I'm blogging about fashionable events, strategies and campaigns worldwide. PR Pret-a-Porter is about public relations, branding, marketing, e-stuff and what I recommend as a fine observer of the market.

Posts tagged ‘specialist’

The Oatmeal Grammar Break (part 2)

English grammar is a bit tricky when it comes to writing. Of course that we are aloud to make mistakes because we are human beings not computers, but some of us abuse of non-grammar writing. For all, I’m gonna present The Oatmeal’s Apostrophe lesson.

Enjoy!

 

Source: The Oatmeal

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

 

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Case studies for social media crisis management

Some of the crisis that companies are dealing with nowadays are coming from social media, believe it or not. We give the power to our consumers and they are responding via different social media channels, positive or negative. Today I found some interesting cases of social media crisis management via scoop.it. Again, Slideshare is a great help.

British Petroleum, Ford Motor and Nestle

Better tomorrow,
PR-Pret-a-Porter.

Bitdefender Awake Making Of

Everyone who uses a computer needs an anti-virus protection. Recently, I received this Making of Video which I find it fantastic.

But who is Bitdefender ?

Bitdefender is

 a sublime alloy of intelligence, strength and willpower. We have the sharp mind of the wolf and the sleekness of the dragon, the vigilance of the alpha-male and the indestructibility of the snake’s body. We are a unique combination of symbols that fight on Good’s side.

Half wolf. Half dragon. The Dacian Wolf was carried into battle by soldiers defending their territories in ancient times. It created fear in the opposition, and built confidence in those who carried it.

We are now the bearers of this symbol that transcends time. While the battlefield has changed, its spirit lives on. We are the defenders of the new digital world. We are AWAKE, always on guard—protecting more than 400 million users across the globe with our award-winning technologies.

Judging by its looks, the Bitdefender brand avatar borrows the spirit of our fearless ancestors. It also adds a modern layer to our historical heritage, by bringing the Bitdefender quintessence into the equation.

Bitdefender is perfectly adapted to today’s combat requirements. It possesses the necessary skills to win the digital warfare that is going on inside computer networks all over the world.

Great brand story, indeed. 

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Social Media Infographic via Mashable

Again, a picture values more than 1000 words.

Source: mashable.com

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Tips and tricks: social media for companies

I know for sure that many companies would like to understand better how does social media work for them and their products. Many of them are using the basics, meaning the website, the blog company, some Facebook and Twitter. Mashable presents us some case studies which can help a company to improve its social media impact by showing different media channels. 

  • Narrow your focus to responding to customer complaints, as Comcast does on Twitter.
  • Build brand loyalty, as Bisnow does with e-newsletters, as Skittles does on Facebook, and as the Wine Library does with its podcasts.
  • Issue blog posts and tweets instead of news releases, as Google does with its blog, and as its now-former CEO did with Twitter.
  • Re-purpose your existing content, and thus enlarge your audience, as The New York Times does with Twitter, as the FBI does with Scribd, and as Dell does with SlideShare.
  • Manage your reputation, as countless companies do — or try to do — with Wikipedia.
  • Conduct crisis communications, as Johnson & Johnson does with its blog.
  • Hold contests to improve your algorithms, as Netflix did with the Netflix Prize.
  • Crowdsource your challenges, as the U.S. Army did with its field manuals.
  • Demonstrate thought leadership, as recruiter Lindsay Olson does with her blog.
  • Research free advertising opportunities, as Allstate does on YouTube.
  • Showcase your wares, as Zappos does with its blog, and boost your sales, as Dell does on Twitter.
  • Recruit employees, as Booz Allen does on LinkedIn.
 
Better tomorrow,
PR Pret-a-Porter.

How to sell social media

An image that makes more than 1000 words. Excellent via Johnatan Rick.

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Grammar break via The Oatmeal

Are you scared of a semicolon ?oana vasiliu

This is a challenge from The Oatmeal, one of the best creative sites I’ve seen in a while.

The little punctuation mark only wants to make your life easier. To start using it correctly, take a look at this handy infographic from The Oatmeal. Before you know it, you’ll be using semicolons left and right. Correctly, of course.

oana vasiliu

Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Semicolons link two independent clauses. Each clause should be able to exist by itself as a complete sentence.
  • Don’t use a semicolon with a conjunction.
  • Semicolons signal you to pause. Pause longer than you would with a comma, but not as long as you would with a period.
  • Use semicolons if you are making a list of items separated by commas.
oana vasiliu
Cool enough for me and for the grammar update.
Better tomorrow,
PR Pret-a-Porter.

Journalists vs. PR practitioners: trick questions

oana vasiliuDays ago, I wrote an article about do’s and do not’s for media interviews, from Crisis Communications A Casebook Approach written by Fern Banks. Today, I’m going to write trick questions that journalists use to obtain more spicy information.

  • speculative questions begin with if – “If an earthquake had happened during business hours, how many people would have been killed or injured? “
  • leading questions imply that the reporter already has the answer – “You do agree that the company could have avoided this tragedy, right ?”
  • loaded questions are designed to elicit an emotional response – “Isn’t it true that you knew there was asbestos in the ceiling and failed to do anything about it ?”
  • naive questions indicate that the reporter had not done any homework and does not know what to ask – “Tell me, what does your company do ?”
  • false questions intentionally contain inaccurate details in them – “You fired half of over-50 staff, right ?” where the public relations professional, knowing the statistic is wrong, could counter with “No, only 40%”, not realizing the reporter was aiming for that information all along.
  • know-it-all questions begin with “We have the story. I just need a few wrap-up facts.” The reporter may want you to merely confirm an already formed viewpoint.
  • silence is used by reporters who want you to spill your guts, to talk on and on.
  • accusatory questions are designed to force you to blame others
  • multiple-part questions can be confusing to you as well as to the public. Ask which part you should ask first, then answer each part as separate question.
  • jargonistic  questions are those in which technical words or professional jargon are used.
  • chummy questions are those in which the reporter, pretending to be your buddy, may ask – “Say, pal, off the record, what do you think … ?”
  • labeling questions aim to make issues negative or simplistic by seeming to ask for clarity – “Would you call the company’s work schedule stressful ?”
  • good-bye questions are posed at the end of an interview and may even come after the camera or tape recorder is turned off – “By the way …”

If you want to discover what these trick questions can do, I highly recommend you to watch All the President’s Men , where two journalists Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon’s resignation.

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Pronunciation and spelling – big issues

oana vasiliuWe have to admit that not everyone has a natural language talent and can pronounce correctly names, places, locations, especially if these aren’t in the native language.

Spelling city offers us some scientific explications, which are extremely useful.

The importance of spelling has been questioned in recent years, as word processing programs are equipped with spell checkers, and some educational reformists have suggested that focusing on spelling holds back the creative processes of writing.  Reading Specialist Susan Jones, M.Ed., has researched how spelling improves reading and writing fluency and how it improves vocabulary and comprehension.  Professor Jones helps Vocabulary and SpellingCity.com as a member of the newly-formed educational advisory committee.  Below is her recent paper debunking some common myths about spelling and helping to establish the importance of spelling in education.

The Importance of Spelling
by Susan Jones, M. Ed.  2/2009

Spelling over the last few years has been the subject of a commonly mailed piece of Internet “wisdom.” And I quote:

 Aoccdrnig to rscheearch by the Lngiusiitc Dptanmeret at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.Translation: According to research by the Linguistic Department at Cambridge University, it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place.  The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole.
This paragraph has been widely circulated on the Internet since 2003, and it is still referred to, either as a point of interest or to defend inconsistent (poor) spelling, or choosing not to teach it. Is it because it rings of the truth that it makes scholars and educators cringe? Hardly. Among other things, there was no such research, and the words in the passage don’t follow the rule of “only the first and last words matter.”  It’s a myth. It is fluent readers who can figure out this highly predictable text – and the path to fluent reading includes a firm foundation in the sounds represented by letters and their spelling .
oana vasiliu

In journalism and PR, these issues are extremely important: your mistakes are seen by thousands if not millions of persons. Some of these mistakes are drastically punished, from cuts of salary to losing their jobs.

Online TV, in the breaking news section, is the most predictable place to make mistakes. You may have a prompter, but transmitting live can be sometimes overwhelming, especially if the subject is very juicy.

Please take a look on Obama vs Osama:

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Big city lights

oana vasiliuI just discovered Stumble! , a wonderful online bookmarks website.

StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, they deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of over 15 million other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like () automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend.

What I found …

Was this amazing motion photographer, Dominic Boudreault. Enjoy his art!

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Crisis management – do’s and do not’s for media interviews

“Being interviewed is like playing Russian roulette. You never know which question will kill you.”

That is the impression most PR specialists have when they deal with a crisis and they have to answer press questions. Today I’m going to note do’s and do not’s for media interviews, from Crisis Communications A Casebook Approach written by Fern Banks. (more…)

Personal branding – job hunting (part 1)

oana vasiliuWhat would you do for the job you like most ? How will you impress the HR team ? What is the difference between you and other candidates ? In other words, how do you promote yourself ?

Last week, it was a viral news among HR specialists about a excellent-creative CV. I wonder who gave him the job he wanted most.

oana vasiliu

You can find more information here. Thanks Ruxandra for the idea.

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Crisis management: Titanic case

oana vasiliuIf something can go wrong, it will“, says one of Murphy’s laws.  A crisis is a major occurrence with a potentially negative outcome affecting the organization, company, industry, publics, products, services or good name. A crisis interrupts normal business transactions and can sometimes threaten the existence of the organization.

Almost 100 years ago, in 1912, the British had to deal with one of the well known crisis: the sinking of the Titanic.

As everyone knows, Titanic was one of several ships of the White Star Line. In that time, the first competitor of White Star was the Cunard Line, which had two ships: the Luisitania and the Mauritania. White Star placed itself as the best ship-building company; the size, elegance, sumptuousness and safety were its main characteristics.

In 1910, White Star Line had three ships to launch – the Olympic, the Titanic and the Gigantic. Great publicity was made to promote these luxurious ships. Titanic was called “the largest moving object in the world”. A promotional brochure claimed the Olympic and the Titanic “designed to be unsinkable”.

Titanic personnel were chosen to appeal to a celebrated and wealthy clientele. The Captain, E.J.Smith, was the highest-paid captain on the seas.

With such a fully equipped ship and the best personnel, they didn’t find necessary to develop a crisis management plan (CMP) or a crisis communication plan (CCP). The ship couldn’t sink, as they said, and nothing could possibly happen. There were medical facilities, for a worst case scenario and if help needed, personnel could radio other ships.

What would have happened if it existed that time a CMP ?

oana vasiliuA CMP would have detailed what would be done in the event of fire and other tragedies-how evacuation would take place, how to conduct practice drills for the crew and possibly passengers, who would lower the lifeboats, who would ensure that passengers were guided safely to the closest lifeboats and ships, who would contact persons ashore by radio, when crew members would save themselves, and so on. A CMP would also include making sure effective insurance policies were in place.

The CMP would include the crisis communication plan. This means it would include notification of the home office, where personnel acting as public relations professionals would in turn notify the press, White Star Line executives and employees and passenger’s relatives. The CCP would also include the details about who would be the spokesperson. In Titanic case, Capt. Smith could have been the best person if he had survived, but Smith went down with the ship. However, the managing director of White Star, J. Bruce Ismay, was abroad, survived, and was rescued from a lifeboat sent from the Carpathia.

As media communications, there were two persons involved from White Star. Harold Bride, a radio operator on the Titanic who worked for Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, one of the survivors picked up by Carpathia. He wrote the first account of the tragedy that he sent to the New York Times by wire from the rescue ship. Phillip A.S. Franklin, who had been hired to head White Star’s New York office, called together a kind of crisis communication team.

Headlines after the tragedy

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The morning before the sinking, New York Times ran a story announcing that the “The New Giantess Titanic” would soon arrive in New York, as part of a PR campaign of brand-awareness.

Other newspapers’ headline indicated that the editors were much less aware of accurate details of the story. Many newspapers assumed that the passengers were rescued, if not everyone, the majority. After the first press conference, the journalists were so amazed of the official news that the Titanic sank, that they all left to call the news and not hear the rest of the details.

Beyond the tragedy and the impressive amount of lives lost in the accident, after 100 years, the Titanic still remains an interesting subject to discuss, from many points of view.

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

If Google can, you can even better

As part of my career, I am also a website editor on a volunteering blog. Days ago, I wrote my conclusions about a book I have recently read, recommended by Ciprian Gavriliu, so I translated the content here. In Romanian, you can find the article here.

oana vasiliu“What would Google do?”, written by Jeff Jarvis, launched in Romania in 2009 is no doubt one of the most motivational books I have read since now.

Jeff Jarvis is not one of the Google creators, nor one of Google employees, he is just one of the best known social media person worldwide. Among other jobs, he also teaches Journalism at Superior School of Journalism from City University, New York, and he is a person who understands, explains and motivates with excellent arguments what a business means today, in web century.

If you ever thought to launch your own business, you have thousand of great ideas and more than that, you would like to become an entrepreneur, this book can make (some) order in your priorities.

Google discovers problems and solves them. To sum up, Google works in personal branding terms and it all reduces at finding your own new vision of world.

The book doesn’t sell anything, doesn’t glorify anyone and definitely doesn’t say a malicious word about the completion. It explains, with extremely simple words, what means internet century and what human resources  it has. The book talks about the people behind www.google.com, those names we have never heart, the mistakes that multinational companies have made and how they figure out that Google is their friend, not their enemy.

“This searching engine will control the planet”, said Paulo Coelho. But Google doesn’t want to control something as boring as a resource or a phone company, or maybe a restaurant (although the chef from Google restaurant has written Food 2.0). Some people would like that Google become the owner of a newspaper – like New York Times- or a company, as Microsoft. But no, Google knows who he is. His great, great ambition is to organize the world, not to take charge of it.

As a reader of this book, I have finally understood that my objectives are only mine, no matter how many things will come across. And that money doesn’t always count and that is why so many Google services are free, with a great venue, where hundreds of people worked millions of hours to make the application perfect.

oana vasiliuIn such books, what I appreciate most is the quality of the tips given. I love to learn by examples, to understand how the engine is working by testing it before knowing more things about. What is Google doing, in fact ? Basically, he puts you in his front page, on the top of everyone else, if you give him the right things:

  • distinctive content
  • let yourself searched, in order to be found
  • after generating links and public, YOU have to explore the benefits, usually by ads
  • you should use links to work efficiently
  • find opportunities for creating value.

Google helps. And if he can, you can do it as well, no matter where or when you start, only if you have in mind a great project and you are willing to receive both positive and negative feedback. And if all of the critic you get , you’ll invest in the project, maybe you will find the secret of success.

What would YOU do ?

oana vasiliu

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Hello world!

My dearest,

For  a couple of months, I was thinking of starting a blog about things I like most. Now, the idea is an online project, thanks to Alecs, Ruxandra and Alex.

It’s gonna be a journey in the online world, in social media networks and in the field I want to succeed: public relations. I’m preparing to become a decent online presence, I have lots and lots of ideas and subjects I would like to share with you and experience as well. Communication is the key to success and Internet is just the perfect channel to fulfill your life goals and professional objectives.

About me I could say I’m a beginner, a planner,a strategy thinker and also a fast learner. I love colors, I enjoy spending time with my nephew, I dance tango, I like fashion in a shopping way, I’m a traveler  and I really appreciate quality time spent with nice, pro-active people. I’m the kind of action, not words person, who works with passion, otherwise, better not counting on me.

I guess that in the online world are thousands if not millions of blogs from high achieving young people and clicking on my personal blog will be an amazing challenge. But each one of us has that little something that makes us different. Well I, PR Pret-a-Porter author,  am like an event organizer; a meticulous backstage planner, sometimes a speaker, usually a journalist and always an active listener.

As a child, I have never seen myself in the future doing a particular well-known job. I grew up with my grandparents in a small town, where my grandmother has had plenty of friends. We were always visiting someone or someone was visiting us. My favorite part was to see the fascinating ritual of preparing the household goods for the said visit: fine china, crystal glasses, elaborate food design, new recipes or complicated desserts. Since then, I have kept in mind the word “event”, with this particular meaning: something that happens at some point, especially something important, interesting and unusual.

I strongly believe that in order to achieve success in this field, you must have communication skills as a top quality. My journey in the communication world has begun eight years ago, when  I was standing in front of a microphone, staring at the audience and not talking for a few seconds, which for me seemed like a few hours. Then I started to talk about the project my school won in a national contest, without reading a line from the paper I had in my hand. After that, everyone congratulated me for being such a great speaker. From that moment, I started to develop myself in the communication field, participating in different debates, student councils and school projects. Now I’m an undergraduate student specialized in Public Relations.

All the experiences I went through made me a fine observer of details, transformed me into a patient person, showed me how my body responds to stress and the most important thing, I became a responsible person, who can argue her decisions and maintain her opinions no matter what. Nonetheless, knowing people and specialists in the domain was the biggest advantage, because theory without practice means nothing in the real world. I will soon write about wonderful people I met and how they contribute to my professional or personal development.

All in all, my Hello world! post, the first one, is officially over. The journey began. Thank you !

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

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