RELEVANCY.

“A leader’s goal is to remain relevant even when time changes.”
Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders’ Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts

So, you’ve gained a following for your personal or company brand… now you have to keep it. Face it: trends are constantly changing, and it’s your job to keep up with the change. Here are your tips to staying relevant!

  • Post interesting content…and a lot of it
    Followers want to follow! They want to feel apart of your life. Every event, interview, gig or even a different hairstyle, post about it to include your audience in your day to day life. Keep your posts engaging, charismatic, true to character and intriguing.
  • Deepen your connection
    Stay connected with your audience and dive a little deeper. Whether it is direct or indirect, communicate with your audience with a comment or like back. Make them feel valued to keep them following.
  • Be Influential
    Keep up with the trending charitable movements, such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or the No Makeup Selfie. Encourage others to get involved and create or engage in the movement. Involve yourself with nonprofits or local charities to give back to the community. It’s great PR and for the community.
  • Keep Learning, keep creating and keep it new!
    It’s okay to ask for a little help. Go to a class and learn a new skill! Whether it’s videography software or a learning how to use an old Go Pro, create content with it to shake things up. Enhance your profile with new content and a theme that fits your Instagram aesthetic.
  • Collaborate with influencers or other Instagram accounts
    Contact social media “influencers” or other accounts with a large following and collaborate with content. This helps both parties gain followers and show new interests.
  • Show gratitude 
    Thank your followers because without them, you wouldn’t be as relevant in the first place.

 

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Picking your Platform to Promote

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Every audience can be targeted on a specified media outlet, or platform. Picking the right channel for media content is vital reaching the intended audience for promotion.

  • Radio: Although millennial refer to it as a dying breed, radio can be a key platform for targeting an older audience. According to a recent study, Radio is the third most powerful medium in the United States, reaching 54 percent of the country’s population daily. In comparison, over 75 percent are reached by television, while social media accounts for 45.7 percent. Online radio is playing an increasing role in the radio market, with an estimated 61 percent of the U.S. population listening to online radio in 2017.
  • Podcasts: Postcasts are on the rise for millennials and older adults, both male and female. They are now offered and promoted on most streaming services like iTunes and Spotify. Instagram celebrities have targeted this up and coming platform to voice their opinions on topics of the generation, such as dating shows, finding love, social media and more. Consumers aged 18-34 are most likely to be monthly podcast listeners. They are also more likely to be those with a higher education.
  • Youtube: This platform is shared public content from the music industry, television shows, actors and actresses, personal vloggers and more. It is accessible on a computer, mobile device and Apple TV. YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S, according to a recent study. On average, 1 billion hours of video is watched per day.
  • Social Media 
    • Facebook: Facebook: According Huffington Post’s The 7 Best Social Media Channels for Business Marketing, “With more than 1.59 billion users, Facebook comprises of the largest blend of demographics of any social platform.” There is no specific age range for users on Facebook, though the audience that follows business or fan pages tend to be young to old adults. With a large demographic, promotional videos and content have the ability to go viral. Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media platform with 79% (68% of all U.S. adults) of internet users, according to Pew Research Center. Studies have shown that Thursdays-Sundays have the highest engagement of Facebook users.
    • Twitter: This outlet allows the ability to help content go viral. The more shares or likes your posts get, the more viewers consume the content of that post. Hashtags add momentum to this tactic. Viewers can simply post a picture or status and hashtag according to the show or premiere they are tuning in to; this can ultimately lead to more consumers. Twitter’s user engagement is highest on Wednesdays. Pew Research Center states, “Twitter is also somewhat more popular among the highly educated: 29% of internet users with college degrees use Twitter, compared with 20% of those with high school degrees or less.” This is a vital statistic when aiming to target young adults.
    • Instagram: This is a large photo and video sharing platform. The audience ranges from young teenagers to individual and corporate businesses. The users with the most activity are teenagers and young adults. 32% of teenagers consider Instagram to be the most important social network. Instagram now has the ability to include several photos or videos in one post, which is useful when trying to avoid too many posts in one day. It is a perfect platform to show off businesses, or personal promotional, work visually.

Building a Personal Brand

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Henry Fonda, self-portrait, 1940s

We’ve now covered the SOS aspects: crisis communications and handling big news. Now let’s rewind and build a brand.

Creating a personal brand, for yourself or for your client, begins with a little imagination. Identify what the core values and strengths are; this will be the foundation of your personal brand. Recognize what makes you unique and what your priorities are. These are authentic aspects of yourself, or your client, that should be kept true. Like I said previously, transparency and honesty is best for a confident reputation.

Distinguish what your target audience is. Who will be most attracted to this image you are portraying and why? What is the age group, gender, nationality or interests for this audience? Once the audience is targeted, you can decide what platforms are best for an online presence. When the brand persona is defined, you can then develop your key messaging through these platforms. This is where the person and the audience connect, so the content must be appropriately chosen. Create a voice for yourself, or your client,  that reflects the brand. For an example, a positive, upbeat girl should keep her posts lighthearted and fun.

From here, deciding what goals you have and what you’re aiming towards is fundamental. Schedule appearances, interviews and gigs should emulate the image.

Lastly, be true and be consistent.

Handling Big News While Maintaining a Brand

 

 

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Just as each company or corporation has a brand, so do individuals in the limelight. Every figure has their own personal brand that was built over a period of time, a representation that might correlate with their reputation or work abilities in the entertainment industry. Whether their image is trendy, edgy and wild or conservative and sweet, the appearance needs to be maintained because that is a part of their brand.

So what if something newsworthy happens in their personal life that could alter that appearance or brand?

From what I’ve learned in school, and from my own personal opinion, honestly and transparency are always key to communicating to the public. In order to do so, the first step is to find and choose the outlet that works best to convey that personal message to the public, one that helps keeps the message pure and constructive. This is where respectable relationships with journalists, entertainment news sources, editors and media companys come in handy. With established relationships, these could be outlets you can trust with your client’s news. Once the outlet is chosen, the message needs to be properly composed in order to display your client in the best possible light.

An example of this is Actor Colton Haynes coming out to the public as gay. Prior to this, Haynes was known as the teen hearthrob many of his roles, including those in Teen Wolf and Arrow. Teenage girls everywhere obsessed over his handsome looks and wholesome image. Haynes kept this image maintained and kept his personal life private from the public. Then in may of last year, he came out publicly during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. In the interview, he balanced the breaking news with news of his recent work and roles. This balance was an extremely smart move from a public relations standpoint because it helped keep the news relaxed rather than amplified,. With his staple message, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been,” fans accepted and celebrated the actor and his bravery. Since then, he has done multiple interviews, is in a public relationship he happily displays on his social media, is an advocate for the community and still maintains his teen heartthrob image.

Big news doesn’t have to alter an image completely. If done in the right way, it might even help improve the brand.

Handling a Crisis.

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Depending on how a crisis is communicated to the public, a company can either be saved or destroyed. This week in an online lecture, my professors in J452 brought up the notion of CSR. CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility, is the relationship that businesses and larger society have when it comes to societal and economic issues, reputation, and responsibility. This idea is important because its shows accountability and transparency with multinational companies, their stakeholders, the community, and internally. Addressing a crisis gains loyalty in all aspects of a company.

In the entertainment industry, a person must brand themselves in all aspects: social media, appearances, interviews, and the roles in which they play. A controversial tweet, a paparazzi shot or even a false magazine story could seriously hurt the reputation of a celebrity. When a crisis ensues, personal public relations takes over to control and preserve the reputation.

A recent example of crisis communication from a well-known corporate company, is a Pepsi Ad featuring model and television personality Kendall Jenner that caused controversy over social media and entertainment news outlets. This commercial showed Jenner quietening a large protest after giving the police a can of Pepsi.  Some said it was appropriating culture and the recent political protests of this year. “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey,” Pepsi said in a statement. Pepsi did not take responsibility, rather they tried to defend their advertisement and fans did not respond well on social media.

A recent example is NeNe Leaks making headlines with a crude comment she voiced at a crowd at her stand-up show in Oakland, California on Oct. 7 of this year. During the show, NeNe stops and shouts to a heckler in the crowd that she hopes she gets raped by her Uber driver on the way home. This caused an uproar over social media about the insensitivity of the rape. After an apology statement was issued on multiple news outlets, Leaks responded on Instagram and said, “A lot of people know me as NeNe who’s laughing and talking, a lot of don’t know me as NeNe who would break down. I actually had a real breakdown.” Though Leaks apologized and admitted, her reputation is still damaged as shown by her dismissal from the show Fashion Police.

Another recent example of crisis communication in the entertainment industry is the massive crisis of Harvey Weinstein and the many sexual assault allegations against him that have come arise lately. Though, with this crisis I believe no communication is enough to save his ruined reputation and repair his shattered ties with The Weinstein Company and Miramax.

Crisis communication can be detrimental to a company or personal brand. Taking social responsibility and being transparent is, in my opinion, the best way to gain sensitivity from viewers and consumers.  Communication is key.

Introductory Post

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I have always been told a positive, respectable reputation will go a long way in life. I believe this is true in every situation, whether personal or professional. I find that the best public relations is filled with established strategies and responsibility mixed with creative ideas and an energetic voice. Reputation can make or break a company.

This past summer, I helped vet a public relations and marketing firm for my family’s music company. I searched for a company that not only represents their clients well, but also themselves. I assisted in choosing the company we would trust with our reputation. I believe having that experience as a student studying public relations is a unique perspective. It taught me valuable lessons in my own work as a professional and showed me what kind of image I want to promote.

I am entertained by the entertainment business. I was that teenage girl trying to peek at my mom’s computer while she browsed Perez Hilton’s gossip blog or sat with her while she watched E! News. The moment I learned of the individuals behind the famous personas, I was fascinated. From the press releases to the crisis managements to the social media posts, every aspect of engaging with the public must be twisted to distinction. The purpose of this blog is to look at the many aspects of entertainment public relations and acknowledge that there truly is a science to achieving an illustrious reputation in the ever-infamous entertainment industry.