Instagram or Instascam?

Let’s talk about Instagram. Today, not really about its metrics or reach, but this time about its impact. How we as a tech-savvy society present ourselves on it.

We tend to post regularly with updates from our lives for the “benefit” of our friends, family, and even strangers.

What we choose to share is, more often than not, well thought out; carefully taken selfies at just the right angle and with the perfect lens. We share our accomplishments, our proudest moments. Our followers can enjoy all of this in the beautiful hue of one of the several filters we can choose from, because why not.

There is no way we are sharing those bad hair day photos, those not-so-great vacation shots or our other shortcomings.

We are in control of how we want to be perceived, so we put forth this persona – a heightened sense of self.

Scrolling through Instagram, I came across an Instagram account. Basically, your typical pretty IG influencer account – filled with selfies, Fashionnova outfits, and flat tummy tea ads. My favorite was the “new necklace but really just a close up of my cleavage” one. But her tagline was what stood out. She was honest. Her tagline was “This is how I want you to think my life is like”. SLOW CLAP. Now that’s interesting, that’s real. She gets it.

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But what does that mean for the rest of our popularly-unpopular generation? Is this actually going to make us be the better version of ourselves that we present to the world? Or is it just going to make us crazier and less productive with some internal struggle between our real selves and our “official” selves?

There is a certain danger of all of us losing the grasp on what is real and what is filtered, processed – make believe. We could be missing out on our own lives, as ridiculous as that sounds, prioritizing sharing above experiencing. You know what I’m talking about, taking selfies at the historical landmarks and monuments instead of just enjoying the view or recording your favorite song on your phone while you’re at a concert instead of just listening.

We’ve all been there to some extent.

I don’t know how we’ll fare as a generation. We’ve gotten our fair share of criticism recently, some of it legitimate, some not. We’ve got our strengths and weaknesses just like any other generation and despite contrary belief, we did not arrive at this reality on our own.

Just some food for thought.

 

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#ThrowbackThursdaySMBlunders

Hallo Guten Tag!

This is my first post from across the pond. I hope everyone is well. I’m happy to be back!

This week (Social) Media Blunder fits right in (geographically). This week I’m looking at Red Bull. Back in 2015, the Austrian energy drink manufacturer has agreed to pay out more than $13 million after settling a US class action lawsuit. Red Bull was accused of making false and misleading advertising claims.

The company’s slogan “Red Bull gives you wings”, as it turns out, does not give you actual wings. Even though that same slogan is used in more than 100 countries that Red Bull is sold in, the US-lawsuit says Red Bull deceived its costumers by insinuating that the energy drink will improve concentration and reaction speeds.

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While the suit did not allege that plaintiffs were disappointed that they didn’t suddenly sprout wings, it does say that Red Bull relies a lot on terms like,  “wings” and “boost” to give consumers the impression that the drink gives people some sort of physical lift or enhancement.

If the proposed settlement is passed by the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, where a hearing took place, Red Bull will be required to pay $6.5 million into a settlement fund within a week.

The settlement says Red Bull will reimburse customers disappointed the energy drink hasn’t lived up to their expectations with either a check for $10 or a voucher for $15 worth of Red Bull products. This could prove costly, as the class action suit covers the millions of people who have bought at least one can of Red Bull over the past 10 years.

The suit was brought about by a number of Red Bull drinkers, one of whom said he had been drinking the product since 2002 but had seen no improvement in his athletic performance.

Following the suit Red Bull released the following statement:

“Red Bull settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation. However, Red Bull maintains that its marketing and labeling have always been truthful and accurate, and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability.”

Red Bull denies any wrongdoing, the company has voluntarily withdrawn and revised the marketing claims challenged in court.

Overall, the company reacted the right way, while Red Bull never insinuated to give you actual “wings”, it reacted with sensibility and regards to its audience.

You gotta love the good ol‘ US and A.

Thoughts?

 

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Goodbye, New York.

I’ve been MIA. I’m sorry but I’ve been busy with work and now getting ready to leave New York. Yes, you read that right. This fabulous city has been such an integral part of my life for the last 3.5 years (and always will be – I made friends for a lifetime). But it’s time to say goodbye.

It wasn’t an easy decision, but one I had to make. For now, I’m heading back to Germany (where health insurance is a right – not a privilege). I’m excited to see what opportunities will arise there but also to be closer to my family.

New York, I’ll forever love your craziness, and I’m thankful that you made me feel like you’re my second home. I look forward to the day when I can call you my real home, so wait for me!

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In deep admiration for the city that never sleeps,

Peggy.

 

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Called it.

Hello, how’s it going?

Do you guys remember my post about Jimmy Fallon’s problematic Trump interview? I guess I had a point.

Check out this interesting New York Times feature:

I should be called Pegadamus. Haha. I’m hilarious.

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter.

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The People’s Inaugration

First off Happy 2017.

I’ve been mainly focusing on work and trying to deal with the outcome of election night (my birthday, was the day of and having friends over to watch the election and seeing the outcome…definitely a buzzkill).

This post is very personal to me and hopefully, will help someone in need. If you feel unsafe please make sure you create a safe space surrounding friends and/or family. If no one is close by, please seek out help.

I might be a foreigner, but we’re all in this together. Protests are happening everywhere in the world cause we as the people are in this together. Speak up against injustice, discrimination, and prejudice. Don’t feel silenced. Volunteer. Educate. And most importantly Use Your Voice.

On January, 21 I joined the protest. I marched through the streets of New York City. The energy I felt, random people hugging and embracing each other was exhilarating.

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If you can’t join a protest, let your voice be heard on social media. After all, this is social media’s main task.

Here are a couple initiatives you can join: http://bit.ly/2gWOfsT. 

Don’t let fake news cloud your judgment.

Talk later.

Peggy

 

 

 

We need to talk.

We need to talk about Jimmy Fallon. Yes, down-the-middle American talk show host.

Random? Well, not really. With elections in full swing (I’m still stunned by some of the candidates). We need to get political here.

Remember this video?

Even though Fallon cannot and should not be single-handedly blamed for Trump’s resurgent popularity, this is the first time a mainstream TV show host tried to “humanize” Trump. Based on Trump’s, beyond problematic political stance and blatant ignorant campaign rhetoric – a weird and highly unpopular move on Fallon’s end.

Based on reactions on social media many seem to agree:

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Seems like Fallon is only here for the banter but could’ve used this opportunity to ask Trump some heavy-hitting questions.

This will bite Fallon in the rear end. Mark my words.

Thoughts?

Also, follow me on Twitter. I share more political content on there.

 

#ThrowbackThursdaySMBlunders

Time for another Social Media Blunder!

Remember the iPhone 6? No? Well, yes, it’s been a while.

Back in September 2014, owners of Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus reported that their new smartphones are being bent out of shape – just from being carried in their pockets.

Soon the hashtag “#Bendgate/#Bentgate” was coined on Twitter after users started tweeting out pictures of their unintentionally bent out iPhones.

It’s thought that the issue is simply because the 6 Plus is so much larger and thinner than previous phones, that the aluminum case simply doesn’t have enough strength proportional to its length.

Apple released the following statement: “with normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus“.

Apple insists that its quality assurance standards are rigorous and that any problems people have had are extremely rare events.

Apple went further this afternoon, inviting a CNBC reporter into its testing lab to see the machines it uses to test its products.

The crisis eventually died down, but the question remained? Did Apple react appropriately?

Answer: Apple’s reaction was delayed and this most likely stems from the fact, that Apple is convinced that it’s devices are faultless. This borderline pretentious attitude might be detrimental to Apple in the future. From the iCloud hacker scandal to Bentgate, Apple needs to take those concerns more seriously. Furthermore, if Apple wants to get rid of these allegations, it needs to hire an independent third party company that will conduct its quality control.

Thoughts?

Life Update: Work has been taking over the majority of my time, not only doing social media for my client but organizing events among other things are very time-consuming (I also moved to Brooklyn!). But on another note: I graduated! Check out NYU’s commencement reel:

Hope you enjoy!

Life is now! 

-Peggy

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#ThrowbackThursdaySMBlunders

It’s Thursday and time for another #ThrowbackThursdaySMBlunder!

This week I’m looking at Urban Outfitters. Yes, the pretty overpriced hipster mecca with the pretty unhelpful staff.

Over the years, UO being owned by big-time conservative donor Richard Hayne has been releasing pretty offensive apparel and managed to offend blacks, Jews, Native Americans, liberals, and eating-disorder awareness groups, among others.

In September 2014, Urban Outfitters was charged with exploring “the outer reaches of bad taste” after selling what seemed to be a faux blood-spattered “Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt” for $129. The sweatshirt was widely interpreted as a reference to 1970’s Kent State massacre, in which four unarmed students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard during a Vietnam War protest. As part of Urban Outfitters’ “Vintage Finds,” only a single sweatshirt was available; shortly after BuzzFeed wrote about the sweatshirt, someone purchased it and listed it on eBay for $550, with a $2,500 Buy It Now price. “It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970,” said Urban Outfitters in a statement, “and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such.”

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(Twitter.com)

Even though the company immediately apologized, the apology doesn’t seem sincere as the statement indicates that the public “perceived” such allusion.

The fact of the matter is, the company has been moving on reputationally shaky ground: from being owned by major Republican donor, Richard Hayne, to promoting shirts that glorify anorexia or condemning Palestine as a state, Urban Outfitters had its fair share of PR-mishaps.

Urban Outfitters seems to be oblivious to the fact, that it’s main demographic is in negative correlation to the company’s political stance. The company is known to appeal to the “hipster” movement, which can be mainly placed on the “left” side of the political spectrum.

Companies such as Abercrombie and Fitch or Lululemon have, in the past, through their offensive commentary, felt the wrath of the public. The public boycotts have led to a loss in revenue and a significant fall in stock prices.

Urban Outfitters, should refrain from issuing any political or societal messages through its clothing, if it wants to maintain its market power.

What are your thoughts? 

 

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Life Update/Thesis

Happy New Year!

It’s 2016 let’s make the best of it! I started working as PR/Social Media Consultant for a German-based restaurant group in the city and it’s been a great experience so far! But as promised I wanted to share some insights from my thesis. As you might remember my topic was evaluation in communication (if you don’t please refer to my previous post).

Some of my conclusions are the following:

  • Beyond the known reasons for the lack of alignment between academia and professional PR in terms of measurement and evaluation, such as the lack of budget and employer interest, the analysis has highlighted that there are conflicting views in terms of measurement practices within PR and academia.
  • In regards to the PR industry, professionals need to expand their focus beyond traditional media evaluation practices and agree upon benchmarks set with clients/organizations to measure and evaluate effectively. The value of estimating the scope of PR activities varies in each person’s perception and therefore should be optimized accordingly. Engaging with management reporting initiatives is important and should be a continuously used measurement and evaluation tool.
  • Practitioners need to collaborate with academics and social science researchers to design and leverage models that are valid and methodologically rigorous. Embracing qualitative measures is key and one single metric will not solve the issue; rather a unified approach to quantitative and qualitative measures. Besides, professionals should focus more on outcome metrics making sure to align them with organizational outcomes instead of focusing on the quantity of outputs and other rudimental metrics.
  • Additionally, the education level of practitioners needs to be increased; even though most respondents had a Master’s in PR, measurement is not a required communication tool discussed in the PR-academic realm. Professionals can attain a higher skill set by continuously developing and learning new measures even post-degree.
  • On the academic end, researchers should strive to clarify and standardize metrics and definitions in order to avoid confusion. Furthermore, academic research should be an integral part of professional discussions and benchmarks.

Overall, the idea behind this study is to offer a current snapshot of academic and professional benchmarks, practices and models and should be used as a baseline framework for PR evaluation and measurement. Currently, industry and academia are developing ways to align theory and practice. AMEC has established an AMEC Academic Advisory Group to contribute to its development of standards for measurement and evaluation. The future of PR measurement and evaluation will lie in updating and providing industry benchmarks to researchers while having professionals adopt qualitative metrics capable of grasping the complex social scientific nature that PR entails.

We’re definitely not at the end of the road regarding this topic.

What are your thoughts?

 

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My Thesis

 

thesis-statement-webinar-APU

125600 mins of research…

Endless amounts of coffee…(I prefer tea honestly, but you gotta do what you gotta do)

Countless naps at Bobst…

Revisions over Revisions…but…

I FINALLY PUBLISHED MY THESIS!

Yes, you read that right! I’m donezo! I’m so proud and humbled. It was an incredible amount of work that went into it but not only did I submit I also got approved to have it published, yeah!

For anyone that is interested in my paper, shoot me a DM on Twitter. (A blog post is coming soon).

Also I huge THANK YOU for all the survey submissions! I gained some great insights.

Happy Holidays!

-Peggy

 

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