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.

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?

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

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.

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.

When to Halt the Hashtags

Hashtags have become a way of life on social media.  They’re a way to share content, status updates, and pictures on a social media platform.

Whether you use them personally or professionally and whether you choose to accept this advice, the number of hashtags (the # of #’s lol) are based on the social media platform you use.  This number limit has been studied and will gain maximum exposure and share-ability.  For instance, Twitter’s acceptable limit is 2 hashtags (however you can only post but so much at one time).

Check out the below infographic to help guide you in your digital efforts!
Do you have any exceptions?

Courtesy of Quick Sprout
Courtesy of Quick Sprout

EnGROSSed in Social Media

Social Media Overload

I’m realizing that I since I don’t have time to check my social media during the day due to my duties at work, I spend my free time at home on and off of my different social media sites until I go to sleep. I watch the news to keep up on current events in the morning before work and I surf through my social media sites to keep up on pop culture after work.

In my mind, sometimes if I don’t check my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at least once a day, then I’ve missed everything.  I hate being late on receiving news. I spend less time reading and more time on a computer, which is shocking because I stay on my computer all day at work which is no fun for my eyes.  Fortunately for me, my job keeps me so busy that I don’t have time to check my phone during the day, much less my social media pages.  By the time I get home I’ve considered myself late in receiving all the relevant pop culture news so sometimes I don’t bother checking Instagram.  This is one step towards unplugging.

The internet is wonderful however you can ALWAYS find information and news.  It’s good to take a break and unplug.  I want to focus on reading and dancing in the little free time that I have.

Do you need to cut back on social media?  What would you like to focus on doing instead of looking at your phone or computer?

Spammers Beware!


spammersSpammers can be the most annoying people online ever!  You may notice that as your social media followers continue to grow, so does your visibility with spammers.  They see continual growth on your pages and use the key words that you post to target you for what ever they are trying to promote.

Personally, I block every single spammer that decides to tag me on a post.  No, I don’t need new followers because I’ll just grow them the old fashion way, with one tweet at a time.  No, I don’t want to listen to your music because I have a preference and my own things to promote (without spamming by the way.)

The only time spamming has worked on me was when someone I didn’t know tagged me in a post promoting a singer that appeared on a TV show.  When I went to look at the “spammer’s” Twitter page, I saw that they were really trying to go about a different way of “spamming” by having conversations with the people they tag.  Deciding to take a risk, I listened to this singer (@micaparris) and fell in love with her music.  We now follow each other and I wish her well on her journey towards reaching her goals.

If you HAVE to spam people, take heed to a little advice.

  • Don’t spam using back-to-back tweets with different users based off of a keyword search.
  • Do your keyword search, write down a listen of users and target them once a day or one tweet every three hours.
  • Don’t just tweet them telling them to listen to your music.ENGAGE in conversation, let them know what you are trying to do and how you are trying to do it. If people see that you have only a handful of followers and you’re following thousands of people, that will be a red flag and a block will be put up towards your profile.

PRivate-Fingers Moving Faster than the Brain

Back in September I attended the 2nd Annual Women in PR Summit & Retreat.  A few of us were talking about how so many people post wild things on social media before they think.  Ruth Ann Weisner of Raw Marketing had a great expression for these people, “their fingers were moving faster than their brain.”  Now more than ever, people are constantly telling their private business on social media.  Whether it’s long Facebook posts expressing anger or “TMI” (too much information) tweets, regretful posts are becoming more prominent.

Celebrities are also in a much bigger eye with this problem.  The damage is done when you hit that send button because there are countless media following your every step waiting to screen shot anything new. Deleting it will only admit that you shouldn’t have done it and it will say a lot about how you react to certain situations.  Sometimes, it’s better to talk to people about your problems instead of the internet.  The media will go after you to get the full story and your publicist will work overtime, stressing to figure out how exactly to spin this to the media.  As publicist, this is what we do but don’t make this a habit or we will fire you!  Yes, publicists can fire clients too.  Sometimes, celebrities do it just to get more publicity around themselves for their latest project.  Posting a picture and then deleting it three minutes later is pointless, but not when you’re famous with a motive.

If you aren’t a celebrity and you’re constantly doing regretful posts, you may want to consider actually having a REAL social life where everyone will not need to know about your business.  You can’t have a social life with the internet!  Even your friends get tired of seeing your dramatic posts over mostly little-to-nothing events.  Ask yourself this before your next post: “Do everyone that follows me need to know about this?”

I regret posting things in anger.  What have you regretted about posting on your social media?

The PoweR of Social Media

twitter image

(originally post date on October 22, 2012)

Social media is so huge that there is no denying that it cannot be just icing on the cake for businesses.  It must be a part of the cake batter mix of a company’s marketing plan.  Not only can you use social media to market your business to existing customers, you can use it to gain potential new customers as well.

A fellow publicist and colleague of mine, Sheria Row, is a only one of a handful of people I know that practices public relations in the state of North Carolina.  I found her through social media.  It is a very powerful networking tool.  I follow her twitter account to see updates from her regarding her client news.  Today, a new client announces that Sheria is her new publicist.  I was so happy for her because I saw the tweet she sent to that potential client telling her that she needed to be her publicist and then the conversation went off Twitter, as it should.

There are many ways to reach out to a potential client.  You just have to do your research and figure out the best way to approach them.  Some people prefer email while others are strictly phone people.  Nowadays, I see people tweet more often than respond to emails so reaching out via social media may not be a bad idea, but be aware of who is watching your every move.

4 Tips on Successfully Working a Virtual PR Internship

My story about getting my virtual internship is a unique one,  to say the least.  It started when this actress/comedian came to UNCG to perform her amazing stand-up show.  From there I continued to follow her journey to success on social media.  She is a wonderful person because she will actually interact with most of her followers and responds to tweets and posts, unlike many people who have finally received their big shot on television.  Her publicist actually reached out to me via Twitter.  From there I applied for an internship and I was offered a position.  The company is located in a different time zone than mine so our entire relationship is virtual and through phone conversations.  I just want to share with you a few tips on how to successfully gain and maintain a virtual internship.

  1. Truly be passionate about the job that you are seeking to apply for because it is harder to sometimes do a job when everything is virtual.  You must truly be immersed in the industry and with the job duties, otherwise it will seem like a miserable waist of time.
  2. Be sure to have a steady internet connection at home.  A virtual internship means that the majority, if not all, of your time will be spend doing work online through emails and follow ups.  You will also be doing a ton of research not only for your job duties, but to figure out how to do certain things as well such as how to get your client on-to the red carpet of a movie screening.  Also of course have a land-line/cellular phone as another means of communication.
  3. Be proactive and take initiative.  Never wait on your boss to tell you EXACTLY what to do everyday of your internship.  You wanted the internship in the first place so show your boss why they hired you.  Start pitching the company’s clients to media and get to know the clients before you pitch them.
  4. Ask questions.  The purpose of an internship is not only to perform work but to learn how to do the job duties.  The boss cannot expect you to know everything.  An internship is an opportunity for both sides (intern and boss) to learn about themselves and to teach each other (intentionally and unintentionally) how to be a better intern or how to be a better boss.

*Bonus tip*- Understand and segment who you should be pitching your client to!  Don’t pitch a client that sells computers to a food trade magazine.  It is pointless and a waist of time to pitch to an unrelated industry.  Also find out the correct editors to pitch to.  Not all editors accept pitches from PR professionals.

These are just some of the things I’ve learned about myself that I feel are necessary to have in order to work a virtual internship.  What are some other things you feel are necessary for a virtual PR internship?  A virtual internship?

Expect the Unexpected-A Day at LaGuardia Airport

As a PR professional, you must be prepared for the unexpected.  Always be on your P’s and Q’s.

My latest journey outside of North Carolina has led me to New York City.  I was invited to spend a week in New York with a friend and my now new friend who is also a publicist.  As a young professional, it makes sense to find the best airline and hotel deals.  Of course I wanted to travel on the same flight as my colleague so I went on a booked the flight.  Unfortunately for her, the site where she booked her flight from had different plans.

Hotwire decided to push back my colleague’s flight 6 hours.  The other friend booked the hotel in her name and there is no way for her to switch it to my name.  I had no close friends staying in the city sooooo…..I had to wait it out at LaGuardia Airport.

It actually wasn’t that bad.  The only two things I didn’t like were the expensive airport food and the airport didn’t offer free wi-fi like other airports.  I was elated when I found an outlet where I can charge my phone.  Luckily I borrowed a book from my friend to read for entertainment.  It was Lauren Conrad’s Sweet Little Lies.  It was really juicy!  I had heard about her book series before but now I will find the other two books and read them as well.

Of course I had social media to entertain/inform me.  I also wanted to be as productive as possible.  I mapped out my next 6 blogpost topics, research a company I was interviewing for while in town, and did some work for my internship, The Marque Group, LLC.  I never let my time go to waste.  Even when I’m at home trying to relax, I can’t do it because I always feel like I should be doing SOMETHING.

How do you make the most of your time?  Share your comments below!