Blog – Platform Magazine https://platformmagazine.org University of Alabama Tue, 19 Nov 2019 23:06:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for the PR Pro in Your Life https://platformmagazine.org/2019/11/19/10-holiday-gift-ideas-for-the-pr-pro-in-your-life/ https://platformmagazine.org/2019/11/19/10-holiday-gift-ideas-for-the-pr-pro-in-your-life/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 23:06:54 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20980 Published on November 19, 2019, at 5:10 p.m. by Carlyle Ascik. They’re flexible, timely and consider every detail. From early morning commutes to events that last all night long, they rarely slow down. They are connected to the community, in-the-know, and they understand the client is always correct. Between media appearances and red carpet events, [...]

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Published on November 19, 2019, at 5:10 p.m.
by Carlyle Ascik.

They’re flexible, timely and consider every detail. From early morning commutes to events that last all night long, they rarely slow down. They are connected to the community, in-the-know, and they understand the client is always correct.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Between media appearances and red carpet events, public relations professionals may seem like they have it all. However, if you take a look behind the curtain, you know these ever on-the-go pros have to wear many hats. Take a look at these 10 gifts that will delight the PR practitioner in your life this holiday season:

1. An appointment planner
From client calls to strategy meetings, an appointment planner is a perfect gift for the extra organized PR pro — not to mention, it makes logging hours a breeze.

2. An online news subscription
Whether it’s breaking news or an industry-specific story, public relations professionals should always strive to stay informed. An online subscription to their favorite news outlet is the perfect practical gift for the new year. And, as an added bonus, you get a free tote with your purchase to carry around all your other supplies!

3. An iPhone stylus
Those artsy Instagram stories don’t design themselves. Your favorite social media expert will surely put an iPhone stylus to good use — both personally and professionally.

4. Noise-canceling headphones
Crowded subways and busy streets can make it hard to focus while on the go. These noise-canceling headphones make it simple to strategize from any location.

5. A business card holder
Public relations is all about networking, and a stylish business card holder provides the perfect confidence boost while securing a new contact.

6. A Book of the Month Club subscription
Great writers read great writing. The Book of the Month Club delivers a new book to its subscribers every four weeks, making it easy to sail through each title.

7. Blue light glasses
Let’s face it — PR practitioners are in front of a screen more often than not. These blue light glasses help protect your eyes, in a variety of exciting styles.

8. A collapsible water bottle
When you’re constantly moving, hydration is a must. This collapsible water bottle can be easily tucked away when you’re finished drinking without cluttering up your bag.

9. An AP Stylebook subscription
A good public relations pro is never ashamed to admit they’re a bit grammar obsessed. A subscription to the online AP Stylebook will allow them to access the guide whenever and wherever they please, ensuring flawless writing every time.

10. Shoes for the commute

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

By now you know, PR professionals spend a lot of time running around. These shoes allow you to dress your best, while also traveling in comfort. Wear them all day long, or easily swap them out for your favorite dress shoes once you make it to your final destination.

PR pros: Go ahead and check creating a Christmas list off your to-do list. You can just forward this post along instead!

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Unexpected Inspiration from Brand Partnerships https://platformmagazine.org/2019/11/19/unexpected-inspiration-from-brand-partnerships/ https://platformmagazine.org/2019/11/19/unexpected-inspiration-from-brand-partnerships/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 18:36:18 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20958 Published on November 19, at 12:36 p.m. by Gabrielle Sirois. Collaborations have long been used to benefit brands by giving them the chance to be exposed to different audiences. Oftentimes brands tend to collaborate with those who are similar to them because it normally makes for an easy and convenient partnership. However, when brands dare [...]

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Published on November 19, at 12:36 p.m.
by Gabrielle Sirois.

Collaborations have long been used to benefit brands by giving them the chance to be exposed to different audiences. Oftentimes brands tend to collaborate with those who are similar to them because it normally makes for an easy and convenient partnership.

However, when brands dare to take risks and work with companies that are completely different than their own, it can produce extremely interesting and exciting results. Let’s take a look at some brands that were able to think outside of the box and create unexpected, yet successful, partnerships.

Courtesy of the American Red Cross

Game of Thrones x Red Cross: Bleed for the Throne
Preceding the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones on April 14, 2019, the show collaborated with the American Red Cross to both promote the final season and to give back to a good cause. The brands teamed up for the Bleed for the Throne campaign, which was a part of the larger For the Throne global marketing campaign that was used to promote the final season. The campaign urged viewers to donate blood by saying, “For seven seasons characters of Game of Thrones have bled for the throne. Now the Red Cross is joining the battle for the living by asking all eligible individuals to help alleviate blood shortages in the real world.”

The campaign kicked off with an immersive event that took place March 7-9 at SXSW 2019 where participants could donate blood and then experience an activation that featured notable moments in the show’s history, including Cersei’s walk of shame and the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Attendees also got the chance to bend a knee to the Iron Throne and interact with actors portraying roles from the show, such as wildlings, Dothraki, Unsullied and Lannister soldiers.

Following the SXSW activation, the blood drive was held at locations across America, as well as in 15 international countries. The drive ran past the season 8 premiere all the way until April 30. Participants received exclusive Bleed for the Throne T-shirts or posters. People who participated prior to March 17 were also entered for a chance to attend the season 8 premiere. Those who participated from April 1 to 30 were entered for a chance to win a full-size replica of the Iron Throne.

This partnership was the “largest blood donation promotional effort by an entertainment company in American Red Cross history,” and resulted in both positive publicity for the season premiere as well as life-saving donations for patients across the world.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Starbucks x Bill Nye: Nitro Cold Brew
When you think of Starbucks, science probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, the company’s 2019 partnership with Bill Nye promoting its Nitro Cold Brew led consumers to look at their coffee on a more molecular level.

Starbucks launched its Nitro Cold Brew in 2016, but the drink was only offered in a select amount of stores. In 2019, the company decided to expand the drink across America and has now implemented the tap system in 80% of stores, with plans for it to be available nationwide by the end of the year. However, the increased reach of this drink came with confusion from consumers about what it actually is. They weren’t sure how Nitro Cold Brew differed from iced coffee or regular cold brew.

In order to clear up any confusion, Starbucks enlisted the help of America’s favorite scientist, Bill Nye. They teamed up to create a series of videos explaining the science behind Nitro Cold Brew, while highlighting the drink’s smooth and velvety taste. The partnership garnered media attention from outlets like Fast Company and Adweek, and made sure that everyone knew exactly what Nitro Cold Brew was.

Courtesy of Lyft

Lyft x Netflix: Strange Mode
To promote the premiere of Stranger Things Season 2 on Oct. 27, 2017, Lyft and Netflix teamed up to give fans of the show terrifying rides into the Upside Down. On Oct. 27 and 28, individuals in LA and Philadelphia had the opportunity for a free ride using Strange Mode on their Lyft App.

The ride included a variety of phenomena that were characteristic of the show, including static noises, lights turning on and off, a driver who vomited up slugs, and what apparently was a being trapped in the ceiling of the car. The ride concluded with passengers being approached by people in hazmat suits who offered them an Eggo waffle (a product that has now become iconic to the show).

This collaboration provided a thrilling and memorable experience for fans of the show. In addition, since the premiere lined up with Halloween, it was perfect for those who were looking for a holiday fright.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Airbnb x Barbie: Malibu Dreamhouse
2019 marked the 60th anniversary of everyone’s favorite toy doll, Barbie. To celebrate this milestone, the Barbie brand partnered with Airbnb to offer four lucky guests the chance to stay in Barbie’s iconic Malibu Dreamhouse.

The rental was treated like any other on the site, with a listing that seemed to be written by Barbie herself. The property was available to book for a one-time-only stay from Oct. 27 to 29 for $60 a night. The listing for the rental went live on Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. PDT and was simply first-come, first-served for who got to book the Dreamhouse.

Barbie is known for being a woman of many careers, so the stay also offered guests the chance to experience some of the more famous ones. Guests were able to fence on the Dreamhouse rooftop with Olympic fencing medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was honored with her own Barbie doll, the first hijab-wearing doll from the brand. The stay also included a private cooking lesson with famous Malibu chef Gina Clarke-Helm, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Columbia Memorial Space Center with aerospace engineer and pilot Jill Meyers, and a makeover with celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin.

To celebrate the partnership, Airbnb also donated to The Barbie Dream Gap Project GoFundMe initiative, which helps to empower girls and provide them with the resources and support that they need to achieve their dreams. This partnership created media buzz and gained exposure for both brands involved.

All of these examples illustrate the power that unexpected strategic partnerships can have. Companies should view them as inspiration for how to advance their brands while creating something fresh and unique.

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Lights, Camera, Write! Bringing Hollywood Storytelling to PR https://platformmagazine.org/2019/11/15/lights-camera-write-bringing-hollywood-storytelling-to-pr/ https://platformmagazine.org/2019/11/15/lights-camera-write-bringing-hollywood-storytelling-to-pr/#respond Fri, 15 Nov 2019 17:00:05 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20845 Published on November 15, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. by Colton Stock. Expert tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) finds the trail of a murdered woman in the beginning of “Wind River” (2017), a film written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. A woman, wounded and bleeding, runs through a seemingly endless expanse of snow in the dead [...]

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Published on November 15, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.
by Colton Stock.

Expert tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) finds the trail of a murdered woman in the beginning of “Wind River” (2017), a film written and directed by Taylor Sheridan.

A woman, wounded and bleeding, runs through a seemingly endless expanse of snow in the dead of winter. Red blood stains the white snow as she runs desperately until finally collapsing near the forest on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Photo by Alin Rusu on Unsplash

The next morning, expert tracker Cory Lambert discovers her frozen body and recognizes her as 18-year-old Natalie Hanson. After an autopsy and careful investigation, it is revealed that she experienced blunt trauma and sexual violence, dying from exposure in the sub-zero air.

However, the medical examiner is unable to confirm the death as a homicide, preventing any further FBI investigation. Cory does everything he can to track down the girl’s killer, seeking leads throughout her hometown. In the end, he discovers her killer and brings him to justice in the expansive, snowy forests of the reservation. This is the story in the 2017 film “Wind River,” praised for bringing the heart-wrenching issue of sexual violence toward Native American women to light.

At the end of the film, a title card states that missing-persons statistics are kept for every demographic group except for Native American women, whose exact numbers remain unknown.

Native American women are raped and sexually assaulted at a rate of four times the national average. They are also 10 times as likely to be murdered than other Americans.

These statistics are powerful, but on their own they won’t change the issue. Coupled with the brutal, unrelenting story of “Wind River,” they are not just unforgettable: They are tragic. You want to do something about them. That’s what good storytelling does.

Stories make us care.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

As a public relations professional, you can’t just merely inform people of an issue and hope it makes a difference. You need to make them care and show how they can make a difference. This is only possible through storytelling.

Most public relations campaigns make the same mistake: They’re focused on raising awareness, rather than effecting change. As noted by a 2018 Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Such campaigns typically have one of three kinds of results: They reach the wrong audience and therefore have little to no effect; they cause backlash; or, in the worst cases, they cause harm. The science of communications argues against” using this method.

Poet and writer Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Storytelling is the best way to get your public to feel — and once they feel, they won’t forget. Think about the last time you saw a good movie. Do you remember every single detail from the plot? Every line of dialogue spoken? Every move of the camera? Probably not. But I bet if you truly liked that movie, you remember how you feel. That same feeling can be brought to your public relations work.

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The Glossier Effect https://platformmagazine.org/2019/11/06/the-glossier-effect/ Wed, 06 Nov 2019 02:22:00 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20808 Published on November 5, 2019, at 8:20 p.m. by Christina Guyton. My pink-obsessed roommate runs to the front door to gather yet another on-brand delivery: her long-awaited, limited-edition Glossier sweatshirt. This loyal fan has almost every skincare and beauty product by the millennial pink beauty brand. Unaware of Glossier’s merch drop, I was shocked only [...]

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Published on November 5, 2019, at 8:20 p.m.

by Christina Guyton.

Courtesy of Glossier

My pink-obsessed roommate runs to the front door to gather yet another on-brand delivery: her long-awaited, limited-edition Glossier sweatshirt. This loyal fan has almost every skincare and beauty product by the millennial pink beauty brand. Unaware of Glossier’s merch drop, I was shocked only by her newest closet addition, not her spending habits or affinity for the color pink.

Recently valued at $1.2 billion, Glossier has become a market leader, creating a cult-like following that has captivated my roommate and many more. One of its #1 bestsellers, eyebrow gel Boy Brow, had a waitlist of 10,000 in 2016. Even if you don’t use its minimalist, dewy products, you might be one of its 2.4 million Instagram followers, like me, gravitating toward the baby pink, glossy aesthetic. Housed in the sleek pink box clearly labeled “Glossier,” customers anticipate its Insta-worthy white and baby pink packaged products, complimentary stickers and resealable bags fashioned from hot pink bubble-wrap. Half of the buyer’s intent stems from the cute and comprehensive branding alone.

Further perpetuating the distinctive logo, Glossier slapped it on a sweatshirt, allowing customers to become even more a part of the brand. This isn’t the first instance of a cult brand creating supplemental clothing that is unrelated to the original product, but this is the first in the cosmetic industry. While other brands specialize in fashion and beauty, companies like Chanel and Dior did not originate in the beauty sector. These high-end brands do not have fashion products available to a variety of economic backgrounds. Furthermore, Chanel’s bouclé suits transcend the famous logo and are equally associated with the brand as the clearly discernible double-c. But without the Glossier logo, the sweatshirt is a plain Pepto Bismol pink hoodie, with no importance at all.

Beauty blogger turned-founder and CEO Emily Weiss pointed to the creation of Glossier as a missed opportunity in the market: “I learned there wasn’t really a beauty brand whose sweatshirt you wanted to wear. … A values-based brand was certainly missing from the landscape.”

Courtesy of Glossier

What’s even more impressive regarding the brand’s success is the scarcity of physical stores (though the two that exist are naturally floor-to-ceiling pink and white in true minimalistic style). As social media proliferates direct-to-consumer businesses, Glossier sells mostly online, with the occasional social media promoted pop-up shop around the nation. Cosmetic retailers like Ulta and Sephora aren’t even given the opportunity to act as a third-party seller for Glossier. This exclusive nature only adds to the must-have effect.

Glossier has earned extensive media coverage due to the brand’s uniqueness. It’s accessible yet elite; you don’t have to sacrifice your entire paycheck for a product that labels you as “trendy.” And label you it does. Putting the Glossier sticker on your laptop, or wearing the unmistakable hoodie to the grocery store, instantly places you in the same category as the fresh-faced models sprinkled on the brand’s Insta-feed.

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Per My Last Email https://platformmagazine.org/2019/10/18/per-my-last-email/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 17:36:11 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20604 Published on October 18, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. by Ally Denton. It seems that everyone is glued to their devices — and public relations professionals are no exception. While it is vital for PR practitioners to work efficiently, we must remember to communicate professionally and effectively. Email etiquette is a necessary asset in any professional’s [...]

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Published on October 18, 2019, at 12:30 p.m.
by Ally Denton.

It seems that everyone is glued to their devices — and public relations professionals are no exception. While it is vital for PR practitioners to work efficiently, we must remember to communicate professionally and effectively. Email etiquette is a necessary asset in any professional’s toolkit. By implementing the five tips below, your email skills are sure to impress anyone.

URGENT — or is it?
Your “urgent” message is most likely competing with others in a cluttered inbox. When you use a clear, relevant subject line, the recipient immediately knows what your email is about. This is important for two reasons — organization and efficiency. Inboxes immediately become easier to navigate when emails have straightforward subject lines. In addition, a definitive subject line increases efficiency by allowing recipients to react in a timely manner to projects or problems.

Photo by Krsto Jevtic on Unsplash

To whom it may concern…
Begin your email with a professional greeting and the receiving party’s name. It is imperative to personalize this section, if possible. Taking the time to directly address recipients engenders a positive attitude toward your message — therefore increasing their likelihood to respond.

Hope this email finds you well.
You have probably had many emails “find you well,” as this is a popular nicety amongst many professionals. Although this example is overused, it is beneficial to add some warmth to your email. Endless emails can start to seem transactional and monotonous. Adding in a quick “Hope you enjoyed your weekend!” or “Heard your recent presentation went well. Great job!” can brighten up your message. This small addition shows that you value the recipient’s time and cooperation.

Time to talk business.
Greetings and niceties aside … it’s time to tackle the point of the email. The body of your email should address the subject in a concise and effective manner. Always include pertinent information about the project or problem at hand to ensure everyone is on the same page. In addition, explicitly state the desired outcome and any questions regarding the issue.

After writing the bulk of your email, it is vital to reread the content to confirm it covers all the necessary aspects of the subject. At this stage, you should proofread for grammar (and probably delete some of your many exclamation points) and correct any spelling mistakes.

Photo by Web Hosting on Unsplash

Finally, check the tone of your email. Maintaining a professional and cordial tone is essential and directly affects the recipient’s attitude. Although it might be tempting to add in a snippy “per my last email” or “as stated below,” it only delays progress and cultivates negative energy.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
You wouldn’t end a conversation without saying goodbye, so don’t hit send on your email just yet. After your immaculately written email is complete, it’s time to craft your closing. Make sure to use an appropriate sign off but feel free to mix it up! “Great working with you” and “thank you for your help” are great variations to the classic “best” to end your email on an amiable note.

These five tips will add finesse to your email communication ensuring that you are always professional, polite and productive.

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No Need to Apologize https://platformmagazine.org/2019/10/16/no-need-to-apologize/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:26:12 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20592 Published on October 16, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. by Justine Groeber. How many times have you apologized for sending that much-needed, follow-up email? Or have said, “I’m sorry to bother you but …” to a client before asking them a question? While interjecting a quick “I’m sorry” might seem like the best way to start [...]

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Published on October 16, 2019, at 4:30 p.m.
by Justine Groeber.

How many times have you apologized for sending that much-needed, follow-up email? Or have said, “I’m sorry to bother you but …” to a client before asking them a question? While interjecting a quick “I’m sorry” might seem like the best way to start off that email or conversation, these are unwarranted apologies.

If you can’t see yourself in these scenarios, you’re in the minority. A 2015 YouGov poll shows that Americans are quick to apologize for minor things, like when someone bumps into you or you are standing

Photo by Web Hosting on Unsplash

in someone’s way.

According to Executive Coach Melody Wilding, a tendency to over-apologize can stem from a genuine desire to demonstrate respect, but it can also come from an aversion to conflict. This means claiming responsibility for something in order to avoid a problem, or as Wilding calls it, “a preemptive peace-keeping strategy.” It’s easy to assume that subconsciously saying sorry is the respectful thing to do, but really, it could have negative effects on your career.

Several expert sources have noted that apologizing for every minor inconvenience undermines your authority and suggests that you are accepting responsibility for something you may have no control over. Executive Coach Evan Weselake said that apologies are about taking responsibility and committing to doing it differently next time, so “if you aren’t responsible or would do the same again, then it’s not the time to say sorry.”

Public relations professionals seek to create win-win situations for client organizations and their publics. This desire to ensure mutually beneficial relationships could lead to a habit of over-apologizing.

A sincere apology goes a long way in mending a relationship or accepting fault, but just like anything else, the words “I’m sorry” lose their value when overused. Some argue that an apology should be made up of more than just the words “I’m sorry,” so when apologies come too easily it seems flippant and illegitimate (Psychology Today).

Overusing this verbal crutch also conveys a lack of confidence to your clients, co-workers or employers. Psychotherapist Beverly Engel wrote in her book “The Power of an Apology” that over-apologizing and over-complimenting aren’t so different — you may think saying “I’m sorry” makes you seem like a thoughtful person, but you’re actually indicating that you are insecure.

Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

So if you find yourself stuck in a never-ending cycle of unwarranted apologies, try expressing gratitude instead. When you ask your client that question, thank them for their help rather than apologizing for using their time — the words “thank you” often mean more than an apology.

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The Foundation of Inclusive Branding https://platformmagazine.org/2019/10/15/the-foundation-of-inclusive-branding/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:00:50 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20542 Published on October 15, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. by Ali Cushing. In the past, many brands promoted products in an exclusive light, focusing on messaging that only spoke to specific demographics. However, nowadays there is a movement for more inclusive marketing, and brands that once lacked diversity are joining in, because in 2019, inclusion sells. [...]

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Published on October 15, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.
by Ali Cushing.

In the past, many brands promoted products in an exclusive light, focusing on messaging that only spoke to specific demographics. However, nowadays there is a movement for more inclusive marketing, and brands that once lacked diversity are joining in, because in 2019, inclusion sells.

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Millennials value authenticity; therefore, businesses are enhancing the inclusiveness of their brands like never before. A recent study conducted by Accenture found that 70% of millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusivity and diversity in its promotions and products.

The importance of maintaining a strong relationship between a brand and its consumers is something PR professionals know all too well. Positive relationships between the two are sure to produce positive outcomes for both parties.

One company that has excelled in creating a positive consumer-brand relationship is Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. Fenty Beauty was created in hopes of providing makeup for all different kinds of people. Launching with 40 shades of foundation spanning evenly across the complexion spectrum – from the fairest to the deepest skin tones — “Foundation for all” became a revolutionary campaign in the makeup industry. Rihanna stated, “Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.”

Courtesy of Fenty Beauty

The makeup line gained widespread praise, including being named one of Time magazine’s best 2017 inventions, for its 40-shade foundation range. The debut of Fenty Beauty highlighted how valuable inclusive marketing can be, as it jolted the makeup industry and shifted the market as a whole. This shift in the cosmetics market is commonly referred to as “The Fenty Effect.” This “effect” brought on by Rihanna’s line created a new standard in the makeup industry, in light of pushing out more diverse shade ranges.

People used to look to brands in hopes of seeing what they “could be.” However, millennials are much more willing to embrace diversity and the “realness” of what they want out of a product. Brands that prioritize inclusivity and diversity, such as Fenty Beauty, resonate with their audiences as well as turn a profit.

The idea of promoting inclusiveness should stand out to any brand’s PR team because including more people provides a broader outreach. Never doubt the power of inclusivity; you might just create a new standard within your market.

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Celebrity CSR https://platformmagazine.org/2019/10/11/celebrity-csr/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 18:32:15 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20480 Published on October 11, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. by Zoie Mestayer. Celebrity endorsements are everywhere. Athletes pose on cereal boxes, pop stars are photographed wearing a certain brand of clothing, and famous actors appear on television ads in support of a candidate running for public office. It’s not hard to see why — studies have shown that [...]

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Published on October 11, 2019, at 1:30 p.m.
by Zoie Mestayer.

Celebrity endorsements are everywhere. Athletes pose on cereal boxes, pop stars are photographed wearing a certain brand of clothing, and famous actors appear on television ads in support of a candidate running for public office. It’s not hard to see why — studies have shown that consumers and other key publics respond well to seeing a familiar face tied to an organization.

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

For years, these relationships have proven their worth to public relations and advertising practitioners in the form of sales and clicks — in fact, they’re psychologically confirmed. The parasocial relationships that fans experience with their favorite stars make them feel connected to the celebrity. This translates into instant credibility for both the celebrity and the brand and, to their PR teams’ delight, behavioral and attitudinal changes amongst consumers and fans alike. Such partnerships also generate newsworthiness and can quickly launch the brand into the mainstream, collecting millions of impressions along the way.

The advent of social media only amplifies the effectiveness and prevalence of these tactics, offering the perfect platform for celebrity partners to spread the word about their affiliate brands. Just five minutes of casual scrolling on Instagram can produce a number of examples, like Serena Williams for Nike or Cardi B for the Bernie Sanders campaign. Additionally, social media has streamlined and simplified the path to fame, paving the way for even more future celebrities to sign endorsement deals once they’ve hit it big. These platforms are great tools for aspiring stars to create well-rounded and established personal brands that are primed for partnerships.

This shortcut to stardom does not come without its pitfalls, however. Social media allows anyone to see into a celebrity’s life — and the public doesn’t always like what it sees.

Because of this newfound cancel culture, society’s expectations for celebrities have shifted, mandating a similar form of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that we have historically associated with for-profit organizations. The reasoning is simple: These individuals can manipulate public opinion with such ease, so why not use this influence for good? Celebrities are realizing this and aligning themselves with movements they’re passionate about, from crowd-pleasing causes like cancer research, to controversial ones like abortion rights.

Brands, both for-profit and nonprofit, can utilize this new framework to form meaningful relationships with celebrities — as long as it’s for a good cause. Recently, Adidas and Stella McCartney collaborated on the creation of a post-mastectomy sports bra for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This partnership is a perfect example of celebrity and organizational CSR coming together in perfect harmony — creating an abundance of good publicity and goodwill.

However, to create a beneficial partnership, the brand has to do its homework and make sure the celebrity is a good fit. One misstep can do significant damage to a celebrity’s image and, by extension, any brands he or she is affiliated with. Such bad press can have the opposite effect on a CSR campaign designed to do some good.

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Celebrities and public relations professionals (on behalf of the brands they represent) are both given an amplified voice in our society, and this comes with an obligation to use it wisely and give back whenever possible. By working together, they can reach even wider audiences and make an even bigger difference. Regardless of whether or not the goal is CSR, they both must do their due diligence to ensure they aren’t doing more harm than good. Philosopher Voltaire said it best: “With great power, comes great [corporate social] responsibility.”

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6 Tips PR Professionals Can Learn from “The Office” Quotes https://platformmagazine.org/2019/10/10/6-tips-pr-professionals-can-learn-from-the-office-quotes/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:51:56 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20408 Published on October 10, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. by Ashby Brown. Be intentional. Although Michael Scott may be able to ramble on, public relations professionals cannot. Working in public relations requires professionals to act, write and speak with intention. Whether it is based on research, data points or evidence from past case studies, all communication [...]

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Published on October 10, 2019, at 12:00 p.m.
by Ashby Brown.

Courtesy of theofficequotes.com

Be intentional.
Although Michael Scott may be able to ramble on, public relations professionals cannot. Working in public relations requires professionals to act, write and speak with intention. Whether it is based on research, data points or evidence from past case studies, all communication must have a strategy behind it. Bottom line? Time is important – don’t write pointless sentences hoping to “find it along the way.”

Courtesy of We Heart It on Pinterest

Make a plan.
Just like the “World’s Best Boss” himself, we don’t always know what to do, and that’s OK. Nobody does! If you ever find yourself in a tough situation, grab a co-worker or trusted friend in the company and ask to pick their brain about the topic, depending on what it is, of course. Always ensure your client’s work can be discussed with other co-workers before taking action. Sometimes a different perspective can lead to a new idea. If talking to others doesn’t work for you, consider taking a break on this project and switch to another task. Giving your brain the time to stop and think about a different topic can bring new ideas forward and help you organize.

Courtesy of Brian Bumgartner on Twitter

Respect others’ time.
Kevin doesn’t have patience for stupidity, and neither do journalists. Just like when Kevin gets frustrated with office antics, journalists feel this way when they get a lousy pitch. With an email inbox full of story ideas, yours must stick out. To get journalists to write about your client, it is imperative to give them exactly what they want to hear: a newsworthy pitch with no grammatical errors. AP Style is of utmost importance as well, as it shows that we acknowledge the way journalists write. Not only will you seem more credible with these tools, but also your reader will appreciate it more than you know.

Courtesy of imgur.com

Put yourself out there.
While Michael may be stealing someone else’s quote – not one of his brightest ideas – there is definitely some truth to it. I like to think that public relations professionals are equally as creative as they are tactical. During a client brainstorm or a tactical communication meeting, be sure to speak up. Even if your idea isn’t chosen, it could spark another amongst the group. If you are feeling self-conscious, remember this: You were chosen to be in this role for a purpose. Shoot your shot!

Courtesy of Ashley Karlen on Pinterest

Keep your eyes on the prize.
Does Michael’s brain ever go faster than five miles per hour? We may never know. For us outside “The Office,” Monday at 8 a.m. may not be the most productive hour of the day. The post-lunch slump may get the best of us from time to time as well. Sometimes we may have writer’s block, or we may have a rough day. That’s OK; we all get like this.

My favorite tip to get through these plummeting hours is to find something that gets your blood flowing. For some, this may be a quick pace to the water cooler and back. Others may need to stretch out their arms and legs at their desks. Whatever can get your blood pumping, from exercise to music, try to identify a way to shake off the funk (even if it’s grabbing a third cup of coffee).

Courtesy of TVGag.com

Be grateful for the experience.
Even through all of Andy’s schemes and jokes about “Here Comes Treble,” he never noticed what he had until it was gone. Choosing a career in public relations can be the best decision you ever make. Every day looks different, and you have the ability to collaborate with others on some amazing campaigns.

From gaining press coverage to planning elegant events, the PR field is sure to keep you on your toes. Know this — even on the hard days, you’re still in the good old days. Enjoy being in the present, and never take this career for granted.

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Generation V — How Vloggers and PR Pros Go Hand in Hand https://platformmagazine.org/2019/10/09/generation-v-how-vloggers-and-pr-pros-go-hand-in-hand/ Wed, 09 Oct 2019 21:46:40 +0000 https://platformmagazine.org/?p=20391 Published on October 24, 2019, at 5:50 p.m. by Louise Margeson. According to HubSpot, the definition of public relations is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” This definition highlights the two most crucial aspects of effective PR — communications and relationships. Any good PR pro knows that [...]

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Published on October 24, 2019, at 5:50 p.m.

by Louise Margeson.

According to HubSpot, the definition of public relations is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” This definition highlights the two most crucial aspects of effective PR — communications and relationships. Any good PR pro knows that establishing consistent communication between an organization and its target audiences is what creates a strong and long-lasting brand identity. Today, social media is the primary way for organizations to uphold

Photo by Nick Dietrich on Unsplash

effective two-way communication.

In our digital age, where we are constantly hiding behind our small screens and vicariously living through our social media presence, we long for genuine relationships in order to feel connected to the ever-evolving world around us. That is where the “vlogger” phenomenon comes into play. Vloggers, otherwise known as YouTubers, are individuals who consistently post short clips online, allowing viewers to follow their everyday lives.

Although platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are very useful for organizations to reach their publics, YouTube has become a powerhouse in terms of maintaining a brand’s voice. The site, which has over 1.9 billion monthly active users, is, at its core, a platform for two-way communication. Through strategic partnerships, a brand can align itself and its values with one singular vlogger’s voice that advances its message. From a consumer’s perspective, after spending countless hours becoming invested in a particular vlogger, the promotion of a brand or product seems authentic and reliable.

In 2014, Jeetendr Sehdev of the University of Southern California asked 13- to 18-year-olds to rate the 10

Photo by nitin pariyar on Unsplash

most popular English-speaking YouTubers and the 10 most popular traditional celebrities across a range of qualities representing influence. YouTubers took the top five places, making them more influential than celebrities such as Katy Perry and Jennifer Lawrence. A year later, this number grew to six.

As the content created on YouTube continues to expand to reach a broader audience, the influence that

vloggers have over younger generations will inevitability increase. Now, more than ever, it is up to PR professionals to utilize this influence in order to advance their organization’s image.

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