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!

Breaking Bad…News that is! How to Soften the Blow

uh-oh

It’s never good to receive bad news. To actually be the one to deliver the bad news can also bring an unsettling feeling to one’s stomach. No one wants to hear bad news without understanding how or why something happened the way did. Here are critical steps to cushion the impact:

1). Own up to the mistake if one is quickly identified. In the distribution industry, if a carrier missed a delivery appointment, then one would follow up with the carrier to understand what happened.

2). Shoot first, ask questions later. But shoot with precision!! Figuring out what your Plan B will be to finish the task at hand is vital. Being able to come up with a solution can help ease the delivery of bad news. Time may be of the essence in most cases. One example would be having a case of gloves go missing that is also no longer available at the vendor.

3). Research the nitty, gritty facts. Find an alternative approach, then figure out if multiple parties involved will be responsible. A “major key” (DJ Khaled would hopefully approve of the use of this term) would be to understand 5 W’s of the issue: who, what, when, where, why. Please don’t forget the “how.”

4). Summarize the timeline of the task. Summarize the timeline in an email. Doing this task can help clear any lingering confusion for all parties involved.

Being able to solve problems increases more opportunities for your personal brand. It make you a resourceful person and that makes people want to work with you more and more!

What key tips do you find most useful in delivering unsettling news?

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?

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.

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!

Personal Crisis Communication

Many use social media for different purposes: to share information, to find out the latest news, to upload pictures of their cats.  A while back I decided to use my Twitter account for both business and personal use.  I knew what to post and how to word it so that I can still be viewed as professional while sharing stories and ideas that are more personal.

For a while it has gone fine.  For the past year however, since the death of Mike Brown, I’ve been sharing more stories and more personal points of views on my Twitter account.  Last night I realized that using a particular hashtag can catch the eye of unwanted attention from people with opposing views.  After going back and forth briefly with these people, I come to the conclusion that one should be prepared for the power of social media.  My unwanted attention led to people liking my opponent’s tweets and retweeting our conversation, calling me names that do not fit the type of person I am.

The more I responded, the more traction it received.  If you put more fuel into a fire, it will take a while to go down.  I see that now as it is the following morning and I’ve still received more feedback.  Many of you have heard the old saying for bullies, ignore them.  While this approach can be debatable, I think it’s the best option on social media.  If you ignore people’s responses to your statements, then eventually they will go away only to nick pick with other people they disagree with on their views.

Celebrities can best benefit from this advice as I’m sure they receive the most criticism because they are in the public eye.  Unfortunately for them the criticism can come non-stop to the boiling point where they feel as if they NEED to respond…but they don’t.  These people will not stop them from making their millions, just like these internet “trolls” cannot judge me by the little bit of personal information I DO decide to share to the world.  While I cannot be silenced, this event has led me to realize that my focus SHOULD be more towards professional content more so for me as a professional transitioning her career.

Final Tip:  Just be aware you can have your own opinions, not your own facts.  This is why I support the people I do on social media and share their stories and struggle as they are called liars and their families are threatened every single day.

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?