If you like it then you should put a RIBBON on it

In a previous post, I talked about how being a public relations professional helps me think on my feet to work around threats.

In conducting and updating my SWOT analysis for this wedding, one of the opportunities for the bridal party turned into a serious threat:

The bridesmaid dresses didn’t fit 40% of the bridal party!

 

Now with less than 30 days to the wedding, I had to think fast to avoid raising the bride’s stress levels. Well it turns out my solution worked!

Here is how I turned an original opportunity that changed to a threat back to another opportunity…and technically into a strength.

 

My wonderful Etsy solution!

The bridesmaid dresses are one of the most expensive items to acquire for the wedding.  Normally this would entail the bridal party to go dress shopping and place the dress on order.  In this particular instance, we decided to go the least expensive route and find a dress on a website.  Pretty dress but to our disbelief, the FIT didn’t work out for our curvaceous features.  We took the risk and lost.

It’s now less than 30 days to the wedding.  There was no way we could order dress to have them arrive in time and even if they did, the fit out would not be favorable.  With two bridesmaids not being able to fasten the hooks, I decided to throw a ribbon on it and have all the bridesmaids wear a ribbon around their waist to cover the hooks.

It was my job to break the news to the bride but I had to make sure I present it in a way that would ease her worries.  The sandwich method helped (start good, drop the bad, top it off with good):

  1. Complimented the beauty of the dress
  2. State that the dress could not be secured for a couple of bridesmaids due to the tight fit
  3. Offered a solution that would solve any issues AND compliment the colors of the wedding

After having the bride check with her wedding planner, the ribbon worked and would not clash with any other decor. Whew, crisis averted.  I Pope’ed it!  This ribbon not only solves a problem but includes the bride’s favor color more in her wedding vision.

Anyone can complain and pout but the resilient figure out a way to make it happen.  Most entrepreneurs push and strive to see their vision come to life so get out there and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

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How Alternative Facts can Question your Credibility

The 45th president of the United States was inaugurated on January 20, 2017.  This is the traditional passing of the torch from the current president to the president-elect.  One this cold, and rainy day President Obama handed off this role after eight years.

A viral picture of the inauguration crowd from 2009 to 2017 has gone viral.  It shows what appear to be a smaller crowd at Trump’s inauguration compared to Obama’s from 2009.

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Photo courtesy of The New York Times

Due to the significant attendance, President Trump decided to have Press Secretary Spicer hold a press conference.  During this press conference, Spicer attacked the media for reporting on inaccurate attendance information.  He cited metro usage and infrastructural issues during this day however it appears that his facts and figures were off.

According to PolitiFact, an un-biased  website dedicated to fact-checking, the Truth-o-meter read Spicer’s statements at the press conference were so wrong that his pants were on fire.

To make matters worse, counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd. Going back and forth with Todd she stated something that would turn the same situation viral again via memes.  She stated, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts,”

Todd then informed her that “alternative facts are not facts, they’re falsehoods.”  Conway then tried to pivot from the issue mentioning how Todd’s chuckle was symbolic of how the media has treated the Trump administration.

What does this tell us?

  • Make sure you’re facts are just that, FACTS. The word fact should not need an adjective in front of it to be true, unless you’re stating the CORRECT facts to fix reported falsehoods.
  • Make sure your entire team is aware of the response that will be issued so that no one will question your statement’s accuracy
  • Even if you pointed out a lie, you have to refrain from ridicule. Although Todd was right to hold Conway accountable for the falsehood, his chuckle was the ticket for Conway to use against that media outlet.  Although it is wrong, and Trump and his team have done it before, the press team at the White House could refuse to answer any future questions from any reporter from NBC due to the exchange between Todd and Conway.

Having the CORRECT facts can avoid any media blunders and future issues that derive from said blunder.  How do you think Trump’s press secretary and office can recover from the “alternative facts” viral statement?

Diversify Your Abilities to Multiply Your Income: The brief Kevin Hart review

Forbes has announced that after ten years, Jerry Seinfield is no longer the highest paid comedian. The newest comedian to claim the title in 2016: Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart’s fame has increased drastically just over the last five years alone. From comedy shows and tours to movies, this man knows no limits. He is the first comedian to sell out arenas such as Madison Square Garden.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 06:  Actor Kevin Hart attends the premiere of "The Wedding Ringer" at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 6, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 06: Actor Kevin Hart attends the premiere of “The Wedding Ringer” at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 6, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Don’t get it twisted, Kevin has been grinding for years. Even with his television and film debut in 2002, his talents slowly progressed over the years into more prominent support AND leading roles. He isn’t afraid to take risks as long as he stayed working. His resume has credits from every year since 2002 with no gaps! Instead of taking a break in between projects, Hart works as if he is still struggling and taking mini-vacations along the way.
A great quote to keep in mind about Hart’s mentality: “Everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to do the work.” This can be seen on his twitter profile and also is featured as a chant with his opening acts while on tour on many of his comedy specials now on DVD.

His latest venture: KEVMOJI by Kevin Hart. YES! This man is now following the steps of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian to release an app of Kevin Hart emojis, or image stickers, to use when texting. The app sells for $1.99. The KEVMOJI app rose to the number 1 app in iTunes, 5 hours after it was released. The rising mogul featured a pinned tweet with a link to download the app on his Twitter profile.  I wonder if David Beckham found Hart as funny as I did during this campaign shoot for H&M.

Kevin Hart is officially everywhere and he shows no signs of slowing down nor being limited. Applying this type of creativity and work ethic can be very beneficial to other brands. Kevin Hart’s new movie “What Now” is currently playing in theaters, which was released October 14, 2016. The comedian is currently filming the remake of “Jumanji” and is being consider of playing Santa Clause in “Dashing through the Snow” a Disney Christmas comedy.

Whether it’s collaborating with other brands or influencers to generate brand awareness, having a “no-limit” mentality proves to generate desired results, and revenue as seen by Hart, if used effectively.

The ONE Thing Every Brand Needs to be Successful

If you don’t know by now from some of my posts, I’m a huge Beyoncé fan.  Beyoncé made headlines soon after her 35th birthday for postponing one of her shows from her Formation world tour per doctor’s orders. Unfortunately, thousands of fans were affected in the process. The songstress just came off the first leg of her Formation world tour with little rest. In addition to her multi-city stops in her second leg, she schedule two award show performances: one at the 2016 BET Awards and her most recent at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Courtesy of Beyonce and Parkwood Entertainment via Billboard.com

As Beyoncé accepted her award for Video of the Year for her music video “Formation” which dropped back in February, she struggled to keep a steady tone as she spoke. She just gave the performance of her life and it is obvious during her acceptance speech that her vocal chords were exhausted. It sounded like she was beginning losing her voice. It shouldn’t have come as no surprise her singing abilities for the MetLife Stadium concert in New Jersey would have been deeply impacted as well as the remaining shows to soon follow after, had she now decided to postpone her show.

Touring for months on end can take its toll on a performer. Not being able to do your job really sucks and the songstress made sure she thanked her fans for their patience via her Instagram profile.

Janet Jackson is another artist who was ordered to postpone her recent tour per doctor’s orders. The singer is now pregnant with her first child, at the age of 49. Getting pregnant itself is a miracle, especially after a certain age. It was important for her and her husband to start a family and her body doesn’t need the added stress.

Sir Richard Branson takes a holiday every August to ensure health and happiness. The billionaire offers unlimited vacation to his employees and believes if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.

From a 2014 survey of over 1,000 employed people, 41% do not plan on using all of their vacation time. The top 5 reasons people leave vacation days unused:

  1. Fear of returning to a mountain of work (40%)
  2. The belief that nobody else can do the job (35%)
  3. Inability to afford taking time off (33%)
  4. Fear of being seen as replaceable (22%)
  5. To show greater dedication to the company and the job (28%)

America has fostered a workaholic culture; some to show their dedication while others feel that no one can adequately aid in their duties if an issue arise that they’re not there to solve themselves. Whether you feel pressured to “show commitment” or you can’t afford to take off, you must step away for your own sake. Stress can cause burnout and resentment towards your daily duties. Returning from even a brief leave of absence can make you feel refreshed with a new view of how to execute the things you need to do.

Crisis Communication: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Edition

Could anything have been done differently?

Image Courtesy of Samsung.com
Image Courtesy of Samsung.com

Samsung has issued a global recall on their Galaxy Note 7 cellular devices due to a battery cell issue on September 2, 2016. The model uses lithium-ion battery packs for power. The device can potentially blow up while charging. The number of exploding phones have doubled since the recall was issued by the company. Whether it’s a car or house fire, continued use of the phone can lead to extreme consequences.

This is very serious issue for the past couple of weeks and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has yet to issue an official recall. Many other companies are not taking that risk in the meantime. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented restrictions for the Galaxy Note 7’s; several airlines has warned customers to power down before boarding. The phones cannot even be charged during flight and in some cases, the phones are not allowed on the plane at all. New York’s MTA has advised to power down phones before entering the bus or subway. No one wants to worry about a phone blowing up on a plane in a subway, where your risk for being affected increases greatly.

Per the CPSC agency they’re waiting to determine whether a replacement Note 7 is an acceptable remedy. Meanwhile, people are still using their Note 7’s and potentially risking not only their lives but the well-being of others in the process. Unfortunately for Samsung, it’s costing them millions as well brand loyalist in the process. Mind you, the CPSC took months to recall hover boards due to the same reason, complications from the infamous lithium-ion battery overheating.

Samsung has advised to power down their Note 7’s until a replacement is issued. Many depend on their devices to run their business. Going without a phone or going with a loaner phone case cost businesses several thousand dollars due to the time it takes to not only switching phones from the faulty Note 7, but to adjust using another loaner phone only to get another Note 7, if desired.

What do you think Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission could have done differently?

A Publicist working in Supply Chain Management

For over three years, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working in and learning about the supply chain and food distribution industry, particularly when it comes to managing client accounts. There are so many variables that go into managing a client’s account, particularly when one is handling something as sensitive as food. Everything in the food supply chain industry works simultaneously from price changes to managing food items during a promotion. Each account is different so submitting such things as price changes to clients will vary between clients.

I’m sure no matter what industry, every account-facing company is different. Each company has their own standard operating procedures (SOPs) for their clients. How one goes about managing and executing the tactics for a client however is completely up to the account manager and the client’s preference. This resembles a lot like a publicist and their clients. A publicist’s musician client may not be available to do early morning interviews as they spend all night in the studio so it may be better to schedule an exclusive interview or a story to make the evening news. A client may have an upcoming promotion within the next couple of months that you have to prepare for now in order to ensure the entire supply chain will be logistically satisfied.

During the time from when you’re aware of an upcoming event, as an account manager I’ve applied my publicist skills many times.

checklist-2

Research

As a publicist, a good amount of research is needed to ensure a smooth transition to meet a client’s deadline. You don’t want to pitch your client’s story to the wrong reporter. Normally for our re-distribution clients, I research previous promotions from this time last year to:

  • see what we did
  • how we did it
  • issues that we ran into
  • what factored into this promotion (seasonal changes in food items, price changes, changes internally and changes within the client’s company)
  • to whom do we communicate these upcoming factors
  • measure compliance

Plan

The client normally has deadlines to have the product in the stores and in the distribution centers. From there I work on internal deadlines. This ranges from lead times from the supplier, transit times to and from our warehouses and order dates from the distribution centers. From setting internal deadlines to respected departments, I can estimate when we expect to have product to each distribution center and verify if we can meet the client’s deadline or if other solutions are needed. PR clients need careful planning to ensure the tactics and goals of a campaign align with your client’s brand or message.

Measure

Once the product is received in and shipped out to the distribution centers, we follow up with the client to provide daily/weekly/monthly reports on what was shipped. We also note any issues that we ran into to aid the client in future promotions. There was once promotion where one distribution center requested more cases of a product than what they were meant to receive, resulting in the client not factoring in new stores that were recently added into the supply chain. It is vital to keep track of any tangible assets on behalf of the client such as freebies for journalists or attendees of your client’s events such as an item launch or a conference where several parties get the opportunity to connect and build their own relationships.

Key Take away:

Skills are transferrable.  Apply them appropriately.  Oprah Winfrey once said “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” Clients notice how much work you put into a project and it should come as no surprise that they will make sure to count on your proactive strategies the next time around.  Make sure you’re doing the best now not only for your clients and their brands, but for yourself as well.

ToD Review: WEST x Ferris Bueller

Love it when North Carolina artists receive the recognition they deserve. The album is fire! #NCstandup #704

Touch of Daz

wst12

NC native, Ferris Bueller, tells a tale of a gateway out of the streets through music on his newest project, WEST. The album’s concept is centered around the acronym W.E.S.T. which stands for “We Eventually Shine Through”. Taken from real life scenarios that he’s personally experienced or seen, this is an album that gives motivation to anyone trying to make it. It starts out dark and gloomy with “Trouble” but then immediately goes to stories of his love life. I’m feeling the Usher sample of “Nice and Slow” on “Tell Me” which is a good break from the urban setting that Bueller paints vividly on this project. Lyrics such as “Getting from the corner to the corner office” on “Criminal Minded II”, lets you know that Bueller only wants him and his homies to be the best in life and have their own. You can hear his ego come through…

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