Tag Archives: social media

Taking Back the Past

On Monday, Nike announced it has pulled its “Boston Massacre” shirts in light of the recent Boston bombings. The shirts were originally designed to commemorate the Yankees’ series sweeps of the Red Sox in 1978 and 2006, which ended playoff hopes on both occasions. Nike was forced to make a statement after David Letterman Producer Eric Stangel’s tweet of a photo of the shirt in stores, calling out the insensitivity, went viral.

Eric Stangel Tweet

And this isn’t the first time this has happened…this year. In February, Nike discontinued the campaign promoting sponsored paralympian Oscar Pistorius that revolved around the saying, “I am the bullet in the chamber” after the athlete was charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend.

While the slogans seem unfortunate in hindsight, at the time of creation they probably seemed like pure genius. What’s done is done, and Nike not only responded in the right way, by absorbing all loses and removing messaging that could be misinterpreted, the athletic company also resolved the issue in a timely and respectful way.

Excluding the perpetrators themselves, no one could have predicted either tragedy. It’s important for brands to be aware of all interpretations of their messages no matter when the message what created, just as it is important for consumers to be understanding of true intentions.

As a graduate of the University of Nike, I must disclose that I have been, and forever will be, a Nike fan. Nike’s recent display of compassion and sensitivity only reinforces my love for the brand.

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Caution: Mobile media emerging

Today Pat Coyle, president of Coyle Media, a digital media and sports marketing consulting firm, posted an article on the company blog about mobile use statistics. The article states that out of four billion mobile phones in use, 1.08 billion are smartphones. It projects that mobile internet usage will overtake that of desktops by 2014. And 91% of mobile internet access is to socialize via social networking. Over 200 million YouTube views occur on mobile devices every day. Now that I’ve blown your mind with a bunch of statistics, lets contemplate this.

Initially these numbers surprised me. But when I gave it a bit more time to sink in, it all made a lot of sense. In a class activity today, only three out of sixteen students didn’t have a smartphone. And when I think about what I do on my BlackBerry, I check The New York Times, get more news through Twitter, check sports scores, browse my Facebook newsfeed, check email, Google things, and send thousands of texts daily. Consuming through mobile devices is the future. I no longer go through the trouble of pulling out my laptop to go on twitter, I just use my phone. One click and done.

Mobile media is a quickly emerging market, and I’m sure the way we use it will change just as fast. It’s our job as PR professionals to keep up with the curve and utilize the developing channel to more effectively reach our target audiences.

So what does this mean for the sports industry? Not always a good thing. Let us revisit Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre’s cell phone seduction story. This past fall a story broke including voice mails and inappropriate photos likely sent by Favre to the cellphone of former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.

In an age where immediacy rules, nothing is safe and everything can go public at any moment. How many times have you almost posted someone’s name (who you were attempting to search) as your Facebook status? As celebrities, athletes are more vulnerable then most because they are targets.

So, in the age of mobile media, nothing is totally safe. Only text something you would say to the media. Because as we all know, a scandal breaks every day and it’s never a good thing to be at the center of it.

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Be Facebook fan-worthy

Artest's profile pic on his Facebook fan page

My classes at the University of Oregon have been discussing social networking a lot lately. So, because it’s on my mind, I thought I would present a little case study, if you will, about how to not use Facebook.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest (or someone who works for him) maintains his Facebook page that could use a few helpful pointers. Here, I’ve put together three rules to follow when in charge of a Facebook fan page.

1. Keep a current picture. Artest’s picture is from when he played for the Houston Rockets. Not exactly current since he was signed to the Los Angeles Lakers in July 2009. This is his only profile picture.

2. Monitor tagged pictures. Some of Artest’s tagged pictures are of him playing, rapping, in ads, little kids wearing his jersey and so on. The real problem comes when people tag him in advertisements that have nothing to do with him. Unless he wants fans to think he’s endorsing a discount show website or random iPhone apps, the tag should probably be removed. Also, pics of girls who want him to call them…delete.

A "photo of Ron Artest" according to his Facebook fan page

3. Spark two-way conversation. Artest’s fan page does not create posts of its own. One of the many benefits of social media is creating a conversation between you (the brand) and consumers. Posing questions and statements regarding sports or rapping or the values of the brand are what position you as a thought leader in your respective industry. Without initiating discussion, the fan page turns into a static wall filled will content created by others unmonitored yet attached to your brand.

If you’re going to commit to social media, you need to commit wholeheartedly. Content becomes outdated much more swiftly on the web, so neglecting it for a week is not acceptable. Above all, protect your brand.

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