“Passenger Shaming” is a social media campaign founded by a former flight attendant, to humiliate (anonymously) disrespectful (and frankly, disgusting) airline passengers. This campaign captures everything from smelly feet across another passenger to peeing in the airplane bathroom sink. Yes, the sink. Also, hands in places they shouldn’t be.
Advertising and marketing is inherently risky particularly when humor is used to move products but social media creates additional problems in this area because of its nature. One of the fantastic benefits of social media is the potential for information to spread even more quickly than traditional media outlets are able to put together and disseminate information. Companies and government officials have also faced unintended consequences of social media and discovered in recent years the impossibility of “getting back” any information that has been put out there electronically. Even when a company or person deletes a YouTube video, meme or tweet in an attempt to stem controversy, someone has generally downloaded or snapped a screen shot of the information and retains “proof” of the problem. The power of social media disproves the adage that any publicity is good publicity as Paula Deen, the men of Duck Dynasty and numerous others can attest.
Paula Deen has been bitten by social media and suffered significant consequences twice in recent years. In 2012 a blooper video became available on the Internet featuring many outtakes featuring Deen cussing and engaging in other behavior that is not endearing to conservative fans (Paula Deen Outtakes 2012). Video accompanies the Huffington Post article. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/paula-deen-cursing-blooper-outtakes_n_1909159.html. Deen additionally had difficulties related to litigation alleging racial discrimination and other behavior that countered her down home good Southern woman persona. In and of itself the court case against the Deen family would not have been that damaging but when people discovered the content of the litigation it spread like wildfire on social media and led to a call from the general public to remove Deen’s show from the network. Other fans rallied to Deen’s defense suggesting that the public lynching was undeserved (Lestch 2013).
For Deen, video and damning comments were posted all over Facebook and Twitter during the controversy. In other instances when social media comes into play, negative consequences are wholly unanticipated. One of the ways that social media has taken on a life of its own is related to highly emotional situations like an individual’s death. Facebook has become an integral component of modern grieving as people are able to comfort each other and use pages of deceased relatives and friends as the electronic equivalent to visiting a grave. Social can also exacerbate the negatives of the ability to send information ricocheting all over the Internet and wireless communication vehicles. Robin Williams’ death affected nearly anyone familiar with his work as people were saddened by the loss of someone who gave so many moments of joy and cared about other people. Williams committed suicide, however, and this creates the potential for additional problems as suicide often triggers other suicide attempts. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in honoring Williams with this picture, quickly discovered that its gesture was actually potentially dangerous.
Under the photo, the caption read “Genie, you’re free.” (Dewey 2014). Certainly those finding fault with the Academy’s tweet are over-reacting, as people loved Williams’ in the above role but the realities of social media illustrate how very dangerous this particular tweet could have been. “More than 270,000 people have shared the tweet, which means that, per the analytics site Topsy, as many as 69 million people have seen it.” (Dewey 2014) And the problem with 69 million people seeing that tweet is related to how people should discuss suicide. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/08/12/suicide-contagion-and-social-media-the-dangers-of-sharing-genie-youre-free/ Those trying to prevent people from taking their lives operate under the public health standard of never making a statement that implies or outright says that suicide is okay. Intellectually most non-suicidal adults understand the message. Williams was a tortured soul and is now free of that pain but this type of statement is dangerous specifically because suicide contagion is a real threat to public health. It is not unusual for several people to commit suicide when a friend or relative commits suicide. That is why most schools in the United States provide counseling to students to ensure that no other children commit suicide when a friend or acquaintance has killed himself.
Once the information is out there, it cannot be retrieved. Once information is out there, it is impossible to control how that information will be interpreted and whether the free publicity provided by social media will be of benefit or detriment to parties involved. A company’s best defense against the potential downside of social media is, even more so than in the past, to try to determine all possible ways that something can be interpreted and to have a strategy in place to deal with backlash if it occurs.
Dewey, C. (August 12, 2014). Suicide contagion and social media: The dangers of sharing ‘Genie, you’re free.’ The Washington Post, 1.2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/08/12/suicide-contagion-and-social-media-the-dangers-of-sharing-genie-youre-free/
Lestch, C. (August 24, 2013). Paula Deen’s sexual harassment, discrimination lawsuit dismissed. New York Daily News, 1-2. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/paula-deen-discrimination-lawsuit-dismissed-article-1.1435396.
Paula Deen outtakes: Southern chef curses, talks “ass” in blooper reel. (September 24, 2012). Huffington Post, 1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/paula-deen-cursing-blooper-outtakes_n_1909159.html
It seems as if every major tech company is releasing their version of a perfect smartphone. Of course, Apple has their latest iPhone to entice its cult following, and Samsung has released their new Galaxy S5. But a company that seems to have fallen off everyone’s radar is Blackberry. Unless you are working for a major corporation in New York City, Blackberry phones are particularly hard to come by. The Passport is Blackberry’s attempt to reach the masses and regain their place back at the top of the tech world. But how does it compare to its competitors?
Imagine a world of darkness being changed in an instant. Can you fathom complete blackness that changes to light?
A remarkable new eye implant marks the future for sight around the world. Fran Fulton, 66, lost her sight for ten years, unable to see anything at all. Now everything has changed.
As most people already know, the new Apple products were recently released. Apparently the big screen and the new features available on the iPhone6 Plus are not the only upgrades. It turns out the iPhone is also bendable! People have been talking about this everywhere especially on Twitter by using the #BendGate hashtag. Even though this could be a problem for Apple, the public has been coming up with funny mockups that will be hard to forget.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was released just a few days ago and buyers are already finding problems with it. Everyone was excited to see the bigger, faster and thinner iPhone, but many users have found a very troubling flaw with the hardware. The long, thin, metal body seems to be prone to bending.
Apple and Samsung have battled over the similarities with the competition’s products for years. However, this week, both Apple and Samsung dispatched new advertisements outwardly mocking the opponent’s smartphone device.
Do you find yourself endlessly digging for your wallet once you reach the checkout at the grocery store? Or frantically searching for the right card floating around the bottom of your purse? Apple Pay is the answer to your every worry and revolutionizes the way you pay at the register. Continue reading →
From bulky TV’s, flats screens, HD, LED, LCD and more, American society has embraced the idea of television in its entirety. With an average of 3 TV sets per home, it’s easy to say that we all love our cable television. But with a constantly improving technological world along with internet-crazed generations, cable companies are nervous that they will become obsolete in the years to come. But, would you ditch the classic setup and settle for your computer screen if it meant the end of cable television?
Meet George, a 10-year-old goldfish whose owners decided for him to undergo surgery last week to remove a tumor bulging from his head. The tumor removal was performed by Dr. Tristan Rich of Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia where he resides as head of the exotic and wildlife veterinary team.
When people approach the Internet and work toward maximizing exposure and other issues, the focus is often on number of hits, place in searches and other issues but one cannot forget the Facebook page that someone likes and never looks at again. The like does not result in that user going to the company’s website or further engaging with the firm or brand. Use of the Internet and social media has progressed to the point that people are recognizing that there is a finite amount of information and positive consequences related to how adept web designers are at ensuring that the website will be first viewed in web searches and other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) goals. Utilizing social media and the Internet in general has become more sophisticated and real efficacy requires discernment in the type of traffic companies wish to bring to their websites and how this impacts the overall branding of the company or product. Conversely, there are realities that require that SEO is an integral component of any firm’s advertising and marketing strategy because more than 60% of users only click on the first search engine results page (SERP) and fewer than 10% of users click on results beyond page three (Malaga 2008). From the standpoint of social media, the webpage that social media should point to is the most important component of the equation. It is the webpage that will be linked to even if a customer is accessing the company from Twitter or Facebook.
What is true for the webpage is also applicable to social media. Research to determine the way the market appears to be structured and the keywords that bring up competitors or ancillary businesses help inform the best keywords for a company or industry. Site structure should be based on not only the way the company wishes to be viewed but what will differentiate it specifically in Internet searches, page titles, tag lines, URLs that are easy to search, and simple navigation assisted by an adequate site map (Kruger 2012). Content is important because it not only helps users navigate a page but is what the search engines will connect to consequently unity in images and text are important. A good story is more important in selling and branding than one might believe in terms of rates and rankings (Pozin 2014).
Additionally, inbound links, people who come to the site from another, are exceedingly important because this is the word of mouth recommendation via the Internet (Kruger 2012).
This is similar to product reviews or the number of transactions conducted by a third party vendor on Wal-Mart or Amazon. People feel safer taking the “word” of a book vendor about the condition of the item if the company has had over ten thousand transactions with Amazon versus another company with only a few hundred customers rating service. A good primer is available from Google http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en/us/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
After months of anticipation, Apple finally introduces us to the largest model in the iPhone family. The iPhone 6 Plus, featuring a 5.5-inch display, showcases a Full HD screen and an enormous battery life. But I can’t help but wonder, why would someone buy an iPhone 6 Plus when it seems to do the same thing as the latest version of the iPad mini? Continue reading →
Will Apple Pay change today’s society? Forgetting your credit card or debit card will no longer be a problem with this new feature offered on both of the i-Phone 6 and the Apple Watch. Apple is always finding new ways to persuade consumers to upgrade their phones. This time it’s collaborating with several credit card networks and banks such as: Chase Bank and American Express to make people’s lives easier. However, will people be willing to buy a new phone just for this?
The 2014 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival festivities began this morning at 6:00 a.m. at the Southfork Hotel with a quick media and pilot briefing before heading to Oak Point Park. The media spectators were fired up with excitement as the hot air balloons began to inflate!
Imogen Heap, famous English singer-songwriter and composer has an exciting new project that will forever change the way music is made. Imogen Heap has created a musical glove. She is working with a team of musicians, artists, engineers, sciences, and wearable devices company, Mi.Mu, to create a glove that will change the way music is made.
Mi.Mu’s goal is to steer musicians away from dials and computer screens and lead them to the creation of music with gesture control.
As of the first day of school, August 26th, Prince George’s County Public Schools announced their change in cell phone policy by allowing kids to use cell phones in the classroom.
The DC schools decided they would take a more relaxed approach to the use of cellphones. They would allow the kids to use them not only in the hallways and cafeteria, but also in the classroom.
Social media is a tool just as other advertising and marketing mechanisms have been used to facilitate branding and company growth. A social media strategy can be somewhat effective even if poorly implemented but firms that really exploit all of social media’s advantages need to do their homework to remain current and to implement knowledge about who uses what social media and why in determining how best to use various components of the social media community. Is the client’s Facebook page being created as a destination with interactive features and regular updating and other use or is it to be used primarily as a conduit funneling customers to the client’s comprehensive and interactive website? Do Twitter accounts make sense in certain industries with little information to Tweet? More is not always better consequently it is important for firms to determine the type of social media vehicles are valuable to them and then create a message that is consistent throughout the tools used.
Like traditional media, using social media to its greatest advantage requires research and planning. The target audience can help firms determine which messages are best suited for Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. Successful social media strategies develop a comprehensive strategy that uses different types of social media and particularly when two-way communication is encouraged. Clients or PR firms should retain control of content posted on a company or client’s behalf and set targets in order to measure whether use of various social media is successful (Chaturvedi 2013).Increased followers is considered a sign that social media is working but companies must also determine whether this is window dressing or if the likes evident on a Facebook page translate into customers and clients or merely people who for some unknown reason liked the page and never returned to it again. Conversely, a high number of likes lends legitimacy to companies consequently some benefits may be achieved without necessarily being evident. Other measurements a company may use to evaluate the efficacy of social media is whether there are improvements in sales, customer service, and efficiency (Chaturvedi 2013).
There are so many different tools available for companies that want to better utilize social media in order to improve their businesses. ProCon.org was created in order to evaluate the pros and cons of numerous issues and includes a very informative page on social media that provides statistics for how people use social media and other important information that can be of assistance to firms that want to maximize their advantages from using social media. Social media is a double-edged sword because while memes and videos can go viral with good information that is valuable to a company it can also as quickly destroy a brand if the wrong type of information spreads as quickly on the Internet. Social media can be most positive when everyone involved in its use is geared toward ensuring that the cohesive message remains intact and is only positively impacted by its use.
Chaturvedi, M. (April 22, 2013). Effective social media strategies—four tips, four benefits. Profit Magazine, 1-2. http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/profit/big-ideas/042213-mchaturvedi-1937903.html.
Social networking pros and cons. (September 2014). ProCon.org, 1-2. http://socialnetworking.procon.org/.
Most people don’t think about PR and wrists together, but then again, the Apple Watch wasn’t out either. Apple Watch coupled with apps designed specifically for it – opens a whole new world of PR possibilities – not just at our fingertips but now right above our hands.
Apparently teasing the celebrity leaked photos scandal is not only funny, but also a great way to promote a company, or so Spirit Airlines thought. The Florida based airline decided to take advantage of the scandal to promote its “bare fare” low cost flights. They sent out an email last week that titled “Our Selfie Leaked Too…” together with a photo of a cartoon woman covering only her chest.