The Last one who Makes it to Summer is a Rotten Egg

“It is the Long, Steady, Plodding ones who win the Lifelong Race” – Robert Service

PX

Last week in PR Fundamentals class we learned about the RACE acronym: Research, Action, Communication, and Evaluation.  RACE is a good reference point on how PR should be carried out successfully.  First, before you do anything else, you must avoid putting the cart before horse.  When you are faced with a public relations assignment at work or school, you must first do some research, even though it is tempting to jump right into the more fun, creative parts!

Starting with research was kind of a light bulb moment form me since I thought that you would want to ‘backwards engineer’ the thing by starting with the creative parts first, coming to a conclusion, and then backing it up with research.  At first, beginning with research confused me but then I realized how silly I was being before, by ignoring research until later.

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I can’t believe that I would make a mistake like that, particularity after spending years studying history for my bachelors degree, where it was all about research, all the time.   Or maybe I just got tired of research and wanted to be creative for a change!  This isn’t to say that you can not begin thinking of creative visions for the final product in the beginning.  If you already have ideas, write the down and then brain storm a bit so that you don’t forget them!! I found that to be very useful because you can get your initial impressions out of the way,  and then allow your brain some creative thinking upfront.

However, then you have to put that aside and begin researching first.  Actually, I found that researching gave me a better, more creative perspective for the final product and allowed me to create a better strategy.  To review: First, research by finding out everything you can about the situation, and maybe even do a SWOT or use another tool.  Find the problem that you need to solve, then take action:  Or rather plan how to take action.  Use the research to assess and decide what to do next.  The next step after action is communication:  Decide exactly how to communicate your message to people most effectively.  Finally, evaluate: review what you already have, and begin the process again if necessary before executing your plan or continuing with an already established plan.

Conclusion: RACE is very useful.  I think that I will try experimenting with it and using it more in the future, to see what happens.  I am also inspired to look up other similar methods!  Do you know of any? Let me know if you do, as I want to gather all the tools I need before graduation!!

Also here is another image of summer.  It snowed today and I feel like I cannot stand winter for another day!  I will have to wear my winter boots today.  Tragic.

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Daylight Savings Time, the Thing That Happened Because of an Eccentric Australian Entomologist.

pixaby

According to CBC News, Oregon State Senator Kim Thatcher wants to put forward a motion to abolish daylight savings time.  Similar motions have also been proposed elsewhere.  Ever since its creation, daylight saving time has created controversy and discussion.

I was under the impression that day light savings time was created for the benefit of farmers.  Apparently, this is not true at all.  The idea of daylight savings time  was first implemented in Germany during the year of 1916, and soon the idea spread throughout the known world.  The original reason for daylight savings time was to give everyone an extra hour of daylight after working hours so that they could enjoy things like sporting events,shopping, or time with family and friends.  There you have it, daylight savings time isn’t good for farmers after all!

Still,  I think that  over all, daylight savings time is something positive.  There are a number of reasons for this but  the most important one is that daylight savings time improves your health. 

Physical Health

1. Being Outside is Good for you.

(Provided that you are wearing sunscreen).  It helps you to reconnect with nature, gives you vitamin D, and  the opportunity to be physically active.  Having an extra hour of sunlight in the evening is great for outdoor activities and keeping fit.  People who exercise live longer and healthier lives during their golden years.

2. You will be Thankful for More Sun on Your  Commute to Work in the Winter.

It makes sense to have an extra hour of sun in the morning during the winter months due to daylight savings time because the sun triggers chemicals in the brain that help you to wake up properly and be productive.

Doesn’t this image make you want to grab your dog and go jogging in St.Vital Park? (Pixaby)

Mental Health

3. Community is Important.

Daylight savings time gives people the chance to relax after working hours and recharge by spending time with family and friends.  Studies show that we are happier, healthier, and more successful when we have a large network of supportive friends and family.  Those relationships require time and place with which to nurture.

4. Leisure Time is Important.

People need time to unwind before going back to work the next day.  Spring and summer are great times to be out and about.  Besides nature and health related actives, there are also commercial actives that thrive during the sunny spring and summer months when people flock to BDI,  the Folk Festival, museums, farmers markets, bars, or sporting events. Also, having extra daylight hours to spend with hobbies can have measurably positive effects on your mental health.

5. It isn’t  That Important.

Daylight savings time was invented because an eccentric entomologist named George Vernun Hudson wanted more time for his insect collecting hobby.  It came into existence under ridiculous circumstances, and it might as well stay that way; ridiculous things can be good!  Besides that, some cultures don’t even view time as a linear entity.

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I can understand why people argue about daylight savings time though, because I think that the subject of time is a point of contention for people for a reason.  No one really feels as if  they ever have enough time, and humans have not come to a consensus on exactly what happens after each of our time is up.

So, are you a fan of daylight savings time?

A Cultivation of Comments

“I agree, it is a very compelling campaign! I’m glad I found this site actually, because I want to learn more about effective public relations campaigns, and how they work.  We are learning about strategy and tactic at university.  I think that the strategy and tactic here was excellent for this particular campaign.  I will look at other ones and try to figure out their strategy and tactic also! Do you think that companies and organizations are going to continue to use these types of campaigns to avoid making people annoyed at being ‘advertised at’, or are they just too expensive and time consuming? ”

(In response to Craig Knowles article on prexamples.com, April 4, 2015)

“I agree, the PR world is changing quickly, and this is a good summary of the factors involved!! I think that content marketing and social media are hugely important because people no longer want to be advertised at, they want to be engaged with and included in the conversation. The things from this article are exactly what we are learning in class: that storytelling, social media, and writing are so important. Also, measurement is important and has reached a new level of sophistication. I dislike being called a Millennial though. I think that it is divisive to categorize generations too much. ”

(In response to an article from PR Daily entitled 4 Ways PR Pros can Catch up with Social Media Trends, March 23, 2015.)

“I think that you are right about user experience becoming increasingly important, and I am excited to see where user experience takes us in the future. As the old marketing and public relations adage goes, you must know your audience. Reaching people is about empathy because connection and experience are about emotions. Things are now designed to create a symbiotic relationship between the user and the product in such a way that it is seamless.
Another user experience engineer was Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr, an engineer who studied time and motion back in the 1950’s. His story inspired the film Cheaper by the Dozen. Frank and his wife were responsible for the design of the modern kitchen, and they designed it for optimal user experience. Their kitchen design is far more user friendly than other designs, which is why everyone seems to hate galley kitchens.”

(In responce to an article from Fast Company entitled: “A Brief History of User Experience Design”.  March 15th, 2015, Ali Rushdan Tariq)

“Thanks for the interesting history lesson about the evolution of language and writing!  I agree with you, an indent is distracting and old fashioned.   I much prefer the cleaner look of the flush paragraphs because I am a fan of simplicity and clean ascetics.    However, I am ready for a new type face to become ‘in vogue’ as the current popular one is just a bit too stark for me.  Also I dislike the trend of people using dashes instead of semi colons.”

(In response to an article from Pr Daily entitled: “Why don’t Writers Indent Paragraphs Anymore?”  March 3rd, Claire Celsi.)

Learning an Essential Life Skill: Networking!

Pixabay
Pixabay

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go with others.” – African proverb.

“How do I network?” is probably a question that most university students frantically ask themselves, with good reason: Studies show that more positions or promotions are awarded by referral, than by paper or electronic application.  Also, people with a larger network of support from friends and acquaintances are happier.   Networking is a positive thing because it is about relationship and community building.   It will help you learn from others, improve your career, and help you to improve the careers of others.  It can also lead to lasting friendships or positive impacts on the community around you.

So how is it done?  I am not an expert yet, but I definitely am eager to master this skill!  Luckily, emotional intelligence can be learned.   I did some research and found that Lisa Green-Chau explains exactly how networking works in her  TED talk on the subject of networking for students.  According to Lisa, networking is about accessing not only your strong ties, but also your weak ties, which are friends of friends.

Networking can be done by volunteering in your community, going to networking events, or simply conversing widely and getting people excited about your world and ideas.

This confuses me because you wouldn’t think that your sister’s boyfriend’s wedding photographer’s softball teammate would care about helping you advance your career.  However, when you think about it, we all feel good when we can help each other out in some way.

My first, but not last attempt at networking

I’m still not sure exactly how to network, but I gave it a try using LinkedIn and Twitter.  I found that people will respond  to a tweet on twitter if you have something in common with them, such as your field of work or study.  However, after that I didn’t know what to do next to cultivate the relationship further besides pressing the follow button.

I also tried networking on LinkedIn.  I found some users who have a similar educational background as mine, or whom I admire for their work, community involvement, or  achievements.   It is difficult to contact LinkedIn users to ‘pick their brain’ without using InMail which only comes with the premium version of LinkedIn.  Also, I feel a bit unsure about pressing the ‘connect’ button in LinkedIn if I haven’t personally met the person yet because I wonder if that would be perceived as forward, or if it would just be ignored.

Sometimes you feel like giving up when learning a new skill.

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I’m not going to give up on learning how to network because I want to learn from people, share ideas, and build a community around me.  Let me know if you learned things that have worked for you!

3 Essential Life Skills That will Save Your Life one day (not Really)

Some of my favourite things are new ideas and novelty. For the lass blog post of the class, I give you ‘how to do all the things’, and  the art of science of marketing analytics.

Life Skills

How to tie a tie, courtesy of Louis Purple Menswear Moutiques founder Charles Brunold, from Howcast:

How to apply ‘no makeup makeup’ by the fabulous Lisa Eldridge, acclaimed makeup artist:

How to Meditate: body scan meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn:

What About Marketing Analytics ?

If I were the Marketing Director of Lisa Eldridge’s brand and I tweeted the ‘no makeup makeup’ video for her followers, I would want to start by  looking at the data for her twitter account so that I could see how many impressions the tweet got, and how man people physically engaged with it (retweeted, clicked on it, etc).  But this would only be one very small step in a larger, overarching marketing strategy.  Below is my twitter engagement statistics.  You can see the engagement rate. (So far it is low haha)

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If I were I were a marketing personnel managing a an organization associated with meditation or health and wellness, I might want to use Facebook Ads to define my target audience.   Facebook Ads can be used to define your audience in terms of demographics, interests, and behaviours.  Then Facebook can use this data to help you reach your target audience.  According to Facebook, users who are meditation enthusiasts are also in jobs related Personal Care, Health and Medical, and Sales.  The gender data of the target audience is also listed.

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One could also plug in data for potential customers of Lewis Purple Menswear Boutiques to show us information about their target audience.  I typed in ‘business’ as the target audience’s main interest, since business men tend to be tie buyers.  Interestingly, tie buyers use desktops and mobiles as their chosen technology.  Marketers can use this information when designing ads with the user in mind: Ads should look excellent on both mobiles and desktops since this is what the target audience uses to view the ads.

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I’m still learning about how to use social media for marketing. What are your favourite, very best tips and tricks?

Why Beethoven Would Have Been an Excellent Marketer, and Imperfections are Beautiful.

Todd Quakenbush for Unsplash

Who is your audience? This is a tough, but crucial question. 

I noticed that things go though cycles: someone invents the status quo, others uphold and perfect it, then someone dismantles it, and the cycle re-sets. This means that sometimes your audience is going to want more of the status quo, while other times they will want novelty and innovation.  The word ‘innovation’ is a buzzword right now because people are getting bored of the current status quo and are hungry for novelty.  In response to novelty, our brain feeds us dopamine.  We are motivated, at least partially by the pursuit of  novelty.

There are many ways to go about knowing your audience.  Knowing your audience isn’t just about empathy, instinct, and trend watching.  It is also about metrics and measurable results.  If you aren’t going to give them something new (or something they don’t even know that they want yet!) then you have to use metrics and measurement tools to find out how to emulate the status quo.

Genius and innovation personified

Ludwig Van Beethoven was an expert at knowing his audience, literally, and was insanely ahead of his time.  First he upheld the status quo, then he innovated; he expertly created the harmonious, pleasing, and almost formulaic music that defined the Classical Era.  Then he became a major player in the transition from the Classical Era to the Romantic Era when he wrote the Great Fugue.

Listen to Beethoven’s Great Fugue, below.  When it first came out, people thought it was ugly.  Now it has become the status quo; it sounds like contemporary classical music, but was written all those years ago.

I think that this is a form of innovation.  Beethoven chose to release an ‘ugly’ piece of work, knowing that it was different than anything anyone had ever heard, and would be a seen as a glaring eyesore when held up against the backdrop of  his huge body of beautiful work. The Great Fugue was not just a  rebellion against the status quo.   I am not talking about platitudes of innovation and outside of the box thinking. People really connect with the word ‘why’ because it is a metaphysical and existential question, and a testament to the human condition.  Imperfection is beautiful  because people can relate to it, and because perfection is an impediment to innovation or novelty.

Beethoven asked people to witness something different, and maybe even ugly or imperfect,  because he wanted them to ask ‘why’.  When you ask someone to witness something that is purposely different, even at the expense of being ugly, it creates a paradigm shift.  When people talk about creating something innovative, they are talking about selling their audience a novelty and a new perspective, and moving away from the normative ideal.  If your audience is ready for a paradigm shift, then you are giving them what they want.

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we are all in this together” – Brenne Brown on the subject of  vulnerability

People like the question of ‘why’ because it is something that we all ask ourselves; it is something that we are all haunted by and something we all have in common as a culture and a community.  It embodies empathy, transcends time and space, and that is why people will respond when you ask them to think about ‘why’.  ‘Why’ is a great word, isn’t it?

Here are more examples of music that changed the status quo: here, and here,

What are other examples of music that  created cultural paradigm shifts? Let me know in the comments below!  Share a video with me in the comments or tweet one at me, I want to hear!

How do you create a movement? I am too cynical to create a movement. But I can change….if I have to…..I guess.

Movement Marketing

Last Tuesday in class we talked about big ideas and how to implement them.  A movement requires a Big Idea, connected with a WHY statement, a clear message, and an army of advocates. The product or idea itself does not matter, only ideas, emotions, and context. It’s important to pay attention to emerging trends if you want to leverage an idea!  PepsiCo is an example of a company that has used Movement Marketing, seen below in the PepsiMax campaign entitled Unbelievable:

What are some movements that have worked out successfully?  I think that the best movements are human rights movements.  Here are some of my personal favourites:

The Suffragette Movement in Canada

Suffragette movements had been popping up all over industrialized countries for around two hundred years until they finally worked.  Nellie Mclung, who resided in Winnipeg, was a major player in the Canadian Suffragette Movement. Canadian women got the vote in 1919, and were also named persons under the law for the first time.  This movement was successful because the participants were persistent, passionate, and their actions got the attention of the press due to intentional publicity stunts.

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States

March on Washington, 1963

The civil rights Movement cannot be ignored because it is one of the most important movements in the history of human kind.  Though racism still exists, I think the movement was pretty successful.  It worked because there were specific, actionable goals involved, paired with passion in the face of injustice.  Furthermore, the Civil Rights Movement had exceptional, intelligent,  and charismatic leaders who were able to inspire action and shape the movement!

The Keep Calm and Carry on Campaign During WW2 Britain:

During Word War Two, the men and women on the Home Front came together to help with the war effort though various efforts including factory work, recycling, rations, creating Red Cross relief committees, and so on.  Winston Churchill and others brilliantly orchestrated this movement by creating a sense of community, as well as a sense of obligation to one’s country and neighbour. This movement worked because people want to be part of something larger than themselves, and to be part of a group of people with similar beliefs or goals. Also there was a clear enemy; they began with the end in mind.

I have also noticed that some successful movements or campaigns are actionable by encouraging people to engage on Twitter and Instagram using a selfie gimmick.  For example, the #doadalie campaign from last week on twitter, orchestrated by the WAG to promote the Dali exhibit.  I would love to see a movement toward getting people to meditate, but I don’t think it lends itself to Instagram contests or publicity stunts.

Links to some history documentaries on WW2 that aren’t  boring: (The Supersizers Go Wartime bbc,  and Wartime Farm bbc). Also, World War Two in Colour is another documentary series to check out.

I hope to learn more about movements as they are a challenge for me because I don’t always like doing things with an end purpose in mind.  I just like experimenting and seeing what is fun or what works. Have you ever been a part of a successful movement? What made it work? What was your role? let me know in the comments below! Also, the first person who can identify the reference in the post title gets their blog retweeted!