Wednesday, May 18, 2011

P.R...What does that even mean?

What is "public relations"? Colloquially, it has become a discipline with an ambiguous job description that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. "If you ask ten random people what PR is, there will be 10 very different answers" (see here). Contrary to colloquialism, however, it is a very definite area of marketing. 

While—especially in this age of ever-changing forms of communication—PR is a somewhat open ended area of marketing, a basic definition of public relations is to "shape and maintain the image of a company, organization or individual in the eyes of the client's various 'public.' What is a 'public' exactly? A public, in PR terms, is anyone who ever has, or ever will, form an opinion about the client (more). Essentially: a public relations agency is there to present their client in the best light to their audience.

As a publicist, being tasked with making someone look good (despite a positive or negative situation) is no easy assignment—especially because PR is not pay-for-play advertising... a publicist instead focuses on gaining FREE publicity for their client. How? By drafting professional press releases and relevant pitches, a publicist is creating a compelling story for potential newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations. It is imperative for a publicist to not only communicate why their clients’ goods, services, and/or personal history is important—but, most importantly, to understand the mind of an editor. Thus, some of the best publicists are those who have served time as editors. 

A professional publicist or PR agency will also create media and press kits, along with look-books—crucial packages that must be written and designed with knowledge of what the press wants (and needs) to know. In sum, these kits "contains everything the journalist needs to understand who the client is and what the client does.” (more). 

Defining “public relations” is no easy task, but even harder for companies is determining what makes a great publicist. Think about it. You are entrusting your company, your welfare and business' image to another person or agency. A publicist must believe in what they are doing, who they are promoting and what is being asked of them from a client… but being a great publicist runs even deeper than that. A great publicist can "create opportunities for publicity from thin air...invent a story that the news media will eat up" (more). How do they do this? By keeping a pitch light, positive and relevant. 

Finally, when considering a PR agency or publicist, make sure they follow these 10 PR commandments:
  • All press is not good press: the easiest way to avoid bad press is to separate private and public life.   
  • Perception is reality: the first images the public sees are extremely powerful.   
  • Create a brand: What are your brands attributes? Who is your target audience? How loyal are they?   
  • The truth seeks its own level: there are no secrets, the truth is out there, don’t hide from it.   
  • Energize a base: define an audience and communicate effectively with it.  
  • The media will not wait for you: play offense not defense; do not wait for the media to come to you—pitch away! 
  • There is no wall between public and private: attend events because of the press line. Say good-bye to intimate parties. 
  • The medium is still the message: remember who you’re talking to and who their audience is.   
  • You can go home again: comebacks exist; the public loves someone who keeps on trying so don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work out the first time.   
  • They are only building you up to knock you down: Live your life like someone’s watching, because they are.
Remember: PR is a dynamic and ever-changing industry. With the constant creation of new and improved social media sites and broadcasting platforms, it is both easier and harder than ever to promote a company or deliver a story. Choosing the right medium is important and delivering the right angle on a story is necessary. 
When you hire a publicist, ask questions; among them:
Do they have contacts and credibility?
Have they generated successful campaigns in the past? 
Will they treat you as a person, not as just a giant enterprise? 

Is their approach custom to what you crave or do they follow the same approach for all of their clients? 
While P.T. Barnum said, "all publicity is good publicity" we must disagree...all publicity is good publicity only if you have a good publicist.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fashion Forecast: Earthy, Swingy, Delicate

What's BIG this Holiday season? Fashion editors, bloggers and designers have been focusing on all things tassels, stone, and lace. From fine to fashion jewelry, these trends can be seen everywhere from fashion editorials to the catwalks of Paris and New York.
Stones and bones which are polished and cut are one of the most anticipated trends of the Holiday season. Why so popular? From the palest canary yellows to the deepest ocean blues, stones offer a natural and relaxed vibe to any outfit. Additionally, stones connect one to nature--minimally processed, shaped by the elements, rough and asymmetrical. Perfect for a Holiday romp to the rocky beaches of St. Kits or the concrete jungle of New York City.

Lace...delicate, intricate, lady-like, elegant. What comes to mind--wedding gowns, dowdy Grandma-esque "schmatas," the Victorian era? Not anymore. The lace trend can be seen in many different capacities this holiday season. There are feather-light fabric earrings as well as intricately patterned and metal detailed necklaces and bracelets. The trend represents a type of sophistication that is easy to wear and able to make a statement.

Whether they are swinging, dangling, or jangling, tassels are making a major appearance. With all trends pointing towards an antique and aged aesthetic it is no wonder that fringe forms are predicted to be the biggest trend of all this season. No longer the oldest form of Western adornment, the tassel is the easiest thing to throw on to get noticed. Reflecting light in metal forms, and creating tons of swish-swish movement, tassels are the perfect piece to invest in.

So there you have it--predictions about the trendiest Holiday looks, straight from the horses Miamore Communications' mouth. Which of these looks will you be trying out this Holiday?

(Images: 1, 2, 3)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Social Media's Influence on High Society: The Royal Wedding

On April 29, 2011 the world witnessed history; a royal wedding between Prince William of England and his "commoner" bride, Kate Middleton. It is no mystery why this wedding is the topic of every conversation from the grocery aisles of a quite suburb in Oklahoma to the over flooded streets by Westminster Abbey, a real fairytale took place! What else is magical about this union? From a branding standpoint the wedding created a ton of coverage for various mediums. As speculated by PR specialists everywhere, "The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the latest big global event which media companies are falling over themselves to cover with new digital products" (article here).

First off a article stated that news stories regarding the wedding (according to were up to 7 million searches/day. Additionally, blog posts "more than doubled from 46.7 million on April 5 to 102.9 million." What else? Tweets about the wedding quadrupled, about 5,000/hour over the last week.

Live coverage of the wedding was viewable from the BBC website. However, on the wedding day the news channel reported a glitch-- too many people were trying to access the site and "Visitors were intermittently greeted with an error message saying the website was experiencing 'abnormal traffic' around the climax of the ceremony after 11am." Abnormally high numbers of attention to the Royal wedding is commonplace, in 1981 the "wedding of the century" between Prince Charles and Lady Diana attracted an estimated global television audience of over 750 million people--the most popular program to ever broadcast. Despite this impressive statistic, the 2011 nuptials had nearly 2 BILLION viewers according to a recent article on

The entire wedding was so covered by social media (SM) that it is as if SM was an invited guest to Buckingham Palace. The modern couple chose to share their wedding with the a very modern way. First off there was a royal wedding website which informed guests and the pubic about every event that was to take place pre and post wedding. Additionally, there was an official royal You Tube channel that was expected to get over 400 million hits. If you didn't want to watch the live stream and preferred reading updates, there were official Twitter and Flickr accounts dedicated to documenting and covering the entire occasion. What if you had the urge to buy the handsome couple a gift? Social media made it easy to do that as well. With a royal wedding registry, guests could donate to multiple charities in the names of Kate and William themselves.
Social media covered almost every aspect of the royal affair--from details about the cake (made by Fiona Cairns Ltd of Leicestershire), to Kate's hairstylist (the talented Mr. Richard Ward), nothing was kept secret. Additionally, since guests were allowed to use social media while at the wedding, sites like Twitter updated the world about Lady Catherine's second wedding dress, also created by Sarah Burton, before the official pictures were even leaked says Forbes Magazine.

The royal wedding set world breaking records in the realm of social media. Besides tweeting, facebooking, blogging and posting about the event, individuals could download phone applications which connected them to videos, games, news stories, photos, etc. There was no shortage in coverage of the royal wedding; apparently intimate gatherings are no longer personal affairs in this day and age.