Tag Archives: Indra PR

LinkedIn Endorsements from a Real Bada**

By: Gina Mason

LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool for those looking to stay in touch with colleagues, network with new people and search for jobs. According to Businessweek, “the digital résumé network has more than 310 million users worldwide and can be a great resource for recruiters who are looking for new job candidates. Recruiters not only evaluate LinkedIn profiles by looking at resumes, but also by examining the endorsements and recommendations on each candidate’s profile. Although some may debate the power of endorsements on LinkedIn, those who receive endorsements from prominent figures in their respective industries can make their profile more attractive to recruiters or potential employers.

If you have seen either of the action-packed Taken films, you know that Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills has “a very particular set of skills.” His “skills” were “acquired over a very long career” in the CIA and his expertise includes interrogation, tracking, speaking foreign languages and most importantly, kicking the “you know what” out of bad guys. So what does LinkedIn, Liam and the Taken films have to do with one another?

Well, in a non-traditional stunt to promote the new film, Taken 3, 20th Century Fox has partnered with LinkedIn to create a way to engage fans and drum up some publicity before the movie is released on January 3, 2015. Playing off of the “skills” angle of the film, the publicity team of Taken 3 will select one lucky fan to have his or her “particular set of [LinkedIn] skills” endorsed by [Neeson] Mills himself,” according to Entrepreneur.com.

The contest is very simple. To enter, you just have to follow the movie’s LinkedIn page and if you win, Neeson promises to “find your LinkedIn profile, review it and record a video of himself endorsing your particular set of skills.” The contest ends on December 23rd and the winner will be announced on January 4, 2015.
I think this was a very creative way to generate some positive press about the upcoming Taken 3 premiere and was an innovative tactic to engage users/followers on LinkedIn. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have dominated the way in which movies, concerts, etc. are promoted and it was refreshing to see something new.

However, the question now becomes how powerful is an endorsement from Liam Neeson? Do you think it will pack a powerful punch with recruiters? Although, I am skeptical that it will make a huge difference (unless your future boss is a huge Taken fan), I still think it was a very interesting way to get Taken fans and LinkedIn users involved with the new movie.
To learn more about the contest, check out this video of Liam Neeson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=535J4gYXsxs

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

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McDonald’s New Transparency Campaign

By: Gina Mason

They say that, “desperate times call for desperate measures,” and it appears as though the world’s largest fast food chain may be facing some hardships. With sales and stocks declining, McDonald’s has been testing out a variety of tactics in hopes to keep people coming back to the “Golden Arches.”

From changing up the way in which the food is served to restructuring their messaging, the fast food giant has been trying to keep up with the ever-changing eating habits of Americans. Today, we are living in a much more health-conscious society where people are concerned with things like gluten and want to be educated on where their food came from, how it was raised and how it was prepared. This presents an issue for companies like McDonald’s where their food items are mass-produced and they may not be as willing to share the way in which they make/create their menu items.

In an attempt to remedy this issue, McDonald’s launched a new multimedia campaign called “Our Food. Your Questions,” in an effort to be completely transparent and answer the questions of customers and critics alike. The campaign asked people to tweet their questions such as, “Why can’t I get a McRib year-round?” and “What is actually in a Chicken McNugget?” to create an open dialog. In addition to trying to engage the public, McDonald’s has been in the process of releasing a series of videos answering some of the questions that have been submitted.

This week, McDonald’s released another video that revealed the contents of their famous Chicken McNuggets. What was once rumored to be made of “pink slime” and mystery meat, the McDonald’s dispelled the myth by taking viewers “behind-the-scenes” to show them the process of the nugget-making at a Tyson plant in Tennessee (that uses real chicken, SHOCKER!). This is just one of many videos that will be released during this campaign with the goal of showing people they offer “quality” food.

However, I personally question if the decline in sales is due to the validity or transparency of how the food is made or if it is attributed to the lack of healthy menu items. While, I have consumed many chicken nuggets in my lifetime, the reason I no longer choose to eat at McDonald’s is because the food on the menu is so unhealthy. Whether you are eating a salad or a Big Mac, the calories and fat content in almost all of their items is very high. While I applaud their efforts to be transparent, I think they need to add more healthy items in order to get people coming back for more. I will be interested to see how this campaign works out for McDonald’s and to gauge the public’s reaction.

To learn more about McDonald’s campaign, check out their Our Food. Your Questions website: http://www.mcdonalds.com/content/us/en/your_questions/our_food.html

What do you think of McDonald’s transparency campaign? Does it change your feelings on the brand? Do you think this is helping them or hurting them?

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

The Difference Between Marketing and Public Relations

By: MJ Pedone

The terms marketing and public relations seem to always be confused and intertwined. While they do compliment each other, there certainly is a difference between the two. I’m frequently asked the difference and below I have included the differences.

Marketing
Marketing is the development of an image through collateral strategies such as your website, logo, ads, writing, social media, bio and a media kit. Experienced marketing and design professionals will assist with writing and developing your marketing materials, which will save you money in the long run. Marketing professionals will brand you the way you want and in a timely fashion.

Public Relations
Public Relations is the development and management of an image. This consists of media outreach which includes print, tv, radio, digital, social media, blogging, charity/non-profit outreach, obtaining endorsements and the distribution of press releases and media kits.

The majority of people think that public relations is an area where they can save money and do the work themselves. Writing press releases and sending them to media outlets isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. The time involved in writing the releases and researching the correct contacts can take almost an entire day. Do you know the techniques involved in writing an eye-catching press release and how to obtain the correct contacts to submit your release to? Or how to “pitch” your story so that those reading it are eager to hear more and feature you? Editors today are over-pitched and hit the delete button very quickly so you will need to make sure that you don’t fall into that category.

Here are some tips when you should hire a PR expert:
• You have a solid marketing plan in place
• You want to utilize a professional who has existing relationships with the media
• You understand the value of hiring a team experienced in executing successful PR campaigns.
• You realize that although you have experience in your industry, a PR professional will brings added value to the table
• You realize that you won’t gain the earned media and awareness that you seek by just talking about it and need to hire someone who can

The power of PR can catapult your brand instantly. Start with a solid marketing plan using experienced professionals and than launch your PR campaign with a public relations team who has the experience and contacts to do so. Let the publicist do what they do best while you tend to the day-to-day needs of your business.

Do you use a publicist to get the message out for your company? Is your campaign effective? As always, we welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Giving Tuesday: A Reason to Give Instead of Spend

By: Gina Mason

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are three consecutive days out the year where many of us attempt to burn off all of those Thanksgiving calories by burning through our wallets and holiday shopping lists. What used to be a time spent with family and giving thanks for what we have, has now turned into a consumer-oriented shopping frenzy, filled with long lines and discounted electronics.

However, thanks to a brilliant viral movement /international fundraising event called, Giving Tuesday, people now are dedicating a day solely to giving back to great causes instead of spending money on materialistic goods. According to The Associated Press, Giving Tuesday, “was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation to kick start the critical holiday giving season after Thanksgiving.”

As you may have guessed, Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and it encourages people from around the world to “come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.” According to GivingTuesday.com, “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving.”

Some of the ways to give include, donating your time or money to a worthwhile cause, getting involved in your community, spreading the important message of giving back on social media or simply doing something nice for someone else. The concept is simple, give back in any way you can to make the world a better place.

I had never heard of Giving Tuesday until I recently when saw a bunch of social media posts with the signature hashtag #GivingTuesday. To my surprise after a quick Google search, I found that Giving Tuesday has turned into huge international movement which has raised millions of dollars and helped organizations from all over the world.

Here are some of the outstanding numbers from this year’s Giving Tuesday:

• There was approximately $45.68 million dollars donated this year, a 63 percent increase over 2013
• The average gift was $154
• There were 32.7 million Twitter impressions with over 698,000 hashtag mentions
• There were 68 countries that participated in this year’s Giving Tuesday including Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador and Singapore
• There were over 15,000 participating nonprofits and 20,000 participating sponsors

It appears as though Giving Tuesday has grown dramatically over the past three years and many expect it to continue to grow in the coming years. According to AP, “Ken Berger of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator said the new annual phenomenon in philanthropy reflects a growing savviness around how to use social media to generate support for nonprofits. Giving Tuesday could become one of the top days of the year when people give, he said, though it’s not likely to trump Dec. 31 when many people make tax-deductible gifts.”

I think Giving Tuesday is a great reminder for us all to take a moment and help others in any way we can. I really hope this movement continues to gain momentum and awareness and more people can be positively impacted.

If you are interested in learning more about Giving Tuesday, be sure to check out the website: http://www.givingtuesday.org/

Lastly, mark Tuesday, December 1, 2015, on your calendars to get involved next year!

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

Get Amped Up For Exercise

By: Jenifer Wetterau

Does the thought of being disconnected give you chills? Hate dragging around clunky chargers? Do you take better care of your smartphone than you do yourself? Then this may be the gadget for you! Introducing AMPY, a new device that charges your smartphone with your own kinetic energy. Like a hamster spinning in a wheel, this cute little device charges your phone as you move.

AMPY works by storing and repurposing energy generated by motion. You can wear AMPY on any part of your body, but an up and down motion is most effective in maximizing the energy production. How fantastic is this? Clean, renewable energy for your gadgets, and all you have to do is get off the couch and move.

At approximately half the size of an iPhone, weighing about 5 ounces, AMPY is small and portable, fitting easily into your pocket or purse, if you prefer to keep it hidden.

What better way to inspire you to get moving? The more energy you expend the more power you get, so the more vigorous the exercise, the more power juice you will pump into AMY. For example, about 10,000 steps will generate three additional hours of battery life. All you marathon runners will never experience the frustration of dealing with a dead battery again!

How it works: simply pick your favorite activity (running, cycling, dancing, shopping, etc.), strap it on and exercise away to your heart’s content. Once you’re done, just connect your phone to AMPY with a USB cord and it’ll start charging automatically. Brilliant! AMPY is equipped with USBs for output and input, so you can also charge it from a wall outlet, if you prefer. It comes with its own app to tell you how much energy you generated, how many calories you burned, and the carbon footprint offset you got by using AMPY instead of regular electricity.

Although AMPY currently can’t provide enough power for a laptop or tablet, the developers are working toward that goal. Intrigued? Preorder AMPY on Kickstarter at a discounted price ($85) until November 10, 2014. The first batch is expected to ship in June 2015. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1071086547/ampy-power-your-devices-from-your-motion

Do you think this will be successful in getting the more sedentary among us to exercise more?

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

Creating A Unified PR Strategy

By: Jenifer Wetterau

In order to deliver the most impactful campaigns, every part of your team should be on the same page, working in tandem under a unified strategy. Communication and transparency are key to ensuring success, since there’s no point creating a brand story that then exists in a vacuum.

To set the foundation for a cohesive approach, begin by defining the following:

COMPANY VISION
A vision statement should outline what your company wants to be and should be clear to your entire team. If you were to meet one of them outside the office they would be prepared to deliver a concise elevator pitch.

Having a shared vision will motivate and empower your employees, as they are the face of your organization and key to engaging with and supporting your brand story.

Questions that should be answered by your company vision include:
What do we do – and for whom?
What makes us different?
How do we excel?
How do we measure our success?
What is our ideal future?
What values that we hold inspire our customers?

IDENTIFY OBJECTIVES
These can be broad at first, but make sure they are actionable and measurable. They may include:

-Share content relevant to your industry. Bonus points for informational that helps the reader out in some way.
-Reveal the unique personality behind your brand, inviting your customers to want to know more.
-Get the word out about new products to tastemakers and brand champions.
-Promote upcoming events and appearances.
-Demonstrate your company’s philanthropic side.
-Test out new product and marketing ideas on your core fanbase and get helpful feedback.
-Nurture your current relationships and build your audience.
-Drive traffic to your website, landing page, promotion, etc.

Once you figure out what is working you should experiment with narrower objectives.

STRATEGY
Craft personas for your target audience (friendly, professional, educational, inspiring), to gain insight into who they are. This is not just age, location or income, but rather the psychology of your consumer. Understand what they need and want, their habits and personal views so your content can speak directly to them.

Examples:
*Language: Fun, serious, insider, complex

*Tone: Direct, personal, scientific
*Purpose: Educate, entertain, sell, engage

-Develop an editorial calendar to be shared with your team and an action plan for who will deliver what, and when. Using a mix of content is essential to keep your readers interested and coming back for more. Tap into the strengths of each member of your team and have them deliver the type of content they do best, whether it be fun, informative or promotional.

-Decide on a tone and style and use it consistently. All messages should sound like they are coming from the same person, whether you have two, ten (or more!) employees creating content for the public. Make sure anyone writing for your brand (press releases, ads, social media posts, etc.) adopt and use it exclusively.

Mix it up! Try out images, photos, polls, interesting facts, social commentary, etc. Regularly evaluate your analytics to see which posts resonate the most – and least- with your audience. You may want to compile all team members’ posts for the week to be evaluated by a cross-functional team. This gives the rest of the company a chance to weigh in and catch any typos.

What do you find works best to unify your team? I welcome any thoughts and suggestions.

Princesses with Potty Mouths

By: Gina Mason

Have you heard? Apparently, f**k is the new word. Thanks to a new advertisement created by Synergy Media you can now see pretty little princesses with potty mouths sharing some truths sexual assault, society’s expectations of beauty and pay inequality. You may be thinking, “Wow, those are big topics for little girls to handle,” but believe me when I say these little ones don’t give a f**k.

The two and a half minute ad for FCKH8 showcases five sassy little girls in tiaras addressing some major issues all while dropping f-bombs and a few other obscenities along the way. The statistics about pay inequality, sexual assault and sexism that are mentioned in the ad are almost as shocking as hearing those dirty words come out of their mouths. The girls ask powerful questions such as, “What is more offensive? A little girl saying f**k, or the f**king unequal and sexist way society treats girls and women?”

Here are some of the jaw-dropping lines in the video:
-When addressing pay inequality: “Women who graduate from college with straight A’s get paid the same amount as men who only got C’s. Bad grades equal more bank? Just because you’re a boy! Pay up mother f**ker. I shouldn’t need a penis to get paid!”

-When addressing sexual assault: “Another f**ked up fact: One out of every five women will be sexually assaulted or raped by a man.”

-When addressing beauty expectation: “My aspirations in life should not be worrying about the shape of my ass! So f**k focusing on how I look and give me a book.”

So why would a company choose to have sweet little girls using such offensive language? They did that because shock and awe tactics get people talking and evoke action. Although the campaign utilizes these little girls who “use bad words for a good cause” to bring awareness about social injustice, the intentions for FCKH8 are not so pure. FCKH8 is a for-profit company that is a selling t-shirts that range from $14.99 to $36.99 and is donating $5 from every t-shirt sold to some “kick-ass charities” which have yet to be determined.
On top of the foul language, this campaign is very controversial for many people. Some feel as though the company is profiting by exploiting social issues and the little girls. Also, there has been mixed reaction from the public to these little girls swearing up a storm. Some people are appalled by the use of offensive language from a child while others find it to be completely hilarious.

From a PR standpoint, the video has done its job. It has created an immense amount of attention around the company and some of the issues that are mentioned in the video. If awareness for FCKH8 was the goal, then they have clearly achieved it. I would be interested to see some of the website traffic and sales analytics since the video has been released.

How do you feel about these princesses dropping f-bombs? Do you think the campaign is effective or offensive? When you watched the video, were you offended or amused?

As always, I welcome your thoughts and if you like what you read be social and share.