Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dove: You are more beautiful than you think

Picture via realbeautysketches

Yesterday, I was loading a Youtube video when the Dove "Real Beauty Sketches" video came on. Normally I skip ads, but I decided to watch the video and I am so glad that I did. Although I do consider myself to be an emotional person, it is not every day that a company's campaign brings tears to my eyes.Take a look for yourself:

The video features a former forensic artist who draws two sketches of the participants  without ever have seeing their faces. One portrait is drawn based on how the person describes themselves and the second is based on a stranger's description of them. Ultimately, this experiment proved that the participants saw themselves as imperfect and purposely described their flaws to the forensic artist. The portrait that was described by the stranger, however, portrays the participants in a more favorable light, ultimately proving that "you are more beautiful than you think". 

Although Dove and Unilever are receiving some backlash for the campaign due to "hypocritical marketing", I think it was genius and very touching. Many people are too hard on themselves and fail to see their true beauty. I applaud Dove for the creativity in which this campaign stemmed from and the many lives that they touched in the process. 

It is getting harder and harder for brands to stand out amongst the competition. Campaigns like Dove's Real Beauty Sketches are the ones that leave a lasting impression and bring positive results for their brand. Although not the most far-fetched idea, I feel that the experiment's results were very powerful and go along perfectly with previous Dove campaigns and the reputation surrounding their products. Ultimately, I would have loved to have been behind this campaign and sincerely commend Dove's finished product. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy

As I am writing this, the news is on and they are trying to find the second suspect who was responsible for Monday's tragedy. This occurrence which took place was awful and I truly hope that something of this nature never occurs again. Despite its sadness, it is undeniable that the bravery demonstrated by rescuers and those attempting to catch the suspects ensure that this occurrence will forever be remembered as a moment where there was light found in the darkness.

Shortly after the bombing, Google activated its "Person Finder" that had originally been created in 2010 after the Haiti earthquake. The tool allows a person to search for someone's location or give their own location. The main issue with the tool is that Google does not verify the locations, therefore, it is not fully accurate. This tool is a part of Google Crisis Response, which is a non-profit sector of the company.  Additionally, the Red Cross enabled their tool Safe and Well, to allow family members to locate their loved ones. To read more about this, click here.

Many towns in the surrounding area of Boston have been put on lockdown this morning and inhabitants are encouraged to stay indoors. Many younger people, especially students, have depended upon social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to give them live updates on the current situation. Social media has become a vital aspect in times of disaster and although it leads to errors from time to time, its value is indispensable. 

Finally, a recent lesson in my Public Relations Case Study class posed the question: When does public relations cross the line? During Hurricane Sandy, American Apparel encouraged shoppers who were "bored" due to the storm to do some online shopping. Gap also made a similar blunder and appeared to be making light of a very serious tragedy. One would assume that companies would have learned from these mistakes and refrained from tweeting insensitive things after the bombing. However, unfortunately for food website, Epicurious, this was not the case. The company posted this tweet to its followers in the very wake of the tragedy:

Although probably not their intention, the tweets suggest that people's fears can be alleviated by a "whole-grain cranberry scone" or bowl of cereal. Whoever is in charge of this company's social media was obviously not thinking and probably faced serious consequences. At first, the company refused to apologize. However, after constant scrutiny, they finally issued this apology:

Ultimately, I have come to the conclusion that, in times of tragedy or loss of human life, less public relations is more. Companies or brands should simply offer their sincerest condolences and never try to promote their brands during these times. Companies will only succeed in coming off as insensitive and will hurt any people directly or indirectly involved in the tragedy. To read the full article, click here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Twitter's New Music App

Picture via Mashable

Today supposedly marks the day of the launch of Twitter's new "standalone music app". According to AllThingsD, the app will launch either today or this weekend during Coachella. The news got out when Ryan Seacrest tweeted that he had been playing around with the app:

We Are Hunted, a music discovery source, confirmed that Twitter had acquired the app and I cannot express how excited I am about it.

For someone who is always trying to stay up to date on the latest music and constatnly attached to their iPhone, this app is like a dream come true. AllThingsD has stated that the app will scan users' accounts and suggest tracks based on their findings. It will also take into consideration which artists are currently trending and new songs set to be released. It will then utilize a third-party service like iTunes or SoundCloud to get the music to the app user.

What I find most appealing about this app, however, is that it will take into consideration both what the public is listening to, as well as what my friends are listening to. Users are constantly tweeting about what they are currently listening to or about new songs, so it really was genius for Twitter to jump on this opportunity. This application is just another part of the effort Twitter is making towards being "an all inclusive media platform". FYI you don't need a Twitter account to use the app!

To read the full article, click here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The week for basketball

When deciding what to post this week, the obvious choice was how Rutgers and the way they went about handling Rice's abusive nature towards his players. However, I decided that I didn't wish to give that awful man any more recognition than he has already received. Instead, I wanted to focus on another basketball-related story that I simply can not get out of my mind even though it occurred almost a week ago. The agonizing Kevin Ware injury.

If you have a Facebook, Twitter or any basketball fanatic friends, I am sure that you know exactly what I am talking about and have already seen the gruesome video of the injury multiple times. I had actually been watching the game with my mom when the injury occurred. As someone who played sports their entire life, I felt for the teammates and was moved by their tears and obvious concern. The people in the stands were crying, the other team was upset and even the coach was wiping tears from his face attempting to gain back control. The entire scene was truly a moving one and everyone felt for Kevin Ware, as well as the rest of his team in that moment.

Immediately, the video of his injury went viral and became a trending topic on twitter in the form of #PrayForWare. People everywhere began tweeting about the scene and many well-known users sent their condolences to Ware and his Louisville teammates:

Ex quarterback.

Former football player.

College basketball star.

Although a fake Twitter account was created, Louisville sports information director, Kenny Klein, kept everyone up to date on his injuries. Additionally, Kevin Ware's actual Twitter account, @_billionairebev, gained thousands of followers and received many wishes of good health and healing. The following day, pictures of Ware on crutches and with the trophy were tweeted by Kenny Klein, inspiring hope to all:

Ware looks to support his team as much as he can as they continue on in the Final Four tournament. His story simply moved my heart and I am so proud of him, as well as his teammates and coaches. Social media can get a bad rep sometimes, but in times like this, when a young athlete is able to receive so much support in real-time, its good is truly emphasized. My best wishes go out to the Louisville Cardinals and Kevin Ware. They are set to play tomorrow, and until then I feel that everyone could use some inspiration from this optimistic, talented athlete:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The latest esPResso issue is out!

Need to take your mind off studying? Look no further than our latest issue of the Marist PRSSA Chapter newsletter, esPResso. You'll find 18 articles within the issue covering major current events from the past few months including the latest on smartphone apps, Hollywood gossip, and news from your fellow PRSSA members. 

If any members are interested in writing for esPResso, contact Director of PR, Meredith Lowe for more information.

Enjoy your shot of PR industry insight with esPResso