Have a Laugh: Use Humor on Social Media

Dr. Seuss once said “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” This couldn’t be more true for social media. When brands get in on the humor, social media is even more fun. Here are 3 reasons why your brand should consider using humor on social media:

Attention Grabber: We all mindlessly scroll through our social feeds during the day, sometimes it’s the same information, over and over again. When a funny video, picture or post pops up on the screen, you can bet we’re going to stop, read it and like it.

Old Spice TweetRelatable: Humor shows that brands have a human side. They don’t always take themselves too seriously, and can laugh. Relating to your audience is a guaranteed way to increase engagement.

Taco Bell Tweet

Memorable: When your audience sees a funny post, they’re more likely to share it and remember it when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Take advantage of this by creating memorable content. Take this Virgin America post from Thanksgiving 2014, for example:

Virgin America Tweet

Binge Watching: A Sign of Changing Media Times

We’ve all done it. Watched hours on end of a show discovered on Netflix that we’re obsessed with and we need to know what happens next.

binge watching

Mornings turn into evenings, which turning into mornings again. Another day spent streaming.

Ah yes, this is now the modern-day practice for the younger crowd who typically don’t work full time and have varying schedules with classes.

Now that summer is over, will people stop their streaming habits?

Not likely.

This trend in streaming and quickly digesting television shows and movies also points to our cultural demand to have information at our fingertips at all times. Is this a new challenge for marketers across all channels?

Most definitely.

American teens spend 55% of their viewing time on tablets, laptops and smartphones. In contrast, adults age 45 and over spend half their time viewing via regular TVs.Viewing

Video on demand subscription services are growing too, with 87% of people subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go or HBO Now.

Streaming is now the norm, over traditional show viewing such as cable television, because people don’t have to wait a week or a season to find out what happened to a beloved character on their favorite show.

And when you’re done with one show, you can immediately start with the next.

All you have to do is click “play” or let the countdown end.

With every form of entertainment at our disposal 24/7, individuals have become their own editors for entertainment and news. It’s not likely to end anytime soon.


Domino’s: Using digital and social media to change the way we order pizza

Domino’s latest ad has the usual big brand flair of celebrities, bright colors and social media. Richard Sherman tweets a pizza emoji, Eva Longoria orders a pizza from her TV remote, Sarah Hyland texts the pizza emoji to place her order and Clark Gregg orders with his smartwatch. In short, Domino’s wants to change the way we order pizza.

dominos logo

While fans have been able to order via phone and through Domino’s website for some time, they can now order through Twitter, Samsung Smart TV, Pebble or Android Wear smartwatch apps, the Ford SYNC AppLink and through voice ordering via a smartphone. Even the pizza emoji can be texted to DPIZZA (374992) to complete an “Easy Order.”

Pizza emoji

This marketing move, coined as “AnyWare” ordering is set to rival Pizza Hut, who has more digital awareness than Domino’s. These new ordering capabilities have secured Domino’s brand association with smartphones and social media ordering.

This new form of ordering is set to take a hold on brands everywhere. The average millennial checks their mobile device 43 times per day. Millenials also value brands that have positive social interactions. These statistics are growing by the day, and with Domino’s new way of ordering pizza, the use of social media and digital media devices is sure to continue to rise.

Taylor Swift: Always In The Spotlight

Taylor Swift Bad BloodTaylor Swift is everywhere. She’s won countless music awards, her songs play on almost all radio stations and her photos can be found online and in magazines. Clearly, she’s hard to miss.

Now it seems that Swift keeps getting into disagreements with other fellow musicians, such as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, although her feud with the former is ongoing.

So what’s the big deal? Why do people keeping “picking” on Swift? Are these musicians really jealous of her and her achievements? Or is there something underneath all the flustering?

Could it all be due to a typical Hollywood hoax, to stir up public attention for these artists?katy perry vs taylor swift

No information has been found to support such a theory, but the constant “hate” Swift gets seems somewhat intentional and timed.

For example, recently Nicki Minaj posted a tweet in which it was very apparent she was talking about Taylor Swift. Katy Perry decided to quickly jump in with a tweet to not so subtly offend Swift. Swift then responded by sending a tweet of her own basically denouncing Minaj for what she said. Minaj again tweeted a response to Swift saying that she wasn’t actually talking about Taylor and that she was still in her good graces, and Swift did the same. All in the same day.

These ladies all have PRtaylor vs minaj teams who monitor everything they wear, say or do, so wouldn’t these professionals stop them whenever these stars post controversial tweets or photos?

Or is it all part of the plan?

Every time a celebrity gets into a feud with another celebrity, it always becomes news. These “feuds” garner public attention, as well as admirers. Everyone loves a good show, and these situations provide just that: a good show!

If this were true, their PR teams show that they know what “sells”. They know how to get the public’s attention and keep it. This is an important skill for any PR professional. These artists’ PR teams know who they are targeting and will give them exactly what they want. Likewise, in other types of PR, it is also crucial that professionals know their target audiences and give them what they like, in the manner that want it, i.e. social media to reach millennials and younger generations.

Donald Trump: Promoting his Brand

donald trump photo

We’re all aware of the media circus surrounding Donald Trump these past few weeks. It seems that every day Trump makes yet another statement offending a specific group or person, such as those towards illegal immigrants and John McCain. Just yesterday he read aloud Republican presidential opponent, Senator Lindsey Graham’s private cell phone number. Traditional PR would condemn such practices, especially when a prospective candidate is trying to make a name for himself in the political arena; however, according to several political polls such as the Washington Post-ABC News polls, he is currently the GOP frontrunner.

People Love A Good Show

As a part of a good PR strategy, one must be able to attain and keep the public’s attention. No doubt Trump is doing that. His controversial statements seem to occur more and more frequently as time moves forward, ensuring that he is in the news constantly. All this attention is contributing to his early support.

Donald Trump is a business man. He knows how to market his products and services well. He knows how to promote his brand.  He has been able to keep himself in the public spotlight for many years, which is no small feat.

And while the Trump route is not the recommended path, it seems to be working for him for the moment.

The real question is will Trump’s recognition as a prospective political candidate for 2016 continue to increase? Or has he peaked in popularity?

PR Lessons: Ariana Grande says “I hate Americans”

Looks like Ariana Grande has one more problem. The singer was recently recorded as saying, “I hate Americans, I hate America.”

The security footage went viral, with Grande’s words making headlines.

In the video, you can see the former Nickelodeon star and her friends covertly licking a doughnut on a display counter. Grande was recorded licking the doughnuts not once, but twice. After inquiring about a tray of over-sized doughnuts, Grande was recorded saying “What the #^&% is that? I hate Americans, I hate America.”

Watch for yourself here:

As the video got more popular, Ariana Grande sent a statement to several outlets including BuzzFeed News, saying:

I am EXTREMELY proud to be an American and I’ve always made it clear that I love my county*. What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the donuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my choice of words. As an advocate for healthy eating, food is very important to me and I sometimes get upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health and society as a whole. The fact that the United States has the highest child obesity rate in the world frustrates me. We need to do more to educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of overeating and the poison that we put into our bodies. We need to demand more from our food industry. However I should of* known better in how I expressed myself; and with my new responsibility to others as a public figure I will strive to be better. As for why I cannot be at the MLB show, I have had emergency oral surgery and due to recovery I cannot attend the show. I hope to make it up to all those fans soon. That being said let me once again apologize if I have offended anyone with my poor choice of words.

*Grande’s representative later corrected this to “country”.

*Grande’s representative later corrected this to “should have”.

What can we learn?

When fighting a public relations battle, apologizing is often a good course of action, but how you apologize will determine whether your apology falls flat. If your apology is not well-received, it can potentially do more harm than good.

Apologies should be sincere – In her statement, Grande never says that she is sorry for what she said, but only for how she said it. Whether her initial words were taken as anti-patriotic or as fat-shaming, no one got the apology they were looking for.

Quality of writing/medium is important – Grande’s statement had a few grammatical errors. This can be construed as a hurried, careless apology. Being thorough in a written, apologetic statement sets the tone for how your apology will be received.

Stay on topic – There was some speculation that Ariana Grande pulled out of performing at the MLB all-star game because of this incident. She says it is because of an oral surgery recovery. If the two are truly unrelated, there is no need to address the MLB performance in this apology.

New Facebook Videos Will Generate Ad Revenue

Four million users a day watch videos on Facebook. The social media site now wants to cash in and more aggressively compete with Google Inc.’s YouTube.


Mark Zuckerberg talks about Facebook Video and it's plan to share revenues with it's users.Facebook announced a revenue sharing model this week similar to YouTube’s where they will share ad revenue with video creators in a move, according to the Wall Street Journal, designed to attract more polished content and more ads. If successful, Facebook is a more daunting threat to the Google owned online video site.


While many people are mesmerized by family moments and funny animal stories, the Titans of digital media clearly see your videos as a strong revenue stream. Interesting fact to note: smart phones are the source of 65% of all video views on Facebook.


For more details on the changing landscape of what you’re seeing online go to Fortune.

The Importance of the Press Release

As communications veer ever-toward the digital, you may find yourself wondering, “Do I really need traditional public relations? What value is there in an ‘old-fashioned’ press release?”

Let us ask you this, are you more likely to believe it when a stranger says, “I’m the best Hula Hooper in the world,” or when the New York Times writes an article saying, “Stranger is the best Hula Hooper in the world”?

Getting the news about your company published by a third party gives your story credibility, but how do you get your story to the media?

Press releases.

According to the 2014 Business Wire Media Survey, 90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week and 80 percent turn to a company’s newsroom (where your old press releases should be posted) when researching an organization.

90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week

Photo via Business Wire.

Not only do you have to write the press release and get it to the right contacts within the correct outlets, but more than half (54%) of surveyed journalists were more likely to review a press release that includes multimedia than one that does not. With such a strong bias by the media for releases that contain images, it is important to note which multimedia elements are preferred.

journalists like multimedia in their press releases

Photo via Business Wire

Photographs (73%) lead the way, with graphics (43%), infographics (32%) and video (27%) also following closely behind.

Journalists like photographs the most.

Photo via Business Wire.

Once your press release goes out to the appropriate media, it should be available within your organizations’ online newsroom. Press releases (88%) remain one of the most sought after content types within a newsroom and 52% of journalists asking for at least one to five years of past press releases and 27% preferring the complete historical archive, according to the Business Wire report.

Journalists research organizations using the company's online press room.

Photo via Business Wire.

The power of the press release is that it is the most valuable tool you can give to journalists, the gatekeepers of the media. You know that your organization is newsworthy; press releases are the way to get it out there.

And guess what? Press releases are one of the most traditional pieces of public relations.

The Wrong PR Move: Beyonce’s “Beyhive” Upset at her GMA Announcement

Recently, Beyoncé appeared on a very-much hyped segment of Good Morning America. Promos of the appearance emphasized her message’s importance to fans and that they were going to “love it”. Many fans thought Beyoncé was going to announce tour dates, a new pregnancy, or something show-stopping.


Instead, fans were disappointed to hear that her announcement was about her vegan diet she adopted four months ago and about her new 22 Days Nutritional Plan.


Some fans were outraged and took to social media outlets like Twitter to vent their opinions on her announcement.

Bad Twitter responses to Beyonce GMA announcement .


Some blame Beyoncé for all the buildup for such an anticlimactic message, while others blame GMA for their promos due to the fact that they knew what she would be announcing but decided to over-sell her message. Could all the fault be put on GMA? Or could the Beyoncé camp be part to blame? Without a  doubt, her message brought plenty of awareness to the vegan lifestyle as a whole, making her vegan fans happy, but it also brought media attention to her new plant-based 22 Days Nutrition Plan she, her husband Jay-Z and her trainer Marco Borges teamed up to create.


Beyonce and Jay-Z 22 day nutrition program plant-based diet

Beyonce and Jay-Z take part in 22 day nutrition program. Image via www.22daysnutrition.com.


The announcement was more than likely supposed to spear-head a movement amongst her massive number of fans to embrace her nutritional plan, but instead it seems to have backfired. While some fans may indeed choose to follow in her footsteps, many other fans are outraged and feel as though Beyoncé has somewhat tricked them.

Could this hurt Beyoncé musical career? Could this become a great tool to organize a nation-wide vegan movement? Or could this end up being a small footnote in music history and soon to be forgotten? We’ll have to wait it out and see how things unfold in the coming weeks and months.


Have you heard of the #CharlieCharlieChallenge that overtook social media the past few weeks? It’s a challenge that mixes childhood superstitions of “Bloody Mary” and the Ouija board to summon a Mexican demon named Charlie. It might sound a little ridiculous, however, that didn’t stop the phenomenon spreading across social media.

How Does It Work?

According to the Huffington Postcharlie4-3

“Take a piece of paper and draw a single horizontal line and a single vertical line that meet in the center. Put a “YES” in two opposing sections and a “NO” in the other two. Place two pencils across the middle of the drawing in a plus-sign formation, with one balanced atop the other so that it can spin.

“Ask aloud, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” or “Charlie, Charlie, can we play?” and the top pencil will likely move at some point because of how it’s balanced. However, some players believe it’s a sign that “Charlie” is in the room and ready to take questions.”


Some people became genuinely scared, recounting stories of hauntings and attacks by demons. The torment is especially awful if one stops playing without first asking “Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?” without getting a “no” in response.

The challenge trended on Twitter and Instagram almost immediately, with many posting videos and photos of their results.

The_Gallows_PosterTerrifying as it was, it seems this trend was just a giant marketing campaign for a new horror movie, The Gallows. The movie is about a boy named Charlie who was killed during a high school play. Years later, the high school tries to honor Charlie by recreating the play. A few students decide to break into the school at night in an effort to stop the play’s production; to dire consequences. The #CharlieCharlieChallenge is featured in one of the movie’s scenes.

While the #CharlieCharlieChallenge was a smart marketing move, generating conversation and action, it was also incredibly terrifying. I’m sure many more movie theatre goers will be seeing The Gallows now!