Tuesday, April 3, 2018

High-Quality Videos On A Low Budget

Creating high-quality videos is much cheaper than you would think. It's also critical for anyone in the field of public relations, marketing, social media, or any form of digital communications. We all know video is king on social media and most other mediums, but finding the right equipment on a budget can be difficult. In addition to the video of our little low-budget studio below, you can create these videos in the field and on the road. This makes for very engaging content that your audience will appreciate. Below is a list of all the equipment from Amazon, and here is a link to another blog for tips on how to use iMovie to create these high-quality videos. For my latest podcast episodes click here.

Studio Equipment Links from Amazon:

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fergie National Anthem Apology A Brilliant PR Move

Fergie’s national anthem apologize was brilliant from a public relations standpoint. Fergie shifted the negative narrative after her rendition of the national anthem went viral on social media. 

"I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA. I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best," Fergie first told TMZ. 

PODCAST - Hit play and listen 🎤

The former Black Eyed Peas singer who is from Southern California did several things correct in her apology.  

  • She apologized
  • Offered an explanation
  • Gave no excuses
  • Was humble and vulberable 

Great job by Fergie on the apology, and on second listen, I didn’t think her rendition was that bad… 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Podcast & Video: Giroptic 360 Smartphone Video Camera Review & Virtual Reality

Review and interview about the Giroptic 360 smartphone video camera. I talk with Arcadia Unified Chief Technology Officer Scott Bramley about the camera, and our first impressions after testing it out. What we like, and where it could improve. Overall, a definite 👍🏻. The video we shot is also below.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Podcast: How to Communicate Missing Students in Your School District

Five Crisis Communications steps to take when your school district has a missing student. 
1. Contact the family 
2. Work directly with law enforcement 
3. Stick to the facts 
4. Constant communication with school site 
5. Be sure to follow up
Full details via podcast. Play below. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Podcast: Why Facebook is the Safest and Best Social Media for Schools, Plus Page Tips

Gave my first podcast a go🎙. Talking safety features of Facebook for schools and organizations. Our philosophy of deleting comments and some other tips and techniques for Facebook page users. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Why the NFL Has Gone Insane and its Protests Horribly Wrong: From a PR Perspective

The National Football League has gone insane. Many NFL players and coaches keep doing the same thing over and over again, and for some reason are expecting a different result.  

From a public relations perspective, the NFL protests have been very poorly executed. Bad idea after bad idea. I’m not speaking from a social justice, civil rights, conversation starter, or political perspective, just from a PR and communications lens.
The problem with many of these NFL protests, which former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he took a knee last year during the national anthem, is that their message is far from clear, and it’s being delivered in a highly emotional environment. Way too emotional. How many times have Kaepernick and others had to explain that they are not anti-American, are not intending to disrespect the national anthem, are not turning their backs on the American flag? Too many. If you keep having to explain your intent, the messaging is not clear, and therefore, from a communications and PR perspective, many of these protests have gone horribly wrong. They have insulted, offended, and angered many. Not exactly the goals of your typical public relations outreach campaign.  

These protests had more fuel added to their fire last weekend after President Trump responded to them by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired!” That response was not received well by many in the sports world and beyond, and the protests raged on. More protests this week, more protesters being booed, being misunderstood, and trying to explain what they actually meant.

The Dallas Cowboys seemingly had the most well thought out and executed demonstration under the bright lights of Monday Night Football on ESPN last week, and still, the team was booed in Glendale, Arizona, and the masses did not understand the team’s message. The Cowboys linked arms BEFORE the national anthem and then rose in unison for it, not wanting to disrespect the American flag. Yet this message once again got lost. People instantly sent out their angry tweets and posted their negative reactions on social media. President Trump included, who also seemed to be confused as witnessed by his contradictory tweets.
Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett explained in detail last week, and very well, just how much planning went into their demonstration, “A series of discussions we had, individually, a series of meetings we had (with) coaches and players, players among themselves, leadership council with players, leadership council with coach(s). Everybody you know talking together, working it through sharing some of their thoughts about what we thought the best thing to do was. We had discussion with ownership, and the objectives as much as anything else were to somehow someway to demonstrate unity and demonstrate equality, and do so without any way involving the American flag and the national anthem...It took a lot of conversation to figure out how to do that.”  

@sheisfromBoston tweeted, “Can you smell that Cowboys? That's the smell of thousands of fans burning their Jerseys and season tickets in protest of your ignorance~”

Garrett went on to say that the conversation started Saturday after practice and went until 15 or 20 minutes before the ballgame on Monday night. Even with all that went into coordinating this demonstration, it was misunderstood.

As ESPN SportsCenter Anchor Scott Van Pelt said on his show, “Does anyone listen? They talked for days as a team to figure out how they could show their support and then not be disrespectful to the flag, and that’s what they did. But if this is something that upsets you, you are just going to be mad, and no conversation can take place if that’s all there is. It just can’t happen.”

He’s right. The problem is you can’t talk to someone who doesn’t want to listen, no matter how logical you are. If people are furious, they will only see and hear what they want to. Mouths are open while ears and minds are closed.
With the many protests and demonstrations on NFL fields, none was better received and applauded than Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva last Sunday. The former Army Ranger who served several tours in Afghanistan stood alone with his hand over his heart during the national anthem just outside the team’s tunnel while the rest of his team stayed in the locker room. Social media loved his stance. In fact, his jersey was one of the hottest items selling online afterward. A marketing feat reserved typically for high paid quarterbacks or skill position players, not obscure offensive lineman. Yet, once again there was a need for a press conference complete with a lengthy explanation of what went horribly wrong. Villanueva took to the podium to apologize to his coach and teammates and explain why he was embarrassed about what transpired. While every team, including his, was trying to demonstrate unity and togetherness, there Villanueva stood, alone, without his team, despite extensive planning into what the team as a whole would do together. You can read his entire transcript here courtesy of ESPN, and it’s easy to understand what happened and why he felt terrible afterward despite his praise via social media and the team’s plan. But yet again, great intent for change and whatever the message may have been, goes misunderstood and causes more questions than answers and more problems than solutions.

An effective public relations strategy doesn’t continually get misinterpreted and constantly anger thousands of people, and this is what many are having trouble comprehending and where all sides are becoming polarized. Stop trying to tell people how they should feel about your protest and how they should interpret it and that they are wrong. Talking to a wall would be more effective. If you really want to make an effective statement, stop trying to do it before NFL games where many are assuming you are taking a stance against their country, their police, their military, and their loved ones who may have fought and died for this country. It’s way too emotional of a setting to try and create meaningful conversation. Such conversations can’t and don’t happen when people are livid. Great communications cannot overcome poor process. These protests before games, with old glory waving in the wind nearby and “bombs bursting in air” soon to be heard, are not the time or place, unless that is your specific intent. Square peg, round hole, no matter how well your intentions to change the world are. And I do think the intentions of all these athletes who are trying to make a point in an effort to create change are admirable and important.

However, if your message is unclear, don’t expect people to understand what you are saying. If people don’t want to listen, you can’t force them to. If your communication is going to anger people, realize it’s nearly impossible for them to try and rationalize when emotions are running at historic levels.

Here’s my 5-step recommendation for what NFL organizations, other teams, and players should do before their next demonstration:

  1. Explain what you are going to do and why BEFORE you do it. NOT AFTER. This will help navigate the story and help people understand what you are doing and (more importantly in these cases) what you are not doing.
  2. Keep it away from the flag and national anthem. This backdrop stirs too many emotions and causes message misinterpretation, unless that’s exactly what you are protesting. And if that is your intent, remember all that is associated with it before you do. Perception is reality.  
  3. Execute your plan as you said you were going to. Do not do what the Steelers did.
  4. After the demonstration, reiterate step one. Tell them again what you did and why.
  5. Make sure everyone executing the message knows what they are protesting. Garrett only talked about equality and unity, yet his players, specifically Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott, made it clear it was a protest against President Trump. If you ask three different people in the same organization what their message was, you should get three identical answers. This is not happening.  

The art and science of public relations is why so many Fortune 500 companies and organizations spend millions of dollars each year trying to get it right. Public relations help shape perception, your brand, your image, and your character, all of which translates to more money than most can comprehend. More importantly, it helps create a positive definition of who you are as a company or who you are as a person. You can’t afford to get it wrong.