5 ways social media changed “The Big Game”

1.       People kept their eye on the…ball?

Actually, they didn’t.  According to Mashable, 24.1 million tweets were sent during the course of the game and Beyonce’s halftime show.  That means that on average, about 5 million tweets were sent each hour of the programming.  As we all know, social media takes formerly single-screen experiences and transforms them into multi-screen, multi-dimensional experiences.  Whether a football fan, Beyonce fan, or just an observer, an online conversation was ready and waiting for you last night, and odds are you chimed in.

2.       People demanded more.

Entergy

It seemed that everyone involved in last night’s game was up for public critique, from the broadcasters, to power companies, to performers, not to mention the players and coaches.  From a public relations standpoint, this provided plenty of interesting examples of how brands can best respond to such criticism.  For example, Entergy, the power company for the Superdome, updated their Twitter feed with information on their efforts to find the source of the 34-minute outage, and even released a joint statement with the managers of the Superdome today. Every communications manager from every organization even remotely connected to such a huge event was on-call last night, as should be the case in our world where crises never sleep.

3.       A blackout blew up.

Rather than losing viewers due to technical difficulties during a game that seemed to be no-contest, CBS actually gained viewers, said one Yahoo! News report.  How did this happen? Likely the same way that Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy awards fainting hoax did.  The news of the blackout went viral on Facebook and Twitter, and people tuned in immediately.

4.       #AdBowl winners won, instantly.

According to Mashable, 30% of the tweets during the game were about the advertisements.  Breaking this down further, they mapped out exactly which brands were the most talked-about in the online conversations, with Taco Bell and Budweiser taking the lead.  While these numbers do not factor in the question of positive vs. negative mentions, they certainly provide a good basis upon which the winners and losers of last night’s #AdBowl can be judged.

5.      A good ad gained value.

For those companies that created the most popular ads of last night, they got far more than their money’s worth.  The ad they would have paid millions for ten years ago suddenly gets thousands of free viewers as it spreads through social media.  Bad ads, however, become worse catastrophes.  Rather than being complained about on a couch of four people and forgotten minutes later, they are torn apart online over and over.  Thanks to social media, there was much more than just the Lombardi trophy at stake last night.

Congratulations to my favorite Twitter success of the evening….oreo

Love the part that says to “appear human,” one of my #1 rules for my social media profiles!

The Digital Careerist

The old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is no longer only about the people you know through a family member or meet at an industry event. Digital tools allow job seekers to connect with hiring managers in an easy, instant way. Twitter is one of the best tools to administer this; here are four tips to help you network using Twitter that might help you get your next job:

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New Year, New York!

The perfect way to kick off the new year, I embarked on a two-day trip to New York City with twenty-six of my graduate public relations peers.  The whirlwind trip gave us helpful insight into the ‘real-world’ of public relations and the realities of post-graduate life…both the glory and the gore.
[View the story “Newhouse visits NYC” on Storify]Thanks to our hosts at MBooth Public Relations, Edelman, Marina Maher Communications, Time Warner, Viacom and the talented alumni who spent their Thursday evening with us at the Lubin House!

PRL 614: Crisis Planning & Press Briefings

            Last week in our public relations writing course, we were assigned teams and simulated crisis press briefings to implement for our classmates.  One of the teams was assigned to develop a crisis plan and execute a briefing for the Costa Concordia crash last January.  Their plan included a comprehensive response outline, including responses for social media and the company’s website.  Overall, I was very impressed with their professionalism and key talking points for this simulation! 

“Isolated incident”

            However, one suggestion for improvement would be to avoid labeling this accident as an “isolated incident.”  The faux CEOs of Costa and Carnival both used this term occasionally in an attempt to reassure their stakeholders that an accident of this nature would likely not repeat itself.  While I see the value of that reassurance, I believe the wording of “isolated incident” has the side effect of connoting minimization of the event’s severity.  That effect was obviously not their intention, and the words “isolated incident” are used quite often in crisis responses by organizations.  However, I would advise CEOs and spokespeople to avoid the use of that phrase.

            I thought that the group’s stress on their cooperation with the Italian authorities lent a significant amount of strength to their presentation.  Also, they kept a serious yet positive tone throughout the briefing, which conveyed their wholehearted commitment to remedying the situation.  For example, when the customer service representative (played by Jen Zink) was talking about the reparations being made to the passengers and families affected, she began by saying that “what was lost can never truly be replaced.” This validates the emotions felt by the affected customers, showing that the company understands and sympathizes with their plight.

            Overall, the Costa/Carnival group’s press briefing was an effective communication of the company’s commitment to fixing the situation and taking responsibility for the events that transpired.  It is difficult, if not impossible, for an organization to predict 100% of the possible crises that may arise due to human error or technical failures.  However, if organizations respond as this group did in their simulation, they will likely survive such a crisis. 

Starbucks: The Business of the Future?

                Last Friday, Newhouse welcomed back many distinguished alumni for “PR Day,” a day of lectures and discussions aimed at providing current students with valuable insights into their future careers.  The morning session was led by Jim Olson, Vice President of Global Corporate Communications for Starbucks.  Equipped with twenty-one years of experience in the field since graduating in 1991, he shared his, and Starbucks’, vision of what “21st Century Leadership” means. 
                The lecture began with Olson explaining the transformation of Starbucks from a company of “commoditization” to one based on values and experience that began in 2007, with a memorandum from Howard Schultz to the corporate leadership.  In this memo, Schultz stressed that in order to not fail as a corporation, they must get back to “the core” of the company: the Starbucks experience.  The tumultuous period following this memo included a sharp dive in stock prices and store closings to re-train employees.  However, as Olson put it, “it was an investment we had to make.”

“Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time”-Starbucks’ mission statement

                In the years since Starbucks’ dramatic transformation, the corporate leadership, particularly Howard Schultz (CEO), has led the company toward a unique business strategy based on values, community and social responsibility.  Rather than corporate social responsibility (CSR) being a function only of the public relations or community relations department, the values behind CSR drive all decision-making at the organization.  For example, in August 2011, as the United States seemed to be drowning under a weight of debt and unemployment, Schultz saw himself in a unique position to make a change in the communities in which Starbucks operates.  With Olson and the communications teams’ help, Schultz and Starbucks began inspiring CEOs to take a serious look at the state of federal politics and to focus on job creation within their own organizations rather than petty partisan arguments.  Rather than being reactive in their approach to CSR, and only implementing programs directly linked to a tangible ROI for the company, Starbucks was proactive in “using its scale for good” across the country.
                The idealist inside each of the many public relations students attending this lecture was inspired by Olson’s presentation.  Could this be the business of the future?! Corporations holding strong to their mission, making business decisions based on values, not just financial value?!  If public relations as a practice goes the way that Newhouse teaches us to practice it, I’d like to think this will be the business environment of the future.  Fundamentally, the success of every organization is linked directly to the well-being of its constituents.  In order to be successful in business, organizations must also be successful in people.  As Olson informed us, “a successful business all starts with culture.”   

[View the story “Jim Olson speaks at #NHPRDay” on Storify]

Jim Olson speaks at #NHPRDay

During Newhouse’s Public Relations Day on 11/9/12, Jim Olson, a 1991 graduate of the school, spoke about "21st Century Leadership: Turning a Company Into a Movement."

Storified by Deanna Payson · Mon, Nov 12 2012 08:57:58

Jim Olson, VP Global Corporate Communications at @Starbucks http://ow.ly/i/16TdvDeanna Payson
RT @megancorbet: Jim Olson sharing @Starbucks unique model for success… It’s working! #NHPRDay @SUPRSSA @newhousepr http://pic.twitter.com/13F51JnTSyracuse PRSSA
Olson shared Starbucks’ ideas on value-based business leadership, inspiring many young PR people in the audience.
"a company’s values can translate into real shareholder value!" -Jim Olson @Starbucks #NHPRDayDeanna Payson
A successful business all starts with culture – Jim Olson #NHPRDay #PRssaWeek @NewhousePRSyracuse PRSSA
Seriously! RT @deannap09: Wouldn’t it be nice if ALL companies did as much for employees, customers & world as @Starbucks?! #NHPRDayZoey Topper
RT @deannap09: "we are a people company when we are at our best" Howard Schultz #NHPRDay @StarbucksNewhouse School
He shared the principles behind the “Jobs for USA” initiative created by Starbucks last year – more than just good CSR!
Such an honor to meet Jim Olson today… @starbucks has amazing #CSR @ Newhouse III http://instagr.am/p/R07ms7Poik/Chelsea Auburn
Olson left us with parting wisdom from his 22 years of experience in the field.
"Love what you do and find a company that can make a difference in the world" – Jim Olson #NHPRDay @NewhousePR #PRssaWeekSyracuse PRSSA