Reputation Repair, Social Media and Kanye West

Kanye West, at the MTV Video Music Awards, was nominated for one award, but his performance was his high point. --Mike Blake/Reuters

Kanye West, at the MTV Video Music Awards, was nominated for one award, but his performance was his high point. --Mike Blake/Reuters

For the second year in a row, Kanye West stole the show at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Last year, the performer snatched the microphone from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech, to tell the world that Beyonce’s video was better. This year West capped the show as only he can — with music and light shows and strong language.

Kanye ended the show with a song that was equal parts apology and frustrated battle cry. When he walked offstage the audience was chanting his name.

Although I’m not sure I’d ever use Kanye West’s methods, he certainly can teach us a few things about reputation destruction and reputation repair.

Consider how well Kanye used modern media in just the past week.

First, he turned to Twitter. He wrote 72 Tweets referring to last year’s incident, and the fallout he has experienced since.

He apologized to Ms. Swift, and called out the media and those who have criticized him. He also expressed contrition, Kanye-style (grammar his):

“I’ve hurt, I’ve bled, I’ve learned. I only want to do good. I am passionate I am human I am real. I wish I could meet every hater I wish I could talk to every hater face to face and change there a opinion of me one conversation at a time.”

This put Kanye West’s name front and center just days before the MTV awards show that he imploded on a year ago.

West has received plenty of good press from his activities on the social media microblog – after all, he follows no one, but has more than 1.1 million followers.

But that was just groundwork.

When Kanye West appeared on the VMAs, he was all about moving forward, singing a song from a new CD and showing clips from a new film he produced, all for a national TV audience.

In both cases, Kanye used the digital media and the legacy broadcast media to get out his message without interruption, control negative reaction, and redefine his reputation.

Taylor Swift, meanwhile, sang a pretty song in the middle of the show about innocence and regret, which was pretty much forgotten by the evening’s end.

Well done, Kanye – somehow your bad-boy message overshadowed the pretty blonde again.

Conscious Containers Introduces New Eco-Friendly Lunchboxes

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. –Packing a lunch has never been greener. Conscious Containers, the makers of the eco-friendly U-TURN 2 TAP water bottles, is introducing a sleek, easy-to-store and environmentally friendly lunchbox—known as Munchbox.

Children throw away an estimated 75 pounds of lunch trash per school year, including water bottles, plastic baggies and plastic cutlery. Munchbox allows for easy storage of snacks, sauces and sandwiches in its 100% food-grade stainless steel compartments.

Since there’s no plastic, the lunchboxes are Bisphenol A (BPA) free. And they come in a slim, chic design that easily fits into any backpack or locker. It even has side clips to prevent any food from falling out.

Each purchase comes with the larger Munchbox, along with a smaller snack-size container that fits inside.

“Our goal has always been to reduce plastics from our landfills, and Munchbox does just that,” said founder and co-owner Jessica Mulligan. “Its reusable, long-lasting design minimizes unnecessary waste. This gives parents the opportunity to talk about how small steps can make a big difference when it comes to caring for our environment.”

Munchbox uses sustainable, toxin-free materials. The lunchboxes are available at and at select stores. Munchbox containers cost $19.95.

For more information on Munchbox, visit

About Conscious Containers

Conscious Containers was founded in 2008 in Laguna Beach, Calif. to create an eco-friendly line of housewares for the natural product consumer. Using sustainable, toxin-free materials, Conscious Containers provides safe, reusable products that minimize unnecessary waste. The company integrates the work of contemporary artists into all product designs to promote the fine arts, as well as environmental awareness. Conscious Containers continues to research innovative ways to enrich the quality of consumer life using sustainable practices.


David Holmes

Conscious Containers

(949) 494-3464

Schmidt Design Studio Completes Interior Design of Vince Carter’s Restaurant

ORLANDO, Fla. – Schmidt Design Studio announces that it has completed the interior design of Vince Carter’s restaurant in Daytona Beach, in coordination with architects Cuhaci & Peterson.

The upscale-casual restaurant—owned by the Orlando Magic star and his business manager Michelle Carter-Scott—evokes a contemporary, high-end lodge feel with the use of rustic stone-and-wood elements, a 30 ft. glass wall, and dramatic lakefront views.

“Vince Carter is a hometown hero, and we wanted to make sure his restaurant had all the pizzazz that he’s shown on the court,” said Anna Schmidt, the designer and owner of Schmidt Design Studio. “That’s why we created larger-than-life structures suspended from 30-ft. high ceilings and darting 15 ft. up walls.”

Patrons at Vince Carter’s will enjoy Schmidt’s handiwork throughout the interior, including:

Six wood-and-stainless metal structures suspended on aircraft cables from the 30-ft.-high ceiling.  These custom-designed pieces of art incorporate LED ‘star field’ lights inset into a faux painted backdrop.

A majestic woven metallic grid that rises 15 ft. up a vertical wall in the main dining area. The structure is backlit to show off glimmers of its stainless aluminum and bronze panels.

Four featured booths create the “spine” of the main dining room with arched ladder-like overhangs that add a dose of drama. Alongside the booths, the Gallery Wall features contemporary art.

The Owner’s Box, or VIP dining area, features an exquisite, custom 17-ft. spiraled chandelier with individually hung lit globes.

Mikala’s piano lounge near the entry features an intimate setting with private tables, glistening light fixtures, and unexpected colors and finishes.

Schmidt Design Studio specializes in designing the interior spaces of restaurants and has been instrumental in the rebranding of major nationwide restaurant chains. Located in Orlando, Fla., Schmidt Design Studio also works with independent restaurants across the country.

Vince Carter’s opened earlier this year at 2150 LPGA Blvd. in Daytona Beach. The menu features a wide variety of chef created specials inspired by top-quality ingredients such as Certified Angus Beef.

For more information on Schmidt Design Studio, visit, or learn more about Vince Carter’s at


Schmidt Design Studio is a professional interior design firm specializing in restaurant and bar interiors with a secondary emphasis on corporate spaces. Located in Orlando, Fla., Schmidt Design Studio has worked extensively with nationwide chains, franchises, and upscale independent restaurants throughout the country. Whether Schmidt Design Studio is rebranding an entire chain or updating a look for a single-location vendor, clients receive exceptional service from the initial project meeting to final completion. Founded in 2003 by interior designer Anna Schmidt, Schmidt Design Studio has worked with clients such as Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, Seasons 52, Red Lobster, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Ruby Tuesday, FOX Sports Grill, among others. For more information, visit


Grace Bade

Designer/Project Manager

Schmidt Design Studio

(407) 872-2448


Rocketing your way to a PR problem: Taking liberties with the truth before Congress

What’s happening to Roger Clemens is a Public Relations teaching opportunity. roger-clemens.79740099

Clemens has been indicted on lying before Congress.

The seven-time Cy Young award-winner was the most dominating pitcher of the steroid era in baseball. That goes to figure, because his former trainer Brian McNamee said the star player took steroids.  Even good friend and former teammate Andy Pettite, who has admitted taking steroids, has confirmed Clemens said he took steroids.

So what does all of this have to do with Public Relations?

Try Rule One of crisis PR: Tell the truth.

My 13-year-old son loves baseball. He plays it every day and lives the game.

Recently, I heard him debating with his friends who the best players of all time might be. When talk turned to Roger Clemens, my son could not figure out what the fuss is all about.

“Everybody knows he took steroids,” my son said. “He should just tell the truth and move on.’’

Great point. When stuck in bad public relations situations, it is paramount to tell the truth as quickly as possible and move on.

But the trouble Clemens faces is not that he is accused of telling a fib to friends, or even a member of the media. The Texas flamethrower is accused of lying to Congress. So now the full force of a federal investigation is bearing down on him.

Clemens proclaims that he never took performance-enhancing drugs. But we have heard that story many times from athletes who later admitted they lied.

The fan in me still hopes that Clemens is being honest. The PR person in me wishes everyone would learn to tell the truth from the beginning.

We’ll see how this plays out. No matter what happens, Clemens’ All-American reputation will never be the same.