Archive for the ‘PR Connections’ Category

Facebook Causes Asthma Attacks

An article posted by the Los Angeles Times tells of a group of Italian doctors who warn of the dangers of Facebook. In a study published in Lancet, a British medical journal, they describe a case of an 18-year-old male who suffered Asthma attacks after logging onto his Facebook account. His symptoms were in check until he discovered his ex-girlfriend’s activity on the networking site. Apparently, she had added other potential suitors and removed him as a friend, blocking him from her page. The patient took the break-up rather hard, putting him in a “depressive state.” The cure, of course, is abstaining from visiting the site. The doctors noted that “psychological stress is a recognized cause of asthma attacks,” and that Facebook could create “a new source of psychological stress” for many.

I got quite a laugh out of this article. It’s obvious that stress triggers asthma attacks, doctors have know this for years. Apparently, they felt the need to conduct a study linking it to Facebook.  If something that upsetting is on any website, an asthma patient is going to have an adverse reaction. If it’s a medium that people use to communicate, there is always going to be potential for “psychological stress.” You don’t need a PhD to figure that out.

PR Daily Recognizes PR Prof’s Blog!

While musing through Ragan’s PR Daily News Feed e-mail from November 22, I came across a small article on tweeting in class. The title seemed familiar, and as I continued to read, I realized it was referring to a blog post created by my public relations writing professor, Barbara Nixon! I was quite excited to find that she had received recognition from Ragan’s PR Daily! Her blog, called Public Relations Matters, shares her thoughts on texting in class versus tweeting in class and related etiquette during presentations. Her recognition says a great deal about her as a PR professional and educator. It illustrates that she posses accurate and up-to-date knowledge in the field, that I’m learning the necessary skills needed to succeed in public relations. She’s at the fore-front of social media and the assignments in her class reflect that. I am proud to be one of her students.

Public Relations Matters

Yet Another Social Media Blunder

An employee in charge of Cheapflights UK’s twitter account recently tweeted “Oh for f*cks sake, stop crying you silly bint.” Rather than tweeting on her account, however, she accidentally posted it on the Cheapflights account. Her tweet was in reference to watching Katie Waissell on “The X Factor”. Cheapflights quickly deleted the tweet and issued an apology (view here). Luckily, a blogger captured a screen shot of the tweet before it was too late ;). (below)

Cheapflights.co.uk: swears, uses rude term form women

My first reaction to this tweet was, “Oh no, she dropped the F bomb!” Then it occurred to me that “silly bint” was some sort of derogatory term of which I was not familiar. Upon further review, I discovered that it’s a negative term for a female, similar to a whore. This term significantly increases the damage done by the tweet. Both terms are highly inappropriate in any context, but even more so on a corporate Twitter account. We often forget that social media, if used improperly, can negatively impact an image. This serves as yet another reminder to be careful with both personal and business social media accounts.

R.I.P. The Newspaper: 2017

Australian futurist Ross Dawson has determined the death of the newspaper on a global scale (Blog Post). He predicts that newspapers will be dead in the US by 2017 and by 2019 for the UK. Dawson’s predictions are based on the rise of technology, including  the availability of mobile phones, tablet computers and e-readers. He used infographics to illustrate the demise of newspapers with color-coded  maps.

I’m not sure that I agree with Dawson. Personally, I like having a hard copy, something tangible that I can hold in my hand. Everyone is different; Some people like technology and others don’t. I was unable to find Dawson’s research or any statistics that he based his hypothesis on. This makes it even less believable. Do I think they will diminish by 2017, sure. But will they completely disappear, I doubt it. I guess we’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out.

Overweight? We’ve got the Perfect Social Media Campaign for you!

According to an article published by The New York Times, an organization known as the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation has teamed up with the ad firm Saatchi and Saatchi to create a social media campaign “to help reduce obesity-especially childhood obesity- by 2015,”(HWCF site). More than 120 companies, including Coca-Cola, General Mills and ConAgra, have joined the initiative. The organization, using the term “energy balance,” aims to encourage children, adults and families to create a balance between the calories they take in and the energy they use. The campaign, which has yet to begin, is already under much scrutiny by critics of corporate food marketers. They question whether companies that, as they perceive it, have contributed so much to Americans’ becoming obese are capable of providing solutions.

PGA of America - Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation's 100th Member!

This campaign is something that I neither love or hate. It has yet to begin, so it’s difficult for me to really analyze it. Do I think it’s a bad concept? Not at all. It appears that the organization is concerned for the well-being of Americans and desires to improve the obesity rate. Whether each company’s motives are pure is a different story. Either way, it can’t hurt. As far as whether or not the companies involved are to blame for America’s weight problem, yes and no. Although they may produce unhealthy products, each person chooses what he or she puts into their mouth. Could what they put into their foods be better for consumers, sure. Could consumer food choices be healthier, of course.

ROR: Return on Relationship

A WordPress blogger, who happens to be Chief Social Marketing Officer for OpenSky, recently wrote about a term he coined “ROR,” Return on Relationship (View blog). Ted Rubin took the classic marketing term, “ROI”, Return on Investment, and raised it to the next level. In his blog, he argues that in order to generate ROIs, a company has to develop RORs. How? Through the use of social media/marketing. Rubin said, “Everyone is trying to assign a dollar value to a Facebook fan or Twitter follower instead of addressing the fact that the engagement and interaction that takes place in these mediums are incredibly important to a brand. Building a relationship with existing and future customers is the true value and strength of social media/marketing and what will and has allowed brands to survive and flourish for the long-term.” I admire how he boldly advocates the PR/marketing role/relationship in generating sales and creating long-term customer relationships. I couldn’t agree more!

Ted Rubin

Oh No Chad Ochocinco!

While browsing through an old PR Daily News Feed, I discovered an interesting article (click here). Chad Ochocinco, player for the Bengals, found himself in the middle of a misprint conundrum. In an effort to raise funds for Feed the Children, Ochocinco joined forces with the organization to develop a cereal, which they named Ochocinco. The cereal packaging encourages consumers to call a 1-800 number to donate money to the organization. This number, however, has nothing to do with Feed the Children. Instead, it’s an explicit sex line which connects callers to a seductive-sounding woman’s voice and music. She teases in shocking detail and then asks for a debit or credit card number: “You must be 18 or older to get into this party, baby!” After discovering this huge blunder, Kroger stores, the grocer which features the cereal, pulled the product from its shelves immediately. Needless to say, neither Ochocinco or Feed the Children were aware that the number was printed incorrectly. However, both parties responded well to the instance, claiming full responsibility for the misprint and offering apologies. This is a great example of a well-managed PR crisis.