By John Kendrick III
Nike’s Kaepernick Campaign
Image via Marketing Land
On Sept. 1, 2016, Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback playing on the San Francisco 49ers, took his first knee in protest against police brutality and social injustice. This silent protest sparked outrage and ignited a movement that would change not only his life, but also affect the stock and stakeholders of some big name corporations. After kneeling, Kaepernick was catapulted into the spotlight, placing his beliefs and protest against police brutality in the black community on a national platform. NFL owners and conservative leaning football fans alike almost immediately showed their discomfort and disapproval of Kaepernick’s silent protest. Shortly after gaining national attention for his protest, Kaepernick was released from the 49ers and seemingly black-listed across the league as no other team wanted to sign him.
To some, Kaepernick’s protest was seen as unpatriotic and disrespectful to veterans. To others it was seen as freedom of speech and a stand against the unjust ways of those who are sworn to uphold the law in America. Either way, Kaepernick started a political uproar that deemed too controversial for the NFL and its owners as they received backlash from fans, partnering organizations, loss in ticket sells and even harsh words and condemnation from the president himself.
Two years later, on Sept. 4, 2018, Nike announced its plans to make Kaepernick the face of their 30th annual “Just Do It” campaign, ultimately igniting a crisis of their own due to their apparent solidarity with a prominent controversial figure such as Kaepernick. Not even 24 hours after the announcement, Nike stakeholders began displaying their thoughts and feelings all over social media. Some posted their disgust for the company and even started a trending hashtag dubbed “#NikeBoycott”. Not long after the hashtag and verbal attacks against the company and Kaepernick, some Nike stakeholders began recording themselves burning all of their Nike gear and posting it online. Others praised Nike for their ad campaign and even scorned people who chose to burn all of their Nike apparel, calling it hypocritical to burn clothes they said the veterans they claimed to respect needed.
Through all of the controversy surrounding the campaign, one thing's for certain: Nike separated itself from all other brands with this risky, but calculated PR/marketing play. Nike knows its audience and knows they will take a temporary hit in sales, but gain so much more in the long run. By backing Kaepernick, Nike has not only aligned themselves with one of their most valuable assets, their athletes, but they have also put the NFL in a corner, being that they are the NFL’s primary gear producer. Nike made a statement with this ad: the NFL may have power, but Nike has the influence.
Skip the Rookie Phase. Become a successful PR professional usingthese three PR tips from PR experts.
By Joe Velasquez
Now that you are in the final stages of graduating or have already graduated college, you finally landed that dream public relations job. Entering the public relations industry can be very challenging for newcomers, especially for recent college graduates. Newly full-time workers tend to act like if it were their first day in college. They are most likely to be silent, often tend to stand around and wait to be directed, and usually observe movements or analyze their surroundings. Overall, these behaviors will not make you a successful PR professional and most importantly, they do not impress the bosses. You are just in luck because I have gathered three PR tips from different PR experts that will not only make you skip the rookie phase but will position you to become successful and an expert in no time. Have a look.
1. Raise your Hand
Scott Farrell, President, Golin. Global Corporate Communications
“You notice that your manager is coming in early and working late several days in a row. You hear that a team in your agency office has a major new business pitch coming up. Or that another team has just landed a huge new account. Finally, a group of colleagues are working feverishly on a crisis assignment for a client. What do you do? Raise your hand! In other words, ask those people what you can do to help. In situations like these, people are usually “heads down” and focusing on the work. One of the last things on their collective minds is looking for the ‘new person’ to lend a hand. But when you raise your hand and offer to help, my experience is that they will find some way for you to get involved. Monitor media coverage. Track social conversations. Conduct desk research. Write a project summary report. Whatever their request, your answer should be, ‘Yes, I’ll take care of that.’ Even if the assignment is a bit daunting, don’t let them see you sweat. Confidently say, ‘Yes,’ and then quickly leave the room and plot out your plan to get the work done. Deliver the work and bask in the praise. And then next time, don’t be surprised when they come looking for you.”
2. Develop a P.R. Crisis Communications Plan for your Clients.
Ken Jacobs, CEO & Creative Director, Group181 a Strategic Marketing and Advertising Agency
“If your client is a high-net worth individual, or they [are] a company with an annual revenue over $20 million, [a Crisis Communications Plan should be] worked up and ready to be deployed at any moment’s notice. Needless to say, you just have to look at the daily news to see we live in a ‘target-rich’ environment on C-Level individuals.”
As you enter into your new position in public relations, you must take this PR tip into consideration. What I personally pictured from this PR tip was that as an entry level worker, you need to be progressive. On your free time, if your PR team and client have already decided on a crisis plan, do not let that stop you from expanding on that plan, because as we all know a crisis can come from different angles. Overall, do not limit yourself to just creating new crises plans. Create new marketing ideas. Pitch stories. Use your education in public relations and implement it into the workplace. Show that you know what is expected and surprise your boss when he or she requests a project that you have already developed.
3. PR is a Challenging Industry. Take Care of Yourself.
Jenny Bertolette, VP of Communications for Meals on Wheels America
“PR pros who’ve been through the ringer of a crisis know how the long days, ringing phones and dinging inbox can take its toll. As much as you do to take care of your brand, you have to take care of yourself too in order to excel in the job.
Remember to eat. When you do, eat the healthiest, most nourishing food you can get your hands on. Drink so much water that you’re forced to get up from your desk a few times. Your brain won’t work if your body is struggling.”
In conclusion, I hope these three PR tips are valuable to you as you enter your new public relations job. You have been guided to express your interest and devotion, to get involved in projects, to show your value by thinking and going outside of the box, and finally, to take care of yourself no differently than the brand or client you represent. These three PR tips are essential to becoming a successful PR professional, so I encourage you to take advantage and use these tips in your new public relations job.
By: Jocelyn Torralba
How consumers shop online is changing, with the evolution of the and the emergence of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing involves well known bloggers, celebrities and public personalities that get paid to promote products all over social media. But the question is, how honest are they ?
Commercial businesses pay influencers to try their products and and post positive things about them. Waist trainers, diet teas, beauty products, vitamins, clothes, etc are just some of the common items influencers promote.
Companies know these influencers have a huge effect on their audience. But do influencers actually care what they advertise? Or are they happy as long as they get their thick check. And do companies care if the celebrities and well known bloggers with a lot of followers actually like their products?
In a recent interview Kim Kardashian West told Ashley Graham that she turned down the opportunity to do a sponsored instagram post for one million dollars with Fashion Nova, a well known clothing brand that does a large amount of sponsored advertising on Instagram.
But Kardashian West has done other sponsored post for other businesses such as Angel Curves where she promotes waist trainers by posting them on Instagram and Snapchat, saying she works out in them and they help her obtain her “hourglass body.” But waist trainers are not recommended due to health risks such as squishing organs, decreasing blood flow, deformation of organs and decreased breathing capacity.
Picture by Angel Curves Waist Trainer
It’s not the first time a Kardashian West has received backlash for a sponsored post. But does Kim care about what she advertises to her audience? Or does she just do it for the money?
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