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London 2012

With the digital world bigger and more popular than ever, the Olympics had to find a way to transition from sole TV coverage to being reachable on every platform. They have made some developments that will make it incredibly easy to stay up to date with all of the results from this summer’s upcoming games in London.

These additions to the Olympics viewing experience make it much easier to track your favorite athletes and check times of when different events are on. NBCOlympics.com will be live streaming every event and have their own YouTube channel as well (so you can re-watch events whenever you want). For mobile devices and tablets, there are two different apps that have been created that will allow you to watch live streams and highlights. And of course, for television there are satellite channels for sole coverage on basketball and soccer.

It is very important that NBC and the Olympics monitor their different means of broadcast this summer. The Olympics is one of the larget worldwide events that needs a large amount of media coverage – coverage that must be easily found and played. It will be interesting to see how effective these new developments are for the games. It will also be pivotal for the Olympics to utilize social media for coverage – that way they can announce medalists, times of events and any other important updates.

NFL Rising Above

This year hasn’t been a breeze for the NFL. Plagued with many PR scandals, they have had to bounce back and rise above all of the negative publicity. Crisis management is such a large part of public relations – it includes the good, the bad & the ugly. This years biggest scandal is arguably the notorious New Orleans Saints scandal – footage of ex-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams encouraging his team to purposely injure players on the opposing team.

Imagine the backlash from this one. 2,000 former players have filed lawsuits against the league calling them “negligent”. While just one team in the league was responsible for these actions, the entire organization has had to deal with the negative press.

This just goes to show how one person can give an entire group a bad name. When you are representing an organization you have to be especially conscious of what you say and how you act. When you are working for an agency, representing a product or celebrity – you have to be aware of every move you make and how it will look in regards to the bigger name you are attached to.

Howard Stern

Howard Stern may be known for his crass and inappropriate talk show full of sexually driven content, but as Ragan.com brought to my attention, there are some important PR lessons we can learn from the notorious DJ. Here they are:

1. Keep your focus, and put on a good show.

2. Give the crazies their chance.

3. Make sure everyone who works with you is simpatico.

4. When you do get that big chance, go all the way. 

5. Don’t let management hold you back.

6. Don’t follow a boring format.

7. Don’t rely on research.

8. When you’ve got the competition’s attention, you’re doing it right.

9. Always be yourself. 

10. You can make mistakes and still be a rockstar. 

I have bolded the rules that stuck out the most to me. You know what they say, go big or go home. Rule #4 means a lot to me right now as I prepare to leave for my internship in New York City. This will be the farthest I’ve been from home and the familiar and I can’t wait to get to the city that never sleeps. I plan to take full advantage of the opportunity presented to me. Rule #9 – always be yourself. This holds so true not just for individuals but for brands. As I have discussed before, brands cannot try to be something they’re not if they want to be authentic and truly connect with their audience. Stay true to yourself and everything will fall into place just how it should. And finally, rule #10. In class, they always tell us it’s okay to make mistakes. They will help you learn and prevent you from making the same mistake twice (hopefully). Bouncing back from mistakes will help you be consistent and honest with yourself and your audience.

I never thought I would be saying this but hey – thanks for the advice, Howard!

Social Media & the Entertainment Experience

Ever since smart phones, laptops and tablets have become part of our everyday lives, social media usage has skyrocketed. With all of our personal accounts right in our pockets, it’s so easy to stay plugged into your favorite social and professional lives all day long. It even seems as though social media has become a part of the entertainment industry all on its own.

This article includes statistics and  infographics about social media usage and the entertainment industry. Here are some of the numbers that stood out to me:

88% of people consider Facebook & social media a form of entertainment

72% post about movies on their social networking sites after watching them

83% surf the web while watching TV

The multi-screen experience is also a new phenomenon that is changing the entertainment industry. We have the power to connect with people at the touch of our fingertips. On a normal night in my house in Eugene, you can find myself and my roommates watching a movie or tv show (these days it’s been The Bachelorette – embarrassing, I know), with our laptops out and on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. and our smart phones right next to us texting or Snapchatting our friends. In fact, at this very moment I am watching Sweet Home Alabama, while blogging, while on Facebook. Hey, I’m a good multi-tasker. Social media and entertainment influence each other so much and it is our job to engage and interact with others on these platforms. Whats not entertaining about that?

May The Force Be With You

Being a huge Star Wars geek myself, I was giddy when I saw this article on PR Daily’s homepage. The article, “5 social media lessons from Star Wars” pays homage to the first episode of the classic films, Episode IV: A New Hope, which celebrates it’s 35th anniversary this week. How does a fantasy film like Star Wars relate to PR and social media today? According to the article, here’s how:

1. You can do great things from a remote planet.

2. You must learn from someone wiser than you (who isn’t evil).

3. Your friends are critical to your survival.

4. You can’t avoid the death grip. 

5. Your strength alone won’t save you. 

I think these rules hold true not only throughout the movie, but for practicing PR professionals as well. Don’t let anything hold you back, learn from your mentors, stay close with your comrades, listen to your audiences, & use the tools given to you. That’s all it boils down to. Sounds a lot like what they teach us in school, huh?

It’s amazing to see what an impact the Star Wars franchise has had on our culture over these past 35 years. While the films aim to teach us life lessons, who would have thought that it can teach us how to handle our professional lives as well? Movies contribue to such a large part of our culture – everywhere you look a new movie poster or advertisement is sure to be close by. Taking a deeper look into the sub-messages of classic flicks like this one can surely benefit us in many walks of life.

PR & Advertising

This article from AdAge presents the idea that the world of advertising could learn a few valuable lessons by taking a closer look at public relations. While we are told the two industries are completely different, there are tie-ins that seem to prove otherwise.

The article talks about how huge brands like Nike and Pepsi are focusing more on public relations than advertising (saving them a lot of money) and are beginning to focus on community relations. The author is even bold enough to state that the future of advertising is public relations. While advertising is more about pulling out the big guns and the theatrics, public relations and the ideals behind it can be applied to advertising techniques to make them tighter and more cost effective.

But what stuck out the most to me is this quote: “It’s not your strategy; it’s your story.” Good PR includes humanizing huge name brands. For example: The Old Spice guy. While the advertising was genius, the ads told a story that resonated with audiences and we will not be forgetting anytime soon. Another example the article gives is Apple. They catapulted to popularity through “product unveilings, public appearances, media coverage, online communities and evangelist marketing.” Looking back through this list it becomes apparent that it is indeed PR we can attribute much of Apple’s reputation to.

Social Media & Music

Social Media has become such a huge part of our culture it has the power to change people’s lives.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Justin Bieber? The 18-year-old multi-millionaire recording artist was discovered in 2008… on YouTube. Other popular artists like Colbie Callait, Jessie J and Lily Allen were discovered through social media. This continues to show us just how important social media is to our digital-driven culture.

When MySpace made its debut in 2003 and continued to peak in the years following, it was based around discovering new artists. Artists had pages that were different from those of normal users – it was a place where they could display their newest songs and even let people showcase their favorite artist’s songs on their own personal pages. As the MySpace fad died out sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube picked up the pieces. YouTube is simply a place where anyone and everyone can upload videos – from music videos to classic movies of babies laughing (This one has more than 35 million views – that itself says something about the reaching power of YouTube.)

These progressions in the digital world make me wonder what will happen in the future for the music industry. Seeing as hard copies are a dying breed, when will they be completely irrelevant? Are there forums or channels where aspiring artists on YouTube can connect and spread the word about their music?