Motherhood and PR Part 3: Your Sanity is Important

rick grimes
Courtesy of AMC

On my previous post regarding motherhood and PR, I spoke about gaining new people in your life and working to have a balanced relationship with each of these people. Now we have to focus on one very important aspect in each of these scenarios: YOU!

Before February 24, 2016, I would always voluntarily offer a helping hand. This was especially true at my full-time job working in logistics. I’m also a publicist and of course I work in the best interests of my clients, even if that sometimes meant that you worked on a project longer than you anticipated. Personally, I also made sure certain family members were taken care of if they needed to be somewhere as all of them do not drive.

Not having anything to do on the weekends was the best. Sometimes I would just drive to another city with my husband just to go shopping. Now that we have an infant, we cannot do those things as often as we could. Your days and nights began to get confusing as your sleeping schedule is off trying to feed a newborn. This in turn can affect the work you do for your clients, even if you are on-call and in crisis management mode. Not only do you have to keep up with whatever catastrophe your client intentionally/unintentionally created, you have to keep track of sleeping, eating and even pooping schedules for a baby. Needless to say, you can burn out real quick in the first few days after your baby is born.

Having a great family/support system can be worth a billion dollars. If you have people willingly to assist you in any way after having a baby then utilize them for the sake of your mental stability and well-being. Sometimes you just need an extra hour or two of sleep to get you through the next ten hours while other times you just need to get away for four hours and stroll around Target. Taking your mind off your busy schedule for a little while can help you re-focus on all the moving parts called your life as a working parent. Whenever you feel the sanity road curve back towards the insane path, take a mental and physical break to get back on track.

Advertisements

Motherhood and PR Part 1: Gaining a new person in your life

Before February 24, 2016 I was still just myself, even though I was with child. I basically still ate what I wanted to eat, I did what I wanted to do and I still was self-centered with the exception of being married for four months at this stage. With past clients, you have certain boundaries with them when it comes to providing them services such as only working a certain number of hours a month or one-a-week calls, etc.

IMG_3374

Some clients are more needy than others but the thing to remember is: your clients NEED you! This applies to a newborn child. Being a mother is the most challenging task yet as someone depends on you for everything! Babies are unable to provide for themselves. It is the job of the parents to make sure the baby’s life is nurtured and protected. A baby cannot eat, poop, bathe and sometimes sleep without someone present to assist.

A publicist can also be thought of as a nurturer to their clients as without them, the client may not adequately provide for themselves in the profession of public relations. Hiring a publicist with specific skill sets can save the client much needed time so they can focus on what they do best. Publicist works with their clients to understand what they are looking for and work to develop a plan to help clients attain goals. Whether it’s the goal of seeking new sales or hoping people would attend their event, the publicist will make sure that the goal is achieved.

Now if only you can be paid to be a parent…. but that’s a different story!

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.

 

 

PRepare Responsibly

Image courtesy of sixminutes.dlugan.com
Try saying this five times as fast as you can!  Image courtesy of sixminutes.dlugan.com

I worked on a great post to share. Unfortunately it got lost between my work and personal files. Hopefully I can find it and have it ready for you next week.

Losing my file is a learning experience as this will, or should at least, make me more accountable for organizing my work. It made me realize to finish something from concept to completion, not just 75% of the way.

This flub reminds me of a publicist working on a pitch to a journalist, having all of their thoughts and ideas together for the first rough draft when then the phone rings. The incoming call can be easily determined if it’s important or not. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, the call is taken when it could have waited until the pitch was complete.  The recipient expected the call to last no longer than five minutes. 20 minutes later after then call ends the publicist stares at the screen trying to gather their thoughts again for the pitch and now they’re lost.

There are times when multitasking should take a break from your daily activities.  I learned in a workshop that you should treat your tasks as if it were an emergency room.  Think about this now as patients are treated based on the severity of their injury or pain, not if they were there first.  Some tasks, especially those that you continuously put off, should have you undivided attention.

Remember if you fail to prepare, you prepare for failure. Focus on the task at hand and you will deliver your best results!

Crisis Communication: Giuliana Rancic Trashes Zendaya

Zendaya at the 2015 Oscars : Courtesy of Hollywoodlife.com.  Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Zendaya at the 2015 Oscars : Courtesy of Hollywoodlife.com. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

On the Monday, February 23rd episode of E!’s “Fashion Police”, co-hosts Giuliana Rancic played her part in the show’s ritual of pointing out fashion “no’s” and “don’t’s” of the 2015 Oscars. In reference to actress Zendaya’s hair, she made a comment that at the time she felt was ok to say as a part of the show’s teasing ritual. Zendaya sported faux dread locs along with her gorgeous Vivienne Westwood silk gown.

Rancic didn’t care for the hairstyle as she went to further voice her opinion stating: “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil… or maybe weed.” Now everyone is entitled to their own opinion but there is already a stereotype of African Americans and dread locs. For Rancic to say that Zendaya’s locs looked as if they smelled of weed was way over the line.  Rancic appears as a bully and racist making those statements about an 18 year old rising entertainer.

Zendaya took the high road in her response:

Screenshot 2015-02-24 15.01.02

Giuliana attempts to apologize via Twitter however the damage is too far done.

Screenshot 2015-02-24 15.04.19 One person emphasized on twitter than Rancic adored Kylie Jenner’s (Caucasian American) faux locs at one point calling them “edgy” and “urban.”

"This is why we get mad"
“This is why we get mad”

This comparison doesn’t really help with the issue of racism that’s still prevalent in American…and Patricia Arquette wants us to lose focus on this and focus mainly on wage inequality for women?!?!  We women can’t even get past the color of our skins!

Check out an article featuring some response tweets  in The Grio.

Key take-a-way: No matter how many short term laughs she may have gotten, it was completely over-shadowed by something Giuliana will have to deal with in the long-term: being deemed racist and a bully.  Rancic should truly attempt to reach out to Zendaya personally and then release an official statement apology not only to Zendaya but to everyone else she offended making that statement.  This too shall pass for Rancic however there will be many that will never forget Giuliana’s remarks, not a very good highlight in her career.  Hopefully she will be able to successfully continue to do TV without any further remarks of that extent.

If Fashion Police had a black co-host, do you think they would have let Rancic get away with the comment without addressing it on-air?  Do you think her  E! News co-host Terrance J will or has confided with Rancic as a person of color his views?

Penny Vacations

They say your college friends will be your life long friends.  I agree as I keep in contact with and still meet up with my college friends (shoutout to Chri, Trina, Rachael, and all my brothers of the Iota Omega chapter of Delta Sigma Pi).  I also feel that maintaining my friendships with some of the people from high school is also very vital as we’ve come from similar backgrounds as oppose to my college friends.  My two best friends from high school, Brittany and Dee Dee, have helped me understand and realize the importance on maintaining long and meaningful relationships and connections with others.

I met Brittany when I was a sophomore at Northwest Halifax High School.  We both were trying out to be dance girls in the schools marching band called “The Ultimate Sound Machine” and trust me when I say we were ultimate during the 2004-2005 school year, competing in the 4A category in local and state competitions.  My close friends from middle school didn’t share any interests in trying out with me so I had to break out of my comfort zone to pursue something I wanted, alone without any of my then current friends.  My determination and hard work paid off as I made the dance line and good friends with new people in the band.  Dee Dee, one of the most sweetest and caring persons I know, became a dance girl our senior year. We’ve been uncompromisable since then!

It was hard work to continue our friendship as I went off to college at UNCG, Dee Dee at Winston Salem Statue University (only twenty minutes from me!) while Brittany eventually ventured to North Carolina Central University.  As I made new friends in college and I went home fewer times throughout the year as I progressed through college, the three of us made sure to meet up with each other every now and then when our schedules permitted.  Seven years later we’re closer than ever even after only seeing each other a handful of times a year.

This past weekend we decided to meet up for a reunion as it was a while since we’ve been solely in each other’s presence.  Brittany hosted while Dee Dee had to make a 3 1/2 hour trip and I was sick.  The trio was back together again!  Friday night we made indoor s’mores.  It was our first time having a s’more (which were very good).  Britt works in property management and she got called into work Saturday on her day off so in good friend fashion, we spend the day with her at the office.  While Britt worked, I read through some news websites to keep up with current events and I helped Dee Dee study for her college and grad school entry exams.  I must say anatomy is fun for a business person like me… the Thymus function is for T-Cell Development…am I right Dee?!

S'Mores
Indoor S’mores and eggnog!

 

While we worked 😉 we decided that we needed to spend more time together.  We came up with the idea of going on penny vacations in where we would agree to travel somewhere where we’ve never been before, by saving our pennies.  Not too literal, but nonetheless we will set aside any extra income in order to make new memories.

Penny Pinned
Penny Pinned!

 

To go about picking our first penny vacation, we decided to flip a penny onto a map to see where it landed but it kept going off the map.  That’s where we decided to go with the “Pin the Penny on the map” method.  Britt was elected, blind-folded and twirled and she blindly picked our first location.

Penny Vacation
Our first Penny Vacation – Austin, TX

We’re going to Austin, Texas!  Our goal is to attend the music showcases for SXSW in March!  Until then we will be researching and planning.  Any help, advice is appreciated!!!