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Wellington Group review

Okay I think I may have gotten the due dates for these blogs switched around.  Our guest speaker and owner of PR firm Wellington Group visited two weeks ago but I was just going by our syllabus.

Anyway… the first confession I have to make is that I already forgot her name.  I could probably look it up but the thing is, I have a hard time with most public speakers who try to be hip with the crowd while slipping Jesus in their spiel.  That’s my personal opinion.  It just comes off as fake but I’m not discrediting her hard work in anyway, just her speaking style.    Rant.

SO.  Besides that, I have to say that I kind of saw my future in her the way she bumped into a million different jobs and hardships before she found her niche and what she was good at.  It made me feel a little better about not knowing what I was going to do.  I don’t think I would follow in her foot steps but I think a lot of people could find inspiration in what it took for her to reach her goals.  I learned the ol’ pull yourself up by your boot straps story but applied to the real world.

FUTURE HEAD

My career path is still largely uncharted but I’m not totally lost so I feel okay.  I haven’t changed my mind about what I need to do to get any job I want (video editing, photoshop, building a digital portfolio, ETCETERA)  But here’s the watered down version of what I want for myself

1.  Become more involved at my Internship at Dog and Pony

2.  Transmission Entertainment Internship in the Spring

3.  GRADUATE

4.  Stop being afraid of what I got and start writing more (extremely important)

5.  Travel for two months

6.  Get a job – I already have a job offer in LA with the only woman I really look up to but NYC is ultimately where I want to be.  Not making any decisions until next year though.

As far as the next six months go, I’m going to do all the fun stuff I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m going to start DJ-ing vinyl with my boyfriend and my friend, FINALLY learn Final Cut Pro and photoshop, get my documentary out on YouTube and submit it at film festivals, and start making a website/blog/portfolio thingy.  I’m going to start styling photo shoots more often too, which I’m really excited about too.  My spring classes are pretty exciting to me too.  I’m taking communication research, women’s issues in globalization, perspectives on atheism and another internship at Transmission.  Things are finally starting to come together the way I want.

PR: Looking Forward to Lindsay Lohan’s Death

I recently discovered something truly shocking I should have suspected about Lindsay Lohan.  It’s no duh that her career has been over since 2006.  Her various jail stints and rehab vacations have made her “unmarketable” and ultimately unwanted.  She has fallen from solidified stardom to… uh… Playboy?  Fodder for TMZ jokes?

A recent book out by gossip columnist Jo Piazza says there’s no going back for Lohan anymore and I’m inclined to agree.

“Since those halcyon days various editors have asked me to pre-write obituaries for the consistently downward spiraling Ms. Lohan, just in case she finally went onto that great nightclub in the sky while I was on vacation or taking a nap. It is always good to be prepared. But five years later Lindsay is the hot mess that keeps on messing and not, I argue in my upcoming book Celebrity Inc., to her brand’s best advantage. At this point yet another glimpse at her prematurely aging breasts paying homage to Marilyn Monroe will not reinvigorate Lindsay’s sagging brand and career. The only thing that will save brand Lohan from total Kristy McNichol-dom is if she truly channels Monroe and actually leaves us for good.”

Harsh?  Yes, but Piazza can back up his crassness in terms of brand consistency.

“Brand consistency is the hallmark of a successful product. When brands act erratically, consumers become confused and wary… In just six years, Lohan had gone from being an asset on a project to being a liability…The dirty secret of Hollywood brand management is that no one is unbankable or uninsurable; there is always money and there are always projects for a celebrity brand that is likable and consistent. Lohan had become unlikable and inconsistent. That’s why no one wanted to work with her.”

Sticking to an image or a personal narrative is the key to successful branding.  “She didn’t follow the bad-girl narrative, a good-girl narrative, or an uplifting redemption narrative. She couldn’t even stick to a lesbian narrative for the better part of a year.”

But is that reason to claim that her death is the only thing that could save her image?  Does her image need “saving”?  Piazza explains:

“Today, her brand value, like Michael Jackson’s, has nowhere to go but up in the afterlife. America loves a train wreck, until the moment they don’t anymore. But what America loves more than a comeback is a martyr-someone who literally loses everything, including their life, because of the excesses inherent in a system that was meant to protect and nurture her.”

I don’t think Piazza believes Lindsay should die.  Indeed, it would be tragic like Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse, but if you follow the money, it’s not hard to see how one can bank on tragedy.

“Executives within the dead celebrity business refer to the high-net-worth deceased as “delebs,” and today these executives preside over an industry that is valued at more than $800 million a year and growing. The attraction of this segment of the celebrity market is obvious: The dead are the easiest clients to manage. Not only do they not meddle in their business affairs, they won’t get caught with their pants down, drunk-driving, or making a racist remark to TMZ. And in an industry where vast sums are made in merchandise licensing and symbiotic partnerships, dead celebrities have just as much earning power as the living and sometimes more.”

Think about it.  Too much money was invest in MJ for his final tour, something had to be capitalized off of his death and the pre-tour film This Is It was the cash cow needed for the dead celeb business.  My stomach hurts now.

Before and After

Although I don’t think I’ll ever be heavily involved in PR, taking the introductory class confirmed my suspicions that the more skills I have under my belt, the more likely I will get a job, and not just a job.  Maybe a job I like?!?!  Crazy to dream of in this economy, but teaching myself photo and video editing skills, social media tools, and how to write well can only help.

I guess the reason I don’t want to actually be a PR pro is because I have a hard time bull shitting.  Not that PR is all about hype and pitches but you do make a living making someone else look good or covering for them when things turn sour.  I’m sure that believing in your company or client helps a great deal in making the job easier and more enjoyable but it seems like you’re not always afforded that luxury.  When you work at a firm, you don’t choose your clients unless you work in-house.  I think everyone should learn how to write a press release or pitch a blogger or journalist but I just don’t think PR is for me. At least not yet.

I’m really enjoying social media because there are all kinds of tools you can use to track feed back and engage with customers and fans.  You also get to do fun stuff like compile mix tapes, plan parties, talk to sponsors and write blogs.  I’m afraid of my own writing but I think I’m always going to have a job where writing is involved and that’s okay.  I’ve always loved it but I’ve always feared it because I want to be as good or better than the people I read.  It’s a life time process though and I’ve finally accepted that fact so I can just write without feeling too much pressure.

Addicted to Podcasts

Not many people know this about me but I am a voracious listener of possibly the nerdiest podcasts known to man.  I subscribe to almost every show on Discovery’s How Stuff Works, most especially to Stuff You Should Know.  Self-proclaimed squares inform my inquisitive brain on how Einstein’s brain worked, how near-death experiences work, and how teleportations would work.  They also make the world a little bit brighter by explaining how micro-lending works and set up an account with Kiva where you can make a small loan as little as 25 dollars and you’re guaranteed to get it back.  The loans are sent to entrepreneurs in third world countries to start their own businesses.

It’s interesting how most of the talk radio shows have been and are still dying out.  It used to that just about anyone could have a talk show but as the airwaves phase out, it is increasingly becoming monopolized.  Podcast are a great way to keep the American show alive.  What’s more, it’s not just localized.  You can download or stream them from anywhere on almost any device.  They usually have their Facebook pages, blogs and video podcasts, which makes them all the more powerful.

I would like to know more about “How Podcasts Work” but I’d also like to learn about all the other things that make it successful like blogs and videos that keep people engaged in what they’re talking about.  I hope podcasts stick around for a while, I can’t imagine going to sleep without listening to how UFOs work as I fall asleep.

Occupy The Kardashians

Kim getting ready to divorce on Halloween. Aptly dressed.

Today should mark the day for all opposed to gay marriage and exorbitant weddings.  72 days after exchanging vows, Kim Kardashian is filing for divorce from Kris Humphries, citing “irreconcilable differences”.  If Kim really earned 18 million dollars through selling the rights to her wedding through various media partnerships and then her hourly pay rate boils down to 10,358 dollars an hour from the day she wed Humphries to the day she divorced him, according to New York Times Don Van Natta Jr.  The cost of the wedding is estimated at 10 million for jewelry, three custom Vera Wang dresses and arrangements, not including hair, makeup and butt primping.  This prices the marriage at $138,888 for every day until today.  Her princess head piece cost 2.5 million alone.  Developing nations wish their GDP was that high.

If Kim tries to cry on any post-divorce interviews I will personally start an Occupy Kim Kardashian movement.  This is ridiculous.  I know I’ve hated on Kim Kardashian before but if she’s allowed to be wasteful and lascivious for little more than two months of holy matrimony then we ought to take a second look on who is “allowed” to get married.  Oh, she went to Africa and video blogged about it for two minutes?  Big whoop.  Any celebrity obligated to do charity work can buy a plane ticket and talk to poor black kids.

But it’s whatevs.  I suppose there are worse ways to insult marriage and poor people.

DLVRIT YA

Credit for this recommendation goes out to Andrea Michnik.  When I got my social media internship at Dog and Pony, I asked her if she knew of anything that would allow me to post content from Pinterest onto our Facebook page.  You can easily do this with a FB profile but for some reason the FB pages are tricky… probably because Pinterest wants to make sure that an actual human is posting to an actual human’s FB profile.

DLVRIT.com was the answer I was looking for.  It took me a minute to figure how it worked but it turned out to be even better than I expected.  You can streamline your blog, twitter, and pinterest rss posts directly onto your facebook page or twitter using the dlvrit feed.  What’s more, you can track all your activity and feedback on the dlvrit dashboard.  The dashboard shows activity from all over the world, what percentage of feedback your posts have over 24 hour to 7 day to monthly periods.  I found it totally helpful in and easy to use for boutique social media.

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