Vote or Die... or Obamanos?

Vote or Die?
“We made Bentley, Cristal, and bling hot. Now it’s time for the election,” P. Diddy

Before the political machine called "Obama," a similarly formatted movement was in affect in the US political world. The 'Vote or Die' campaign aimed at young voters in America to get out and vote in 2004 presidential election. The campaign was wanting to engage the young voter into understanding the process of voting and challenge them, as they put it, to 'Vote or Die!'

Backed by the most unlikely of political partisans, P. Diddy and Paris Hilton, the campaign stood strongly and looked as if it was going to bring out more young voters than ever before. Setting a precedent for the later "Yes, We Can," campaign stylings of Obama, this political way of speaking had yet to be seen yet. Engaging with and inspiring young voters to go make a change in their world, were key phrases and goals for 'Vote or Die.' While this campaign could be seen as a success, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) says this of the election:
The 2004 presidential race, as far as the youth vote was concerned, was a landmark election, bringing out nearly 21 million voters under the age of 30 to the polls, according to Peter Levine, CIRCLE's deputy director
While the jump of young voters was a great number the campaign really set up the stage for Obama to come in and engage with voters even more. Through the use of social media, websites, and a grass roots approach to campaigning, Obama was able to use this newly set forth political communications model to gain the youth vote for his 2008 election.

Tapping into the tribe-like mentality that is used through platforms like social media and engaging in the conversation that young voters were already having was a brilliant move from team Obama. Pushing the envelop to cater towards these group of disenfranchised voters would enable Obama to change the way political campaigns would now be run. Politics is no longer for the old and priviledge but now the youth are getting involved and I believe we will be seeing more and more campaigns that look like "Vote or Die" and the Obama Campaigns.


Innovative Webcast to Educate Millions

Demonstrating the Power of Social Media
Today, in London, a webcast entitled, "Social Media: How Will PR Change?" is released for free viewings online. The long awaited webcast will show case different methodologies and strategies using social media and will educate those who want to know more about including social media into already existing media strategies.

Lena Brau , Head of Digital Communications says, "We are very excited about this webcast. We know that there are many people out there that have questions about social media, and we are happy to answer those questions." The webcast is a short five minute video explaining the advantages and usages of social media. Taking a simplistic approach, the webcast is sure to be easy to learn from and fun to watch.

Aimed at public relations professionals, but anyone wanting information about social media would be able to take away some good pointers, "We present the information in a way that anyone wanting information will find it useful," comments Jey Bernal , webcast producer, "We were able to reach out on a peer-to-peer level, using YouTube as a means of getting the webcast out to the public." Jey Public Relations is offering this webcast for free and can be viewed on YouTube , as well as on the company blog.

Notes to Editor
  • Social media sites like facebook, youtube, and myspace get a combined total of over 250 million visitors monthly.
  • Print newspaper distribution is down 7 million in the last 25 years.
  • Online newspapers are up 30 million in the last 5 years.
  • Internet traffic is growing at a 50-60% growth rate per year.
  • Social Media engages the consumer into two way communication and allows for the free flowing of ideas.
For additional information Contact the Press Officer: Jey Bernal +(44)7501861858

The XX Factor

It's an age old question that is raised in most industries,
"Will Women Ever Be in Charge?"

Do We Even Have a Chance?
From a topical point of view, the quick and unequivocal answer would simply be: YES. Simply put there are more female than male practitioners and this would lend well to the rise of females in management positions. However, the industry has yet to see a proportional rise of females in these management roles and questions are being raised as to why this might be? The shift in female practitioners has gone up significantly in the last 20-30 yea
rs according to the US Department of Labor. This also shows that females working in the industry are less likely to be working in manage
ment level positions and
are simply stuck in technician roles, which then also has an effect on the pay of which they receive. As the circle of injustice keeps my head spinning, one must look further into reasons as to why this torpedoing spiral has yet to be broken. Could it be the image of the 'fluffy' PR girl and the glass ceiling effect on women in this industry?

In the book, Public Relations Strategies and Tactics by Wilcox and Cameron, the authors outline 5 reasons why the field of public relations appeals to women:
  1. women find a more welcoming environment in PR and see more opportunites to advance than in other communication fields.
  2. women still make more money in PR than comparable female dominated fields
  3. a woman can start a PR firm without a lot of capital
  4. women tend to have better listening communication skills than men
  5. women are more senstitve than men in facilitating two-way communication
Now these reasons do not at all reflect the sometimes prominent image of the fluffy PR girl, these reasons seem to be based in reality and reflect a female that is strong and ambitious. And yet women are still not advancing in this field as quickly as they are drawn to it.

Seems to me that the true problem here is the glass ceiling effect. The glass ceiling refers to a barrier that can simply not be broken. Differences in pay scale and advancement to higher level jobs between male and female practitioners are two examples of the glass ceiling effect. This effect seems to be systematic and not only referring to PR but most industries are seeing the same effect, however being that PR is a female dominated field this effect seems to be more severe.

It is disheartening to say the least, to look at these statistics as a female practitioner. Out of my MA course we have 30 females and 4 males and statistically speaking the males have a better shot at succeeding than we do because of the sex that we were born with. However, change is on the rise and it is up to females to rise above. We should no longer accept a technician role as success, but strive for a higher position. The stage is set for success, but will men get there before us?


Bad Cookies...???

You've done it, I've done it... We've all done it. There is something so satisfying about taking a spoonful of cookie dough and enjoying every morsel of the unbaked goodness. After all, what harm can be done from just one little taste of this chocolaty goodness?

If you were in America in March 2009, consuming Nestle Toll House cookie dough could prove to be fatal. From March of that year over 70 people became ill, by a common strain of the E. Coli bacteria, all citing that they had eaten raw and uncooked cookie dough. One can imagine what this crisis could do to brand reputation, Nestle faced mountains of bad press as the victims grew worse, as the thought of any deaths rang in the ears of journalists covering the story nationwide.

A classic case of crisis management was on the hands of Nestle, as they would have to take all the right steps to ever recover from this incident. Acting with perfect precision and not a moment too late, within 24 hours Nestle had voluntarily recalled all cookie dough products within the US, advising them being thrown out and to be cared for with extreme care, as cross contamination is a factor as well. The company took even more steps to thwart sayings of mismanagement, by offering full refunds for those wanting to return the products and reassuring those that had consumed the products after being baked, would be fine. Also stopping all production of new products at the Virginia plant where the contaminated cookie dough had been produced, Nestle seem to be quick and concise decisions.

Seemingly taking notes directly from W. Timothy Coombs, Nestle produced a near perfect accommodating strategy. Meaning the strategy not only met immediate crisis communication demands, by acting within 24 hours of the rise of the problem, but it also subsequently was repairing the organization's reputation and image, by acting in the best interest of the consumer.

From a PR standpoint, Nestle executed a clear crisis management communications strategy and in the end, the cookie dough crisis of 2009 would adversely affect sales. Nestle's year end profits reportedly fell 42%. While this sounds like a huge percentage to fall, Nestle actually increased sales in different areas, so the crisis management strategy put in place by the cookie dough crisis was not lost, by all.