Friday, December 11, 2009

Fashion && The Social Media, minus Twitter.

Fashion has forever been and will continue to forever be an extremely visual industry and concept. The heart of fashion is centered on looks, styles, appeals and of course - response. One's style makes them look to be a certain way and that draws a response of various appeals....either positive or negative...or sort of just in the middle. Fashion is a highly marketable industry...taking up tons of magazine space in the grocery store and local bookstore. Fashion is also all over the television. Turn on any station and there is either a commercial for some fashion, or an infomercial directly selling a particular fashion. Fashion is even popularized and sold inconspicuously through means of trend-setting and recognition. Say perhaps a certain celebrity wears a particular style dress to the Oscar awards. You can be sure that by the next month, recreations of the dress will be circulating the world's boutiques and countless people will attempt to recreate the style and look that was so appealing to them. Fashion can also be spread through music artists through their public appearances and through their music videos. Whether it is through magazines, television, internet advertisements, or public display of self-expression, fashion is a part of each persons life whether they know it or not. There is always a new fashion, there is always a new designer, there is always a new fashion faux-pas. As public relations practitioners, we know that there is also always a new innovative form of marketing, selling, advertising and/or promoting. Together, fashion and public relations now meet at social media. Lovers of fashion are finding countless new uses for social media within the realm of fashion. One of the top social media's for fashion is blog sites. The new "it" thing is to blog, and the new "it" of course a fashion blog. Being a fashion blogger myself, I can say that it becomes highly addictive. If you have a passion for fashion, and you are also a public relations entrepreneur - fashion blogging is where it's at. One such blog combining fashion and social media to show how the two really go hand-in-hand is  - now beware, this is not a fashion blog, per-say, but rather a blog promoting the idea of public relations/marketing/advertising in fashion...all through social media. With blog entries such as: "9 ways to use video content to drive sales", "Is Vogue going social" and "New York fashion week designers embrace new technologies" - this blog really goes into day-to-day constantly current updates on the two industries together under the social media umbrella. The NYC fashion week blog gives examples of various designer's personal acts of social blogging during that week stating that Kimora Lee Simmons of Baby Phat twittered about the fashion and streamed some of the fashion shows live as they were happening onto Youtube.  Tory Burch also twittered and uploaded pictures to facebook of fashion shows from the week. Issach Mizrahi live streamed his fashion shows onto the Issach Mizrahi Web site. In another article, entitled "On Twitter, Fashion designers and ROI", this individual blogger gives facts and figures for Dell, saying that their twittering Web site helps to bring in over $3 million in sales, and she says this to convince those non-believers among us that fashion and social media are two peas in a pod. In reading the blog entries from this particular blogger, Yuli Ziv, who is originally from Russia - one really gains insight into how social media can really help modern day fashion designers promote their brands and trends through creating awareness and using marketing/advertising methods as well. It is important to note that Ziv and many other fashion lovers are only fans of certain forms of social media for fashion however. When it comes to making fashion available through social media, these people are worried about control and validity. Therefore, they prefer social blogging as the main form, as opposed to social media sites such as Twitter Below is a video of Viv herself at a conference, telling why she thinks Twitter is not suitable for fashion, as a form of social blogging. Enjoy~!


City of El Reno: Coming Up in the Social Media World

Using social media to relay important and helpful information is hardly a new phenomenon in today’s socially saturated online world. But it’s always interesting to see when it is being effectively utilized by entities you just wouldn’t think would be on the upside of social media. The City of El Reno is an example of this. Established in 1898, this relatively small Oklahoma town of 15,000 citizens has, in the last two years, undertaken many projects in an effort to enhance the quality of life for its citizens and gain additional residents. Such projects have included walking trails around Lake El Reno, new facilities for the public schools and about $2 million worth of public infrastructure improvements. They also started updating how they communicate these efforts, becoming dedicated to, and good at, social media.

City officials began using social media in 2009 primarily because they wanted a more effective way to help citizens continually keep up with city-related information. Call volumes were high regarding questions about city information when such information had already been posted to the City Web site. So officials began strategically thinking about ways they could not only keep citizens updated with factual information, but also keep up a relationship with their publics – including local and state media.

The City established a Facebook site and a Twitter site. Updates were sent out usually once a day, and information ranged from road closings to the City’s pet adoption program on YouTube. Now, updates are usually sent three or more times a day, and many updates include up-to-the minute photos of projects and other in-progress City events.

One such instance of effective utilization of these social media tools was a recent crisis involving a building collapse. A downtown building in the process of being remodeled collapsed, injuring construction works and temporarily shutting down nearby businesses. The incident hit the news station within 30 minutes. Immediately upon learning of the incident, the City’s Director of Community Relations hit Facebook and Twitter with information about the actual incident and subsequent updates as the City learned more about the next steps.

It’s a common occurrence to see people and organizations using social media for promotion or information distribution because they think everybody else is doing it, so they should too. But El Reno is demonstrating that regular and simple attendance to these social media tools can more actively provide information to their publics, and therefore help increase the overall perceived value of the City.

Photo care of City of El Reno

Public Relations Disasters

Public Relations Disasters

By: Natalie Vaughn

We have been studying and formulating pubic relations case studies all semester. We have seen some great examples of creative campaigns that have accomplished all of the goals they set. But, what about campaigns that were complete failures? I think it would be fun and fitting for the closing of the semester to highlight a few cases that we can be grateful that we were fortunate enough to not be a part of. For this blog, I am going to pick a few of my favorite recent public relations nightmares.

This fall, Nike launched its new line of football gear, Pro Combat, by debuting the product on prominent college football teams throughout the country. Our very own Oklahoma Sooners were even included. But some Virginia Tech Hokie fans were not prepared for what came along with the football gear. Nike commissioned a military combat vehicle with the motto “Prepare for Combat” written prominently across the side. The vehicle was driven throughout campus on game day. Many saw this as insensitive to the violent acts that occurred on the Virginia Tech Campus in 2007 and Twitter users and bloggers alike agreed that “war-like references” should have been avoided, especially because students who were freshmen during the tragedy were still on campus as seniors.

More recently, Tiger Woods’ has experienced some public relations woes. The news first broke when he left his home in Florida and proceeded to run into a fire hydrant at around 2:00 am. Then many news outlets began to report that his wife was on the scene brandishing a golf club. What made matters worse was the way Woods tried to side step the issue in the eyes of the law enforcement and the public. If Woods had taken the advice of any public relations professional in this situation he would have responded with a truthful and timely statement that addressed the questions of the public.

Whenever your organization encounters a situation like the two above, it is important to take a step back and remember the basic principles that ethical public relations is founded on. Tough situations can make or break an organization. By choosing to react to a challenge in an ethical way, one is much more likely to survive an event of this type. A choice selection of these principles can be in the Public Relations Society of America's code of ethics. Do yourself and your organization a favor by taking into account the effect that your public relations actions will have on everyone involved, not just the organization's interest.

For more information on the Nike Pro Combat case, please visit:

For more information on the Tiger Woods case, please visit:

For a complete guide to public relations ethics, please visit:

For more public relations disasters, please visit:

For more information on crisis situations and how to deal with them, please visit:

Trends in Public Relations

PR Trends
By Ashley Bower

What will the 2010 year bring to public relations? The answer: Social Media and Creativity. In these uncertain economic times it is especially important that the job you do isn’t just worth doing, but worth doing well. Everyday there seems to be a new development in public relations, with the biggest shift stemming from the use of social media. It is vital for public relations practitioners to be fluent in the uses and advantages of using social media in the best interest of the client. Paul Roetzer said this about social media, “That is the power of blogging and the social Web (aka Web 2.0). Every business, and every professional, has the ability to influence audience and affect change like never before with self-published content.” (
Another up and coming area that will grow in public relations is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is basically a marketing strategy in which consumers are choosing to learn more about the product or company by conducting a keyword search online, subscribing to a feed, downloading information, subscribing to a company’s newsletter, watching videos about the company on sites such as youtube, listening to podcasts, and visiting a company’s social network and/or commenting on blogs or tweets.
Inbound marketing is content focused. “In order to grow smarter and faster than the competition, organizations must continually publish multi-media content online through blogs, podcasts, videos, optimized press releases, case studies, white papers, ebooks and by-lined articles,” says Roetzer.
With the decline of mainstream media, it is imperative that anyone wishing to work in the realm of public relations must understand content marketing as social media and inbound marketing is reaching the tipping point. › Marketing and Advertising

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Public Relations and Social Media Expertise
By Ashley Bower

According to a study in Los Angeles (2009) public relations professionals are taking the lead in managing the organization’s use of social media communication channels, and social media skills are nearly as important as traditional media relations skills when searching for and hiring public relations professionals. New media and social media communication skills are top qualifiers in today’s hiring by decision makers according to Eric Schwartzman.
According to the 2009 Digital Readiness Report, Essential Online Public Relations and Marketing Skills:
· When searching for prospective new hires, social media communications skills are nearly as important as traditional media relations skills.
· Public relations leads marketing in the management and oversight of all social media communications channels within the organization.
· Marketing leads public relations in the management and oversight of bulk email communications and search engine optimization.
· Social networking, blogging and micro-blogging skills are the three most important social media communications skills for job candidates to have, according to public relations and marketing hiring decision makers.
· Most organizations are considering hiring social media specialist. (registration is required).
With the rise in social media, public relations practicitioners must now be efficient if not on the cutting edge of new social medias. Social media is the newest way to reach an audience or target public. It is especially important when members of the intended public are less than thrilled or satisfied with the product or service. Public relations specialists are now in a position to monitor these sites and social media to discover what improvements can be made as well as what pleases the audience.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Innovative Social Media Ideas for the Small Business

The Digital Information Age is here to stay. When FaceBook and MySpace mania began, many speculated on it’s short shelf life but it has proven itself to be here for the long run. Emerging online medias, online social networks and the influx in recent mobile Internet technologies allow information to be delivered in real time. Consumers can purchase a product or service and immediately comment on their experiences to anyone online through the use of mobile online applications. Blogs, micro-messaging systems (Twitter), chatrooms, social networking websites, and E-zines can all be significant sources of information and should be used as public relations tools for small business.

In Washington D.C., CoCo Sala, a small restaurant, monitors tweets posted that include it’s name. If the Tweet is unsatisfactory, managers contact the sender and attempt to reconcile their relationship.

Creating mobile applications for cellular phones that support those capabilities is another innovative use of social media for the small business. A mobile phone application can include important vital information to potential customers such as directions, business hours and information on product sales.

TGIFridays, a national restaurant chain, aired commercials nationally with a spokesperson named Woody. Commercials called for viewers to go online and become FaceBook friends with Woody. The first 500,000 users to friend Woody received a coupon for a free Jack Daniels Burger. Currently Woody has over 900,000 friends and counting on FaceBook. TGIF is hosting events around the country at local restaurants where Woody will make an appearance.

Social media provides small businesses the chance to be innovative and creative in the new Digital Information Age. Consumers and online users are all vying for the chance to participate and interact online with businesses and other users alike. Jumping on board the social media bandwagon is a surefire way to increase customer loyalty and increase notoriety.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What every Public Relations practitioner should know about social media

What every Public Relations practitioner should know about social media

As a college student, it has always been very important to me to keep up with all of my friends and family. We all know that this task can be challenging with busy schedules, It is also difficult to keep in touch with friends and family back home when you live over 150 miles away. Very few people are going to take the time to text or call all of their acquaintances. This is where social media come in. Thanks to sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter we can let all of our friends and family know what the latest news is with the click of just one button.

With so many social media sites popping up today, users are likely to choose the outlet that is most convenient and fun, as well as the site that all of their acquaintances are using. But what are the most popular social media sites? According to, the top five social media sites for marketing use and popularity are (in order) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and Digg.

In other big news, it was recently announced by AddToAny (the makers of a widget that allows users to share content in multiple social media sites at one time) that Facebook had jumped substantially ahead of e-mail as the all time most popular way to share content over the web.

What does all of this mean for the public relations practitioner? The most important thing that should be gathered from this information is the at the social media landscape is constantly changing. If you choose to launch a campaign using social media, it can be very affective if properly targeted toward the correct audience. For example, Facebook gives the opportunity for the public relations practitioner to target a specific group of people using fan pages and groups.

An example of my own use of this tool would be my subscription to the Taste of Home magazine. Once I started to subscribe, they suggested that I should be a fan of their page on Facebook. I accepted the offer and now I can interact with the very people who make the magazine. They regularly post different recipes and news content to the magazine fan page. This then shows up on my Facebook news feed every time I log in. Taste of Home's utilization of social media has ensured that I and many subscribers like me, stay connected to the magazine.

For more information about social media, please visit:

"Social Networks: Facebook takes over top spot, Twitter climbs"

Facebook Statistics

Further examples of Public Relations through social media: "Airlines follow passengers onto social media sites"