The “Beyoncé” of Basketball, For Now

StephCurry
Image Courtesy of Stephen Curry’s Twitter Profile Picture

 

My husband and I were shopping on vacation. Outside a shoe store were samples of the shoes they were selling inside the store. At almost every shoe store there was the blue/white/gold Under Armour® Men’s Curry shoe. After seeing this advertised at the tenth shoe store, we walked passed it only to see a huge wall ad of Steph Curry himself in uniform and a picture of the very same shoe. “In the second quarter of 2015, during the same time frame when Curry won MVP and the Warriors won the title, Under Armour’s basketball shoe sales went bonkers with sales growing by 754% in that category.” (Business Insider, August 2015).

I never took considerable notice before because I’m not a huge basketball fan however brands are willing to jump on the next “IT” player to make their own shoes/sports apparel. Now that I think about it there have been several predecessors before Curry to get their own shoe: Kevin Durant’s Nike KD’s, Penny Hardaway’s Foamposites, Shaquille O’Neal’s Reebok Shaq Attacks, Kobe Bryant’s Adidas KB8 and of course the many, many styles of Michael Jordan’s Nike Air Jordan’s; just to name a few.

All of these current/former players are, or were at some point, star players in the NBA. Some were even featured multiple times with several SKUs of shoes (i.e. Michael Jordan). They’ve set records and done it in their own style, leading shoe brands to take notice. Who wouldn’t want their shoe to be worn by the hottest/highest scoring MVP player in the league, on television?! Feet are a major ad space for a professional athlete, and rightfully so as these sponsorships are costing companies millions for a star player to be the face of a brand.

Brands will spend major dollars on other advertising avenues to make sure they make millions: billboards, TV, radio, magazines, blogs, etc. Everyone brand wants to top the Nike Air Jordan’s and Nike has to consistently stay relevant with their releases. Now that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavilers are the latest champions, we may be expecting a different shoe on the market from one of the stars on that team.

I must give credit to my husband for coming up with the title of this blog.  Thanks D 🙂

The Beyoncé Brand serves “Lemonade” as we’re about to DIE of Thirst!

Yes, another post about Beyoncé but who can blame me?! She is a marketing genius!

Lemonade
Photo courtesy of Genius.com

 

Everyone was tuned into HBO for the world premiere of Beyoncé’s expected album “Lemonade.” After she dropped her single and video for “Formation” right before her Super Bowl 50 performance with Cold Play and Bruno Mars, the “Beyhive” knew she had something special in the works. Who knew she would have a Formation tour but everyone knew then that she has an album ready to share with the world. What artist can sell out a world tour prior to even dropping the album?!

Due to her controversial performance paying homage to the Black Panther Party to emphasize freedom from oppression of any form, she instantly gained so much publicity that you had no choice but to try to go to her concert to see if you can get answers (or an apology depending on if you want to #boycottbeyonce)…but to go to a concert and not know any lyrics? That’s why when Beyoncé hinted at her next project, “Lemonade” she knew we’d drink it all up!

Beyoncé famously doesn’t give interviews any longer, with the exception much to my surprise with her recent Elle magazine cover feature. Her music conveys relationship infidelities and trust issues and many are speculating if they are based on fact or fiction.

What I love about Beyoncé’s music is that you’ll never get the true answer because her lyrics have depth, and can mean more than one thing. Not only does her lyrics have controversy, we all know so does her life. Everyone remembers the infamous elevator footage of her sister, Solange, attacking her husband, Jay-Z. The family has issued a bland statement asking the public to respect their privacy, without offering any answers. She has also had previous issues with her father and her father has had infidelity issues of his own….maybe some of the lyrics are written in a different perspective.

Either way, good or bad, you can’t go a week without seeing Beyoncé in the news. She keeps a publicist to work with creative ways to distribute her message rather than the traditional way we’re all use to. From surprise albums to surprise movies and world tours, the Beyoncé brand is never predictable. Maybe her next album will be a full-on Tony award-winning production on Broadway!

FYI as an active member of the Beyhive, I will be attending her Raleigh, NC show tonight!  What do you love about Beyoncé’s marketing tactics?

Motherhood and PR Part 2: Collaboration is give and take

Before February 24, 2016 I was on my own time. I did things when I wanted to do them. Now that I have a baby girl, my personal time is limited after working 8 hours, after the house is clean and once my husband isn’t working on one of his multiple companies (having multiple streams of income definitely helps with a newborn). Some things are unavoidable such as when the baby has to eat and needs a diaper change. This can be at three in the afternoon AND three in the morning with several diaper changes and feedings in between.

Knowing newborns schedules are different than their parents, the parents can better prepare for these anticipated needs of the child, especially at night. One example: breastfeeding moms could, if they prefer, pump during the day and have a safety stock of milk ready to heat up in the middle of the night so that either mom or dad could bottle-feed baby.

Publicist can also anticipate and prepare for their clients such as capitalizing off of certain events. A good example of this can be if a publicist has a musician as a client attending an awards show. The publicist could work their magic and try to get their clients featured on radio before the show and line up interviews during the red carpet walk.

Happy fashion designer talking phone in office
Photo courtesy of careersinmusic.com

Unfortunately everything cannot be anticipated such as a client losing their cool. Publicists should always prepare for a crisis to be ready to respond accordingly. Take Chris Brown for example; the R&B singer has been in and out of trouble since he was convicted to assault against his former girlfriend Rihanna. Chris Brown likes to vent/share his opinions on his social media accounts about things that he feels he “knows” a lot about … just because he has been in a sticky situation or two before. His publicist, if he has one, will have to deal with the fallout.

Babies are just as unpredictable as their little immune systems make them vulnerable to getting sick very easily. It is important for parents to not only prepare to prevent this from happening, but stop it from getting worse. Keeping the child from having sick visitors or giving the child prescribed medicine from their pediatricians are examples of unplanned things parents must do for their child.

All-nighters are not limited to students of higher education. You can give babies and clients all the prep you may anticipate but they will take up a lot of your time with their unpredictability as well. Knowing about this give and take will help you get through the hard times…as it is not a matter of if they will happen, but when.

Red Lobster Fumbles their Publicity Opportunity

Once again I’m talking about Beyoncé (I promise this post will be shorter!) As you may have heard, Beyoncé released a new song and video titled “Formation.” The artist doesn’t hold back in her lyrics or her visual effects in her video.

One very surprising line that Beyoncé featured in the song had people’s mouths wide-open. The very shocking lyrics are “When he F^@K me good, I take his a$$ to Red Lobster.” Talk about keeping private life confidential!

Many were waiting to see how Red Lobster would respond. It took hours for their social media team to come up with this response:

Red Lobster screenshot

Even though their sales have increased 33% since the song was released 3 days ago, many truly believe that Red Lobster missed the opportunity to do more with this free publicity. If you recall back in 2013, when Beyoncé headlined the Pepsi half-time show, the stadium’s lights were blown after her performance. It took a few minutes for the game to resume but nowhere near long enough for Oreo’s social media team to use that moment with what I believe is the cleverest tweet they could have done in that moment:

oreo 2013.png

 

They won Twitter and the Super Bowl that night!

Key Takeaway: Make sure your social media and graphics team are quick on their feet, especially during major televised events. You never know when you will have the opportunity to capitalize off free publicity. Peyton Manning sure was ready to drink a lot of Budweiser after the Broncos won Super Bowl 50. Keep in mind a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl ran advertisers $5 million dollars and Budweiser scored big by having Manning mention it is TWO separate post-game interviews. According to Market Watch, “just one mention by Manning was worth about $1.6 million for Budweiser.”

Oh the joys of public relations!  Do you think Red Lobster fumbled their opportunity?

Beyonce Stands for Freedom, in ALL Forms

beyonce-dancers-superbowl-halftime-show-black-panthers-2016
Photo credit: Beyoncé.com

 

Post Michael Jackson, Beyoncé may very well be the greatest entertainer of our time. She is an amazing singer, actress, dancer, song writer, and entrepreneur.  Universities have taken to create entire semester-long courses surrounding Beyoncé’s business decisions.  There is little that she can’t do.  She validates this in her new song, “Formation” with the lyrics “I see it, I want itI stunt, yeah, little hornet. I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it.”  She is the epitome of hard AND smart work.

History indicated that she has a knack for surprising her fans. Beyoncé announced the Mrs. Carter World tour after her Super Bowl performance back in 2013. While touring, she secretly recorded songs and music videos leading to her digital drop later that year in December.  Beyoncé’s self-titled album went platinum with no promotion, due in part to her loyal fan base.

She has been relatively quiet on social media since the New Year, which means that she is been either working, taking a break, or both possibly. On Saturday, February 6th she dropped a new song and video titled “Formation”, a day prior to her scheduled guest appearance during Cold Play’s Super Bowl 50 Half-time Performance, sponsored by Pepsi.

Going back to the surprise element, Beyoncé’s new song “Formation” featured lyrics regarding her past, up-bring, and how she is completely comfortable with her life and the decisions she has made. She consistently faces negative comments about her daughter’s hair styles as well as her speech.  Beyoncé is from Texas and if you pay attention to previous interviews, you can tell that she tries very hard to control her dialect due to societal and business pressures. She is also showing signs for taking a political stance against the poor treatment of the African American community from society.

The thing is…may none-African Americans don’t see it this way. Some, who can’t fathom the struggle of the African American community, see her as being “anti-police” because she sunk a police car in her “Formation” music video.  Being an artist gives her the ability to express her art and platform in deeper ways than face value.  Beyoncé’s video is about being a care-free person and being able to live your life like your neighboring counterparts, without fear of being placed in a category based on their outward appearance.  We also must confront and bring to light injustice as it happens which is what Beyoncé did in her “Formation” video.  Do you really think Kanye West’s remark about former President George Bush not caring about black people was a random, irrational statement…or a true belief within that man that New Orleans was not treated with the priority it deserved after Katrina.  Don’t get me wrong I’m sure many were surprised he actually made that statement on live TV, but it validated what many people thought about how the government handled the situation.  New Orleans, especially the districts populated mainly by African Americans, is forever changed and may not ever go back to what it was before Katrina struck.

She doesn’t advocate “anti-police” but she does certain promotion “pro-black”: meaning that it is ok for the African American community to be themselves, to accept themselves and to have others accept them without conformation. Unfortunately, the African American community deals with biased people, who are ignorant to reality, (good example: When the police were called, by white neighbors, because some teenagers, who were not white, were being “loud” playing basketball outside.)  The good outcome about this was that not only did the cop decided to brush off the complaint and join the game; he was able to bring NBA legend Shaq to play with the next time.

Other protesters against Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance and new video have stated she promotes capitalism and materialism. Her lyrics in the “Formation” song at the end say, “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”  Beyoncé didn’t invent capitalism nor did she invent the rules of the game. Those who have historically have had powerful roles in charge of laws and businesses are now bashing her for trying to “play the game” and be economically stable, and that seems counter-productive as society as a whole is doing this.  We get influenced by our peers along with media and magazines of what is “popular.”

Beyoncé wants what most African Americans and other races want in America: to be on the level playing field with operators and enforcers who are open to different backgrounds and upbringings. She is what I like to call the “new feminist,” someone who supports her spouse and takes care of house and home but also knows when to put her foot down and knows how to demand the respect in the business world as how a man would normally require.

With her loyal fan base and her large platform, Beyoncé can finally speak her mind without hesitancy and let the world know: if now isn’t the time to address this issue, will there ever be a good time? It is extremely uncomfortable to deal with racial issues however the conversation must be had.  Otherwise, we would still see “whites only” signs in restaurants and movie theaters.  We are still a growing society with good and bad influences.  It is up to us to continue to allow the bad to happen of affect change so that others will not be afraid to change with us.

I encourage everyone to have an open mind when commenting on or discussing with others Bey’s “Formation” video and her performance at Super Bowl 50.

 

 

The only time NOT to publicize your good news!

pb_logo
courtesy of http://powerball.com

 

 

With the Powerball reaching over $1.5 billion dollars, everyone is having lottery fever! It provides the winner with the small window of being an overnight BILLIONAIRE!  With the chance of winning being at 1 in 292.2 million people, you’d have a better chance of being hit by lightning!

As a publicist it is my job to help my clients spread good news about their products/services/brand. In the case of winning the lottery, I will offer some free advice from a professional level.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT tell everyone that you’ve won. Trust me you don’t want that kind of attention right away.  If you’re state doesn’t require your name to be release or you don’t have to participate in a mandatory press conference, consider yourself lucky.  You’ll have plenty of people trying to contact you as it is because eventually it may get out.

Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right foot to being a multi-millionaire:

  • SIGNED THE BACK OF YOUR TICKET IMMEDIATELY
  • Delete all social media accounts and start fresh once you’re a settled millionaire:   it will be harder for people who don’t know you that well to contact you if your name is released in the media
  • Contact a lawyer and a financial planner to help you plan long-term: several lottery winners in the past have lost their winnings within five years due to carelessness behavior
  • Research the amount of taxes that you would have to pay if you were to give large amounts away to family members
  • Spend wisely but LIVE

Bonus (Personal) Tip: Take the lump sum! You can have all of your taxes taken out at once and then you can carefully manage how you can possibly avoid paying taxes the rest of your life!

Being PResumptouous: Assuming Incorrect Behavior

Please excuse my French in this next sentence.

Have you ever heard of the phrase: To ASSUME is to make an A$$ of our U and ME (ASSUME get it?)  Well I want to go over a time in the work place where I made complete @$$e$ of not only myself but my co-worker.

AAUGH!
This is how I felt after I assumed incorrect behavior. Photo courtesy of http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Aaugh!

Let me give you a little background on how I was to contribute at this particular job.  I was hired in a new position created by my boss and trained by my now co-worker/equivalent. I was to help my co-worker manager the day-to-day operations of their large account, of which contributed to the highest sales of the company out of all accounts.

This particular co-worker has one account while our other co-workers have an average of 6 accounts.  I was promoted a year ago to the same position of all my co-workers(and trainer) but with a contingency: I still have to help my co-worker that trained me.  This was due to a hiring freeze at my company so my old position was never fulfilled.

Now this co-worker is very Type A: very much into the details and stresses if they overlook one detail the co-worker will then stress themselves and the others around them. Essentially they do not trust others to do their job if it affects how they have to do their job 99.9% of the time, following up with several phone calls until their requests becomes a priority, even when it can wait.

This particular day however my co-worker came to see me.  They asked me what I was working on and I told them: working on our account reviews for our boss, that requires a lot of research into our last 5 period sales.  This person was telling me that they were glad I was working on that project our boss asked us to do.

I made the terrible mistake of cutting this person off, before they could finish, to let them know I would not be doing this particular report for their customer.

Now before you shame me to death, hear me out!  We all have busy days to manage our customers.  The majority of the time this co-worker will normally come to my office to ask me to assist them with something, but not always.  Sometimes I’m visited by this co-worker to ask me about my weekend/day or to vent however 90% of the time it is to ask me to help them with something.

This particular co-worker however is always under some sort of “stress.”  If you were to ask this person how they were doing midday, they would cry out loud saying “UGH I have so many things to do!”  Then we would hear of the laundry list of things they have to do. Now to give this frantic co-worker credit, they do deal with a lot of things from their ONE customer but the point being is that the co-worker brings onto themselves unnecessary stress.   However I can see how each of my co-worker’s management styles differ.  Other than myself, no other  co-workers would not be able (or want to for that matter) deal with this customer.

I’ve aided in helping this co-worker out, even at the disadvantage of the tasks I handled for my own customers.  I respectfully aided my co-worker even in the smallest of tasks that they requested (but not most efficient use of my time in my requirement to still aid her) so my co-worker could worry less and because this person taught me everything about the business.  Every time I hear her pace (yes I have designated this co-worker with their own walking pace to my ear) I prepare myself to help her at that very moment.

Back to my story: After interrupting what my co-worker had to say, they corrected me, quite frankly I might add for one who was upset, in saying they was not asking me to help them, and began walking away.

I quickly realized how I was completely wrong for assuming something so I got up and followed her, calling out to immediately apologize.  This person shut their office door 2 seconds before I could arrived so I knocked and opened the door slightly to tell her I was sorry that I misunderstood.  She then stated she had an email to send and she would call me later.

UGH! I felt like a complete dummy.  I got very upset with myself for being presumptuous that I sent her a quick email basically stating I’m sorry for the miscommunication, knowing she would read it and went to grab lunch to eat while working.

After pondering on it at lunch, I realized how she disrespected me when she walked away as I was trying to apologize so I tried to recall the email that I sent to resend the email to her to also let her know I felt disrespected.

A couple of hours later she replied essentially stating to imagine how disrespected she felt when I cut her off when she only intended to complement me on how happy I was being able to do my reports, as she could not get around to doing hers yet.  She also said she understands miscommunication and to move on and not worry about it.  I felt even worse but still curious as to why she came to see me in the first place.

Talk about drama!  Although I felt that it could have been resolved when I went to her office, I am glad that we have moved passed it to continue the flow of our work relationship.

Moral of the story is: Listen more than you speak.  I’m the master at this as I grew up being quiet and shy, which is why I was so disappointed in myself when I interrupted.  I knew better.  Listen to all the facts first before you assume behavior.  It may be normal to expect something however it could really be something entirely different from what you expected to receive.  Also, speak up if you feel that your use of time is being used inefficiently.  Had I learned how to wean my co-worker from giving me tasks she could easily do, I would have never had to assume anything.

Bonus:  On that day, before I co-worker emailed me back, my boss knocked on the door and came into my office, but not before closing the door.  Immediately I began to panic, thinking my co-worker said something to my boss, but I decided to wait to see what actually came out of his mouth; a task I’d wish I had done only a few hours earlier.  I expected the worse but actually received a raise.  Talk about waiting to hear all the facts!