Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Rant Heard Around the World

By: Gina Mason

I’m the best cornerback in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like (Michael) Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me…Crabtree, don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick.– Seattle Seahawks Cornerback, Richard Sherman

If you didn’t know about Richard Sherman prior to the NFC Championship game last Sunday, I bet you do now. His postgame interview/rant with Erin Andrews catapulted the defensive back into the spotlight and caused a media frenzy.

Since his interview, the topic of his tirade has received mixed reactions from fans, fellow players and the public. Even though Sherman issued an apology, some feel though he crossed the line and lacked sportsmanship with his comments and actions following the game. Others feel as though he was consumed by the emotion of clinching a Super Bowl berth and his actions were a result of pure adrenaline and passion. Either way, all eyes have been on him and the saying “all press is good press” has been true for Sherman’s personal brand.

But how did Richard Sherman’s seemingly “negative” action result in a positive outcome for his brand?  

Well, it just so happens that this man has an incredible story of overcoming adversity. This media attention brought out a softer side of Sherman and boosted his “likeability.” Not to mention, everyone loves an underdog (even one whose bark may be a little louder than the rest).

 Here are a few things that we have learned about Richard Sherman in the last week:

  • He defied the odds and escaped the gang-ridden town of Compton, CA through hard work, discipline, dedication and loving parents.
  • He graduated from Dominguez High School as the salutatorian of his class, finishing with a 4.2 GPA.
  • He graduated from Stanford University with a Communications degree. A degree which he pursed while playing football AND running track.
  • He has his own charitable foundation titled Blanket Coverage: The Richard Sherman Family Foundation, which provides children with school supplies and clothes. He is also known as one of the most philanthropic players in the NFL.
  • He has been named All-Pro twice in his three short years in the NFL and has been recognized as one of the best cornerbacks in the game.
  • Lastly, this is not the first time that Sherman has been candid, blunt or outspoken. Looking back at previous interviews, he has always been confident, not afraid to speak his mind and he even went toe-to-toe with ESPN’s Skip Bayless when he proclaimed, “I’m better at life that you [Skip].”

Although he is pretty self-assured at times, we have learned that Richard Sherman seems like a pretty good guy who simply had a poorly executed interview. However, that “bad interview” and his likeability factor might also make him a lot of money.

According to a CNN Money article, it has been said that Sherman will make about five millions dollars from his 15 second tirade. In addition, his manager Jamie Fritz said brand managers are now jumping at the opportunity for Sherman to represent their brand. “Corporate America knows who Richard Sherman is. I talked to brand managers this week and they are fired up. They love it. They say this is real. This is true. We finally have a player who is willing to speak his mind.”

Prior to the rant, Sherman appeared in several commercials for brands like Beat by Dre, NIKE and CenturyLink, but this off-season will tell if he is able to score any additional endorsement contracts.

If he does in fact benefit from his interview, do you think we will see more athletes and celebrities follow in Sherman’s footsteps?

What did you think of Sherman’s rant? How do you feel about him? Do you think this a positive move?  

As always, we welcome any comments and if you like what you read, be social and share. 

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Football Fans Prepare for Weather: Super Bowl XLVIII

By: Kelsey Clark

As millions of football fans prepare for the biggest day of the year, they can’t help but have one word in the back of their mind. Snow. Although snow, ranks right up there with the words wind chill, below freezing and storm, it is a term that has been more and more on the minds of those attending, planning and working this year’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.  Will snow and freezing temperatures make it so Super Bowl Sunday is Super Bowl Saturday or even Super Bowl Friday? That is the underlying question, as this year’s game is the first to be played in an outdoor stadium located in an area which receives annual snowfall.

The National Football League (NFL) has mentioned it is prepared for anything regarding the weather for the day of the Super Bowl. According to USA Today, there are plans in place of how to clear snow quickly from the stadium, as well as how to maintain the field properly, among others. Although they obviously do not want to move the game, if conditions are too dangerous that could end up being the outcome. To aid with the cold weather, the stadium is offering fans “Warm Welcome” kits. According to the New York Daily News, these kits will be equipped with three pairs of hand warmers, commemorative Super Bowl ear muffs, a hand muffler, a ski gator, lip balm and tissues. Additionally, the security points fans enter will be in heated tents throughout the stadium.         

According to PR Daily, the average range for one ticket to this year’s Super Bowl is between 3,000 and 14,000 dollars. Of course that price does not include the cost of getting to the game, which could be problematic as it is the largest game of the year. Additionally, the ticket price leaves out other costs such as food, drinks, any souvenirs and warm gear to wear during the game.

Another cost that adds into the game day price experience is a place to stay. Although there are thousands of rooms available from the most expensive suites to small, sometimes smelly motel rooms, they come with a price. With all of these additional costs, the price to sit outside and freeze in potentially snowy conditions just is not every person’s idea of a good day.

However, those who are willing to pay, willing to gear up and sit to enjoy their favorite sport on its most important day, show true dedication to their teams and the sport in general. Although it may cost them an arm and a leg, attending the Super Bowl outside in New Jersey will be quite an experience. It will not only be a first for those attending, but also a first for the NFL.

As the days creep closer and closer to Super Bowl XLVIII, New Jersey and New York City transform into a football fan’s paradise, despite any frigid temperature. Everyone is preparing for the worst and expecting the best in terms of wintry conditions. With the support from the fans and the hard-working people of the area, the game will surely be one to remember.  For more information on game day logistics visit http://insidethehuddle.nynjsuperbowl.com/?p=398.

We welcome any and all comments. As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Sources:

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15972.aspx#

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/nfl-prepares-warm-super-bowl-attendees-article-1.1517729

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/super/2014/01/22/super-bowl-xlviii-contingency-plan-weather-seahawks-broncos/4785757/

 

 

 

Living & Working with Your Smartphone

By: Kelsey Clark

Can you go a day without checking your email or reading your latest tweets on your smartphone? If not, you’re not alone, as millions of smartphone owners rely on their devices to keep them up-to-date at every moment. However, if you haven’t joined the smartphone world yet there is still plenty of time to pick out the newest, up-and-coming device. Smartphones can do wonders for your busy schedule and can significantly aid in the workplace, even if they can occasionally hinder your awareness in the real world. Below are three ways in which smartphones positively impact our daily lives.

No Secretary Needed

Smartphones provide the ability to schedule any appointments, meetings and events all in the palm of your hand. Calendars on your phone allow for maximized organization and time management as they can be used in correlation with coworkers’ schedules. They can be set to alert you when there is a meeting scheduled, making it easier to ensure you are in the right place at the right time.

Apps for Everything

Applications on both iPhone and Android smartphones allow for users to download apps within a wide variety of topics including, traffic updates, sports, entertainment, games and cooking, to name a few. Although each app provides a different level of support for users, they all provide a sense of ease. Users can simply open a traffic app like Hop Stop to check current train schedules or Google Maps to see how long it will take to drive home from work. Additionally, “fun” apps, such as Candy Crush and Twitter allow users to fulfill any game-playing or social networking need on the go. Although the apps on iPhones and Androids vary, they both offer similar versions of thousands of apps.

Getting Lost is a Thing of the Past

Features such as Siri with the iPhone and map apps with both the iPhone and Android allow for users to always know where they are going. The map apps make it so users can find specific locations, as well as discover the distance between places in a timely manner. Additionally, the apps show how long it will take to get to a location depending on the form of transportation used (for example: car versus walking). Siri is a special feature on iPhones which provides users with the ability to speak into the phone and ask a question. Although the questions can be on any topic of information, it is simple to ask how to get to a location because users get an immediate, detailed answer.

Although, at times, smartphones can distract us from the real world, they are used for several purposes which help us function. Despite being able to successfully function without a smartphone, the various devices offer a helping hand of sorts when it comes to being on time, staying organized and keeping in the loop with current events.

As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Free Advertising During the Super Bowl! Wait, What?

By: Ben Okun

Imagine a company spending $4.6 million on advertising during an AFC Championship game. You’d probably say to yourself that $4.6 million is a ridiculous amount of advertising money to spend on anything other than the Super Bowl. What if I then told you that the “company” didn’t pay a dime and still got $4.6 million worth of advertising for free?

This is exactly what happened to Omaha, Nebraska’s largest city. Omaha isn’t exactly a “company,” but it received so much unexpected marketing over the past couple of weeks that companies who did spend large amounts of money on advertising were probably in fits, and for good reason.

Peyton Manning, arguably the most popular and marketable player in the NFL, not to mention one of the best QBs in history, frequently yells the word “Omaha,” as part of his pre-snap cadence before he hikes the ball. In the AFC Divisional Game against the San Diego Chargers, Manning yelled Omaha 44 times and yelled it 31 more times this past weekend against the Patriots. Front Row Analytics, a sponsorship-evaluation company, estimated that the value of a Manning on-field endorsement (yelling Omaha) during the AFC Championship was $150,000 in equivalent ad value. You do the math; 31 Omaha’s at $150,000 apiece is about $4.6 million!

The city of Omaha caught wind of the free publicity during the game and the city’s official tourism center, Visit Omaha, tweeted out “We certainly appreciate all the love from #PeytonManning #OmahaOmaha.” Even after 4,000 retweets, the love didn’t stop there. Omaha was trending on twitter for the entire game and over the past couple of weeks, Omaha’s tourism website has seen a huge spike in traffic. Hotels.com noted that searches for hotels in Omaha increased by more than 20% since the Divisional game. Omaha Steaks even mulled the possibility of paying Manning to say “steaks” after he yells Omaha during games. There is currently no rule in place by the NFL that prohibits such in-game marketing, but the proposed idea never came to fruition.

Furthermore, five Omaha-based companies, ConAgra Foods, First National Bank of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha Steaks and Union Pacific Railroad agreed to donate a combined $800 to Manning’s charity every time Manning yelled Omaha during last week’s AFC Championship against the Patriots. For both Manning and the companies, this was a win-win deal, as Manning’s “PeyBack Foundation” received $24,800 and the companies received millions of dollars worth of free publicity.

Now that the Denver Broncos have reached the Super Bowl, the free publicity has reach a whole new level. The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of advertising and marketing, with companies regularly shelling out millions of dollars for just one, 30-second spot. These 30-second spots have been thoroughly planned and strategically created to appeal to the massive Super Bowl audience. Last year, the Super Bowl averaged 106.6 million viewers. To reach a similar audience this year, companies must pay $4 million for a 30-second ad. First Row Analytics estimated the value of one branded audible (yelling Omaha) during the Super Bowl is worth between $400K-$1.3 million.

To put this all into perspective, the city of Omaha is in for a huge day of marketing and publicity on Super Bowl Sunday. Unless Manning suddenly changes his cadence, the Super Bowl audience can except to hear Omaha upwards of 30 times during the game. That’s the equivalent of roughly $30 million in ad value! Before last week’s AFC Championship game against the Patriots, Doug Parrot, EVP of Nebraska-based Bailey Lauerman PR firm said, “Everybody in Omaha really needs to root for Peyton to take down Tom Brady so we can hear ‘Omaha’ in the Super Bowl.” Well, Parrot and the state of Nebraska got their wish.

“Omaha…Omaha! Set… Hike!”

Does in-game marketing like this ruin the integrity of the game? Are people more focused on the corporate aspect now, instead of the game itself? What other examples of “free marketing” can you think of that have taken place during an NFL game?

As always, I look forward to your feedback and welcome any and all comments. If you enjoyed what you read, be social and share.

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Connecting on Instagram

By: Kelsey Clark

Instagram has recently become one of the most popular social media outlets. The application on smart phones allows for users to have direct and instant contact with millions of people through the photos posted. Users can follow a wide variety of people, including friends, models, athletes and celebrities. Interaction is capable through several sources within the application. Below are four ways in which users can connect via Instagram.

Friends

Instagram allows users to follow other people. Users can alter privacy settings to make it so they accept or reject anyone who would like to follow them. Following someone means that users can see all of the photos that a person posts, as well as all of the photos that person comments on or likes. The same actions are visible if someone follows a user back. Instagram makes it so users can follow as few or as many people as they want, allowing them to optimize their photo feed.

Posting

Photos that users post can be seen by all of their followers. When users post a photo they can crop it. Also, they have several different types of formats to choose from when editing the photo. This allows for the photo to look perfectly edited, per request of the user. Additionally, users can tag people in photos and write a caption. Users can put a person’s user name with the “@” symbol in the caption to make it so they will definitely see the photo. Most people include hashtags in photo posts as well. Users can also post videos on Instagram, which is a recent addition. 

Photo Map

Users are able to add a location to a posted photo by clicking “Add to Your Photo Map.” This option makes it so all followers can see where the photo was taken. Additionally, if a person was to click on the town, city or state, etc. the user was in, it would take the follower to a page filled with other photos taken in the same place, tagged by other users. This feature provides users with an easy way to see who takes photos in similar places or who takes photos in certain places users may be more interested in viewing.   

Explore

This section of Instagram shows the 15 most popular photos. The top photos change throughout the day and can also be videos.  In the explore section, users can search other users to build their following. Users are able to search for hashtags as well. By searching a particular hashtag, users can see other photos posted with the same hashtag.

Although there are various social media outlets, Instagram provides users with an instant, visual connection. Users are able to follow their friends, favorite athletes or celebrities and even inspirational quote accounts. It doesn’t matter whether users post a photo daily or if they just have Instagram to look at other people’s photos, it is simply a way to engage with people.  

Do you use Instagram? What do you like most about it?  I’d love to hear your feedback and as always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

Using Your Phone for the Greater Good

By: Gina Mason

Just ask Apple….”There’s an app for that”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szrsfeyLzyg

For those of you who are interested in helping others, but have a limited amount of time to get involved…”there’s an app for that.” No really, I’m not kidding there are now MANY apps for just that.  

As you all know, technology have evolved rapidly over the last couple years. To keep up with the technology-driven/phone-obsessed times, some app developers had a brilliant idea to make donating or helping a cause literally as easy as picking up your phone (as if it wasn’t basically glued to your hand already). Now, instead of browsing aimlessly on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you can now donate directly to a great cause in a matter of seconds. No matter your time, economic situation or wireless carrier, there is an app to give back for everyone.

Here a few great apps that make giving back simple and rewarding.

Donate a Photo

For those of you who love to take “selfies” or post scenic photos on Instagram, Donate a Photo is a great app for you. Johnson & Johnson created this app in “hopes to raise more awareness for the causes that need help and connect people to nonprofits, helping everyone make an even bigger difference.” For each photo that you send, Johnson & Johnson will donate one dollar to one of 16 trusted charities. Some of the causes include Operation Smile, Keep America Beautiful, American Academy of Pediatrics, Sight for Kids, World Wildlife Fund, Save the Children and Safe Kids Worldwide, to name a few.  As of right now, there have been 135, 728 photos donated toward a number of causes and the impact has been incredible (40,000 mothers help moms keep their babies HIV-free, 9,000 children have been protected from bullying, 14 public parks have been restored). Users can donate up to one photo a day to the cause of their choice. The photos are only used by Johnson & Johnson to raise awareness and inspire others. For those of you who are weary of sending in photos, there is an option to keep your photos private and Johnson & Johnson promises that the photos will not be used for any commercial purposes.

For more information, visit:  http://www.donateaphoto.com

Charity Miles

If getting in better shape and helping others was on your New Year’s resolution for 2014, then Charity Miles is the perfect app for you. Not only does Charity Miles track your running/biking/exercise progress, but it also donates 10 cents per mile for bikers and 25 cents per mile for runners/walkers toward one of their trusted charities. What better what to stay motivated than to know that each mile you walk/run or bike makes the world a better place? Some of the charities include Autism Speaks, Feeding America, Wounded Warrior Project and Stand Up to Cancer, to name a few. All you have to do is download the app and get moving. The best part of the app is that it doesn’t cost you anything to participate (except calories). All of the money that is donated to the charities comes from directly from participating corporate sponsors who pledge per mile.  So get out there to get healthy and make someone happy!

For more information, visit: www.charitymiles.com

Instead

Starbucks addicts beware! I know suggesting to give up your daily cup of coffee may be shocking at first, but what if I said it was for a good cause? Although three dollars doesn’t seem like much at the time, it can make a huge difference to a charity. The minds behind Instead created an app that encourages users to make micro-donations to a charity of choice by decreasing consumption. The app suggests that users make simple trade-offs (by conserving a cup of coffee or sandwich) and donating that small amount you would have spent it to a worthy cause instead. There are three to five dollar increments in which you can donate and the app has great reminders of how a seemingly small amount can make such a big impact for others. One example from the app is to, “drink water three times [instead of buying bottled water] and provide clean water for three years.”

For more information, visit: www.instead.com

Volunteer Match

If you are looking to physically volunteer your time but don’t know where to start, download the volunteer match app to find an organization that needs you help. Volunteer Match is an incredible organization that connects people who are willing to help to nonprofits that are looking for volunteers. You can search the volunteer opportunities by your specific interests and learn more about the charities in your region all through your phone. With over 96,000 participating organizations in the US, there are volunteer opportunities for everyone, everywhere. Since Volunteer Match’s inception in 1998, they have referred over seven million people to charities.

For more information, visit: www.volunteermatch.org/volunteers/services/iphoneapp.jsp

Here at indra public relations, we are advocates for getting involved with nonprofit organizations. Whether you are donating time or money, every little bit counts and will make a difference. If we can all come to together for the greater good then the world can be a much better place.

We welcome any and all comments. As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

 

Tips For An Effective Event Hashtag

By:  MJ Pedone

The majority of events and conferences that you will attend going forward, will have their own hashtag. The hashtag has become prevalent in conversations and it has become strange not to see or use one.

Hashtags are very helpful. It helps event attendees organize and prioritize their conversations online. They are able to express their opinions and ideas about the speakers and stay virtually connected well after the event is over. If you’re planning your own event, it’s imperative to choose hashtags so that attendees can use them easily.

Below are a few hashtag tips that you should use when planning your next event.

1.  Make it Unique

The purpose of a hashtag that is associated with an event is to enable event attendees and those non-attendees, the ability to connect with each other, share their thoughts and experiences and continue to have a conversation leading to networking after the event is over.

If another event group is using your hashtag, it interrupts the conversation and makes it harder for your group to converse on Twitter. The best event hashtags are those that are unique to the event. If your event is a chocolate fan event, you probably don’t want to choose a hashtag like #chocolate. You should do a search on Twitter to be sure that the many users on Twitter are not using this popular hashtag. Your chocolate event will be lost in the chatter.

To avoid a hashtag already in use, think of a few hashtags that you want to use and do a Twitter’s search. At least one should be available and if not, you can always think of others surrounding chocolate.

2.  Make it Memorable

Your hashtag should be on all signage and collateral materials at the event including the large screens. You should display your hashtag wherever you can.

Although your event attendees will be seeing your hashtag everywhere, make sure it is catchy and easy to remember.  If the hashtag has a combination of letters and numbers such as chocolatezw4n9q, it wont be memorable at all. 

3.  It’s intelligible

Here are some ideas for hashtags that are easy to decipher: #chocolateevent2014 or chocolateeventFebruary. These hashtags are lengthy but easier to understand for anybody who comes across it on Twitter.

4.   Keep it short


Try and keep your hashtag short and sweet. The shorter the hashtag, the more room your event attendees will have to share their thoughts. So instead of #chocolateevent2014, you might want to shorten it to #chocolateevent which is much shorter and has the added bonus of being useable after the month of the conference should you want to make it an annual event.

In closing, don’t be afraid to use event hashtags and keep the conversations going. This will keep the event momentum going and can lead to new attendees for the next one.

 Need help deciphering hashtags for your next event? Feel free to drop me a line.

As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.