Tag Archives: Indra PR

I Wrote This Blog and You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next…

By: Dallas J. Short

Working in public relations, I’m a bit of word nerd and am constantly writing. There is a new version of Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary and 1,700 words have been included, along with 3,200 new examples to add context. After this, all I can do is SMH at WTF and NSFW being added. The one that bothers me the most though is clickbait, not because I disagree with it being a word, but I disagree with even having clickbait (as what it is) exist.

Clickbait (noun): something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.

There are two mains reasons.

The first, it’s lazy journalism, which is very unprofessional and should not even be labelled as journalism. If you can’t judge a book by its cover, you should definitely still be able to know what a story is about by its headline. Integrity is extremely important to me and has seemed to fall by the way side, as people are more focused on getting clicks so they can pad their traffic stats and get more money for advertisements. It’s lying and disrespectful. It might sound crazy, but when you actually create quality content for your audience, they will not only trust and respect you more, but your positive engagement will increase. While some people will always be bored and out to troll, the majority of comments on a “news” story should not be outrage because of the author’s misrepresentation of facts and details.

The second, the internet and the world in general are fast-moving and unfortunately there are some people who just read headlines and form their own stories, without taking the time out to read the whole thing, put it in context or do research. Ah yes, ignorance is bliss and we should be a more educated society, but putting nonsense out into the world is part of the problem, not the solution. These misleading titles can also cause people to be upset and spread hate, as well as misinformation. Writers understand that words are weapons and a quick Spiderman refresher “with great power comes great responsibility.” Readers deserve better.

Clickbait has become a bad game of follow the leader, it works/worked to increase the number of page clicks and so more and more people keep doing it. Online publications do rely on advertising money, so they do want more clicks and that is understandable. There are other ways to go about it and it comes down to knowing your audience and writing in ways that appeal to them. It could be through intelligence, wit, sarcasm, actual satire or other styles.

In PR, your reputation is everything. I like my news delivered to me clever and honest, how about you? As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, please be social and share.

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Zero Dark Thirty: Step Away From Your Cell Phone

By: Dallas J. Short

The NBA Playoffs are back and I’m sure you are just as shocked as I am that my Philadelphia 76’ers somehow did not make the cut. While many are convinced this year’s champion will be from the Western Conference, that has not stopped one of the league’s best from continuing a tradition that has helped him #StriveForGreatness.

LeBron James is once again on his “Zero Dark Thirty” social shutdown. No phone, no Facebook (21.5 million), no Twitter (20.7 million), no Instagram (9.6 million), it’s radio silence from the 4-time MVP. He started this in 2012 postseason, one year after he and the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. He says he only needs to talk to his family and his teammates. He’s locked in and focused on bringing the trophy home to Ohio.

Forbes.com has an article “30 Reasons to do a Digital Detox” and #19 “because it’s a challenge” is also one of the reasons LeBron gave. I’m sure King James’ bigger reason is to avoid distractions, trolls and negative comments, but who doesn’t love a good challenge every now and then.

Though I probably have as much chance of getting an NBA Championship ring as my Sixers do, I think a digital detox can be beneficial for anyone. That break free moment of ceremoniously throwing your phone into the ocean, taking a deep breath and inhaling the beauty of the world around you. At least, that’s how I picture it in my head. In reality, I make deals with myself. “I’ll only use my phone as an alarm clock.” “I’ll only reply to texts.” “I’ll just check it for e-mails.” “I’ll do it next weekend.” There always seems to be something that stops the disconnect. We focus on captioning the moment instead of capturing it. LeBron’s won back to back championships and continues to make the finals, so it’s definitely working for him. The super busy, super productive and super successful Arianna Huffington is also big on digital detoxes.

Here are a few other reasons Forbes listed on why to do a digital detox.

  • To give your brain a break from digital processing. Information overload is a serious issue. Recharging is healthy.
  • To see things clearly, make better decisions, and find a more productive way to do things when you return.
  • Once you switch off, time seems plentiful (compared to the version we tend to race against most days).
  • To have in-depth conversations that meander and make you think and bring up questions that aren’t answered by the Internet.
  • You’ll carve out space to think deeply, connect to yourself, and connect to the people around you.

So let’s do it this weekend. I’m in and up for the challenge.

Are you addicted to your smartphone and social media? Have you ever tried a digital detox?

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

Secrets from Shark Tank’s Daymond John

By: Gina Mason

As embarrassing as it may sound, I must admit that many (most) of my Friday nights are no longer spend out at the clubs, but rather at home watching my favorite show on ABC, Shark Tank. Call it my interest in the entrepreneurial spirit (or lack of a social life), I just cannot get enough of the wheeling and dealing that goes on during the show. Outside of some of the ingenious ideas that people come up with, I am absolutely fascinated with the thought-process and negotiating skills of each “shark.”

Due to my obsession with the show, I recently read an article on Inc.com that recapped a speech that business mogul and Shark Tank star, Daymond John did during an Inc. GrowCo conference in Nashville and I wanted to share some of his wisdom. I find John’s story to be the most inspiring out of all of the sharks and applaud him for all that he has accomplished.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with John, he created a clothing empire that started with his handmade line, Fubu. John is the epitome of a rags-to-riches story as he was raised in Queens by a single mother who worked three jobs to provide for the family. Using the sewing skills his mother had taught him, he started making clothing in his mother’s apartment and selling it on the street. After a lot of hard work and hustling, sales for his hats and shirts took off and today he is worth over $250 million dollars.

Thanks to Lindsay Blakely’s recap, here are a few of the secrets for building your business that John shared at the conference:

Act bigger than you are.

“John realized early on that although he knew he wanted to be a part of hip-hop culture, he couldn’t sing, dance or produce music. But he loved fashion. Dominating the hip-hop clothing business became his one and only focus. “I couldn’t hit a target I couldn’t see,” he recalls. The only problem was that he had no money and no knowledge about how to start a fashion company. So he did what many enterprising entrepreneurs have done before him: He faked it until he made it. The first step was getting the right people to stand behind the brand.

John made 10 Fubu shirts and using his connections, showed up wherever influential rappers would be–often at music video studios or as was the case with LL Cool J, his house. He charmed them into trying on the shirts, snapped their photos and then took back the shirts. Fubu still wasn’t a real company with real merchandise, but after two years the brand looked huge, John says–or at least, it looked like all of the cool hip-hop kids wore it.”

Win on scrappiness and savvy.

“John eventually learned that anyone who is anyone in the fashion business needs to show up at the annual Magic Show in Las Vegas, a trade show for clothing manufacturers. He couldn’t afford a booth or even a ticket. So he and a few friends turned a room at the Mirage hotel into a makeshift showroom. John sneaked into the convention and persuaded buyers to make a trip over to the room. By the end of the show, he had closed $300,000 in orders. Fubu later went on to sell, with the help of a distribution deal with Samsung’s textile division, $30 million of clothing in three months.

Or there was the time that LL Cool J was slated to appear in and write the lyrics for a Gap ad. John persuaded him to show up for the shoot wearing a Fubu hat and rap about the brand. (If you listen to the lyrics closely, he mentions For Us By Us, the tag line behind Fubu). The way John tells it, Gap had wanted the rapper to help the clothing line break into the hip-hop market. But after the ad aired and then re-aired, Fubu was the real winner behind the deal–revenue climbed to $400 million. Not a coincidence, the entrepreneur says.”

Remember: You are the brand.

“If you’re an aspiring Shark Tank contestant, this tip is for you. John says one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success when you pitch your company is to come up with two to five words that define you as an entrepreneur. “If you don’t know what you stand for, you leave it up to us,” he says, referring to the other sharks on the show.

Speaking of those sharks, whatever you do, learn what each shark is looking for. “After six years of the show, I have no idea how people go on Shark Tank and they don’t understand what the sharks want,” he says.”

I think John not only offered some great insight, but also some incredible inspiration for the aspiring or up-and-coming entrepreneurs out there. He defied the odds and truly created his own success by following a dream, working hard and taking advantage of the right opportunities.

What did you think of his tips?

For those of you who want to catch up on the latest episodes of Shark Tank, visit: http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank

I welcome your comments and as always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Dove Attempting to Wash Away Negative Online Comments

By: Gina Mason

Award season is the best time of year for stargazing and I’m not referring to looking up at the sky. At each elegant affair, Hollywood’s best and brightest shine on the red carpet and show off the latest styles and trends. If you are like me than that means you are glued to the TV taking mental notes of what and who all the celebrities are wearing.

Despite all of the fabulous gowns and beautiful jewelry on the red carpet, many viewers at home during these award shows tend to share some very ugly comments about the celebrities and even make degrading comments about them online. (i.e. “What is [insert celebrity’s name] wearing?!?” “Wow! She put on some weight!” “She looks awful!” “She is looks so old!”

In attempt to wash away this negative issue during the Oscars, Dove and Twitter have teamed up to create a powerful campaign that promotes positivity and self-esteem. Earlier this week as a part of their new #SpeakBeautiful campaign, Dove released a new ad to show how negative and degrading comments online have a domino effect on us all. This powerful ad will run during the red carpet coverage of the Oscars to remind us all about how such negativity impacts us and how positivity can change that. To check out the video, click the link below:

In addition to the ad, “Dove will be making use of a Twitter tool on Oscar night that identifies certain key words — in this case, it will keep an eye out for those that mention, appearance and body image. The tool will flag negative tweets and Dove’s Twitter account — which will be manned by self-esteem experts — will tweet positive responses” according to Mashable.

A Dove spokesperson said, “Twitter is a powerful platform for building momentum around social issues, and we think it’s a good way to leverage the unique parts of the site to support things that matter. We want to help shift the conversation toward positivity.”

This campaign was in response to some staggering data that Twitter collected when it comes to social media and self-esteem:
• 8 out of 10 women encounter negative comments on social media that critique women’s looks.
• Women are 50 percent more likely to say something negative about themselves than positive on social media.
• 82 percent of women surveyed feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic.
• 4 out of every 5 negative tweets Twitter identified about beauty and body image are women talking about themselves.”

I love this idea and I think it is the perfect platform to launch this type of campaign. What better way to promote this positive message than during one of the most watched shows of the year? I applaud Dove for trying to make a positive change in the world and promote the beauty in all of us. I think we have all been guilty of unfairly and negatively critiquing celebrities and more importantly, ourselves and it is a great reminder how we need to change the way we think about ourselves. We all have our own beauty and one small positive change can make a big difference.

What do you think of this campaign? Do you think it will be successful in stopping some the negativity that goes on during award shows? If it is successful, do you think this will translate into other live events?
As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

2015 Super Bowl Ads

By: Gina Mason

The Super Bowl is upon us and on Sunday, millions of Americans will tune in to watch the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the ultimate football showdown. Outside of the game, “deflate-gate” and the excessive amount of beer, pizza and chicken wings that will be consumed on this unofficial holiday, there is also another competition that will go on while the players are off the field. The battle of best Super Bowl commercial is always ultra competitive and the stakes are high, as advertisers have to capitalize on the only time of year where people actually want to watch commercials.

Over 110 million people will be watching to see which big brands will come up with the most innovative, clever or cute commercial of the year. However, it is not cheap for these brands to shine on the big stage and get international exposure. According to TIME.com, “This year, a Super Bowl ad costs roughly $4.5 million for 30 seconds of air time, up $500,000 from 2014.”

With that kind of money being shelled out for 30-second spots, viewers can expect big things from this year’s commercials. According to TIME.com, beer, cars, chips and half naked women will not dominate the themes of this year’s Super Bowl commercials. There will be a number of new brands such as Wix.com, Loctite, Mophie, Buzzfeed and The Verge that will all make their Super Bowl debut and bring some fresh campaigns and ideas to viewers. Also, ads wont be limited to TV screens. With high advertising rates, the power of viral videos and online streaming, many big brands are steering towards the digital market and using social media to get their message out there instead of paying millions for primetime spots.

To help get your head in the “commercial game” for Sunday, here are a few Super Bowl ads that came out early for your viewing pleasure:

Bud Light – Real Life Pac Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9A1NowrnGI

Dove – Real Strength Men + Care: http://youtu.be/QoqWo3SJ73c

GoDaddy – Journey Home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=X2AHrCtOHqc

Skittles – Super Bowl Tailgate with Kurt Warner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=Gj_Dqkpzv1g

Victoria’s Secret – Angels Playing Football: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84838260&feature=player_embedded&x-yt-ts=1422327029&v=S5-sx-Qgd_M

T-Mobile – Kim Kardashian and #KimsDataStash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=ZTwzsV3I3OQ

Based on the previews, which brand do you think is going to take home the title of “Best Super Bowl Commercial” this year? What do you hope to see from this year’s ads? Most importantly, what is your prediction for the big game?

I know I am looking forward to watching Tom Brady hopefully take down the Seahawks and of course, the squeal of Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial from last year. I hope you all enjoy the game and commercials on Sunday and stay safe!

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

The Risks of Resisting Social Media

By: MJ Pedone

 There are conversations taking place about brands 24 hours a day through social media. Are you a part of these conversations or are you hoping that this form of communication will come to a halt in a few more weeks? Social media offers a variety of opportunities for brands to get involved by participating in those conversations. While participating in social media is not without risk, not participating might prove to be the greater risk — especially to reputations.
Here are three risks for resisting involvement in social media for companies, brands, business owners and service providers:

Having your reputation defined by others: People are talking about you; your company and your brand, and your stakeholders expect you to be paying attention in real time, especially when they have a customer service complaint or positive feedback to give. You decide whether to participate in this conversation or not, but at least you are aware of what is being said. This is the new frontier for reputation risk management. If you don’t tell your story, others will tell it for you.

Being invisible and less credible: The social Web is changing how people communicate and access information. With a smartphone, tablet or any handheld device, you can search the web and find just about any information you seek instantaneously from wherever you are. People are searching for you and want to read what they can. Not having a presence on the web means that you are not easy to find and can lead people to question whether you have a credible business or not. People are constantly turning to the different social sites as the easiest and most effective way to get their questions answered within seconds. Potential buyers are going online to research products or services before they purchase them and potential clients visit your different sites before they meet you. If people are looking for information about you or your business, what are they finding? A social page or profile even on a basic level enables you to provide accurate and helpful information about the services you or your company provides. Furthermore, social media pages typically appear with prominence in search results — without these online presences, relationship managers and organizations risk not being present in the search results when an interested prospect goes looking.

Being perceived as behind the curve: As consumers embrace new technologies, they expect businesses to do the same. Organizations and their team members that aren’t using social platforms will not be perceived as forward thinking and can risk losing potential clients who want business partners who speak their language. Would you open checking account with a bank that doesn’t have an online portal? Today, we depend upon online access for our data, so that seems inconceivable. Soon customers will feel this way about having a social connection with businesses.
Social media is perhaps best thought of as a set of new and innovative ways for businesses and customers to do what they have always done: build relationships, exchange information, read and write reviews and leverage trusted networks of friends and experts.

As you contemplate the risks and rewards of social media, I suggest that the key source for evaluation is simply to experience it for yourself. There are many low risk ways to do this, even if you work in a regulated industry. One of the best suggestions I have is to hire an experienced social media specialist who has the knowledge and experience with different companies.
Today’s real time social media world is challenging all businesses, brands, and professionals to adapt or at least make an informed decision not to. As you consider the many risks associated with being or not being in social media, it is important not to overlook the rewards and opportunities.

Have you reaped the rewards of social media? Is your strategy relevant? I welcome all comments. As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Charities in Need of Media Attention

By: MJ Pedone

When I first founded Indra Public Relations, I listened to the needs of my clients and heard them loud and clear on why they wanted to hire a firm that offers everything needed to grow a business and that is why we offer a wide variety of in house services that includes, PR, nonprofit management, event planning and production, branding and celebrity integration.
Early on, I had many of my nonprofit clients come to me who were misinformed about earning press and didn’t understand why other organizations were front and center in the media. I had to explain that those other organizations have outstanding PR and marketing firms, but the ones that don’t, aren’t in the running for growing their funds as competitively as others that do.

Here are 3 reasons why your charity DOES NOT wins press coverage:

1. Those who benefit from your charity’s work are not in front of media enough. Most of the media opportunities you get should feature people your work helps. The best stories and those that drive donations to a charity, are the ones that tugs at people’s heartstrings. You need to bring a human element to the story to impact your charity’s work.

2. Your charity does too few public events. From a PR perspective, events are a key way to build relationships with the media and broader public. People (including media) like events, and there is no doubt that charity events generally have a feel-good vibe and are a nice counterpoint for journalists, because “news” is usually bad news.

3. Your leadership is not committed to raising the organization’s profile in the media. Like anything in business, very little is going to happen without real commitment from senior leaders. If your charity wants to take PR to the next level, you better have a leader at the top that understands the relationship between earned media and the bottom line.

If you want to let the world know about your amazing mission, then you need to have an experienced team of experts get the word out there for you. At Indra Public Relations, we are available to grow your business and meet your goals. http://www.indrapr.com

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