The Wild Bride

Over the break I was fortunate enough to see the amazing production of Emma Rice’s “The Wild Bride” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. It’s hard to put this show into words. Pure talent, amazing and enjoyable are all understatements, yet groundbreaking doesn’t do it justice. This story of a girl’s bleak future after her father makes a bad deal with a jazz-singing devil is complimented by beautiful sets, extensive choreography and powerhouse vocal performances.

It’s rare to see 3 different art forms (dance, song and theatre) all so intricately explored in one 90 minute piece. However, the mix worked incredibly well and left me feeling like I had truly seen something original.

I began to think about the PR equivalent of this blend. To run a successful campaign you have to meet your public on multiple platforms, and not be afraid to take the risk of trying everything at one time. With information disseminating faster than ever more reaching out is not too overwhelming if the information is presented in a clear and concise way.

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Catching Up

For the select few that actually check this blog I want to apologize for my very long hiatus. I was thoroughly enjoying a much needed Winter break at home in Oakland, California and got behind on my blogging. I’m also contemplating in what direction I want to take this blog now that it’s no longer a class requirement. So here’s to a 2012 full of surprises and new ideas. Thanks for reading.

What dragons, monsters and dogs all have in common

I love a good list. Somehow information that would be overwhelming becomes manageable when put into a list. A recent post on The 12 Most blog combined two of my favorite things- a great list and cartoons.

The post by Margie Clayman described all the business lessons we can learn from kids shows and cartoons. I’m going to highlight my favorites and add some of my own.

  1. Scooby Doo- don’t be afraid to be afraid

This one is brilliant because I’ve never thought of Scooby as anything but a giant baby who holds the rest of the team back from solving the mystery. (plus he was always taking breaks to eat those snacks) However, Clayman points out the fact that Scooby carries on even in the face of such fear speak volumes to his character. There is a lot that I don’t know about the PR industry. Am I gonna let that scare me off from even trying? Of course not.

2.  Sully and Mike- look for new ways to do business

I was drawn in part to this one simply because Monsters Inc. is an incredible movie. But beyond that I completely agree that Mike and Sully are risk takers and it pays off. The biggest take away is that they find the best way to use what resources they already have. In the PR world you are often pressed by time or a budget and knowing how to make the most of resources available to you is key.

Image via Kamilie

3.  How to train your Dragon- make your own  decisions (my addition)

This movie is a great example of challenging the status quo. The whole village believes dragons are dangerous and must be fought until one boy shows they can be friendly. You don’t have to hold to one ideal just because everyone else does. In fact holding a different opinion might be the exact thing that separates you from the pack and gets you noticed. Not a bad plan for students seeking jobs or professionals pitching ideas.

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Bieber’s Baby Momma’s Texting Drama

We have now verified what pretty much everyone already knew. Fox News recently reported that Mariah Yeater, the woman claiming that Justin Bieber is the father of her child, asked a friend to delete an incriminating text message. The message was reportedly sent from Yeater’s mother and told the recipient another male was the father of the child.

Say what you will about the details of the case and Yeater’s inability to use technology, I am very impressed with how Bieber’s team. Baby drama can be devastating for the image of an artist, especially one with a squeaky clean image.

In Bieber’s case it’s helpful that the accuser never seemed trustworthy and that the details never added up. However he’s lucky to have a team that allowed him to come out of this completely unscathed.

Image via kxlly

Not only did his team adamantly deny the allegations from the outset and agree to a paternity test, but they also plan to sue Yeater and her lawyers for defamation. Often times celebrities will not address accusations but I believe Bieber’s team was right to take an active role in this fight.

Although shutting up can sometimes be the best advice in some cases you need just the opposite.

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When curiosity doesn’t kill the cat

Image via Patricia Glogowski

With the end of Fall term in the near future I can’t help but think about graduation. I realize I’ve discussed this subject before but it’s near impossible to not think about applying for jobs and making my move into the real world. Luckily the internet provides me with millions of sources on what employers are looking for.

Unfortunately the internet is also full of advice that’s-if I’m honest-a bit trite. Although true, if you don’t know that writing and strategic planning are important skills to have for a career in PR I don’t know what to tell you. Therefore I was surprised to find unique advice in Arik Hanson’s blog post with a panel of pros.

When asked what one skill every PR pro needs today 3 out of 6 answered with some variation of curiosity and creativity. I don’t know why but for some reason I’ve never considered curiosity to be an essential part of PR. However if you break it down it becomes pretty obvious. You have to be curious about the endless amount of new media channels that surface and which type of communication is most appropriate for the format. You have the be interested in finding new ways to help your client. One of the things I love most about PR is that there is no formula. There is no set of rules stating that if A happens you respond with B. Each day brings new opportunities to invent and thrash the status quo. But curiosity needs to spark those new ideas.

Just goes to show that the obvious answers are sometimes the hardest to realize.

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Under the sea in 3-D

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but alas sometimes life gets in the way. Better late than never right?

Image via Jesse Gray

A couple months ago a was sitting in a dark movie theater wearing the dorkiest glasses alive and loving every minute of Disney’s “The Lion King” in 3-D. I left the theater feeling like a giddy four-year old. I loved that the movie was only in theaters for a limited time.

Therefore I was actually a little disappointed when The New York Times reported that Disney would be taking “Finding Nemo,” “The Little Mermaid” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Monsters Inc.” back to theaters in 3-D format. I love each movie, but somehow it made my Lion King experience seem less special.

However, then I realized that Disney is just doing the two things it’s known best for: synergy and making money. Re-releasing this movies is a genius marketing plan. Disney gets to release content most audiences have already seen and make a killing while doing it. Not to mention the amount of merchandise that will once again be stocked on shelves to purchase. And of course we should not forget the huge amounts of cash just waiting to be made by selling the DVDs for a limited time as well.

You could say re-releasing old content using 3-D is just a gimmick to make money. You might be right. But the fact of the matter is that “The Lion King” grossed $80 million in its one-month stay in theaters, and Disney is almost certain to strike box office gold with its next 3-D ventures. Don’t hate the marketing hate the game.

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How to actually apply what you learn in school

I’ve always thought grades were highly overrated. Sure they work as a guide to your progress in a class and they are an incentive to work hard, but I’ve noticed that they are becoming students only incentive. I myself am guilty of working only as hard as I need for the desired grade only to forget the information seconds after the exam.

However as I get closer to graduation I am actively seeking opportunities to learn skills that will not only help me get good grades, but also hone my workplace skills. Fortunately I don’t have to wade through the treacherous territory of job readiness alone. Meredith Coburn has compiled a great list of things every student should learn and continue to develop after graduation.

Of the five on the list two suggestions really stood out to me:

  • Hone your telephone etiquette.

Frankly telephone calls used to scare me to death. They felt awkward, I wasn’t used to being on the phone (unfortunately my employers never asked me to text anyone) and I just didn’t like talking to strangers. However, the only way to get over this fear is to practice. Yes the first couple calls at my first internship didn’t go so well, but I quickly picked up cues from my boss and coworkers on how to conduct myself in a professional manner. I would advise as much practice as possible on the phone before going to your first interview because this one isn’t going away. Email and social media have not replaced the importance of the phone call and as Coburn put it, you don’t want to be the intern who can’t use the phone.

I promise this is not an evil device. Image via Siewlian

  • Thought your grammar school days were behind you? You’re dead wrong.

Although I’m not guilt-free this struck a chord because poor grammar and spelling are huge pet peeves of mine. It seems like as soon as people began using computers to write the rules of grammar and syntax ceased to exist. I blame spell check. Just because you are writing about more complicated topics does not give you the right to forget what you learned about your and you’re in the 2nd grade. The way I see it with a job market that is already so tough, why give employers any easy excuse to not hire you? Another problem is that so many seem unwilling to use a quick fix and actually check their work against a reputable source. Is the time it takes to reference an AP stylebook so much that it’s worth losing a job over? Probably not.

If you have any other tips for a soon-to-be grad I would love to hear them.

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