best laid out in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, How is Columbus Day still a thing?

image source: The Washington Post

Twitter love:

Music Monday: Micah Sherman, Oliver Schmitz and Deniz Reno- Bang Boom

This music Monday is all about Bang Boom, a brand new deep house and nudisco collab. Electronic violinist Micah Sherman and Barcelona DJ Oliver Schmitz teamed up with Canadian singer and songwriter Deniz Reno to produce the perfect mix of sultry vocals and deep house. Reno wrote both sets of lyrics, including a track called Love Crime, and the vocal melodies in one afternoon. “I’ve never worked so fast before, but it kind of just came together, it felt right ” says Reno. After its production, Bang Boom was given a special nudisco remix by fellow Indian Tones artist Dragon Suplex. Check it out!

Deniz Reno hit the dance music scene two years when her and Matvey Emerson created “Higher” which was released by Armada Music in 2013. If you want to hear more, you can find the whole Bang Boom EP on Beatport. Photo credit: Indiana Tones Soundcloud

Trance Tuesday: Let the Light Shine In Darren Tate and Jono Grant (Tiesto remix)

If you’re like me and have been in the techno-trance-dance music scene for at least 9 years, then you know the term EDM masks what used to be a collection of highly crafted music.

Tiesto, one of underground dance music’s patriarchs, helped foster trance music. Good trance music. Some of the best actually. Among this patriarchal group is Armin Van Buuren, Paul Oakenfold, William Orbit, Moby, John Dahlback and if the teenie boppers ever get over the IDGAF-persona of Deadmua5, they’d learn he had a pretty damn good trance album that marked the end of one era and the beginning of another.

The scene that we had formed and cultivated and protected, unexpectedly disappeared and took a catapult in to mainstream radio around 2012 and got converted into EDM. I love EDM but it gave way to unoriginality and minimum diversity. Trance will forever be in my heart. If you’re under 22, chances are you don’t know or care about what was Trance was BUT if you find yourself amongst the veterans of dance music culture :: cough cough:: (26 year-old-me), I invite you to listen and share.

Welcome to Trance Tuesday. My nostalgic release of good music throwbacks. Enjoy!

Let the Light Shine In Darren Tate and Jono Grant (Tiesto remix)

Photo Credit: Armada Music

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,, 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.

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)

Jourdan Dunn is the First Black Model to Cover British Vogue in 12 Years


Jourdan_1 Photo: Wenn

Let’s hope this is a sign of good things to come in 2015: London-born Jourdan Dunn just announced via Instagram that she scored the February 2015 cover of British Vogue.

MORE: Barely Any Magazine Covers Featured Minority Women In 2014

The significance? This will make her the first black model to score a solo cover in over 12 years, the last being Naomi Campbell in 2002.

“I’m so Happy to finally say I’M ON THE COVER OF BRITISH VOGUE!!!” she wrote alongside a picture of the cover, on Instagram.

MORE: 30 Black Models Who Made History

The cover announcement comes just weeks after The Fashion Spot called out a variety of major women’s magazines for failing to feature a diverse group of women on its covers over the last year, particularly signaling out British Vogue.

Dunn has been vocal about racism in the fashion industry in…

View original post 102 more words

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.”


image by Patrick Demarchelier


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…

View original post 303 more words

Best Nightclubs in NYC

In February 2011, I moved back to The Big Apple. Within eight months, I was introduced to New York nightlife promoter style and have not looked back since. Through my intermediate socialite lifestyle, I have found these clubs are the Top 6 nightclubs to party at in NYC.

1. Avenue

Avenue nightclub plays great music. It’s a well-crafted mix of rap and dance music a consistent flow of club bangers on the track. The only issue: Avenue doesn’t have a “dance floor.” It’s a table club with no room to just go dance it out. It’s still fun but you need to be really pretty/sincere, on the list, or ready to by a table.

Bonus: If you’re lucky, you may get punched by Lindsay Lohan.

2. PhD in Dream Hotel Downtown

PH-D is aesthetically the best club and the DJ is usually spinning something super trendy and going hard. If you’re looking for a “happening” club Thursday-Saturday (Sunday afternoons in the summer) that is also spacious, PhD is a semi-exclusive spot that is always a good time.

Bonus: It has an awesome roof top view of the Empire State Building.

3. Marquee NY (featured image)

Marquee nightclub is an upscale interesting and usually houses big name dance DJs when they’re in town. It’s one of those clubs that “pops off” at a later time, approximatelyMarqueeNY  1 a.m. ish. The music caters more to house and electronic dance music, and has a pretty eccentric crowd. Marquee even has a gay night! Straight or gay this vibrant club comes with occasional costumes – it’s so retro underground but so New York Hot Spot. On a side note, the drinks here are over $17 so for guys that may be presented with a bar tab type deal and your girlfriend for free, take it.

Photo by: Meagan K. Cunningham

4. Lavo

Lavo NY is the best dinner and nightclub combo I’ll probably ever experience in New York.  (aside from Hurricane Club ::tear::.)

For the nightlife scene, Lavo is super glam chic in decor and the music is most likely on point and it gets better as the night goes on. Since 2014 the club has changed a little, skewing a little bit more towards a low-key celebrity crowd. At times, it serves as  a DJ venue with models and Heidi Klum throws her annual Halloween party there. Ladies, If you want to get in there without a table or an invite, I suggest a strappy dress, high heels, a big smile and a pretty girlfriend. It can be done.

Or, I recommend at least having dinner there. The fried oreos are delicous and so is their penne pasta.

5. DL (Delancey & Ludlow)

This is the spot to take your friends for a carefree fun night. DL is three levels. First floor is a restaurant/bar, second floor has a hip-hop feel and the third floor is Top 40 and dance. The door is fairly easy for girls and usualy $20/$30 for men. It’s New York, you still better look hott. DL also serves food and brunch.

(They’re Chicken Meatballs are delicious and I think the DL serves food until 12 am)

6. 1Oak NY

Also known as One of A Kind, this hotspot really gets going after 1:30 a.m. and you either need to be famous or have a table to get in here. 1Oak’s music choice is mainly hip-hop, rap and some EDM. It is thee club to turn up in or go H.A.M. I woke up in a new Bugatti.

7. Riff Raffs

Riff Raffs, is a trendy  upscale nightclub that plays a variety of music. If you’re lucky you’ll get EDM but it’s mostly a mix of radio hits. A bonus is that tt’s not an overcrowded spot to go to but you should get there before 11:30. For single girls, it s pretty easy to join a table for this club. Check Instagram.

Ladies, same story: High heels, contoured makeup, hair down, bring a gf. Also if it’s your first time at Riff Raffs,  ask the bartender for makeup!

Wherever you go, have fun, smile and if no one is buying you drinks, buy them yourself! If you have any nightlife suggestions tweet me @MeaganKristenC or leave a comment!

101 Things I Will Teach my Daughter

“Find friends who are ok with holding your hair back & Be so passionate that people think you might be a little insane.”

Day dreaming in ink


  1. The most beautiful thing you can do is smile.
  2. Embrace whatever genre of music you enjoy listening to. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s “not music.”
  3. But just know there will never be a better song than “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.
  4. It’s ok to think another woman is beautiful.
  5. Don’t be catty to other women. You’ll need them when we all overthrow the world together.
  6. Don’t let any man convince you that he is powerful enough to change you.
  7. Even if he bought you dinner, you owe him nothing. 
  8. The amount of pride you feel when you look good in your bikini for 20 minutes is far less than the happiness Taco Bell can bring you. I promise.
  9. Develop a lust to see the world around you.
  10. It’s ok if you don’t want to play princess or put on makeup.
  11. But it’s ok if you do, too.

View original post 671 more words

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.


Best of luck!