5 Holiday Commercials

This past week was finals, so now that my life has slowed down a bit, and I wanted to share some of my favorite holiday commercials this season:


Best Buy’s “Game On” commercial series has been making me giggle all season.


The Old Spice guy is back as MAN-TA CLAUS!!! And you have to check out all of their hilarious YouTube videos. He gives a different gift to a different group of people, and it is so funny.


Radio Shack’s “So Wrong– So Right” commercial series is also making my day.


Coca-Cola “Shake Up Christmas” is so heartwarming.


I fell in love with the “Crazy Target Lady” commercials last season, and I was so excited to see her return this season.

Do you have any favorite Christmas commercials right now?

A Pinterest Success Story

There is a new social media toy on the seen that it seems everyone is talking about:


Many of my friends in class had been talking about this site none stop, so I signed up. However, I felt like I did when I first saw Twitter. It looked cool, but I did not really understand how it could benefit me. It just seemed like something pretty to look at.

What is Pinterest?

My friend, Sara McClendon, wrote a great post about using Pinterest that can be found here. It is essentially if microblogging, bookmarking and photosharing had a baby platform. You share photos by “pinning” them to a category-specific board. Like Twitter, you can follow people’s boards, but they don’t necessarily follow you back. Like bookmarking sites, each photo is attached to a link where it was originally found on the web.

Here is the opening screen:

How Can PR Professionals Utilize Pinterest?

At first glance, Pinterest seems to only pertain to hobbies, but after using it for a couple of months, I see great utility for PR professionals.

  1. Driving Traffic. If you or your organization’s blog has engaging photos, it would be a great way to promote posts by pinning an interesting photo from the post. Pinterest is so shareable and viral by nature. It is a good way to drive traffic to your blog.
  2. Creative Brainstorming. Half the battle in PR, marketing and advertising is formulating a brilliant idea. That takes creativity and brainstorming. Pinterest is a great way to get inspired quickly. If you ever get stuck on an idea, scroll through Pinterest for 20 minutes to see what you will find.
  3. Easy Photo Sharing. It is so easy to share photos and find the owners of the photos to gain permissions to use their photos for stock images and such. Most bloggers are flattered by such requests and respond quickly.

In fact, the picture to the left is a testimony to that fact. I was looking for an ice cream scoop image to create an eye-catching flyer and Facebook event profile picture for an upcoming PRSSA, Public Relations Student Society of America, meeting about internships.

I typed in purple ice cream. I found this photo in about 5 minutes. I went back to the original blog post and commented asking to use her picture. Within three hours, she had responded to me saying yes.

We had our highest turn out for the semester, and I like to attribute some of that success to Pinterest.

Have you used Pinterest?

3 Tips on Managing a Crisis from Jeff Nene

Last week, my social media public relations class had the privilege of hearing from Jeff Nene, public relations director of Convoy of Hope, a faith-based non-profit organization in Springfield, Mo., with a global reach. Prior to class, I had worked with Jeff before as his intern briefly, so I am familiar with the organization and their goals. He gave our class a great example of how to handle a crisis gracefully that could potentially harm your organization’s reputation and good tips to crisis communication.

Say it all

First, Jeff said it is imperative to be genuine and transparent when communicating during a crisis. Do not hide undesirable details or try and spin the truth. He gave us four tips for communicating in a crisis:

  1. You must be genuine while finding common ground.
  2. Say what you do and do what you say.
  3. Find compelling stories if at all possible and make those your emphasis.
  4. Realize and embrace the power of words.

Say it first

Second, when managing a crisis, be sure to say your message first because “in the absence of information, people make up their own.” He shared examples of different organizations that waited two or three days to respond to a crisis, and their precise message means nothing because the damage is already done.        

Say it yourself

Lastly, it is important to communicate the information yourself. Do not hide behind a press release, computer screen or the news reports. Get your spokesperson out there and respond to the crisis in person with humility and transparency. Do not let the reporters, other organizations or the public tell your story.

2010 Convoy of Hope Year End Review from Convoy of Hope on Vimeo.

Convoy of Hope’s Crisis

Jeff shared an example of when he represented Convoy of Hope during a crisis. It had sponsored a community outreach event in Springfield, and someone reported to the news station that they had found bugs in the food given out at the outreach. This story had the potential to damage Convoy’s reputation, but Jeff handled the situation gracefully by apologizing to the family it affected and offering to right the wrong, while at the same time assuring the public of Convoy of Hope’s diligence in keeping the food it delivers safe.

He promised to give fresh food to anyone it affected in the community and took the news crew into the warehouse and had the reporters open different food packages to show this as a rare occurrence. He practiced what he preached by saying it all, saying it first and saying it himself. The story did not detract from the successful community outreach, and the people wronged were given fresh food. Everyone won.

Jeff gave a great presentation, and it was good to see him again. Convoy of Hope is a great organization. If you are interested in learning more about what they do around the world, check out their website, Facebook page or Twitter account.