Sunday, April 21, 2013

Social media personailty

Ok, so I may have mulitple personalities when it comes to social media.

Based on the below image, I'm a Denier, Lurker and Informer (the last one must be the PR in me). Regardless, these 12 social media personality types are funny and accurate.

Which social media personality are you?

This image was found here on

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pitching in a Crisis

I'm graduating college this June with a Diploma in Creative Communications. I majored in Public Relations. When I reflect on my college education, I realize I've learned a lot.

I've learned what tools PR practitioners use, how to use them strategically and a little of everything in between. I've completed school, internships and work placements, and graduation will give me the chance to really put my skills to the test in a real job. I still have a lot to learn, but that will come with some real job experience.

So here's a bit of what I know about crisis communications:

1. You can't always anticipate a crisis
2. You can't always control the outcome of everything, and
3. No matter how beautifully crafted, your news release will not likely be picked up during a crisis

Crisis communications is on my brain because of the recent Boston marathon bombings. First of all, I want to express my deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the attack; we're praying for you.

So, what are we supposed to do with our news release the moment tragedy strikes?

You probably have an idea, but I read some tips from Nicole Ravlin at PMG Public Relations here on PR Daily about how to handle the situation. I've narrowed it down to this:

1. Review the situation. Do you do business in the area? Do your clients? If yes, try and meet their needs.

2. Stop pitching. You may have created a pitch masterpiece, but no reporter will pick up your story when a national crisis is happening.

3. Re-think social media. People will be on Twitter searching for new information about the crisis. If they see your pitch or advertisement in the clutter, they may think your being insensitive. Instead, offering condolences, well wishes and just being human can be the best strategy.

4. Re-work your crisis plan. This ensures you learn from the past, and implement procedures that will help you in the future.

Whether you're a professional or a soon-to-be graduate, these tips can help point you in the right direction during a crisis.

Pray for Boston   XO

Friday, April 05, 2013

PR sting

I worked as a Media Relations Assistant for the Winnipeg Goldeyes this summer, a baseball team in an independent league. The experience really opened my eyes into the world of professional baseball.

I learned that pro ball is a wishy-washy system, that drops players like it's hot. When I watch MLB games now, I have so much more respect for players. Sure, they're not saving the world, but I know it was long, bumpy, determined ride that got them there.

After working at the Goldeyes, I also learned how much work goes into communications. It's a huge production that involves planning a baseball game almost every night of the summer, sealing sponsor deals, marketing the team and organizing media interviews. After this, I learned to really appreciate communications.

I learned how to craft communications messages and how to plan for a flawless game night. Knowing this, I was disheartened to learn what happened at a recent Tampa Bay Rays game.

At the Rays game this past Wednesday (April 3), a fan made an insensitive sign:

The Ray's mascot, Raymond Ray, proceeded to hold up the sign and pose for pictures, bringing negative attention to the whole franchise.

For those unaware, Steve Irwin, “the Crocodile Hunter,” was pierced in the heart and killed by a sting ray while shooting a new TV show in 2006. 

The Rays organization released an apology statement the following day:

"Last night Rays mascot Raymond was handed an inappropriate sign brought to the game by a fan. Fans are welcome to bring signs into Tropicana Field provided they are not offensive. The Tampa Bay Rays regret that this particular sign was displayed in the ballpark, and we apologize for the lapse in judgment."

An apology from the Rays organization was definitely necessary. I think the statement works well, but it also shys away from the fact no one forced the mascot to hold the sign up. The statement placed blame on the fan who made the sign.

As an organization, it's essential to communicate what is/isn't acceptable behavior of your employees. Sure, the highest-level of employees are more important on the grand-scale. However, a mascot is who the fans are going to see, so the mascot represents the organization just as much.

Never underestimate the message a mascot can communicate.

What do you think of this whole ordeal?