We’re nearing Halloween and the forthcoming holiday season, and we’ve received the best news here at PR/PR. No, neither Russell or myself received a comically massive check from Publisher’s Clearing House. My slowly-but-surely receding hairline has not reversed course overnight.
No, it’s better than all of that: we are receiving our first cold front of the season here in Orlando. Yes, we can expect highs in the low-60’s all week! Exciting, right?
The initial, albeit brief, respite from the swamp-like climate in Florida is a unifying force among all who live here. Political differences, cultural differences—throw them all out the (now open) window, because for at least two days we can just sit and talk about how great the weather is. It’s something we can all agree upon.
And with the first hints of winter come another familiar time: this is truly The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to explore your publicity options. There’s a baked-in assumption that the industry grinds to a halt in Q4; that editors have filed their stories and have engaged the cruise control until January 1.
Fall and winter are a fantastic time to evaluate your annual goals to-date, and look into beginning a publicity campaign. With frequency and repetition of articles placement through October, November, and December, you’re ahead of the eight-ball in name-recognition heading into the New Year. It’s a common misconception that pervades the speaking and consulting industry, and its merits are unfounded.
To begin 2018 with a step-ahead of your competition, this time of year is the best time to begin your publicity efforts.
In the wake of the ever-expanding Harvey Weinstein sexual assault and harassment scandal, women all over the world are taking to social media platforms to show solidarity and illuminate an issue that impacts people from all walks of life.
Yes, I’m referencing the #MeToo movement currently flooding Twitter timelines and Facebook newsfeeds.
In case you’ve been out of the loop but noticed the deluge of “Me Too” posts from your friends and social media connections, women have been sharing this simple sentiment to show that they, too, have faced sexual harassment or assault. Some have even gone as far as to elaborate on their intensely personal accounts.
It’s a succinct and powerful acknowledgment that has shown the true scope of those who have suffered from predatory or intimidating behavior.
Actress Alyssa Milano initially posted the “Me Too” thought to her Twitter account in response to the Weinstein scandal, and it has since dominated the social media area.
There’s often discussion about the real power of social media movements to bring attention to social issues—Hashtag-activism, if you will. From Kony2012 to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, there are strong, varying opinions as to Facebook and Twitter’s role. Regardless of debate, I applaud these brave women for sharing their stories and showing how immense of a problem sexual assault and harassment are today. It should never be tolerated, condoned, dismissed, or ignored—and the #MeToo movement is bringing it to the forefront.
So the power and internet access have been restored in Hurricane Irma’s wake and I’ve finally adjusted my body clock back to Eastern Standard Time, so it’s time to resume regular blog order.
On the menu this week? Szechuan sauce. Specifically the McDonald’s variety. Specifically its botched re-release in response to a viral online campaign as the result of a cartoon.
Sound good? Great—let’s start.
A brief explainer: Rick and Morty, the wildly popular animated series on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” featured McDonalds’ limited edition Mulan Szechuan sauce in one of its episodes earlier this year. Said sauce was released in 1998 as a promotion for Disney’s Mulan. Naturally, in response to the Rick and Morty episode, the internet began to demand its sauce.
McDonalds, seeing a clever opportunity for a bit of a PR stunt, announced that the Szechuan sauce would be available in limited supply at specific locations throughout the United States.
Poor McDonalds: you underestimated Meme Power.
The event was a predictable disaster, with throngs of Rick and Morty diehards swarming McDonald’s locations throughout the country, demanding the heralded dipping sauce. Stores quickly ran out of their supplies, leaving hordes of irate customers—some traveling as far as Canada—to stage impromptu Szechuan protests. People took to MdDonald’s parking lots with signs emblazoned with “We Want Sauce,” and police were called to quell the crowds.
Ah, the internet.
McDonald’s acknowledged its bungling of the promotion, and has since apologized—and announced that Mulan Szechuan sauce will be widely available this winter. The pandemonium goes to show that not all quirky corporate events designed to engage the online community are particularly well-advised.
It feels like just yesterday that I boarded my Norwegian flight bound for Berlin, Germany, but I’ve returned from my latest jaunt through Europe! That’s the way it always goes, it seems.
What an incredible, incredible trip. My list of destinations this go-round included Berlin, Germany, Prague, Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic–a UNESCO World Heritage Site about two hours outside of Prague–and Krakow, Poland.
As a history nut–particularly surrounding World War II–this was a trip that I’ve wanted to take for quite some time. It was surreal wandering the streets of Berlin, knowing the historical significance of the city. Exploring the ruins of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Berlin Wall, and the various monuments that dot the city was somewhat of a dream realized for someone who had spent his life reading about these places and events in books. It was remarkable.
Poland also presented the opportunity to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Words can’t properly describe the horror of such a place–it’s something that just needs to be experienced first-hand to truly comprehend the depths to which humanity can sink. I will never return to such an evil place, but I’m so glad I was able to visit and pay respects to the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
Through the beautiful, exhausting, awe-inspiring and horrifying: it was another trip of a lifetime.
Thank you to all of my clients for your flexibility while I was away–I trust the transition and adjustment was minimal. I know Russell appreciates the opportunity to dust off his agent shoes, so I know all of you were in great hands. While traveling Europe was wonderful, I’m glad to be getting back into the swing of things and resuming work on your campaigns!
Well, that was…interesting.
After it seemed like Orlando was in the clear, Hurricane Irma decided a visit to the theme parks was definitely on her agenda. Things began to really get nasty Sunday evening, with the eye wall taking an eastward shift — bringing it right over us.
By late Sunday and early Monday most of Orlando was being battered by 80+mph wind gusts and blinding rain. It sounded like a busy interstate outside, but it was just…wind. We were greeted with that familiar freight train sound as Irma made her presence known.
Most of Orlando is without power, there are massive oak trees down everywhere and random debris littering the roads, but all things considered: we got lucky. Orlandoans were out in full-force Monday morning, chainsaws in hand, clearing trees and brush and helping neighbors. It’s what this city does.
The cleanup effort will be massive and time-consuming, but we’ll be alright. Extremely thankful for our friends and family throughout the state who came out the other side safely.
We’re open for business this week, but unfortunately the office is still without power. We still have full access to our email, so that would be the best method to reach us until further notice.
Thank you to everyone who reached out prior to Irma rolling through, and those who checked in after the storm had passed. Your support and well wishes provided comfort and confidence during a truly frightening event.