#Oscars Disaster

Christina Warren’s post demonstrated the Oscars Twitter mania; hundreds of thousands of tweet peeps joined the conversation on the event’s hashtag before, during and after the Oscars ceremony.

Most of the tweets were fun and lighthearted. People discussed their favorite outfits, best motion pictures and best actors, but some users wrote inappropriate comments and turned the Oscars’ hashtag into a backlash disaster. Twitter is a participatory media. Anyone can get involved and word his or her opinion, but should everyone be able to say everything at all times?

James Franco tweeted live from the Oscars’ stage (!!!) and repeatedly promoted the hashtag to the viewers; however, as John A. McCarthur points out on his blog, the hashtag was suddenly removed from the screen and was no longer promoted with an hour remaining in the broadcast. I followed the conversation on Twitter and notice inappropriate statements. This viral use of Twitter demonstrates the possibilities to see hurtful language and uncomfortable statements emerge on an event’s hashtag.

Because of the number of tweets generated that night, no single person could have monitored this conversation, but was it appropriate for the Oscars’ organizers to promote the hashtag on television and remove it two hours into the ceremony without further notice?

My take on this is that the organizers did not anticipate the backlash, were not prepared to respond to this uncomfortable situation and wanted to distance themselves from what was being said on Twitter.

I wonder, What would you have done as a public relations professional working on this event? I would like to hear your thoughts!

Because this is slightly relevant to this post, or at least I would like to think it is, here is my favorite red carpet outfit. I noticed Elie Saab’s stunning collection during Paris Fashion Week. He is a genius and Mila Kunis looks fabulous.


Fearless Public Speaking

Most of us probably have had to give presentations, and some of us probably got nervous prior to presenting. I am not a public speaking expert, but I have done many presentations – most of them in a language other than my native tongue.

As an International Cultural Service Program scholarship recipient, I regularly present about my home, France, to local community members and students. The fact that English is not my first language does not worry me too much when it comes to these presentations because my audience already knows that English is not my first language.

When I give a presentation to an English-speaking audience who does not know that English is not my first language, I become nervous. Public speaking is a scary practice, but most public relations practitioners are often subject to public speaking opportunities. Whether it is an informal or a more formal presentation, being comfortable in front of an audience is an essential skill that public relations practitioners should polish.

In this post, I will share tips to overcome the fear of public speaking both from my own experiences and from the Public Speaking Tips website.

  • Prepare, prepare and… prepare. A speech cannot be rehearsed enough. Practicing (if you get the opportunity) is essential. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be.
  • Be conversational. Make each of your audience member feel like you are having a one on one conversation with them. Use eye contact to connect with your audience.
  • Use well designed slides. I recently learned how slide design can enhance a presentation. Well designed slides make it easy for the audience to follow a presentation. Slides also help you remember what to say, and having support decreases the fear of public speaking
  • Speak slowly. When we are nervous we tend to speak fast, so slow down… a lot. Speaking slowly will give you time to think about what to say next, so you can avoid filler words.
  • Smile, be confident and never apologize for being nervous. Chances are your audience did not even notice your nervousness.

Remember that public speaking is a vital public relations skill and like most things, the more you practice, the better you will get at it.

Though I wonder, what do YOU do to relax before a presentation?

Are Facebook’s New Features Good or Bad for Page Owners?

Facebook has been changing a lot lately and its lack of consistency is angering some people, but its new layout and design for Page owners is pretty exciting to me.

Here is a quick summary of the new Facebook redesign layout from Priya Ramesh’s post  “Facebook Page Redesign Why Should Brand Marketers Care” on the Buzz Bin.

  • Photos at the top: The most recent photos that you post to the Wall of a Page you admin, or photos you tag your Page in, will appear here. This area will not include any photos posted by people who like your Page.
  • Use Facebook as your Page: You will be able to receive notifications for your Page, view a News Feed for your Page, and like and post on other Pages as your Page.
  • Wall filters: Pages now have two publicly visible Wall filters: “Posts by Page” and “Everyone.” Page admins will be able to view additional filters, “Most Recent” and “Hidden Posts.”
  • E-mail notifications: You can opt to receive notifications when people post or comment on your Page.
  • Featured Pages and admins: You can feature other Pages your Page likes or admins of your Page in the new “Likes” and “Page Owners” sections on the left side of your Page.
  • Mutual connections: When people visit your Page, they will be able to view friends who also like your Page, as well as other Pages that both they and your Page like.
  • Navigation: The content that you formerly accessed by clicking the tabs at the top of your Page can now be found in the column underneath your Page profile picture. The text in the box that used to appear in the box underneath your Page profile picture will now appear in the Information tab.
  • Profile picture size: The profile picture size for Pages has been adjusted from 200×600 to 180×540.

As one of the admins for Deluxe Fashion and UO Mills Pages, some of these new options are particularly thrilling.

First, receiving e-mail notifications when people comment on the Page is a fabulous new feature. It allows admins to respond to comments in a timely manner.

Second, the ability to comment on other Pages as my Page is great for relationship building with other brands and increases brand visibility.

Finally, the overall layout of the Page resembles people’s personal account, creating uniformity and consistency.

While this new layout is great for Page owners, another new option is the filter feature which can potentially damage brand’s visibility and people’s personal relationships.

In his post, Dan York shares about Facebook’s new “filter power.” Depending on the level of interactions that you have with friends, brands and organizations, you may or may not see their statuses and updates. Facebook is filtering your friends by deciding whose statuses are going to appear on your feed.

For Page owners, this means that people who previously “liked” a brand’s Page but have not interacted with it for a while are no longer seeing the Page’s updates.

A few days ago, I announced a sale at Deluxe via our Facebook Page and gave our fans a code word to receive an additional discount. Because of this new filter feature, it is very likely that many people did not see this update unless they recently liked or commented on the Page.

How can brands connect with their publics if Facebook limits their level of interactions? Dan York shares an easy way to block the filter feature and see everyone’s updates again, but should Page owners send a message to all their followers to let them know about the new filter feature and how to reverse it, or is this spamming? What do you think?

Will we be REVEALed?

Reveal By L'Oreal the Game

As a student, I have a list of companies that I dream to work for when I grow-up graduate. Because of its outstanding products, ethical endeavors and community oriented philosophy, L’Oréal makes it to the top of my list.

This December, I reached out to L’Oréal, hoping for an informational interview; I had my eyes set on the communication leader position in Montreal, Canada. The position was to be filled as soon as possible, but I thought I could still give it a try. As I started networking, a representative told me to play the company’s marketing game REVEAL. I spent hours to finish the game by its initial deadline for Canada. The communication leader position that I had my eyes on was unfortunately filled, but through REVEAL, I learned more about my dream company.

As a three dimensional avatar in the game, you evolve in different areas of the company such as marketing, finance and business development. In each room, you solve problems and interact with coworkers. I wish the game had a communication or public relations room as I would have loved to launch a virtual public relations campaign or create special community events to build stronger relationships between L’Oréal and its publics.

Using a marketing game to select the right candidate for a job seems to be a great strategy for employers. L’Oréal receives hundreds of applications each day. Creating a game that assesses candidates’ potential and skills saves the company a lot of time.

Reveal educates people about the company’s philosophy, and playing the game can either strengthen or weaken the desire for someone to work for the company.

There are many ducks in the pond looking for a career, and marketing games can be a great way to sort out applicants. Many of us are currently in the process of applying for jobs, and we should be prepared to play creatives games, take quizzes and always be on top of the game to secure an internship or full-time position.

As of today, I am ranked number eight in the U.S. Cycle one of the game ends today, and I hope to be noticed. I would be honored to work for L’Oréal one day.

Just go for it!

Interning in college is a fabulous way to discover passions and get hands-on training. I dream of a public relations career in the fashion or beauty industry but need more experience in these areas; consequently, last fall, I introduced myself to Deluxe Fashion Shop’s owner and asked if she needed public relations and event planning help. Shortly after, I became Deluxe’s (lucky) Intern.

As an intern, I am responsible for various projects such as recruiting designers and models, finding sponsors, helping with the April fashion shows’ organization, and maintaining the Facebook page.

Below is a sneak-peak of Deluxe’s treasures.

The store carries second-hand clothes as well as locally designed garments. Everything from the shoes to the hair accessories is available at the store except for the black belt on the burgundy dress (it had Lindsey’s name written all over it).

Lindsey is ready for a night out in town

Fun and vintage look

Stamp earings. Brandi Crye Design, available at Kitsch

College is the ideal time to learn, explore, discover and make mistakes, so just go for it: push doors and embrace endless opportunities.