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I'm Kelcey Blanks, a 23-year-old public relations/marketing professional. I'm obsessed with all things social media. My family, friends and pup make my world go 'round. Clothes, jewelry and shoes make me happier than a kid on Christmas. And chances are I'm already planning my next meal in my head. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mean Girls 10-Year Anniversary


Ten years ago, the world was introduced to the best and most quoted movie of our generation. Of course, I’m talking about Mean Girls. The hit movie featured Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and everyone’s favorite Gretchen Wieners (I mean, does anyone even know her real name?). The movie, and my personal guide to surviving high school, quickly resonated with girls of that age demographic who were facing the same real life issues, including cheating boyfriends, disloyal friends, what to dress up as on Halloween and gaining weight. And come on, who didn’t write their own Burn Book about girls in their high school after this movie was released?

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Mean Girls quickly became a cultural phenomenon. That’s why, for the 10-year anniversary for the movie, the Internet was flooded with Mean Girls memories to celebrate the milestone. In honor of the anniversary, Twitter crunched some numbers to determine the most tweeted Mean Girls phrases that have appeared the most often since 2010.

  1. You go Glen Coco
  2. So fetch
  3. It's October 3rd 
  4. On Wednesdays, we wear pink  

An entire decade has passed and these quotes are still relevant and appear on social media probably every day. Social media is always adapting and changing so for a movie from ten years ago to still be relevant on Twitter, it must be doing something right to have such an effect on its viewers.

CNN even participated in the Mean Girl fun and ran an online article about why Mean Girls is still “fetch.” The movie featured “too gay to function” Damien at a time before gay rights were fully embraced, especially in high schools. And we got to see a sweeter side of Lindsay Lohan, before she spiraled off into a drug and alcohol addict.

On the 10-year anniversary, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of female bullying in schools, launched its own Mean Girls campaign with a different spin. Anyone who has watched Mean Girls before knows the famous line “you can’t sit with us” when Regina George was banned from sitting at The Plastic’s table because she wore sweatpants the whole week. The Kind Campaign took advantage of the decade anniversary to launch its “You Can Sit With Us” movement.

The Kind Campaign 

The purpose of “You Can Sit With Us” is to finally put an end to girl-on-girl bullying within schools. The campaign launch was done at a perfect time, especially since Mean Girls does depict the idea of female bullying. “You Can Sit With Us” went viral on social media with many celebrities sharing the picture and #YouCanSitWithUs hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. The organization took advantage of a cultural phenomenon and turned it into something of meaning. Mean Girls will always be a favorite movie of millions of people, but a movement to end bullying is something that really should be a cultural phenomenon. That is so fetch.




Sources:

The Kind Campaign – “You Can Sit With Us”

France, L. R. (2014, May 1). 'Mean Girls' is still 'fetch'. In CNN. Retrieved May 2, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/30/showbiz/movies/mean-girls-10-year-anniversary/

Grossman, S. (2014, April 30). These Are the Most-Tweeted Mean Girls References. In TIME. Retrieved May 2, 2014, from http://time.com/82790/mean-girls-twitter-references/

Biggs, C. (2014, May 1). You CAN Sit With Shay Mitchell, Sophia Bush + Amanda Seyfried. In MTV Act. Retrieved May 2, 2014, from http://act.mtv.com/posts/you-can-sit-with-shay-mitchell-sophia-bush-amanda-seyfried/

Friday, April 25, 2014

NYPD Twitter Hashtag Backfires


This week, the New York Police Department initiated a social media campaign to create buzz for the organization by engaging its followers to use a hashtag. The NYPD asked its Twitter followers to tweet pictures that they had alongside the New York City police officers using the hashtag #myNYPD. The NYPD public relations department apparently thought these pictures would be of good sentiment. What ended up happening was completely opposite from what was intended, as in the picture below.

Picture retrieved from: mashable.com
















People took this opportunity to poke fun at the New York Police Department. Tweets were posted that showed police officers in a displeasing manner, using brutality and misconduct towards individuals as they were being arrested.  

Picture retrieved from: mashable.com


















This person tweeted about the brutalization New York City police officers demonstrated towards an older gentleman for jay walking. Tweets flooded in using the hashtag #myNYPD, expressing overall distaste for the New York City police officers. It was quite opposite from what was intended for the NYPD social media campaign, which was meant to create good sentiment and engagement with the community.

Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster, a spokesperson for the NYPD, defended the Twitter campaign. She said that despite the backlash, it was a way to “provide an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

However, the social media campaign was not all negative. The NYPD received many tweets and pictures of individuals paying respects to the hard-working police officers. Despite the overwhelming negative response to the Twitter campaign, there was just as much positive reinforcement for the NYPD.

Picture retrieved from: mashable.com



















(The photo above displays the positivity that the NYPD Twitter campaign received.)

The campaign caused quite a stir this week in New York City and on social media platforms. The New York Police Department public relations team did what it could to come up with an innovative way to engage with the community it defends and represents on a daily basis. From a public relations standpoint, it was a great effort by the NYPD to engage with its followers.

For me personally, it doesn’t seem like police departments do enough to try to reach out to followers on social media, so I think what they did was a great idea. The NYPD isn’t always going to make everyone happy, but it seems as though the organization completed its plan to provide an open forum for ideas on social media. The negative backlash probably wasn’t exactly what the NYPD had expected from the campaign, but the organization handled it with grace without letting it get too out of control.


Sources:

Laird, S. (2014, April 23). NYPD's Feel-Good Hashtag Campaign Backfires. In Mashable. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2014/04/22/nypd-hashtag/

Ford, D. (2014, April 24). #D'oh! NYPD Twitter campaign backfires. In CNN. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/22/tech/nypd-twitter-fail/

Wilson, M. (2014, April 24). NYPD’s hashtag promotion goes awry. In PR Daily. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/16533.aspx#


Friday, April 18, 2014

Public Relations Disaster: US Airways Pornographic Tweet


This week, US Airways stirred up major controversy when one of its employees tweeted out a very disturbing and pornographic picture. This all came about after an unsatisfied customer tweeted their disappointment over a flight to the airlines. What happened next shocked everyone on Twitter and the social media world and even made headline news.

Retrieved from: washingtonpost.com














According to US Airways, the picture was sent to them and the employee who tweeted it out for the world to see was simply trying to flag the tweet as inappropriate. The airline apologized for the mishap and chalked it up to miscommunication on Twitter. The employee who sent out the tweet was not even fired because it was an accident.

We are used to seeing airlines experience difficulty in the public relations aspect of the industry. Airlines are known for delayed flights, lost luggage, overbooking, etc. These types of things happen all the time, but never has an airline had to deal with lewd photographs sent out on its official Twitter page.

The pornographic tweets were up for about an hour before US Airways realized what had happened. The company did the right thing, though, by clearing up the issue right after it occurred, instead of waiting the standard three days to apologize as most airlines have done in the past.

But should this incident have occurred in the first place? Anyone experienced in using social media should know that things like this could happen in a split second, so you must always check and recheck before posting anything, especially when your Twitter following is as large as US Airways’. The employee who sent out the tweet was not paying attention at all, and probably should be fired for that simple fact alone.

It’s nice and all that US Airways apologized for the mishap, but the apology wasn’t on a broad medium that enough people would even hear about it. I’m sure the situation has to be pretty embarrassing, but you have to make right with the public after something this major has taken place.

American Airlines, which is in the process of merging with US Airways, even issued a public apology on behalf of US Airways. I think everyone could agree that US Airways needs to take responsibility for its own mess. American Airlines has enough problems to deal with on its own.

For now, US Airways remains the laughing stock of the airline industry. Mistakes can happen very easily but it’s all about how you pick yourself up after these situations take place. Hopefully US Airways does more in the upcoming weeks than just a silly apology on social media.

Maybe the company could create a video to display the severity of its apology to post on its website and social media accounts. I hope the airline can pull itself out of the public relations disaster it created and move on from this incredibly embarrassing situation.  
  

Sources:
Thomas, R. (2014, April 14). US Airways apologizes for tweeting pornographic photo. In KPHO. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from http://www.kpho.com/story/25247158/us-airways-apologizes-for-tweeting-pornographic-photo

Murdock, S. (2014, April 14). US Airways Tweets Out VERY NSFW Photo Of Woman With Toy Plane. In Huffington Post. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/14/us-airways-masturbating-photo_n_5148458.html

Mutzabaugh, B. (2014, April 14). US Airways apologizes for lewd photo sent via Twitter. In USA Today. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2014/04/14/us-airways-apologizes-for-lewd-photo-sent-via-twitter/7710713/

Friday, April 11, 2014

Making Social Media Work for Your Brand


We all know about it. We’ve all been taught how to use it throughout our entire college career. We grew up in the generation where it was created. It’s social media, of course. It’s obsessive, addictive and sometimes incredibly dramatic (especially for me). But, it is definitely a must to be educated on, especially for public relations professionals. In fact, it is important no matter what career you pursue in the future. It is probable that social media will be a part of your day-to-day responsibilities. 

socialmediasmarketing.com














Public relations and social media go together like peanut butter and jelly. You can’t have one without the other. It is a way to engage with an audience and also get information out about a brand, company, business or nonprofit. It is such a fast-paced development and if you aren’t keeping up, it is likely you will be forgotten.

So part of the responsibilities of the younger, less experienced public relations professionals is to keep up with a company’s social media page, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and so on and so forth.
Word of mouth is huge on social media, so it can influence opinions about a brand, negatively or positively. So what are the most important things to consider when posting to social media on behalf of the business you are working for? What things need do you need to avoid doing to prevent a major crisis from occurring?

Engage in conversation
Don’t be on social media just to be on social media. You have to make use of the vast audience that you have on various sites.

Share links
Whenever a story is published about your company, be sure to share it so your viewers can read it as well. People want to hear good things that your brand is doing, so be sure to share. Also, it is nice to share things about other companies that you’re associated with. It can build your following base, as well as theirs.

Know when to post
Each social media platform has an ideal day and time in which posting is appropriate. Just because it works on one platform, does not mean it will work on another. Know the platform you are on and your audience. Socialmediatoday.com has a great infographic about the best times to post.

socialmediatoday.com

















Pictures, please
Always share pictures with your audience. Links to articles and websites can only keep attention for so long. Share a picture every once in a while to keep your audience excited about your brand or company.

Keep it real
Every brand has its own personality so don’t steal someone else’s. It’s okay to admire another company’s social media presence, but don’t become something else that is completely different from the brand’s identity.

Create content for each platform
Just like certain times do not necessarily work for each platform, some content does not translate across the board. You have to create different content for each social media site that your brand is on. Some things work better on Twitter that might not work on Facebook, and vice versa. It is okay to share pictures on all social media sites, because who doesn’t love pictures?



Sources:

Richards, E. (2013, November 11). 8 Easy Ways to Use Social Media to Optimize Your PR Campaign. In Social Media Today. Retrieved April 11, 2014, from http://socialmediatoday.com/erinr/1905096/8-easy-ways-use-social-media-optimize-your-pr-campaign

Frasco, S. (2014, January 7). 15 Do's And Don’ts of Social Media. In Social Media Today. Retrieved April 11, 2014, from http://socialmediatoday.com/stephaniefrasco/2039866/15-dos-and-don-ts-social-media