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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, February 28, 2014

Utilization of Infographics by PR Professionals

Although I had mixed feelings going into this week’s class discussion topic of infographics, I came out of it feeling relatively confident. I don’t consider myself to be very design-oriented or creative when it comes to this type of work, so I was somewhat nervous at first. I assumed all the colorful, clean and informative infographics that I have seen on Twitter and even Pinterest were created by scratch, but I was slightly misinformed.

Come to find out there are great websites, some of them even free, that can be used to create an infographic to bring to life any topic of choice. When it came time to picking which site worked best for me, I went with Piktochart. The layout of the infographic-making website is easy to understand and navigate, which was necessary for me in attempting my first infographic.

So in a nutshell, an infographic combines a visual aspect, including graphs and charts, with information, like data and statistics.

After creating my infographic with statistical content, informative charts and a pretty layout, I began to ask myself exactly how public relations professionals would utilize an infographic.

First of all, being that an infographic is what it is – short, easy to read, eye catching and filled with information – it is already appealing for any audience, but of course a way is needed to get it to them. Twitter and Pinterest is a great way to do this. On Pinterest, individuals are able to see the whole infographic and decide if it is actually something they would like to find out more about. If it is something of interest, they can click on the picture, which takes them to a link with more information about the subject. Pinterest is full of numerous infographics about any topic one could possibly imagine.

Another way an infographic can be shared with an audience is through Twitter. It basically accomplishes the same goal as sharing on Pinterest, but to a broader audience. I personally share a lot of infographics on Twitter, like this one. Sometimes the picture of the infographic, doesn’t show up, but if it clearly states that it is an infographic in the tweet, people will be more inclined to look at it

So what exactly does an infographic accomplish?
  • It allows a company, organization or brand to stand out in a crowd. In a room full of people all doing the same thing, you want to differentiate yourself. Sure, anyone can put together a press release, but can the same be said about infographics? It shows that an organization was able to take the time to create something their audience will actually look at.
  • In creating and sharing an infographic, it shows that you are first and foremost thinking about your audience. If your customers were likely to look at infographics, it would be useful to both parties involved to create something worthwhile.
  • It shows that your organization or company is moving forward in the direction of creating content for technological purposes. Infographics are useful for apps and social media, so it shows growth.
  • Infographics build awareness for your brand. Keep the infographic aligned with the overall goals, ideas and design of the company to boost morale for your brand. This will also increase traffic to the company website.
  • Lastly, it shows that an organization has done its research on a particular subject. Nothing is worse than a public relations professionals putting out wrong information, so it is important to have correct details on the infographic.

  1. Bullas, J. (2013, June 20). 9 reasons to use infographics in your content marketing. In Ragan's. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.healthcarecommunication.com/PublicRelations/Articles/9_reasons_to_use_infographics_in_your_content_mark_10802.aspx
  2. Miltenberg, B. (2013, March 4). 9 Ways That PR Pros Can Capitalize on Infographics. In PRNewsOnline. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.prnewsonline.com/water-cooler/2013/03/04/7-infographic-styles-you-can-create-in-house/
  3. http://piktochart.com/
  4. http://holykaw.alltop.com/evolution-of-news-media-social-media-infographic?tu3=1

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jimmy Fallon takes over the Tonight Show and social media

The long awaited Tonight Show takeover by Jimmy Fallon took place on Monday, and Jimmy proved to the world exactly why he is the perfect host. His infectious personality raked in about 11.3 million people for the premiere episode. The whole week he has had incredible guests and musical performances, including Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Many people may ask what exactly he has to offer coming in to the Tonight Show, and the answer to that would be his ability to connect with his audience, especially through social media.

On his previous show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy would do weekly hashtag contests about either a funny topic or something to do with holiday seasons. Since this gave him the ability to engage directly with his fans, he decided to carry over the weekly hashtag tradition to the Tonight Show. Through his weekly hashtag segment, he is able to utilize Twitter to the best of his ability and get fans excited about his new show.
Picture received from: latenightwithjimmyfallon.com

Jimmy Fallon is very active on Twitter, with a whopping 8.5 million followers. Part of his success on the social media site is due to the fact that it is actually Jimmy Fallon tweeting. It’s possible that his audience can read his tweets and picture the comedian saying these funny bits on television. It feels as though he is having a one-on-one conversation with you personally, which is what makes his interaction so special. He is constantly being true to himself, on television and social media, and that is why he has such a huge fan following.

The Tonight Show host also likes to pay homage to his favorite social media site through his funny #Hashtag sketches. The skit, which he has done twice with Justin Timberlake and Jonah Hill, feature the comedian and his famous friends talking in hashtags. It is so true to real life situations, because people that are a part of this social media generation actually interact like that. Jimmy Fallon is able to take something that is such a big part of our social world, and make it funny and relatable to an audience of all ages.

Picture retrieved from: ibtimes.com

In the months leading up to his long awaited Tonight Show debut, Jimmy took to Twitter and Instagram to tease what was to be expected on his new show. Viewers of the previous Tonight Show with Jay Leno were not engaging on social media, so Jimmy Fallon and his team positioned the show for social media dominance. According to RelishMIX, Fallon’s team increased Tonight Show engagement in the seven days following Leno’s departure by 12.3 times.

It is even rumored that Fallon’s ability to connect with his audience on social media is one of the reasons he replaced Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. With Jimmy Fallon on board at the Tonight Show, NBC can still keep its traditional media roots while incorporating a new, younger audience that is engrossed in the world of social media. Jimmy Fallon has definitely proven that he deserves to be the new Tonight Show host, and is planning to stick around for a while. The comedian, actor, dancer and singer has been captivating his audience since Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and plans to captivate a new one on the Tonight Show. The man is a legend on television and social media, which is a great combination for the generation that we live in today. I look forward to seeing what else Jimmy Fallon has to offer.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Is Valentine's Day Over Yet?

It’s Valentine’s Day, just incase you’re the one person on the face of the planet that hasn’t been bombarded with pink, red, flowers and talk of love today. Every store and business joins in the love fest, so it’s almost impossible to escape from. People either love this holiday, or completely hate it. If you’re like me, you love to hate it. It’s also one of the few days of the year that public relations professionals can get away with promoting love and sentimental things since many people are especially vulnerable on this particular day.

It seems like some public relations professionals take part in leveraging a product, event or service with Valentine’s Day, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday. I read an article on PRNewser earlier today about the worst press releases and public relation stunts dedicated to last year’s Valentine’s Day, and it was some of the weirdest things that I had ever seen.

IKEA was one of the companies who targeted the single people on Valentine’s Day. If a single customer came into the store, they were to tell the cashier they were single and they could get free sodas and cake. And if the awkward encounter led to scoring a phone number, you could even get 50 percent off of a couch IKEA was promoting.

As if being single on Valentine’s isn’t embarrassing enough. Who would actually want to go to IKEA to celebrate the fact that they’re single on the most romantic night of the year? I’m not sure if IKEA was attempting to promote a couch or the fact that it catered to single people on Valentine’s, but the whole thing was very odd.

After that disaster of a public relations move, IKEA decided to step it up for the following year. The company placed an ad in an Australian newspaper providing coupons for a free crib for all babies born on November 14, exactly nine months after Valentine’s Day. All the parents needed to provide to receive the crib was a birth certificate and coupon.

Instead of throwing Valentine’s Day, or lack there of, in the customer’s face, IKEA promoted something that its target audience would actually enjoy. The company received publicity from the promotional tactic and many people became customers at IKEA because they simply fulfilled customer needs. At the end of the day, isn’t gaining customers and satisfying existing ones the main goal of a public relations professional?

Whether or not one hates Valentine’s Day, everyone can agree that it is part of the job of public relations professionals to promote products, services or events during a holiday, but it needs to be done in a dignified way and with some class. Not every company will benefit by using Valentine’s Day as a promotional method. It is up to the public relations department to decide if it works for your business or company.

I could definitely be on board for the Pizza Hut $10,000 proposal package, though. The insane Valentine’s Day package promoted in 2012, provided a ruby engagement ring, limousine, flowers, fireworks, photographer and of course pizza. Not entirely convinced I would want Pizza Hut involved in my engagement, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.