Tag Archives: PR

Miley Cyrus: VMA’s 2015 Host

Yes, that’s right. You read that title right. Miley Cyrus, one of the most controversial music artists of the moment, is returning to the very place that started her controversial cycle… The MTV Video Music Awards.

I don’t think a lot of people saw this coming to be honest. She announced it via her social media sites and as soon as she did the press blew up on the announcement and drove the story as far down that road as they could and it isn’t as if they didn’t think it would go anywhere. Everyone was talking about it. Everyone and they still are. This is what MTV wanted wasn’t it? Publicity hype before the event. Well, they won.

I personally just don’t get it. I see it from both sides, as a music fan and as a music PR professional. On the one hand, as a fan I’m thinking why would they do that, she’s gone crazy and her performance was wacky last year but as a professional I’m thinking good move so far for MTV. The amount of people they are going to get tuning into the show just to see what crazy stuff Miley Cyrus will do next… it’s going to be millions! Great publicity too for Miley, who will be eager to draw in publicity from her ‘out of the ordinary’ hosting.

However, I can’t help but wonder whether they have thought this through. Have they signed a contract with her to limit what she can do? Is the show going to be pre-rehearsed so they know what is coming? What if she goes all ‘ad lip’ on them and turns what they thought was going be an alright show that people would want to watch, into something they have to ‘bleep’ most of the contact out of?

I just hope that within the behind the scenes they have planned this to the T… because if it is done well, MTV will be rolling in it. Literally.

What is your perception of the situation? Do you think this was a smart PR move or do you think it could be another viewing disaster for MTV but another controversal plus for Miley Cyrus?

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(Image taken from DailyMail – no rights to this image)

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Q&A: A little bit about me…

So this is a little different to my usual posts but I thought… if you’re reading my posts you might want to get to know me a little more?

Well, either way, you’re going to with this next post. A Q&A about me, so let’s go…

1) Did you always know you wanted to go to University?

Hmmm, Yes and No. At first I wanted to be a Chef. I studied catering at school and pictured myself going off to catering school but then that changed when I realised it was a tough industry to get into. So I then decided university would be a great option to learn something new and gain some independence. I chose Southampton Solent University by chance actually, I was originally going to Falmouth University to study Events Management but then later changed after visiting someone in Southampton who attended Southampton Solent University. I fell in love with the city and how small yet busy it was. I then made the bold decision of removing my application from Falmouth and starting over again. I got in at Solent and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

2) Why did you choose PR?

Again, PR was slightly by chance. I wanted to be an organiser, I loved project management and organising things so I decided on Events management but then I sort of thought about it and wanted to be able to branch out and do other things if I decided too later down the line in my career. PR was the better options because it allowed me to go into events management if I wanted to but also things like PR, advertising, marketing and promotions. I was also sold on the PR and communication course at Southampton Solent University after I ended the open day, the lecturers were so ‘into’ their job, so willing to help students and all had fantastic careers in PR before becoming lecturers. I was sold!

3) Will you miss university, now that you have graduated?

People keep asking me this at the moment and my answer usually is no, no mainly because of the stress that you entail or rather I entailed because I wanted to do as well as I possibly could. That stress was worth it for the outcome I have achieved so far and hopefully will achieve when I get my results in July but I will miss the people. The friends, the university lecturers and the course as well. It was such a great time and experience and I loved being independent and being able to do my own thing. However, I am ready to move on now. I have learned everything I could at University and along with my work placements and jobs. I now want to work full time and put all those skills to use. Show people what I can do and learn more!

4) What did you miss most whilst at university?

Family time! The countryside! My home friends! Not having to do my washing 😉 The homely things mainly but then again, when I was home for long periods of time like the summer break, I missed plenty of things in Southampton too.

5) Where do you see yourself being in 5 years time?

If I am able to do this, then I would love to have worked for a company or two, depending on whether there is the opportunity to grow within them. I’d like to start off at a graduate level and then work my way up and grow within the company. I’d also like to eventually move to America to work; however, if this isn’t an option, being able to travel within a job is just as good.

6) Where is your favourite place to go on holiday?

America. It always has and for now always will. Most likely because it is the only place I really go on holiday to with families. I have been to places in Europe like Cyprus, France, Germany and Switzerland but I have always loved America, the people are so friendly and I have family and friends there so that’s where I would choose to go.

7) What is your favourite food?

This is a tough one because I love all food but i’ll give it a go. Let’s split this one into too. My favourite savoury food would probably be pasta because you can literally have anything with pasta! My favourite meat would be steak and my favourite sweet would be molten chocolate cake. YUM!

8) What do you like to do in your spare time?

My main things to do during my spare time are going to gigs and festivals as much as I can! However, I do have other interests too.I have done Bell ringing (Campanology) since I was about 10 years old, I did Ballet, Tap and Ballroom dance from when I was 3 years old until I was 19, this stopped because of University. Obviously I love to hang out with friends, go to cute little coffee shops, go for walks and explore places! I love cute little villages with old shops and little narrow streets. I also like to make cards, I attempted to learn to play guitar but that never went anywhere. I LOVE to bake! Literally, give me the ingredients and I would make cakes all day if I could. 

9) What is your favourite film?

Forest Gump! Hands down!! “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what ya gonna get!”

11) What are your favourite TV shows to watch?

I have many…. ready? Here it goes: Orange is the new black, CSI, CSI: New York, How I met your mother, The Big Bang Theory, Keeping up with the Kardashians (not ashamed to say this is my guilty pleasure), Damages, Prison Break, 24, Board Walk Empire, Home Fires…. The list could go on but I’ll stop now.

So there you have it! A little bit about me, just incase you wanted to know.

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Swift Vs Apple: The Winning Battle.

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Well. She did it. She proved everyone wrong and actually did it. Apple have changed their payment policy for during their free three-month trial to customers for Apple music. Music producers, writers and artists will be paid for their streams during that free three-month period by Apple.

(Read Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple here: http://taylorswift.com/news/251533)

To be honest, I couldn’t believe it had happened at first. A big organisation like Apple, I know Swift is a big name and has a large following but for them to give in so quickly and change their policy was incredible. Good on her I say. She did speak for a large portion of music industry professionals who are just starting out in the industry and need to make money in order to continue their work, so for them, I am pleased.

However, I still feel there is a slight essence of greed from Miss. Swift.

The letter she wrote, there were aspects of it that, well her or her PR could have altered to make it seem less about her and more about other people. It just seemed a little too forward and demanding for my liking. Either way, it worked but is it really for the right intentions?

First Spotify and now Apple. She never seemed to have an issue with streaming her other albums, yet with her latest 1989 album, there is a bigger issue for her. Is it her or is it her label or is it both?

What ever the reason it has pros and cons within what happened. Whether it was for greed or because she actually genuinely cares about other professionals making money, Apple gave it and that large social media voice she has worked.

What still makes me wonder though, as to whether greed and the want for her own personal gain is behind the letter to Apple is what was brought up by photographer Jason Sheldon.

He created his own open letter to Swift reflecting the restrictions she has put in place upon photographers who take photos of her.

He says:

How are you any different to Apple? If you don’t like being exploited, that’s great.. make a huge statement about it, and you’ll have my support. But how about making sure you’re not guilty of the very same tactic before you have a pop at someone else?

With all due respect to you too Taylor, you can do the right thing and change your photo policy. Photographers don’t ask for your music for free. Please don’t ask us to provide you with your marketing material for free.

Too right. I completely agree with him. It is double standards. If she wishes the music industry to be fair with their paying standards, then it should be fair for all aspects and everyone involved. After all isn’t this what she was stating in her own letter to Apple?

Either way. Publicity stunt = succeeded. Well Done Taylor Swift. You have got us all talking once again.

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Jurassic World’s Free PR

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Recently I went to Atlanta and Florida in the United States to visit friends with my family. Whilst I was there, I couldn’t resist seeing the new Jurassic World film, from all of the PR hype that had been generated from their press teams, it was hard to resist.

FYI: The Film is amazing. You have to go and see it!

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Now, Jurassic World is gaining free PR from unexpected members of the public: Zoo Keepers! It is quite astonishing to see how this type of act has now been able to generate a stream of trends for the film after its cinema release and kept the fans all over the world talking about the main actor, Chris Pratt.

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For the past two days my Facebook trend feed has featured this Zookeeper ‘Chris Pratt’ pose stunt photo stream. I bet the makers are kicking themselves, free positive publicity is always a good thing.

Plus the photos are pretty awesome!

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Gatwick Vs. Heathrow…and the winner is?

GIVE THEM A HOME

There has been an ongoing conflict between Heathrow and Gatwick airport recently, due to the proposed plans for expanding just one of them.

A combined £6 million has been spent on marketing campaigns alone and with this weekend’s news it seems the process could be starting to pick up some speed.

Yesterday, BBC news London published that budget airline EasyJet have confirmed they are backing Heathrow, even though their main hub is Gatwick. What was their reasoning behind the decision? They fear airport charges will increase for customers if Gatwick were to expand.

That’s bad news for a budget airline!!

Gatwick tried to fight their cause; stating it will create more competition for airlines resulting in the prices to lower.

It seems like a bit of an “It’s all about me and my needs” situation to me…

What about the other stakeholders involved? I know there is a public consultation process, where they listen to the public voices, but there is some controversy surrounding the authenticity of this.

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A representative from the Aviation industry has this to say…

“Overall Heathrow ticks all the boxes and in the short term is the best investment; it has excellent transport links and is situated within easy access from both the north and south and is already internationally recognised as the UK hub”

 

So who’s currently in conflict at the moment?

 

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It’s like a battle of the sexes!

 

The conflict has got so bad recently that Heathrow were reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for making false claims about airport benefits with their expansion.

Just makes you wonder how much of the information is true? Are we all being conned into making the wrong decision?

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So how do we ultimately resolve these conflicts?

Well, there are three factors that each of the groups will be thinking about.

They’re…

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In regards to the ‘Rights’, no one party has the ‘Right’ to expand their airport and in terms of ‘Interest’, different parties are going to be fighting their cause about “how it’s going to help the airport”. The main aspect this vote is driven by is ‘Power’. Not the ‘Power’ of the airports, or the public or the airlines but ultimately the ‘Power‘ of the government who are making the final decision.

I personally think it should be decided through the ‘Right’s approach because it’s the fairest way. I also think a mediator should come into the process, as well as representatives from the public, airports and government bodies; to allow a fair multiple stakeholder decision.

Don’t YOU agree?

The government needs to sit down and listen to the airports representatives but also determine which airports position is most valid in these circumstances, with a mediator present to allow all thoughts to reach the table.

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Using a collaborating approach, the problem can be easily solved together amongst the different parties, fairly, equally and based upon actual facts and figures that will determine the best option.

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I guess only time will tell…

Take the Poll and let me know who you think will be the winner within this conflict!!

 

 

(All diagrams and images were either created by Paige Hiley or taken by Paige Hiley)

 

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Black Friday: Sale shopping to the extreme…

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(Image from Businessinsider.com: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-not-to-buy-on-black-friday-2013-11?IR=T)

Now, don’t get me wrong, Black Friday is probably a great advantage to many who want to treat their loved ones over christmas without having to spend the massive price tag that comes along with it. However, have you ever thought about the horrendous consequences that come along with this American born tradition?

A staggering 90 people have been injured during the Black Friday Day from 2009 until now… and what’s even worse is that 7 people have actually died from the event. The last two recorded deaths were from people sleeping at the wheel after purchasing their goodies in the early hours of the morning. Now, looking at that, don’t you think something should be done to stop this shopping madness? It’s all a bit over the top for me and i’m not one to judge those who go out and grab themselves some bargains but come on, people are dying from this Black Friday event. It has to stop.

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(Image taken from BlackFridayDeathcount.com: http://blackfridaydeathcount.com)

So what’s the resolution? Ban the event altogether? Nah, that just wouldn’t work, in an extreme measure their could be protests about the exile of the Black Friday shopping event. So, maybe limit the event to online only? The issues only seem to arise when people are queuing from midnight onwards for stores like Asda to open their sliding doors and people launch at the discounted TV’s and merchandise.

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(Image from Stylist.com: http://www.stylelist.com/view/your-essential-z-2012-black-friday-guide-best-deals/)

But, are we really getting a bargain? I’ve also been trying to benefit from the companies that offer me discounts galore. Yet, when i look closely at the offers and see what the price was the day before, the likelihood you’re actually saving a significant amount is actually very slim. Most of the large discounted items are limited stock and sell out quickly and unless you’re one of those people who sits up all night with three computers and two phones on the go trying to buy that item, you might just be purchasing something that in a few weeks time will be reduced again.

So think about the consequences, at least think about the safety of yourself and others. If you haven’t seen the video already you can see the Asda ambush in Wembley here….

(Video Credit to Rui Mendes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS94bYCu20AVam_KtWeZVhQ)

As Black Friday ends tonight, what will be the consequences of our own born shopping saving day, Cyber Monday? Will we see similar statistics of injuries and deaths just for some meaningless products that don’t replace the lives of the those that have lost theirs? We need to all think about the ethics behind this drastic day… people’s lives shouldn’t be at risk from shoppers nor should they feel they have to hide away from the stores because of the dangers that may lurk.

Just think about it…

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U2: Apple’s Invasion of Privacy

I’ve always been one of those ‘followers’ of Apple, not the obsessive type, no offence, but I do like my iTunes and have a range of their products. However, since I heard in the news recently that Apple have been invading iTunes users privacy, I’m slightly dis-heartened and going to be forever wondering what else they will do or possibly have done already in the past without us knowing.

The news that changed my view was the announcement that Apple have been automatically adding U2’s new album: Songs of Innocence to users around the world, iTunes libraries. The album is already free to download but we should be given and most people thought we’d be given the CHOICE as to whether to download it or not. Do Apple not know how privacy laws work? The fact these automatically downloaded it to all libraries, when people should have a choice and personally decide if they wish to use it, is unbelievable. It just makes you wonder what else they might have done without us knowing…

After hearing the news I looked into my personal account and there it was, the full album, and I had not clicked any button saying I agreed for it to be downloaded to my account.

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It’s quite ironic for the album to have the word ‘innocence’ in the title when Apple and U2 have gone the completely opposite way. Not so innocent anymore, i’d say. However, Bono did issue an official apology today saying they ‘had this beautiful idea and we got carried away with ourselves.’

So it just goes to show that you need to take privacy laws seriously as Apple are lucky they haven’t had some sort of law suit on their back after this unplanned mis-hap.

If they’d followed a strategy plan to the dot, and took into account their stakeholders needs they would know they’re the ones bringing in the profit and if they’re not happy with something, the investors won’t be. It’s just down hill from then on pretty much.

Well, good luck to Apple! Think it’s an apology needed from them next to make this all better. The lack of press releases and public apologises from the company shows their reluctancy of owning up to the issue. I’m still waiting Apple…..

In the mean time, if you don’t want to have the album on your library you can delete it, using the one thing Apple have done, by creating a tool to help you get rid of the album… Just click here:  http://itunes.com/soi-remove

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Customer Engagement: 21st Century Changes in Sales

Previously and to be honest it still happens a lot today through most advertising, but adverts used to deliver a key message; Buy Our Product! The one focus for that advert? To Sell! Yet for a lot of companies and brands nowadays, the ‘brainwashing’ style adverts just aren’t enough. Of course they’re still trying to sell their product, because why else would they advertise? It’s just become more challenging to persuade people to buy into products nowadays. Obviously if you’re going to offer freebie’s along with the purchase, you’re more likely to boost sales but that’s not the best way to get loyalty with the brand because you’re not going to be able to afford to give stuff away for free all of the time.

So how are brands evolving their adverts to encourage more customer engagement and brand loyalty? They’re connecting with their audience. Making that physical and mental connection with their target audience stakeholder group by using real life issues and scenarios that effect them in everyday life. This is a great way to go. You’re connecting with your audience on a personal level, letting them know you understand, almost acting like a mass communication ‘friend’.

Always, the feminine product brand have recently acted upon this new strategy to engage with their customers, by talking about the caption ‘Like a Girl’. It’s easy for people to say ‘You run like a girl’, but what they don’t know is that it acts like an insult. However Always are trying to prove to us all that being ‘like a girl’ doesn’t matter because at the end of the day you are girls. I think it’s a great campaign to draw in their target audience and it’s not just using the typical ‘selling’ strategy. It connects with their followers and shows them that Always cares. Well Done Always on what I think is a great campaign!

Watch the video below to see what I mean:

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The Future of PR and Engagement…

So as a student myself, I’m regularly surrounded by PR practitioners from many different backgrounds and companies; having this involvement has pushed so many different views about PR and it’s future towards me. It’s not everyday you get to experience the world of PR change first hand, but for myself, I see it changing every second. Just by reading fellow blog posts and seeing the latest campaign ideas that companies come up with, it’ overwhelming, and to be honest I don’t think I could even predict the future of PR.

To start with, engagement, it’s a tricky thing to grasp and can come in many forms. However I have found out how difficult it actually is during the E-Book in a day task today. Trying to contact people in the PR world on a daily basis has definitely changed. It used to be so formal and it was unheard of to tweet a client or employer; yet today it seems like the norm. You could easily contact someone directly via Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram with a simple ‘@’ name or #hashtag. Before joining university and seeing the evolution of engagement, I always assumed it would be classed as ‘unprofessional’ to contact a client or employer in any other way than by a formal e-mail or a common phone call. You can easily see it’s changed.

Although it might be easier to contact someone via social networking sites it might not the easiest form of communication. Just today whilst trying to get hold of PR students, the instant connection is there, but the reply isn’t so great; unless you have someone who is willing to take part. The problem with social media connections is that they don’t have to reply. With a common phone call you get that instant response, whether it’s good or bad, you know you don’t have to be sat around waiting for that response. My team are powering on though and trying every form of engagement we can think of to connect with fellow PR students.

The future of PR then, well, it’s very unpredictable. For myself I see technology being an even better aspect for PR; soon enough face to face interaction will become obsolete. Google hangouts, Skype sessions and just social networking interaction will be the norm and for me I think that could destroy the genuine thoughts and personal connections clients and employers have. That could be a waste of a great aspect for PR, PR practitioners need that face to face interaction at some point to understand the tone of their client. Interpreting the persons tone on E-mails, Tweets and Facebook messages can be difficult. However, it’s something I think we will just have to adapt to. You never know we might all develop a new tone of voice altogether to adapt to the social media world. Who knows? But that’s the world of PR for you.

 

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