Media Tour

This past Friday I was able to attend the annual Alliance for Women in Media Dallas/Fort Worth media tour. There were four tour options you could chose from and personally, I think I picked the best one offered.

Our first stop was iHeartMedia. We got a tour of the facilities, got presentations about the promotional, sales and integrated media departments and got to see The Jaggar Morning Show being tapped.

Jaggar Mornings  Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Jaggar Mornings
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

The next stop was Asher Media, a small advertising agency that sells commercial space to radio, television and Internet companies for its clients. It’s run by a small group of women who love to crunch numbers.

Fun Fact: Asher Media conducts a survey on which Fall TV shows will make the cut. They get paid to binge watch Netflix so they can go back to their clients and provide them with what TV show their ad should follow. YOU GET PAID TO BINGE WATCH NETFLIX!

Next, we got a tour of the Galleria Mall in Dallas, the one with an ice skating rink located in the center. I had never been inside of it before and could only think how much of a madhouse this place must be during the holidays. HOLY NO PARKING!

After some lunch we were able to go see the practice facilities of the Dallas Stars, the professional hockey team in Dallas. We met with Communications Director Tom Holly and he gave us some insight on what it means to work for a sport organization.

Dallas Stars Locker Room Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Dallas Stars Locker Room
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

Long story short, you have to have a passion to keep with the long hours for very little pay. You need to be willing to take a position anywhere in the organization (he started in merchandizing) so you can work your way up the ladder.

The last stop on the tour was Fox Sports where we got to meet Dana from The Network. I have to admit it was pretty neat to see the sets in real life. You watch it on television and when you can see it in person, you feel like you’re inside TV, pretty cool.

Fox Sports Sets Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Fox Sports Sets
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Fox Sports Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Fox Sports
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

The story was the same there but with a twist, especially if you were a female trying to make it as a sports analyst. “You have to be better than the guy sitting next to you,” our host explained. “It’s not fair but that’s the way it is.”

Over all it was awesome to rub elbows with that many professionals in the business. I was able to hand out resumes and speak to individuals one on one. It was a great experience.

I was definitely partial to iHeartMedia, it would be awesome to be able to say I work for them and iHeart it. I strongly encourage expecting seniors and students alike to start knocking elbows early.

The two lessons I came away with was to never say no and be open to all opportunities.

Aww-Jammit

Per a sporadic conversation last night with my husband about a documentary we watched on Netflix. The conversation was about controversial topics and what our own personal opinions were. I brought up the Kellogg’s PB&J Aww Jammit commercial that was aired before Superbowl Sunday in February.

My husband didn’t believe me when I told him it had caused such a hubbub online. I brought up Kellogg’s Facebook page and found the commercial post that can be found here. I began to read the comments out loud and I must say, if you ever want a good laugh, head on over and make sure to read them OUT LOUD.

The number one complaint I found from consumers through comments was the notion the nurse had eaten a baby. Second, that it promoted cannibalism and thirdly, it was wrong to craft such an advertisement that is geared toward children.

I find it hard to connect an animated poptart that is drawn on paper and jump to Kellogg’s murdered a baby. That is a huge leap and frankly a bit dramatic. You can’t murder something that isn’t real nor living.

Second, cannibalism is defined by merrian-webster as a ritualistic eating of human flesh by another human, or the eating of flesh of an animal by the same animal. So by definition the human nurse who is assumed to have eaten the baby poptart cannot be used as an example of cannibalism, humans are supposed to eat poptarts.

Thirdly, yes the poptart is a baby and the commercial is geared toward children, so why is it acceptable to promote such behavior to a child? Easy, kids thoughts are very singular and wouldn’t see the problem unless an adult prompts them to think otherwise. Children know that poptarts are supposed to be eaten for breakfast as a tasty treat.

The first thing my husband said after I read through some of the nasty baby murdering comments, was that this is what Kellogg’s wanted. The company wants people to talk about their brand and as said before in a previous post what is really deemed bad PR?

Is there a line brands shouldn’t cross? Well, personally I hardly think an animated poptart being eaten (the way it should be) should cause so much of a stir. Then again, people were up in arms about the bi-racial couple in the Cheerio’s commercial and their daughter. So who knows what people are thinking.

In conclusion I don’t think you can make a line between good and bad PR, because everybody is different and have different triggers. So though this commercial doesn’t upset some, but it obviously upsets others.

I guess the only thing you can do is not intentionally cross any true controversial or disturbing line.

My Morning Wearing Red

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Photo Cred: Google

This morning a few PRSSA members and me visited the offices of The American Red Cross North Texas Region in Dallas. Our host Regional Marketing Manager, Amy Yen and Communications Associate, Lisa Morgan, showed us around the impressive and irreplaceable organization. We were also rewarded with a shortened version of the regional communications programs.

Its mission is to, “Empower online social communities to execute our mission.” A lot of its disaster response is done through social media, and on any given day the organization is mentioned around 4,000 times each day, according to Yen.

During Super Storm Sandy, there were an estimated 2.5 million conversations occurring on social media between users, The Red Cross tagged 4,500 tweets to follow up on. Workers and volunteers tracked tweets by keywords, such as: lightening, tornado, ice, and storm. How were they able to do this?

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Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

The DigiDot is a humungous operating system sponsored by Dell and ran on Radian6. “A Hootsuite on steroids,” explained Yen.

The monstrous network is located on the second floor. Upon entering the room, you immediately notice the large projectors hung front and center. To the left there are four plasma screens, each monitor various media aspects around the country. There are only two DigiDots currently operating, one being in Dallas, the other in Washington D.C.

There are two reasons why The American Red Cross North Texas Region acquired the DigiDot, the first being DFW had a huge presence on social media, the second being North Texas is the most disaster prone area in the country, you name it we got it, now even earthquakes!

Though all the technology and high tech equipment is impressive, it’s the people behind the computer screens who are the real life changers. A majority of the workers at The Red Cross are volunteers, 97 percent, actually.

Volunteers are the bread and butter of this organization and The Red Cross is ever so thankful for those people. There are 75 volunteer positions offered and they are always searching to hire a few rad interns throughout the year. If you are interested in becoming a part of this nonprofit organization, check out their website here. You’ll be grateful you did. I could only hope I score its summer internship.

As we toured the rest of the building, we were able to see their emergency storage areas. The first being a medium sized room with black containers, each labeled with its materials. Items like snacks, flip-flops, t-shirts, stuffed animals for children, and their new pet comfort bags – thanks to their new partnership with Don’t Forget to Feed Me.

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Photo Cred: Awo

Up to six or seven times a day, police and firehouses call The Red Cross to notify them about families or people, who are in need of aid, circumstances ranging from house fires or flooding.

The next storage area was in a large warehouse. Where supplies were stored on pallets and carried in bulk sizes.

To conclude my experience, I leave you with a fun fact: President Obama sent his first official tweet from The Red Cross Twitter handle page, as he too was once a volunteer with The Red Cross. What a catch phrase, right?

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