I was asked my PRSSA chapter’s Vice President to write a brief summary about my favorite experiences at PRSSA National Conference, interesting things I learned and the fascinating people I met.
I’ve also copied and pasted my entry and attached the URL so everyone can be directed to our lovely PRSSA blog ran by the lovely Bethany Perry. Oh, and if you’re wondering there was a Carnaval Brazilian Masquerade the Friday night of National Conference… hence the Zorro masks.
“I attended a really fascinating forum while in Orlando for the PRSSA National Conference just a short week ago. A 50-minute long lecture/Q & A with one of the fashion industry’s leading Public Relations influencers, Margaux Caniato spoke with us about her involvement across the globe with fashion. I found it most interesting that she received her degree from a fashion and design institute in California and now works on some of the largest fashion campaigns in the world, most recently he Moussy project. The Moussy project is a Japanese inspired line that aims to accentuate personality while setting and defining new trends; Moussy was brought to the US. and Caniato gave a run down of her PR tactics and plans to launch this new line into the public eye head first. I won’t go into detail of how she planted publicity stunts and staged appearances in downtown New York, but I will expand what I learned from her stories.
I took away from this forum that in order to finally land a dream job or an exciting assignment in fashion (or any PR for that matter) it takes a lot of networking and understanding of the audience you are working for and the people around you. I have never studied fashion but I gave a great respect and passion for it, and I know for me to become an insider and I need to start at the bottom and work my way up with certain stores and companies to eventually land my dream job.
For more information regarding the I’m Moussy campaign and the clothing itself, follow them on Twitter @ImMoussyNY”
FSL New Members from all but 2 chapters on campus.
On October 22, 2011 the Missouri State Fraternity & Sorority Life held the annual fall New Mmeber Day. This day is reserved just for new fraternity and sorority life members to enjoy the company of each other and celebrate the new addition they provide to our community as a whole. As the Director of Outreach on the Panhellenic Execituve Board I took it upon myself to do a little PR work on the event. To keep it simple, I first created a Facebook event and invited chapter presidents to the event encouraging them to invite thier Fall 2011 pledge classes. I wasn’t expecting the best reaction because I was putting the responsibility on the chapter presidents to rely the event via Facebook instead of taking it upon myself. And yet, when I logged onto my Facebook account a day after I created the event there was already 250 attendees.
So, my first PR tactic was a major success. I used the Facebook event to post info about our guest hyponotist and ask the Panhellenic Vice President of New Members to make guest posts as well to rally the new members.
My second PR experiment invovled the Twitter account that I run under my postion on Panhellenic (@mostatefsl). I wasn’t granted permission to have a professional banner made due to my “small budget”. I created my own banner with just a paint brush and buthcer paper. I was expecting a huge response to my banner in more followers to our Twitter account. I figured that because I was reaching so many new people in one central location (over 300 college freshmen in the Plaster Student Union theatre) that our followers would double. The morning of New Member Day I checked our follower count (310 followers) and eagerly awaited until evening to see if my banner had worked its magic. I checked our followers again at roughly 10 p.m. the same night… 313 followers.
So here’s my question… was it my poorly produced banner that kept kids from wanting to follow or do I just chalk it up to my audience being uninterested, unengaged college freshmen?
I’m not sure and I may never find out. What matters is that I got to use the two biggest, most popular social media sites among college students as an experiment and the results benefited me in my position. Results showed that there is a greater presence on Facebook than Twitter, and that waves of communication are stronger on Facebook thus making students more likely to engage in something if they see their friends on Facebook doing the same. This sequence happens on Twitter as well, but perhaps Missouri State freshmen haven’t caught up just yet.
I love advertising. I love glossy, photo shopped pictorial in magazines. I love blown-up images stretched across billboards. I even love the tacky t-shirts designs for local dives and bars that tourists can’t seem to get enough of. If I wasn’t a PR major (and I had any type of mathematical gifts) I would like to major in advertising and sales.
To connection my passion for PR and admiration of advertising I decided to Google search “best commercial 2011”. Simple as that, and what did I uncover? But wouldn’t ya know it? A Volkswagen commercial, in fact, it was the ad featuring the youngster dawning a Darth Vader costume attempting to move household items with his mind just like in Star Wars. The minute long ad begins with heavy, dramatic music that climaxes with each new attempt at mind levitation the young (boy probably) child makes.
Finally, it shows Darth Vader giving it one last go by trying to lock his father’s Volkswagen with his mind when from within the house, the father auto locks the vehicle using his key fob. Stunned and amazed, the commercial ends with the mini Vader blown away by his feat. There are no spoken words or announcer at the end of the commercial, just the normal stats and prices.
What I believe makes this advertising gold is it’s appeal to such a wide variety of people. Obviously, children will not be purchasing Volkswagen in the near future but the image of the imaginative young man appeals to adults and parents by encouraging them to encourage their children to be innovative and challenge everything, like Darth Vader. The message I conceived was that if you have young kids and you buy this car, it will help release your child’s inner creative mind and encourage them to be whoever they want to be and to never give up.
Which isn’t too shabby for a German engineering commercial.
If you look on Twitter, the hashtag that I’ve provided as this posts name is actually a trending topic. It’s an abbreviation for Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference, and it’s a very good thing it’s shortened. This past October 14-18, PRSSA and PRSA took over Orlando, Florida with a frenzy of social media gurus, techno geeks, business cards a plenty and experts from the country’s most sought after jobs. I was fortunate enough to attend this conference held where dreams come true by the generous hearts of SOFAC and the MSU Communication Department’s kind donations. I not only brought back hilarious and unforgettable memories from the trip itself, but also greater insight and knowledge of how the professional world of PR works and how to jump in head first.
On Saturday afternoon I attended a forum entitled Fashion: Know How to Work It. Like the majority of the forums I attended, the Fashion PR forum was packed primarily with girls who look, talk, think, speak, function and act just like me and who want the exact same job as me. This realization (which occurs to me about once a week, I hope other college senior experience this too) was unsettling but empowering as I listened to Margaux Caniato speak about her involvement across the Fashion PR board and how she eventually landed with VP+C Public Relations.
Caniato’s story was uplifting and provided hope to simple PR majors like myself that creativity, hard work ethic and a fighting spirit really can get you anywhere you want to go. But her happy-go-lightly encouragement was short-lived when I attended a second forum that focused heavily on the “it’s who you know” side of Public Relations.
I don’t doubt either philosophy, in fact, I fully support and believe in each. Which may seem hypocritical and it is; therefore, I’m at a rather large fork in the road where as a soon to graduate college student I have the choice to make between the two work ethics. Should I go out on a limb and start dry calling and e-mailing for more information about companies I like and want to work for? Or should I continue to stay warm and cozy in my comfort zone with the contacts I’ve already made?
I have no idea.
On an (exceptionally) early Tuesday morning, I checked Mashable.com for any ideas on something PR/interesting to blog about. I’ve found that Mashable really great with teasing out the stories that I want to read and I found that struck me as somewhat fascinating this morning, and it supports my iPhone/smart phone obsession.
According to Mashable.com AT&T will be debuting a new app for Andriod later this year that allows users to hold different separate profiles on one smart phone. Meaning, this will allow you have a business/professional phone and your personal phone all wrapped into one. Mashable.com reports that “Corporate email, calendars, apps and data will only be accessible through the work profile).
Mashable.com and I both agree that this app will be wildly successful. The ability to have virtually two separate lives under one piece of technology is ground-breaking and will allow business professional to better function without being interrupted by personal phone calls and ect. From a Public Relations standpoint, I think the advertising for the app could a million different ways. Just the commercials alone promoting this app could be so multi-dimensional with the ability to almost be two different people. I could be wrong, by AT&T seems to be the first network to propose making additional profiles on your phone. I’m eager to see if other phone ompaines pick this idea up and how their spin on it will look and pan out. I’m especially eager to see if Apple tries to redo it.
If you’re on the Twitterverse you may have noticed a new acccount that is clucking up quite a storm on the air waves. I recently read a story on Mashable about an uproar courtesy of the New York Times recent article entitled “Chicken’s Attraction is Truly Skin Deep” which was accompanied by a somewhat scandulous picture of a raw chicken striking a flirting pose… never thought I’d use raw chicken and flirting pose in the same sentence.
In reaction to the article, social media gurus took to the internet with fingers hotter than an Alabama fryin’ pan. The creation of @NYTChicken was created and started cranking out a solid 19 tweets to well over 1, 600 followers according to Mashable.com.
The on-line article goes on to log the involvement of the oh-so famous Kentucky Fried Chicken and their social media team. KFC’s social media team tweeted at the @NYTChicken account suggesting it cover itself up, preferably with Original Recipe… really, KFC?
I have to give major props to the KFC social media for two reasons. The first for being so observant as to find this Twitter account after it was created so quickly. The second reason is for using the chicken-based Twitter account to (comedically) promote thier company. It was slightly shameless but at the same time a total genius move to interact with a customer created Twitter account which creates a small relationship with them by being on the same level, as most social media websites do for everyone. From a PR perspective, I think just this simple mention on Twitter will do exactly what KFC intended it to do, and that is to gain customers. Isn’t it fascinating on just a simple 140 character long message can promote your product to thousands?
I was assigned today in my Journalism class to find three indirect and three direct leads from stories both print and on-line. I was on my last direct lead read when I came across a headline that read “Woman walks across America with webcam on head”. Obviously, I was intrigued and continued on to watch a short podcast and read an article about her posted on KSDK.com.
The question is: Was she crazy or awesome?
Apparently the woman was attempting to promote how community involvement and common hospitatlity can indeed get you across the United States in one piece. But her second motive was to promote social media. (Thus increasing her awesome factor.) She hosted a daily video blog about her journies and the interesting people she met and said that hundreds of people subscribed to her channel and followed her whereabouts via social media.
As a future Public Relations professional and average user of social media, I would like to give this woman a huge high five and a cheeseburger. This story of triumph and determination may have gone untold had she not been equipped with our most basis social networking facets like video blogging and Twitter. What a shame it would have been had her journey not been told, but thankfully due to her constant updating to followers it is told.
Personally, I would have loved to have made a mini series about her for maybe the Documentary Channel but that’s just the PR person in me. Either way, her story in all it’s I-walked-across-America-with-only-two-pairs-of-shoes glory deserves a very welcoming homecoming.