Top 5 Reasons PR Matters in a Recession

Not a secret, we know that the world economy is sloping downward into what we hope isn’t oblivion. Companies aren’t hiring and where my dad works, where they are trustees for the bankruptcy court, business is booming.

One of the first couple of departments to get the axe in the corporate world seems to be communications: advertising, marketing and public relations.

But my biggest question, not even a concern, is why is that? I just don’t get it. We are needed.

Image via Flickr by mare.bowe

  • 1) Value Added

Remember our talk on the Added Five Percent? Well, I wasn’t kidding. Public relations provides a huge ROI; one that isn’t always measured in numbers. Think about it, quality over quantity. A simple phone call or “thank you” note will suffice. The people in PR are trained to analyze, decode and relate messages to a targeted audience. That is their job, that is what they do.

Public relations is one of the most competent forms of communication for changing messages and supervising public opinion. Obama did it with “Change” and the phrase “Yes We Can!” But you don’t really think he came up with that all on his own did you? No, that would be David Plouffe and his team of communications experts.

  • 2) Credibility and Trust

People tend to trust people, more than they trust an advertisement in a magazine. We are humans and we like to be marketed to as such.  This what public relations does. It takes the source and disseminates its message in a unbiased, two-way symmetrical form of communication.

Yes, I said unbiased. Public relations isn’t a propaganda machine or a bunch of SPIN doctors trying to fool you. It’s about communication. Everyone is always looking for trustworthy sources, especially since there are just so many bad vibes surrounding the industry.  In essence, public relations professionals are dependable sources for consumers and companies, alike.

For example, when pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama it was a team of public relations, crisis management, professionals that got the right message across to the public and the families of the people on board. Maersk utilized their team to create a safe, community-friendly and transparent message to diffuse the situation at home and around the globe.

  • 3) Media Relations

Hard news or soft, does it matter? Yes, of course it does and a public relations professional will tell you which method is the best means of conveying your message.

Television, radio, trade publications, newspapers and blogs all rely information, but they are unique to the audience that prefers their specific medium over another. As a business, you shouldn’t sacrifice your long-term goals to meet the short-term ones just because of a fad or a trend.

Believe it or not, Twitter isn’t for everyone and neither is Facebook. Just because Oprah is on it, doesn’t mean you need to be too. Choose your mediums and choose them wisely. Seek advice from a public relations professional if you do not have one in-house.

A good public relations professional will show you that you do not need a huge budget to be successful, rather, you need to understand what you have and work with it. They will help you meet you short-term goals, while, not sacrificing your long-term ones in order to keep your business afloat.

Public relations can keep your business in the public eye, and also work journalists in order to make sure that the best possible message gets out. That being said, it is important that PR pros have a solid understanding of how a newsroom works, the utmost respect for journalists (they are people too, not story-making machines) and know AP Style.

  • 4) Aggression

In a downward economy things just have a way of slowing down, but that doesn’t mean that you need to do so with your messages. Increasing your brand awareness during a recession can actually be beneficial. While the competition is slowing down, you aren’t. A solid public relations strategy will position you for growth — slowly during the hard times, only to speed up when things get better. That’s the beauty of PR, it can take you through the good and the bad.

The thing is, PR should be there through good times and bad. Jumping on the bandwagon of success, doesn’t make you a good communicator, it makes you a follower — a passing trend. The different between good and great is sticking around. Public relations can help you do that.  Too many companies are axing the communications departments to cut their costs.

The best thing for a company to do is to be visible, time and time out — at the end of the day, this is what builds trust, credibility and staying power.

  • 5) Be Strong

The great thing about public relations is that there is the opportunity to say exactly what you want to say, how you want to say it. The strength of your message is often better conveyed via blogs, websites, press releases, ‘notes’ and features.  Blogs, especially, give a more flexible medium for messages to be circulated. With a blog you can say what you want, however you want to say it without any rules…for the most part.

Often it’s pretty easy for people to believe the first thing they hear. News  travels fast. Public relations can communicate the most positive form of a message or compress the damaging ones. PR watches out for inaccuracy, the fatal no-no against transparency.

PR is quick — think about social media. When customers reported a “glitch” via the Amazon Fail scandal, it was their public relations team sent in to diffuse the ticking time-bomb. Within hours, the situation was amended. Granted, amending the situation didn’t help Amazon’s image, but it still rectified itself to some sort of middle ground.

That’s the beauty of public relations, it’s flexible, ever-changing and growing, and shouldn’t be axed to cut costs.

At the end of the day, the rewards earned will be more than worth keeping PR around.

 

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations and an M.A. in International Administration.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

{Beautirati} Step Into Summer

Beautirati logo by Sasha H. Muradali. 2009 All Rights Reserved.

New at the Little Pink Book, sporadically on a Thursday, is our new feature called {Beautirati}; our beauty guide. Not a weekly feature, because we won’t cover a topic just because it’s “hot.” Don’t look for the super cheap finds with us either. Our philosophy is: cosmetics go on your face, therefore, while you should keep tabs on your wallet, you shouldn’t be frugal in matters of the face.

We hope to bring you quality, not quantity.

Summer is the warmest time of the year with the longest days. So why not look your best this summer: natural, fun, but enhanced.

We’re not going to lie, that’s what cosmetics do, they enhance your looks. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can become a more beautiful you.

No need for crazy diets (though we do not advocate eating junk food 24-7) or wearing your skin on your clothes (no, you are not Britney Spears or Aubrey O’Day). No, none of that. Let your inner beauty shine through.

So from us to you, in our first

{Beautirati} Step Into Summer

Mentha Ultra Lipshine by CO Bigelow Chemists.
  • CO Bigelow Ultra Mentha

Minty fresh and clean, we love, absolutely love, the [Read more...]

10 Ways to Apply Twitter to Public Relations

Twitter Cupcakes by Bakerella via Flickr. All Rights Reserved 2009.

Twitter seems to be everywhere these days. Sam Champion and Chris Cuomo (and they are obsessed) from Good Morning America are on it and so is Oprah.  But what’s all this tweetness about? And how can you, as a public relations professional, get “in” on all that Twitterful action?

1. Set up a Twitter Account

Simple and easy to do.  You cannot have a piece of the action, if you have no pie to throw around.

2.  Understand it

Originally started, and used, by people in the technology and social media industry, Twitter has emerged as a premier social networking site. Facebook has even tried to buy it.

Messages (aka “tweets”) are 140 characters long. Be concise, be direct and say what you mean. Twitter streams in real-time, which means as it happens, you’ll find out about it.

Twitter-Jargon:

  • DM = Direct Message (send a direct, private message to another Twitter user)
  • RT = retweet (to retweet means to repost someone else’s tweet)
  • # = is a hashtag. Hashtags are associated with specific trends and topics. For example, {Rules of PR} Making Your Brand http://bit.ly/FbUgy#jobadvice #pradvice”
  • Followers = the people who “add” or “follow” you on Twitter
  • Following = the people you have “added” or are “following” on Twitter
  • @ = comes before someone’s Twitter name and is basically their Twitter address. For example, @SashaHalima
  • Pls = Please
  • EM = email
  • BTW = by the way
  • w00t/wOOt = expression of “yay” or some type of excitement
  • TYT = take your time
  • WTF = What the F***
  • WTH = What the Heck
  • TIA = Thanks in Advance
  • Tweet-up = an in-person meeting/gathering of Twitter folks
  • ppl = people
  • IMO = In My Opinion

3. Communications 

Twitter is a great way for public relations professionals to keep in touch with the latest trends. Whether your topic of choice is news, social media or straight PR, there is something for everyone as long as you know where to look.

Also, there are a lot of journalists on Twitter. It’s a great resource for them as well. My favourite Social Media guide, Mashable, created a great guide you can reference here.

If you live in Australia, click here or here for two different sets of lists. If you live in the UK, try this one.

Josh Copeland also uploaded a list of PR agencies on Twitter here.

4. Direct & Real

The beauty about Twitter is that because it is in real time, it also can serve as a great tool for direct and prompt customer service. Just two days ago, the Hyatt hotel brand’s CEO, Mark Hoplamazian, announced the debut of a Twitter concierge service.

5.  Networking & Establishing

Think about it this way: PR PEOPLE = SOCIAL = TWITTER

It’s pretty simple: extroverted, social behaviour is a common trait between the two. Therefore, Twitter is the perfect place for public relations professionals to network with other PR pros, but also to establish themselves as experts in their field. This, however, doesn’t just apply to PR people it can apply to anyone who is driven, passionate and knowledgeable about what they do.

For example, every Monday night from 8-10 p.m. ET I participate in a TweetChat (a chat via Twitter) called @Journchat. Run by, @PRSarahEvans, it’s a weekly chat for communications peopole by communications people. The thing is, it doesn’t end there. There are thousands of other chats like this on Twitter, you just need to know where to look. (see #9)

6. I am human, I come in peace

Just like everything else on the Internet, there is an ample amount of bots and spammers alike. Twitter is no exception to this. Therefore, in order to make yourself legitimate, make sure you include your real name and a photo of yourself. (For your own personal safety, DO NOT post up your phone number, home address or personal email.)

Be creative and be unique. Your Twitter likeness doesn’t need to go overboard with a ton of colours and graphics, but it should reflect who you are and what you do.

For example (click images to see Twitter pages):

 mashabletwitterbckgmar09_small

sashahm_twitter_may09_small

Also, here are some specs to keep in mind, when making your custom background etc.

  • Try to make sure it is viewable on most resolutions. To do this:
  • …make your background 1925w x 1159 h in pixels, then
  • …on the left-hand side, make sure that your “me box” (as I like to call it) is no bigger than, 177 w x 535h

While, these may seem like strange measurements, they actually are rather simple and allow for almost every resolution to see your information.

What good is putting a whole lot of information out there, if it only gets cut off?

Stick to basics — Name, Blog and/or Website Link and a one sentence description. Think in terms of 140 characters.

7. Share! Share! Share!

While, we all want to get our messages out there, Twitter isn’t a repository for press releases.  Share pictures and links to information and items you find interesting as well as your own. Remember people — public relations is all about the LOVE. It’s a two-way communication street.  (Thank you professor Shipka!)

8. URL shortners

140 characters IS NOT a lot of space to communicate your ideas. And we’re PR people we like to talk. Most of the time, unlike our journalism counterparts, we can’t get our point across to you in less than 140 characters. But guess what? Twitter is going to make us do that.

Choose your words carefully and wisely.

  • Remember to leave at least 5-10 characters of free space, just in case someone else wants to RT your tweet or in case you wish to add a # to it.

Include links too, but get them shortened: Bit.ly or Tiny URL are great tools.

9. search.twitter.com

This is the official search for Twitter. It’s a great resource to find out if people are talking about you or the brands you represent as well as what they are saying.

After setting up a Twitter account, venture to the search tool to get a feel of what you need (or need not) do.

But remember, it is always important to be PRoactive, rather than reactive.

10. Applications to Manage

Right, so, you now have Twitter, you know how to search for your brand, and heck, you may have created more than one account, so now what?

You get an application to help you deal.

If you have FireFox — check out TwitterFox. If you have Adobe Air — try TweetDeck. Other popular management applications include Twhirl, TweetGrid and TweetChat.

Now get going! There is a whole new world of social media out there for you to explore!

 

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations and an M.A. in International Administration.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Arlen Specter By DJ Whelan. All Rights Reserved 2009.

By: Rachel Steinman, guest blogger

I do not have to remind anyone that Senator Arlen Specter changed his party affiliation after decades of being a proud cardholding member of the GOP.
There have been speculation on why Specter would change, especially now that he has single handily gave the Democrats an overwhelming majority in almost every branch of the United States government.
Some have argued that he did not like what the Grand Old Party was turning into, while others saw it as his ticket towards reelection.
While an entire blog (probably even a thesis) can be used to explain the reasoning of why, we have to look at the big picture:

  • Democrats own our federal government.

From the leader of the free world to both chambers of Congress is consumed with Democrats.
It has been a very long time since the Democrats had this kind of control in the government.
John Stewart on the Daily Show remarked that this was the first time of complete and total domination of Democrats since President Jimmy Carter.
He also added the punch line that we saw how well that worked out.
Democrats can prevent filibusters in Senate, control the agenda in the House, and basically do whatever they want.
Now with a Supreme Court justice David Souter stepping down from court, President Barack Obama has almost free reign to put any left-leaning judge on the bench without criticism from an opposing party.
Now for the Democrats to maintain power they need to be able to work together.
Since the inauguration Congressional Democrats have argued that they are not just following Obama’s orders and sometimes have argued vocally against the President.
The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats need to work together and make sure that they do not abuse their power.
The American people did not like the corruption and the lies they were told by the Republican majority, Democrats do not follow in their footsteps!

Rachel Steinman is currently a International Relations and History major, with a minor in Art History, at the University of Florida. She is the 2009-10 UF Model United Nations president and she hopes to enter law school in fall 2009.  

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All rights reserved.

Using the Internet to your advantage

Photo by Z. Stephen. All Rights Reserved 2009.

By: Keira Gillett, guest blogger

It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re an author or a blogger or in a whole other field entirely, using the internet to your advantage is a must, must, must.

Email Signatures

How many emails do you send out a day? How many are to the same people? How many to new people? I bet it’s a lot, as email is the new letter. We use it all the time for communication. Your links to your website, your profile, your Twitter account, etc. should be in your email signature. If they’re not, you’re missing out on a huge readership.

WordPress

WordPress makes a great free blog and website. You can design your whole site around this free open source code. It’s simple to use and install, which makes this platform great for beginners. With hundreds of coders actively creating plugins to help optimize it, WordPress makes the most sense to use. In addition to plugins, there are tons of free themes to choose from that with a little tweaking can look brand new and totally your own.

RSS Feeds

Use them! Take your website, blog, Flickr, Twitter, etc. feeds and channel them all over the place. Your blog should post to Twitter. Your Twitter should post to Facebook. Both your blog and your Twitter should be posted at any Ning group you’re a part of in your profile. Trust me it’s worth the set up to get your content out there where people are spending most of their time.

Yahoo Groups!

Got a newsletter? Yahoo Groups is a great way to collect your readers and email addresses all in one place. It’s automated for joining and withdrawal and depending on how you set it up or want to use it, your group can also become a meeting place for others to join in the discussion.

 

Keira Gillett runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. Visit her for an inside look into consumer reactions to products place on the market. She has a B.F.A. in Art from the University of Florida.

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All rights reserved.

Howl if you must, again, but for REAL this time

Hey Twilighters,

Cinematical released the first, and what I would think is official, New Moon poster today.

I’m guessing those other two, were a PR stunt/really good fan photoshopping.

Considering the other wolves are looking mighty…beefy; I think its safe to say Taylor Launter is doing quite well with his new workout regime.

MTV Movie Awards on May 31 will broadcast the first trailer for the film. New Moon is in theaters on November 20th.

Right-click to download full-size.

Enjoy! :)

New Moon Teaser poster via Cinematical

 

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All Rights Reserved.

{Tickled Pink} You haven’t lost your smile…

Photo of girl in Brazil by Carf. All Rights Reserved 2009.
You haven’t lost
your smile at all,
it’s right under your nose.
You just forgot it was there.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

The Curse of American Idol: Adam to win, Kris to have the career…maybe?

 

Image by Little Pink Book. Adam Lambert courtesty of WhyFrame. Kris Allen courtesy of EvilBeetGossip. 19 Entertainment. All Rights Reserved 2009.

UPDATE: May 20, 2009 Kris Allen won Season 8 of American Idol

Tonight America decides who will win American Idol. But, seriously, regardless, who will have the bigger career?

Break it down, and let’s be honest, only two of the previous eight winners are the only ones to emerge with truly stellar, ground-breaking careers: Kelly Clarkson (the original American Idol) and Carrie Underwood.

Taylor Hicks is pretty lucky to be on the Broadway Across America tour of Grease, as Teen Angel, no less (the one-scene, Frankie Avalon’s character in the film). No one quite knows what happened to Ruben Studdard’s career and Fantasia Barrino? Well, we’re not going touch that topic.

Considering that one person can vote more than once, it is no secret that Idol is full of hot, inflated, skewed results. Think about it — who does America really want?

Back in Season 3, Jennifer Hudson came in seventh place and went on to win an Oscar and a Grammy for Dreamgirls, not to mention a spot in the Sex and the City movie and a place on its soundtrack.

Back in 2006, Chris Daughtry came in fourth. His band went on to snag four Grammy nominations and four American Music Awards. Not bad for the runner-runner-runner-ups of American Idol.

So now that it’s that time again, who will emerge as the real winner of American Idol?

Adam:

So yes, for lack of a better phrase, he’s a pretty frickin’ awesome performer. Simon Cowell even picks him for the Idol winner. But his mysterious sexuality, neon hair and silver studs may just be a turn-off for the typical American, mainstream music buyer.

Think about it, back in 2004, people admitted to voting for George W. Bush over John Kerry because, while, Kerry seemed like an elitist, Bush seemed like the average guy at the bar down that street.

That was the election for the president of the United States of America, not American Idol. So with that mentality coming across to all things American, are the stars going to align for Adam?

Then again, with five states having legalized Gay Marriage, the emergence of Perez Hilton and the election of Barack Obama, maybe the state of the American scene has truly changed.

Could Adam Lambert really win it?

Kris:

On the other hand, Kris Allen has a lot in common with two other highly successful, non-American Idol artists, Jason Mraz and John Mayer: clean-cut, handsomely rugged looks and one heck of a solid voice.

And let’s face it, while Starbucks is closing down their stores, that beachy, coffee house music has proven to be in for the long-haul. Remember last summer and “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles?

Randy Jackson did say that the Kris Allen version of “Heartless” was better than Kanye West’s.

Regina Spector, Tristan Prettyman, Colbie Caillat, Jeff Buckley, Feist and Jack Johnson all have loyal acoustic-guitar, contemporary folk music followings.

So who is to say Kris Allen isn’t next?

 

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ .

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All rights reserved

Curls Just Wanna Have Fun

Candy Curls By: Will Cotton. All Rights Reserved 2009.

By: Anuradha Pandey, guest blogger

Too often I’ve seen college girls obsessively straighten their hair when they don’t even need to because it’s straight enough naturally. Even more often I’ve seen girls with naturally curly hair obsessively straighten their hair. To all of you, I have this to say: it’s a losing battle. I was one of them, and not until two days ago did I finally decide to embrace my hair no matter how frustrating it is and no matter how frizzy it gets. I was just meant to be a curly girl.

I’ve straightened my hair obsessively since sophomore year of high school. That’s seven years of burning my hair on an almost daily basis, except for senior year of high school and this past year when I went through phases in which I tried to stay as natural as possible in terms of my beauty routine. Not only is there less stress involved, but I also realized that my curly hair reflects my personality much better than straight hair ever did. Gone are the days when I tried to force my hair to stay stick straight like all the other Indian girls (straight hair is disproportionately prevalent among Indian people).

I’m the kind of person whose mood on any given day is somehow weirdly connected to how good I think my hair looks. If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably unwilling to take the chance of walking out the door without using the straightener. If you have even slightly wavy hair, there’s a good chance you’re a compulsive hair straightener like I used to be. Don’t touch it for a few days. In fact, don’t even wash it for a few days and just leave it if you can. It’ll look amazing with a little spray gel. Promise.

I’m sure you all know the mantra of “natural beauty” — do as little as possible in terms of makeup and hair). Freeing yourself of the straightening iron and learning to love your hair is an important step. Visit the site below to learn how you should really care for your hair if it’s anything other than straight. So many women are curly haired but don’t even know it.

If you have wavy and/or curly hair, take this advice to heart from someone who took seven long years full of split ends and dry, damaged hair to accept her hair. I know it’s difficult, but just try it.

–

Anuradha Pandey is a graduate student at the University of Florida. She has a B.A. in History, Religion and a minor in French from UF. Currently, she is a candidate for an M.A. in British Imperial History and hopes to pursue a PhD in the same field. In her spare time she is a political junkie.

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All Rights Reserved.

{Rules of PR no.6} Making Your Brand

Please Return to Tiffany by *Peanut (Lauren) at Flickr. All Rights Reserved 2009.

One need not read the label to associate a little blue box, wrapped in white ribbon and draped in a silver chain to know that it’s from Tiffany & Co. That is a given because those colours are synonymous with the Tiffany brand.

Branding is the look and feel associated with something specific. What your brand says about you, professional or personal, probably says more to your audience than you think.

So how do you make your brand convey “you?”

  • You are how you write.

We all do it, we sound one way and write another and sometimes our personal isms and twangs get the better of us. For example, I know in my personal life, I’m guilty of using the word “y’all,” instead of saying “all of you,” “you all,” “you guys” or “you are.” However, when I write I would never scribble the word “y’all” and that distinction is very important.

Words are our personalities. Our words shine through and actually say a lot more about us than we think.

For example, though I never write “y’all,” speaking it begs the question, “Where are you from? You do not have a Southern accent. What do you?” The answer is simple, I spent four years in northern Florida at the University of Florida in Gainesville; a small, rural, college town drenched in all things flashing back to the Old Southern Republic. When I graduated, I got my degree and some Southern twang attached to it. Hearing the term “y’all” reeks thoughts of broken English and folksy-poor education. That much is a given. But the term is a Catch-22, it’s as cultural as it is an echo of American social order.

Seeing and reading it are two very different beasts.

Seeing me gives someone the luxury of watching my facial expressions, manner of my dress and body language. By talking to me in person and meeting me, you would not question my level of education or question what I convey because of the fact that you are physically seeing me and the manner in which I represent myself. I am not being read. Therefore, regardless of whether the term “y’all” slips out of my mouth on occasion, I will not be held responsible for its connotations. The same cannot be said about writing.

Through words we set a tone and create a particular level of expectation by communicating our thoughts and ideas (the good and the bad). Words need to make your clients trust your company, your brand, what you do, and most of all, trust you.

The words you choose to use in your presentations, websites, products, services and daily business life should foster a clear message that emulates who you are, what you wish to be and what you do.

Brands by MLeak via Flickr. All Rights Reserved 2009.

  • Who are you?

For such a simple question, only made up of three words, it’s the most difficult to answer.

Take some time and ask yourself a few questions — What is my company culture? What font should I use? Is this really the best picture of me? What does my logo really look like? What words do I want to associate with myself? Is that really the right colour for me?

The thing is, all of these questions can be applied to both your professional and your personal life.

Job seekers are brands, whether they realize it or not. Walking into an interview or audition, your potential boss is looking at “you.”

Your image, whether that be a logo, or daily dress, says so much. Most times, you don’t need a designer suit or a watch that costs five figures to seal the deal. You need to look like you are the deal sealer. Do you seem trust worthy? Are you casually dressed for something formal? Do you stand out (for better or for worse)?

Using specific words to reflect who you really are says a lot about you. We are not just talking about what you do; the words you choose to use speak an ample amount about how you see yourself. How you see yourself will reflect upon how others see you.

Culture is one of those blurry lines in the branding world that often gets lost in translation.

Think about a stranger coming across you walking down the street or arriving at your website, what will they think? How do you reflect yourself?

If you own a business, try listing some of your company’s values. If you are looking for a job, mention it in your objective or cover letter. At the end of the day, you want to ensure that what you set out to represent yourself as, is actually the same message your audience is receiving.

Remember people are not mind readers, they don’t have “ESPN or something,” you need to tell them who you are, what you do and why they should be choosing you.

But whatever you do, do not forget that you have a personality and should utilize it. You are unique. Finding what makes you unique will separate you from the ton.

It’s really not that hard, it just takes the right questions. Plainly put, start off with your likes and dislikes — humanize who you are and what you represent. It is always easier to talk to someone to whom you can relate, rather than not.

Coca Cola Art Pinup by Coke Art. All Rights Reserved 2009.

  • What are you good at?

If you talk about something you do not really know about to someone who does, they will know you full of hot air.

If you talk about something you do not really know about to someone who doesn’t know, eventually it will come back to haunt you when your project fails via a little something called karma. That’s just the way of the world.

Know your strengths and know your weaknesses. Capitalize on your strengths and work hard to improve your weaknesses. Defining these in your goals will help define you and your brand.

Leverage what you have and work with it.

For example, through clever advertising and the emergence of the i[Book, Phone, Pod etc.,] Apple was able to save itself from filing for Chapter 11. They always knew they produced superior products, but the pricing wars and production of the “generic” brands got the better of them for the longest time.  With the introduction, and cornerstone branding, of the iPod came their new wave of market ownership.

It’s very simple really.

Apple knew that they were the best at what they did, they knew what they had and they worked with that knowledge to make you, the audience, were quite aware of that fact too.

 

Little Pink Book’s Rule of PR #6:
You are your brand.
Represent yourself
the way you wish others to see you.
Inside and outside of the work place.

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations and an M.A. in International Administration.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

Liar, liar, Nancy Pelosi’s pant suits are on fire!

Nancy Pelosi. Photo courtesy of Stinson Lives.

By: Anuradha Pandey, guest blogger

The recent uproar over whether or not top congressional Democrats knew about the interrogation techniques the C.I.A. employed on terror suspects is an example of smokescreen politics and hypocrisy at their best.

Instead of addressing the question at hand — whether or not the interrogation techniques can be identified as “torture” and if they are therefore illegal —Republicans are instead accusing Democrats of being complicit in the C.I.A.’s “advanced interrogation techniques” program that Bush administration Department of Justice lawyers deemed legal and necessary to the War on Terror. This debacle has been particularly disastrous for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

C.I.A. records released this week show that four members of Congress were briefed on September 4, 2002: Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Representatives Pelosi and Porter Goss (R-FL). This group is the “Gang of Four,” the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.

These four members of Congress could not have taken any action to change or stop the program once the Bush administration had decided to implement it. They needed the whole of Congress to exercise the Constitution’s checks and balances, but could not have told their colleagues because disclosing the information would have harmed the agency’s operations and would have been political suicide.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

In the last few weeks, Pelosi has been in the middle of a political disaster waiting to happen as one of the most hated Democrats in Congress. According to the New York Times:

Congressional Republicans on Friday accused Democrats of full complicity in the approval of the Bush administration’s brutal interrogations, citing a new accounting that shows frequent briefings for some top Democrats on waterboarding and other harsh methods starting in 2002.

The new chart of briefings, prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the first full listing of briefings, appears to call into question the assertion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she was never told that waterboarding and other methods were used, only that the Central Intelligence Agency believed they were legal and could be used.

Pelosi said that she knew of waterboarding as an interrogation technique but that she was not told that it had actually been used on the detainee and terror suspect Abu Zubaydah. Again from the Times:

Ms. Pelosi said that at the sole briefing she attended as the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee in September 2002, the only mention of waterboarding by C.I.A. officials was that while it was deemed to be legal, the technique was not being used.

Pelosi said that she only found out after the September 4th briefing that waterboarding had been actually used while Goss said he specifically remembers being told about it, though it is not clear whether that means he was told that it had been used on Zubaydah.

While it is deplorable that Pelosi did not acknowledge until it was disclosed in late 2007 that she knew about the Bush administration’s sanction of torture, any objection to waterboarding after the September 4th briefing would have come too late because Zubaydah had already been tortured 83 times that month.

Torture Political Cartoon by Donzer.

She still asserts that she was told that waterboarding was not being used, though she did admit that she knew by early 2003 that detainees were being subjected to it.

The Speaker apparently saw little recourse to challenge the practice except by regaining Democratic control of the House and Senate.

On the one hand, it seems ridiculous for Republicans to use this as a political distraction to both try to destroy Pelosi’s political career (the outcry from her liberal supporters has been considerable) and to take attention away from the fact that Republicans and the Bush administration sanctioned torture as a method of interrogation.

Political Cartoon by Gristoon. Courtesy of the Washington Post.

On the other hand, Pelosi is a polarizing figure who has tended to alienate people ever since she became Speaker. Pelosi is as much a slimy politician as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). I have no qualms criticizing her because I often consider myself too liberal for even the Democratic Party.

If Pelosi had been from a conservative district she’d be comparable to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the woman who called for the investigations of Democratic members of Congress who were supposedly unpatriotic à la Joseph McCarthy.

I’d have liked to know that top congressional Democrats already knew about the interrogation techniques. However, I recognize that Pelosi and Graham couldn’t have done anything because the administration’s decision to only brief four members of Congress was a calculated political move so those members had no choice but to stay silent.

The possibility of political fallout on the part of the administraion was abated because they could say that they had indeed warned Congress and that ranking members had the chance to object. This entire situation is ridiculous, and should not distract (though it probably will) from the investigation of those DoJ lawyers who decided torture was legal.

This is another shining example of Congress’ inability to transcend infighting to get anything done and to correct past sins.

Related New York Times article here.

Anuradha Pandey is a graduate student at the University of Florida. She has a B.A. in History, Religion and a minor in French from UF. Currently, she is a candidate for an M.A. in British Imperial History and hopes to pursue a PhD in the same field. In her spare time she is a political junkie.

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All rights reserved.

Grey’s Anatomy S5 finale “Aftergasm:” A New Hope

Update June 18, 2009 2:36 p.m. ET
Goodbye George – It’s official, according to People Magazine, T.R. Knight is leaving Grey’s Anatomy.

Original Article Continued Below…

You, like me, probably watched last night in a mix of tears, horror and I quote, myself, “WHAT?!” at the Season 5 finale of Grey’s Anatomy.

Bringing back traumatic, teary memories of Season 2: the prom dress, the elevator, Denny and wait! Seriously. Seriously? Seriously! George in a military uniform. [Read more...]

{iStyle} Blogs make fashion go hi-lo, Pt. I

pm_bryanboy_wideweb__470x3070

By: Jenn Ortiz, guest blogger

This March, during Paris Fashion Week, Britt Aboutaleb of Fashionista mused over the blogger seating arrangements at fashion shows. While usually, but not always, bloggers were given press seating, this time there was subsection within press for online media. This, she explained, placed bloggers along the likes of online editors from Elle, Glamour, etc. At other shows, bloggers were given their own front-row section, just like Conde Nast and other publisher sections. She then wondered, “are the days of acting like bloggers aren’t real media members finally over?”

Yes, they are. Whether some people like it or not, blogs are valid media.

They are so valid, that you now see bloggers being signed as models and editors, being given book deals, and photographing ad campaigns. Street-style photo blogging and the focus on what is going on “outside the tent” is cooler and given more style credit than what goes on in the audience inside the tent. If you take a look at Lucky Magazine’s June issue, you might notice that a certain spread on purses looks like something that might appear on The Sartorialist or JaknJill. Bloggers are regularly featured in Teen Vogue and Lucky Magazine as authors, editors, and ones to watch. In fact, one could possibly argue that blogs are more valid and honest than most other forms of fashion media. Most bloggers do not have to answer to an editor or an investor. Therefore, they have the ability to be honest and express their opinions, as well as dish unconfirmed rumors without fearing backlash from any advertisers pulling out.

20090513_wintour_560x375

Blogging is a very inexpensive way to reach out and connect to readers. Blogs and microblogs, like twitter, keep readers connected and current in a way that has never been possible before. Want to know what Anna Wintour said at the 92nd St. Y? Just log on to The Cut (NY Mag’s blog) the morning after, or for real-time updates  log on to The Cut’s twitter (@CutBlog). Fashion bloggers tweeted and blogged from their Blackberries and iPhones during the runway shows, faster than any magazine, news show, or the common fashion website could put together a spread on a show. The only thing more immediate would be directly streaming video directly from the show, but that costs money. Besides, who has time to watch a whole fashion show live anyway? That also means a reader would have to focus their attention, and let’s face it, the attention span and tolerance has lowered in the present day.

So what’s a magazine to do? Well, many magazines have begun to twitter and blog, too. They really couldn’t afford not to. In her Tuesday evening interview, Ms. Wintour admitted to having forced Andre Leon Talley into blogging, kicking and screaming. (Supposedly, he now loves it.) The New York Times now has a twitter account for the Moment, which recently tweeted live during the Grace Jones performance at Matthew Williamson. The list of magazines and editors that have begun to blog goes on and on.

Image belongs to The Sartorialist

There is one thing that traditional media entering the blogosphere should understand. In blogging, community is important to survive. It’s okay to re-blog some information seen elsewhere; in fact, it’s highly desired to be linked and re-blogged. That is exactly how a blog gets more readers and maintains relevance. This means that if you don’t read blog A, you’ll still likely see part of the same story from Blog A on Blog X, Y, and Z. In fashion, that means that more and more readers get information faster. The sense of community also gives blogs additional weight. If you piss off one, you might piss them all off. Then again, that could land you on CNN and sell some magazines.

In sum, bloggers are entering fashion and fashion is entering the blogosphere. Consider the line officially blurred.

Related CNN article here.

–

Jenn Ortiz is a graduate of the University of Florida with degrees in History and Latin American Studies with hopes to pursue a PhD in Child Development. She believes there is beauty in everything around us; from the inside out, outside in. She currently runs {Bits of Beauty}, a place you just feel good about.

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All rights reserved

Angels & Demons: “Do you believe in God?”

Vittoria Vetra: Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to.  – From Angels & Demons, the novel

illuminati-ambigram

Today is the day, Angels & Demons releases in theatres.

In short, it is the riveting, edge of your seat prequel to The Da Vinci Code.

Originally written by Dan Brown in 2000, it centers around Harvard University symbologist Professor Robert Langdon as he solves the clues to uncover a centuries-long mystery of a secret society called the Illuminati.

Bent on completely annihilating Vatican City, with the use of anti-matter, the story revolves around the conflict between science and religion. Specifically, Angels & Demons is the historical conflict between the Illuminati and the Roman Catholic Church.

Ewan McGregor in Angels & Demons
 

Hassassin: Faith does not protect you. Medicine and airbags… those are things that protect you. God does not protect you. Intelligence protects you. Enlightenment. Put your faith in something with tangible results. How long has it been since someone walked on water? Modern miracles belong to science… computers, vaccines, space stations… even the divine miracle of creation. Matter from nothing… in a lab. Who needs God? No! Science is God.  – From Angels & Demons, the novel

Like The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons shares the lore of secret societies, a story transpiring in a single-day and the Catholic Church. Therefore, because of these similarities, those who have not read the book, may have a bit of a hard time following the history, art and culture swirling around the story.

So from us to you, a mini-guide.

Read. Enjoy. And do let us know if you enjoyed the film:

Illuminati - secret society (“brotherhood”). Illuminatus in Latin and meaning “enlightened.” Refers in reality to numerous groups, but specifically the Bavarian Illuminati founded in 1776.

CERN - the research labratory that originally calls upon Langdon’s services.

Lockheed Martin X-33 – name of aircraft in story

Free Mason/Freemasonry – historical, fraternal organization that supposedly merged into one of the versions of the Illuminati. Supposedly, and on page-31 of the book, the Great Seal of the United States of America is a symbol to represent this.

Ambigram – also known as an inversion, it is a typographical design (sometimes considered art) that is one or more words that can be viewed from various viewpoints/directions/orientations.

diamante-illuminati

Earth, Fire, Wind, Water & the Alters of Science – four locations in Rome, each representing the four elements of the earth: fire, earth, wind and water. Believed to be the “Path of Illumination,” it is the journey to the location where the Illuminati meets in Rome. In the novel of Angels & Demons, these signals were hidden in the form of religious pieces of art. By hiding these directions in religious iconography and alike, it was a way of preventing the church from discovering the scientists and thinkers, who the Church referred to as “heretics.”  It is presumed that the actual meeting place is the Castel Sant’Angelo. But that’s not directly stated in the book.

Earth is the Habakkuk and the Angel in Chigi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo

Air is the West Ponente at Saint Peter’s Square

Fire is the the Ecstasy of St. Teresa sculpture at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria

Water is the the famous Fountain of Four Rivers at Piazza Navona

Angels & Demons

Teacher: Terrorism, has a single goal. What is it?
Student 1: Killing innocent people?
Teacher: Incorrect. Death is only a byproduct of terrorism.
Student 2: A show of strength?
Teacher: No. A weaker persuasion does not exist.
Student 3: To cause terror?
Teacher: Concisely put. Quite simply, the goal of terrorism is to create terror and fear. Fear undermines faith in the establishment. It weakens the enemy from within… causing unrest in the masses. Write this down. Terrorism is not an expression of rage. Terrorism is a political weapon. Remove a government’s façade of infallibility, and you remove its people’s faith.   – From Angels & Demons, the novel

Angels & Demons movie poster

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ .

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

TGIF: Tweeting trends #AnnoyAtrekkie & #ApatheticBond to end a flustering week, #FollowFriday

It’s Friday (#FollowFriday in Twitter-land) and time to let your hair down out of the strung up, tight-knitted bun it’s been in all week.

twitter-logo

What better way to do so than with some purposeless rubbish in the form of a couple of laughs via the social media, Kingdom of Twitter? 

This week, the Twitter world has been reeling over some creative (and not so much) tweets about Star Trek, Bond and childhood memories.

Below are just a few highlights, to make you laugh and tell yourself, THANK-GOD-IT’S-FRIDAY! And in the tradition of all things Twitterific, #FollowFriday these Tweeps. No harm, no foul.

(P.S., if you are new to Twitter and have no idea what I’m talking about go here.)

#ApatheticBond
@MitchBenn: What about “Unipussy?”
@rgphotographic: Roger Less
@jockso: Probable Best Not To Say Never Again, But It’s Up To You Really
@psmorrison: A Teaspoon Of Solace
@ihateyourad: “Never Say Never Again — Unless You Need To. Who Am I To Say?”
@roboticmonkey: Dr. Oh alright then, but just this once
@TheToyDetective: For Four Eyes Only (n.b. I can say that, I’m bespectacled)
@echtburge: A View To Wishing He’d Just Piss Off And Die 

#WhenIWereALad
@SashaHalima Pluto was a planet.
@captain_doodle: Lucozade came with a satisfyingly crinkly translucent amber wrap which u could put over ur eyes to create yellow robot vision
@thom_white: Neapolitan ice cream was considered exotic. And so was pasta, garlic, curry & spaghetti bolognaise. Wine was posh!
@lesanto: A snowball was a ladies drink not a ladies sex act
@lesanto: You didn’t have ‘personality disorders’ you were just an a**hole�
@saruuh123: Furbys were kings… 

#AnnoyATrekkie
@DJ_Minja Death Star blows up the Enterprise http://tinyurl.com/qka6ld
 @a_rocket_can “Picard, I am your Father!” – Noooooooooooooooo!”
@livin4hymn So…Vader is Pickard who is also Kirk’s father, right?
@SashaHalima me-sah lied, LAST one, promise RT @purplehayz: They should never have had that Jar Jar Binks run the bar on the Enterprise
@CYMarin1 Spock is the one with the ribs on his forehead, right?
@pixelbuffer: I hope they bring the Ewoks back in the next Star Trek, they’re so cute. I love that Chewbacca’s have kids too.
@sShap so that’s why Kirk and Spock look so young. They regenerated! (and #DrWho)

@thewinekone: If I was a Vulcan, I’d use my nerve pinch on your ****.
@Jezriyah: I can’t wait for the scene where Kirk negotiates a 5-star hotel room for 2-star prices.

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ .

Copyright © 2009 SashaHalima PR. All rights reserved

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...