How Pinteresting!

Imagine a world where delectable recipes, cute do-it-yourself crafts, phenomenal fan art, memorable quotes, and life-saving wedding planning tips are organized into neat little boards that are easily accessed and shared among your friends.  Well, this world exists, and it is called Pinterest.

Identified as a “virtual pinboard,” Pinterest is “a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”  Pinterest can connect to the Twitter or Facebook accounts of their users to draw friends from and expand one’s Pinterest community.  In addition to allowing users to peruse the pins their friends have added to their boards, Pinterest provides an easy-to-install “Pin It” button which allows its users to conveniently find pictures or recipes on other sites and, as the button implies, pin it to one of their boards.  Below are a few examples of the fun things to be discovered on this social media site:

ImageImageImage

Naturally, the million dollar question is: How can such a magical place be used for PR?

This B2C website boasts about the consumer interests and the sheer amount of traffic that Pinterest receives.  How can companies harness this power?  Tip #1 from this creative agency is to make sure that your products are “pinnable”.  The easier it is to pin your product, the more likely it is that others will catch on and repin your products.  With the mass amounts of traffic that Pinterest receives, as long as your product gets pinned, it will be sure to receive recognition.

The more creative you can be with your product, the more likely it is that it will catch on.  Pinterest is all about DIY products and cutesy-creative crafts that can be easily replicated.  Can your product be used to brighten up a room?  Display it in a way that will be attractive for pinners.

Personally, I quite enjoy Pinterest.  This may be due to the fact that I am a social media addict, but it truly is a fantastic site.  It certainly doesn’t compare to Facebook or Twitter, but then again, it isn’t supposed to.  It’s a way for people to flex the muscles in their right brain and discover new things.  For example, through Pinterest, I discovered a lovely website that offers a plethora of low-priced boots.  It would not have happened without Pinterest!  I am forever grateful.  Thanks, Pinterest!

“Be Cool, Stick Out, Make a Difference”

On Tuesday, our professor brought in MU alum, PR professional, and inspirational quote machine Molly Currey to speak to our class about public relations outside of the classroom.  Since 1999, Molly has been working at Chicago’s GolinHarris—where she’s done some amazing things.  Molly was the driving force behind the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago and the Elysian along with an impressive litany of successes with her motorsport clients.  Needless to say, she knows what she’s doing.  We learned a great deal from her, but here are some quotes that particularly impacted me:

  • “You never know what will happen the day you walk in the door.”

Molly labeled this nugget of wisdom “the biggest lesson” she’s learned over the years.  I have to be honest, the first thing that came to mind when she said this was the song “Be Prepared” from The Lion King.

Image

Be prepared, indeed. Watch your step, Simba! Uncle Scar’s got it out for you.

But honestly, Molly speaks the truth.  Every time I’ve been interviewed for an internship, the interviewer emphasizes how important it is to be able to adapt to any situation.  I am often told that every day is different.  PR professionals have to be on top of their game.

  • “You can do it all.  Play hard.  Work hard.  Live hard.”

This made me smile.  Some other things you may not know about Molly are that she is a former off-roading world champion and that she is a breast cancer survivor.  She epitomizes the idea of living hard.  Seeing her passion inspired everyone to fight for their goals—both personal and career oriented.

  • “Be cool, stick out, make a difference.”

When discussing how to succeed in the PR industry, Molly put serious emphasis on the importance of being awesome and showcasing your life experiences.  Everyone will have some amount of former experience.  What’s important is the lifestyle experience you’ve had.  Shy and boring are two qualities that cannot be applied to any successful PR person.  Having a unique perspective and interesting life stories imply creativity and an ability to tell spin extravagant tales with ease.  Again, be passionate.

So, to sum it all up:

  1. Expect the unexpected.
  2. Give it everything you got.
  3. Don’t be afraid to showcase your awesomeness.

Thank you, Molly, for sharing your wisdom with a room full of young hopefuls.  What wonderful lessons to live by!

The Latest Trends

Advertising!  Public Relations!  Journalism!  What’s happening in the wonderful world of communications?  Well, this article claims that brand journalism is the current hot topic in marketing communications.  In fact, it’s such a hot topic that the Public Relations Society of America has actually declared it to be one of the top 12 latest trends.

You see, standard advertising is no longer having its desired effect on today’s population.  People are tired of being bombarded with advertisements and harassed by salespeople.  We ignore their suggestions and instead look to someone we can trust to weigh in: friends, family, coworkers, friends of friends.  Really, just about anyone whose salary does not rely on force feeding you a product.  Therefore, companies have been trying to figure out a new angle at which to approach the public with their products.

In an attempt to reach out to the general population on a deeper level, communication professionals have delved into the idea of storytelling.  Everyone loves a story.  Stories reel people in and bring corporations down to a more human-like and relatable level.  It makes former salespeople seem significantly more similar to that friend you trust to give you solid advice.  Suddenly, they aren’t in your face with an obnoxious pitch.  Rather, they are just communicating with you in a meaningful way.

Storytelling is powerful.

Out of storytelling comes brand journalism.  Brand journalism gives your product a story to which people can relate.  Blogs and other social media sites have given companies the power to create a personable persona and cultivate a relationship with their target audience.  Brand journalism is the phoenix that was reborn out of the ashes of old ads and defunct journalism.  And this firebird is taking off.

PR professionals are loving it.  I’m loving it.  Everyone’s loving it.

Stories are magical.  It’s about time that we start using it this way.

Image