Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Neutrogena: A Brand To Love

Today's guest blogger from NYU grad school is Ekaette Edet, a PR professional entwined in the world of high fashion.

Neutrogena is one of my favorite brands not solely because of their remarkable products but because of how they connect with their audience. Neutrogena’s Pink Grapefruit Oil Free Acne Wash line is promoted on television, on-line and in print as a way to engage the brand’s target — young women between the ages of 16-25 who want to fight acne caused by stress. The campaign promotes the pink grapefruit line, which includes body wash, cleansing wipes, facial cleanser, foaming scrub and a cream cleanser.

This campaign is a fully interactive brand experience. Neutrogena has implemented a huge media push online using Facebook and YouTube to connect and engage with young women where they tend to live online. TV ads of the pink grapefruit line air during primetime in programming geared toward the target audience including Pretty Little Liars, Switched At Birth and Teen Wolf. Magazine ads appear in Glamour, Seventeen, and Allure which also attract the right readers. 

The creative is great, too. Neutrogena’s campaign for the pink grapefruit line features young female celebrities within the age range of their target audience as brand ambassadors. These include Hayden Panettiere, Vannessa Hudgens, Emma Roberts and Bella Thorne.

These celebrities are shown using the line’s products across all media vehicles. They are role models for the young women who idolize them and see them doing what they do and using the products they use. Having celebrities as the face of this campaign reaches a large audience because of the huge following within the target demographic.

Neutrogena’s campaign is fully integrated. It utilizes dominant media vehicles coupled with celebrity endorsements to promote products and connect with young women — ultimately leading to brand awareness and success of the pink grapefruit line.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

War Theory Behind Tim Cook’s Coming Out

Today's guest blogger from my NYU class is Pingchuan Ma, who finds ancient strategy behind a well managed modern announcement. 

Recently Tim Cook came out as gay. The social responses were generally supportive. “Thank you Tim for showing what it means to be a real, courageous and authentic leader,” wrote Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg as he shared Cook’s essay with his Facebook followers.

In SUN BIN’s Art of War, an ancient Chinese work on military strategies, there are three essential conditions to win a war—favorable timing, geographical advantage and popular support. The success of Tim Cook’s disclosure demonstrates this theory.

Timing: In the light of Apple’s recent launches, Mr. Cook has managed to walk out from the shadow of former CEO Steve Jobs. Now is a favorable time to come out without annoying investors. At least, it is a safe play with low risk. 

Geographical Advantage: California is one of the most socially liberal parts of the country. Every year in San Francisco’s gay pride parade, major tech companies field large contingents with some top industry leaders, including Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Cook, personally leading their companies’ marchers.

Popular Support: Before his public statement, it has been an open secrete around Apple that Mr. Cook is gay. “Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me,“ Mr. Cook wrote. He already had good reason to anticipate gaining popular support.

From ancient strategy to modern public relations, Mr. Cook’s speaking up may shed light on the gloomy and muddy field of issue management.

Ping describes herself as a trilingual PR professional, a hidden wanderer from China, who is now exploring the jungle of New York City.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It Will Happen

Our guest blogger is Dalia Dakkak who, in her guest post, mixes equal parts of optimism with realism... 
It’s that time of the year again.

I’m talking about that time when you realize there’s only one semester of school left, and you have to figure out what your next step is.

Am I going to work? Or take some time off, go home to mom and dad and be pampered until I get bored out of my mind?

Well of course I’m going to work, that’s how my dad raised me. “You have to keep moving toward your next goal,” he used to say. “You can’t just sit and do nothing.”

So I sit on this fluffy couch every day, lazy but determined, and I apply for jobs. Resume is polished; LinkedIn profile is updated; morale is high.

And now we wait.

And that’s when they start pouring in. The rejections, that is. You get them almost once a day, twice sometimes. But you keep a brave front, you shrug it off and keep hoping.

And just when I’m about to lose all faith in humanity, I remember the day I got my first internship. And the one after that. Oh, and the one after that.

It is possible. It will happen. So I go back to my fluffy couch, lazy but a little more determined this time, and I apply for more jobs. It will happen.

"Dalia explains that she is "an aspiring PR whiz born in Paris, raised in Beirut, living in NYC, and wondering where she'll end up next."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spreading Happiness – A Full Time Job?

Today's guest blogger is Mirja Neumann, who explores the trending new role of happiness officer.

Higher, faster, further. Success is the way to happiness – or so we thought. Today’s psychologists know better: Happiness triggers success, not the other way around. And recent studies prove them right. When we think positively our brain creates a so-called happiness advantage. Performance improves, making us more intelligent, creative and energetic.
     Countless organizations started using this new insight for their employer branding. They do whatever it takes to make their employees happy. Because happy employees produce better work. And better work brings in more profits.
     Some start-ups have taken this approach to the next step. Despite offering their employees flexible working schedules, free food, nap rooms, yoga classes and employee socials they dedicate a full-time position to employee happiness: The Feelgood Manager. The coolest job ever? Probably. Among the tasks of the Feelgood Manager is the newbie orientation, feedback tracking, organizing employee events and basically creating an overall enjoyable work experience. 
      For us – the generation of work-life-balance advocates – this new hype of integrating happiness into the corporate culture comes in handy. But is it really going to prevail? Will the concept of employee happiness be ingrained in the very core of these companies or is it just a short-term tactic to attract new talent? Won’t the employees’ happiness be the first victim of cutbacks in the next recession?

For more on happiness, watch this TED Talk by psychologist Shawn Achor:

Mirja is a German import to the English speaking world. She sees herself as "a traveler at heart and communicator in mind," which led her to study Public Relations and Corporate Communication at NYU.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Facebook Safety Check: trade privacy for safety?

Our guest blogger — Huang Xiaoling, known as Joyce to NYU colleagues — is a photographer, foodie and traveler from China, who used to be a journalist and is now studying PR at NYU.

Would you trade privacy for safety?
et's hear what Joyce has to say: 

Probably because of the real-time nature of social media, many people have a love/hate relationship with it.

As a self-proclaimed social media addict, I also feel annoyed that my every online move leaves cyber footprints. And I still remember how the class had a heated discussion on Facebook’s privacy policy when studying communication ethics & law.

But last month, Facebook launched a new tool that made me rethink social media.

It’s called Safety Check. The tool automatically activates in a disaster or crisis. It will determine your location by looking at the city listed in your profile, the city where you connect to the Internet, the last location of your post, etc.

If your location is in affected area, you’ll receive a Facebook push notification asking if you’re safe.

If Facebook got your location wrong, you can acknowledge it by clicking “I am not in the area.” If you’re safe, you can select “I’m Safe.” A status update will be posted to your timeline. All your Facebook friends will receive a notification announcing your safety.

You might notice that Safety Check is still collecting personal data. But as natural disasters happen all too frequently; as 864 million people around the world use Facebook every day, and as you are never more than three feet from your mobile device… I believe you can understand how much comfort it can provide to those friends and families anxious for a safety check” on their loved ones during a disaster.

You can’t deny that, it’s at least a socially responsible initiative by a social media company.
The only problem is… will you be willing to trade a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security this time?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Secrets of Brand Longevity

Calling all brand managers! Guest blogger Yiran Liu has some advice for you. Listen up...

Why do some brands survive for generations? Why do others wind up on the extinction list?

Among the 100-year old brands are Coca-Cola and J & J. These brands are charismatic and long lasting. What keeps them alive and at the top of their industries?

The secret to brand longevity lies in these five qualities:
1.     Consistency: having the same taste, aroma, and comfort — every time — keeps consumers from deviating towards other brands. To live long as a brand, give people what they expect.

2.     Adaptability: things change! Brands that survive modify packaging, price and performance. Whatever it takes to stay in the game.

3.     Availability: brands must move to where their customers are — in new distribution channels, new geographies.

4.     Memorability: the products and services of surviving brands solve problems well, are easy to use and easy to remember.

5.     Connectivity: long lasting brands develop emotional connections with people, which ultimately lead to better brand recall and more legions of brand ambassadors.

As we grow in years, some brands will stay with us, while others disappear, and certain brands might even outlive us. Only brands that adapt to changing times can meet the challenge of time and pass the test of longevity.

Yiran Liu describes herself as "a Chinese girl with an exhausted passport living in New York City." She majors in Public Relation and Corporate Communication at NYU and is determined to work in this industry for the rest of her life.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Times Square: Being Part of it

Our guest blogger tonight is Canan Gonensin — who sees herself as "a NYU grad student from Turkey, but born to be a New Yorker." 

I always knew that to blend in and get along with New Yorkers, I needed to hate Times Square. Everyone I ever met hates it. Why would you like it? It’s crowded, commercial, noisy, smelly, harshly lit — a waste of electricity — and packed with ecstatic tourists.

But I am different… I love Times Square which is why, whenever I return from a trip, I always ask the cab driver to take me to the heart of New York’s madness. Drivers never like this request… They frown but then see my wide-eyed enthusiasm and give up.

To me Times Square is so alive with so much energy. It pulses with the excitement of tourists. It is where the famous Broadway Musicals take place, where all the cliché, cheesy Hollywood Restaurants are located — the ones you have to wait hours in line for. It’s where you can see all your favorite childhood heroes, like Elmo and Scooby-Doo. It’s exactly like being in a movie. 

Most importantly: It’s the only place you can see Spider-Man.

I am one of those who love to escape reality from time to time and let a moment or a place suck me into its energy. Yes, Times Square has every single negative factor you can imagine, but it’s also the best place in the world for me to feel the happiness and excitement of everyone around me. There is so much powerful positive energy coming together in one spot.  

Being in Times Square lets me live that feeling of waking up in this amazing city with millions of others who are just as excited to be here.  

It’s all about being a part of it; part of the people and, for me, part of this city that makes everything feel right.