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After writing my last diddy Bad Press Does Not Impress, I realized the effectiveness of silence in rebuilding a person’s image. We’re bombarded daily with advertisements, product placement (open your eyes reality TV junkies), and name-dropping. But when over stimulation of bad press ruins a celeb’s image, the first step in the program is silence. Celebrities, here are six steps to winning back your fans.

1. Drop off the Earth

Go to rehab, take a sabbatical, move-in with your parents. Just get out of where you are and the people you’re around! Don’t talk to the media. Avoid parties or events where you will be spotted. Even the most innocent partying can shed negative light. Take time off work. Basically, be silent to your public! Silence says you’re serious about changing and moving on. Silence also lessens the chance that people will get sick of hearing about you. Take the time to let your fans heal and forgive you.

2. Own it

Nobody cares about your sob story when you’re in the hot seat. There’s a time and place, and that is not it. Think of Michael Vick complaining about not being able to own a family pet after his animal abuse allegations. It showed the public that he was not remorseful for what he did only that he got caught. Don’t blame others for anything you’ve done. Humbleness is noble.  Be mature and accept responsibility. Your adoring fans will swoon.

3. Concentrate on the things that matter

Sure, sure it may be good for your soul, but it’ll get you the attention you want. Focus on family and close friends. Stay away from bad influences. If you’re an actor, what about the love of acting? Work on a low-budget project that will gain notoriety not box office bucks. Let your public see you do things that they know aren’t making you a lot of money. Volunteer your time (not just your money) to a cause you believe in. Your fans desperately want to believe there’s a good person inside of you. Let them see it!

4. Let your work speak for you

When you’re doing good work, the attention will come to you, you will not have to seek it out. Think of Winona Ryder after her theft attention. After laying low, she continued acting in small movie roles. This let the audience warm-up to seeing her. It also showed directors that she was worth taking a chance on where bigger roles were concerned. Don’t write a book, don’t push endorsement deals, and don’t do interviews! Just do what you do best and remember why you love it!

5. Have a trustworthy friend proofread 

Even celebrities aren’t immune to emotional tweets or blog updates. Before the enter button is clicked, have someone proofread it. With technology, fans now have the ability to access your words directly from you. Don’t ruin this privilege! You may be trashed and scorned, but don’t respond! Keep it classy, San Diego, and don’t get carried away!

6. Be consistent over time

Continually practicing these steps over time is the final ingredient in this recipe. I never knew Drew Barrymore and Robert Downy Jr. had a dicey past until I saw their stories on E! True Hollywood Story. My generation knows them for their work and not their personal life. Once you’ve hit rock bottom, you’ll know you can’t stay there forever. Get out and stay out!

7. What step would you add to mend a bad image? What other public careers need image management (politicians, businessmen, etc.)?

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There’s not a doubt that Steve Jobs’ death stirred more than just Apple users. It spawned countless articles, creative shrines, and a rush to release his authorized biography entitled “I, Steve: Steve Jobs in His Own Words.” An article in ABC news by Ned Potter discussed the book, which is a compilation of Steve Jobs’ quotes.

This made me think about the importance of being in the now. PR people have to be all over situations as soon as they happen. If your job is crisis communications, then this is obviously more vital. Agate Publishing jumps on the timeliness of Steve Jobs death to release his biography sooner. It is relevant. It is current. It will produce more sales. It will create buzz. It makes sense!

Every major event births countless PR projects, but they soon get old and tired. Think of Michael Jackson’s death, the Royal Wedding, the O.J. Simpson trial, etc. My mom has about five dusty Princess Di books amongst a collection of videos and magazines about her life. It’s old news now, so they’re left untouched, but the timeliness of Princess Diana’s death interested my mother enough that she bought into the hype when it happened. Therefore, it’s an important business to be in the now.

Speaking of now, let’s unpack another concept. A public receives the news. PR people make the news. So, we should really jump on the news before it happens, right?

Let’s think like Steve and ask ourselves, “What next?” In today’s fast-paced society iNow might be too late. We’ve got to think about what’s iNext. How will you anticipate the next big thing?

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From Professor Nixon’s lecture on Crisis Communication, I learned that it’s better to prevent a crisis before it happens. Planning for the worst, is a particularly smart move. This will ensure fast action when a boo-boo occurs.

  • Prevent a crisis from happening by setting up Google alerts. Google alerts will send you an Email whenever your name is pinged in cyberspace. Knowing what people are saying about you will help you decide on a course of action.
  • Buy out negative domain names attached to your company. Ex. ihatemcdonalds.com
  • Have a research team that will test procedures

To plan for the worst, make an Emergency kit. This will help press releases go swifter should a code red arise.

  • A contact list of people on a crisis management team
  • Fact sheets about the company and new products
  • Bios on every manager in the company
  • Copies of company, division and product logos and the scanned signature of your CEO on a disk.
  • Contact info for media outlets

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SPRING BREAK! Keep your shirts on, please. I realize that Spring Break was last month. However, I also realize that I’ve been in terrible error about not blogging about it (is was an actual blogging assignment). Tisk tisk to me.

The dance group on stage after the performance.

My Spring Break was no break, but it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Every semester, Southeastern University hosts a leadership conference called The Forum. This year guests included Former President George W. Bush, Former First Lady Laura Bush, CEO Jim Blanchard, Hillsong church pastor Brian Houston, Joyce Meyer, and many more!

I am a dancer in a group led by Nickolas Dixon that was asked to dance at The Forum. We learned a piece choreographed by Dixon, and rehearsed during Spring Break. It was such an honor to perform for some of the great speakers and attenders of this year’s conference. I will never forget it!

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Kneale Mann, the fast-talking, passionate marketing and social media strategist had an interesting conversation with Barbara Nixon a few weeks ago. Mann has mounds of experience with Public Relations and social media, and was kind enough to share his thoughts on blogging.

“My blog actually stemmed from a geek dinner,” says Kneale Mann. A geek dinner is a bunch of people who have met through a business contact or over social media. That night, his fellow geeks asked him if he had a blog, and he said no. Thanks to the encouragement from them, Mann started his blog about an hour after the dinner. Two years later, he’s still blogging!

Advice from Kneale Mann on blogging:

  1. Just start writing! Find something that interests you and write about it. “Sometimes we’re trying to go for the absolute victory, before we do the work.” However, you can’t expect instant results. Put the number of followers out of your head and just write for the sake of getting thoughts on paper (or on webpage).
  2. Just keep writing! Even if your interests change, just keep writing. Don’t validate yourself by your number of followers, just keep writing!
  3. Comment on other people’s blogs, because “the price of admission is contribution.”

Check the video of this interview out, because it’s really quite interesting.

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Professor Barbara Nixon interviewed Mark Waxman about working in a PR agency for her PR students (me being one of them). Waxman co-founded Palette Public Relations in Toronto, Canada with such clients as Proctor and Gamble, Olay Skincare, Herbal Essences, Atkins, Dove and Secret. When creating the company, Waxman and his associates decided to base the company of three basic pillars:

1. Simplicity: making client’s lives easier

2. Energy: not giving up until we get results

3. Honesty: Being up front and honest

In his spare time, Waxman helps with a podcast called Inside PR about PR and social media. I was surprised to learn that they use Skype to record their podcast instead of doing a live recording. I always thought of Skype as a casual tool I used over the summer with my friends. In fact, a few years ago I’d only relate social media to young people. Adults just didn’t step into the world of AIM, Myspace or Facebook unless they had ulterior motives. It’s nice to know that social media is advancing to the point where it’s professionally acceptable to use on-the-job. Go Skype!

Well, a big thanks to Dr. Nixon and Mark Waxman for the informative interview!

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As much I’d like to stay in college forever, it’s inevitable. Soon enough the time will come for all seniors to the college cradle and jump into the big, bad, scary world. On Dr. Nixon’s blog, I found an incredibly helpful post with every resource I needed. But, I’ve included some extra useful resources below.

Resume:

1. Tailor it specifically for the job you’re applying for: I have done a lot work in theater and dance, but a business person does not care about my experience on stage. Therefore, I make two separate resumes: one reflecting my qualifications in the arts and the second reflecting my qualifications in business.

2. Stick to a one page resume: If you’re fresh out of college, there’s no reason to have more than one page

For more resume tips visit Resumes That Resonate.

Interviewing

1. Be educated with the company you are applying for: Before my interview with the YMCA, I researched the history of the Y and their core values. Even though they didn’t ask me these questions, I was prepared to answer other questions better.

2. Speak articulately: You’re probably nervous but try to diss the “ums,” “likes,” and “you knows” as much as possible!

3. Don’t speak bad about your last job or boss: It makes you look bad (not your boss).

For more visit Doh! 50 stupid job interview mistakes

Where???

The most obvious frustration is not knowing where to get started. Believe it or not, social media can help.

1. Get on the bandwagon: Slowly emerge yourself with some helpful social media

Twitter: join a chat geared toward your field of interest. PRstudchat and HAPPO have helped me, a PR student, immensely. Hundreds of professionals, all in one place and happy to help out students!

Linked In: Upload your resume and connect with some businesses in your local area. Add your Linked In resume to your website, blog or Twitter profile. Make it easy for people to see your qualifications.

WordPress/Blogspot: Blogging gives you a personality. An interview is professional and formal, but a blog is creative and fun. Only add a blog onto a resume, though, if it is a worthwhile read with no errors.

For more read Using Social Media to Find a Job

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