Monthly Archives: August 2014

Public Relations Career! Here I Come!

Spending the past year studying PR and following the interesting news stories has taught me how to think differently when observing the PR issues in the media. I have discovered that no matter the PR issue, corporation, business or non-for-profit; every PR issue can be tackled using careful strategic planning and evaluation of each unique situation.

My interests however have been mostly in terms of creating an effective communications strategy and dealing with case issues and crisis management. Crisis management seems to be the most exciting when you are forced to think and act promptly in terms of addressing an issue, big and small. I’ve learned throughout my studies that determining the right course of action is a tricky thing to do, but with the necessary skills and tools set you can handle the most controversial topic with confidence and respect to your client. The evolution of effective PR planning and marketing is constant and fast paced, the online social trends have brought both benefits and hurdles for PR and Marketing professionals.

The most interesting part of my education had to be our digital and social media class that taught us the essentials when marketing to an online audience. The tips and tools surrounding complex SEO software has equipped me with a new skill that is becoming very valuable in the Marketing/Public Relations job market today. I’m going to be honest and say that Marketing is not my strongest suit, but with the basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization I feel confident that I will bring value to any company in terms of understanding how to target an online audience and measure its success.

I’ve been through an amazing learning journey in PR and have created a valuable network of professionals in the field that have acted as mentors for me throughout the way. My main focus will be in the non-for-profit sector where I plan on helping organizations raise awareness in the community, gain sponsorships and campaign products or services. I am confident that these area’s are where I will be successful, but also understand now the additional PR skills I can bring to the table. 



Old Spice viral content steals the show!

The Old Spice “Smell like a man” video created quite the social media storm with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube shares. Old Spice previously faced some fierce competition from its competitors such as Dove’s plan to advertise during the Super Bowl. So what did old spice decide to do? Launch an online campaign that included reaching out to top influencers, bloggers and people that they were confident would like and share the video with their networks.

How would they create a video that would appeal to their target audience and be interesting enough to become viral? Well first, Old Spice has done their research and chose to target men and women. They discovered that women are the top purchasers of body wash over men, so they came up with the best idea that appealed to both men and women. The unique and somewhat comedic approach was direct when communicating their message, “Ladies, look at your man. now back to me” this line cleverly included women and their perspective of what every man should be or smell like. The ridiculousness and creativity of the changing set made it comedic and somewhat resembled “the most interesting man in the world” commercial.

In terms of PR and Marketing Old Spice had successfully created a viral commercial that did not have a huge advertising budget, this type of online viral marketing is becoming quite successful for some companies who get it right. The ROI is valuable but targeting the right people to share the content is tricky. The PR tactics were clever in terms of pitching the campaign to top influencers for minimal costs, the launch was strategically timed a few weeks before the Super Bowl which created buzz in the online sharing trends on Twitter and Facebook.

What I learned from the campaign is that even when faced with a huge competitor with much larger budget and customer base, being prepared and engaging your audience will allow you to create a strong enough campaign that could possibly trump the success of the big budget competition. Online social media sharing has proven to be a strong point for marketers and PR professionals in this case. By understanding your audience as well how that audience engages online and the potential reach of other audiences, you can become either be successful based on what is #trending.

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Joe Fresh and Bangladesh

When it comes to purchasing clothing from any giant retailer in Canada, consumer’s barely question where the clothing they are purchasing is coming from or if the clothing is being manufactured in an ethical and humane manner. Since the tragic collapse of a factory where Loblaws Inc. manufactures a small amount of their clothing in Bangladesh, Canadians have expressed a concern about ethical standards of working conditions and responsibilities of companies to oversee the safety of individuals producing their products. The media have covered the story extensively and created enough momentum surrounding the issue to suede Loblaws Inc. to take action where possible when outsourcing manufacturing to other countries where regulated safety standards that ensure the safety of workers in the industry is not strictly followed. This incident has since changed my opinion surrounding Joe Fresh line and Loblaws inc. in terms of purchasing the clothing and accessories from their line. I am a stickler for purchasing clothing ans products that are ethically produced and I usually do my research before making a final buying decision, but the fact is that with much of the retail (clothing) industry is outsourced to countries where labor is cheap and often working conditions are not acceptable by north american standards. The media surrounding the issue has forced Loblaws Inc. to release a public apology and strategy to address the issue. I have since made the decision to follow Loblaws Inc. since the incident to see if they have followed up on ensuring that they not only compensated the individuals but are demanding changes from vendors. After researching and following the story in Bangladesh, I have discovered that Loblaws Inc. is not responsible for the building code standards of a different country and have discovered that they chose the correct course of action in terms of immediate response and taking responsibility. The story weighed heavy and have a lot of people demanding answers as to why the building had been deemed safe. Galen Weston Jr. has chosen to be the face of responsibility and concern for working conditions, ethical production of their products. Although a tragic accident, it has raised enough concern on a global scale and the exceptional handling by Loblaws Inc. is setting an example that all North American corporate businesses should follow. 




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Social Media Privacy: Should Bosses Be Allowed to Friend Employees?

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Ammonia treated beef is NOT beef!

The controversy surrounding Beef Products Inc. and the ammonia treated lean finely textured beef labeled as “Pink Slime” has consumer’s concerned and demanding transparency as to what “Pink Slime” actually is and if it is safe to eat. The topic has sparked an ongoing and heated debate among journalists and food advocates. There is still much more information to be taken into consideration regarding lean finely textured beef as a truly all beef product. Many advocates have argued that LFTB is in fact 100% beef, while journalists have been more focused on exposing the chemical exposed beef product and labeled it pink slime. The amount of coverage on the story has hit the beef industry hard including AFA Foods causing them to file for bankruptcy. BPI has been forced to make some tough decisions regarding the price of beef in the market. The scientific truth is that LFTB is nothing more than fat trimmings and is used as a filler that reduces the price and overall fat content in the beef products they produce. This can be understood from an overall corporate level simply as a means to an end, but to the public the concern remains that consuming beef that is chemically treated in fact not acceptable or appetizing. The negative controversy does not help Beef Products Inc. educate or suede the public to their side either, although the beef industry has the right to defend their process and decisions surrounding LFTB and assure the public that it is in fact beef. They have chosen to remain transparent in the issue and have taken the necessary steps in order to gain support from food advocates and scientific studies to back up their claims. On the other hand the consumers have to the right to oppose the use of ammonia treated beef products in regards to their health concerns in America as well, the American public have been subject to food industry concerns from day one and are right to question and research/expose the truth about corporates who do not have their best interests at heart. In the end the consumer has the last say here because regardless of the amount of education or campaigning a company can do, once the relationship with the consumer has been affected you will almost always have to make the heavy weighted reconstruction of trust between you and your end user. Beef Products Inc. needs to focus on rebuilding that trust, through investing in a healthier alternative.