Gone are the days when children dreamed of becoming doctors and nurses – today’s children want to become You Tubers and Vloggers

You Tubers. I mean, I would imagine that most would be aware of what a You Tuber is nowadays but incase you have indeed been living under a rock for the last 10 years, here is a quick explanation of what exactly a You Tuber is…

The explanation of a You Tuber tends to split todays society in half as the definition can vary between two. For example:

Sourced by the ever so trustworthy Urban Dictionary…

‘SomeoneWhoMakesDefinitions’ defines a YouTuber as “Someone who uploads You Tube videos, particularly someone who has some what of a fan base. Although it can mean anyone in YouTube, it specifically means someone who makes videos.”  Whilst, ‘AKACroatalin’, defines a You Tuber as “Someone who posts clips or pontificates on You Tube. Usually a brain-dead nonentity with no friends who is idolised by cretinous preteens who have no life.”

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You can make up your own mind.

It may seem surprising that this activity even pays enough to be taken as a full-time job but it is important to understand that the figures vary depending on many different factors.  For most You Tube channels, it can take more than a few years before they start seeing a consistent income through the use of online advertising, sponsored brand posts via Instagram and by earning money through their amount of views per video.

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British beauty and fashion vlogger, Zoe Sugg, better known as Zoella has an estimated net worth of £2.5 Million as of 2019. She first began her channel in 2009 and currently has almost 5 Million subscribers to her main channel.

According to CelebsNow, You Tube vloggers earn approximately ‘£0.0007 per view’ and Zoella’s channels average out to 22 million clicks per month, resulting to monthly earnings of £15,000.  CelebsNow also reported that her written blog Zoella.co.uk makes around £4,000 per month from ads alone, with approximately 7.4 million clicks each month. Zoe & her boyfriend, Alfie Deyes who also happens to be a YouTuber even have their own wax figures in Madame Tussauds, London!

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I have actually seen these in real life and I can confirm, they are just as creepy in real life as they are in this picture.

But where is the downfall with all of this? Why should we be worried about young children aspiring to be You Tubers?

Due to the likes of Zoella and many others, you may find that a large amount of young teens today when asked ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’, they will answer ‘A YouTube Star’.

A recent survey by LEGO & Harris to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing showed that children were three times more likely to want to become a YouTube Star than an astronaut. Only 11% of 8-12 year olds said that they wanted to work for NASA whilst 29% said they wanted to show their life through content online. Five of the top ten earning You Tubers in 2018 were men who filmed themselves playing video games which results in thousands of young boys having a new ambition – playing video games. This is something  that’s widely seen as grim.

“Gone are the days when children dreamed of becoming doctors and nurses – today’s children want to become You Tubers and vloggers,” wrote the Daily Mail in 2017.

And to be honest, I find this is absolutely terrifying! I fully understand that it can be a great outlet for those who flourish when it comes to creativity but we all know how hateful the online world can be and how much of an effect it has on large amount of people’s mental health, especially young people! Some may argue that it’s no different than a child wanting to become a famous athlete, singer or actor but I disagree. People in these jobs can switch off, however, You Tubers & Social Influencers cannot as their life is online.

Children and young teen’s interests no longer lie with getting outside to play with their friends and roll in the mud as quickly as they possibly can, it’s all about getting onto their iPads and iPhones to look up their next You Tube video.

All I can say is that I will forever be thankful that I was born in 1997 and somewhat avoided the deep dark hole of social media at a young age.

 

Laura Magennis is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations Student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn at  linked.com/in/laura-magennis-035529157/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A ‘Whale’ Big Problem for SeaWorld.

Do you ever find yourself about 20 videos deep from what you were originally watching on YouTube and have no clue how you ended up clicking on a video about how Doc Martins are made in a factory? Because same.

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Well, that’s exactly how I came across the trailer for a documentary called Blackfish. So of course I went online and seen that the documentary was available to watch on Netflix and that is how I found myself knee deep looking for information on the topic and the PR crisis that they were facing.

Now if you haven’t seen the documentary i’ll give you a quick rundown on what it’s about. Blackfish is a highly controversial documentary about the SeaWorld company that came about after one of their trainers Dawn Brancheau was sadly killed by Tilikum an orca whale in the Orlando park. However, this same whale had previously been involved in the death of two other individuals. The documentary covers the history of killer whales who were taken into captivity up until Dawns death.

Ever since the documentary aired SeaWorld have not only been under intense scrutiny by organisations such as PETA but also a rake of other people. In fact, Joan Jett who is famous for her song ‘I love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ demanded that the song be removed from the ‘Shamu Rocks’ show which displays these killer whales.

This was only the beginning of the roller coaster for SeaWorld. Sometimes the only way to learn a lesson is to be thrown in at the deep end and swim. Not Sea-World though. Oh no. They just sunk.

SeaWorld probably did the worst thing when it came to the backlash of this documentary. The only thing they did in this situation was release a statement essentially saying that the documentary was misleading and exploits a tragedy. They attacked the documentary company rather than fix incorrect information. Now if this isn’t the beginning of a PR disaster then what is?

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As another attempt at fixing this PR crisis SeaWorld also released an ad which could be found both on the televison and online. The main purpose of the advertisement was to try an express how much of an effort SeaWorld put in to caring for their marine life, particulary the killer whales. Once again the company quickly came under fire from animal activist groups claiming that it was a direct attack on previous campaigns made against Sea World.

For 2 years (yes, they really ignored this for 2 years) SeaWorld pushed this all to the side and didn’t break breath about the situation. Sometime later they finally decided to try and be pro-active and came up with the campaign #AskSeaWorld. Brilliant idea, eh? Wrong. All this done was give ammunition to everyone who had their backs up about the company being mute for 2 years and were finally able to give their honest opinion on what they thought of SeaWorld.

Would it have been better if SeaWorld ignored the whole situation? Is it true when they say all PR is good PR? I honestly don’t think so. 

Here are a few pointers I would give to any compny that may find themselves in a bit of a PR mess:

1. Honesty really is the best policy – Had SeaWorld been open and honest about what was happening with the documentary and the company they mightn’t have got themselves in the mess they did. Nobody likes a company who is so secretive. Whether or not they thought it was better to stay quiet, 2 years is quite a while and in the long run they just did more harm than good.

2. Devise a plan – Some companies go a lifetime without having any PR issues. However, the best idea would be to have a process in place on how best to manage an issue. Don’t do the automatic reaction that SeaWorld did of jumping down someones throat and insisting that they are being misleading. What good is that going to do you?

3. Admit if you made a mistake – Some may not agree with me on this one. However, I think it’s better for a company to admit when they’ve made a mistake and are willing to learn from it. It almost makes the company look more humble.

After all this, there is one thing I hope SeaWorld actually did right and that is that whoever was in charge of their PR and marketing got the boot.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch Blackfish I strongly recommed you do. As someone who always wanted to go to SeaWorld (thankfully I never got) it gave me a real eye opener about what is actually going on in there.

You can still watch it on Netflix now. Pinch a pals password if you haven’t got an account. It’s okay though, I won’t judge. I still sponge off my sister for it but it’s allowed because we’re students, right? 

Courtney O’Neill is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @Courtneyon21 and Linkedin: @courtneyoneill

The Joe Rogan Experience

Hello friends, and welcome to this episode of… my blog!! This episode of ‘the blog’ is brought to you, by the motherf@*king cash app, number 1 on the app store.

If you don’t get that reference, well, hopefully you will, soon. Along with a few other sayings.

I never realised how convenient podcasts were until one of my work colleagues introduced me to them and to the man himself, Joe Rogan. And I am forever grateful for him. The man covers everything and anything. From podcasts about your health, fitness and hot yoga, (one of his favourites) to anything to do with conspiracies, evolution and DMT. So be prepared for a whirlwind of content.

Side Note!!

The man believes in aliens. Yes, ALIENS, and had Bernie Sanders on the podcast show. In hope that with the help of his exposure to his wide audience, that he gets elected president to announce any Area 51 myths. And to legalise weed of course.

Some background information on Joe.

Joe’s a stand-up comedian, who also his own Netflix specials – if your intrigued. So during his podcasts, it is very rare he doesn’t have you in a fit of laughter, depending on what the topic is. Any one that watches the UFC will also know of him, as many fans love his commentary and his respect for the game. He is a mixed martial artist himself, with a purple belt in Ju-Jitsu and was a US Open champion in Taekwondo when he was 19. He has over a total of 1000 podcasts, making a supposedly, five figure sum for each episode. So you’ll find at least one podcast that will get you thinking differently, about everything – weed, conspiracies’, and the world and possibly get you thinking about aliens and their existence too.

You will be spending most of his podcast looking like this.

He has a total of 6.78 million subscribers on YouTube alone, so it’s understandable why he makes so much money with one podcast, and why so many people want on his podcasts.

He has a range of celebrities on the show and it can be very interesting to learn from their successful mentality and how they’ve got to where they are today. But along the way, they share information about their personal life, their struggles, their life experiences and stories that may never have been heard before.

Celebrities such as Kevin Harte, who talks about his positive mentality and who always looks to better himself day to day, and believes that there is no limit on anything in life. Whereas, Tyson Fury talks about his struggles with depression and really goes in deep into how he nearly took his own life, to eventually coming over his personal issues.

The JRE, really goes deep into the rabbit hole with his guest speakers. Usually lasting a couple of hours, diving into conversations about anything and everything. You never know what you’re going to get on the JRE, no podcast is ever the same. But that’s why it’s so good, and that’s why it’s so different from any other podcasts I’ve listened to.

The JRE can be quite educational too, with many guest speakers being scientists talking about sleep patterns, and how important it is. Human stem cells and how technology has become so important in today’s society in saving and changing lives. Journalists’ talking about their experiences in Mexico and Columbia with drug cartels, the US government and operation paper clip.

And if there is something that Joe is unsure of, you’ll soon be introduced to his right hand man. The keyboard warrior, who is known as Jamie. If there is anything interesting in relation to the topic, or videos that may be of interest, you’ll hear the following…more than once

Jamie, pull that sh*t up!!

If you feel like giving the JRE a chance, which I strongly advise you do, here is a few to get you started.

Joey Diaz #1319

Dan Bilzerian #857

Bernie Sanders #1330

David Sinclair #1349

Edward Snowden #1368

Brian Redban #1364

Bob Lazar #1315 (Aliens)

Elon Musk # 1169 (Weird Man)

Mike Tyson #1227 (DMT)

Annie Jacobson #1299 (Operation Paperclip)

Okay that’s more than a few, but there all just too good. There may be occasions were you don’t know what’s going on, just be like Elon, and just roll with it.

And last but not least. The first podcast I ever listened to and it being one of my favourites, was with Alex Jones #1255 podcast. That was me, hooked. I advise you to give this a listen, it makes for great entertainment. Lizards in control of the government, Human/animal hybrids, and you guessed it, more aliens.

Heres a little taster.

Utter chaos.

NSFW.

There is a reason why it has 16 million views on YouTube.

Shea Hamill is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shea-hamill-66026a180/

Back Like A Boomerang: 88 Days A Slave!

Here goes nothing, my first blog post as a final year /CMPR student. Should I discuss current affairs or celebrity gossip, perhaps many has words to say on the latest Coleen Rooney or Rebekah Vardy scandal. But what I want to share with you is my year away in Australia and how I survived 88 days on the farm to secure my Second Year Visa. MK4

Migrating to Australia at the opposite side of the world is becoming increasing popular so I can imagine there are a few of you who are reading this that have thought about trying it at some stage in your life and I hope you decide to do it.  

I spent the last 12 months of my life exploring what life is like down under. We hear so many stories about the Aussie way of life and I must admit it did not disappoint. However, 4 of these amazing months were spent working harder than I thought I could ever work to ensure that whenever I graduate, I will be able to spend another 12 months having more adventures in this country I was lucky enough to call home for a short while. 

To say these were the longest 88 days of my life is an understatement. Australian Immigration really make you work for your Second Year Visa that’s for sure and if I hadn’t of fallen so in love with this country, I would not have put myself through it. The common trend on Instagram #88daysaslave doesn’t paint the best picture of how this working holiday visa requirement can be undertaken. But in a way this is how it feels. Don’t let any of this put you off because the feeling when completing your last day cannot be described and to know that it gets you another 12 months makes it even better. This blog post is not meant to scare but to motivate. If you happen to find yourself in a similar position sitting in a corner somewhere in the outback wondering how in the world did you get yourself into this mess, trust me there is light at the end of the tunnel, or in my case light at the end of the fruit bin! 

I remember when we first walked up to this tiny house full of 30 girls in a strange little town called Shepparton, I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious and tired from our travels down from Sydney. We were giving a tour that took all of 30 seconds as that’s how long it took to get from one side of this little hut to the other.  The first few weeks were definitely the hardest, watching girls coming and going. I can remember being so jealous of the girls who were nearly at the end of their days and even more shocked to find that they were sad about finishing. A lot of the girls even stayed on a few more weeks than they had to. Not me I thought I’m straight out of here on day 88 and I am never looking back!!  

First day you are thrown straight into the deep end with the sharks. The deep end being the pear line and the sharks being the unemotional supervisors with zero people skills and very little English. Being screamed at all day to pack faster, faster all the while trying to pack only the first-class pears from a bin that ranged from your perfect pear to a month-old compass pile. They couldn’t seem to understand that you could have quantity or quality but both simultaneously at their standard was not humanly attainable. 

New workers in the shed are all put in yellow vests and once your fruit packing is off a certain standard you get promoted to an orange vest. Yellow vests had it tough. You were literally a walking high vis that said look at me I’m new and have no idea what I’m doing. Yellow vests were always the first to be sent home and last to get picked to work. But unless you worked you couldn’t improve your fruit packing skill to reach the level of an orange vest, and if you didn’t get your 35 hours of work in one week it doesn’t count towards your 88 days and it’s a week wasted. A viscous cycle and you can imagine how hard done by and mistreated we felt. There were days in the first few weeks where I had to really think is this worth it? Can I do this? Do I want another year in this country this badly? I’m glad that I am good at quieting the negative Nancy voice in my head listening more to positive Polly. I struggled through and pushed myself to the limit, every morning praying can today be the day? Can I become an orange vest? Day 32 I got pulled to the side expecting to get in trouble for having too many bad pears in my crate. Then I saw on the table an orange vest, could this be it?

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Mary you’ve earned your orange vest, now do me a favour and go faster.” (The nicest thing anyone in the shed had ever said to me believe it or not.) In a moment of joy all I could do was hug my supervisor forgetting that these people act more like robots than humans and show no loving emotions to anyone or anything. At that however I’m sure I caught a glimpse of a smile and quiet giggle followed by a stern “back to work.”  

I strutted back into the house showing off my new clean bright orange vest and you’d think I had just won a Grammy award with the cheers and support from the girls, and honestly that’s what it felt like.

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As the weeks went on, I felt myself settling into farm life more than I could have ever imagined. The friendships that I was forming in such short periods of time I never thought possible. The time away from civilisation, away from the busyness of Sydney and really time away from my normal human life, I had learned more about myself, and of the determination and strength I never knew I had until this experience. As my 88 days were coming to an end, I felt both happy and sad. Through the laughter and despite the tears I had the most amazing and challenging experience of my life to date.  

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Day 88 came by and I never thought I would have been sadder than I was happy to leave. With the new girls jealous of us leaving and the girls who had been there through it all with us sad to see us go it occurred to me: When you first start you cannot wait to leave and when it’s time to leave you wish you could stay. I have learned from this to make the most of every day and be grateful for the good and the bad, because they all get us to where we need to be. I have now finished my farming adventure and as sad as I was to leave Australia behind, I am now back to finish final year which I have no doubt will be just as challenging as my last adventure.  

For now I can happily say after 4 months, 14 weeks, 88 days, hundreds of mental breakdowns, thousands of fruits packed, and a million amazing memories that I am hanging up my farming shoes for the foreseeable future and the only apple I want to see anytime soon is one dipped in chocolate! Can we make orange vests a thing in University to motivate me to start my dissertation?? 

Mary Keenan is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @mary_keenan_ or Instagram: @mary_keenan20

261 years into a 9,000-year lease

If you have been in Dublin for a day trip or a weekend before then I’m sure the Guinness Storehouse and infamous St. James gate was high on your to do list, for that must have Instagram snap or just to visit the home of the most famous thing to come out of Ireland since Westlife.

In 1759, 261 years ago, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for the old abandoned St. James brewery and generations of the Guinness family have been brewing Guinness there ever since. It’s long been a part of Irish history and a key feature in Dublin’s tourism industry with total visitors of around 18 million people since it opened to the public in 2000, and just a tiny €361.2 million economic contribution in 2017, according to the Journal.ie.

On a typical wet Sunday afternoon in Dublin, I finally got the chance to go see the home of Guinness for myself. Even though I don’t actually like the drink (I’m more of a cider girl myself, sorry Guinness!) the Storehouse was always somewhere I wanted to visit. Not because of the free pint at the end but because besides being famous for the drinks, Guinness’ marketing and ads have given the brand a place in the history books and it has a floor in the Storehouse dedicated to ‘The world of advertising’.

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In this section of the Storehouse you can see the first newspaper advertisement for Guinness ever published in a newspaper (pictured below) which came out in 1929. You can see larger than life characters from some of the best ads from throughout the years, for example, a kangaroo, a seal, a tortoise and a fish on a bicycle.

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In this post I thought I’d run you through my top 5 favourite Guinness tv ads – some old, some new but all pretty legendary tv adverts.

 

  1. Tipping point

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Tipping point first graced our TV screens in November 2007 and was dubbed the most expensive ad in history. This tv ad was based in Argentina showcasing the most usual game of dominos ever witnessed. It begins with 6,000 dominos which leads onto paint, cars, books and tyres leading up to a column of books which open to resemble a pint of Guinness. The fall of the dominos takes about a minute and a half and ends in the slogan “Good things come to those who wait” because it takes around 119 seconds to pour the perfect pint of Guinness, which is a fairly long wait for a pint I suppose. This one takes 5th place for me due to its artistry and the effort that must have gone into making it.

 

  1. Surfer

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“Tik followed tok, followed tik followed tok” began the ad that was to be voted the best tv ad of all time. This ad again signifies the phrase “good things come to those who wait” and follows the story of surfers waiting for the prefect wave that they have waited their whole lives to ride. Launched in 1999 it was the first of a new trend in ads for Guinness. It wasn’t popular with research audiences at the beginning but the brand director and the director of the ad agency responsible for the idea both knew they were on to a winner. I put this surfer as 4th place on my list of favourites.

 

  1. The Purse

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This adorable little ad came out earlier this year and ran throughout the six nations. It was based on a true story of two Welsh brothers who had recently lost their mother, but her dying wish was that they spend all that was left of her money on the six nations as she was such a fan of the tournament. The ad shows them honouring her wishes and her life by following their beloved Welsh team around Europe for matches and of course, using the same purse that she used as a kitty on match days, they enjoy a pint of Guinness. This makes it onto 3rd place on my list as I just think the story is so heart-warming with a little bit of humour thrown in there too.

 

  1. Congo’s Sapeaurs

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This ad is based on the Society of Elegent Persons of the Congo, better known as the Sapeurs and sheds light on a different side of African culture. It came out in 2014 and was praised for being hugely realistic and true to life. The people in the ad aren’t actors but actually real sapeaurs who believe in the power of dressing your best and showing your true style, flair and creativity. This ad stands for more than trying to sell a few more pints, but highlights the work these sapeurs do in their community, helping each other and their families and getting people back on track, symbolising their stand for peace, integrity and honour. The flair of the people, the music and the true to life setting are why I think this is my 2nd favourite ad.

 

  1. Even at the home of the black stuff, they dream of a white one

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Awarded the title of “Probably the best Christmas ad ever” by me, I think it’s fair to say a lot of people would agree. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until you’ve seen the Guinness Christmas ad of 2011 and as that time of year is approaching once again I don’t think anything else could possibly have been at the top of my list. The fact that is ad is nearly 10 years old and is still shown every year shows that its up there with the best Christmas ads of all time. It’s an iconic ad, filmed in spots all over Ireland at the minute Christmas starts and the snow begins to fall.

 

Shannon Walsh is a final year BSc in Communications Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on twitter at @997_shannon or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannon-walsh-8a3b08172/

No Direction

‘Write about something you’re interested in’!

That statement along with the likes of , ‘tell the class something interesting about yourself’ (thanks Conor for covering that one)  or ‘what does that degree get you…you know what do you do with that?’, should come with trigger warnings.

So, just write a blog post about a passionate of yours, ok! Umm, (thinks , thinks, gets distracted ..thinks…) For God sake, why can’t you just give me a topic?

 

This might make me sound completely mental or hopefully, be slightly relatable to at least one other person. I, genuinely, don’t have a passion, an interest, a hobby or the faintest idea of what I want / should be doing. I’ve battled with this for ages but now, in final year, it seems like I’m really going to have to face it and deal with it head on. Not only do I have to think of something that I can withstand writing 10,000 words about for dissertation but after that, this escape from the ‘real world’ we call uni is over and it’s every woman/man for themselves.…

 

After a failed attempt to think of my passion, I literally Goggled (and not for the first time) ‘how to find your passion?’ Alas, ‘8 ways to find your passion’. Brilliant! There it is, when this load, I’ll have it. Ok …off to a good start, I suppose I’m not the only own to fill a little lost or unmotivated, but none of these articles, forums or blogs are providing me with what I need. It’s all about how to quit your job and fulfil your passion, but I’m looking for how to find it. Anyway, after reading and scrolling through comments – I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a little when ‘tash83xo’ told us that ‘waking up at 6am for a 45-minute run and an expresso/vanilla protein shake before the kids got up changed her life’. I needed more depth, more meaning and insight… Audible!

Dusting of that old app paused in the middle of ‘The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations’ by Oprah I began listening again and fell in love with it. Honestly, it’s such a great listen and I’d recommend to anyone, even if you’re not going through some sort of quarter life crisis, which is what I’m calling it at this point. Philosophers, phycologists, monks, ex-criminals take on different chapters and talk about everything from food, loneliness, road rage to life’s purpose.

Inspiration comes in waves when listening to it in the car driving to and from work, Oprah calls these ‘ah-ha’ moments. When something is said and it resonates, hits you in the gut or you get little butterflies and I think ‘I do that’, ‘I get that’.  I write notes on my phone, saving quotes which provide momentary relief or revelations.

One of them, probably the most relevant when it comes to uni or going out into the world of work, would be from Alan Watts “If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing thing you don’t like doing, which is stupid.” Very Pinterest but Agreed! Ah-ha moment alert!

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I remember walking into placement on a Friday morning, Frappe Fridays to be specific, and me and the two other girls in the office began one of many Friday morning ‘deep chats’. What’s the point if everyone hates their job?’ ‘We literally live to work so shouldn’t we at least enjoy it’ ‘I think you should travel, and you’ll just figure it out’. After being so inspired on the way into work, I’m stuck again. Coffees finished, wisdom running out we contradicted everything we said and got back to the mundane tasks we didn’t care about until 5pm.

Now, I understand that nobody loves every aspect of their job and that not a single person has a perfect life where everyday is all sunshine and lollipops, but I also reject this idea that everyone completely hates their job and that’s just life because that’s bloody depressing. I want to have a job I’m passionate about. I refuse to be part of a ‘eat, sleep, work, live unconsciously, repeat’ society, at least, not forever . I want to at least be working towards a life that I feel my skills and attributes contribute to. To make a tiniest bit of difference to something would be quite cool.

So, I’m left still searching for what I love. For what I care enough about to dedicate a quite huge chunk of my life to. And, if it’s not going to come to me in an ‘That’s so Raven’ like vision, I’m going to need to figure it out and fast .. there’s another blog to write!

 

Megan Gillespie,  final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations at Ulster University. She can be found on: InstagramFacebookLinkedIn

PR Through The Lens Of TV & Film

I came across the idea for this blog whilst beginning to binge watch the fourth season of “Mad Men” on Netflix, in which the pilot episode of that season is conveniently enough named “Public Relations”. Although fictional, I realised how many great examples of public relations there are in Film and TV.

Starting in the 1960’s, on Madison Avenue, ‘Mad Men’ explores the advertising agency Sterling Cooper and follows the professional and personal lives of it’s employees. Throughout the seven series TV show we come across several excellent public relation related examples.

Beginning with..

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LUCKY STRIKE – UNDERSTANDING DEMOGRAPHICS

The pilot episode focuses on the team at Sterling Cooper having to create a new campaign for their long serving cigarette clients ‘Lucky Strike’. However, new information has just arisen at the time stating how harmful smoking and tobacco is. Don, the creative director, and his team find a way to create a campaign that doesn’t shy away from the truth of the product but instead focuses on the toasting process while steal appealing to the products demographics. The tag line for the campaign read “Lucky Strike. It’s Toasted”. At the time, it was still the older generation that were smoking, and they didn’t particularly care for the new information regarding the health risks. The 60’s also saw a rise in woman smoking as it was seen as ‘liberating’. Throughout the series, Sterling Cooper always displays a great understanding of their demographic and the importance of knowing it, a key lesson for PR practitioners.

ADDING A TELEVISION DEPARTMENT – GET WITH THE TIMES

Sterling Cooper were constantly staying on top of trends in the 1960’s, they added a television and media department at a time where it was relatively uncommon and new. This became one of the agencies defining moments as it brought a new sense of creativity to their campaigns. They knew to remain competitive within the growing ad industry that they had to stay on top of trends. This is even more relative now with the continuous emergence of new technologies and forms of social media. PR practitioners can take a page out of Sterling Coopers book by keeping up with the emerging trends so they can stay competitive and remain on top.

EG2

SUGARBERRY HAM – HAVE A CRISIS SITUATION PLAN

When an account executive and a member of the creative team come up with a publicity stunt for their client ‘Sugarberry Ham’ who are struggling for sales they are quickly met with a crisis. Although the publicity stunt, which involved two woman publicly fighting over a ham in a supermarket, created widespread buzz and increased sales for the client they were hit with the cost of posting bail for one of the woman who was eventually arrested for the stunt, and then further hush money so they would keep quiet surrounding the issue. Crisis situation plans should be thought of in advance on the off chance a campaign goes wrong. In a similar situation on the show, an American airlines jet crashed and the creative director of the agency ordered them to pull their client ‘Mohawk Airlines’ campaigns in order to prevent a reputational crisis by association. Its even more important now for crisis situation plans with the continued rise of social media, many companies and brands have faced backlash over ill advised tweets or posts. Having one of these may prevent even further backlash and damage to the brands image.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK – PROTECT YOUR IMAGE

‘The Social Network’ tells the complicated story of Mark Zuckerberg and his road to creating Facebook. We come upon several PR related examples but one of the more prominent ones was the animal cruelty story which was posted in the ‘Crimson’ newspaper regarding his business partner and best friend Edwardo Saverin. In the article it had named Saverin as the co-founder of Facebook, Zuckerberg didn’t care at all other than the fact it had listed him as this hence the possibility of dragging the companies name through the mud. A similar situation arose with Facebook’s first president Sean Parker, he was arrested for possession of cocaine at a party in the film and after pressure from Zuckerberg and board members, he resigned to avoid any backlash for the company. Nowadays in reality, its even easier for companies and individuals to come under fire with the  progression of social media. Comments made on Twitter or Facebook years ago are continually brought back up and have caused  a number of high profile people to be ‘cancelled’.

THE GOLDEN TICKET – MARKETING BUZZ

Willy Wonka looks to find a successor to his empire in the latest rendition of ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’. The Golden Ticket stunt creates widespread positive publicity for his brand with every man woman and child hoping to unwrap one. Similar stunts like these are still very valuable and common for PR practitioners to use.

And finally..

EG3

THE QUEEN – MORE CRISIS MANAGEMENT

After Princess Diana’s death in 1997, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Royal Family have disagreements on how her death should be addressed to the public. Blair tries to convince Queen Elizabeth to make an affectionate statement regarding the death of her grandchildren’s mother whilst the Royal Family insist on distancing themselves form the situation after the scandal of Diana an Prince Charles’ divorce. This is a great example of what to do to avoid a PR crisis.

Eoghan Gilmore is a final year Bsc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found at: Instagram – eoghangilmore , LinkedIn – https://ie.linkedin.com/in/eoghan-gilmore-106a89164