Do you remember the time before Facebook? It might sound silly but in fact we got used to social media [sm] so much that it is hard to recall how we communicated before the rise of social platforms. They have not only changed our personal lives but also the way public relations is practiced. With the introduction of social media, a traditional PR has shifted into PR 2.0., as Brian Solis called it in the 90s. According to Breakenridge, “the new channels of interaction, real time content and the ability to have a 24/7 focus panel gave public relations a chance to fully develop the idea of two-way symmetric communication” (Breakenridge, 2008, p14-15), which is an ideal model of PR described by Grunig and Hunt. But is it actually true that social media brought the public closer to PR and allowed it to be an equal partner in the conversation?
No one likes to be forced to do things. The bans often cause the opposite effect and the overwhelming amount of rules make us want to break them. But what if our behaviour could be subtly influenced and guided in the certain direction without our knowledge? As explained in the Ketchum blog post by Stephen Waddington, “Nudge theory is a technique developed in behavioural science and psychology that asserts small indirect suggestions can have a huge change and positive effect on outcomes.” The effectiveness of nudges led to the development of behavioural marketing and the use of nudges by governments and the private sector. It is clear that nudges work, so how could they be used in PR? And can we still call it PR if we use something which is not readily visible and transparent?
On Friday the 13th I had a chance to see the fashion photography exhibition at the Somerset House. As always, when I go to the art exhibition, I felt like it was a whole ceremony including having a coffee before (or after) the tour, taking pictures and posting them on Instagram with a certain hashtag made up by the PR team of the art display, visiting the gift shop and buying postcards which would remind me of the exhibition. How much art is left in the art itself when the last stop of the display is a gift shop with NARS’s beauty stand, a brand which sponsored the exhibition?
Watching Kardashians leave no doubts that today everything is for sale. The death of Terry Pratchett created an ‘excellent’ opportunity for PR and marketing people to recall his novels and display the books in the spotlight of the bookstores, but also to raise the issue of the Alzheimer disease. The birth of the second royal baby will soon start the media madness and the race for the best front page. Even the suspension of the Top Gear host, Jeremy Clarkson (see the last post), was commercially used by Lego to promote Legoland Windsor Resort’s Lego Driving School reopening, which is – we have to admit – a smart and creative PR tactic. What is it all about? Promotional culture we live in.
Another big night is behind us. Soon after the Super Bowl fever, the Oscars came and heated up social media. Although we haven’t witnessed anything quite similar to the last year’s world famous Oscars selfie, the Academy Awards and red carpet stars were again in the spotlight of the Internet users. According to Synthesio, the Oscars gained more than 440,000 mentions in social media, with the majority of the conversations (67.4%) revolved around the show in general and only 11.2% about the actual films.
I can’t help it – it is fashion that makes me the most excited and motivated to work in PR. Yesterday I had a pleasure to support the team of Anisa Topan Communications agency at the London Fashion Week. Being behind the scenes of one of the most important events in the industry really shows what fashion PR is about.
I can’t say I’m the most active person I know. When I’m about to go to the gym or attend yoga classes I find hundreds of excuses. Dripping rain, lack of matching socks and too early/late hours of classes are only some of them. What also discourages me is the way sport is shown in the media. Beautiful skinny girls jogging in the city center, dressed up in the perfectly fitted leggings and sports bras with their make-up on. Should I even be bothered to work-out in my ‘so last season’ from-head-to-toe black outfit?