If you haven’t heard by now, the NFL had a giant game in Dallas a few weeks ago. It brought in buco-bucks, drew the largest viewership in television history and made a lot of fans from a small town in Wisconsin very happy. So one would think that the league left the Lone Star State feeling awesome and without problems.
Well, if you haven’t been living under a rock and you pay attention to sports, or news for that matter, you know that the league is facing a major PR issue that may tarnish their image. This doesn’t concern the looming lockout of the players (a PR conundrum for another day), but rather folks who fill their coffers – the fans. You see, there were over 90,000 fans who purchased tickets to come to the game, problem was the seats weren’t available for over 1,000 of these ticket holders to be sat in during the big game. This was because the seats were not completed and did not pass muster of the fire marshal. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past few months, you may have noticed that the weather outside has become increasingly colder. While it might seem alarming, it is actually one of the year’s four seasons, albeit one that comes with some detractors.
Unfortunately, the season has been hit by a lot of bad press lately and has not done a great job marketing or branding itself. For every great story, ad or video on a ski resort or some outdoor hockey game, there are three or four negative mentions. These range from a NYC plowing fiasco to newscasts reporting accidents and the Twitteratti claiming the end of humanity as we know it with hashtags for #Snopacolypse, #snoloko or #snowmaggedeon.
Reading the paper during the latest storm in the Boston area, I came across an interesting job listing for a PR person in the Department of Winter that read: Read the rest of this entry »
Before we all checked out for 2010, we opened up a challenge to the readership of the PR Breakfast Club – to complete our list of PR New Years’ resolutions. Part of it was out of laziness on my part mixed with my inability to count, but the other part was to hear from you guys to see what you thought collectively that our industry should change.
After all none of us is as dumb as all of us put together, so without further adieu, here is the list of PR resolutions, crowdsourced from the PRBC community (click here to see the original post): Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this month, Facebook dropped a bomb on the geolocation space by introducing deals via their Places mobile application. This move was a power play for the largest social network and a potential boon for advertisers looking to tap into the 100 million users of the Facebook mobile application.
In the initial roll-out, there were a number of merchants that partnered with Facebook to roll out the new deals feature, including Gap. Now along with the partnership, these companies gained the cache of being innovative in the social space. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to get a handle on what PR had become to me. The industry is in a state of flux and evolution. Instead of the old fare cup of coffee industry that we grew up in the current state is robust with flavors that would make Starbucks blush.
With many PR folks taking the helm of social networking (SN) activities, I’ve also wondered if PR was the correct term for the industry as the space blends PR with many other disciplines like customer service, sales and word-of-mouth marketing.
I asked folks in the #PRBC discussion what PR meant to them and really just got back a handful of generic cookie cutter answers that reflected what the industry used to be. Read the rest of this entry »
I read a lot of books and am always looking for a good recommendation. So when I saw Mark Schaefer’s plug for Brains on Fire in his post entitled The Spirituality of Social Media, I figured I’d check it out as I respect Mark’s opinions and the term “profound admiration,” is pretty serious.
After reading the book by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and Spike Jones I can safely say that Mark’s description was well deserved. Instead of focusing on tactics to increase engagement within social networks, the Brains on Fire team creates movements. The book encourages readers to embrace their core audience and find out what they are passionate about in order to build a true movement for their company or cause. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I received an email from the folks at Klout informing me that Fox wanted to send me a watching kit for its new television series Lone Star. I am sure that some of you reading this got the same email.
I’m not required to do anything for them but they mailed me a promotional package and I can talk about the show if I want to. Disclosure – I love free stuff, seriously. The popcorn tin and tailgate beer mugs were pretty sweet. Now don’t take this post as an endorsement – I watched the show and was not crazy about it. I am also not a television critic so my level of expertise on the matter is also questionable, which is what makes me wonder why I was selected as an influencer for this campaign. I am simply using this as a question of influence. Disclosure #2, I do not see myself as an expert or authority in anything; I am just a guy who loves his job, but if you want to send me free stuff go ahead. ;) There I said it. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, the University of North Carolina rolled out a new social media. Instead of increasing access to student athletes, the policy has coaches and/or administrators serving as the social media director for their team (read more here & here). Seems a bit extreme pulling folks more astute with X’s and O’s and game planning to monitoring 140 character messages.
Aside from tapping our resident sports guys, we also tapped into the psyche of a pair of UNC alumni to see what they thought of this new plan. For those of you counting at home, there are four contributors to this post, a first for PRBC.
True Engagement Rebecca Denison – Class of ’09
I spent four years walking around campus just hoping I’d get to catch a glimpse of guys like Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green. At Carolina, tests and presentations were often rescheduled because the team had made it to the next round of the tourney. I will forever bleed blue and cheer for Roy’s boys.
When guys like Marcus Ginyard started to join Twitter, I was thrilled because it was probably the best way for me to get to know UNC players and show the team support. Censoring and monitoring these guys only takes away the authentic interaction they have with fellow classmates who may not get the chance otherwise. Yeah, that sounds a bit lame, but wouldn’t you want to interact with a basketball legend one-on-one if you could?
Beyond this loss of authenticity, the spirit behind the new rules is also an issue. UNC’s undergraduate journalism program is considered one of the best in the country, and to have the school’s athletic department enact a policy like this is just plain embarrassing.
Unofficial Ambassadors Aven James – UNC Class of ’06
UNC recently unveiled an updated social media policy that has been called “harsh” – and while the UNC alum in me might agree, the B2B PR pro has to admit the policy just makes good business sense. And let’s be honest – isn’t college athletics really a business these days?
Though I admittedly haven’t seen the whole policy, it addresses a number of issues we’d advise a client to touch on:
● Responsibility & Good Judgment: Student athletes, whether they like it or not, are representatives of their University. As such, they need to exercise good judgment when posting on public forums and refrain from comments that could negatively impact the “organization.” And the “organization” needs to pay attention to what’s being said.
● Audience: Students and fans are an important audience for UNC athletics. They’re the “consumer;” the buyer of UNC’s “product.” Therefore, UNC has a responsibility to consider what posts/comments might alienate its fan base.
● Consequences: A sound social media policy should address the consequences for “bad behavior.” UNC has experienced first-hand the risks associated with social media and they’ve created a policy that, they hope, will mitigate them.
All that being said, the devil is always in the details. With the ability to monitor and even remove posts, UNC could take the policy too far – and if they do so, miss out on an opportunity to engage its fan base via social media.
Pro v. Student Mike Schaffer
Congratulations, NCAA! The University of North Carolina has helped you further blur the line between enrolled student and paid employee. In Chapel Hill a coach or administrator will be monitoring players’ social media accounts for violations. Yes, that’s a public university chipping away at the students’ individual rights – sounds a little fishy to me.
How much control over a person does their university have over them? Should they have access to student-athletes’ social media accounts, as the policy demands? And why just student athletes? What about student government, student media or student workers? Seems like the college is flexing their muscles to protect their revenue generating assets.
Do you actually think the star point guard will be judged on the same scale as the back-up women’s coxswain?
I’m all for educating players on how to be on their best behavior online, on the field and in daily life. However, the UNC plan, as it’s been presented, is all about “Big Brother Watching.”
Learning is Learning Jeff Esposito
It may sound crazy, but this policy is a good thing. While my co-contributors raise some valid objections, they are missing the silver lining in this grey cloud. College is a place for kids to get an education and foundation for a future career. Sure some of the players affected by this new policy will play with balls for a living, but the vast majority of the student athletes will not.
Either way, they need to learn the professional implications of being a dumbass on social media. We’ve all heard horror stories of people getting fired and some of us even monitor what is being said about a company online and may see dumb things posted co-workers.
Sure getting to know these athletes may be cool, but they are representatives of a brand. How many brand reps do you know that really give 100% behind the scenes access? Twitter is big business and if that means some big brother so be it.
The athletes who do turn pro will have stricter regulations from their respective leagues. Just as Chad Ochocinco how much a tweet can cost.
Well there you have our in-house experts’ perspectives. What do you think of the issue?
Rebecca, Mike, and Jeff are PRBC regulars. You can get their contact info and details, as always, right here. Aven James, a first time PRBC contributor, is a Senior Account Executive at Bliss PR (yes, Elizabeth Sosnow’s firm – another PRBC regular) where she focuses on media relations in the B2B and professional services sector.
- 6 May 2013 : Knowing Your Audience: How PR Agencies Need to be Careful Choosing Customers
- 30 April 2013 : Get Geoff Livingston’s Welcome to the Fifth Estate Free
- 19 April 2013 : Auto-tweets, Kawasaki and Takedowns: The Ugly Side of Social
- 15 April 2013 : 2013: The Year that Social Media Will Run out of Kool-Aid
- 8 April 2013 : Top 5 Tips for Adapting a Relationship Marketing Model
I recently read a blog post from Dave Fleet that really put words to something that I had been pondering for a bit. The piece was entitled Are you creating social media scorched earth? It focused on companies that burn bridges with customers with one-off social media accounts.
There is no question that social media is the hotness for the 2010-2011 fiscal years for companies. Communications and customer service folks have been utilizing tools and building communities and brand awareness while driving revenue as a secondary benefit. The dollars brought in from people who are generally not seen as revenue drivers has given marketers a set of green blinders. You know the ones, where money clouds one’s thoughts, especially when the entry point into a medium is virtually free and is a direct outlet to customers. Read the rest of this entry »