On Sunday, I had the pleasure of participating in the Correspondents’ Roundtable segment on XtarTalk with Paula Goddard in Washington, DC. The correspondents shared their insight on Education (Jake Scott), Health and Wellness (Rona Oka), Law (Aderson B. Francois, Esq.), and Media and Public Relations (me!).
I focused on Media and Public Relations in three specific areas: Corporate, Community, and Careers. Citing the lows (#EpicFails) and the positive use of media (#PRPraise), I talked about a range of issues that have had recent important media implications:
The continuing saga of data breaches in the country has been a PR nightmare for companies that strive to gain consumer confidence, including Target and Neiman Marcus retail stores. With so many choices that shoppers have, companies cannot afford to lose customers due to a lack of oversight, protection of private information and carelessness.
Oreo is launching two new flavors: Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Crispy. Their big commercial debuts during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2, 2014. Cookie lovers will have an opportunity to chime in on their favorite flavor.
People in the metropolitan Washington, DC area are still in shock over the senseless shooting at the Columbia Mall in Columbia, MD on Saturday, January 25, 2014. While the incident itself is a low point, I emphasized how the Howard County, MD Police Department effectively and sensitively used social media to keep the public abreast of details, allay fear, and present accurate information as the official repository of information related to the unfortunate event.
On Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, a brazen robber burglarized Eric Peterson’s home. The culprit took electronics, including several iPads. The most valuable possession stolen, however, was Margo the beloved cockapoo. A comprehensive social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, community outrage, and a determined dog owner resulted in the DC police capture of the criminal (held in custody for seven burglaries) and Margo’s rescue.
Last December, former New York PR executive, Justine Sacco, outraged the Twitterverse when she commented about a pending trip to Africa by tweeting “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS.” She lost her job and infuriated countless people by the insensitive and unnecessary remark.
While people are entitled to their opinions (and idiocy), there’s something plain wrong about posting such a comment under the guise of your personal social media page, which includes your employer’s information. Sacco’s lack of judgment placed an unfair spotlight on her former employer, IAC, who reaped (at least for a short time) negative publicity for her actions.
The smart, engaging, and relevant use of media and public relations to bolster one’s career is always a good move. Whether creating or writing for a blog that spotlights your industry, scoring interviews with noted professionals, or updating your resume to include media coverage you have received, public relations is not just for companies anymore.
Job seekers who utilize social media, including LinkedIn, to showcase skills and network with potential employers is a proactive approach that can generate results and career change.
What #EpicFail or #PRPraise would you add to the list? Leave your comment below.
About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling
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