Archive for the ‘Topic of the Week’ Category

Image Credit “Number 13” By Zazzle
This week, I have another guest blogger, Nicole Long. She talks about viral videos,  like I did in a previous post.


Viral videos pop up all over the place, from all different places, people, and scenarios.

They become viral so quickly because they are interesting and eye catching. They can be funny (most are), they can be cute, have pets or babies in them.

How it happens is once someone see’s a video they think is funny or cute and is good enough to watch again or show someone, they show a friend. And then that person shows another friend, and that person another. It goes on and on, and in a short period of time, until it is a viral video in like a week.

My favorite viral is “The Bed Intruder”. It is a video that was originally on the news. It was a guy who was talking to the camera crew in concern of his sister who was almost raped when she woke up to find a stranger in her room. It is a serious story, but luckily her brother heard her scream and came in there to scare the intruder out. The intruder left finger prints. Just watch…..

I love this “remix” because its hilarious how the brother is acting and it is very catchy. It made me want to watch the video over and over again. I also wanted to show every and anybody who was on or near a computer.

Another viral video that I like is “Charlie Bit Me”. It is a video that just shows two little kids, who are obviously brothers, sitting in a chair and the little brother keeps bitting the older brother. It is so cute.

I wanted to show everyone this video because of how adorable it is. All of my girl friends liked it and even guys. :)


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Flipping through the pages of a magazine this week, I saw this J.Crew ad. Then I read Melissa Rodriguez, my guest blogger’s blog and saw this post. My thoughts exactly.

Over the weekend J.Crew updated their online catalogue and included a feature on how their president and creative director Jenna Lyons spends the weekend with her son. The first slide included the mother and son duo looking at each other playfully and lovingly while the mother held her sons foot- that happened to have neon pink toenails. Copy on the ad included “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

Obviously this is just way too much for anyone to handle. The notion that mundane things such as colors can be characterized as male or female is absurd. If that were the case, how would anyone characterize beige, yellow, or red?

Keith Ablow called the ad, “a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.” While Erin Brown from the Media Research Center called it, “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”

Seriously? The boy in the picture is five years old. Children aren’t born knowing things are “bad” or “good,” or considered “straight” or “gay.” Children just know what they like.  Often children want to participate in creative activities, such as painting- nails or otherwise, because they think it’s fun. Boys see their sisters and mothers painting their nails and they simply want to be included.

There seems to be an extremely confused train of thought happening that stipulates that the things you are exposed to as a child dictate one’s gender identity and sexual orientation. Shouldn’t children also have the right to express themselves in anyway they want? There have been many instances in which little boys want to do or wear something that is traditionally female and their mothers let them, often with backlash towards the mother. As long as no one is getting hurt, what is the harm in letting them do as they please?

“Many people feel that it is their role to police gender and tell them what correct behavior is for boys and girls,” said Dr. Jack Drescher, child psychologist, to ABC news. “The idea that a parent is indulging a child’s interest in unconventional gender behavior does something to the child has no scientific basis.”

Openly gay pop sensation Adam Lambert tweeted about the ad after a Twitter user tagged him in a post with a link to the article saying, “I bet that’s how it all started for @adamlambert.” Lambert addressed the issue by tweeting, “Gender confusion? I don’t think it’s that deep- children should have full freedom of expression. It’s everyone else who’s confused.”

J.Crew declined to comment calling this a “non-issue.” Which is exactly what it is. It’s simply a photo of a little boy spending a weekend with his hard working, stylish mom.

John Stewart said it best, “Here’s what I see: ‘Oh, honey, you want to paint your nails pink? Okay, let’s do it.’ Because do you have any idea how long a weekend is with children? Everybody gets bored; you’ll do anything to fill the time. And if you take them to a face-painting booth, it doesn’t make them cats.”

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What is it that makes a viral video popular?  So many viral videos have become so popular that they have turned the people who “star” in them famous and rich. So what’s the secret? Well, first, viral videos are easy to share. Almost every day we hear about a new video that all our friends are talking about. YouTube has made it easy to share videos with others, and social media sites help us post the latest videos. Viral videos become so popular because they’re funny, or they provoke some sort of emotions.  Most videos will have babies or animals. Some just show people doing something that goes wrong and is usually funny. It is easy to relate to videos like that because it can happen to all of us. The fact that the video isn’t perfect makes it that much more genuine. On the other hand, some videos are planned out ahead of time, and they are just as funny and popular . One of my favorites is Marcel the Shell.


This is a different kind of viral video, it was scripted  and planned out. It’s very clever and cute, in my opinion. It is different because it shows an interview with a shell! The people behind this video put a lot of time and effort into making it and it shows.  

Another one I like is this

This is a favorite because the ending is so unexpected. You never know how a video is going to end, so you have to wait, and that surprise element gets people’s attention. When I saw this video, I didn’t know what’s going to be so funny about it, so when I realized what was happening I was shocked. Almost anyone’s first reaction to someone falling is laughter, and this video just made it better because it attempted to be serious.

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 Last week I talked about an interview of the founder of PR Palette.  Another interview I watched is Kneale Mann and Barbara Nixon’s interview. Kneale has different aspects to his public relations career. He works in Canada for the public sector, or nonprofit,  helping to accelerate marketing principals within the government. He is also in the private sector – he has his own company YouIntegrate. He says that there are differences and similarities between the sectors.

 Some of the things he mentioned as part of his work were private businesses strategy, government marketing social media, and policy rules of engagement.

I thought it was interesting that after being in public relations for so long he only started to blog a couple of years ago. After attending a “geek dinner”, which means that the people that were there met online before the dinner, he decided to start blogging. His first post was up an hour after the dinner ended. He didn’t know what to blog about. He says you should  just start blogging about what interests you. People want to be validated by the number of followers they have, or ranking. This should not keep you from starting to write. An audience will find you eventually. Understand that there is no instant success.  If you write about what you’re passionate about, it will work out.

I was surprised that he mentioned the book Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel, and World Wide Rave by David Meerman Scott, because I had just heard about the books a few days ago in class.

I learned about blog pals, a way of connecting students across universities , so they would talk about similarities and share information. This is something I would like to learn more about-how to create a network of people who can become blog pals.  

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A PR Palette

I have recently watched Martin Waxman and Barbara Nixon’s interview. Martin is the co-founder of Palette PR in Toronto. The agency has clients like Olay, Herbal Essence, and more. Through the interview  I learned about the importance of having traditional PR skills , along with social media knowledge. According to Martin, traditional media relations skills are important, even when things are evolving .

I was surprised to learn of his incident with Air Canada; Martin had downloaded an e-ticket before a flight to his BlackBerry. When he got to the airport and showed it to the security, he had to explain what it was. He wrote a blog post about this, and only a year later heard back. This shows that  companies are listening, but they need to know how to use social media well and take into consideration the time frame. I learned that when you type in a name of a company on a search engine and add the word “fail”, a lot of information comes up, but a company doesn’t always have the way to know if the situation is potentially going to develop into a crisis or it is just regular customer griping about services.

The interview shed some light on things that employers are looking for in potential employees. They want you to follow people in the industry, read blogs, and follow twitter. You don’t have to do everything, but have an understanding of the happenings. In the interview, Martin mentioned that he was going to attend the conference South by Southwest. This was the first time I have heard  this, so it was nice to learn about another event that is important and well-known in the industry.

 I would like to know more about how Palette PR is helping its customers gain brand awareness and promote them through social media. I would also like to know how I could use micro- blogging like twitter to my advantage.

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PROpenMic is a social network for PR practitioners, faculty, and students.  It is a source of news from the industry, discussions, links to members’ blog posts, and a lot more. This site can potentially serve PR students and recent graduates better than other sites because of its exclusiveness and unique public relations features; the site’s administration has to approve a member after he or she signs up for an account, making the social network exclusive.

The site offers its members a chance to connect with fellow PR students and practitioners.  Like any other social network site, it lets a member add friends and connect with them through messages and comments. I was even surprised that PROpenMic has a live chat, yet another way not to miss out on the opportunity to connect with other members.

There are posts and links to internship opportunities.This is very helpful for students and recent graduates who are looking to gain some experience. These are specifically for PR students, so the search for this kind of internship is easier here.The site provides a way to get advice from people in the industry who know what employers are looking for in prospective employees. It gives great tips on all things related to PR. I found the job interviewing skills to be very helpful, as I was just looking for advice of that sort. PrOpenMic has discussions, engaging and inviting its members to a conversation about various topics in PR. This is one that I liked. It raises the question of ethics in PR.

 The site lists upcoming PR related events, another way for students and grads to stay informed of important happenings in the industry. There are also groups on the site, allowing people to become members of specific areas that interest them. There are groups for PR classes, but also for entrainment, Public Relations for non-profit organizations, health issues, and more. Overall I think this is an important social network for PR students as they learn about the international PR community.

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 Why should anyone choose a podcast as a form of communications? Well,podcasting lets you choose content you want to listen to. Podcasts are a way to learn about matters you are interested in by downloading them to your MP3 player. You can listen to your chosen podcast on your way to work, in your car or wherever else you may be. It provides a person with an alternative to radio shows, because podcasts are almost always commercials free, and  they let you have the control over what you listen to. 

Anyone can record a podcast about anything, so for companies or brands recording a podcast and sharing information with their customers is a cheap form of connecting with them. A customer who is interested in a company will look for its podcast and will most likely subscribe to it. This is almost always free and once a customer subscribes to a podcast, he or she doesn’t have to download the next podcasts, because this is done automatically for them. It is easy to stay informed about the brand’s new products, and the customers can get a chance to express their thoughts and provide feedback to the company by calling in and voicing their needs, in case the podcast provides contact information.

 Podcasting is a great way to build a loyal audience; a customer who subscribes to a podcast is sure to continue to receive content from a company. Without this, a company can only trust that customers who visit its website will do so on a regular basis.

Podcasts are beneficial for everyone. For example,Public Relations students will benefit from subscribing to  specific PR podcasts. Listening to podcasts like for immediate release give the student an opportunity to learn about what’s going on in the industry. Podcasts keep students updated with current references to examples of good PR management versus the malfunctions of companies.

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