These blue cowboy boots are ideal for that perfect southern bell!
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Barbie has been a well known doll-icon since the late 1950s when the new Mattel product launched. In her years Barbie has had a numerous amount of debuts of her many, many characters. She’s been featured as the all-American girl, the cowgirl, and the multicultural girl throughout the many years of her existence.
Recently, Barbie’s fans have pushed for her to take on a new identity in support of cancer survivors and sufferers alike. Supporters of the idea started a social media fan page that promoted their newly created idea of Beautiful and Bald Barbie. The page gained more than 100,000 supporters worldwide quickly after the campaign launched.
Mattel seemed unaware of the up and coming new Barbie trend and as a result ignored fans commentary for a solid three months time. Three months in the social media world might as well be a year. Any other company will be quick to tell you that you, as a company, having a strong social media presence is huge. Your followers are everything and they are what ultimately will keep your brand alive.
Because of Mattel’s lack of response to the campaign, another doll making company, Bratz and Moxie Girlz Dolls, picked up on the up and coming trend and chose to act. They launched a new product line of their dolls called “True Hope” that featured two boys and four girls in support of cancer research from the City of Hope. Their line will donate $1 for every doll sold and their debut is set to be seen first at Toys “R” Us’s everywhere.
You snooze you loose, Mattel. While your fans were busy giving you valuable new product information you were too busy not paying attention to your social media platforms to notice.
Consider this a lesson learned. Manufacturers and business’s everywhere should take this as a cautionary warning–if you’re slow to response they’ll be quick to jump on your lack of focus and reap the rewards.
At what point does social media become harmful?
Of all the years to address the rising trends of social media and their many platforms, 2012 is undoubtedly one of the finest. We’ve come a long way since the times of the first computers and are now at a point where it’s easier than ever to stay connected in almost every way possible.
One way in which we do so is through the use of Facebook. Since it’s creation, Facebook has increasingly become easier and more accessible than ever (thanks to the use of smart phones and other hand-helds). Because of this though, must research has been conducted on the extent to which Facebook contributes to eating disorders.
It’s true that because of Facebook’s photo intensive network, individuals are more likely to compare how they look to the friends they follow (especially compared to other social media platforms like Twitter). Having access to all of your friends photos (as well as your own) makes the urge for comparison more prominent than ever. Let’s be honest, how often do you look at a photo of you and you friends and wish your body looked more like theirs? You’ve probably done so on more than one occasion.
Research from Brant at the Center of Eating Disorders suggested that:
“the results of this survey encourage people to really look at how their online behavior affects their outlook, and we caution them against being overly critical of their own bodies or other people’s bodies while on Facebook and other social networking sites.”
Everyone loves vodka. It never fails you, keeps your warm, makes you happy, and can be the reason for you having had such a great night. But when companies try promoting their vodka brands via the use of implicitly harmful advertisements, that’s when fun turns to rage.
Belvedere Vodka company recently published an advertisement promoting their “smooth tasting” vodka that showed a woman being handled by an intoxicated man. The ad’s slogan read as follows: “Unlike some people, Belvedere goes down smoothly.”
The graphic image of a struggling woman being man-handled caused much uproar in the Twitter community. Belvedere Vodka, though timely in their response, offered a half felt apology through one of their tweets that said “We apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent tweet. We continue to be an advocate for safe and responsible drinking.”
When will companies learn? Apologizing on behalf on those who were offended does not dismiss the original wrongful actions. Apologizing for the action in its entirety is the first step that needs to be taken in order to maintain (or rebuild) a company’s reputation.
Later attempts were made by the company’s President, Charles Gibb, who ensured that Belvedere Vodka promotes safe drinking practices and does not condone violent sexual acts. In further attempts to win over his presumably lost publics, Gibbs mentioned his recent donation to RAINN (America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization).
If there’s one thing I learned in Media Relations it’s how to handle your media.
Sara MacIntyre is (or probably now was) the director of communications for British Columbia’s Premier, Christy Clark. In a recent ambush interview conducted by MacIntyre, she demonstrated all of the technique flaws every PR professional is advised against beginning their careers.
The number one rule of media relations is to know your audience. MacIntyre failed to do so and instead chose to focus her attention towards the reporter. Feeling attacked, MacIntyre displayed natural human emotions and decided to (in a sense) fight back at the reporter to defend herself.
As a result of MacIntyre’s faulty interview she attracted mass amounts of negative media attention that has caused an uproar in the British community.
PR professionals should be poised, well spoken, and professional. MacIntyre was the exact opposite.
We’ll see if her delightful camera presence allows her to keep her job as a high-ranking PR pro.
Claire’s fashionable jewelry has been a hot spot for young teens since the ’90s. Young girls across the nation look forward to visiting Claire’s stores and browsing through the hundreds of jewelry options every time they shop at a mall.
Recently, however, Claire’s has been faced with integrity issues when it comes to their products original designs. At a local boutique in England named Tatty Devine, a store representative tweeted at Claire’s expressing their copy write concerns. They posted pictures of their jewelry next to the “replications” of virtually the same designs sold at Claire’s stores in the United States.
The tweet lead to thousands of responses from both companies followers, yet Claire’s was late in responding by two days.
The company didn’t reply to the allegations until two days after the initial post hit Twitter and once they did its consumers were not pleased with their response, suggesting that it was half-hearted and insincere.
We face similar issues to these all the time within our PR profession but when are companies ever going to learn?
Social media was invented for a reason, people–communication! Waiting two days to respond to a tweet (aka one of the fastest receivers of information) is obsurd and Claire’s as a company should be ashamed.
Even if your message is that you’re working on your response, it’s better to say something rather than nothing. You can’t leave the people hanging, especially when there are thousands of potentially angry consumers on the line.
Jeremy Lin has received so much hype for his recent entry into the NBA. Once a Harvard grad student, Lin made major changes when he decided to stick with what he knew best–basketball.
Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont based ice cream company, came up with a flavor in honor of his recent successes called “Taste the Lin-sanity.” Their flavor combination included vanilla ice cream swirled with honey and chunks of fortune cookies.
Sounds delicious, right?
Wrong. Because of the added fortune cookie crunch Ben & Jerry’s received criticisms for their flavor being racist to the new NBA star (because he’s Asian). They were “forced” to switch their fortune cookies to waffles to dull the roar the racist move originally made.
The Ben & Jerry’s team made a public apology to their consumers for the perceived racism brought on by their newest flavor but assured their public’s that their product had the best of intentions.
Was it worth it?
I think Ben & Jerry’s took the right more with their apology, since obviously a handful of their consumers were upset over the new flavor combination, however I do believe that if the ice cream company can come up with flavors like Schweddy Balls and not receive this much criticism that their original taste the Lin-sanity flavor should have been made to stay.