Tag Archives: PR

Red Nose Day – May 21, 2015

By: Dallas J. Short

Are you, your friends or your office participating in Red Nose Day?

Red Nose Day is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. The inaugural Red Nose Day will be held in the U.S. on May 21, 2015. People across the country will come together to have fun and raise funds and awareness. The day’s events will culminate in a three-hour entertainment TV special on NBC featuring the country’s favorite comedians, musicians and Hollywood stars (you can check their website or social media for the long list or just tune in and be surprised.) The TV special will showcase top comedy and entertainment live and in pre-recorded segments, hosted by David Duchovny, Seth Meyers and Jane Krakowski. It will also highlight the issues for which Red Nose Day is fundraising. Viewers will be encouraged to make donations by phone and online. The monies received will be going to 12 charities working with children and young adults in the U.S. (where half of the money is going), Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This year’s Red Nose Day in the U.K. (March 13) raised over 121 million dollars so far and the number constantly increases with donations still pouring in. I’m guessing the U.S. donations will be a lot more.

#RedNoseDay is aimed at being a fun day. Yes, you will look like a clown, but it is for a great cause. This continues the trend of raising funds and awareness through doing ridiculous things. The Ice Bucket Challenge (ALS), dancing in adult underwear (Depend’s #Underawareness), and Color Runs (multiple organizations.) It might have already been coined, but it is what I refer to as #FUNdraisers.

Red noses have been available for purchase at Walgreens & Duane Reade stores across the country. You can locate a store near you here: http://www.walgreens.com/storelocator/find.jsp. A lot of locations are sold out, but keep looking or make one of your own. M&M’s has also partnered for the campaign.

About Red Nose Day: Red Nose Day was founded by Jane Tewson and Richard Curtis (writer and director of TV and films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually). Comic Relief UK launched on Christmas Day in 1985 with a live broadcast from a refugee camp in Sudan. It was created out of the firm belief that the power of mass media and high-profile celebrities can raise awareness of issues of poverty to change and save millions of lives. For more information or to make a donation online: http://www.rednoseday.org

If this event somehow snuck below your radar, hopefully now that you are aware, you will participate. It is never a bad day when you can have fun and help others.

Here are some ideas for this year and to help you plan better for next year’s: https://www.rednoseday.org/get-ideas

Have you held or been involved with a philanthropic event based around having fun? What are your thoughts on #FUNdraisers?

Let’s laugh and do good.

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share. I look forward to seeing lots of pictures of people with red noses.

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Riding the TIDAL Wave

By: Dallas J. Short

It has been about eight weeks, since the mega star press conference that launched TIDAL and #TIDAL4ALL. “TIDAL is the first music service with high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and curated editorial, expertly crafted by music journalists.”

Since then, people have been already saying it’s a flop, it’s dying and hurling insults. My question, have these people actually used TIDAL or is it just fun to hate on Jay Z and wish that he finally fails at something? Seems a bit too early to be writing its tombstone. I signed up for the 30-day free trial after the launch and have recently started my paid subscription. There are a few things I would like to address about the TIDAL service.

Jay Z and TIDAL never declared war on Spotify or other subscription services. He previously stated “They don’t have to lose for me to win.” TIDAL, Spotify and others might seem similar, but there are differences.

The sound quality of TIDAL is better. For people complaining about TIDAL costing more, you can pay the same price as other subscriptions and receive the same quality. You are paying extra for the higher quality, which is extremely noticeable through good speakers. I grew up spending my allowance, lunch money and whatever money I could get on music, so paying $20 a month for the high quality version still seems like I won.

The curated playlists are more intriguing. From what inspired your favorite musician, to what your favorite athlete trains to, to what a veteran journalist has created in an audio time capsule. These are not songs randomly thrown together. I’m had playlists from Angie Martinez, Elliot Wilson and the Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder playlist on repeat. “Simply the Best” is the only thing I play at the gym.

The exclusive content, songs and videos. Taylor Swift, who has her music removed from other streaming services, is on TIDAL. Jack White streamed an intimate concert through TIDAL X. Prince, who is usually anti-industry, steamed his live concert in Baltimore. Rihanna, Beyonce and others have released music exclusively on TIDAL. There is behind the scenes of videos and tours. You can win passes to exclusive TIDAL subscriber only contests. (While working on this blog, I won tickets to a private Jay Z concert this weekend, where he will only be doing his B-Sides/less mainstream songs. That alone would cost more than my annual subscription. I created a Jay Z playlist titled “Not a Businessman.”)

TIDAL gives more royalties to the artists. Support the musicians you like, let them be able to continue to create the soundtrack for your life. Yes, I have mentioned the big names and that is what will bring most people in, but TIDAL is about the music and connecting you to the artist. There are independent and underground talent who deserve to make more money from streams.

“TIDAL Discovery is the place for the up and comer. The new kid on the block. The unsigned. The undiscovered. In partnership with PHONOFILE and Record Union, TIDAL Discovery is bringing you the new place to come together. Supported and encouraged by the biggest names in music. With TIDAL Discovery, unsigned artists can upload their original music using PHONOFILE or Record Union and be heard for the first time. The possibilities are endless.”

TIDAL Rising is a featured category below “What’s New” that emphasizes growing musicians. Users can browse by album or by track, check out Q&A’s and learn more about some of music’s more concealed talent. The roster changes and it is not locked in on one genre. TIDAL lists it as “A program dedicated to artists from around the globe who have passionate fan bases and are ready to broaden that base to a wider audience. TIDAL Rising was designed to help accelerate the exposure and give voice to tomorrow’s biggest names.”

TIDAL is not based on making the rich richer, so far, it has kept the fan and the music at the forefront. It is new, it will grow and it will make errors, just as other streaming services have. You have nothing to lose, but trying out a free subscription. I have yet to meet anyone who does not like it. I have heard people just not want to recreate their playlists from other services. TIDAL also have a way import your playlists.

I’m not a complete fanboy here. I am just a supporter of great music, hearing it as best I can, discovering new talent and artists being better compensated. Are you? Make your own decision about it.

Have you tried TIDAL yet? http://www.tidal.com

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

We’re Still Talkin About Practice

By Dallas J. Short

May 7, 2002, a day that will forever be remembered as the greatest NBA press conference in history or least the press conference that created a timeless quotable. The date when Allen Iverson questioned “Practice? We’re talkin about practice, man.”

(Full disclosure, the Sixers are my favorite team and I believe Allen Iverson is one of the greatest players of all time.)

Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM

Thirteen years later, we’re still talking about practice. This is a quote I use on a regular basis, as recently as Monday night I used it at my kickball game. I used it in a blog a few months ago. It has taken on a whole life outside of that press conference, been parodied by comedians, referenced by other athletes, paid homage to on t-shirts and much more.

If you’re reading this, you probably have already done your Allen Iverson “practice?” impersonation out loud or replayed it in your head. So, now that we have got that out of the way, let’s talk about a few social media practices. Don’t worry, I didn’t click bait you with the Iverson story. I really wanted to talk about it, but this is, after all, a professional blog and I figured it was a good tie-in.

Here are five social media practices, which while known, often seem to slip through the cracks.

  • Questions are a great way to engage your community. It makes your fans and followers feel involved. Do not just talk at them, talk with them. Keep your questions short, simple and to the point. “Are you talking about practice?”
  • Asking for a retweet, this is a practice which I know a lot of people say they are against, but when used right, it’s effective. If you have a strong opinion or emotional photo, this could be the time to rally your troops. Use sparingly, otherwise it will be like crying wolf and will have negative effects.
  • You have a story to tell, get it out there. Make sure you sure you have options for people to share your blog posts or articles through other social media platforms. It lets your story grow outside of your own site and increases readership.
  • Your social media voice should be the voice of your company, not an employee. Define it and ride with it. If the person handling your social media ends up not working there anymore, it should not be obvious to your readers. If the ball is ever dropped, it should be able to easily and seamlessly be picked up by anyone on your team.
  • You can never take your online community for granted. You do not need to fawn over them, but you need to make sure to thank them and make them feel appreciated. They are an extension of you. Online and offline, you want them cheering on your side.

Are there any memorable sports quotes you find yourself bringing up at work? What other social media practices do you think people sometimes forget or should try to improve?

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

Yes, practice.

Bryan Price Takes on the Media

By: Gina Mason

Professional sports have changed in many ways over the last few decades. From instant-replays to pace-of-play and heads-up tacking rules, all aspects of pro sports are now under a microscope and aggressively dissected by their respective leagues, officials, media and the public. Thanks to the invention of fantasy sports and our tech-savvy culture, the way we consume and talk about sports in general has changed drastically. The media and the public now expect a lot more out of coaches and players than ever before and coaches especially are put in the hot seat all of the time and forced to provide reasoning for every decision that they make.

From my experience working with a professional baseball team, I have witnessed this firsthand and truly applaud the players and coaches (and the staff that media trains them) who have been able to maintain their composure and confidence in the spotlight. For those of you who don’t really know much about baseball, the media gets an incredible amount of access to the players and the coaches behind the scenes. There is usually a press conference before and after each game with the manager, reporters are allowed in the locker room before batting practice, allowed on the field during batting practice and back into the locker room after the game. From a media standpoint, this is fantastic and it at allows reporters to get a great deal of insight from the team and provide fans with the insider scoop that they crave. However, this constant access can also put a lot of pressure on the players and the coaches as they constantly have to be ready to face a media firestorm.

Last week, the media scrutiny became all too much for Cincinnati Reds manager, Bryan Price. During a pre-game interview, Price unleashed his welled up emotions on the media after a reporter wanted to know why All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco was not with the team for a game in St. Louis. Price blurted out 77 “f-bombs” during the five-minute, 34-second expletive-filled tirade and he targeted the media for breaking a story about the catcher the night before. “I don’t know what the importance is for everyone to know if we have a player that’s not here,” Price said. “We don’t benefit at all from the other teams knowing we don’t have a player.”

Call it pent up frustration or a moment of insanity, Price went on questioning the way in which the media behaved and why they have to always know everything, “I don’t get why it’s got to be this way. Has it always been this way where we just tell f****** everybody everything? So every f****** opponent we have has to know exactly what we have. Which f****** relievers are available, which guys are here and which guys aren’t here, when they can play, and what they can do. It’s nobody’s f****** business. It’s certainly not the opponent’s business. We have to deal with this f****** b*******.I like to talk — and I have spoken as candidly as I can with you people, if that’s not good enough, I won’t say a f******thing. I’ll go, ‘yes sir, no sir.’ And I can do that. But f***, I’ve been as candid as I can f****** be about this team and our players, and we’ve got to deal with this s***, every f****** team that we f****** play has to know every f****** guy that’s here and what they can and can’t do? F*** me. It’s a f****** disgrace. I’m f****** sick of this s***. It’s f****** hard enough to f****** win here to have f****** every f****** opponent know exactly what the f*** we bring to the table every day. It’s f****** horse****. I don’t like it. It’s what I’m saying. To make it very clear, I don’t like the way that this s***’s going — at all. I don’t like it. I don’t think you guys need to know everything. And I certainly don’t think you need to see something and tweet it out there and make it a f****** world event. How the f*** do we benefit from them knowing we don’t have Devin Mesoraco? How do we benefit from that? They benefit from it. I just want to know how we benefit from these f****** people know we don’t have a player here. Can you answer that? How is that good for the Reds?

Price definitely struck out with his delivery and I am sure the Reds PR team stood there in horror witnessing a verbal car crash in slow motion. However, many are saying that despite his foul language, Price’s message was not that outlandish. The necessity of knowing everything at all times in real-time may be taking away from the game and is putting too much pressure on the players and coaches, not only in baseball but in all sports. While some feel that as a professional athlete or coach, you waive your right to privacy and must address your critics daily.

I tend to agree that the public doesn’t need to know every single thing that is going on with each and every player at all times and that he does have a point that it can somewhat take away from a team’s competitive edge. However, I will say that as a manager of a professional baseball team, addressing the media is part of his job and he is getting paid a lot of money to do so. I would highly suggest that he should consider a few more media training sessions after that fiasco.

What do you think of Price’s rant? Do you think it was justified?

To hear all five minutes of Price’s rant, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wROe2dzJDqY

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

Hey, I’m Here! 10 Tips for Live-Tweeting

By: Dallas J. Short

YourDictionary.com defines live-tweeting as “posting on Twitter during an event in an ongoing way,” while that seems basic enough, there is much more to it than that. Live-tweeting gives your live event a life in the digital world. It expands the reach of your event and allows attendees and non-attendees to both be involved and engage with you. I’m a fan of live-tweeting, both at our own events and also following along with sporting events and television shows. Here are ten tips I came up with that could help you with live-tweeting from your next event.

1) Pound it! The #Hashtag is key, it will be the way people follow along and helps stream the information. Pick a short and applicable hashtag and make sure you let people know what it is. When you promote the event beforehand, include the hashtag, so people who cannot make it know they can still follow along. You need to promote the hashtag heavily the day of the event and you should have the hashtag on promo materials around the event as well. You want others engaging, adding to and using it as well. Every live-tweet you send about the event should include this hashtag.

2) Solo mission! It will be most effective if you have only one person tweeting from the event. It helps define the voice of the live-tweets and gives it a personality. You do not want a lot of people from your organization tweeting from the account, it will seem disorganized, all over the place and hard to follow. One person handling it right gives it more life.

3) Sharing is caring! Tweet out pictures and videos during the event. You want people to see what they are missing, without making them feel left out. Yes, you want photos of the layout, what’s going on, speakers and celebrities in attendance. You also want to include people attending, be sure to tag @ them as well. They will more likely be faster to tweet, favorite, retweet and will include the hashtag, helping your event’s live-tweeting presence grow.

4) Insider info! Including behind the scenes looks and tweets not only makes non-attendees feel like they’re “in the know” and receiving exclusive information. It also gives attendees a reason to follow along with the live-tweeting, because they are already aware of what is going on in front of their eyes and you are basically taking them backstage and behind the velvet rope.

5) Live in the moment! You and your event have a purpose, a mission and a message you want to get out there. This message should be pushed before the event, at the event and after the event. However, this message should only be sprinkled throughout your live-tweeting. You do not want to appear robotic, people follow live-tweeting like they are there hanging out with a friend. If your friend just kept repeating themselves all day, you would look for a way to ditch them. Don’t get ditched. I would suggest you have those “mission/message” tweets scheduled already (Hootsuite, etc.,) so the person live-tweeting can focus on the live event conversation and not get distracted by making sure they hit the certain number of “required” purpose messaging.

6) Don’t drop the ball! If the conversation and engagement are flowing, there is not a limit on live-tweeting. Keep it going and keep it growing, the more the merrier. If it is not flowing, you do need to make sure you are not pushing the issue. Having some slow moments or downtime is not the end of the world. You should never just stop live-tweeting though. Finish out the event. Do not make people wonder why it stopped? What went wrong? If someone was not there and searches the hashtag after the event and it just goes silent, it will raise red flags and could prevent people from attending in the future, if they perceived the quietness as an unsuccessful event. Give it your all, start to end.

7) Tune in, tune out! If you end up with a heckler or someone who is going out of their way to bash your event for no reason, ignore them. Do not waste your tweets sending out dislike or negative feelings. If someone has a concern or an issue it is alright to address that to clear up a problem or confusion. The majority of people are following your tweets and using your hashtag like they are tuning into their favorite television program and they want to be involved. They care about what is going on and what you are sharing with them. They do not want to follow a hashtag thread that looks like a bad, bickering reality show and miss out on the fun and happenings of the actual event.

8) Respond, react! You might not be able to follow the entire hashtag thread of what others at the event are saying, some of it might not even need you to respond, and it will just be people using your hashtag. Do look for questions that you can answer, positive interactions to favorite and retweet. Tweet at and acknowledge them. Making people feel involved and valued is key to the live-tweeting success. I would also suggest asking some type of questions (that relate to the event) to increase engagement and conversation. If something happens at the event, react to it, but there is a great chance that others will be reacting (and with the hashtag) as well.

9) The show’s not over! After the event, go back and follow up on any important questions and comments you might have missed from people during the live-tweeting. People understand that things get busy and chaotic, but making sure people feel appreciated and their comments did not slip through the cracks (after the event) will show them you do care. Go back through your own posts and see what received the most comments, the most favorites, the most retweets and also look at which ones didn’t. Keep that in mind when live-tweeting at your next event to be even more effective and engaging.

10) Try Again! You could have a great event, full of great people, great fun, everything’s great, except your live-tweeting never caught on. It is ok, sometimes an approach just will not catch on. Do not give up, try live-tweeting again at your next event and figure out new attempts that might work for your crowd. There is not a cookie-cutter way for everyone, you will need to know your audience and tailor your tweeting to have them interested. If you have an event where live-tweeting took off, it is not automatic that your next one will too. Stay focused and keep trying. More times than not though, live-tweeting leads to higher engagement and followers.
There is always the chance live-tweeting is not appropriate or will not benefit your event. There is a chance that you would have better results if you tweeted more from a news reporter/journalist point, as opposed to being a fun, event-goer. Know your audience, trial and error, live and learn. I hope these tips can help you out with your future live-tweeting and always remember to charge your phone and have an extra battery.

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